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storylineAs predicted, today was like drinking from a fire hose.  I am overwhelmed….in a good way.

Whew!  What a day!

Please pardon me if I ramble, but I am still processing. I plan to do very little editing on this post, so consider yourself warned.  Bottom line, I am feeling very grateful this evening that I decided to attend the Storyline Conference.  Here are just a few of the things for which I am thankful:

The people I met.  From the moment I walked into the first session this morning until I was walking out to my car this evening, I had the opportunity to interact and share with so many lovely people.  Our choice to attend this event suggested that we all had an interest in being intentional and thoughtful about living lives of meaning and purpose.  Why else would we spend the time and money to be here?  Once we established from where we had traveled to attend, the conversation in every case turned to why we had come.  Many, like me, were in transition.  Many, like me, were intrigued by the idea of story.  Many, like me, were listening to see how God might use them in the next season of their lives in new, different or deeper ways.  We shared our stories, became FB friends or traded blog addresses.  If any of my new friends are here, welcome!!

The speakers.  Seriously, i wish I could tell you details about every single speaker I heard today.  In several cases, I felt like I was hearing from an old friend because the speaker was a writer with whom I had spent several hours through the pages of their books or blog.   Hearing the out loud voice of Donald Miller, Glennon Melton and Shauna Niequist, some of my all time favorites, was a joy.  In each case, they were exactly like I expected.  Don was funny, engaging, a little mischievous and giggled at his own jokes.  His smile is THE BEST and I love his understanding of who God is and how God feels about us.  Glennon was high energy and adorable, completely passionate, full of a deep love for her audience and fearlessly and unapologetically real and vulnerable.  She, like most people who have no filter, was also laugh out loud funny…sometimes by accident, I think.  People with no filters are MY FAVORITE.  Shauna, who did a Q & A about writing with Glennon would probably be one of my best friends if she lived around the corner.  I LOVED HER and I’m looking forward to hearing more from her tomorrow.  I also loved that she and Glennon went out to dinner last night to talk about their break out session today and forgot to talk about it.  They just hung out and talked instead.  So they came to their session today and just opened up the floor for questions.  It ended up being mostly about writing.  What I loved most was that they are very different, so they had very different answers to most of the questions- a reminder that there is no one way to do this.  Again, loved their honesty and vulnerability.  I want to be them when I grow up.

The message.  My story matters.  The world will miss out if I don’t live my best story.  In order to live a better story, I have to choose that path.  God has created me with particular gifts and passions that are the key to the story my life is telling.  The people around me learn by watching my life story, so I need to be sure that they are hearing the story I want my life to tell.  AND SO MUCH MORE.

One of the best take aways from today came from a speaker with whom I was not familiar.  He ended up being one of my favorite parts of the day.  His name is Michael Hyatt and I look forward to hearing more from him.  He offered these 3 questions as a way of choosing the path to the kind of life we want to live:

  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • What is important to you?
  • What single brave decision do you need to make today?

He suggested these questions can help us choose the things to which we say yes and, perhaps more importantly, the things to which we say no.

Another favorite of the day:  Glennon said “The way out of shame is art and service.”  I’m too tired to unpack that fully right now, but I think that reminded me that creating something meaningful and serving others is the best way I get over my addiction to myself.  I think we will spend some more time on that in a future post, so stay tuned.

Everyone in the world has a blog.  Ok, I’m not sure if this is something for which I’m grateful or just an observation.  It seemed like everyone I met today had a blog.  The entire audience of the breakout session with Glennon and Shauna appeared to be writers of some sort.  Maybe this is my own insecurity, but it is is hard right now to consider why my particular voice matters in the midst of so many words.  Maybe writing won’t be part of the path for me.  Or maybe it will.  But I’m grateful today for the reminder that EACH of us has a special part to play in this bigger story…even 50 year old empty nesters from the suburbs.

Thanks for listening, dear readers.  I just said about a 1000 words to my poor husband on the phone just now when he asked about my day.  I think maybe he felt that the fire hose had been turned on him 🙂

I have a feeling that we will have a lot to explore here over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!