Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What to Use

When planning out your legacy messages you will need to decide how you want to pass these messages along to your children. You might decide you want to create a scrapbook all about you and your life. You can add more messages by creating pocket pages that allow you to add more notes. If you do not want to go the scrapbook route, you could use a traditional photo album and create a little legacy book by adding favorite pictures of you alone, growing up, and of you and your family/children together, plus add notes/letters down into the picture pockets too. If you want your notes for all to see then you do not have to tuck them down in, but if you want to keep them private you can fold them up and just put them down inside the pockets.

Another avenue would be to purchase a nice, creative, 3 ring binder that represents you and add your own photo pockets and note pockets in the order you want them in.

Some people have gone the digital route through their blogs and online digital scrapbooks to create things that will allow their children to know all about them.

I think all of these ways are great, but my most favorite route (for me) is the album. I know my children would appreciate hand written notes from me, so I want to pass along to them things that I write along with physical pictures with little notes from me on them. I feel like those are so much more precious than things they can see and read on a screen. And, they can touch the paper and pictures I once touched and held dear.

There are a number of ways you can pass on your legacy, your heart, to your family. The most important thing to do is decide you are going to do it, no matter how you are going to do it!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Things to Ponder

When beginning a legacy journal or album, you first have to ask yourself some questions.
1) What do I want my kids to know about me?
2) What kind of legacy do I want to pass on, how would I want to be remembered?

You do not have to die to pass on a legacy. When your kids move on and move out, what will they take with them that came from you? What did you teach them while you had them in your life every day? It's never too late to start, even if they are already out of the house, always remember that.

I am living proof that I would give anything to sit down and have a conversation with my mother and find out what was important to her and how she lived her life, and what she would want me to "get" from her for my own life.

When I sat down many years ago to ask myself those same questions, this is the list of topics I came up with: (Today I will share the list, and then each post I write I will concentrate on each one.)

* Introduction: Tell why and what you are doing
* Dreams
* Favorite Things
* Making a Difference
* My Challenges Through Life
* My Childhood
* School Stories
* Friends
* What I'm Proud Of
* What I'm NOT Proud Of
* Love Notes (to them)
* Our Love, Mom and Dad
* Motherhood
* My American Dream
* Inspiring Verses, Quotes, Books, and People
* My Prayers for You
* Adoption
* Purpose
* Where Did You Get that Personality?
* Notes on Pictures/Favorite Pictures of You
* Things I Want to Tell You
* I Am Proud of You
* I Love Being with You; Things we like to do together
* Thoughts at Different Ages
* My 2 Cents

Things to keep in mind when creating a legacy journal or album:

*Remember your loved ones want to know even the hard stuff about life, not all of the great things. If you only share the great things from your life, then they will think you never had any problems, that you must have been pretty perfect. Life is full of mess-ups and dissapointments. Don't forget to talk about those and how you got through them, and what you learned from them.

* A legacy journal is NOT something to share your anger in toward your loved one. It is not a place to vent and put them down. It is a place to share your heart with your child.

When I was in college I gave a few important people in my life a journal to write things to me in. Things they wanted me to know, things that would be useful for me in my life. As a young adult I found one of the journals by accident. This person was mad at me for a decision I made and shared with me the dissapointment she felt toward me because of the decision. This was not an appropriate entry, it was a venting that should have never been written to me. From that experience I made the decision to never vent to my children about the choices they make in life. This is not the purpose of a legacy journal. The fastest way to get your kids to stop reading it is to write to them about how they are acting. Instead, tell them all the things that make you a proud mother to them.

I will pray for you and your message! If you ever feel like you do not have anything to say to your kids, nothing gets you in the mood to reflect and write like music. Try listening to a legacy song. You can hear it here:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What is important?

This past Christmas Eve my brother received a baby book that my Aunt recently found. No one had known this baby book existed. My mother had written in a baby book for my brother all of his first year's milestones. Although I felt kind of sad for a moment when he recieved the book, as I looked through it I realized that even if it was my baby book it wasn't anything I really even would want to really know. It didn't tell me anything about my mother except that she had really great hand writing! Even though it's neat to read things about ourselves as babies, and that we could use that information to compare ourselves to our own babies, it wasn't anything truly about my mother as a person.

When I was writing my book and creating my own legacy album for my boys back in 2003, I had to stop and think about what I would truly want to know about my own mother in order to create an album for my own children.

8 years later I don't get hung up on the whole "album" thing. Through this blog I will post ways you can leave your legacy messages to your own children. For now I have purchased a journal for each child. I write them "letters" or messages I feel on my heart in their own personal journal they will receive one day, when the time is right.

Here is a list of what I wish I knew about my own mother and what I believe my own kids would someday want to know about me:

(I will post these tomorrow, so check back!)

Welcome to my Legacy Blog!

Published Book 2004:

Many years ago I taught classes to mothers with a message of how to pass on our legacies to our children. I took a long break from this to raise my kids and begin my teaching career. I am ready to begin these messages again as God will direct.

I originally taught classes on how to scrapbook your legacy messages, but my focus will be more on the messages I try to pass on to my own children.

I am passionate about this message because I have grieved over not having anything left to me from my own mother who passed away when she was only 32 years old. I was only 8 so I do not remember a whole lot about her.  I would give anything to have hand written journals or messages from her. I do however have newspaper clippings written about her because even though she was young and ill with cancer, she thought of other people more than herself. She lived to help others during a time when she could hardly function, and did not have much herself. She use to deliver "old" food that stores would throw out to people who needed it. This was during a time when families were struggling from the long Caterpillar lay offs in the 1980's.  Anyway, since I did not have her stories and experiences to learn from during childhood and young adult years, it has motivated me to create legacy messages of my own for my children. We do not have to be dead for our children to learn from our stories and lives, and there will come a day when they want to hear what we have to say and how we handled things in our own lives. For when they are ready to read or hear them, I will write them and put them away. And, they will learn so much from us just from how we choose to live our daily lives.

I have met so many ladies over the years that have truly enjoyed learning the simple ways to create legacy albums and remember that they have important stories to tell their own children and families. We all need to be reminded that we are important and that even if our children are not old enough to receive our messages now, they will someday want to know all about us. I was too young to even think about what I would want to know about my mother or even realize she was going to die, it would have been nice to have someone think about creating something or write her stories down for her, knowing that someday I would want to know them.

I have also come into contact with people that have needed to get these legacy messages done because unfortunately they did not have much time left on this earth, or knew someone that didn't. I cannot even tell you how inspired I have been from all of these stories and women.  They are what allows me to know that the legacy message I have been given is important.