I've always been a memory keeper. In high school and college I filled journal after journal with the overflow of my mind. My heart needed a place to keep its words and those lined books were the perfect spot. It was soul-spilling and soul-filling. In keeping record of the day-to-day, I was often reminded of my own brokenness and of God's goodness. The pages would tell you that for years, I was in slimy pit, one filled with mud and mire. And then there are those pages that foreshadow the time when God would pull me out, set my feet on a rock, and give me a firm place to stand. I am so glad I have those pages so that I can remember God's abundant grace to me, a broken and wounded child.
After college, my journals continued to be an outlet for my heart stirrings. Just six months married, we moved to India and those journal pages saw me through culture shock, loneliness, and the pain of three miscarriages. Daily pen to paper was my version of putting one foot in front of the other.
And then, I had kids. And the words, while not lacking, didn't find a way to the paper. I longed to find a way to remember, but writing time was replaced with nursing and changing diapers. More and more, the click of a camera was my "remember this" tool of choice. Click. Click. Click. God's grace was still flowing and my camera captured it. Moment by moment. God's goodness. His grace. His hand weaving my story. My stones of remembrance were being piled through clicks of the shutter.
And then one day, the words and the clicks met and fell in love and the result changed my life.
It may sound a little dramatic, but that is the only way I can describe what scrapbooking has done for me.
After being given a stack of scrapbooking magazines and stumbling upon and article on digital scrapbooking, I looked at my tub of never-used paper and scissors and thought, "I could do that." So on the first weekend in May, eight years ago, I created my first digital scrpabook page. It was nothing pretty, but it was the first drops of something that would soon fill my soul and quench my thirst to remember.
Over 1500 pages later, it is still the place where the click clicks of my heart and the shutter of my camera meet with the words in my soul. Scrapbooking is my way of tangibly saying and showing that God is good. That God's grace abounds. That God is not done with me yet. That children are a blessing. That there is beauty and healing in memories. That friends and family are God's precious gifts to us. That it is the little and seemingly insignificant moments that make life special. My albums are filled with reminders that I blessed. Even in the heartache, even in the unknown, even in laundry and dirty dish filled days, God is good.
And so today, on my eight year anniversary of digital scrapbooking and coincidentally (or perhaps not so?) on International Scrapbooking Day, I once again find myself in awe of what the last eight years have done for my soul. Scrapbooking does for me what nothing else in life ever has: it makes me see. It made me stop and notice the little moments that are building my amazing life. It makes me notice how each of my children is fearfully and wonderfully made. It makes me take notice of the beauty of God's creation and the grace-filled moments that fill our life. Scrabpooking has taught me how to live out the command, "In everything, give thanks."
In November 2011, I shared more about Why I Scrapbook. Feel free to read it. I also updated my scrapbooking page with some exciting news I will be sharing about more later. And as I took a trip down memory lane, I found this journaling from May 2006, my one year scrapbooking anniversary...
Project - It All Began Here by ALittleEclectic posted 05/07/06 at 06:55 PM Galleries: ScrapbookingNational Scrapbooking Day coincidentally fell on the one year anniversary of my completing my first LO. In honor of these two special events I finally scrapped the story of how I got started in all of this. Journaling Reads: My journey to the “dark side.” Ever since I saw my first “modern” scrapbook my junior year of high school, I have been fascinated with the art. Preserving memories is something I see infinite worth in. To pass on the memories and stories of our lives to future generations is a gift to which little can be compared. I tried to paper scrap, I really did. I owned lots of materials, had thousands of photos, and had every good intention in the world. But it never happened. I did a few pages here and there but the effort it took to get out my supplies and photos never seemed worth the trouble. After all, it would just leave me a mess to clean up later. Even the birth of my first child was not enough incentive to actually start getting my pictures in albums. Guilt was my friend as I thought all the memories I wasn’t scrapping. And then it happened…the moment that changed it all. A friend of mine was moving and she gave me all of her scrapping magazines to look through. One night as I sat on my bed drooling over the gorgeous pages I was looking at, something caught my eye. In the magazine was an article entitled, “Shift into (Hard) Drive.” There I was, starting at beautiful layouts, and this article said these were created digitally. What? On a computer? But they look so REAL! I had to find out more. The article gave some websites to look at and some other resource ideas. I logged onto scrapbook-bytes.com and there was no turning back. I knew I had found something that was for me. It took me a while to get the hang of things. I bought a book to learn my software, downloaded lots of free kits and embellishments (especially from Shabby Princess!) and just played around. There was a learning curve but I stuck with it because I knew that I wanted to do this. For my family and for me. One year ago today I created my first layout. It wasn’t anything special in itself, but it was the beginning of a beautiful journey I have been on for the last twelve months. Never would I have guessed where this road would lead me. Not only am I preserving precious memories for my family, but also I am finding an outlet for my creativity. I’ve always known it was there, but it never had an way to express itself. Until I found this. In November 2oo5 I stumbled upon 2peas (a scrapbooking website) and found a new “home” for my hobby. I have met some of the most wonderful women through the gallery and message boards. My love and thanks to my peas. I love you! In January 2oo6 I was accepted to my first design team (thanks MandaBean!) and have since been accepted to numerous others. I love creating pages that show off another’s creativity. And so here I am, one-hundred and fifty layouts later, celebrating my one year anniversary of digital scrapbooking. Coincidentally, this day is also National Scrapbooking day. It’s been quite the ride and I can’t wait to see where else this road takes me. Inspire. Create. Imagine. Scrap (digitally, that is.)