I had the privilege and the great joy of living an amazing story in 2013. I set foot in 11 countries, I had conversation that superseded language and religion. I climbed Table Mountain in South Africa and dropped down waterfalls in Ecuador. I watched the sun go down over the Indian Ocean from the balcony of my flat in Mozambique. I got a tattoo in Romania and held lots and lots of babies EVERYWHERE
I know what you’re thinking: How in the world do you top that?
I have so many stories to tell from last year. Like the time a babushka gave me a sweater in Ukraine or about how much I love Bangkok. Or how in Mozi we ended up on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean surrounded by fishermen.
But when I really think about it, when I really delve into it; my stories about life were pretty awesome before then. They just weren’t wrapped up in foreign countries.
Like how I once changed 30+ diapers at an event at a church in one day. Or how my preschoolers say the best things. Or that one night when my friends and I ran into Dennis Rodham and he bought us drinks.
I can tell stories upon stories of heartache, of loss, of joy, of laughter and stories upon stories of how Jesus always heals us.
We ALL have jaw-dropping stories whether we believe it or not.
It’s just whether or not we choose to believe them or tell them.
Stories don’t just have to be encouraging or heartbreaking.
Story telling is an art form. Whether they are fiction or non-fiction. Whether they are about you or not.
I appreciate all forms. For instance last week I watched the finales of my two favorite show. (The Vampire Diaries and the Originals JUDGE ME I DON’T CARE) and those writers, MAN, can they weave a story. I’m still easily emotional over a magical baby and the death of a character whose redemption is 5 seasons in the making. I had all of the feels and emotions over vampires who don’t actually exist because their story was told so well. I can appreciate that greatly. The heart and creativity that goes into making people cry over murderous vampires.
What would happen if we took that ability, that gift to tell our own stories as well?
What do you think would happen?
We all have story. Some we choose to tell, some we hold close to our hearts. I’ve told a lot of story over the years, I’ve written a lot down, shared them in classes, with friends, in bible studies. Like how I finally in this blog talked about Joe or how I wrote my heart into a fear piece that I sent to a lot of my friends. We were meant to do that. To share our hearts, our experiences with each other.
I don’t think God used the written word to reach so many because it was the “easiest” way. I think he used it as an example to us. For us to share our stories, to share what he taught us, to share what we’ve been through. To share how we need to come together.
It’s ingrained in us.
Why do you think we cram on couches week after week to see if Caroline ever shows up in New Orleans, or if Damon is going to come back from the dead (#toosoon) or are Wade and Zoe FINALLY going to be together for heavens sake! (that’s all just me? Once again; judge away)**
Because we are a people who long to be involved in story. And sometimes we think that those stories being told on a TV or in a book or on the big screen are bigger and more important than what we walk in daily.
Spoiler alert: they’re not.
Every action we make, every minute in our day is filled with good story whether we know it or not. It’s just whether once again we choose to make it be so.
If you ever want to hear more from my life, or read my piece on fear, let me know. I’ll tell you about holding babies into all hours of the night in South Africa or scraping paint of bathroom tile for hours on end. I can talk to you about working with kids from the foster system, or all of the ridiculous things that were said in the pink room the year Em and I had all boys in JK.
And I can tell you lots and lots about Jesus.
We need to step into telling stories more, make it a practice.
I’m going to try to be better at it: writing them down, typing them out.
Even attempting to fix the fact that I suck at creating dialogue in story and working on some fiction pieces that are floating in my head.
I’m going to continue to live a good story whether I am sitting listening to the train go by in Kingsburg or whether I am sitting next to the Mediterranean in Spain.
Story is story and our lives are the same wherever our feet may lie. It all lies in the telling. And if choose to allow others into them.
**if you understood ANY of those references….we should talk.
(to learn more about my story and where I am off to next check this out)