I was so convicted soon after the Lord spared my life and Joseph's life, that I hadn't documented all that He had done for us, that I was very motivated to take the time to write down some of the big and small ways the Lord has touched and blessed our lives since He brought Ted and I together. From this, a little book was started . . . entitled "In Big and Small Ways . . . A Mother's Memoirs of God's Providential, Loving Care Through the Years" I must admit, it needs some serious updating since it was printed 6 years ago!!!
So this is one reason why I was so excited about Linny's encouragement over at A Place Called Simplicity to continually "remember" God's goodness and faithfulness in our lives, and be sure to pass down the stories to the next generation. One great idea she talks about quite often is having a "Memorial Box" in a prominent place in your house. She has many posts about their family's memorial Box throughout her blog, which are so very inspiring, but one post that explains her "Memorial Box" idea is found here. Such a neat idea, especially combined with writing down and printing the stories behind each little treasures/item in the Memorial Box to save for future generations.
Linny loves to encourage and inspire others by having bloggy friends share their "Memorial Box" stories by linking up to her blog. I've decided to do this with a recent story I printed already on our family blog back in September. But because Linny was a vital part of this particular story, in that she was the one to help open my eyes and encourage me to fast and pray over certain things in my life; and with us still needing to be continually reminded of God's mighty hand in the midst of our foster-to-adopt process, I chose to re-post and link this story to her blog.
The Wonder of God's Great Love!
"I will exalt you, My God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness."
Our loving Father-to-the-fatherless did something really extra special recently for Brielle (and her Mommy!) and I would love to "tell of the power of His awesome works and proclaim His great deeds!" as we document this special little part of Brielle’s story for generations to come!
The story begins back in April as we were preparing for our 3 week trip back east. I was looking for a sun bonnet for Brielle to pack, and as I was digging through a box of little girl items I had saved from the time when Lydia was a baby, I found a perfect little bonnet. It has a very old-fashioned look to it, and though I don’t remember the origin of it, I couldn’t remember any of the other Bowes babies wearing it. I thought at the time, it is as if this unknown bonnet appeared just for Brielle! It is so perfect for her, and I thought we could claim it for her very own, and that it would make a wonderful keepsake for her. (I really love saving a few little baby things for each child!)
So during our 3 week trek across the country and back, she wore it often, and I have lots of adorable pictures of her wearing it. I was always very vigilant to keep track of it. It wasn’t easy, as we visited sooooooo many places; in and out of vehicles and strollers; hotels and campgrounds; and through 20+ states and 7,530 miles! But I always kept an eye on it, knowing one day that it would be a very special part of her treasured keepsakes.
When we returned home, and after doing all the wash and having everything put away, I went looking for the bonnet. I searched high and low . . . in strollers, in the truck and camper, in her dresser . . . everywhere I could possibly think to look. And I did this over and over to no avail. I became increasingly sad about the possibility that I had lost this special little bonnet, and I prayed, knowing the Lord knew where it was. In the meantime, I even called a few places we had been last, where I thought we could have left it, but no one had it. Since then, I always have kept my eye out for it, as I have cleaned out her clothes and dresser often. But after many weeks and months having passed and several times of emptying her dresser and reorganizing things, I resigned myself to the fact that the bonnet was really gone forever.
Now fast forward to a few days ago. I went to bed Tuesday night feeling particularly troubled about Brielle’s situation with still “belonging” to the State, and many things happening (or not happening) in the foster-to-adopt process that are quite unsettling. That particular day I was very burdened, and thought that I just needed to fast and pray about it all on Wednesday. So I started out the day, fasting and praying through breakfast, crying out to the Lord for Brielle. About mid-morning, I went looking for some clothes to dress Brielle for the day. Guess what I found at that very moment in her same dresser that I had cleaned out many times in the months after our return home from the trip? Her little bonnet was lying in the bottom drawer, amongst some of her older set of clothes!!! I couldn't believe my eyes!
Many times, over the course of the months of looking for the bonnet, I had come to grips with the reality that the bonnet is really a fairly insignificant little piece of fabric and ribbons, and it is just an earthly thing that will be left behind in the end anyway! But there was always something about that bonnet that just seemed so special, and just for Brielle. I wanted it for her as a keepsake and remembrance of how very precious she was in her infancy and always will be to us.
Now, it will always have an even greater significance!! Our Heavenly Father who loves Brielle even more than we do, chose this particular day and moment to sweetly remind us that she ultimately belongs to Him, and He is orchestrating His good plans for her in His perfect time. I just feel soooooo blessed with this special kindness from our loving Father. And I'm so very grateful that He is answering our prayers, in His good way and timing, and He truly cares about every little detail in our lives!!!
"I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all he has done for us -
Yes, the many good things he has done. . . "