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worldmissAccording to our teachers this week at Storyline, here are the elements of a good story: There is a character who wants something, but they have a problem.  They meet a guide who understands their fear and gives them a plan that calls them to action that results in success.

In this story, I’m the character who wants something and our speakers at Storyline and my fellow Storyline attendees are the guides.  This story is still unfolding.

Yesterday’s final day, the Writers Workshop, included a much smaller group of people, maybe 300 or so of the larger group of 1700.  I furiously scribbled page after page in my notebook as these generous, successful writers shared their wisdom, tips and encouragement….lots and lots of encouragement.  While the list of Mistakes Rookie Writers Make was a bit sobering in its familiarity, I left with a renewed commitment to explore this particular passion of mine in a more structured way.  I tried to write some final thoughts about the day when I got back to the hotel last night, but I did not have one single brain cell left.

I’m home now and the house is quiet as I read through my notes and try to process where I go from here.  As I look back over these 4 days, I am struck again by the extravagant generosity of the speakers who shared their hearts with us.  I felt like each one took me by the hand, looked me in the eye and said “Kelly, your voice matters.  God made you with gifts, talents and circumstances that are uniquely yours. What will the world miss if you don’t live your best story?”

The beauty is that I suspect each one of the other attendees would say they had a similar experience.  And even MORE beautiful, I believe that these words are every bit as true for everyone who may be reading my re-telling of the message right now.  It is just true because that is how the Kingdom works.  I arrived in Chicago with questions, received many answers and left with different and possibly better questions.  And I gained a whole new community of friends…2 of whom I am currently texting with as we pray for one another and hold each other accountable to keep moving forward.

I have so many things I learned that I want to share with you….whoever “you” are.  I know that part of my story is that I feel compelled to share what I learn, either through my writing about it or by teaching it or by sharing it with friends over a cup of coffee.  When something resonates deeply with me, I can’t really fully integrate it until I chew it up and spit it back out.  I know those are clues for me about the way my story is unfolding and what my second act might look like.  So, we’ll talk….

For today, I will leave you with one thing I heard that is already becoming a mantra for me.  We will talk more about it, but chew on this nugget from Shauna Niequist….her theme for this season of her life.  By the way, I LOVE her so much and wish I lived next door to her.  Please go buy every one of her books right away.  Ok, here it is….tell me in the comments below what this might mean to you.

Do your thing with great love right now.