Memories. They often escape me in the hurry of everyday life. When one comes rushing in, I claw at it, desperate to save it until later, only to realize that “later” has a way of erasing my best intentions.
As I watch my kids race through their childhood at speeds that shouldn’t be allowed, I fear it will only get worse. Memories left in the dust that I may never find again. Now I know all too well why my own mother takes so many pictures, and she gets to bask in the feeling of I-told-you-so.
As I have been begging God to slow the clock, God has been begging me to slow down. He has guided me to desire a more meaningful life, which has led to so many beautiful changes.
Less me, more Him.
Less stuff, more experiences.
Less career, more family.
Less doing, more observing.
It has been in the savoring of everyday moments that my memories unexpectedly started surfacing. Watching my children intently is like watching a reflection of my own childhood. They are carbon copies of my brother and me, from their physical features, to their exact age difference, to the way they wrestle. Through their laughs, tears, and goofy smiles I can literally feel my parents’ love for me, the words “Someday, when you have kids of your own, you’ll understand.” echoing in my heart.
It was this echo that led to the Memory Journal. I wanted to give my parents something more than the feeling of I-told-you-so, something to truly honor them. Something to represent the amazing gift of love. What greater gift have they given me than love passed on to my children? Perhaps I could give them the gift of knowing how much their love means. How it has been used well, duplicated, and passed on. The recognition of a job well done.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
~Exodus 20:12 (ESV)
I bought a journal and carried it with me everywhere. When those memories came rushing in, I stopped clawing and started writing, tying them down to the page before they could escape.
What my children were doing to trigger the memory.
Why it is important to me.
What I learned from it.
Little things my parents may have never noticed.
How it shapes my own parenting.
How it is shaping their grandchildren in this very moment in the very best ways.
I left empty pages at the end, ready to be filled with memories still in the making. It’s a living, breathing gift that can be added to, shared across generations, cherished by children I may never meet on earth. I hope those future reflections will be able to see themselves through our antics. I hope when they read it, they’ll realize they came from a foundation of love.
The Memory Journal made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me swell with love and appreciation. I hope and pray my parents felt honored when they read it. I hope I continue to be inspired by God through it – to slow down, to experience the love He has provided through my family, to tell them how amazing they are in the moment and every time the memory resurfaces.
You don’t have to go as far as a journal if that’s not your thing. But I encourage you to honor the people in your life that made you who you are today. Memories, like love, are meant to be shared. When a memory surfaces, grab it and send it to them, along with a note of why it’s special to you. It may brighten their day, and I promise it will brighten your life.
Connect with Missy Funderburk at www.thepath2eternity.com