Friday, August 21, 2009

Memorials Help Us Keep Perspective…

Have you ever noticed how easily we forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon us? How quickly your day, week, month or year can turn into a series of difficulties or frustrations?

Depending on our personality and upbringing, we either have a tendency to see life as a glass “half-empty” or as a glass “half-full”. Regretfully, the first describes my mode of thinking more often than the later.

Half-full or half-empty 

Perhaps you have heard attitude determines altitude, I have come to embrace the idea that my thought-life and the filter through which I view life – must continually be cleaned and adjusted!


Several years ago, when my children were very young and through a series of  “parenting refinements”, I was introduced to this idea of a memorial box. As the Lord often commanded his people to remember (crossing the river with Joshua, feasts, the Lord’s supper, etc…), so the Lord commands us to remember.

So here is our modest, authentic and rather tacky-looking memorial box…



So what has our family put in it? It has to meet one of two criteria: (1) It reminds us concretely of a situation or circumstance where the Lord uniquely worked in the life of our family or a family member or (2) Provide a significant or pivotal memory in the life of the family member.


Here you see our overflowing ten-year-old memorial box. (We need to store some of the contents to make room for more.)

  • Driver’s license plate reminds us an old car we received as a GIFT when we desperately needed a second car.
  • The Bible is a memorial to when I became a Christian.
  • The flower represents my speaking at Gideon’s conferences, sharing how God has changed my life through a small Gideon Bible.
  • Certain pictures remind us of a car accident several years ago, when my three children were all under 5 years old. The van was totaled, but we were all okay!
  • The post cards remind us of special trips others made and thought of us.
  • Tucked behind the license plate, are the first pair of pants my daughter sewed.

Those are just a few of the items on top!

If you are a parent, you already know how quickly our children can forget the blessing, privileges and provisions you provide as parents – Just like we often do with the Lord’s blessings and provisions… I have found this memorial box is a wonderful concrete, visual reminder that our lives are how they are because of OTHERS – God first, then for my children they see how we as parents provide for them – we provide what they could not provide for themselves and more…

We love taking time to remember! It helps us all keep a sober assessment of ourselves and the trials that come knocking at our door….


  1. Thanks for your insightful comment on my post Bond Girl In A Modern World.
    You've given me even more to think about regarding my post.

  2. Hi. I linked here from Sonya's site.

    This memory box is a terrific idea. I wish we had thought about it years ago. Of course, we keep photo albums, but the box idea has room for so many more items. Our kids are grown now (one still at home), but we will introduce this idea to them for when they start their families. I'll also suggest it to the young couples Cheryl and I work with. Good post.

  3. What a great idea to help count our many blessings! :D

  4. This is so precious! We've had a special box on the wall where we place small trinkets to remind us of God's provision in our lives. Similar idea.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Sonya Lee

  5. How wonderful! We have an "Ebenezer" box to write down events that reflect God's faithfulness. I love this idea, though, of putting other things as tangible reminders, too! Just yesterday, my two year old shattered our glass door and God graciously protected her from harm. I think a piece of that glass will be a great start to a memorial box. Thanks for sharing!

  6. The Lord has been teaching me as I've been reading through the old Testament the importance of memorials. I was thinking of doing something similar to the memorial box, along with a family archival journal to write down prayers, praises, and significant events in our family. I want this to be something that can be passed down from generation to generation. I haven't found what I want yet, so I'm thinking of making a journal.

    Thank you so much for confirming what the Lord has been instructing me to do.


So ... how about you?