Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Writing for your children's sake

Just like most young first-time mothers, my mom dutifully recorded all my firsts in a delicate blue baby book etched with tiny pink flowers. She recalculated the story of my birth and jotted down the price of a gallon of milk and what day I first waved bye-bye. I love my baby book and I am so glad to have one, but there is so much more we as mothers can share with our children.

Wouldn't you love to know how your mother felt on that day when her toddlers were fighting, the bills were going unpaid, and the roof was leaking? Wouldn't you love to read your grandmother's feelings when she first met your grandfather? How she felt and the hopes and fears she felt for their future. Wouldn't it be amazing to have your father's retelling of his feelings when he first saw each of his children, or how he felt when he gave you a blessing.

This is the purpose of journaling. Not only do we benefit from being able to look back and understand lessons learned, trials overcome. But the benefit to our posterity is priceless. Many people think their story is not important, so there is no need to write it down. I think it is in the mundane details of every day life that we can learn so much from our ancestors.

The cool thing about the technology age is we now have countless ways to journal.

1. Good ol' pen and paper. There is something to be said about seeing a person's handwriting. Plus, you can take it anywhere.
2. Computer journaling. You are already on your computer anyway, why not spend 20 minutes a week writing in a word processing program? Be sure to print it off and back it up occasionally. You can write updates on the family, your feelings and testimonies, or even just pick a question and write the answer, such as: what has been the biggest blessing from being a mother, what is your favorite date you've had, or who do you wish you were more like?
3. Blogging. If you have a family blog, you are journaling! Who knew it could be so fun? This makes it easy because you have a running journal and scrapbook all in one. Print it yearly (this can be done online for under$50.) and you have an annual journal full of all the important happenings of your fam.

The point isn't how you do it. The point is just that you do. I challenge you all to think about a method of journaling that would work well for you and go for it. No matter how boring you think it is, I am sure your children would love to read it some day.

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