As we cleaned out our house last week for our move, I found old journals and photo albums. I paused a couple of times to look at them, but not too often since we didn’t have a lot time before everything needed to be moved out.
I found a journal from 2008 and the first entry was titled A Weekend of ‘No!’ ‘Stop that’ “Put That Down!” (I didn’t title journal entries very often. I must have been going through a phase.) I thought I’d share a little of the entry from this particular day for any new mothers, or mothers who remember those crazy toddler years. I think I had forgot how crazy my son was a the age of 2.
"Jonathan! Stop that! No! Put that down!" I've said that so many times this weekend I can't even count. Jonathan has been into everything, torn up, everything, knocked things down, spilled things, climbed on thinks and broke things. He knocked the Christmas tree over twice; broke another bulb (bringing the grand total over two weeks to six, I think); tried to climb over the back of the recliner twice; tried to hammer the wall once; threw a handful of change in his mouth once; pulled toilet paper off the roll once (dragging it into the living room to wrap around his daddy's feet); grabbed two bulbs and ran under the table with them. And all of this is why he was taken up to bed rather quickly tonight. Despite all the craziness, Jonathan has been a lot of fun.
On another day my son was pushing his boundaries:
Jonathan just had his hand on the Wii. I told him 'no, don't touch that." He said. "Oh." Then he touched the DVD payer. "That?" he asked. "Yes, you can touch that," I said. "That?" he asked and touched the RF converter. "Yes, you can touch that," I said, on to him by now and watching him shoot me a smart-but grin. "That?" he asked, looking at me and touching the Wii again. "No," I said. "That?" he asked, looking at me and touching the receiver for the Direct TV. It's going to be a long night.
I also found this entry from the next year when I got a weird call from an older friend of ours:
“Lisa, I just had a premonition about you! You’re going to have a girl and you were so happy. I was there. I don’t know why I was there, but I was there and you had a girl. You had a name picked out for her already, but I can’t remember what it was.”
I did not remember this entry at all. And why that stood out for me is that I did have a girl, five years later. I had had her name picked out since I was in college, had never told this woman (that I remember) and this woman was not at the hospital with me when I had her, but she was at my house sitting with my then 8-year old until my dad got up to our house to watch him when I went to the hospital.
We know this woman but we’re not super close to her in that we don’t get together all the time or talk every day or even for months at a time, but for some reason she had asked if she wanted us to stay with our son if I went into labor when my husband wasn’t home.
Finding that last entry came at an important time for me. I’ve been feeling very alone, very lost, very anxious (of course, with all that is going on) and like the future is frighteningly uncertain, but to see that entry, to know that 11-years ago God was using our friend as a messenger to tell me that he had our future happiness on his mind — that he has us and me on his mind — was a balm to my fearful soul.
A few years that entry was made our family faced some extremely big challenges, challenges that were a few inches from destroying our entire family. God kept his promise, though, kept us together, and gave us the girl he promised us we would have, while also giving us the gift of our son (big bonus!).
Sometimes, in the moment, in the every day stresses of life, we don’t see how God has been working or is working now. We don’t always remember the promises he gave us, the hope he instilled in us at times we needed it most.
Keeping a journal to remember what promises have been kept and what promises are still to come might help us to not lose focus on what really matters, but simply looking in the Bible and seeing what promises were kept and realized for other followers of God can encourage us as well.
What promises has God made to you and kept or what promises are you still waiting on? Share in the comments to encourage others as they face dark and uncertain times in their lives.