The Value Of Memory-Keeping

There are a lot of things about being a mom that I didn't really anticipate before going into it.  That's not to say that I didn't have a proper appreciation for the role of mother, because I think I certainly did, but I don't think I understood just how many different jobs are encompassed within mothering.  I'm not just mom, I'm teacher, dinner-maker, hairstylist, tradition-keeper, snuggle-buddy, story narrator, Christmas-cookie-baker.

And one role, which I didn't consider the complete magnitude of, is that of memory-keeper.

Now that I'm a mom, I look back and remember the different ways my own mom helped to keep our memories.  I remember looking through baby photo albums of myself and my siblings.  I remember boxes of photos that she helped us organize into our own personal scrapbooks.  I remember sitting on the couch on a snowy day and watching a VHS tape full of family movies, and laughing hysterically with my siblings at all the same parts each time.  

In ways that a lot of people may not fully understand, this blog has been a major asset in my own family memory-keeping.  Would I have really written down my thoughts through all forty weeks of all five pregnancies without this space? Would I have recorded my babies' first years in such detail?  Would I remember what Derek and I got each other for our first Christmas as newlyweds?

I've written before about the ways blogging has changed over the years, and how I wish to have back those early days of carefree ramblings...and I think part of the reason I wish blogging hasn't changed so much is because those ramblings were actually memories.  The rambling was memory-keeping.  And there is a lot of value in that, even if it's not always pinnable.

I have never participated in 31 Days Of Writing, even though the challenge has gone around the blog world for years, but for some reason this year I had a real itch to join in.  Not the most likely year for me to feel that compulsion, is it?  For all I know, I may have a baby in October.  But last night, after wondering one last time if I should try this thing out, it came to me.  This October, I am going to attempt to write every day about memory-keeping.

I can't guarantee that every day of writing will make it onto this blog, because some of it may be done in a journal (and let's be honest, I probably won't be blogging on the weekend).  I can't guarantee that the pictures that go along with these posts will always make sense. Some posts may be practically useful, but many of them will just be small, some memory that stood out, something that my kids might enjoy reading someday, record-keeping (as in the case of my pregnancy and family updates, which will continue).  All things that are important to me, that I want to remember.

Because I'm a mom, and that makes me a memory-keeper (at least in my family, because none of the men in my family seem as concerned with memory-keeping as the women - just saying it like it is).  And I have to believe there is value in it, this memory-keeping, if only to the people in my life who matter to me the most.

Keeping our memories and telling our stories matters, because not only does it leave something of ourselves, as we are right now, behind for those we love; but it matters because it's not just our own stories we're telling.  When we have something to look back on, it's easier to see how our lives, and all the little details that comprise our lives, are really part of a grander story, one that God is weaving through our individual lives.  When I look back at old posts now, I'm reminded of His goodness, of how He worked through situations that I often wished would just go away, how He is working all things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  How He is working all things out for good in my life too, even when I can't see it.

So I hope you enjoy my month-long foray into old-fashioned memory-keeping blogging, or even better, that you might indulge in a little memory-keeping yourself.  It probably means more than you think.

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Kirstin said...

This is so good. I'm pinning to come back. I need to do a better job of memory keeping. My girls are now 22 and 18 and I don't want to forget the little things. I'm great at having memories in photos, but really need to write more. Looking forward to reading more.

Rachel said...

I think blogging has helped a lot with memory keeping for me, too, over the past few years! I'm drawn to journaling and scrapbooking and that sort of thing, but actual physical mementos are too hard to hold onto when you move internationally a little too often, so digital memory-keeping is good for me, though I still hold onto the paper journals that I can!

Inspired said...

Love this! Can't wait to read along.

Natalie@She Builds Her Home said...

So funny that we both decided to do every day in October! I love the memory keeping aspect you are doing! I need to be better about that. I love looking back on my old blog and seeing details from pregnancies or when the girls were babies that I know I would not have remembered otherwise.

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