An altar on earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings and your sheep and oxen. In everyplace were I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. Exodus 20:24
It was our last walk on the beach.
The pink sun glittered down on white sand as our ten feet marked their way across the Destin beach. Our family kicked off summer on these Florida shores - seven summer days of castles, cannonballs, and snow cones, each day a celebration of a school year complete.
Now, at sunset, the boys chased tiny crabs and gathered shells along the water line. Each shell unique with color, texture, and broken edges.
"Let's stop here and sit a minute,” my husband said, motioning our family away from the water.
We sat kumbaya-ed in a circle - bringing our shells to the center and admiring our finds.
"Let's think back on our week," Brent said. "It's our last night here and we've made some special memories the past few days. Who wants to go first?"
In unison, the boys shout, “Me!" - their voices fighting on top of one another. Listing all of their favorite memories. Putt-putt! Ice cream! The swimming pool! Our Luau! Pizza! The boardwalk! The boogie board! The bungee!
On and on they went. Recalling details both big and small. Each memory framing a family vacation well-spent.
Once their list was complete, my husband chimed in. "Back in the Old Testament, before God's people built a tabernacle, did you know that the patriarchs would build altars out of stones...an altar to worship and remember. They did this to recall the Lord's faithfulness in that particular place. What if tonight, we gather all of the shells you have collected and make a seashell altar? God has been faithful in this place to us. He has brought us to this place for three years. We've made lots of fun memories and listed many things."
"Without God's provision and blessing, we would have nothing to recall." <<Click to Tweet
So away they went. My three sons working together, creating a tiny seashell sanctuary.
Now with a little altar in place, Brent led us in a time of prayer. Each of my little boys talking to God, thanking Him for his goodness. Thanking Him for the pizza and pool. Thanking Him for the ice cream and luau. Thanking Him for the bungee and boogie board. All things, every gift, each blessing from Him. In prayer we remembered. In prayer we worshiped.
But now, August has come - the Saturday of Summer.
Beach towels have now been replaced with book bags. Sunscreen no longer the daily staple as it once was. We now anticipate Fall and football and warm bowls of chili. But before we do, let us stop and wrap up this abundant summer with an altar of remembrance.
Don't feel like you have to build an actual altar (while you most certainly can), but gather your own precious stones together (i.e., your children) and make a list your best summer memories. Talk over dinner, or go for a walk with a friend recalling God's faithfulness this past summer. Sit with a coffee reminiscing on the couch with your husband. Jot down a few memories in a journal - just you and Jesus.
However you choose, give your offering of praise, recall God's faithfulness. Worship and remember before the sun sets on this abundant summer.
We would be honored to worship alongside you today. We would love for you to offer thanksgiving in the comments below.
Becky lives in Tennessee with her husband Brent and three football-crazed, little boys. She is a writer/speaker with an insatiable desire to ignite passion for Christ in the hearts of her audience. She invites you for morning coffee over at her blog, The Word of God and a Cup of Joe where she pours out her heart and seeks a life of overflow.