Sunday, October 26, 2008

How About Memorial Box Mondays? aka We Will Remember....

I love blogging, but I also want to make the most of it. So I have been praying about what to "talk" about on a regular basis and thankfully =) Thankful Thursdays seems to have "hit the spot!"

Dw just finished up a series entitled, "One Month to Live". We were challenged to think about what we would do if we only had one month to live. If I only had one month, what would I want to mention to my bloggy friends? Which brings me to my new Monday topic. Memorial Box Monday. Our Memorial Box is displayed in a prominent place in our home because it's at the heart of our home, our family and our faith. Here's the background:

In Joshua 4 Almighty God tells the Isrealites to collect stones and set them as a Memorial to remind them of God's power and provision. He then tells the Isrealites to use those stones as a memorial; that everytime they see them to tell their children and their children's children the stories over and over again, continually reminding them of God's faithfulness.
((Joshua 4
When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been
in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.......... On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."))
Many, many years ago we bought our Memorial Box. We started filling it with special little treasures. Each of these little items of significance remind us of things in our lives that our All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Capable God has done for us! Each of these little treasures represent times when God has miraculously provided, supernaturally healed, or powerfully met a need. Each time we talk about these things we are reminding ourselves and our kids of all the magnificient things God has done for us.
When tough times come (like when Ch*na said "no" after saying "yes" to Isaiah) we can look back in our Memorial Box and be reminded that, "He was faithful to part the Red Sea all these other times, we can trust to move on our behalf again!"
These stories and reminders of God's faithfulness are the fabric of our faith. They uplift, encourage and cause us to rejoice all over again. Each and every time they remind us just how much God loves us and how He longs to be part of our lives.
Imagine how faith filled we would be if we spent time on a regular basis remembering all the things God has done for our marriage, our family, our children and each of our personal lives.

So I was thinking.....from today on this blogging chick will be dedicating Monday's to remembering God's faithfulness - calling it officially Memorial Box Monday. Maybe it will cause others to start their own family Memorial Box to fill with things that remind their family of just how much God loves them - how He has already provided for them in all sorts of ways.

And for the record, if you don't own a Memorial Box it's not too late!! Just start thinking and talking as a family about what you will fill it with. Then start praying for God to provide one!! =) We have found Memorial Boxes for others at Thrift stores, yard sales and antique stores. Any box that can be hung on the wall and filled with things will do. We had one for years, but just this past summer we found this sweet white one at a yard sale. We thought it was just so special looking (and it was also bigger) and so we "traded up".

Now, for my first official Memorial Box Monday: The Ezra Story
A couple of months ago I posted about the roosters we had when we pastored in Virginia. Well we have a really cool Memorial Box story about our old family pet rooster Ezra, and I will start with the Ezra story.

We had had two roosters that Abigail had given me and they were my joy. The neighbor's dog killed Nehemiah, but Ezra remained with us. Eventually my Multiple Sclerosis was so bad that we put our home up for sale. Our plan was to sell our existing home, move to a rental and then build a handicap accessible home so it would be easier for me to manuveur with my cane. Even my wheelchair, Charlie, would be able to get around with ease.

But this presented a potential concern. If we had to go to a rental, what in the world were we going to do with Ezra? A friend had offered his home as our rental once our home sold, but the rental was on a super busy road and the house was right up near the road. There was no way that Ezra would survive in that rental house.
I loved little Ezra bunches! He would come up to the porch and just sit there as if to say, "the family hangs out on the porch, I'm family, so I ought to be here too." He wasn't mean ever, just a sweet, sweet guy. Yet I also reasoned that it would be traumatic to move Ezra and try to get him to understand the whole moving thing and dangerous road thing.
So I started to pray. After all, if the Lord tells us to cast every single care we have on Him....then even Ezra would fit the "every, single care" criteria. I began to regularly ask the Lord, specifically, if He would make a way for Ezra to just remain with the house. I even asked the Lord to allow whomever the people were that would come to buy our home to fall in love with our Ezra and that they would want him to stay.
I am aware that not everyone has such a fascination with my feathery rooster friends. BUT God does care. He loves me enough to even care about my little feathery friend, Ezra. So months passed while we waited for the house to sell and we had a kajillion showings too....BUT one day my cell phone rang while I was checking out in Wal-Mart. I will never forget where I was standing when Almighty God cared enough to show up about my Ezra. The phone call went like this:
Our realtor: Linn, this is Diana, we have an offer!!!
Me: Really? Oh Yippee Jesus!!! Is it a good offer??!
Diana: Yeah, but it's really weird, Linn. The buyer's agent said he had to ask me something before he presented the offer. That out of town buyer wants to know if you would be willing to leave the rooster. The rooster came up to them on the front porch and they just fell in love him and they don't even want to talk about the offer until they know that you are willing to leave your rooster. Linn, that is the weirdest request I have EVER had...In all my years of real estate I have never had anyone want a rooster....blah, blah, blah....
Me (through shrieks of joy): Oh YIPPEEE YIPPPEEE JESUS! Diana, God's answered my prayers - I've been asking the Lord to allow the buyer to love and want Ezra and He did it Diana - He did it! (and then I went on to tell her the whole story since only Dw and the kids knew what my prayer had been)!

Oh yes, dear friends, there is a sweet little rooster sitting in our Memorial Box. It is a constant reminder that God even cares about the "little things" in our lives and He totally is the God of what would seem impossible (or even silly to some)!! I mean, seriously, what are the "odds" that someone would come to buy our home and want Ezra first off? Only the God of the universe could stir a couple's heart whom we had never met before to love my little Ezra from the get-go and have such a direct and special request upfront, before they even presented the offer!!!! What an amazing God we serve!
Which brings me to the question: If God cares so much about providing a home for a little feathery friend of mine - how much more does He care and provide for the super, huge, gigantic, enormous, seemingly impossible things in your life? Exactly my point!! Yipppeee Jesus!!

14 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. Awesome idea. My family needs to remember and praise Him for what He's done more often. Actually, a memory box would be a fantastic Christmas gift for some of my other family too. I could give them a special "starter" personalized memory token. And I could write out the scripture that goes with it. Amazing. Thank you for this gentle reminder that God provides!

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  2. Wow! I just came to this post from your update on the fire today, and I love this! I have kept things that remind me of God's faithfulness, but I haven't added to them in a while, and I have never displayed them publicly. I love the idea from the comment above about giving memorial boxes for Christmas, with a starter memorial. I have almost a year to find the perfect box for each of my five children, and for a little orphanage in Busiga, Uganda! Thanks, Linn, Tone and Rett!

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  3. Wow you sound like an amazing woman. I really enjoyed reading your blog this morning. I am also a Christian woman of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (Mormon) Your writings reminded me that I need to be better at showing gratitude for what the Lord has given me and my family. I am going to take your idea of the Thankful Thursday and take time to remember and publicly write what I am thankful for. I already do in my daily prayers. We truly to have so much to be thankful for. Thanks again.

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  4. I love this idea. Very much, in fact.
    My husband was laid off his job a week ago and I am a SAHM. I am fighting feelings of fear and despair and find comfort in returning to the times when our Heavenly Father moved mountains for us...
    I'm going to try to find a memory box of our own...

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  5. Linn,

    I love when God does this sort of thing! God has been teaching me about how great His love for me is and how He'll provied all the more for me. The funny thing is sometimes the most difficult thing about this is being willing to do nothing but stand back and trust.

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  6. Oh Linn;

    What a beautiful story, it could only have been God...
    now I want a Memorial Box for my family. I'm going to ask Him ;-)

    thanks again, really for sharing.

    Kimmie
    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

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  7. What an awesome thing to do! I love how the Lord works in our lives. I know I was led her for a very good reason. We have a love for people, life, critters, and most importantly, Our Heavenly Father. I love your blog. I'm so sorry about the loss of your house (I've only made it through part 1, but am so thankful you all have so many friends and were all safe!!! God is Good! Can't wait to read more and get to know you better. Hugs, Love and blessings to you!

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  8. This is such a great idea and legacy of faith to leave with your kids!! I love it.

    God Bless You!

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  9. I have chills all over and tears running down my face. A memorial box, something I would have never thought about but makes perfect since. Not sure how we have not had one all these years.
    We have been going through some rough times lately with my health and finicial problems and I sometimes get too caught up in that and forget how far God has brought me.

    Thank you for sharing this and your family.
    The search is on for our family Memorial Box! :)

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  10. What a wonderful way to remember the important things in our lives! I will begin the search this week. :)

    I must say that I have so been blessed by your heart of compassion. I could feel it with your words. Thank you! I did not get in on the fast for prayer, but will committ to a fast and prayer time this week!! I just cannot even begin to understand the struggles this family has. I know God is always there and will never fail us, but it's hard during these times. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. :)

    We have a ministry to children called A child's Hope International, www.achildshopeintl.org, perhaps you can find a little time time check it out. :)

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  11. Linny,

    I have followed your family's blog faithfully since the fire and have drawn much inspiration in how you choose to view life - focusing on God's blessings and moments of faithfulness instead of the moments where we feel we are alone.

    I am about to launch a blog chronicling my journey back to God. I kicked him out of my life after I was sexually abused, but now in my early 20s I realize that I cannot do it alone. Slowly I am trying to reforge that relationship. I would love to incorporate your idea of a Memory Box of Faithfullness into my blog, if you don't mind.

    I don't know if it is still possible but I would appreciate it if I could be included in the drawing for the memory box. When I started reading your blog I thought that it was the last thing that I needed, but now I understand that focusing on his faithfulness is something that I really do need to restore my trust in Him.

    Thanks for your honest portrayal of your life. It has given me much encouragement.
    Miss Ashley

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  12. Yippee indeed. I love this idea. I came from a link over at Elaine's "peace for the journey".

    I have a big nativity barn that my mom and dad made together. they made 50 and gave them all away. I have made it my 'memory barn' through the year. It stands all year long. I fill it with similar things - as you have pointed out here. Mama is at the center, as she died 8 years ago and though her death brought much sorrow and grief - God also ushered in a whole barn full of miracles and healing in my life. I began the memory barn after her death.

    I love your idea so much - my blog is kinda that same idea for my children and grandchildren. But I have an old section of 'altar' that came out of one of my dad's churches (he was a minister). It was the altar that I remember kneeling at many times during altar calls - just so I could feel closer to Jesus :) I am going to do the memory box idea above this altar - in my home. I'm moving and giving away all my furniture - and SIMPLIFYING - but my altar will go with me for as long as I can find room to place it. I am an intercessor and a worship warrior. The two - memory box and altar - go together!

    Blessings to you and your blessed family - my 2011 bring forth more memories to share the love of Christ.

    patrina <")>><
    warrior bride in boots

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  13. such a sweet story :) we've been praying about a puppy - and i have even wondered if i should be praying about it (but of course i pray about everything . . . ) i love that God cares about your sweet ezra (and our little cocoa :)

    sending hugs :)

    xo ellie

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  14. I just wanted to let you know that your continual reminders of God's faithfulness helped my husband lead a group of missionaries today. He had to take them up a mountain, leading them through what amounts to a guided devotional the whole way. He was stumped on what to talk about. So I told him how I'd found your blog at a time when I was pretty overwhelmed (I even emailed you about it the other day), and how your detailing of God's incredibly detailed faithfulness brought me back to a place where I could remember His working in my own life, and all the Ebenezers He's given me. We must have talked about the whole concept and how your blog helped me for over an hour (which is rare to get that much time to talk these days). Well, God showed up today in a huge way. He was working with new missionaries and missionaries who have been serving longer than I've been alive. And as they recalled all the Ebenezers/Memorial Box moments in their own lives, something incredible happened. It would take forever to tell you all the stories of how people were impacted, but it was so incredibly amazing to me how God uses one person to reach another, and in turn He reaches many, many people. Thank you for consistently recording God's working in your life.

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It's always good to hear from bloggy friends. Bless you.