31 days of story

“A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way.” – Flannery O’Connor

For all 31 days throughout October, I have joined up with thousands of other writers for the 2016 “Write 31 Days Challenge”.  Every day during this month, we will be tapping out new words, digging through our hearts and lives and stories, and hitting “publish.”

This year I will focus on STORY.  I will be telling my own present-day stories, memoir narratives, and I’m also hoping to tap out a few great stories some of my friends have told me over the years.  I will also host a couple of guest writers throughout the month!  Through it all, we will be discussing the importance of story and the ways in which our stories have the capacity to inspire empathy, compassion, and life change in both ourselves and others.

[Disclaimer: This will be a stretch for me.  I am hoping that this challenge will be therapeutic and life-giving to my soul and to my relationships— and I’m hoping you will glean wisdom and inspiration from it as well!  Yet please keep in mind: I am a mom, a wife, a friend, and a regular work-in-progress/hot mess just like the rest of the world— so bear with me: when I post something every single day I simply DON’T HAVE TIME TO EDIT LIKE I NORMALLY DO.  There will be errors.  And many of my posts will likely not be “great.”  But I promise you this: I will most definitely give it my best shot!]

I love you, I am so grateful for you, and I look forward to seeing what God does in and through me via the vehicle of storytelling this month.


* * *

Here are links to all the posts for this series.  (I put an asterisk *** next to my personal favorites):

  1. Introduction
  2. ***There is No Victory Without the Struggle [pep talk about the beneficial nature of our dark & challenging seasons in life]
  3. A Ring for His Wife [fun little story about something adorable my son did]
  4. Our First Date [narrative about my first date with my husband – 15 years ago]
  5. Happy Birthday to Me [narrative about what my husband got me for my birthday this year]
  6. Jerico & Garret – A Guest Post [story written & illustrated by my 3 year old son]
  7. ***He Comes Home Weary*** [my very favorite post this month – about a day in the life of a police officer]
  8. The Importance of Breathing [pep talk on the value of rest and quietness in our lives]
  9. Courageous Confrontation [discussion about friction in friendship]
  10. Hide and Seek Smackdown [vignette about the simple joys of family life]
  11. ***Wishing I Could Hurry Past the Difficult Chapters [frank discussion about where I am at in my life right now]
  12. ***I Blew It Again [story about (yet another) motherhood fail moment]
  13. The Late Hospital Drive – A Guest Post [narrative written by my daughter about a stressful night in her life]
  14. Real Life Friends [vignette & celebration of the beauty of authentic friendship]
  15. He *Delights* In Me [applying Psalm 18:19 to our lives]
  16. Everyday Goodness [celebration of the “little things” that change the world for the better]
  17. ***Messy Hospitality [wrestling with the humility required in cultivating vulnerably honest friendships]
  18. Hike-Writing [celebration of the cleansing power of my happy place: the hills]
  19. A Sleepless Night [a story about meeting with /god during the dark & challenging times]
  20. The Time I Exploded – A Guest Post [short narrative from my daughter about a time she was incensed at the unkindness of strangers]
  21. Empathy Training [vignette describing a moment two middle school girls got a firsthand lesson in empathy]
  22. The Treasure:: God Within [my epiphany: when I moved from ineffective, self-sufficient thinking to God-centered, God-surrendered habits]
  23. ***Cozy Friends [vignette celebrating the beauty of Christian friendship]
  24. The House I Grew Up In — Part 1 [collection of memories from my childhood]
  25. The House I Grew Up In — Part 2 [collection of memories from my childhood]
  26. When You Need to Walk Away [celebration of the gift of empathy & support during hard, confusing times]
  27. ***What Hasn’t Happened Yet? — A Guest Post [encouragement to those asking “why?” in the midst of trials]
  28. Not Forgotten [story of how isolated I felt as a mom of young children]
  29. 10 Things That are Saving My Sanity Right Now [a list of things that are keeping me happy, hopeful, and buoyant right now]
  30. ***Not My Battle to Fight [story about when God told me to hold my tongue when I wanted to engage in”helping someone see the light”]
  31. Conclusion [wrapping up the series]