This exercise was based on Joshua 4:4-7:
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen...
He told them, "...Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it on your shoulder...
...We will use these stones to build a memorial.
In the future your children will ask you,
'What do these stones mean?'
Then you can tell them, 'They remind us...
that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the
Ark of the Lord's Covenant went across.'
These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.
It was a profoundly moving exercise and the beginning of a great bond in our group. When the evening was over I took the stones my husband and I had written on and put them on the window sill.
The house we were living in at the time was 1300 square feet. When my kids (then ages 3, 4 &7) woke up the next morning, the very first thing they noticed was the stones.
I told them, "They remind us..."
Of course they wanted to do their own stones! We built a little pile on the window sill. It grew. Some got scattered along the way. I've tried to keep them on a tray of candles. Long periods of time go by and we don't really think about adding another stone (though I know we overlook many opportunities).
Yesterday, my son added another stone.
You see, we gave him a bow and arrow for Christmas--something his warrior heart has passionately longed for. It turned out it wasn't a very good one so we took it back to the store. Unfortunately, they didn't have another with which to replace it. My husband did a lot of research. The next best thing we could find was quite a bit more expensive. Devin was frustrated. Discouraged. Sometimes angry. He felt like this always happens.
Yesterday husband and son visited an archery club so they could try out a variety of bows to get an idea of what they should be looking for. They had so much fun! The club was full of life-like targets and people who know a lot about archery. Kind strangers gave my son all kinds of tips. He tried out a variety of bows. He was in boy heaven!
Then someone gave him a really excellent bow their child no longer used. To keep. I wish you could have seen his face when he came bursting through the door to show me. It was even better than what he thought he wanted. The wait had been very, very hard for his little heart, but now it was all worth it!
After all the exuberant story-telling and demonstrations, he wrote on his own stone of remembrance.
A foundation of faith is being laid. He's going to need the reminder. He has higher mountains to climb and bigger rivers to cross. Hopefully, the stone will help him remember. His Father is with him. He cares about the things that matter to his heart. God's plan is always better than what we think we want.
Remembering gives us strength to endure the waiting with joy.
Whatever you're facing today, you've been prepared for it. Remember what He has done.
So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!