by Emily Conrad
This time last year, my husband and I were house shopping. We were just a day away from receiving an offer on the house we lived in and days away from making an offer on the house we now call home.
The day our offer was accepted on this house, my husband and I went for ice cream. I waited until we were seated with our desserts to tell him we’d gotten the house, and I still remember his smile. I’ve been waiting for the day to come back around so I could celebrate it. Not in any big way, but with another smile, maybe some ice cream, and definitely a helping of gratitude.
But the house-buying adventure is not the only big event to have happened in March.
On Tuesday, Facebook’s On This Day feature reminded me that three years ago, I worked my last day in an office. Since then, my only job title has been writer. Another event worth celebrating.
I like looking back at specific events and considering how they’ve shaped my life. Unfortunately, I find scrapbooks and boxes of photos overwhelming, and I don’t post often to Facebook, so the events those things can remind me of are limited.
To keep track of what’s happened on which day, I implemented a Pinterest idea.
I found a ceramic berry container, dated one index card for each day of the year, and recorded important events on their corresponding card. When did I take this job or leave that one? When did I break my wrist? What day did I return to work after 8 weeks off for surgery?
I didn’t stress myself out about digging up everything, and I still sometimes come across an event that I realize I never documented. No problem, I just add it, and sometimes I stick in other mementos, too, like the little cards I had on the wall by my computer in my office before I switched over to full-time writing.
I’m learning to appreciate this calendar anew in light of Jerusha Agen’s post earlier this week, which reminded me of the importance of recounting how God has provided for us in the past in order to have faith in the present.
She shares from Psalm 77, which says, I will think about all you have done; I will reflect upon your deeds! (verse 12, NET)
My calendar is like a maintenance plan for remembering.
Looking back reminds me where I’ve been, how far I’ve come, how my life has changed and, in some cases, why. In all cases, even when the event marks a loss, the entry is a day God brought me through. He’s faithful. He has a plan, and it’s good. The gratitude I mentioned earlier should lead me to praise God.
But the calendar offers a challenge, as well.
As I was preparing to write this post, Psalm 90:12 popped into my mind. It reads, So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (KJV).
I’d rather not think of the brevity of life, but since writing about my close call on the highway and hearing many of you chime in with similar stories, I have to admit that life is short. God is teaching me to number my days.
Seeing notes I made on a card to represent the end of a long wait helps me to remember that each day has a number. Waits eventually end. There is hope in that but also a challenge. Seasons of life and my time here will not last forever. Am I using all the time I have now, in this place, to do what I’m called to do here? Life is short, and we must live it accordingly.
So, here’s to three years of full-time writing. Here’s to the new house. Here’s to the faithful God. Here’s to counting our days in order to make them count.