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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, January 9, 2012

So We Don't Forget

Two miles east of the city of Estes Park, on Highway 36, is a turn-out for slow drivers, and for those who want to record on camera or video their first glimpse of the majestic mountains surrounding the city.
The turn-out is rarely empty of cars.
Whether I'm heading out of Estes or returning, I invariably spot a couple or a family at the turn-out, posing in front of the big flat rock where the name, "Estes Park" has been inscribed.
The rock has been there for years. We've lived in Estes for 6 six years. I wonder how many tourists have had their picture taken at that exact spot in front of the rock.
Thousands. Maybe millions by now.
It always makes me smile when I see the tourists with their cameras.
Why do we humans find it so important to record our journeys, our experiences with photos and written records?

So we do not forget
They say the ancient Sumerians came up with the first printed language.
But before that, perhaps for thousands of years, cultures have recorded their  histories and their stories through oral tradition.
So they did not lose the knowledge of who they were as a culture and a people.

I'm so glad I've captured the images of my children on camera.  Funny or poignant stories about my family. Road-trip journal entries about where we stayed overnight and the restaurants, good and terrible, where we ate along the way.
All of these records serve to connect us emotionally to each other. These shared memories say, in effect: you are all Nethertons.
I can say to my husband, "remember the road trip of '86?" That's all it takes to conjure up three week's worth of wonderful memories of the kids when they were little, my parents and siblings, and the gorgeous scenery of the California coast.

So we do not forget our God
The Bible records wonderful words from God. It reminds me over and over how much He loves me, all that He did to protect and preserve His people, what He plans to do for me and you.
Every time I open His Word, He draws me into an emotional and spiritual connection with Him.
I do not want to ever forget His Words. Or to lose the joy of intimacy with my Eternal God.
So I open my Bible every day.
I also record my thoughts and prayers to Him.
Lest I forget.
Because if I forget my God, I do not know who I am.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (Deut. 11: 18-19 NIV Bible)


  1. I have been writing my prayers to God since 2004. Last week I spent some time re-reading what I had written after my husband died in 2007. Clearly, God met me at the worst time in my life and carried me through the journey of grief. Reading my words reminded me of the healing work He has done. So glad I have that written record. Thanks, Dena.

  2. I do that too, Nancy. It's wonderful to see how God has taken us through such valleys and given us new hope and joy and greater faith.

  3. Yes! I often think how poor our lives would be without the scriptures, recorded history, and journals.

  4. Our history, our shared beliefs, our culture unite us. When we forget these, we lose who we are.