Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Marked Blessings

All boys seem to have a love for stones and rocks when they are little but our oldest son, Austin, was fascinated with them throughout his life.

In his younger days, he thought a piece of gravel was cool. I have fond memories of walking with him and stopping whenever he found a new treasure. He'd squat on chubby legs, eyes bright with excitement, as he held the discovery in his little hands. After turning it over a few times, it would get shoved into his pockets, as he was ready to continue in his search.

I don't remember why Austin began gathering rocks, but over time his collection and knowledge grew. He studied about them and could tell you what a rock's scientific name was or where it could be found at a glance.  Proudly displayed in his room were some of his favorite finds and he loved nothing more than to share stories about them.

These stones have been on my mind lately, as I've been studying the Bible.  I'm currently reading a devotion in Joshua and the importance stones had then.  It's even more interesting, as our family had a discussion the other night about blessings God has given us in our life and how that related to stones in Biblical times.

There's a space in the front of my new Bible that allows you to record milestones and blessings, to remember what God has done, is doing and will do within your family.

It was easy thinking of major events, like the boys' births and baptisms.  But there came a point when my memory stalled and I asked the guys for help. I'll admit there was a moment of silence when we reached the year Austin passed.  It is bittersweet because the pain still lingers, even though there is joy in knowing where he know calls home.  As we continued through our timeline, it became apparent how quickly we fail to recall the blessings of our life, both big and small.

 That was the purpose of the stones back then.  Marked monuments to tell future generations of all that God had done.  Reminders of His promises, big and small.

In this gloomy month that begins a new year, I can feel Satan's pull and hissing in my ear of all the things I've yet to accomplish.  Goals not reached.  Failures.  Inadequacies.  He would have me to focus on the things I have lost or didn't get and would want nothing more than for me lose trust and not cling to God's promises.

So instead I've been picking up imaginary stones, marking the simple blessings that come with each and every day.  And as I'm not too far into the year, I went back from the start of 2017 and lifted thanks for each one.  It's a joy to say my pockets are full and lumpy, beyond my expectations.

I can't wait to continue the search for more treasures to come.


Adrienne said...

I'm sorry for your loss of your son. I have two sons myself, and one of them is also an avid rock-collector. The sentiment of your post is very touching, even with the heavy topic of the loss of a child. It's an important message for those who have been through something similar.

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