Why Every Nana Should Record Her Stories

Please join me in welcoming a new cyber friend and an awesome Nana, Amy Hagerup!

The Importance of Recording Your Stories

By Amy Hagerup

Have you ever stopped to reflect on your life experiences, how they have shaped you, and all the lessons you have learned from them? Or, to take it a step further, have you proactively done something to share your life experiences with your children and grandchildren?

As we age, some of us are just accumulating a bigger pile of undigested experiences. An African proverb states that when an old person dies, it is as if a whole library burned down. In our busy life style, we often don’t take time to stop and reflect.

Our life stories are significant and can be a wonderful legacy for our grandchildren. One of the amazing gifts that God has given us is the gift of memory, but He knew that it would not be an easy task to remember well what all He does for us.

In Numbers 6, after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River, He told them to go back into the dried up river bed and collect 12 large stones – one for each of the tribes.  Then He said to pile them up to be a memorial so that they would be a sign for them throughout the years. When their children asked them what the stones were for, they would tell them that it was because the Lord had cut off the water of the Jordan to enable them to cross over. The stones were physical things to help them remember.

I wanted to write down some of my life stories to pass on to my grandchildren and future great-grandchildren, so I started a scrapbook.  I made a list of different stories I wanted to include and then would add to it as I remembered more stories. I gathered up a few photos to include with the stories, and then I began to compile them. Some I wrote by hand and some I typed on the computer and printed them out.  Each story has a lesson to it, so my grandchildren can learn from them.

One of the stories is about how my mother used to warm up our shoes with the oven door open because our heat had been cut off. My dad had deserted our family and the heating bill was unpaid. But, I remember that my mom was praising God that we had an oven to heat up the kitchen.

Another story is how my husband and I met and fell in love.  How fun for my grandkids to know the details of Nana and Papa’s love story!

My book is called appropriately “Nana’s Stories.” I used an 8.5 by 11 album so that I was able to make 3 copies of each of the pages and put them in three other albums. That way each of my married kids has “Nana’s Stories” in their homes to read to my grandkids.  Another option is to make digital story books and that way, you can have printed as many copies as you want. I’ve done digital storybooks about my grandchildren too, but that is another story!

Amy reading to her grandchildren

Amy reading to her grandchildren

Something special happened recently. My son told me that he had been reading the stories to his sons at night and when he finished, they would beg him to read another story! And he also told me that some of the stories that I have written had details in them that he hadn’t remembered. How cool is that? The stories are impacting my adult son too.

I’m on a second volume now. What a great way to impact our grandkids with our life stories. The neat thing is that my albums will outlive me. Even after I leave this earth, the legacy and lessons in my albums will still be passed on to future generations.

I feel like I am accomplishing the importance of impacting my descendants with the goodness of the Lord. It is all summed up in Joel 1:3 – “Tell your sons about it, and let your sons tell their sons, and their sons to the next generation.”

Nana Amy, Elyse and Cullen

There's nothing like a nana's love!

Many thanks to Amy for her wonderful guest post!

Author Bio:  Amy Hagerup from Wisconsin is mother to five and grandmother to 12. Amy and her family spent 23 years as missionaries in Africa, where they also adopted their two youngest daughters. She is a Health and Wellness educator and enjoys promoting all types of good health at her blog: http://amyhagerup.com.


  1. What a legacy to leave for your children and grandchildren. I will have to start that. We have one granddaughter with another baby due in Jan., same family. I love the analogy from the Bible, with the 12 stones from the river. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jason Maas 29 Aug, 2010

    My wife Deeanne is one of Amy’s daughters and I’m very thankful that Amy has passed down the teaching to “record your stories” to my wife. What a blessing!

  3. Margaret Roth 30 Aug, 2010

    To Amy from Mama: With 5 children, 3 in-law children, 12 grandkids, and all your other enterprises, I don’t see how you’ve managed time to write these things! I can’t hold a candle to all your creative energies, but I’m truly inspired. I really should be one to be writing things down for all my children, grands and great-grands…I think I’ll try…

  4. Margaret Roth 30 Aug, 2010

    To Amy from Mama: With 5 children, 3 in-law children, 12 grandkids, and all your other enterprises, I don’t see how yhou’ve managed time to write these things. I’m truly inspired by your creative energies.

  5. teresak 30 Aug, 2010

    What a sweet thing to say about your mother-in-law! I’m sure she feels blessed to have you as a son in law! And it was a very special post. I so appreciate her doing it.