Handing Down Our Stories

Reflecting on my grandchildren as they grow older, I paused and considered aspects of our family history I’m not communicating to them. book-1012275_640Sure, I’m a good grandma and love to visit them, play with them, and listen to them. And, of course, I delight in surprising them with birthday and Christmas presents. I fittingly describe the towering stacks of children’s clothing at my favorite warehouse-shopping venue as “the grandma trap.” These are all good things, but I want to impress God’s ways—complete with the victories and the struggles—and how His call on my heart has influenced my life. How better to accomplish this then through telling and retelling the tales of my life.

As the Israelites were preparing to enter the Promised Land after wandering in the desert wilderness for 40 years, Moses gives God’s chosen people rules for obedient living. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV), Moses exhorts the Israelites: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The instruction is clear, but are we taking the time to do this? What are we handing down to our children and grandchildren about their family history? Are electronics and our digital age replacing our time for oral stories?

As I open my email first thing in the morning, I have devotions from several different sources staring at me, a couple Christian blogs I subscribe to, along with other assorted Christian newsletters and periodicals. These are a wonderful source of inspiration, and add to my Christian insight and growth, but they constitute an electronic interaction.

Whatever happened to taking the time to discuss spiritual issues face-to-face with those we care about most?

In contrast, in years past, families would gather around the dinner table and contribute to stories or discuss Sunday sermons, events from work and school, and family dealings. We can reclaim these times by looking for opportunities to share, and then creatively crafting the stories.

A good story will contain a moral or inspiration or a lesson learned. And the telling of our tale should involve gestures, facial expressions, sound effects, and emotion as we weave our words. Don’t forget the funny times. We all have countless humorous stories to impart, and we certainly need a good belly laugh now and then.

I desire to commit more wholeheartedly to this. I want to carefully plan and select good stories from my memories, share them, and then pray for my grandchildren to enjoy and remember these segments of their heritage. Will you join me in doing so?

Father God, Please help me remember and retell the stories of my life to my children, my grandchildren, or others in my sphere of influence. Enable me to not only share the victories, but also the shortcomings and the lessons learned. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Psalm 78:2-4 (NIV): “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

Psalm 89:1 (NIV): “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.”

© 2016 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.


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Get Back In Step

So, there I stood, enrolled in a ballroom dancing class with my husband.  We were progressing moderately well learning the box step, and how to turn and move around on the dance floor.persons-768597_640  Suddenly, our instructor announced, “Change partners!”  I panicked, as the thought of dancing with a man other than my husband, petrified me.  Soon, I found myself partnered with an older gentleman who had obviously been dancing for many years, and whenever I made a mistake I would utter, “I’m sorry.”  Finally, he graciously said to me,

“Don’t keep saying you’re sorry, just get back in step.”

Life is like that.  We’re going along just fine, then we stumble, feel anxious, make apologies, spending our time on efforts to make ourselves look better, or to explain or defend ourselves.  Most of the time, however, all we need to do is simply get back in step and move on.  Psalm 119:133 (NIV) states “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.”  God has set a path before us, one He has determined for us, and directs us in if we trust in Him.  As we stand firmly in Him, acknowledge our sin, and then step forward confidently, we can dance to the music once again.

Exodus 4:10-17 tells part of the story of Moses and his reluctance before God to step out and lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land.  My favorite excuse is Moses saying to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.”  God’s anger burned against Moses, but despite this, He provided Aaron to go and assist Moses.  He wants us, also, to quit making excuses and keep going.  Even when we make mistakes.  God will walk with us, teach us, and equip us in our weaknesses, as He did for Moses.

And, if you’re not sure what your path is, scripture encourages us to recognize the Lord, ask Him to show you His way, and direct your steps.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)  As in ballroom dancing, it will take practice and you should expect some missteps, but know He is your dance partner who takes the lead.

When we step out in faith, remember we’re not there yet and there’s plenty to accomplish, but our Lord Jesus is still on the throne and continually works in our lives.  I know I haven’t arrived yet, but I pray, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (Psalm 119:35, NIV), as I stumble along on the dance floor of life.

Father God, I come before you today knowing I hesitate and stumble on the course you have set for my life.  I acknowledge that often I’m fearful or full of excuses or worried about how I’ll appear to others.  I recognize my sin, ask for your forgiveness, and request you lift my head and put me once more back on the dance floor.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Bible Truths:

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV):  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Jeremiah 31:9b (NIV):  “I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble . . . .”

© 2016 APearlofGreatValue.org.  All rights reserved.

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