“She was driving down a two-lane highway on her way to Midland, TX. If you’ve ever been in that area, you’ll know she had a view for miles in every direction because the land is flat. It’s also dusty, dry, hot, sparsely populated, and really just quite desolate.”
“She had her three young daughters and infant son with her in the backseat of the car. They were an hour from the closest place in any direction when the car broke down.”
“Oh yeah, I should mention that this story takes place many many years before cell phones were around.”
“She tried not to panic as she pulled off the highway, kicking up a cloud of dust on the shoulder. When it settled there was a car pulling up behind her. Where it had come from, she didn’t know. She hadn’t seen it driving behind them.”
“A man got out of that car. He opened his trunk and grabbed two tools; one in each hand. He walked to their car and pointed to the hood.”
“She popped the hood. He worked for a few minutes, closed the hood, went back to his car and drove away.”
“He never said a word.”
“She turned the key and the car started. They pulled onto the highway and drove away in the opposite direction of the man.”
“All three girls sat backward in their seats watching his car get smaller in the distance. He disappeared from view as he went around a small curve in the road.”
“He never came out the other side.”
Her name was Paula and she was my grandmother. My mom was in the backseat. Paula said he was an angel and whether he was or wasn’t, he was definitely the Lord’s tool to take care of my grandma and her family that day.
I’m Sara and this is one of my family’s stories. I’m so grateful to be able to guest-write here today and share what I’ve learned about documenting God’s work in our lives and the journal I’ve made to help you do it better.
The thing about this story about Paula, aside from it being pretty crazy, is that I recently discovered that neither of my brothers know it at all. It has boggled my mind to realize how poorly we’ve done as a family at recording and documenting God’s work in our family’s history. If this phenomenal story of God’s work is so easily lost I would venture to guess the more mundane instances of His work are barely even recognized, let alone shared and remembered.
It’s important to remember and document God’s work, not just because the stories can be neat and sentimental, but because it helps deepen our faith, trust, and love for the Lord. The writer of Psalm 77 knew this to be true as well. In his time of trial, he said:
“Will the Lord reject forever and never again show His favor? Has His faithful love ceased forever?-“I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders. I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions.”Psalm 77:7-12
When we intentionally spend time seeking out God’s hand in our lives and write down those moments so that we don’t forget them, we’ll begin to see how present He is, how faithfully He provides for us, how much we can trust Him, and how worthy of our love He truly is. We’ll be like the Psalm 77 writer and be confident and trusting in the Lord even in the midst of our trials.
But recording God’s work is about more than just our own faith and walk. It’s also about our children and the next generation. Here are just a few verses that speak to this:
“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.”Psalm 78:4
“In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you should tell them, ‘the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ Therefore, these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites.”Joshua 4:6
“They were to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God.”Psalm 78:6-7
We’re instructed to teach our children of the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord and those are not necessarily restricted to the stories in the Bible, they can include instances we experience personally as well. To effectively remember and pass on our stories and tell the next generation(s) we need to do more than verbally share, we need to write our stories down. There’s a couple different way’s I’ve seen this done and a new way that I’m excited to share with you all today.
- Family Bible: A shared family Bible, usually a note-taking edition, can be a great place to record prayers and ways the Lord has been present in your lives. One great thing about a family Bible is that it encourages you to seek out scripture relevant to what you are recording. However, though we do keep a family prayer journal and see it as a valuable tool in documenting God’s work, it has a significant drawback. It can’t effectively be passed down. When our children leave our house, the Bible will stay with me because I can’t effectively copy it. Thus, my boys will most likely lose sight of all the things we’ve recorded.
- Rock Memorial: To create a rock memorial you write down God’s work in your life on a rock. One instance per rock and slowly you build up a stone memorial. This idea stems from the Lord’s instructions to the Israelites in Joshua 4:6. This is GREAT for young kids as the rocks are so tangible but the downside is twofold; you can’t write much and it’s also going to be hard to pass down the rocks to multiple children.
So that brings me to the third way that you can record your family’s faith and experience with the Lord and I am SO excited to share it with you. In an effort to more effectively document God’s presence in our lives, I’ve created a journal called 1000 Generations | A Record of Our Faith. You can read all about it and pre-order a copy here. but I’ll give you guys the cliff notes:
- 1000 Generations: 1000 Generations is a place to record God’s work in your personal life, your spouse’s life, your parent’s lives, grandparent’s lives, etc. It’s been specifically designed to help you determine what to write and how to write it. The journal is divided into five topical sections (salvation, prayer, blessings, trials, and miracles) each with an introduction, scripture, and prompt questions.
What truly makes the journal unique and practical is the special binding that allows it to come apart and be easily copied on a copy machine. This means that unlike the family Bible example, 1000 Generations is something each of your children can easily take with them when they leave your house. Further, they can actually expand the journal with their own spouse.
Documenting God’s work in a journal might sound like just another task, just another baby book, or scrapbooking activity, but it’s not. It is creating an eternal legacy for yourself and your children. Whether you start a family bible, a rock memorial, pick up a copy of 1000 Generations, or just grab a notebook, I hope you will begin to document God’s work in your life.
Have you ever thought about the things we typically leave behind for our children like baby books, a last will, ancestry records, and medical records? These are all documents we keep to pass down some part of our earthly treasures whether it’s possessions, memories, history, or health. But what about your heavenly treasures? What will you leave to pass those down?
Use code MDM19 for 10% off.
**100% of book sale profits benefit Still Water Camps
About the Author: Sara Haddox lives in Boerne, TX, is mom to Caleb (age 4) and David (age 2), and wife to Matthew. She’s a maker and a doer by nature, whether it’s building furniture, plumbing sinks, sewing kid costumes, cooking a new recipe, or writing and designing a book. She’s a Children’s Leader in Bible Study Fellowship and is active in her church and several Christian groups in her community. Sara’s goal is to say “yes” to the Lord even when the task seems impossible.