By Michelle Williams—

When I was a child, about ten-years-old, I was having breakfast with my sister, Cheri. I don’t know why, but while watching her eat, I decided to remember the moment. I told myself, I will remember this forever. I took in all the details, as if I was taking a snapshot of it in my mind. Even at ten, I knew that being able to tell myself to remember a moment by taking a mental snapshot was something special and to be treasured.

Through the years I have continued to create these photos in my mind by stopping for a second and just remembering—to remember. Most of the memories have been simple ones, such as, stopping in the midst of a hectic day and taking in the details of my surroundings, or glancing at Joe or one of my children or grandchildren and telling myself to remember the moment and the love. When I became a Christian I added thanking God for His creation.

Recently, however, I took a mental snapshot of a conversation which was a humble reminder that I may not always have this special gift. My sister and Joe and I have dinner and play cards with my 83-year-old mother once a week. We all do our best not to tell her when she makes an obvious mistake. But, lately, even she has mentioned that her memory isn’t what it used to be. “I can’t even remember what happened 5-minutes ago, let alone 5 years ago!” she said to me when I was trying to remind her of something we had all done together.

As I took a mental snapshot of the conversation with my mom, I hid my horror at the real possibility of not being able to pull up all my special snapshots one day. Later, however, God reminded me of a more special gift than being able to take mental photos. It is the gift of writing. He left us His Word to read, and to pass on. And, He gifted me with the desire to record memories, ideas, stories and teachings to be shared with others.

I will continue to take memory photos for as long as the Lord allows, and one of the snapshots that I hope will be the last to go is one that I took when my now 30-year-old son was six. Feeling sentimental and a little teary-eyed, I looked at his little boy body knowing he would be a man one day. I said, “Mick, this moment right now is very special to me. I will remember it forever.” He looked up and quipped, “Mom, you don’t even remember where you park your car—you aren’t going to remember this!”

While I admit that I still lose my car from time to time, I’m grateful for God’s gift of memories in real snapshots, journals, childhood diaries, and mental snapshots. Most of all, however, I’m grateful for His written Word in my heart, and the ability to share it with others through writing.

 

 

 

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5D0A1347Michelle Williams, and her husband, Joe, are authors of Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved/Focus on the Family/Tyndale House 2007, and Marriage 911 resources in partnership with the National Institute of Marriage. Their international faith-based marriage ministry, Marriage 911 God’s Way, provides crisis marriage intervention resources. They have been married 31 years, and have a blended family of 5 grown children and 12 grandchildren. She works part time as a hair stylist in their own salon, and enjoys writing and spending time with family.

12 Comments

  1. 8-22-2013

    Ahhhh, my friend, such a good reminder to remember. There’s a scene from our writing partnership that I flashed on after reading this post. Mt. Hermon, me and you sitting at the kitchen table, piles of papers, laptops, and orange rocks. Yes, you know the one. Brought a huge smile to my face. Love you, dear friend. So grateful for you and what you shared here.

  2. 8-22-2013

    Michelle, I do this, too! I’m so grateful the Lord allows me to be aware, in exquisite detail, of “moments.” And my mom, like yours, had memory difficulties in the last years of her life. When you mentioned your mother’s confusion, I thought you were going on to say you will hold on to your “moments” as long as possible and if you lose them, you know the Lord will restore them to you in eternity. But NO! You thanked Him for His gift to you that you can use to save your moments for yourself and your children and all of us out here: your writing. Thank you for shining a light on the ways the Lord encourages us to have abundant life NOW, as we continue on our way to perfect happiness with Him forever.

  3. 8-22-2013

    Thank you for the reminder to “pause” long enough during each day to record the precious moments.

  4. 8-22-2013

    I’ve known you since your early days of a being a teenager and it amazes me of the transformation that has developed in you down through the years. Every creative gift that has been given to you since birth, God has used for His purpose. You are loved and blessed.

    • 8-24-2013

      Oh, Delores, you are so right. God has, indeed, done a work and there was much work to do! Love you so much.

  5. 8-22-2013

    Wonderful Michelle. Each time I visit my mom I am pulling memories from her. Asking about her memories as a girl, about her parents. I’ve learned so much about her and myself. Sweet memories.

    • 8-24-2013

      Thank you, Karen. This blog site is a great way to share with others and I’m grateful.

  6. 8-23-2013

    The older I get, the more evident it becomes, that staying present in our lives may be our most important task. For me, it is the key to compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love. I am continuously grateful to have a parent that practices this throughout each season of her life. Thank you for sharing such an accessible route to it. I absolutely love that about you, Mom.

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