Rich and I are rememberers.
Rich has an exceptional memory for historical facts. Pop culture from 1969-1999. He stopped paying attention after that. He remembers what I was wearing the first day he met me. A pink tank top of all things, and jean shorts with bracelets on my left wrist. Oh, the nineties. He remembers word for word our pastor’s sermons on Sundays-(even when it looked like he wasn’t paying attention), great speeches in history (Gettysburg Address, “I Have A Dream”, “Give Peace A Chance”-oh, wait. ) He remembers things he read in his Anthro texts in college over ten years ago. He can quote you every Beatles song on every album they ever recorded-in order-and the stories behind each one. He remembers authors names and who they married and who was a drunk and who won the noble peace prize in what year. He remembers our youth group kids prayer requests, weeks after they gave them.
I remember my first birthday and going to the hospital the day my sister was born- holding a plastic set of keys as my first gift. Waiting for my Dad, at two years old, to come home from work in the doorway, thinking every truck that went by was his. I remember my grandparents white station wagon with the Texas plates in our driveway and my Grandpa teaching me how to ride a bike. I remember my Nana making my Pop-pop eggs, sunny-side up, fried in bacon grease over toast after he had two bowls of Honeycombs with bananas and an RC Cola after working the nightshift at the A&P. I remember sitting on their stairs with my cousin Jessie after we were supposed to have been asleep during the holidays and eavesdropping on the adult conversations when Nana caught us-and uncharacteristically, did not scold us and force us back to bed but let our presence remain unnoticed while slipping us jellied orange slices to keep us quiet. We felt like we got away with murder. (Cousins who know and have experienced the wrath of Nana can back me up).I remember climbing the tree in our front yard with the neighborhood kids and collecting acorns as a humanitarian effort-(animals were just the same as humans when you’re 5) to feed the “starving”squirrel population. Justice for all. I remember lyrics after hearing a song only once. I remember people’s stories of suffering, struggle and heartache as if they were my own. I remember every single one of my students first and last names over the 5 years I taught. And their girl/boyfriends. I just remember names in general and I never forget someone’s face or where I first met them. It makes for interesting conversations at the grocery store.
“Did you go to such and such a pre-school in 1987 and then move to Virginia? I thought so. You were in my class. ” Stunned expression follows a quick getaway by person who now believes I am either a stalker or someone with telepathic powers. I’m neither, in case you were wondering. Just a rememberer.
You would think, since we were so good at remembering all of these things, that remembering how good, how faithful and how kind God has been to us would be easy to remember.
Every night Ellie doesn’t sleep makes us forget how many nights she DID sleep.
Every bill that goes unpaid makes us forget how many bills God enabled us TO pay over the years.
Every prayer that goes unanswered makes us forget how many prayers-a countless many-He has answered. And continues to answer every day. We just forget.
Why do we forget these things?
Whether you believe in God or not, you can agree that it is so much easier to remember the crappy things in life than the good things.
I believe God has made promises to us as his people in scripture. I like how Paul Miller in, “A Praying Life” says:
“As I saturate my life with the word, I give the spirit a vocabulary to personalize the word to me.”
We’ve seen, heard, witnessed and are a testimony to this happening in our lives. But when things get hard, it’s hard for us to remember.
I don’t want my kid to be a doubting Thomas or a forgetter of all good things, so I’m trying to be a rememberer of all God’s promises and all of our stories where He has provided, comforted, encouraged us.
Do you have a story like that? Something wonderful that happened to you that was so unexpected it could only have been God’s hand of mercy? Would you remember it today? Instead of posting on facebook how tired you are. How mad you are at people who have disappointed you. How much you hated “Mobbed” last night. (What is that show about, anyway? I don’t get it.) Would you be a “rememberer” of the good things? The blessed things? The sweet things? It would really help out my parenting. Thanks. Feel free to post it here, in the comments if you like. Be brave and post it in some other social networking forum-that’ll really throw people off. Don’t post it anywhere at all and tell someone about it. Or ruminate on it quietly to yourself, and remember. Remember how much you’re loved.
Be a rememberer.
I”m going to try to do the same.