As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
1 Peter 4:10 ESV
We met at Cuppers. After the presentation over lattes, we talked about family. That’s when I brought up memoirs and how a well-thought out memoir or journal could be a legacy of faith she could leave behind for her family. Unlike those Hallmark memory books with its dry and easy questions, a journal or memoir requires the writer to share emotions, details, and thoughts. An example of a shared faith legacy can be found in history.
The Real George Washington by National Center for Constitutional Studies (Reprint edition December 1, 1991) explored George Washington’s life through his journals, others’ diaries, and what his soldiers wrote about him in their letters home. It gave a testimony of George Washington’s prayer life without sketching a perfect picture of him. When I closed the last page of this 928-page book, my thought was, “What a gift to future generations!” However, people who write personal journal and memoirs should be urged to read writing books to harness the power of story (recommended even for non-fiction: Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction).
While going through the process to become a WorldVenture missionary, I worked twice a month at a care center for Senior Adults. I taught them how to write down their memories using fictional techniques–hook, dialogue, and description. The goal was to get beyond easy, uninteresting questions to their thoughts, emotions, and actions. The stories were not always positive, but it’s those stories that can help someone down the road make better decisions and understand the unanswered whys and their family history beyond the family tree. It’s also a great way to pass on your faith. Like George Washington, the next generation in your family can read about your prayer and faith life.
This is why my coffee meet ups are always lifted up in prayer. I come with the hope of support and the eagerness to bless the person I am to meet in some way. The conversations nearly always go beyond my presentation.