Good Memories Only, Please

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Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

When I was 10 years old, my gramma gave me a set of books, "The Little Colonel' series, that had been given to her by a friend.  This friend had received a book a year on her birthday from the time she was 8.  Her friend had no daughter or granddaughter to pass the children on to, so she thought perhaps I might enjoy them.

In one book, you are introduced to a character named "Betty."  Betty is much poorer than the Little Colonel, who lives on a grand southern estate, and has had a difficult  life.

The author, Annie Fellows Johnston, saw fit to make Betty a cheerful little girl.  One of the ways she evidenced this was by Betty's determination to keep count of only the sunny hours.

I've been reminded of this idea.  My journal found these words written yesterday as I listened to the music of the Exaltation album, specifically the song "You Will Go Out With Joy."

Just writing  ... As we go out with joy.  Oh, Lord ... thank you.  There is so much bad.  So many challenges.  And there is still You!

It’s all about giving thanks.  And for today - the sunshine.  I love you, Lord.  I love the you I find in sunshine.  It’s harder on the days when the sun does not shine.  When the world is dark and dreary.  Sometimes, it seems so oppressive.

But then, I need to remember the days like these.  These are my Ebenezer days, Lord.  The marker days.  The ones I need to look back at.  The ones I need to remember on those darkest of days,

And I must not give up, Lord.  I must remember.  They mustn't  become a distant memory.  I need to keep them warm and alive and vibrant.

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I need my Ebenezer stones, Lord. Help me to remember to gather them and to keep them where I can see them.  A pressed petunia from the garden.  Pictures of the deck and the sky and my flowers.  Of my flamingos.  Everything that reminds me of you.

I need a memory book, Lord.

A good times only memory book.  Betty!  In the little colonel books.  Counting only the sunshine hours.  Do I still have those books downstairs?   

Yes!!  I need do that.

A memory book for the good times.  The times that make me smile.

I've no idea where you are in your journey.  I've no idea if this would be helpful for you.  In the past two days alone, I've heard from friends who want to give up.  The days have become so dark and long they see no reason to keep going.

Perhaps their personal Ebenezer stones would help.  Something to look back on and hold on to during these difficult times.

Perhaps, you need to find your own form of Ebenezer stones (mine is going to be a scrapbook) to use as markers to remember that thus far, the Lord has helped you.

Father God, help us learn to hold on to the good - even if they are just fleeting moments.  Help us cling to the knowledge of You, even as we abide in this downtrodden world, for You have helped us along this far.  Help us to trust You for the rest of the journey.  Amen and amen.

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