Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon sitting on the concrete floor of my hallway, surrounded by mounds of loose photographs. There is a bank of closets there, where a lot of things were quickly shoved as we moved in (over a year ago!), just to get them out of the way. One of them contained about 10 archival photo boxes, that, at one time, had been sorted and labeled by event.

Color me organized.

However, when I opened the closet to finally straighten it out and remove some of the garbage, I realized that more than a couple had fallen in there and rained down their contents all over the closet. I had to pull everything out, and recover the loose photos, placing them in piles around me to try to reorganize them.

Kevin walked in from outside to find me sitting there, and as he sat down with me for a minute, said, “Look. Just look, will you, at all these memories?”

That’s why it took me all afternoon to do it. The memories. Each photo triggered a memory of the day it had been taken, a knowledge not unlike remembering where you were on 9/11, or when Kennedy was shot, or even when Elvis died. I remembered the feelings of those days, and circumstances of life through which we happened to be wading at the time – some good, some not-so-good – and sat, in wonder, as I recalled things I hadn’t thought of in years.

It was good for my soul to look back and relive, even some of the painful stuff, because I realized afresh just how far God has brought us. I could see the incredible, over-arching blessing and covering He’s given to our lives, filling in the broken places to make a stronger vessel of our family. From fresh and dewey-eyed young people in love, to a million different stages of parenting; from snaggle-toothed kids, to zits and braces, to angsty teens with dazzling smiles; from graduations, to a wedding, to tiny hands holding ours – a little less fresh, a lot more wise. God was there through it all.

Truly, great things He has done.

Sometimes we do everything in our power to forget some of the less stellar aspects of our lives. We dump the box of those memories into the back of a closet and shut the door, determined to never go back. But there are times when you should go back and reorganize those memories, so you can see them more clearly, and realize, with gratitude, just how far God has brought you. Then you can gather up that pile of memories, and sort them once and for all, finally putting them on the shelf and closing the door of a clean closet.

I’m here to tell you, it’s a good feeling.

Good, and freeing.


“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 NIV

“Remember the wonders He has done, the miracles, and the rulings He has given…” Psalm 105:5 NLT

“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:2 NLT

Take a good look at God’s wonders—they’ll take your breath away.” Psalm 66:5 MSG