Tag Archives: story

silence is golden

i had lunch with a new friend on wednesday afternoon. it was a “business lunch.” i needed to prepare to speak in her class by finding out more of what she expected from me. i left lunch (over three hours later) nearly as clueless about the class as when i had arrived; however, i knew the heart of the professor which gave me insight into the class.

speaking to her class was such a privilege

aside: i am writing this on a plane. i have no idea why i am not capitalizing things, but it feels good and somewhat rebellious to do so. i think i have only done this “style” in one other post, and that was because i was in a hurry and feeling scattered. i am not scattered today, so rebellion is the only answer.

sometimes we need a little rebellion in our lives

after the lunch on wednesday and speaking in my new friend’s class, she sent me a thank you email and commented about my blog (to be honest, i sent the link…it’s easier than explaining what i have thought since 2010).

but she commented about it as an accomplishment. this blog. this blog that has sat dormant for nearly two years. the last published post was actually written by my daughter as she tried to deal with a diagnosis that we have since found out was wrong but she has a different (better? worse?) diagnosis instead.

and then the blog went silent

the details of the past two years are numerous and complicated. there is plenty of good (see my facebook world for that), but there is also lots of hard. health conditions, changes in living arrangements (airstream!), expanding a school program, children becoming adults and about to graduate (didn’t I just write about high school graduation?), and those things that happen that just cannot be blogged.

sounds mysterious, right?

oh, you have them too. family, finances, and fun are all recipes for disaster while being avenues for great joy. sometimes, it is just too hard to explain things. sometimes, it is just too hard to write what you think, feel, and experience.

and silence becomes a friend

i did not stop thinking for the past two years. my mind did not slow down for the past two years. instead, i filed away the thoughts that have bounced in my head and have taken hold in my heart so that i could pull them back out when the time was right.  and i started a podcast for my school which has been life giving, creative, and fun.

too much of the past two years is not my story alone. when my story intersects with the stories of others, i have to be sensitive about how i write about them. i might be happy as a clam to share my dirty laundry, but i should not take the liberty to share yours, his, or hers. this time has been reflective for me.

what is my story?

i have a story to tell, but it mostly is a story of some wonderful people who have made me who i am today. the comment from a new friend about my blog shook me a bit. i have been playing around with a couple of book ideas. one will essentially write itself. the other will tear me apart and put me back together (because we should all have that done  at least three or four times in our lifetime).

a clearer story

one of the cool things that has come from these two years of silence on the blog has been some clarity. i used to write anything that came to mind and hit publish. then i wrote nothing and published nothing. i think that i should write more and publish some. i think i should care about what i care about (and what God cares about…) and care less about what anyone else wants from me.

what is your story?

do you know how to tell your story? do you think that no one wants to hear your story? i LUV (yes, I am on a Southwest Airlines flight!) hearing other people’s stories! you all are so fascinating! the question is this: how can your story and my story be told? in telling our stories, we find the common themes in our lives and can come together to support each other.

talk less – smile more…

our nation is divided because we are not listening to each other’s stories.  silence is golden sometimes. my listening to your story helps me to know you better. we need to find some silence in our hearts, some listening in our ears, and some quiet in our minds.

only then can we see that our stories are unique and similar and hard and wonderful.

 

 

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Story Street

story street

I have always loved anything that involves a good story.  Good books, good movies, good theater, and even – when I was much younger –  good radio plays. Before you get any ideas, I am not ancient – these memories are from the 80s!  I remember that there was a radio drama that came on about once a week about a chicken-man who would save people from things. I’m pretty sure it was a spoof on super hero comics, but it was awesome.  The only thing that I really remember is when they would announce that the hero was on his way to someone in despair.  The booming voice-over would say, “Chicken (pause) man! He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!”

We all have a story to tell…

While girls seem to have the market on the chatting, all of us have something to say.  The fact that WordPress has 374,607 of blogs with over a million posts each day says that a lot of us have something to say.  We seem to want to share our stories.  And we should! Stories are what draw us closer to one another in deep and meaningful ways.  When we open up to another person (or the world – thank you, blogosphere) with our story, we can connect on a different level than what we could before we shared.

When I found Story Street in Rockport, I was immediately challenged.

It seems that I am sharing my stories all the time through this blog.  I write when I am sad. I write when I am happy.  I write when I am angry.  I write when I feel victorious.  And I talk a lot (I am Italian…).  But am I really sharing stories?  Am I really and truly opening up and delving down beneath that shallow shelf of the “safe” stories?  And should I go any deeper?  Does my public sharing of my one-sided perspective of how my life has gone provide an accurate telling of any of the stories?

Sharing stories must be done with care.

My story may contain someone else’s story, and it may not be my place to tell that story.  When that is true, I need to take a minute and consider before I just blurt it out to the world.  This is how I attempt to move forward with my blog.  I try very hard not to share something about someone else without having received permission.  I did not do this when I shared about my own adoption.  Even though it is a great story, it has a lot of other people’s stories in it.  There is really no way to share that story without other stories being involved.  I need to get better at this.  After a year of blogging, I still struggle with this.

As I move forward, wanting to share my story, I need to keep all of this mind.  I want to be authentic.  I want to share my perspective with others.  And I want to share what I have learned so that – maybe – others can skip the lesson and go right for “what I learned.”

But if my story crosses over into your story, I want to intentional about allowing you room to approve of my use of your story.  I realize that it takes a bit of humility to ask someone’s permission before I post something.  If I do not get that permission from you, please call me out and let me know that I have crossed a line.

Lastly, I want to encourage others to share their stories.  Whether you start a blog and write every day like I have or not, your story is important.  Finding a way to share your story is important.  Others will connect with you, and you will feel blessed by their stories as well.  Sometimes we just need to listen; other times, we need to share.

A friend and fellow blogger had series called So. Many. Stories. through which she hosted the stories of others.  What a great concept!  Without totally stealing her idea (I have credited her here!!), I have been considering doing something similar.  To a certain extent, I have done this a few times when I have allowed others to share their thoughts via this blog.  As I consider how I could do that more, I ask you to consider how you could share your story either in writing or in person with others.

We all have a story to tell…

If you liked this post, you might like some of the others that have come from my vacation to the east coast:

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Filed under faith, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel

What’s Your Story?

This morning, I dropped off a CD of The Civil Wars for the middle school teacher who is producing Beth’s show of “Footloose” (like how I could advertise two things in one sentence, there? If you click on “Footloose,” the link will take you to a page to purchase tickets to one of the production nights).  Can you believe that she had not heard of them?  I went to two Target stores and a Best Buy store in the effort to educate her, and they were all sold out in two of the three stores!  Other people know who The Civil Wars are too!

As I walked the halls of the middle school, I passed a bulletin board covered in note cards.  In the center, a poster asked the question, “What is your story?” Each of the note cards had four or five sentences on it along with a small picture depicting a student’s story.  I did not take a lot of time to read the stories, but I know that each of them would be unique because each person’s story is unique.  Even if students have the same circumstances in their lives, their experience of those circumstances is unique.

I had already started thinking about a blog post for today, but I have put that idea down for a future blog post as that question got me thinking about story and the power of story in each of our lives as well as in the lives of people over the course of history.

Story – the telling of one’s life – has been the main form of communication and connection for thousands of years.  Before civilizations developed a written form of language, families and countries handed down stories verbally.  They told the stories around fires, they recreated events through drama, and eventually – they drew pictures to retell the story.  We know so much about ancient civilizations because of their commitment to story.  As a written language developed, story became central to that as well.  Manuscripts that have survived from ancient times are filled with stories of men and women who fall in love, who fall on hard times, who war with one another, and who overcome great obstacles.  Even the Bible is mostly filled with stories that tell us about the struggles and the victories of God’s chosen people…and we connect with the characters because they sound like we do, they struggle like we do, and they overcome like we try to overcome.  If we cannot connect on some level with just King David alone, we are not human.

In my role as pastor’s wife at a church and in my position as dean of students in a school, I hear a lot of stories. Life is hard sometimes.  Life is awesome sometimes. And these stories just have to be told. Keeping our story locked inside of us – whether a good story or a bad story – is hard! When great things happen to us, we want others to celebrate with us. When hard times come, we want someone to say, “Wow…that is hard. I may not understand exactly that, but I know that it is hard.”

Life has been hard since the day in the garden when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and change the course of relationship with Him and with others. Our nature causes disruption in our lives, and our stories often take turns that cause us to cringe. Whether through our own poor choices, the choices of others, or the fact that disease and illness are part of our fallen state, life can be hard. We choose to steal; we go to jail. A man rapes a woman; she is scarred. Cancer takes away a loved one; we cannot breath sometimes because we miss her so much.  But sharing story with one another, living life side by side, can ease the pain that life brings to us.

God created us to be in community with Him and with one another.  God is a communal God – three in one…the miracle of the Trinity.  When He created us in His image, He created us with a stamp of community within us.  Sin shatters community and relationships – with God and with others.  Through story, however, we can brought back together.  God’s story – our story – is one of restoration.  When God sent Christ to the cross, He did so to right the broken relationship between us and Him.  When we share with one another, connect through our stories, we restore relationships and restore community. This is the miracle of the cross.

Story speaks to some of our most basic needs: to be known and to be heard. Taking the time to share with one another needs to become a priority again.  Sitting around the fire and sharing our story is not something we do in often enough in our busy society.  How can we make time for this?  Who needs to share a story with me today?

What’s your story?

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