Pastor's wife: Things to remember


When I was younger, Memorial Day was the holiday that truly marked the beginning of summer. I was oblivious to those who decorated graves, never wondering how the cemeteries were suddenly covered with brightly colored flowers. Decades passed. Now I understand the import of the holiday.

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor soldiers who died in battle or from wounds in battle. Now commonly known as “Decoration Day,” we remember other loved ones who have passed away.

Remembering can be good. My beloved and I went to a family reunion a few weeks ago. There was much reminiscing, laughing, and Rook-playing around the table as Reeds - young and old - gathered in Dayton Beach, Fla., to reconnect.

A picnic one day, and church on the beach the next morning were two special memories we will treasure in our hearts.

We took a day for him to show me his stomping grounds as a kid growing up in Apopka in the 70s. He has talked often about white sand, bike paths, a simple life.

His parents did not attend church but somehow came to send him and his brother to Lockhart Baptist Church on the church bus. (Thank you to church bus drivers everywhere!)

Both boys took change for the Sunday School offering but it never made it into the plate. They held on to their money, slipped out after Sunday School, and headed straight to the 7-Eleven across the street from the little church. After spending their offering money on snacks, they walked home through the orange groves.

I’d heard the story countless times. Seeing the church and 7-Eleven in person had me grinning ear to ear. I took a panoramic photo to show our kids.

As we made our way down Keystone Heights, my beloved actually got chills on his arms. It was all coming back. He had good memories of the time spent there.

This Memorial Day may not be a fun-filled day for you. If you don’t have good memories of the past, I am so sorry. I know it can be painful. But. Here are some good things for you to remember this holiday.

  1. Remember God loves you. (John 3:16 is the best Scripture for reference, but also Romans 5:8).
  2. Remember God sees you. (Genesis 16 tells the hard story of a slave girl who gave God the name “You are the God who sees.”)
  3. Remember God has a plan for you-still. No matter what has happened in the past. (Jeremiah 29:11 is a cornerstone in the life of a believer. Don’t just glance over the Scripture reference. Read it. Hang on to it. He has a legit personal plan just for you.)
  4. Remember He wants to have a relationship with you. (Zephaniah 3:17 is a beautiful representation of this truth. Picture yourself being held in His arms and Him singing over you. Mmmmm. So, so many times growing up I thought He just wanted to pinch me!)

There are definitely things to be learned AND forgotten about the past. Let’s not get bogged down by it. Isaiah 43:18-19 instruct us, “…do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” God is always doing a new thing. He loves a new beginning.

This Memorial Day, I hope you can remember the good, let go of the bad, and relish the love of our Heavenly Father. I pray that you will let Him do something new in your heart and life this summer!


Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at