family stories that bind us

On Sunday we visited another church congregation to hear our sweet friend’s homecoming talk, just returning from a mission in Hong Kong China. I was very pleasantly surprised to see another friend of mine (Amy) was also speaking in the same meeting. She referenced two articles in her remarks that have been on my mind since the meeting. I have looked them both up and these are some of the standouts from my reading:


“What is the taproot that will anchor a child in the wind?”To answer, we need to know that a taproot is the first and largest root that springs from a seed. It grows downward and provides stability. Plants with taproots tend to be drought tolerant and can even store reserves of food, making them self-sufficient and resilient…”

“When children know who they are, where they came from, why they are here, and where they are going, their lives take on a sense of purpose, enabling them to grasp tightly to truth. When it comes to anchoring our children against the winds of the world, we must devote our best efforts. We all want our children and grandchildren to have access to this taproot. When they understand God’s plan for them, they will be stable, drought tolerant, self–sufficient, and resilient!”


I love the visualization of the taproot growing from a seed. The assurances of giving our children a sense of purpose, identity and wisdom is very appealing to me.


“The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.”


My dad was really good at gathering us and telling us stories from his life and our family members. He lived a life so different from our upbringing, we sat mesmerized by what he shared with us. Running away from home at age 8 (living in a box), joining the US Army at age 14 (having lied about his age), being found out and moving on to the Merchant Marines-seeing the world. Nothing about his life, once we came into the picture, looked anything like the stories he told. The only evidence we saw, were the tattoos on his arms and leg, that only those closest to him ever saw. He always wore long sleeve shirts to cover them up when in public.

above: enlisting in the US Army at age 14

below: working on a Merchant Marine ship (Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Pacific)

the Papa my girls knew

I am so grateful that my dad wrote his life history. It was on a website in a digital form. For his birthday one year, we printed it in book format through BLURB. It is a treasure for me.


  • intentionally add memories and stories into our conversations at home from our parents and grandparents, that pertain to life today for our girls
  • return to documenting our life in photo books. It’s been a busy couple of years but I am ready to dedicate time to this again (and hopefully catch up!)
  • decorate our home with items that have meaning and ties to family history
  • document trials, triumphs and everything in between. If we rely on social media as our domumentation-sometimes it focuses on the “in between” or “triumphs” and less on the real trials of life. Some of our toughest trials aren’t appropriate to share to the whole world, but going through them can be a teaching moment for our families. Have another avenue of a documentation, like a journal to share those things that can teach them the most.
  • be more intentional about meaningful gift giving (photo books, handwritten letters, framed photographs, etc…)

How do you share your family stories? I would love more ideas!

One response to “family stories that bind us”

  1. Wonderful reflections and sound advice, Carin.

    I would love to be able to access your Dad’s history. Is that book still available online or by print through BLURB?

    I am simultaneously working on my father’s life history, as well as my own.

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