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Creating Memories

07/31/2008 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

It was Rosa Parks, the iconic figure of the Civil Rights Movement, who said, “Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” Hallmarks of healthy families are the positive memories that they intentionally create. It is never too late to start building great family memories, and the greatest gifts that we can pass on to our children are those cherished recollections of family experiences.

One thing is for certain – whether we like it or not – we create family memories, both good and bad. The challenge is making the investment, and having the commitment, to create a surplus of good memories. The things that tend to stick in our minds are not determined by whether they are spectacular or mundane, but by the level of which they touch our soul.
There hasn’t been another time in history when we have had more opportunity to bond, been more electronically connected, had more things going on in our lives, and at the same time, been more distant from those closest to us. It is impossible to build positive memories without taking time. For too long we have bought into the “quality time” myth. The ironic thing is, what makes time “quality” is its quantity.
One of the ways to build memories is to establish family traditions. Every year during our family vacation, we enjoy a “dad and kids camping extravaganza,” where we relish our time together under the stars, eating S’mores by the camp fire. The time spent with our family, whether it is a trip or in our own backyards, is simply invaluable and there should be no excuse not to make time for these family experiences.

Another way to build memories is to tell stories. Everyone loves a good story, and if you want to capture the attention of an audience (especially kids), tell a story or reminisce about your favorite memory. My father, who is in his 70s, recently told me a story about his life revealing things that I never knew about him. I was fascinated and at the end of his story I said, “Dad, your kids and your grandkids need to hear more stories of your life.”

There are times when our family will sit around the dinner table and tell stories about each other. A couple of the favorites are my son hitting me with an ax (I have the scar to prove it!), and my two-year-old daughter putting the new car in reverse and crashing it. Inevitably, the cries from around the table are “Tell a story about me! Tell a story about me!”

The window of time that we have to create lasting memories in our family is relatively small. If we are not careful, we will let the opportunities slip through our fingers like sand. As parents, it is our responsibility to make the sacrifices to build positive memories for our family to cherish.
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David is the lead pastor at Cold Springs Community Church in Placerville. He can be reached at david@coldspringschurch.net.

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