Why Looking Back Might Move Us Forward


There was a time I thought I wanted the furniture in my home to stay pristine and beautiful, unmarred, scratch-free. I wanted my house to sparkle and shine.

Gently over time, God began to show me my most beautiful pieces are the ones that bear the greatest scars for they have the most interesting stories to tell.


He began to show me that the chips actually add to the outer beauty and that magazine perfection is overrated.

The pieces of furniture in my home that look perfect are pretty boring. They hold no stories and tell no secrets. While they are nice to look at, there is nothing beyond what meets the eye.

But the ones dinged and scratched? Well, pull up a chair, preferably the one with the cracked spindle or the stained cushion. These are the ones that tell a story you will want to hear.

These stories are important. Remembering reminds us of who God is and what He’s done. Remembering takes intention. Remembering will unlock what needs to be unlocked.


Often we talk about moving forward requires we stop looking back. While there is a lot of truth in that statement, looking back can at times be the very thing that draws us closer to God. Looking back reminds us of who God is. While our stories won’t be perfect, we are reminded through them of a God who is.

Would you join me at The Kingdom Life Now where I’m sharing the power of looking back?

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Memory Cards – A New Kind Of Fall Tradition


[box] “As long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” ~ Helen Keller (1880-1968), American author, Political Activist and Lecturer[/box]

With my head in my hands, I sat on the balcony sobbing.  Even the rhythmic sound of the crashing waves was powerless to bring soothing relief.

I tried to put voice to the tormenting feelings.  I knew it didn’t make sense.  I knew it was silly.

He patiently listened to my words, tangled by sobs.  Gently, he touched my hand, “Renee, they are having a great time.  Memories are being made.

In my mind the vacation was a disaster.  It was a first to this particular beach, which I wasn’t fond of.  There was too much traffic, too much noise, too many people, and too much rain.

I expected the trip to look a certain way.   And this didn’t come close to fitting my picture.

I had only my perspective.  What I needed was a perspective shift.  My husband knew that from the kids’ viewpoint, the trip was amazing.  They were coming with a completely different set of expectations.  To them it was perfect.

That trip was 4 years ago.  Today the boys tell us it was their favorite beach trip ever.  They have no idea how I cried on the balcony as they slept for fear we weren’t giving them the memories we wanted to give.  When they share their highlights, I’m amazed that those were the memories that got tucked into the corners and spaces of their hearts and minds.

I realized through that experience that I had spaces in my heart filled with guilt and regret over what wasn’t rather than what was. Not from that trip, but from life in general.

When my boys relayed memories to me from that beach trip, they freed me from my self-inflicted regret.  They simply shared their positive perspective, having no idea of the impact they had on allowing me to let go of my false negative emotions.

Our enemy would love for us to stay in bondage to negative emotions.  Our Redeemer offers abundant life.

Perception affects how a memory is stored in each of our hearts.  Through one simple act, we could potentially release someone from negative emotions that could be holding them down.

What if something as simple as sharing a sweet memory with someone could have the power to release the hurt hiding in their soul?

You see we have no idea how memories recorded in our own hearts are recorded in the hearts of someone else.  Maybe they focused on what wasn’t instead of what was and recorded something entirely different than we recorded.   Maybe it could offer an unspoken forgiveness they secretly desire.

As summer transcends to fall, a fresh start beckons us.  This season I want to start a new fall tradition.  One that can bring a smile to a withered heart.  One that can release guilt trapped in the dark crevices of the soul.  One that can bring a chuckle forth.  One that can lighten the heart, if only for that moment.

Would you join me?

Don’t think too long and hard or too deep and profound.  Simply write 3 memories.  Then write a note to 3 people who share that memory with you.

Some memory cards will bring freedom from pain.  Some memory cards will bring laughter to the light.  Some memory cards will simply remind someone they are loved and thought of in that moment.

Our perspective of a memory is powerful to the heart and soul of another.  Let’s share our joy.  Let’s share what was for us.  It could be just what they need to lose their focus on what wasn’t for them.


[box] 1 Thessalonians 4:18 NIV “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”[/box]