I received this journal as a shower gift at some point, and before Avery was born, I decided to make it into a journal for her. I began writing letters to Avery while she was still in my tummy. I told her about her birth, I documented some of her milestones. I wrote in it a lot more often as a baby because her milestones were so many, but now, I write in it at least 6 times per year, especially after holidays or her birthday. My last entry I wrote my testimony and how I came to know the Lord, and not just when I got baptized but how I went away and came back to Him. My plan is to tell her stories of my life like how her dad and I met or things that happened to me in school. I want her to have something in my handwriting that she can read and come back to when she needs help or guidance or comfort.
Doing estate sales, I find a lot of treasures, and a lot of those things that are valued most are items that have handwriting and that document something historical, either in the family or in the kids' lives. I don't normally fear many things in society or the future, but I have a genuine fear for our generation and those that come after us, and that fear is that our kids will having nothing to keep that has our handwriting in it. Nothing of substance, anyway. We put our feelings on Facebook and on blogs, texts or emails, but I'm afraid we don't spend time writing things down for our kids to keep. There is just something very personal about reading something someone actually wrote with a pen and paper. The other thing I think parents don't put a lot of value in is sharing our stories with our kids. We don't share our struggles, our hopes and dreams. Our kids grow up without perspective that while their parents seem to have it "all together," there were things that happened before they were born, obstacles that had to be overcome, faith that had to grow over a period of time. In the Old Testament, the Lord required the stories of people be passed down to the next generation, so that the story of the Lord wouldn't be forgotten, and if parents didn't do it, the kids would never learn. If we don't do it, how will they know?
I encourage and challenge all parents to start doing this and to leave a legacy to your kids, one that they can keep and read throughout their lives.