Since you now know (thanks to my last post) that our family is a bunch of competitive game-playing crazies, I might as well tell you about what we simply refer to as “the book”. It’s not enough that we thrive on beating each other, but we have to keep track of it. We don’t keep a record of every game we play — just those we feel most competitive about :)

I am the keeper of the book, and I make the marks. (Could that be a clue as to who is the most competitive?) The idea for keeping a book actually had its roots in our early card-playing days (30 years ago now!) with our long-time friends Matt and Ruth. Ruth kept that book — also a little spiral notebook. I guess you could say I learned my bookkeeping skills from her :)

To me, keeping a record of wins and losses is just part of the fun of playing games with family. We played Blokus for the first time with Kristin and Shawn during spring break, and when I wanted to start a page in the book for that game, Shawn thought I had lost my mind. After all, you don’t even play on teams in Blokus. He said we didn’t need to keep track of everything, but Kristin seemed to agree with me. Guess it’s easy to see who the blood relative is :) As it turned out, we caved in and didn’t keep records for Blokus. Good thing, too — I didn’t do that well on that game :)

Shawn’s right, though. There are some things we shouldn’t keep track of. You know, things like mistakes and offenses. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” None of us would probably be so blatant as to keep a book and mark down the times that someone offends or hurts us, but if we’re not careful to forgive, before we know it, we may be keeping a book in our hearts.

God shows us a better way. When we ask Him for forgiveness for our wrongs, our sins, He freely gives it and washes them away. Scripture tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 KJV) In fact, in Jeremiah 31:34b the Lord says, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” When God forgives, He graciously forgets. What a blessing!

Are we keeping track of some things we shouldn’t? Let’s be careful about the books we keep. Someone might even be learning bookkeeping skills from us.

*Photo by my husband Don


  1. Halelujah! God has wiped my “book” clean with the blood of Jesus. PTL!


  2. TO MY FAMILY: April Fool’s!! Hope I got you! :)

    (As an April Fool’s joke, I told my family to check out the blog for a hilarious comment left by someone in particular who I won’t name here :) Of course, when they get here, they’ll find my April Fool’s message instead :) )

  3. That is ridiculous :) That’s not as creative as your jokes in the past. I mean, people leave comments on your blog all the time and you told us to read a comment. I did because I always read the comments, and my mother gets a laugh out of it. Crazy. :)I don’t think I’ll count this one!!

  4. Kristin, I don’t know — I think it was pretty creative. Gotcha, didn’t I?!! :) You can bet I’m counting it! :)

  5. Yeah, i already knew what she was up to so i didn’t fall for it!!

  6. I think that a joke about a comment being or not being on the blog is not anywhere near a joke like the snake incident or whatever the old ones were :) I actually had a great one for you this morning, but I decided it was too mean to even joke about :)

  7. Kelli, you’re such a smarty-pants! :)

    Kristin, I have to be subtle with my April Fool’s Day jokes now that Shawn’s in the picture. Remember how he had you on guard against me all day last year on April Fool’s? With him on the job, I doubt I’ll ever be able to fool you with a snake story again! :)

  8. Ah, but Kelli still checked the blog today so obviously she wanted to see what the “comment” was! :)

  9. Kristin, in Kelli’s defense (since she may not check again), she called me first to inform me that she wasn’t falling for my “hilarious comment” story. I fessed up and told her she needed to check anyway to see the silly comments we were making today :) Thank YOU, though, for making my April Fool’s day fulfilling! :)

  10. Ok. I know I am a couple of days behind, but I was thinking about how much this particular post hurt me. I do keep my own book, but I keep a much bigger book on someone else who will remain nameless (family you know who). Then I see how many comments were made from other people, and I’m thinking there are going be some tips for me about closing the book, and it’s just a bunch of silliness. Obviously, I am the only one with book issues. Carolyn

  11. Carolyn, sorry you were looking for help and found all of our nonsense instead — that’s my fault because I am an April Fool’s nut :)

    I think closing a book hinges on forgiveness. I know I don’t have the same situation as you, but the thing that helps me to forgive — even when it’s very difficult — is just to remember that God has forgiven me. And that He has forgiven me time and time again. If He extends such mercy to me, how can I not extend it to someone else? That’s what helps me — plus just asking God to help me to forgive. It’s certainly not in our human nature to forgive — we need His help to do it. Hope this helps a little.

    Love & Prayers!

  12. Carolyn, something else came to mind… It also helps me to try to see the offender as Jesus sees him — through eyes of compassion, wanting him to come to repentance and right relationship to Him. He loved each of us enough to die on the cross for us…

    The Word of God is powerful. Try looking up the passages that deal with forgiveness. Again, hope this helps in some way.

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