Welcome to our third and final post in the Family REMEMBERERS series.
It’s a big job, our job – being the family rememberers, and one we need to take seriously.
To carry out our role well, we need to know WHAT to remember and WHY it’s important. Then most of us (especially if we’re just starting out on our storytelling journey) could use some creative ideas. Now we’re ready! Almost!!
Let’s look at one final thought before wrapping up our series.
Consider the following 7 tips for being the family rememberers.
Practical Tips for Family Rememberers
1. Incorporate Your Handwriting
Whether it’s journal entries, margin notes in a personalized Bible, or family recipes, be sure to handwrite portions of your story. In years to come, your family will want to have something written by your own hand. You may be concerned about imperfections, but your family won’t give it a thought. On the contrary, they’re sure to treasure a little piece of you.
2. Use Your Own Voice
This is not the time to be stuffy or formal. Nor is it the time to worry about the conventions of writing. Instead, do your best to let your written words reflect the way you speak. If this is a struggle, try speaking your thoughts out loud before you write them down until writing with your authentic voice becomes more natural.
3. Include Details
When telling stories to your grandchildren, include as many pertinent details as possible. While we don’t want our stories so replete with details that they bore our grandchildren to tears, we do want to take care to include the special little details that will help them more easily picture the person or event our story is about.
4. Take Advantage of Triggers
Physical items can be used to help bring stories to mind. Photos albums, keepsakes, clothing, and other items can trigger memories for family history. Spiritual markers, prayer journals, and writing prompts aid recall of your own story and God’s work in it.
5. Prepare Ahead
Storytelling is important to God. Don’t leave something of such magnitude to last-minute instant recall. Be prepared to share your God-stories. Brainstorm, let your ideas percolate, pray about the stories you’ll tell and how best to tell them. You might even want to have a few stories practiced, polished, and ready to go.
6. Enlist the Help of Others
What’s that old saying? “Two heads are better than one?” Round out your memories of a person or event by tapping into the memories of your relatives and friends.
7. Create an Online Archive
Collecting and keeping the “stuff” of your stories can be challenging. To make it a little easier, consider saving your photos, documents, and other memorabilia online. Make a folder of family memories or workings of God in Dropbox or Google Drive and then share them with your family. Or create a Facebook Group for your family members and invite them to join.
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—” Deuteronomy 4:9