Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Important Effects of Family Stories and Family History (with a giveaway from Evalogue!)

"When our hearts are turned to our ancestors, something changes inside us.  We feel part of something greater than ourselves.  Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors."  -Russell M. Nelson

Family history is really nothing more than family stories.  Interest in family history and genealogy has taken a sharp upturn in recent years, and it's no wonder.  There are great benefits of knowing your family's story.  In fact, {Bruce Feiler} studied the effects of family stories on kids, and he called this knowledge the "single biggest predictor of a child's emotional well-being."  {Elaine Reese} reported on a study that showed that knowing family stories gave kids higher self-esteem, lower rates of depression and anxiety, a stronger concept of self, an increased ability to cope with difficulties, and a greater ability to empathize and connect with others.  Adults find the same benefits.

So, apparently, family stories and family history are a really big deal.

Our stories matter.

Every single person and every single family needs the connections that family stories and family history provide.  Today I've got a few helps to get you there--to learn the stories and to preserve and share them-- (and a giveaway, too).

First, these articles will  inspire you to learn and then share your own family stories: 

Those last two articles give some very simple ideas for learning and sharing family history if you're not sure where to start.

Second, I want to introduce you to Rachel Trotter and Rhonda Lauritzen from {}.  Rachel and Rhonda help people write their stories for a living!  They are both talented writers who have a passion for family stories. They believe that storytelling is the most powerful way to connect with others.  I happen to agree.  When we know someone's story, we immediately feel both connection and compassion.  Knowing stories draws us to one another.

"There isn't a person you wouldn't love if you could read their story."  -Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Rhonda recently published a wonderful booklet called "How to Storyboard."  If you're not familiar with storyboarding, it's basically a way to outline and then flesh out a story for maximum clarity and impact.  It's a way to help you write so that your story is clear and engaging, and it applies to both fiction and non-fiction (like life stories or family stories).  Storyboarding helps trigger creativity, guides you in knowing what parts to trim back and what parts to flesh out, and, as Rhonda says, keeps your story "from falling off a cliff."  Rhonda explains the whole process {here}.

You can see Rhonda's beautiful book {right here} (and even scroll down to read my review of the book if you like)!  Best of all, you can win it right here!! 

Rhonda has created a whole kit to help you write your story!  The storyboarding kit comes with
  • How to Storyboard booklet  (Great information and guidance!)
  • storyboard templates (These are really cool--they're reusable and will allow you to plan and adjust your story.  I love these.)
  • Life Story Question booklet (I also have this--it's SO helpful for ideas!!)
  • flash drive
  • post-it notes (for the storyboard itself)
  • high-quality pen
  • clipboard
  • plastic folder
To enter to win this storyboard kit, all you need to do is comment on this post!  In the comment, just tell me something you learned or liked from one of the articles I shared OR tell me what story you would like to tell with the help of the storyboarding kit (Grandma's life story, a book you're writing, etc.).  After you comment, you must also e-mail me at to give me your e-mail address or phone number so I can contact you to arrange shipping if you are the winner.

One winner will be chosen at random on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Now that you're inspired and armed, preserve your family stories!  {Here's how to get started.}  You'll find helpful videos to help you get going at that link, too.

There's really nothing better for your heart and soul, and nothing better for your family!


  1. Ooo! I love the idea of a storyboard! I would really love to do one for my grandmother. She is getting really old and really values preserving her life story for her family to have access to. I get to see her in a couple of weeks, so it would be perfect! :)

    1. Oh, what a fabulous idea, Shiree! She would love that. I've got you entered in the drawing and have your mailing address from the e-mail you just sent me. WOOT! :)

  2. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  3. The mission of preserving stories for future generations is one that I think is critically important. Both of my parents were the youngest of many children in their families and their parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. But I never heard any stories about "the old country" since all my grandparents had died by the time I was born, and their parents never talked about what life was like before they came to America. "We are Americans now, and that's all you need to know" was there mantra. I have felt "identity-deprived" my entire life and now am trying to trace my family back to Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, and a kit like this would be so valuable!

  4. Annette, I could not agree with you more. Knowing our family stories and family history is quite powerful. In fact, it's been studied and found to be the biggest influence on a child's emotional well-being and sense of self. I'm so glad to hear you are researching and finding your family. That will be a blessing to you, for sure! Thank you so much for reading and for your important comment!


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