In the thick of life, I’m not often thinking about the value of writing down my personal stories. I’m usually so engrossed in brainstorming the next chapter for my latest novel in between running kids to hockey games, ballet practice, and piano lessons while I attend church meetings and make sure homework gets done and dinner lands on the table (inhale)…that writing my own personal stories doesn’t usually make it to the top of the list.
That’s why I remind myself every now and again why my stories are important–and why I need to take the trouble to write them down. First, my stories are unique. Regardless of how I may feel at times about the ordinariness of my life, my experience is an original, never again repeated in billions of lives. I am positioned in history in a way that no one else is, which means that I can describe people and places in a way no one else can.
Second, as a mom, one of my primary responsibilities is to teach my children. Scott and I are our kids’ first line of teaching, inspiring, modeling. Telling our stories, letting them learn from our trials and triumphs, is one of our most effective tools. Then too, stories offer an unparalleled opportunity for imparting our family’s beliefs and values–for building our kids’ characters from the inside out. Why? Because stories have a way of sneaking through the heart’s backdoor. Stories therefore become one of our most effective instruments for change. Why wouldn’t I want to keep that tool in my arsenal?
Have you ever considered writing your life stories to be not just a pastime but a tool for your kids’ character development? Have you ever used a story to instill a belief or value instead of addressing the issue head-on? I’d love to hear your stories today.
On an entirely different note ~ This week marks the start of my official collaboration with She Reads, an online gathering of book-loving women who, like me, believes that story is the shortest distance to the human heart. For three years She Reads has hosted an online book club. Now, this month, they’ve launched something new: the She Reads Blog Network, which I’m fortunate to be a part of. In the months ahead, I’ll be working with them to review and blog about lots of great books. Consider this your official invitation to hop on over and discover what it’s all about.