Is Your Memory As Good As You Think It Is?

I’ve spent my life as a mom building traditions into our family. Even wrote a Christmas devotion to help families do the same.

So you can imagine why it shocked me to my core when I heard one of my children answer the question, “What Christmas traditions does your family have?” with “We don’t really have any traditions.”

Seriously?

We have so many traditions I actually have a notebook dedicated to all things Christmas. It holds Christmas traditions, recipes, menus, etc.

I slept on that comment and woke with it still front and center. It was bothering me because I’ve worked so hard to create in our family memories, experiences, and traditions.

As casually as I could muster, I asked my son why he answered that way. He didn’t remember giving the answer he gave. I tried jarring his memory.

“Remember, they said this. You said that.”

He looked at me quizzically. After a moment he responded, “Well, we don’t really have any do we?”

“What? Are you serious? Let me remind you and see if you recall them.”

I continued to list them all.

“Mom, why are you so upset? Those aren’t really traditions are they? I thought traditions were big things?”

“No, it’s a repeated experience. It can be something small like we have Pioneer Woman Blueberry French Toast Casserole every Christmas morning.”

“Oh, well, I wasn’t thinking that way.”

“Well, how about these? We have a gingerbread house competition every year. Or we make Rolo cookies every year. We have a competition before the baking begins to see who can unroll and stack their Rolos the fastest.”

His response, “We didn’t do it last year.”

I felt myself get defensive all over again. “Yes we did!! I even have it on video.”

I spent the next 5 minutes searching for the videos and made him watch them with me. It all came back. He remembered it clearly.

Yet, until I forced him to recall, he’d forgotten.

If we don’t practice the art of remembering, we forget.

We forget easier than we remember. And we don’t all remember the same way or the same things. We must practice how to remember well.

The Bible is full of this call to remember.

“Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected? Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected?’”

Matthew 16:8-10

Simply Remember

In 2017 the word God continued to speak to me was Remember. In 2018 the word was Simple.

And today I continue to hear these words together. Simply remember.

Remember Me. Remember My works. Remember My faithfulness. Simply practice the art of remembering.

It was the days leading up to Christmas I felt called, inspired, and driven by God to write Illuminate. The inspiration came after a time away at a writer’s retreat and after months of Him stirring a theme in my heart. One of remembrance.

This year has been a challenge for me in many ways as I’ve attempted to homeschool a high schooler, middle schooler, and a delayed learner in elementary school. All while writing and launching 2 businesses at the same time. I’ve cried many tears over all of it and the overwhelm.

Do you know when I’ve hit my wall or felt completely overwhelmed, the Lord has asked me to remember. Every. Single. Time.

It’s like He whispered, “My child, you are forgetting again. Remember. Simply remember.”

I have personally gone through Illuminate multiple times over this last year. God has used it to minister to my soul. He’s used it to restore my hope and put the tools in my hands to defeat the discouragement the enemy attempted to bury me in.

You, my precious and faithful readers, are always on my mind. When the Lord shows me something, you are the first to come to my mind. I begin to think, “I have to share this with my readers. I know they will be as encouraged as I’ve been.”

Illuminate released as a 14 day audio devotion. Meaning it arrives one day at a time for 14 days as an audio file.

I realized some people simply aren’t audio. And some people get stuck at the 14 day piece thinking they need to carve out 14 days (you don’t).

So I packaged Illuminate in 1 complete eBook.

You can now purchase the eBook and get the entire 14 day collection as one book. You can view it on any device or computer. Or print it off. I’m a paper kind of gal and printing at an office supply store is super inexpensive.

While the audio version comes with the transcript as well, there’s something about getting it all at once that some people really want.

Now you can have it both ways!

What God does flows out of who He is.

When we begin to practice the art of remembering and establish this habit, everything changes. Suddenly fear fades, anxiety shrinks, and worries wither.

Illuminate will provide the light your soul is longing for to see the path toward a deeper intimacy with God. For 14 days you will practice seeing the character of God like never before.

ebook devotional

What will Illuminate do for you?

Illuminate will teach you how to truly rest and be still like never before.

No more living overwhelmed by life.

At the end of 14 days you will have a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Creator of your soul. It’s exactly what your soul is longing for.

Who is Illuminate for?

For the one ready to:

  • live free of fear
  • release anxiety and worry once and for all
  • learn to rest even in chaos
  • grow in knowledge and love of God

Looking for a last minute gift?

Give Illuminate. No shipping. No runs to the store. No lines. And best of all, no more adding to the gift clutter. It’s a simple gift that will appeal to all.

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Books I’ve Read This Year and Why We Read Aloud

I love reading. It’s my favorite hobby for sure. If you ask my kids what I would do if I had free time, they know the answer. I’d read.

I read a mixture of non-fiction and historical fiction. But my favorite has become books for children. I guess that’s why when I read this quote by CS Lewis, I nodded emphatically along.

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” CS Lewis

When my boys were babies, thankfully iphones weren’t around. When we went to the grocery store, I put a book in their hands. They were mesmerized. At home I read to them before they were able to understand a word I read. I loved simply holding them and reading. It was soothing for each of us.

As they moved into toddler and preschool years, we’d sit for long stretches of time reading. Mostly, because I didn’t like to play. I did play. But given the option, I’d read any day.

So we’d grab piles of books and sit on the couch and read story after story after story. We’d read sometimes an hour at a time.

When they were old enough to read on their own, I continued reading aloud to them before bed. They never wanted me to stop. They seemed to get more out of this time than I realized in all the years of reading.

Here we are in high school, middle school, and elementary school and we are still reading together. When I asked Jacob recently what his favorite part of homeschool has been, he answered “that first year when we’d sit on the screened in porch together, reading books and eating snacks.”

I’ve also discovered a little secret to ending sibling bickering in the car. Audible books! We become engrossed in the story and no on argues. It’s glorious!

I thought I’d share what I’ve read this year. This isn’t a book review. But if they are on the list, I’d recommend them for the most part. Some more than others to be sure. But I have many I quit this year. Time is too short to read bad books.

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2018.

Adult Historical Fiction

(Each book listed in this category I’d highly recommend)

The Nightingale

The Mark of the King

Before We Were Yours

Non-Fiction

(I loved each of these for different reasons. All very good!)

The Magnolia Story
Capital Gaines

Business boutique

The Secret Code to Success

 

Adult Fiction

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Parenting

(These weren’t my all time favorites but I’m glad I read them. Especially glad I read the love languages. I needed a refresher.)

Mere Motherhood

The Lifegiving Home

The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers

The Way They Learn (Not really a parenting book, but for parents to understand their kids’ learning styles. Not just for the homeschoolers either!)

Christian Living

(These both are in the life changing category for me. Prayer I’ve read twice! I never do that.)

Experiencing the Spirit – Henry Blackaby

Prayer-Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God – Timothy Keller

 

FAMILY READ ALOUDS

Where the Red Fern Grows (possibly my favorite all time in children’s book)
My Father’s Dragon
Little Women ( I actually just read this for myself. It is my childhood favorite)
Sign of the Beaver
Sword of Rhema (We LOVE this series. This was book 3.)
Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
Green ember
Ember falls
Ember rising

(The Green Ember Series goes down as a favorite in the family. Highly recommend the Audible version. The narration is incredible and really brings the story to life. This is how we read the entire series.)

The lion the witch and the wardrobe

 

School Reads

Darwinist Dilemna

Path to the Pacific

Join our community of readers by clicking here. You will receive some fun downloads to enjoy.In case you didn’t know, I’ve written and recorded a devotion on releasing our fears and anxieties by learning to see God for who He is. It’s called Illuminate. Find out more here and listen to a sample.

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My heart is to encourage and inspire you to follow God with wholehearted, fearless courage.