This is the story of something lost, something found and something to remember:
If you were to walk into our living room when we first married you would have seen a bookshelf with the bottom shelves full of think heavy scrapbooks. I had scrapbooked my whole life. I'm not kidding. From my earliest baby photos that I talked my mom into letting me have, on through grade school and high school and college. I had scrapbooked it all. I LOVE scrapbooking!
When we moved to Mexico as missionaries I lovingly packed those big heavy 12x12x3 inch fat scrapbooks into tubs, and all of the papers and stickers and stamps and scissors and supplies into more tubs and we carted them across the country with us. Memories, and papers, and photo prints, and pretties – and I kept scrapbooking. I made one for our wedding, and one for each year after that.
When the kids were born, I kept at it. Oh it was fun! They each had their own scrapbook for every year of their life (to take with them when they marry), plus the family one, that Hero and I will keep forever!
Then we moved again to the other side of Mexico, only this time we couldn't cart tubs of things with us. The tubs of supplies we sold or gave away to friends who appreciate the delight of such things, and the tubs full of scrapbooks went into storage at my parents' house while we packed a few suitcases with the most necessary of items and moved (by plane) to Campeche.
I can't tell you the sadness I felt at leaving all of those scrapbooks behind (not to mention the rest of our book library!) I felt like I had lost a part of me. Literally packed it up, and left it behind.
But then I found Shutterfly!
With the Shutterfly website, I could upload my photos digitally and add them to their beautifully designed and themed templates, add text and embellishments if I wanted to and save my project until they ran a sale. Then I could order my book, and ship it to the next person scheduled to fly down for a visit. When I got it, I could add more details with handwritten comments, memorabilia, and 3-D embellishments, stickers, etc.
And so, for the last four years or so, I have been doing two Memory books per year for our family, each one chronicling six months of our lives. They are much smaller and thinner now, but once again we have them proudly displayed in our living room.
Something to Remember
It's not all of the old history and memories. And it's not one per kid, but it has been an incredibly meaningful solution for our family for the present. It thrills my heart to walk into the room and see my children looking through those books together, talking and laughing about their memories. Or to see them showing off pictures of grandparents and cousins to their friends who come to play. And for my husband and I, it continues to be a way to physically chronicle the Lord's leading and blessing in our lives.
In Joshua 4, Joshua has the Children of Israel make a memorial of stones so that when their children ask them what it means, they will have a chance to explain the miraculous salvation and provision and goodness of the Lord, He says:
That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever (vs. 24).
Our family scrapbooks are one of the ways we teach our children, and hopefully even our grandchildren (some day) what the Lord has done for his people, that he is mighty and that he is to be revered. Because, when we know what he has done for others it gives us hope and anticipation and desire to see him work in our own present and future. Our family scrapbooks are our memorial of stones.
If you are interested in trying out Shutterfly they are having a Christmas in July sale, 40% off all of their products through Tuesday July 29, 2014. Click here and be sure to use the code MERRYJULY when you check out to get the discount.
How do you chronicle your family's memories? Do you do something besides scrapbooking? I'd love to hear about it.