The Rest of Your Story 16: What are your meaningful memories?

Sweet Colors of Childhood photo by Pink Sherbet Photography (flickr) Sprinkles photo by D Sharon Pruitt (flickr) To start from part one, click here.

When you think of writing MY LIFE STORY it seems big and scary. Yes? Let’s simplify it. 

Stories are just a series of experiences. And memories are just stored experiences. And experiences are really all about our senses.

Research has shown the strongest memories involve all five senses. In other words, God has physically wired us so that our senses are connected to our minds and emotions.

So don’t start your story with, “I was born….” Rather, close your eyes and think of a meaningful experience. While you’ll have hard ones, let’s start with the happy.

Okay, got one in mind?

Now go through your five senses and write down one line for each. Let’s try it together. One of the first things that comes to mind for me is sitting in the back of my grandparents’ Christian bookstore as a child.

Sight – I see stacks of books I’ve gathered, my Grandma turning to smile at me.

Sound – I hear Christian music playing and the quiet chatter of customers.

Touch – I feel smooth pages and the softness of an old leather chair.

Taste – I taste a slightly stale doughnut, leftover from that morning.

Smell – I smell the loveliest mixture ever…paper, coffee, and Nana’s lotion.

(Okay, I’m in bittersweet tears! Whew!)

Now ask yourself one question: Why is this experience important to my story? My answer would be, “Because I fell in love with Jesus and books in that back room and both have shaped who I am today.”

Now you’ve got something really valuable. Compare that to what you might write without your senses: My grandparents owned a Christian bookstore and I spent hours in the back reading.

Flat. Empty. Just the facts, ma’am.

You don’t need to record every moment you’ve lived. Just find the pulse. Every meaningful memory is a heartbeat in your story. Repeat this as many times as you’d like. Keep using single sentences or make paragraphs. Create a collection of individual memories or join them together as a book. Do whatever brings you the most joy.

And as for the rest of your story…

It works the same way. But instead of picturing the past, you’re imagining the future. As Proverbs says, “As a (wo)man thinks in her heart, so is she.” Don’t be afraid to do a little dreaming with God. Then you can figure out S.T.E.P.s  with Him to go in that direction.

With every heartbeat, your story is already being written.

All you’ve got to do is put it into words.


TODAY’S QUESTION: What’s a meaningful memory in your story?

Every comment during the 21-day challenge = an entry for $50 to, including the (in)courage shop!

Are you a blogger? Every Friday we’ll have a “Rest of Your Story” round-up! Just answer any of the questions for the week as a post on your blog, include a link to this series, then add your blog to the list on Friday. We’ll get to visit you and you’ll get another entry in the giveaway! Did you see last week’s?

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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