I am not a scrapbooker. Don’t get me wrong…I CAN scrapbook. I’m actually pretty good at it. However, the empire that is Creative Memories did not exist when my children were young. The “peel and press” photo album did, along with the shoe box, the random cabinet or drawer, and the envelope from the photo developing center. So, since I promised my eldest daughter a scrapbook of her first 20 years, I have lugged out all the old albums, boxes and envelopes from their various cabinets and drawers and have launched, full throttle, into the proverbial walk down memory lane.

You scrapbookers of today are very lucky. You set about documenting your children’s lives as they happen. You lovingly place pictures of little Johnny’s first day of kindergarten, as you watch him eat his after-school snack. He looks just like he does in his picture and you are not overwhelmed by how much he has changed or how quickly the time has passed. When you sort through 20 years of photos, your heart feels like it might burst when you look at the first lost tooth or even the picture of your daughter eating the dirt out of the house plants. A life spread before you…which moments are the most important to document? How do you choose?

I have been able to look through her life and see, with startling clarity, how her passions have shaped who she is now, even from a very young age. It started me thinking, again, about the passions in my own life. If I looked back over the photos of my 43 years, what would the common thread of passion be that has woven my life together? If I carefully put in them in a book, what would they tell you about me…what would they tell ME about me?

I’ve mentioned before the book, Designing a Woman’s Life, and the profound impact that it is having on me. I’ve moved on to “vision” and what it means in a Christian context. I’ve talked about have a mission-statement purpose, a broad-spectrum view of what you were put on the earth to do (see blog post “Lightbulb in the Dark). A vision is more specific…you might have one main vision or several at different times in your life. Here’s what the book says: A God-endowed vision is a not-yet-realized goal we feel honored to pursue, for it wraps together our talents, dreams, calling, personality – our very soul – and ignites our purpose.

The snapshots of my life, if I examine them closely, will tell me a lot about my “God-endowed visions”, a lot about what “not-yet-realized goals” God might have for me. Drag out your pictures (even if they’re stored in your memory) and see what they tell you. And for you diligent scrapbookers out there, keep it up…it might be more of a gift to your young-adult child than you realize.