One of my greatest struggles in life is my terrible memory. I am sure I am lacking some sort of brain cells because my memory serves me so poorly. I hardly recall incidents from my past that my siblings could describe in detail for you. The reality of it is that we all have a tendency to forget. We forget how God has demonstrated His persevering grace over our lives. This being said, I want to be very deliberate to record our family history so I can have reminders of God’s faithfulness to us throughout the years. Recording your family history is such a beautiful treasure. It is a gift that can be passed on to the next generation. It is a reminder of the goodness of God in our lives. Here are a few ideas we have started over the years to begin treasuring these memories more deliberately.
Birthday Letter Journal
As a child, my parents would write a special birthday letter to me every year. These letters have been treasured and re-read numerous times over the years. They have been a source of encouragement as well as treasured memories. I was the determined mother to record all the fun growth chart and progress reports of my little ones from their birth, but as more children have been added it has been very difficult to maintain. Over this last year I decided I needed to adapt this plan in order to make it more maintainable. So I now keep a simple journal for each of my children in which I record a special letter to them on the occasion of their birthday each year. Each birthday I write a letter highlighting all the progress from the previous year and how the Lord is growing and shaping them. I want it to be a letter that can encourage and bless them as the years go by. I want to be able to give each journal to my child to take with them when they leave our home.
Daily Family Journal
Recording fun sayings and daily developments has been a desire of mine for some time. I loved keeping a daily journal as a child but that is not so practical now with three little ones. I came across the idea of a One Line a Day Memory Journal. I love this concept of recording a simple one line highlight from each day of our lives and being able to track what takes places on that same day in years to come. Now that is doable. Another variety along these lines is the Postcard Calendar Journal.
Annual Memory Ornament
I stumbled across this idea on Pinterest of recording highlights from the year on an annual white/clear ornament. I love it! A simple way to look back over the years and remember special highlights of different events, vacations, progress report, etc. I used a permanent marker to record the events. You could do a family oriented version or a different ornament for each child highlighting the child’s accomplishments, milestones, silly things they said, and personal favorite’s from the year (book, food, movie).
Annual Photo Books
Scrapbooking has never been my thing. I’m just not that creative gal. But I do want to store our family photos in a easy viewable format. So I began making an annual photobook (pictured above). I’m a bit behind and have 2010 and 2011 to finish this year, but it is a fun way to treasure the photos in a book style attractive format without having to print individual pictures at all. I have used Blurb, Costco, or Shutterfly for these photobooks and have had great success with all of them. At the end of each photo book, we write a family report from the year answering the end of a year questionare.
I am so thankful for all the simple ways that we have for treasuring our family memories. I do not want to forget His unending love and faithfulness to us. I want to pass it on to the next generation so that God might be glorified through our testimony.
For further inspiration, check out Trina’s post on 24 Ways to Keep A Family Journal.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”. Lamentations 3:21-23