Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Well, not everyone needs a blog, but in my opinion, you need something.  Something to record more of yourself and snapshots of your family.  Something that goes beyond the pictures to tell the stories, good and bad.  Something to record God's faithfulness in your life in the amazing moments and the hard moments, many of which are often intermingled together.

Obviously, blogging is that vehicle for me.  I like writing and taking pictures, so it is a natural fit.  I want my girls (and someday our boys) to see the stories that helped to shape their parents - to see the ways that God was working in us at a time when they are too young to understand it.  Also, because of the ongoing nature of blogging, it is a fresh perspective.  Often when I talk to my mom and ask her questions about what it was like to parent young children, the details are fuzzy and many times rose-tinted.  With our family's blog, it is unlikely my children will get fuzz in the future - it is much more likely that they will have way more than they could ever want to delve into.

I lost my dad 9.5 years ago, which probably makes me even more passionate about this.  I can't ask him  questions anymore and get his input.  He left so many wonderful memories for me on earth, and for that I am forever grateful.  My mom came across a letter of his a while back that was addressed to his father and apparently never sent.


It was written in September of 1995, when I was 14 years old.  It is a treasure on many fronts.  One of them is seeing his hand-writing again.  I have letters and cards from my dad, and I always love seeing his really beautiful penmanship.  What is really fun about this particular letter is that it is a snapshot of my family at that time.  He tells a bit about each of us kids and what my mom is up to, and it shows me a little more of that world from his perspective and with his humor.  And, because it is to someone else, there is a level of frankness that I would probably be able to get from him now, if he were still alive, but I wouldn't have gotten from him then.

In the paragraph about me, he describes how I was doing in school at the time and some conversations they were having with my teachers.  He concludes with my favorite line - "She continues to enjoy the challenges and apart from bursts of laziness, is really wonderful to live with."  (emphasis mine)  How funny is that?  And how true it probably was and still can be.  Those bursts of laziness definitely get in the way when I need to get things done and am lacking motivation.

After having a parent die young-ish and knowing that both of my parents experienced the same thing, it  is something that sticks in the back of my mind.  I fully know that God already has my days numbered, and that nothing about my time on earth will surprise him.  And, I don't live in fear, thinking that I may drop dead or contract cancer at any moment (though my cancer chances are alarmingly high genetically speaking).  However, I want to be able to record what I can, while I can, and right now, this blog is the best way I am able to do it.

So, think about it.  Maybe write in a blog once a month.  Or even once a quarter.  I know blogging is not for everyone, but I would encourage you to do something and find something that works for you.  I bet your children will thank you for it someday, and maybe you will find it cathartic.  Sometimes I get preoccupied with wanting other people to read my blog and other things that really don't matter, but when it comes down to it, I am so glad to write even if only for my children to be able to see more of my heart someday.  To see the love I have for them and their father and ultimately, for our heavenly Father.  It's a gift I can give their future selves, whether I am with them or not.



Valerie B. said...

This is a great post, Carol. I remember your dad and while my memories of him are mostly at the Welcome Center at the old Westlink building, I do remember how kind, helpful, generous, wise and joyful he was. Even though I only knew him from afar really, I know he was a family man and good leader for the church and for your family - I mean you four are perfect examples of that! He was an amazing witness as he battled his cancer (even to a middle school/early high school aged girl). I'm glad you were able to come across a tangible memory of him.

Thanks for using your blog to glorify the Lord and encourage those of us who read it.

Elizabeth said...

Carol, you may have convinced me to start blogging again:) Doing it partly for my kids' benefit puts an entirely new spin on it for me.

Morgan Smith said...

this is the sweetest post. that handwriting really is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I actually remember your Dad's penmenship. I remember sitting in ya'lls kitchen and him letting us use his calligraphy pens. I tried to mimic those perfect curlicue letters and hold the pen in that awkward angle. I'm still not a very accomplished calligrapher, but it was fun to try.

Great post. Hugs -Carmen

Lorna said...

Did you know there is a website where you can have your blog turned into a book? THIS blog is definitely book-worthy!

My grandpa died when I was a child but he left me his old Bible. It is very worn and the margins are filled with notes and underlined passages. There are sermon notes tucked in the pages, some of which contain scribbled notes between my grandparents about the afternoon's plans or just saying "I love you." It is so neat to have that tangible gift to remember him by.