It’s a midsummer Friday night at home. Bill and I are watching one of our movies, You’ve Got Mail. Even in the midst of a world of sadness and bad news, we managed to steal away a very special day just for the two of us. We needed it. We bought a floor lamp for our room that now sits between our two matching chairs. As we each work on our computers, while randomly looking up to quote some of the favorite movie lines or to burst into song with the movie soundtrack, it isn’t lost on either of us that we are blessed.
Where do I begin? After 34 years of being married to my soul mate, we never grow tired of reflecting on our love story. I wish everyone had the deep joy of a really great love story. We still laugh at each other’s jokes, sing the same songs, and cry at the same moments in a movie. We dream the same dreams and hope for the same future. Our little world is rich in moments that take your breath away. We cherish the same people and follow the same Lord. I told him on our 25th vow renewal, “as long as I live, I’ll never get over you.” He stays up late with me when I’m not sleepy. He gets out his guitar and sings me to sleep when I’m sad. He gets up early to do extra work so we can have more hours together later. We are truly blessed to have a really great story.
So what is it that makes a great story? I think it has to have relatable characters, along with a story line containing deeper meaning than what is readily observed. It needs a magical instance when you say, “ahhh,” and your heart is captured … you’re all in.
I had coffee with a special friend recently and she asked me what were my favorite books. I instinctively put on my pastor’s wife hat and started naming spiritual titles, which truly do mean so much to me. As we continued to explore the topic, I realized the books that I love are the ones that challenge me to live a life bigger than myself. A story that gives me something to reach for, to recapture the dreams I once dreamed, to imagine a life that matters and to see a struggle through to its resolution.
She smiled and said, “what about Anne of Green Gables?” I looked at her for a moment longer than usual and my heart was touched. With that simple suggestion she had given me permission to simply be me … to take off my hat and just sit down with her on the coffee shop sofa without my title. I’m so glad she asked me that question. She instantly took me back to days long ago where I saw myself as a young girl curled up on the sofa with that book, wiping tears away, remembering the way I felt swept away into Anne’s simpler world. I remembered why I so loved books and stories, especially stories reflecting the days of our childhoods.
I hope that my writing might somehow inspire you to read the great stories written down through the years by extraordinarily simple people like you and me … people who had a story to tell. I hope you can be inspired to live a life that matters and to give yourself the privilege of becoming what you love in this life.
As I watched our movie tonight, each time I got to go into ‘The Shoppe Around the Corner’ with Meg Ryan, my heart raced as I looked at each children’s book title, art work, and stuffed toys depicting the leading characters. I realize everyone doesn’t feel that passion for children’s literature, but for me it is the soul behind my adult life. I’m working on a children’s book, now … in fact, several. I love this creative outlet God has chiseled into my heart. I want to not only live a great story; I want to write great stories for others who need a good word in a dark moment. I want to give back something that might touch people’s hearts for years to come. Thanks for sticking with me on this continuing journey. I’m hoping it takes us through forests, rabbit holes, wishing wells and all things joyful.
*This blog is dedicated to my dear son-in-law who challenges the creative within me, and I feel truly believes I have a great story to share. Thank you Phil.