This picture hangs in my home by an artist I adore, Liz Lemon Swindle. I have several pieces of her work but this particular painting hangs above the fireplace in the favorite room of my home, my library. It defines so beautifully what brings me happiness… time to sit, 😉 reflect and write down important things in my life. I cherish knowledge, whether through the eyes of others historically documented or through my ancestors writings. Reading of their struggles and successes places me right there with them. I love my Mother’s journals and enjoy sharing her knowledge and wisdom with my children. Life goes quickly so it’s important to document those things that have brought us great joy and learning. There are other ways you can document moments in your life as well.
I was recently helping a friend put her Christmas decorations away. (OK we were both a little late taking our trees down. 🤣) and I noticed how beautiful one particular ornament on her tree was. She explained that each ornament was a memory. There was an ambulance her daughter gave her when she had a heart problem, a mailbox when her sons were away and they would write, a cute little cottage with “choose adoption” written on it because she is adopted and so many more! I noticed too, as we put them away each one had a little note inside their individual box stating which family member gave the ornament to her, the year she received it and then personal message for each one. Touched by this I asked how this tradition began, she became very emotional. She said, when her mom passed away a dear friend came by and gave her the very first of these Christmas ornaments for her tree. She said to her “instead of flowers I wanted to give you something that will last beyond the funeral, something that will provide a lasting memory every year for you. Since your mother loved Christmas this seemed perfect!” She said, “ever since my family has giving me one or two ornaments each year”, now my tree is filled with beautiful memories! ♥️ Writing down the memories, which can be lost so quickly, insures a wealth of knowledge and history for our families.
After I left her home I wondered how I could use that in my life. Isn’t remembering much bigger than just chronicling life like a grocery list? I researched a bit (ya... love that too 😉) and found a wonderful talk about what to “REALLY” remember.
Henry B. Eyring said, “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” Sometimes our days become a blur and it becomes hard to “remember what God has done in my life.” When we take the time to truly remember, we can see how God hears our prayers and answers them. Then we feel gratitude knowing we matter, that we are important and what we do matters to God. I feel that when we know we are loved and cared for by God it will change us.
My friend found her birth family and discovered she was the only child out of 8 placed for adoption. Instead of feeling abandoned she felt peace knowing God knew exactly where “in the vineyard” He had placed her. She too kept journals and shared with me that looking back through their pages she could see how God’s hand had been guiding her throughout her life. Instead of feeling abandoned she realized she matter to God and her life has been a part of His divine plan. “There are no accidents,” she told me.
At the end of the day, I try to always take a moment to reflect upon the subtle ways God has constantly worked wonders and blessed my life... then... I write them down! 📔
How do you keep memories?