milk&honey-13I believe in the shaping power of good stories. I believe in pushing back against the darkness with little sparks that may form into great blazes.”

-S.D. Smith

Today I stumbled upon a new children’s book called The Green Ember while I was catching up on some reading from the one&only Story Warren. If you have not heard of Story Warren, please pause & go check it out. A year or so ago, a friend sent me a link to an article that put words to the way I was feeling as a parent. I was stuck in the rut of rushing from one thing to the next, saying yes to too many good things, & as a result missing opportunities to get on the floor at eye level with my babies & take the time to tell them stories. We didn’t have enough white space to do the simple things that seep in deep into our person, the things we internalize & carry around with us as we grow up. The hope of Story Warren is to come alongside parents, like me & you, to become our allies in imagination so that we can give our kids the gift of the goodness that comes from a good ol’ story. Here is a little video teaser for you via the kickstarted video of S.D. Smith’s first book: The Green Ember

So, why story? Why is telling a story applicable to this struggle of yearning, still?

So far in #31daysofyearningstill we have identified the longing we have for more than this place we inhabit can offer. We have spoken a little bit of the ache we have in the process we go through in our lives through the highs&lows. So, now we can consider the value of our story.

Do you believe that? Do you believe that your story has value? I do. I can confidently say that your story matters because I have come to believe that my story matters as well. Somedays it is so easy to listen to the lies that it has all been done or said before, that I as an individual have nothing new or fresh to give. Sometimes I actually convince myself that my little life isn’t worth sharing. Thankfully through the encouragement of friends, writers, musicians, & the Spirit that meanders throughout my soul, I have some ammo to counter the attacks that keep me believing I have nothing good to give to you or anyone else. You have so much to offer friend!

Last year my story was not going as I had planned. My emotions were all tangled & my life felt uprooted & ultimately out of my control. I was in the thick of grieving some losses that made me feel insecure & fearful. A friend with young children passed away from cancer, our rental house sold quicker than expected which meant a scrambling move with a newborn + 2 toddlers, our dog then needed a new family, half our stuff needed new owners, my hormones were raging, & honestly my anxiety was through the roof. Everything made me cry, even the most beautiful moments felt too heavy to bear. For the first time in my life I was an open book. I had no other choice. My bleeding heart was bleeding out. If you sat with me in this season, I cannot thank you enough for the way you listened to me share my heart in very unclear, yet heartfelt ways. As I look back on this time last year, I am reminded as S.D. Smith mentions in the video while talking about his new book… that when you are “in it” you can’t see the “little sparks that may form into great blazes” really all you can see is the darkness because the sparks are quickly snuffed out by the weight of it all.

Yet, when I take a step back & embrace the process, I am able to see the threads in the fabric of my story that’s being written everyday. I gain confidence that the light will come & as I choose to see it, I can enter into the darkness with a new lens… and suddenly the darkness fades & the light grows so bright that I almost have to close my eyes as to not be blinded by it’s rays of warmth because it penetrates my whole being. Smith goes on to say that he “believes in the power of stories pushing back against the darkness”. Yes! So do I! When we hear a good story, our number one desire in that moment becomes to enter into it, to be fully present and get swept up in the goodness of the characters, to fall into their story. We are basically along for the ride, to watch it all unfold—come what may!

What if we had that trust in our own lives, that releasing of the tight grip to script the story ourselves? Could we hand over the pen & let the Author who created us in the first place develop our character with His loving kindness? Could we trust that the process of our life, the beauty in the mess, the redemption in our brokenness, is actually shaping our story & molding us into the person we were made to be?

You & I both have a story worth sharing & it is unfolding before us everyday, with every breath we take.

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