When We Remember
 The coffee pot had been turned off overnight, so I stood and waited for the water to warm.
My mind wandered as I stood there in the darkness of the kitchen.
I glanced at the shelf beside me and saw many Willow Tree figurines that reminded me of Nick.
A mommy holding a little boy.

 A young boy grasping a golden heart.

Both gifts from friends after Nick passed away.

My eyes filled with unexpected tears this morning,
reflecting on Nick's life and how much I miss him.

Flashes of memories darted through my mind, and I remembered with vivid detail the joy and pain of those days fighting cancer.

Then I looked up and saw this figurine above those two -

I couldn't remember what she represented, pages unfurling out of her hand.
So I picked her up to look underneath for her title:


That's all it said.


Suddenly, I was overcome with emotion as I thought about Sunday school yesterday and how I had shared out loud about my fear of not doing this very thing enough.

When the Israelites made it safely to the Promised Land, 
God gave them very specific instructions,

Remember the whole way by which he has brought you these forty years through the desert so that he might, by humbling you, test you to see if you have it within you to keep his commandments or not. 

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.

As we studied these verses in Sunday school yesterday morning,
I reflected on my own wilderness experiences in life and how God has brought me through so much sadness, so much pain, so much heartache.

As I journey further from those painful memories,
I do not want to forget how God carried me.

I do not want to forget how I leaned on Him for every breath.

I do not want to forget walking through my house, crying as I read Scriptures back to God in prayer, clinging to His Word as my only source of Hope and Strength.

I do not want to forget that without Him I would have never survived SIDS, cancer, funerals of two of my precious children.

I want to remember the signs He sent along the way that kept me going,

the thumbs up cloud,
the phone calls just when I needed them,
the cards with just the right words for a particular need,
the flowers blooming when I felt everything around me was dying,
the baby bird that fell from its nest,
the pennies and hearts that still arrive just when I need them.

God was with me in the wilderness,
and He is with me today.

I never, ever want to reach a place of living on my own strength.
I never, ever want to journey so far from my past pain that I cannot remember just how dependent I am on His Word and His love to simply crawl out of bed and face another day.

The wilderness is behind me for this moment in my life, but I never want to reach a place of forgetting all that God has done for me and my family along the way.

His Word still carries me, and today I hope it carries you too.

Take time today to remember all God has done for you.
And say, "Thank you."


Blogger MARY KAREN PORTER said...

I needed this today. I miss Res so much and tears flow easily but I don't ever want to forget all God did for us and the memories he has given me. Stephanie sang "I Still Trust You Lord" in church yesterday and it made me think about all the bad times that he had brought me thru and that thru all the pain and loss that I still trust him and want to do his will. Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement.

Blogger MARY KAREN PORTER said...

*Rex* not Res

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tammy. You lift me up with the way you write about your personal relationship with God. I am so thankful I found your site many years ago when someone posted and asked for prayers for Nick. And your journey has been amazing to see how your dependence on God has brought you through. Such a blessing. And so thankful that He can help our aching hearts. I woke up weeping this morning as well. My mom will be gone one year on Easter Sunday and it feels just like yesterday as I sat with her for four days while she was leaving us. My blessings and prayers to you today.

Blogger Marla said...

You are so precious, Tammy! I thank God for giving you words, and I thank you for sharing them. Hugs!

Blogger Jen said...

I put a comment somewhere last night but seems not to be here. I wanted you to know how much I liked this post and also that every time I see a Willow figurine in a shop or home, I think of you and shoot up a little prayer. I hope to have some of these lovelies one day.

Blogger natalie said...

I love this post Dear Friend:)

Much love,


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