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How Remembering Can Change Everything In Your Life

audio devotional

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“Such reminiscence can be healthier than you think. Despite nostalgia’s bittersweet rap and the oft-heard advice to live in the moment, studies suggest that the occasional detour down memory lane can give your spirits a significant lift.

Thinking of good memories for just 20 minutes a day can make people more cheerful than they were the week before, and happier than if they think of their current lives, report researchers from Loyola University.”

A secular article published in Psychology Today notes what God already knows to be true. He asks us to remember for a reason. Remembering who God is reminds us that no matter what we face, we have a faithful God who will guide us through it.

If I don’t remember, I will forget. Remember is an action verb. It is something we actively do.

There are many things I want to forget. Like two weeks ago, which was disastrous for me because I allowed the enemy to cover me with condemnation for every failure. What I wanted to forget, the enemy made sure I remembered.

In my kickboxing class last weekend, the instructor told us to destroy the prior week in our workout. I worked out so hard, I did a little number on my back. I desperately wanted to destroy the previous week.

God kept whispering for me to remember.

I remembered a post I wrote about 5 years ago titled How to Remember So We Can Forget.

If you haven’t read it, it’s a quick read on the power of remembering.

“In an instant we were all taken back to a time of beloved, treasured memories. Going back took us out of the current moment, which was filled with disagreement and strife. We were transported to a time of encouragement and were reminded of how much we loved each other. The boys never finished their argument that day. Remembering had changed their perspective.

Sometimes remembering can help us forget. Remembering the past can help us forget the discomfort of the present.”

I’m studying the book of Matthew this year through Community Bible Study. My homework brought me to this passage:

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

Don’t you remember? Jesus asks.

The disciples were quick to forget and fall into worry about the problem in front of them. I do the same thing. Jesus instructed them to look back. Looking back will cause us to move forward with confidence if we are careful what we look back on.

Why don’t I remember? Because I’ve not made it a habit or a discipline. Instead I’ve allowed anxiety and fear to create habits.

Yet even if I stopped for 30 seconds to remember who He is, everything changes. Instantly.

But do we know accurately who He is?

What we remember is critical.

Who we remember is even more critical.

I’ve created an audio devotional experience titled Illuminate – Seeing God by the light of His Word in order to help us create the habit of remembering who God is. Illuminate is 14 days of looking at the question “Who is God? Really?”

Illuminate takes us back to the beginning. It doesn’t attempt to define God or explain God. It simply turns our attention to our Creator in order that our affections follow. My prayer is that God will take you deeper into your walk with Him. That you will see Him through refreshed eyes and a revived heart.

Here’s how Illuminate will work. It will release here on the blog (soonish), so if you aren’t signed up to receive email updates, you can do that here. After purchasing, you will receive one email each day for 14 days. 7 days will focus on the character and nature of God, while 7 days will be reflective, taking us straight into scripture and a time of prayer. In the days of reflection, I will guide you through questions you can ponder in your heart.

 

What others are saying about Illuminate


“Renee Robinson has a gift for seeing the invisible. Passionate about God and Scripture, Renee notices the light in the darkness and points our attention to it. In Illuminate, a 14-day study of short meditations, readers and listeners find hopeful reminders of who God is and how to find Him in our busy, overwhelmed lives. With calming reassurance this study helps us see current events in light of eternal promises – and how God can be trusted with it all.”

Kari Kampakis, blogger, speaker, and author of 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?


“We live in a world of hurry that seldom stops to consider the glory and majesty of God.  Illuminate will help you get still, take a deep breath, and set your mind on God.  If you want to be less rushed and more peace filled, this is a beautiful resource to enjoy.”

 

When you feel like a kid going to camp

mountains

I stood in the registration line surrounded by people who all seemed to know someone. The chatter was a constant reminder that I knew no one yet.  My clammy hands continued to readjust my bags and check my schedule printout.  A few deep breaths would have helped, but I kept forgetting.  The line opened up to my turn, and I stepped forward.

As I approached the kind eyes behind the counter, a group of old friends reunited in the line next to me with hugs and squeals. The kind eyes met mine, “First time here?”  Maybe my shaky hands gave me away.  “Well, hey, maybe next year when you come back to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, that’ll be you.” I appreciated his effort, so I smiled an offering of thanks.

Do you ever find yourself in situations you feel completely out of place?  As if you don’t belong at all?

The voice of fear loves when we are in these places because we are usually more inclined to listen to its voice.  The anxiety I experienced in the weeks leading up to the conference reached new heights as I arrived that day. I didn’t know a soul there and could list 10 reasons why I didn’t belong.

For months I worked on writing a manuscript and proposal to pitch to agents and editors at this conference.  Brand new territory for me, and a recording played in my mind why the time was not now.  I had a group of friends praying for me, and I felt it all week long.

Each time I sat in the seat facing an agent or editor, I felt the presence of Jesus.  Each time I carried my cafeteria tray into the dining hall, I felt the presence of Jesus.  Each conversation I had with a new friend, I saw Jesus.  He met me each step of the way.

The moments of life are rarely about what we think.  I went to that conference to pitch a book.  It’s not about the book.

Life is about knowing Jesus more, trusting in Him, and realizing apart from Him, I have nothing to offer.

mountains2

In this life comfort and peace are felt through fingers that cling to Him.

Life is about knowing Jesus and making Him known.

Departure morning I awoke early, packed my car, and headed to the dining hall for my last cafeteria breakfast.  The nervous jitters were back, but they were different this time.  I was no longer nervous about the unknown – the messing up my pitch, or who I would sit with and talk to, or if I would get lost.

My last class ended, and I headed to the conference center book store.  As hard as arriving had been, leaving proved to be equally hard.  So I shopped for reminders to bring home.  I felt like a kid leaving camp, loading up her pockets with trinkets that would find a home in the crevice of the couch.  Lost and rediscovered years later to remind of new friends, new memories, and heartwarming moments.  I felt like that 14 year-old leaving summer camp with a pocket full of memories.

Hot tears welled up in my eyes as I drove down the mountain.  My heart ached for home and my heart  was filled by Jesus through new friends and new experiences.  I left that mountain knowing I had experienced Jesus again.  Moment by moment, He met me.  Through kind eyes at registration.  Through arms that pulled out a chair at lunch.  To the words that encouraged me to keep writing that book.  To the WWJD bracelets in my pocket for my boys. The little reminders.  The not-so-little reminders.  Manifestations of the living God.

What are some times you’ve experienced God recently?  What are some ways you realized God was meeting your needs or simply meeting with you?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:6-7

The Blessing of You

Rain porch

After a full fall schedule, I sit here with few words.  Seeking Christmas released the last week of August, and I haven’t stopped until this week.  My last official event took place Thursday and Friday, so now I breathe.

The Lord has challenged me, encouraged me, and sustained me.  And He has blessed me wildly.  And not the way the world may recognize. (Remember this post?)  Seeking Christmas hasn’t broken records, topped charts, or won awards in its first season….yet I feel wildly blessed.  One of the ways the Lord has blessed me is through you.

Your words slipped into my inbox, your notes coming quietly through Facebook messages have filled my heart with encouragement and allowed me a glimpse at the work the Lord is doing in each of you.

I write to inspire and encourage….you.  I pray for you.  I connect with you when I write.  And the Lord has blessed me by bringing each of you into my life.  Writing has brought me an unexpected gift.  You are a gift and a treasure to me.

Through readers of this blog and readers of Seeking Christmas, I have come to love people I have never even met in person.  I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the lives of once strangers brought into my life through words shared, hearts revealed, and passions grown.

I sit here now watching the rain puddle on the porch- realizing I have months worth of life to catch up on.  But it can wait 2 more weeks. We are quietly seeking Christmas in our home. Each Christmas holds the same truths, yet each Christmas looks different.  Even when we are living out traditions year after year, each season may look different.

My prayer today is that we pause.  That we pause and reflect on the true meaning of it all-that we seek the true holiness of it all.  He is coming.  His birth was humble and simple, the message profound and turned the world inside out.  May he do that in our lives this season with the simple gifts of Christmas:  hope, love, peace, and joy.

Seeking Christmas is a 7 day family devotion that guides families into intentional times of worship and activities that focus on discovering the true meaning and gifts of Christmas.  It holds the same truths for each family using it, but will look different in each home.  Your family can create your own unique memories and experiences while Seeking Christmas together through guided devotions and activities.