I am one proud Mama. In the middle of the top picture is a hot pink spot. That is Emily with her daddy next to her skiing in perfect ‘edgie wedgie’ form. She did ski school the first day so Jason and I were able to ski together. But, the second and third day, Em and daddy went and had a great time. Jason is the most patient man I know. They took the super chair lift up to the top. Emily said, “No one is going to believe I went all the way to the top of the mountain!” So, as you might imagine, last night when we got home, Emily’s bedtime adventure story included her soaring down the mountain, racing Curious George, who she beat, of course, since he stopped to eat some bananas someone had hung in a tree…

The other story was Emily helping a little girl on the slope who had taken a tumble. Her devotion was about sympathy yesterday, so the story was Emily sitting with the girl, encouraging her, while her parents, who had gotten a little too far down the mountain, hiked back up to get their child. I always watch her face to see her ‘imagine’ her bedtime stories. She really thinks about, not only the setting, but the feelings of the people she ‘helps’ and her own role in the story. Though most of ‘Em and Noah’s great adventures’ take place overseas, when we’ve been on a recent adventure, I try to incorporate that setting so that the memory is more vivid in her mind.

My earliest memories are from when I was 3 years old, so not only do I want to encourage good memories for Em to recall later, but I am aware that this time in her life will not be forgotten. I’ve always thought of ourselves as blank tapes onto which we record scenes and memories. Many are good, but many are bad and others we wish we could erase. The reality is that we can’t erase those ‘recordings’ but we can fill our hearts and minds with things that have meaning and eternal perspective, like God’s word. I was reading a book the other day that was actually talking about the brain and its storage capability. (I am intrigued by the brain since Noah’s was shrinking but no one knew why.) Anyway, the author wrote a sentence that vaguely brought back a scene from a horror movie I snuck (is that a word?) to see in junior high. Though that ‘scene’ in my head was 20+ years later and the fear and emotion did not show up again, the fact is, it came to my remembrance.

If there are things you wish you could erase from your memory, don’t be discouraged that you cannot. As we draw closer to God and read His word and spend time in prayer, our hearts and minds are transformed and renewed. We can’t erase those bad memories, but we can record over them, in a sense, by moving forward and looking to God for eternal perspective. We usually have the choice as to what we put into our heads, but often kids do not. That’s why we all took turns reading the Word to Noah so he would have that in his memory…so, in light of this entry, think about the power of your words to them, what you allow yourself and your kids to listen to and to see. There is power in the tongue to give life and to kill. There is also power in our eyes to give light to our bodies or make it a gate for darkness. It may seem like a long way out, but I try to pause and think about what Em or Jason or anyone I speak to for that matter, might look back and reflect on in 20+ years, and with all my strength, I try to choose to use the loving words instead of the ones that wound their hearts.



10 Responses

  1. Another great post. You are right on as always.

    I would love to hear more about the story time and her devotional. What do you use for her age for a devotional? She makes up the stories or you do?

    I’m a new parent – and I just eat up all your wise words on being a great parent role model. I admire your wisdom and faith and parenting skills! Give me more!

    Thanks as always. 🙂

  2. You are so right Adrienne! I once read that with every hurtful word you say to a child it takes 20 positive words to reverse the emotional effects on that child from just ONE!!! I always try to remember that when I get upset with my kids! It doesn’t matter how frustrated I get, seeing the pain in their eyes after I have scolded them hurts more than the anger I felt at the action they just did!

  3. Beautiful. I so wish I could make up stories like that…but alas, we rely on the ones that others write for us. They seem to suffice.

    So glad you were able to make memories on the mountain! That’s one brave little girl!!

  4. Great pictures! Your Emily looks like a brave little girl!

    I also have a three year old, and I’m constantly wondering which experiences he will remember later in life. I hope and pray that it is the positive, happy times! 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder about the power of our words. It is so, so true!

  5. Convicting.

    Papa Bear has been having to work insane hours this week, and last night, as I tried to coral 5 kids into the van to go to my son’s baseball game, it was less my actual words and more my tone, that make me feel convicted.

    Adorable picture of Em, by the way.

  6. i absolutely love this post … what a beautiful lesson. i am a new mommy and am already trying to fill my sweet girl’s mind with things are are pure and lovely. this was such great reminder! you inspire me …

    i missed you the last few days! i don’t know you, but i read your posts daily, and have come to consider you my mentor and friend. i’m so thankful that you had some sweet time on the mountain with your beautiful family. what joy!


    As a going-on-40, childless woman who was on the receiving end of some pretty whacked-out comments from both of my parents while growing up, it IS possible to recover from and re-program ones mind. Yes – we should all strive to have the mind of Christ which will lead to words of edification and love. But, don’t get too stressed out about screwing up your children forever if you say something out of exhaustion, fear or any other weak moment. Plus, some of my most vivid memories are of some of the most mundane things, which means that the pressure to “create fabulous moments” can be eased up as well. People may not always remember specific events, but they will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel. 🙂

    Happy parenting!

  8. Adrienne

    I just want to take a moment to thank you for showing me that living a Christian life can be done…I’m in a Bible study and we are going through a book on the Spirit filled life, and in the past I’ve been really “good” at studying the Bible with my mind in a fog thinking that it can’t totally relate to the times I’m living in…but, in each lesson I think of you and see your example of how love, joy, peace, patience…are lived out in today’s world…Praise God…the fog is clearing!

    Your openess to share and be real challenges me each day (literally every day) to know God’s word and knit it into my daily life…


  9. Your comment on not being discouraged about the things we can not erase from our memories was so fitting for me today. After a restless night spent tossing and turning, and remembering things from my past (nothing to do with losing our daughter), I woke up this morning and decided, for some reason, that we will not be watching tv today. Your post also confirmed in my mind that this must be a good idea!
    We recently took our son skiing as well. He was the little “blue” dot that day. Those are great memories!
    Thanks, as always!

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