July 1

Mental Imprints

These days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation. ESTHER 9:28

Memories are what make each family unique. They give your marriage and family a mental imprint of shared laughter and reflections. As someone has said, "God gave us memories so that we could enjoy roses in January."

But there is an art to memory-making. Here are a few perspectives Barbara and I have gleaned over the years:

Memories are best made with loved ones. Sure, memories can be made with coworkers and church friends, but don't let others get all your best times. Your marriage and family is a ready-made unit for the rich production and harvest of memories. Plant your fields wide and deep with them.

Memories take time. Our best memories have usually been born out of extended time together. Don't expect them to be created in three-minute sound bites. Memories are made of varied adventures. Be creative. Do something different. If you can, travel together—especially on short-term mission trips.

Memories are both planned and unplanned. Memories are made through family traditions, such as summer vacations or an annual family Christmas tree cutting. But watch for the serendipitous memory. One special memory for us is the midwinter night when the power went off and we cooked supper in the fireplace. Don't lose your ability to be spontaneous and impulsive.

Memories should be celebrated. A memory isn't a memory if you don't revisit it and talk about it, look at pictures of it, laugh or cry about it. "Do you remember the time . . ." can be a joyful introduction to a family conversation. One of our favorite questions to revisit as a couple or as a family is, "If you could keep only one memory of all our years together, what would it be?"

So go ahead: Get out there and leave the unique imprint of memories in your family's life.

DISCUSS

What's your favorite ongoing family tradition? If you could keep only one memory of all your years together, what would it be?

PRAY

Ask the Lord God, the Creator of the heavens, to help you create and celebrate the unique mental imprints of memories for your family. 

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