We are a people who mark occasions—not just on the day they happen but on subsequent years afterward. Birthdays. Death days. Anniversaries. Class reunions. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. The commemoration of special events. The day a war started and the day it ended.
And why is that, I wonder? Why don’t we just celebrate or mourn on that day, as the occasion calls for?
There’s something significant about an anniversary, I think. It puts a stake in the ground and lets us see where we are now, and where we’ve been. And this isn’t just nostalgia; God commands us to remember:
Remember the days of long ago; think about the generations past. Ask your father, and he will inform you. Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you.
So why do we need to remember?
I think we need cues to remember because we’re so forward-focused that we forget the milestones from last month, last year, last decade. We’re so busy forging ahead that we forget the things (the good ones and the hard ones) that made us who we are today. We need a reminder to slow down, to look in the rearview mirror, to thank God for where we are and where we’ve come from.
I think there’s another reason God instructs us to remember. It’s because the emotions of the thing we’re recalling are often too big to be absorbed in a single day. We can’t take in all the joy required when a person is born, so we spread it out and mark that day on each ensuing year. We can’t take in the enormity of a loss on the day we lose someone we love, so we come back and revisit it later. We can’t do justice to all that being a mother stands for on that one day of labor, so we set aside a day to commemorate motherhood every year.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of this website, StephanieRische.com, and it’s gotten me thinking about remembering in general and about staking the mile markers of God’s faithfulness.
I’ve been thinking about how we’re pretty good at remembering the big anniversaries, but we often overlook the less obvious but no less significant ones. I want to do a better a job remembering, savoring, taking note, saying thank you. I want to be aware of God is doing in the moment, and I want to be intentional about thanking him afterward.
I have a lot of remembering to do, but here’s a small start. This month marks five years since I’ve been praying with my Tuesday prayer buddy. Just a few weeks ago marks the day four years ago when the man of my dreams got down on one knee on the cold pavement and asked me to marry him. Last week marks the day my little niece was baptized and charmed the whole congregation with her big eyes and fluffy white gown. This February marks my college roommate’s birthday—the 18th one I’ve celebrated with her.
I don’t want to take these mini-celebrations for granted. I want to come to God in gratitude for all of them—for his faithfulness in the moment they happened and for all they mean to me now.
What about you? What small celebrations do you want to commemorate? I’d love to hear about them.
In honor of my blog birthday, I’m giving away two gifts to two new subscribers! Type in your email address on the right to be eligible for a $10 Starbucks gift card or a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card. I’ll choose two randomly selected commenters on Wednesday.
Happy 1-year Blanniversary! (Blogday? Blogiversary? Blirthday?) I love this post. This right here is truth: “We can’t take in all the joy required when a person is born, so we spread it out and mark that day on each ensuing year.” I’ve never heard it put quite like that, but you’re spot on.
Ha! I like your word combos, Lu! “Blirthday” might be my favorite. 🙂
I am so excited for this milestone. I am also excited to see the word remember. God recently brought that word to my view and I am going to do a word bible study with it. I know that God often told the Israelites to remember. I personally have been remembering the many blessings He has bestowed on me. Mostly related to the many people in my life that He has blessed me with. (Including you!) Thanks for the confirmation of God’s revelation.
Nancy, thanks for being such an encourager from day one (and even before that!).
Happy Birthday stephanierische.com!
Thanks for the reminder to celebrate milestones. What is a greater milestone than marking the day that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
Here’s to the start of year two!
Thanks for making this dream come true! Love you.
I remember when this launched and can’t believe it has been a year! Happy blogaversary! 🙂
The year has flown! Thanks, Amie!
Yay!! Congratulations on your first year of blogging!! Thank you for sharing your gift and perspective with us all!! Love you!!
Thanks for celebrating with me, my friend!
Angie Ryg says
“We are so busy forging ahead that we forget the days that made us who we are today.”
Absolutely love this and need this reminder to be thankful for the past as well as the hope of the future!
I love your heart and I get to say *Happy Birthday* in person in a few weeks! #Redbudfun
And one of these days. . .rocking chair!! 🙂
Angie, looking forward to seeing you at Redbud! Thanks for the note.
I remember when you launched this site. I love this article. We often don’t remember the little things. Congrats on one year and here is to many more. This month 5 years ago I met the man of my dreams and on February 26th we celebrated 4 years of being married. It is amazing how blessed we are. We just have to focus on that everyday is a gift from God. Everyday there is always something to be thankful for. Congrats again on your one year. I look forward to reading many more of your posts.
What a wonderful reason to celebrate! Happy anniversary!
yay! I love celebrations! 🙂
(my deep thought of the day.)
Doesn’t get much deeper than that. Unless there’s chocolate.
Brittany Bergman says
Happy birthday to StephanieRische.com! It’s been a year of encouragement and honesty, and I’ve loved reading along with you. A small celebration I need to remember is the time spent with my small group. We are going to try a new thing where we celebrate with a dinner out or a potluck whenever we finish a study. I hope it helps us to mark how much we’ve learned together and just to enjoy one another’s company!
I love the idea of a potluck celebration for your small group! I’m filing that one away. Thanks for your kind words.
“REMEMBER” has been a theme in my spiritual life for about a decade now–part of a huge lesson God wrote on my heart and continues to circle back around to and drive deeper. It’s amazing how many times you see it in the Bible, commands to remember and admonitions that disobedience was the result of forgetting.
I love your additional perspective, that the emotions of the thing are too big to absorb in one day. Great stuff to think about!
And, happy blogiversary 🙂
Thanks, Amy! Blessings to you as you go on this journey of remembering