It starts with a paper and pen. But the end result can be the gift of a lasting legacy, generations will treasure.
Katie Shepard with Meaningful Moments shares ways to turn those journal notes into memories worth reading, and remembering.
Write What’s Important
Write about experiences that had an impact, reflect on the lesson learned. Writing what affected you is more meaningful that just telling a story. This young mom reflects on the great responsibility, wonder and joy that bringing home a new baby invites. Through journaling, she captured the moment; but the key is what she learned from experiencing that moment:
I’ve been the Mother of two girls for a week now. It’s so wonderful being their Mom; yet such a big responsibility at the same time. I hope I can live up to the standards I’ve set for myself and the standards all young children deserve in a Mother. Our new baby has brought so much love with her. How can someone so small have such profound effects? I want our family to feel like this all the time; united, loving, helping, and joyful.
Write with a Purpose
What is the motivation to writing? Writing with a goal or purpose keeps our attention focused, and the reader interested. This father clearly states what he wants his children to learn, and how through example and reflection, he’s going to be sure they learn it. Sometimes we just have to spell it out plain and simple:
This is what I intend to write – eternal principles I have found to be true and how best to apply them. My hope is that my children will read this, see through my living example, and thereby apply in their own lives the principles needed to guide them through the quick sands of their struggling generation.
Write to Motivate
Offer hope and credible solutions to help posterity learn valuable lessons. Choose an experience where you now know something because of that experience. What expertise and solution for life can you offer someone reading? This mother took one of the lessons her father instilled in her, and is now teaching it to her children:
We recently built a new fence in the back yard. The kids loved getting in the middle and helping. They each think it’s “their fence” and are proud of their work. My father taught me to work hard, and to enjoy the pride that comes with accomplishing hard things, and I pass this on to my children. If you want to accomplish something worthwhile, you need to work hard for it.
Write with Love
When love is the undertone, people will listen and trust what you say. As every mother knows, children often teach us more than we teach them. This friend had just witnessed the birth of her nephew, born with Down’s syndrome. She expresses her love for him and all he taught her in just a few short weeks:
So tonight, I sit here grateful beyond words for the birth of my sweet nephew. He has taught me more in the short 6 weeks of his life than I ever could have learned in a lifetime without him. I’ve learned that prayers really are answered. I’ve learned that my family is the most important and treasured of all my possessions. I’ve learned that the most important thing I can do is to nurture and cultivate my relationships with my loved ones, because tragic things happen every day. They need to know I love them. I think one day I’ll look back and wonder when my life changed forever. I’d say it was the day Baby Jack was born. Welcome to our family, sweet baby.
Katie Shepherd is passionate about memory preservation. She began her career as a personal historian with the focus of helping others document their lives. As the owner of Meaningful Moments LLC, Katie believes that whether our stories are funny, silly, embarrassing or tragic, they create who we are and give us strength to move forward. She also believes that our stories hold the potential to change lives when shared and passed on. Katie is a wife, mother of 3, community worker and friend. To learn more visit: www.mymeaningfulmoments.com.