Sometimes, it is good to look back. We so easily forget the path we have tread. The memories of God’s goodness, counsel, instruction and deliverance throughout our lives just…slip away.
God warned the Israelites of this very thing just before they entered The Promised Land.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deut. 4:9
Lately, I have been reading back through my journals to remind myself of all the landmarks along the trail of my life.
This blog has been very quiet because I have been in a strange place. One evening, I lay my weary head down to pray and found that I no longer had the energy to keep the pace I had set for myself in life. It was time to stop; time to narrow life down to the basics once again, regroup, and get my bearings.
So, I was wife. I was mother. I was master to Puzzle the Puppy. I dug in my garden and as I pulled weed after weed from beds long neglected by the previous owners of this home, I weeded out some sorrows in my own heart. As I brought life and beauty back to the yard, God used it to bring life and beauty back into my spirit.
Then, I sat down in the shade of a tree as the wind gently coaxed subtle music from the bamboo chime above my head and my children busied themselves peeling apart layer after layer of wild onions from the yard and I read, and read, and read.
And now, I am looking back and looking forward. I am letting go of that which I cannot change and breathing deeply again.
This morning as I sipped tea and watched the sun rise I suddenly knew that this blog was supposed to go back to the beginning too. In the beginning, my intention was that this blog would simply be a reflection of the loving words, and sometimes gentle corrections God spoke to me in the quiet of the morning before anyone else was awake in that holy hour when the sun rises.
I did not really understand much about blogs back then. All I knew was that many people seemed to use them as on-line journals. I was baffled by the concept. “Why would anyone post their journal entries for the world to read?” I asked myself. I guard my own journal with fierce privacy. It is the place where I can speak the deepest fears, sorrows, and frustrations of my heart freely with no fear of judgment or misinterpretation. There is something incredibly liberating about simply being utterly honest in a forum where no one gets hurt.
Some days, I shudder to think that I will one day die and my family and perhaps people I don’t even know will thumb through those pages where my heart was laid bare and trace the path of my life word by word. I completely understand why little girls buy journals with tiny silver locks and then hide the key. Then…hide the journal under their pillow just to be safe. I refuse to read the diary of Anne Frank because I think it would be a young girl’s worst nightmare to find that her most intimate thoughts had not only been read but published to be perused by millions.
Recently, I read in the paper that some of Saddam Hussein’s journal writings from when he was incarcerated in the three years before his execution have been published. I have no misguided sympathy for the brutal dictator but I still felt it was some kind of violation to publish his journal. As a matter of fact, it seems even worse to me than the pictures my government published of him doing his laundry in his underwear.
Some things are meant to be private. Underwear and journals are two of those things.
But…as I go back to the beginning, I am going to partially break my own rule. I am going to crack open journals old and new and pluck from their pages entries that record the quiet moments when God has spoken to me as the sun rose and I sat with a cup of tea in my hand.
I am going to look back to keep the loving words of my Savior from slipping away from my heart.
See you tomorrow…..