Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Family History for Busy Parents–4 Easy Steps

Ever since I heard the topic for this month's blog link up, the excitement to write has been hard to contain.  I love this topic! Why, you ask?  Because I AM a BUSY--scratch that--an EXTREMELY BUSY mom; and I still find time for Family History. Why, you ask again?  Because I make it a priority! I make it a priority because I’ve experienced the difference it can make in my life and those I share it with.

Genealogy and Family History Work has long been thought of as a hobby for OLD PEOPLE: “another season of life,” “when I’m less busy,” are what I often hear when talking with my peers. BUT to them I ask,

Children ImitateWhy should the “old people” get to have all the fun?!!

Besides, if I wait until I’m older, all the people who have the precious memories I can glean from will be gone!  I’d argue that I’m at the PERFECT age! With the crazy advances in technology that happen almost daily, which I was raised with, the absurd amount of records becoming available each month, and with 3 perfect little imitators at my ankles, learning & absorbing everything I can feed them, how can I afford to not start now??

How can YOU afford to not start now?

We need these stories, we need to know these people, and your children need to know them.

So toss off your past perceptions and prepare to introduce something into your life that will radically improve your world! And surprisingly, NOT make you more busy.

Step 1 – LET GO OF all your preconceived notions about family history or genealogy work. Open up your mind to possibility.
I’ll expand… family defined
History defined
Taking into account the definitions of both of these words & considering now the following, (one of my favorite quotes):
“Family history is more than genealogy, rules, names, dates, and places. It is more than a focus on the past. Family history also includes the present as we create our own history. It includes the future as we shape future history through our descendants. A young mother, for example, sharing her family stories and pictures with her children is doing family history work.” –Alan F Packer

Step 2 – Take a quick look at your daily life.  Where do you spend your down time.  Don’t tell me you don’t have any, we all have some unwind time…playing games, watching television, pinning on Pinterest, stalking peeps on social media; what’s your vice?

Okay, NO, I’m not going to ask you to give it up.  I’m only going to ask you to consider taking 10 mins of that, 10 minutes only. Then I’m asking you to commit 21 days.

21 days?!? It’s only 10 minutes, don’t stress!!

Step 3 – On day one of your adventure, start on the following checklist.

*I actually recommend getting that checklist done the first day even if it takes a little longer than 10 minutes.  Just so you can move onto the fun stuff sooner. OR you can continue to work on it with each passing day.

Step 4 – Each day use the following list to select just one thing to do relating to family history that day.

*Psst! If you’re a member of the LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) church, add “attending the temple” to that list.  If you’re a member of another faith, include your family history in your worship, via prayer or ponder. It will enhance the entire experience.

That’s IT! You’ll be doing your family history every day.  4 easy steps to get going, and I guarantee you won't to quit when the 21 days is up.  I also recommend recording your experience in brief journal entries as you go.  It counts as family history and will help you remember all that you are learning. My favorite part is to read back on my journal entries from those weeks and see how much happened, even though during the 21 days I didn’t necessarily realize it.

I like to refer to this quote by one of the women I look up to most in my life:
"If you’d like a little more joy in your life, a little more meaning, more heart-to-heart connections, more focus, energy, motivation, more of so many wonderful things, make time to [participate in Family History Work]." --Wendy Nelson
I hope that you’ll accept this challenge and listen to the voice that is nudging you to try it.  Whether you’re an experienced family historian or someone who’s just getting started, participating in 21 days of family history is completely rewarding and teaches you new things each time. I’ve done it 3 times now and intend to start again.

I also absolutely recommend that you check out some of the posts from other amazing busy people at the #FHforChildren Blog Link Up. In fact, after you’re done with the challenge you might just have a post your own you’ll be dying to add.

Until then . . . !