More ways to leave a legacy of words

Column Post by Lisa Easterling

My daughter and I have kept a dialogue journal since January of 2003. Early entries show her talking about her friends and signing off with “Love, You’re Dear Doter, Rosie”. I cherish her words, right down to the last misspelling and roughly formed letter. Reading back over the entries I watch her writing improve, both in penmanship and construction, and I smile at the memories each invokes.

Time marches on like a focused soldier, but it cannot steal the words we have taken the time to write down.

I have learned a valuable lesson in the encouragement of writing within our family: There is no measurable value one could place on printed memories. It’s why I have taught creative writing first in our home school; then in schools, cooperatives, and bookstores; then worldwide online.

One of my most intentional goals in this life is to leave a legacy of words. Through words, stories breathe and live on. And in some way, we live on through them.

I hold our little denim journal, turning it over in my hands and reminiscing about the places we’ve hidden it for one another to find. Under pillows, on desks, leaning against vanity mirrors, in the folds of blankets. I imagine her delight and recall my own at finding it and knowing it was my turn to write. It is a turn I have joyfully taken for the past eleven years, and will continue to take for as long as the pages of our little journal hold out—and perhaps beyond.

Words between Rosie and me have held much shared laughter over the years. I remember chuckling and then dashing for my camera when I caught the first glimpse of the picture attached to this post. It was the perfect scene to capture, and we still giggle about it together.

I wonder, my friend, how you might also make words a beautiful part of the freezing of your moments. I want you to know this same joy.

Perhaps you could start a tradition of leaving sticky-notes in strategic places for your loved ones to find, notes of encouragement and love and silliness.

You could do what I did when our eldest was in kindergarten: I adapted familiar nursery rhymes by rewording them to fit our family and the current circumstances. He is now 32, and still has the scrapbook containing all the notes from that year.

We have a magnetic white board on our refrigerator, a dry erase marker attached by a cord. Right now it houses a note thanking my husband for mowing the lawn, a message thanking my family for being my best friends, and a “Baby, you lookin’ good!”

Immense possibilities burst forth when you wind words to weave love.

Might I invite you, even now, to begin creatively dreaming up ways to word your heart? Remember, you are not alone in this. We are a team. We are family.

Here’s to moments worded and memories captured, for all of us.

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Lisa Easterling is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area alongside her husband Steve, five children, and two grandchildren. A pioneer for home education in Florida, she has served in various areas of Christian women’s, marriage, and family ministry for most of her life. Lisa is a lifelong writer and editor, and has taught life story, poetry, and other creative writing skills in classrooms and workshops for over 25 years. Her writings have appeared in such publications as Homeschool Alliance magazine, Heartbeat the Magazine, The Family Corner, and Home EdVenture. Lisa currently serves as Ministry Director and weekly columnist for Write Where It Hurts, where she enjoys inspiring and equipping women to write through their pain to healing and hope.

As writing coach for So You Want To Write, she loves helping others catch word fever by showing them they truly do possess the ability to write, by providing step by step tools to help them word their stories, and by holding their hand and building into them as a genuine friend along the way.

Lisa blogs at and can be reached by following @writepraylove on Twitter or by emailing
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

7 thoughts on “More ways to leave a legacy of words

  1. What a fantastic idea. I love words and all the possibilities they hold. Too often they are used to destroy, I love the idea of a legacy of building up.

    • I so agree, Rebecca. Words hold such power, and to think we have the ability to use them to help heal a world that is hurting. Bless you, sweet friend.

  2. Words are powerful. My youngest son and I use to do a round robin type journal of our thoughts and would mail it back and forth. Now that he lives closer, we don’t have to do that but I so enjoyed it when we did.

  3. I’d love to do more of this with my son. I’m going to work on ways to do that. My husband leaves me sticky notes right now as we live part of the week apart. He got a new job and we are waiting for our house to sell. I have saved those sticky notes in my regular journal :).

    • We lived that way for a short while, too, a few years ago. My husband and I are quite wimpy when it comes to being apart, so we did NOT enjoy that time. We did write notes to one another, though, and kept in close touch through words via the internet. We were immensely grateful for the gift of word connections. 🙂

  4. Hi Lisa,

    Wish I had thought of that when the kids were little 🙁 Although they weren’t writers, it may have helped improve that. I have always written notes of “thinking of you” or funny reminders or love, tucking them in lunches, suitcases, on food in the frige, piles of laundry, pillows, etc…and enjoyed it as I guessed the recipient would. Maybe someday I’ll start passing a journal with my grandkids!

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