Author - Erica

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» Christmas in Nashville 2017
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» A new home, a new perspective
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» Review: BROO Craft Beer Shampoo and Conditioner
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» Commuting in the 2017 Mazda CX-5
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» Light Shine Candles
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» Double Digits: My Oldest Turns 10
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» REVIEW: Cavalia’s Odysseo
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» In the Middle
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» Legacy
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» Pillars of Remembrance

» Christmas in Nashville 2017

Nashville has a lot to offer when it comes to the year of less. If you haven’t been following along, 2017 for our family has the been the start of attempting to buy less stuff, but instead have more experiences together together. Our family has spent the last few Decembers at home and we’ve found lots to look forward to in doing so. Here are a list of events we are especially making plans to attend in December.

1. SCHERMERHORN SYMPHONY CENTER

The Schermerhorn is a breathtaking venue that feels special no matter what you’re there for. Dave Barnes’ Christmas show has quickly becoming a Christmas tradition for Calvin and I, but there’s definitely some others worth checking out. Make sure you view the Schermerhorn’s upcoming schedule.

We’re most excited about A Johnnyswim Christmas (12/8), Drew and Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas (12/10), and a Very Merry Christmas with Dave Barnes (12/18). Also Handel’s Messiah, which has really become an annual holiday tradition for (four performances to choose from) for many families.

Full schedule and tickets available at NashvilleSymphony.org

2. NASHVILLE’S NUTCRACKER
Nashville Ballet is celebrating 10 years of Nashville’s Nutcracker December 2-23, 2017, at TPAC’s Jackson Hall with all-new magical elements to mark the occasion. Our family spent the day in Nashville last year, anchored by this great performance! If this has also become an annual tradition for your family, your kids will be surprised by a few new elements this year in celebration of its 10th year, including snow falling in the audience during the snow scene!

Visit magical lands with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, the Dancing Bear and many historic characters from Nashville’s past.

Nashville’s Nutcracker at TPAC’s Jackson Hall has grown to 16 performances:

  • Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, December 22, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, December 22, 2017 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Tickets available at NashvilleBallet.com

3. NASHVILLE PREDATORS

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The only cold temperature we enjoy is from the Nashville Predators ice. Our kids love hockey when it comes to the food, the chants, and the crazy fans. Liam still loves singing (and shaking it to) Tim McGraw’s “I like it I love it” every time the home team scores.

There are plenty of home games in December to check out. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.com

4. Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas

Nashville friends, looking to do a staycation? Look no further. In addition to the expected 3 million holiday lights and 48-foot tall Christmas tree, Gaylord Opryland will be hosting a brand new Broadway show for its 34th annual “A Country Christmas.” Cirque Dreams Holidaze will showcase 20 acts and feature original music and seasonal favorites at the Grand Ole Opry.

This year’s theme for the ICE! attraction is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The exhibit will include 2 million pounds of ice sculptures completed by 40 master artisans.

Opryland will also host an outdoor snow tubing hill covered in 1.5 million pounds of real snow.

“A Country Christmas” runs from Nov. 10 through Jan. 1. Click here for more information.

 

» A new home, a new perspective

We have been living, full and loud, in our new home for about three weeks now. In that time we’ve broken a window playing wall ball, annoyed the neighbors and been compared to living in India. The living in India comment came from my sweet neighbor, who grew up there, the night my oldest had every boy in his class over for tag and other boisterous outdoor activities. It was a compliment and one I happen to be proud of. Kids belong out in the cul-de-sac after all! We are pretty good neighbors… we mow the lawn on time and keep it quiet after dark. There are just a lot of us and a lot of joyful noise accompanies that number. I’ll admit… the noise isn’t all joyful. My kids are normal and they fight and skin their knees on occasion.

So the new house. I have tried very hard to reflect on our home as we worked to organize and settle in. It’s so very different from our previous home… the one we put together with our own hands; changing, re-shaping and renovating. The one that boasted shiplap hand-laid by Calvin and my dad. The one that displayed all the farm house items I found at antique stores and junk sales. It was lovingly curated.

As we house hunted, I looked for practical. I looked for smaller. I looked for just-enough and just right. We considered the profit from the previous house and made a line in the sand on what we could spend. We felt blessed to be able to make a profit on the house and wanted to honor that by being good stewards with the new purchase.

What happened is interesting. After looking and looking and more looking, the house presented itself. It was a little smaller, it had the driveway desired for basketball, and it seemed just right. Just right for a family of six, just right for filling with friends and just right in regards to proximity to the new school. It’s more than what I would have asked for… but it accomplished every goal, thought and desire for good stewardship. And so, we became home-owners for the third time.

As I began to make this house home I was overwhelmed by my desire for simplicity. To paint one color, to decorate with the things I have, to display things that are meaningful. The urge to find and curate has slipped away in many ways. Changing homes reminds you what home is.

Home is breaking windows because you are outside being wild together. Home is a nook for coloring and writing notes to friends. Home is an area to gather for meals and share them with others. Home is a door wide open to those who need it.

When I look at my new home I imagine ways to make this more possible… to eliminate the boundaries to more community and family time. I never want to stress over things breaking or being messed up when there are people that need to be loved and encouraged.

I still love to decorate and style my home. But I have a hard time imagining myself ever putting as much effort, time or resources into it as I once did. It’s funny what a few moves will do to change your perspective.

» Review: BROO Craft Beer Shampoo and Conditioner

We were recently selected to review BROO Craft Beer Shampoo and Conditioner through Moms Meet. As always we had a great time sampling and it was especially interesting to try the different varieties on the many different hair types in our household. The packaging is quirky and fun with reminders like do not drink this. The BROO brand also aligns with many of the things we look for in our body and hair products.

BROO contains NO:

  • Parabens
  • Sulfates or phthalates

  • Dyes or artificial fragrance
  • Silicons
  • PEGs, DEAs, MEA, TEAs or dioxane

So how were the results? I’ll be the first to admit that I often have trouble seeing top-notch results from “natural” products. We tried moisturizing, invigorating and thickening. Each provided the intended benefit and really surpassed our expectations. My hair is curly/wavy and has a coarse texture. The invigorating variety of BROO was my absolute favorite. It energized my hair with it’s minty tingle and caffeine and left my hair very soft… thanks to the aloe leaf! My girls also enjoyed using the products and we found that BROO made their dark black hair silkier and shinier than many products we’ve tried. And as you can see below… you can still work up a generous lather without all the yucky sulfates.

Why Craft Beer? I recall my grandma talking about doing a beer rinse on hair but I didn’t put much stock into that idea. Until now! Apparently the hops in beer are full of essential oils that protect and nourish hair… making it super shiny and soft! Thankfully, using this product does not make you smell like beer. The scent is light comparable to a creamy citrus.

Where can you find BROO? BROO products are currently available at Walmart for just $7.49. You can even pick up some via online order. You can feel good about your BROO purchase. Not only will your hair benefit, but BROO donates a portion of every sale to clean water efforts world wide. Grab your $1.00 off coupon here.

Guess what? One Lucky winner will receive a pair of BRÖÖ Craft Beer Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner in an organza bag! Simply like our Facebook page and share this post! Easy Peasy! We will announce a winner on Wednesday night! (11/1/17)

» Commuting in the 2017 Mazda CX-5

As you know, we recently moved to another part of Nashville. We needed to situate ourselves closer to the kids’ schools… this also meant, unfortunately, the work drive would increase significantly. Nashville traffic has only gotten worse over the years, pushing our daily commute to a little over half an hour each way. If you’re like us and spend 5-6 hours+ in a car every week, a comfortable and fuel efficient car is a must. That’s where the CX-5 fits in. The 2017 CX-5 Grand Touring AWD in Machine Gray Metallic is a great looking car! So great, in fact, that Mazda didn’t change much from the previous year model.

all photos © Goodbye Normal

The ride is so smooth that I could barely feel the change when accelerating from 15 to 50 mph. Driving home from work can get dangerous with stop-and-go traffic and the additional fatigue from a long work day. The Grand Touring package has an Advanced Heads-Up Display that almost magically displays the speed limit, your current speed, blind spot warnings and more right onto your windshield. This definitely brought more awareness and kept me alert throughout the long commute. Not to mention reminding me to slow down! Don’t worry, I’m not driving and taking a picture!

We Love the Look – The entire 2017 Mazda line looks great and the CX-5 is no exception. The minor changes they’ve done from previous years were definitely welcome. Other moms will take notice, for sure.

We Love the Interior – The interior is very roomy. Even with three kids in the back, the touching and bumping (that leads to fighting) was kept to a minimum. And no, we didn’t ditch a kid, sweet Lola takes the bus to her school and missed out on the Mazda fun. The automatic trunk open and close came in handy as they were able to load and unload their backpacks without having to worry about reaching the door. The leather seats provided seat warmers for both the front and back along with a vent that blows onto the steering wheel for those early mornings! The one thing that brought the fights? Arguing over who got to push the “butt warmer” button. (good grief.)

We Love the Fuel Efficiency – Commuting can get expensive. I found the 24 city / 31 highway mpg to be accurate and a happy medium for the speed, size, and comfort of the vehicle.

Conclusion

With our family size, four kids and two adults, I’m not sure a sedan will ever be in the cards. However, I truly enjoyed the Mazda CX-5, this CUV would be a great option as a second vehicle for us. If you have a family of four or less, this might just be the perfect primary vehicle. It met all of our basic vehicle needs and then excelled way beyond that with tons of extra features. If you’re in the market, definitely head to your nearest Mazda dealership and give it a test drive!

 

 

 

Special thanks to Mazda USA for allowing us to test drive the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. As always, these opinions are my own.

 

» Light Shine Candles

Months ago we drove across town to meet new friends for dinner. As many of you know we made some big changes in our family this year including a new house, new town and new school for our kids. These new friends were part of these upcoming changes and we jumped at the chance to share a meal and learn more about their family. Fast forward to the present… our children have growing friendships and I’ve learned so much about the powerhouse mama who founded Light Shine Candles. Anna Reyes and her family work in community development initiatives and live in the Nashville area; they have also served in El Salvador. This is part of the driving force behind Light Shine… flexible work that creates space for serving the community. You can read more about the Light Shine story here. 

So let’s talk about these candles. I’m very picky about the candles I use in my home. I look for non-gmo soy wax and cotton wicks. Did you know that most of the candles on the market use lead wicks?? Not a good thing to breathe in my friends. Not Light Shine… they use 100% non-GMO soy, no phthalates and no dyes. Their candles begin with a glass jar, a cotton wick and they are finished out with locally printed labels. And rumor has it Anna uses recycled packaging materials from friends as often as she can which reduces waste and overhead for her little company.

But really, it’s more than just delightfully scented gmo-free soy candles. There is a whole lot of give-back going on over at Light Shine. Customers who take part in the monthly subscription program  (Shine Club!) can anticipate a wonderful assortment of candles each month while knowing that $5 of their monthly box subscription will support developing communities in El Salvador.  Light Shine also gives Anna’s family freedom as they continue community development work with Global Outreach Developments International. Additionally, Anna offers fundraising opportunities for churches, adoptive families, community groups, schools… you name it. You can learn more about fundraising with Light Shine here.

I encourage you, especially during what I call peak candle season, to head over to Light Shine and feed your fall candle habit. It’s always sweet to add special touches to our homes while supporting strong moms who not only work hard for their families but support their communities both globally and locally. Women like Anna are living Proverbs 31She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands… she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy…She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

» Double Digits: My Oldest Turns 10

Ten years ago our first son entered the world. It was a blazing hot September in New Orleans and I was REALLY over carrying an extra human. I was in the middle of graduate school and that only added an extra layer to my extreme exhaustion. Elliott should definitely receive an honorary Masters in Missiology, as he peacefully kicked and squirmed his way through many classes in the comfort of my expanding belly. Calvin and I had been married about six months when I experienced the classic morning sickness symptoms and realized our 5-year-plan was definitely going to include a baby.

We headed in to Tulane the evening of the 24th and after 26ish hours of labor our very blue baby was born. I remember my joy turning into just a bit of panic as they worked on him; the cord had been tightly wound around his neck. The nurses were quick but the minutes seemed like years as we waited to hear those classic cries. They came… and a few minutes later a very wrinkly little man-baby was placed in my arms. I felt, in that moment, like I had perhaps given the world my best. I had carried and pushed forth a gift that would make the world just a little better, at least those were my hopes. Moms, I’m certain we should all feel that way about our precious cargo.

His legs were skinny and long. I compared them to an organic chicken. I’m not sure, at this moment, that the comparison is correct but that was my comment. He was small but lean and long and just the tiniest little guy in our arms. His hair was jet black and and very full. It stuck up everywhere and garnered him quite a bit of attention.

We stayed in our hospital room for another night, soaking up his sweetness, and then headed home to our small apartment on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

I laid him down in his crib surrounded by the hundreds of tiny bubbles and fish that I hand-painted on the walls. And within five minutes Calvin and I realized that this sweet baby of ours was not going to lay, sleep or be alone for a very long time. In fact… if he was not nursing or held he was quite the unhappy baby. There was no parenting book that could have prepared us for the level of “I need my parents” that Elliott James brought to the table. There were those who called him spoiled, but in my heart I knew that certain littles just need a little more physical contact than others. And so we held and bounced and baby-wore, before it was cool. And I knew we were doing the right thing. However, this determined baby decided that at seven-months-old climbing his crib rail was the perfect way to seek us out in the night. Once he discovered this new ability he continued to climb up and on top of the rail, only to dangle in peril and cry until we rescued him. It only took a few times for us to decide, for good, that he was no longer a candidate for the crib life. After all our little seminary apartment boasted linoleum floors laid over concrete. One fall would spell disaster for a small one.

I believe that he probably smiled smugly, knowing he had chosen a path that led to his desires… being super close to mom and dad all day and all night.

As little boys do, he grew and grew and grew. I’ve delighted watching this transformation over the years. Seeing his flaws, merits and internal struggles manifest themselves as his physical body stretched and grew strong.

Ten years old. Two digits now. He has the look of a young man, with careful adjustments spent in front of the mirror… combing his hair just so. And yet if I look carefully I still see the wrinkled man-baby who was handed to me ten years ago.

I don’t have plans for him. Those are his to make. He has callings to respond to and a great God to serve. His path is his own. Truly, I’m waiting and praying for the man he is becoming. I’m discipling and smacking my head. I’m hugging, and holding tight and I’m sneaking in to his room in the late hours to absorb him while he’s here with us. Above all I’m hoping beyond hope that we are equipping him to be a gift to the world that seems darker by the hour.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Psalm 127: 3-5

» REVIEW: Cavalia’s Odysseo

Several weeks ago our family was headed to the airport to pick up a family member. We noticed huge white tents going up near the interstate and began to wonder what interesting event might be coming soon. Not long after we began to see advertisements and billboards for Cavalia’s Odysseo

After attending the show last week I’ll start with this… interesting is definitely an understatement for Odysseo!

The Experience:

We arrived at Odysseo about an hour before the show began to partake in the V.I.P. experience. This includes dinner, drinks and the V.I.P. tent which is outfitted with couched seating areas, art and tasteful colored lighting. Parking was smooth and close to the tent so we were able to find our way quickly. After enjoying a dinner that included hummus, grilled chicken, various salads and seafood, we grabbed popcorn and sodas and headed in to enjoy the show.

For those considering the V.I.P. level tickets:

The dinner buffet is well done and the drinks and snacks are unlimited. As a nice bonus there is also a beautiful dessert spread in the tent during intermission. This convinced our children that the V.I.P life is the life for them! The stable tour afterward is another huge perk to the V.I.P. experience. It makes the show even more impressive when you realize all the efforts that happen backstage with the 65 horses that make up the show.

  • Backstage stable tour.
  • Ready for the show!
  • Dessert at intermission.

The Show:

The show itself is wonderful for families. Attendees are encouraged to participate and even yell and clap if desired. The noise is just part of the experience! This was refreshing for our large family. The kids enjoyed talking about the show while it was going on and asking questions.

There are 65 horses in the show, representing 12 different varieties. The horses do many amazing feats including (what looks like) dancing, pretending to sleep, jumping/tricks and just acting their part in general. The horses aren’t the only excitement in the show, although they definitely steal the show. Odysseo boasts 50 human artists who ride with skill, sing, direct horses, perform aerial art with silks and dance! The show is only made better by the dynamic scenography and high-tech visual effects. There is not a bad seat in the house so don’t stress over which ticket level to purchase.

One of our favorite scenes from the show involved the horses walking over the hill in the center of theater, the added visual effects give the illusion that they are walking from a far off land. It’s truly amazing to see!

There is definitely a strong bond between the human trainers and their horses and that special bond shines through in the artistry and beauty of this show. Whether you are a horse lover or not… this is a must see.

Head over to Cavalia’s website to learn more and purchase tickets today. They will only be in the Nashville area for a limited time before heading on to new cities!

» In the Middle

Last night we enjoyed some time in our town. Nashville in the late summer/fall is like none other. One of my favorite things to do with the kids is grab a meal and walk the pedestrian bridge over to the playground area near LP field. It was a normal Saturday night and of course the bridge was filled with tourists and Nashvillians alike. There were also several wedding parties headed out for photos on the bridge. We stopped to take a few pictures of the kids and watched as a large bridal party walked by.

The group was gorgeous. A collection of people who had obviously spent a large sum of money on the perfect hair, nails, gym memberships and attire to make the bride’s special day absolutely flawless. The wedding party was walking up the bridge on my right. To my left was a group of friends. They were likely college age or young career. The group was mostly black but I did spy a few who were not. They were super cute and looked like they were preparing for a fun Nashville evening. I overheard the girls in the group discussing how cute the wedding party looked. They praised the colors and the various aspects of how everything was put together. One girl in particular was so overcome that she yelled out Ya’ll look so cute!

What would your response be if you heard that? You might smile, nod, yell thanks! Something right? I truly hope so.

That’s not what happened. Instead, the members of the bridal party rolled their eyes. One girl said whatever. And they kept walking as if this compliment had messed with their moment of perfection. At this time I think it’s important to point out that this wedding party was completely white.

And here I stood in the middle with my family. Sick to my stomach. I watched the girl who made the comment say wow… and I watched her go through stages of embarrassment and offense. I should have approached her. But I didn’t. I wanted to somehow fix that moment. But I’m not sure I could have.

Right there as we stood in the middle I felt the weight of the tension in our country. I felt the weight of the very real thing that is privilege and racism. Could it have easily been switched around the other way? Sure. But that’s not what I’m discussing… although I know some of you will be quick to point that out.

What I want us to take away from this moment in the middle is this… we are not moving forward. We are stuck in a mess that leaves us broken and unable to communicate well. Can we please just step away from our pride and truly examine our hearts for racism, micro-aggressions and get to the root of this issue? I say that knowing full well that the root of this issue is a sinful heart.

I’m lacking in the answers department here but I couldn’t let this moment pass by without sharing a very real story that happened in my very real town in front of my very real children. I can’t help but wonder what that moment did to that sweet girl’s heart. I wonder if she will compliment someone again. Our words and actions create ripples. And in this case those ripples aren’t good ones that enact positive change. They spur on distrust, hate and tension.

The thing about the incident that haunts me the most is my failure to move. I’m certain that I should have gone to her and expressed my apologies for the actions of the bridal party. Not that I’m responsible for all white people everywhere… but as someone who was a witness to wrongdoing. It’s not possible that she will see this and read it… but if it were possible I would want her to know how sorry I am. The words of Dr. King are ringing strong this morning: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

When you see something, when you know it’s not right. Speak up. It’s the beginning of the bridge toward understanding. Next time I’ll be sure to take my own advice.

» Legacy

We are in the mundane middle of packing up a house. Taking all the things that represent you on earth and stuffing them in boxes will really get you moving in the minimalist direction. I’ve started selling things and giving them away, knowing that they won’t fit in the new house or won’t look quite right. The past five years have been a labor of love, transforming a house we thought might be home for a long time. It wasn’t, because there were different and fuller plans for our family.

I’ve always lingered over the emotions of the human experience. The letting go, the growing up, the disappointment, the tragedy and the overwhelming beauty. And there is nothing like a move with children to push you deeper into those musings.

Early this morning I took sandpaper to a table adorned with the first scribblings of my son’s name. Once he figured out how to personalize things he really went for it. He’s my fourth, but my first to really take a crayon or marker to walls, furniture, the brick exterior of our home and pretty much anything else he can access. I’ve found at least 7 “self portraits” and more Liam’s than I can count. I’ll admit, it was frustrating to find a sharpied, wide-eyed version of Liam carefully penned onto the patio steps. I did everything I could to erase it before the house sold. Nothing would quite take away the picture and there is still a faint depiction of that little stick figure if you look carefully when entering the back door.

Friends, this human experience is a beauty. One we should be so thankful to experience. It’s messy and most certainly lacks the perfection God intended… but it’s so full. We leave our marks across time and no matter how much time has passed there will still be lingering depictions of the lives we led… just as my sweet boy wanted to leave his mark in the place we call home.

I was talking with my grandpa yesterday. We chatted about the new house and all the plans I had to make it a home. We talked about how they were considering selling their home and moving closer to family. We have states and more states of separation between us all. He said I don’t want to just give it away, it’s not much, but I worked my whole life to own this little piece. I took that statement for what it was at the moment. Someone who worked hard, loved hard, gave more than what he had to give and was left content at the end of the day. Happy with the result of what he and grandma had built together.

But later that day an overwhelming revelation slammed into me. That new house we are moving into? That’s theirs. The things that flow out of me… my ambitions and accomplishments? Also theirs. Legacy is a powerful thing. By showing us what love is my grandparents have put their mark on my life. They have personalized me, added their stamp. Their long days of work, sacrifice and choices have all accumulated into who I am. My parents? The same. The work ethic… the understanding that we make hay while the sun shines. They have all put their mark on this life and it has tattooed  itself permanently into the fibers of my being.

Grandpa, Gran… you don’t just have that acre in Michigan with the house you call home. You have a daughter, 3 grandchildren, 3 grandchildren-in-law and 7 great-grandchildren. All that we have is a result of your steadfast labor and love passed down through time. We are your stamps on this world.

» Pillars of Remembrance

This morning I walked barefoot through my quiet home. The sun was coming through the window, sneaking down the wooden floors and spilling up and over my feet. It was bright, silent and eerily familiar. And suddenly an overwhelming moment of recognition came over me. August of 2016 was calling, late August and her heavy warmth was reminding me of an unexpected trial I walked through just a year ago.

On August 22nd I found myself at the Sarah Cannon Cancer center for a parathyroid tumor removal. There were many assurances that I would wake up from surgery feeling better than I had in years. But that was not the case. When I went home on the 23rd my body revolted. I spent months in a recovery that was supposed to take days. I was readmitted to the hospital at times and had a few ER visits as well. I was never sure when walking was a good idea because passing out or nearly passing out became normal. Making my bed was more than my body could handle. My friends and family had to swoop in to care for my family. My husband took the entire load of parenting at times. And in the thick of it I lost the ability to even sleep at night. I remember begging God to speed me to recovery. I also remember the clarity in those moments… understanding that this was a trial that would pass and be looked back on from another time with wiser eyes.

How quickly I forgot the pain after those months passed. How quickly I forgot the kindness of my friends and family. And most importantly  how quickly I forgot that God delivered me. At one point I was told that when the body reacts this way one can expect to remain in this state for 18 months to 2 years. I recovered in 5 months. Those 5 months felt like 5 years but they were 5 months nonetheless.

I was so quick to forget the pain and the deliverance from pain once the trial subsided. We humans are a forgetful bunch and that’s not altogether okay. I am a firm believer that our trials and stories are to be memorialized as testimonies to the way God works in our lives. I also believe that God is honored when we take time to remember our stories. In the book of Joshua (chapter 4) God instructs Joshua to have twelve men gather twelve stones from Jordan to serve as a reminder and memorial for future generations. Forty years of mere survival and difficulty were becoming history and God did not want them to forget what they had been delivered from. Additionally, during this time, God moved miraculously and rolled back the Jordan river, allowing the Israelites safe passage into the promised land, He did not want them to forget their deliverance… and His might.

And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua 4:20-24

I am thankful for the gentle reminder from my deliverer this morning. His kindness in my life is not overlooked, but I did not take the time to set up my own pillar of remembrance. I forget to tell the story of His faithfulness in dark hours. Today and in the future let that not be so. I’m testifying today that I remember what was done for me. I remember when the fog lifted and I walked without falling. God you are great and mighty and active in our lives. You are good even when the answers are not what we want. This is my pillar today, a digital testimony and reminder that You are faithful.

What is your story? In what ways has God delivered you? Take time today to remember and honor Him.

 

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal