The Gift of the Written Word

Contributing Writer: Rebecca Dix, Inheritance of Hope Assistant Events Director

Words are simply the avenue used to share our thoughts with the world. Written words are lasting. Putting thoughts, ideas, and stories down on paper ensures that our children will always have some of our words. A small note in a lunch box can brighten a child’s day. Sharing a funny story about the family allows our children to see things through our eyes. Favorite Bible verses written down can help our children see what was important to us.  There is something sweet about seeing the words or handwriting of someone you love.  

In Nichole Nordeman’s song titled “Legacy”, she says “I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me?” Recording our dreams will allow children to always have our thoughts to remember and reflect on as they grow. Another line from that song is “We all need an 'atta boy' or 'atta girl'.” Encouragement is always helpful, especially from parents. Having encouraging words from a parent can be that much more inspiring!

Memories from a parent’s perspective can provide extra insight and meaning to children later in life. Any glimpse of our thoughts and perspectives can continue to impact our child’s life whether we are around to see the impact or not. Memories can fade over time, but a written remembrance can keep the memories alive and vibrant.  
Written words can be a lasting legacy and a tangible connection with those we love. Inheritance of Hope encourages all parents to start the practice of writing things down. In fact, before families attend one of our Legacy Retreats®, parents are asked to write a note to each of their children. This note is simply an act of love capturing a snapshot of their thoughts, feelings, and love at that specific moment in time.

Looking for some creative things to write about? 
Inheritance of Hope’s Legacy Collection includes ideas for crafts, projects, and other unique collections that you can gift to those you love. You can find the complete collection in our library. Here are some ideas for creative written word projects.
  • Notes or letters to family members
    • Your family would be tremendously blessed to have just one heartfelt letter for each of them, in your handwriting, if possible. Download our “Love Notes” as a way to get started.
  • Birthday cards for milestone birthdays
  • Holidays
    • You can tuck away cards for different holidays until they come into season. For example, a Valentine card noting some of the things you love about a person is timeless! Making a small photo gift would be a great way to include a favorite picture in the form of a little gift to wrap up with a card for your loved ones.
  • Christmas
    • As I put away Christmas decorations I felt very compelled to write a letter to my family. Serving families with IoH and teaching about being intentional really inspires me to put into action those things that I am encouraging others to do. I fully intend to be around next Christmas and many more after, but I love the peace that comes with putting pen to paper and sharing thoughts, feelings, and maybe a little wisdom gleaned from this specific season of life. I don't know if I will open the letter and read it next year or if I will just keep it tucked away with the ornaments every year and maybe add a new one each year. It is exhilarating to have it stored away with my ornaments like a time capsule for the future.  –Jill Thompson
  • Favorite children’s book
    • Have a memory of reading a book with your child? Write down that memory on the inside cover of the book. Another idea is to record yourself reading your favorite books so that your child will always be able to have you read them a bedtime story!
  • Journal
    • Writing in a journal is something I have always very much wanted to do but have found very difficult to keep up with. If you are a more motivated writer, I think keeping a journal for each of your children would be a very personal and powerful gift. You may share memories from ordinary days with that child, or you might share deeper thoughts and encouragement for that child. You can find beautiful journals with Scripture age that are personalized with your child’s name. If you would prefer something different, there are many lovely journals on the market; or, remember, your child would love something written on a napkin.  –Kristen Milligan
Hear Inheritance of Hope's  Volunteer and Family Legacy Director, Jill Thompson, share more journaling ideas to motivate you as you write to your loved ones.