Remember where you came from…

What’s your story?

Where has your journey led you?

What’s your history?

Too often we try to hide our story, escape our journey and sugar coat our history.

The Apostle Paul frequently recounted his journey on the pages of his letters. He wrote these words to his understudy, Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

Paul remembered where he came from from.

He was ashamed of it.

He was guilt reddened because of it.

He didn’t try to hide it, escape it or sugar coat it.

Remembering where you came from does three things:

1. Helps us remain humble.

2. Reminds that God never left us. [Read Joshua 4]

3. Points forward

If you become a big deal…remember where you came from…it has a way of keeping you grounded.

If you feel forgotten, overlooked, without purpose…remember where you came from…it has a way of reminding you that you’ve come a long way and just because you still have a long way to go doesn’t mean your hopeless.

If your future seems foggy…remember where you came from…it has a way of pointing forward to what is to come. Looking back and seeing what God has done can help us to see what God is going to do.

It’s funny how much I learn when I read books to my 2 year old son. His bookshelf is full of wisdom. There’s a book that he loves called Climb the Family Tree, Jesse Bear! I want to share it with you as a way to remind us all of where we came from. So many memories of my family, my heritage, my story, my journey, my hometown come to the surface as I read this book. It helps me remain humble and it reminds me that my story is beautiful and not finished. Your story is good! Your journey is good! Your heritage is good! Remember it. Embrace it. Cherish it (you only have one shot at it). Learn from it. Hope you enjoy!

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
We’re here, Jesse Bear!
We’re here!

There’s Grandpa in his funny hat
And Grandma by the well.
We’ll help them pick the strawberries
And put them out to sell.

My favorite, Uncle Bill, is here.
He flew in his new plane.
Maybe he’ll take me up with him,
Unless there’s wind and rain.

Auntie Lin and Auntie Kim
And old Great-Auntie Lou
Wear their shawls and pat my head
And say, “Oh, look at you!”

The cousins are in every size.
The baby’s in my chair.
When I get too close to him,
He always pulls my hair.

There’s Great-Grandpa’s photo
At the end of the long hall,
And Great-Grandmother’s quilt
Is hanging on the wall

Great-Aunt Emma’s painting
And Cousin Ben’s smooth stones,
Small boxes and birdhouses
And prehistoric bones!

We hear family tales of long ago:
Weddings by the tree,
The day you raced to the hospital,
The day you first saw me!

The fireflies light the evening.
There’s a very starry sky.
The younger aunts do a dance,
The older aunts all sigh.

Grandpa plays his old fiddle
And tells where it came from.
Auntie May strums away
While all the cousins hum.

Sleeping in the tent is fun–
There’s room enough for toys.
We hear the bullfrogs from the pond
And lots of snoring noise.

The next day we go boating
And take a long hayride.
Aunts and uncles play croquet.
The cousins run and hide.

There’s laughing and there’s crying
And sometimes even fights,
But we always find a way
Of making wrong things right.

The uncles talk of all the things
They like to do the best.
The aunts tells stories one by one,
And Grandpa takes a rest.

We smell flowers from the garden,
Grass that’s had a trim,
Grandma’s bread and apple pie,
Sweet rolls by Uncle Jim.

We taste Aunt Flo’s cherry jam
And berries from the vine.
Ice cream we make and eat with cake
Will taste especially fine.

It feels so good to see them all–
Our family in one spot.
Some are different, some the same.
Some like to hug a lot!

Grandma has the trunk brought out
Of faded family clothes.
The cousins all dress up in them
And for the pictures pose.

But the most exciting thing
That’s special, just for me–
This is the year I’m old enough
To climb the family tree!

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