Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your memoir: Everyday wonders

At a Christmas party several years ago, a new acquaintance asked what I did with my time.

I told her I teach memoir classes based on Bible verses telling us to remember what God has done for us and to tell our kids and grandkids.

She got a far-away look in her eye and, after a moment, said, “I think I saw God do something once.” She paused. “Yes, I think I did.”

I wanted to grab her arm and say, “Once?! You saw God do something once? Lady, God does things for us all the time, every day!” but, by His grace, I found a quieter, gentler way to explain my perspective: God is always with us, always active in our lives.

Sometimes we don’t realize God plays a role in everyday events, but He does.

God is always with us. He plans for us, enjoys us, and delights to have a loving relationship with us.

He created each of us for Himself and for His unique purposes.

"You are not an accident.
Your birth was no mistake or mishap,
and your life was no fluke of nature.
Your parents may not have planned you,
but God did....
Long before you were conceived by your parents,
you were conceived in the mind of God.
He thought of you first.
It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence
that you are breathing this very moment.
You are alive because  God wanted to create you!"
(Rick Warren)

If you doubt that, look at David’s words in Psalm 139:13-16 (NCV).

You [God] made my whole being.
You formed me in my mother’s body.
I praise you because you made me
in an amazing and wonderful way.…
You saw my bones being formed
as I took shape in my mother’s body.
When I was put together there,
you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me were written in your book
before I was one day old.

If you haven’t let that settle into every cell of your being, take a while to do so. The reality behind those words is life-changing!

David also wrote these words about God’s constant involvement in our lives:

Lord, you have examined me.
You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know well everything I do.
Lord, even before I say a word,
you already know what I am going to say.
You are all around me—in front and in back.
You have put your hand on me.…
Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
Where can I run from you?
If I go up to the skies, you are there.
If I lie down where the dead are, you are there.
If I rise with the sun in the east,
and settle in the west beyond the sea,
even there you would guide me.
With your right hand you would hold me.
(Psalm 139:1-10, NCV)

Perhaps you identify with the woman I met—maybe you’ve noticed only the big stuff, God’s power in the “visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events.”

If so, this week take time to search for and discover the everyday ways God has always been involved in your life—

  • the college He led you to,
  • the teacher that inspired your choice of college majors,
  • the employment God provided,   
  • the neighbor who smiled when you were new in town,
  • your doctor’s wisdom,
  • the person who became your best friend,
  • a baby’s hug,
  • an honest car mechanic,
  • tomatoes in your garden,
  • Bible studies,
  • a stranger’s comment that opened up new possibilities,
  • and so many more!

God created each of us for His unique purposes.
He plans for us, enjoys us,
and delights to have a loving relationship with us.

God is always with us, always working in us,
always working on our behalf.

Write your stories!


  1. Thank you for the great ideas you always bring us!

  2. Linda,
    What a beautiful revelation it is to come into the awareness that our God is with us in all the big and little moments.I had to get diagnosed with a life-threatening condition before I felt His real presence in my daily life. But I feel blessed that I have. Sometimes it does take that to wake up to the beauty of His presence. Hey, whatever it takes--I have found that my greatest blessings have come from my greatest obstacles. And God was there all along just waiting for me to see and feel Him.Thanks, as always for your inspiration and guidance:-)

  3. Shanda and Kathy, thanks for stopping by and for your faithful encouragement. Bless you for noticing the ways God hovers around us and delights in doing so. Kathy, it's great the way God takes our troubles and obstacles and turns them into blessing, and a clearer understanding of His love and presence. :) Enjoy your writing!


  4. Linda... I discovered you from Faithful Bloggers. I am like a wilting garden revived by a rain shower. You will find me here often. May you get a bunch of showers of blessings, also. :-)

  5. Hi, Liz, and welcome to SM 101! Take a look at some of the older blog posts to catch up with some of our meanderings, and let me know if I can be of help in your writing.

    We look forward to getting acquainted with you, Liz.


  6. I completely agree that God is a god of everyday miracles and wonders. Often when I wake up I look out the window and just seeing the sunrise makes me feel so cherished and loved. He is truly incredible.

    I've been thinking about different things from my past I coudl blog about (or write for my memoir, whichever happens first) and I thought of using my clothes as story starters. If I see a picture, I think, "Oh yeah, I was wearing that skirt because of so-and-so, and I really loved it because..." or "I remember buying that and I was with this person and that was the day..." It has been opening up a lot of story ideas for me.

  7. Hey, Rachel, those are great ideas! Thanks for those suggestions -- clothes that remind us of people, places, etc.

    You know, your blog posts could also serve as stories in your memoir. I suspect a lot of bloggers don't realize they've already written a number of vignettes/stories that can and should be included in a memoir.

    Thanks for stopping by, Rachel.


  8. WOW this was really powerful sister! AMEN!!!!
    Blessings to you!!!

  9. Cherie, your blog post today still sings in my mind and heart. Powerful stuff, so true, so helpful. Thank you for your blessings today.


  10. This post made me think of a time in my life when God seemed unusually silent. It was in the midst of this season that I faced some of the most heartbreaking challenges of my life.

    Looking back, I now see that the silence was NOT His absence, but evidence of His loving attentiveness at work in, around, and through me even though I couldn't sense it at the time.

    Great post, Linda.

  11. De, one of the most valuable parts of memoir is looking back and reflecting on a given situation, especially a hard one, and seeing it with new eyes, realizing that God was working out blessings and His purposes even though we couldn't see it at the time. More on that Saturday. :)

    Thanks for your insights today, De. Keep writing!


  12. Wonderful post. Just wonderful. You inspire us to think of all the many ways that God has been in our lives and walking right beside us. God bless you.

  13. Thanks, sweet Joyful. God bless you, too!


  14. I'm just seeing this a week later, but this is a great reminder of God's goodness and purposefulness even in the small, every day things.

  15. Thanks for stopping by, Olive Tree. Yep -- God's goodness and purposefulness even in small everyday things! Hooray, God!