Everyone Has a Story

Everyone Has a Story

Book 1 Our Story The Man Behind the Curtain

While I have been the primary blogger for our little writing group, it was never my intention to be the blogger. As we finalize our book, and are preparing to [finally] get our books published, it seemed appropriate to get some of the other voices from our group on the blog. So here is a post, written by my wonderful Uncle Bob, our very own ‘Man behind the curtain’ (in other words, the one who figures stuff out and gets things done). Enjoy! ~Lindsay

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

– I John 5:14

Uncle Bob with his great-niece and great-nephew (Lindsay's children)
Uncle Bob with his great-niece and great-nephew (Lindsay’s children)

Everyone has a story; stories that are filled with the experiences, thoughts and emotions of our every day life; stories that we tell others and tell ourselves. Stories that are filled with the ups and downs, challenges and struggles, hopes and hurts that characterize life in a 21st Century world that is moving faster and faster each day into uncharted waters.

Over the past six months, Lindsay, one of the Porkie and Pete’s storytellers and my niece, has been filling you in on bits and pieces of our family story. It’s a story of ordinary parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren who face many of the same struggles that you do. It’s a story that was inspired seven years ago when my sister Lori, the other Porkie and Pete storyteller, faced a very dark and difficult time in her life; a time, as she explained it, “When you are living one day at a time because life is so painful, unexpected, and not going the way you had planned.”

When I asked her to explain, she put it this way. “I was five years into my struggle, I was traveling home after dealing with a situation from my own life drama. I was making a ninety mile trip for the third time in one week. I was sad. I was depleted. I was PUSHing for a miracle. I didn’t think that I would make it home because I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. So, I started having a conversation with God. During the rest of the drive I became energized as a story and characters were given to me. I have no other way to explain it. I called Lindsay and began to tell her the story because I didn’t want to forget and I wanted to share.”

When I asked Lori how she made it through those difficult times, she replied, “If you are smart you reach for God. If you are patient and keep PUSHing (Pray Until Something Happens) you will be blessed in ways unimaginable.” And that’s when Lindsay got the call about the story and characters.

“I was amazed when mom called because I had been thinking about a child’s relationship with God after spending some time with one of my young nieces. My niece was learning about God, the Bible, and prayer and had asked me some simple- yet profound- questions on faith. At the exact moment my mother called, I was pondering ways to communicate who God is to a child. I listened to my mother’s idea, went home and started writing, and writing, and writing.”

And that’s how it began. “Hear My Prayer” and the other Porcupine and Moose tales that will follow are stories with a purpose; a purpose of communicating the message of hope that is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. A message about a loving Father and compassionate, caring Savior, who knows everything about us, cares deeply for us, and wants to be intimately involved in each of our lives. He is a God who will not force Himself on us, but is ready, willing, and available to “Hear our Prayers” and come alongside us and help us if we ask Him too.

Yes, everyone has a story to tell and like the young ones in our family, we want children everywhere to know about the greatest story ever told; about a God who is there for them no matter what they may be facing; a God who cares for them; a God who wants them to understand that He has a plan and purpose for their lives; a God who loves them unconditionally.

Where God Wants You

Where God Wants You

Encouragement From the Authors

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
~Isaiah 55:8

We moved recently. Everything is up in the air (or stuffed away in a box). Trying to find anything is difficult. And that’s just the stuff. We have to find a new church, the kids need schooling, my husband has a new job, we need to meet strangers and somehow make them into friends… the list goes on and on.

We are in the middle of change.

So I started praying more. Because that’s what happens when you struggle. And all the devotionals, Christian books, and scripture I’ve read, point me right to God’s Will. So, as hard as it is, I have been trying to surrender up my will, and ask simply for His Will. And in my prayers, I usually remind God that, while I know He doesn’t usually send out five-year-itineraries, I would very much appreciate one.

Because I am lost. I don’t know what to do or where to go… lost.

So then, to make a long story short, I got a random phone call. Which was odd enough. Even odder, was that she was calling about carpooling to a meeting, but I didn’t know her. And the most odd of all, was that I actually talked to her*. And do you know what she said to me?

“You are right where God wants you to be.”

sets
My friend and I have three children each. All of our children were born within a few months of each other. Can you tell which ones are siblings?

 

It was right after this, that God did some major connecting the dots for me. There was a time, about nine years ago, when I was a little confused about what was going on. Feeling disappointed, and like nothing was going my way. Enter the new youth pastor at our church. He was pretty cool, but it was his wife who caught my attention. She was amazing! And somehow we became friends. And then we had children at the same time, who could be friends with each other. She also brought into my life her sister-in-law, more friends! And the list goes on and on. (The list really does go on and on, but it would just confuse you and make for a really long blog post. So trust me, God did some amazing stuff!)

But all this to say, that in one blinding moment of clarity, God made something very clear. Nine years ago, I was praying, and feeling very similar to how I do now. Unbeknownst to me, my husband was also praying, and praying for me to find friends (really good ones, apparently). And while I was lost and looking for God’s Will, He was saying, “Just wait! Just wait! If only you knew what I was sending you! Just wait!”

I am right where God wants me to be**.

Thank you, Lord, that you have a will and a plan. Bless us not to run ahead of You, or lag behind. Help us to trust in You more each day. Help us to connect the dots, and see the good You have already done in our lives. We thank You, we praise You, we trust You! In Jesus name, Amen

~Lindsay

*New people, and phones are two of my bigger phobias.

**And in about ten years, I will probably be able to connect the dots and write a follow up blog for you. Stay tuned!***

***That was sort of tongue-in-cheek.

Proof

Proof

From the Authors

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
~Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, lyrics by Louisa M. R. Stead*

 

My daughter holding the first proof
My daughter holding our first proof

So our blog, the entire web site actually, is because of some books my mother and I wrote about 7 years ago. Seven. You heard that right. The thing is, I never dreamed that they would actually become published. We are kinda odd in that we make and create for our own enjoyment. (Is that odd? I don’t really know.) We had no real plans for these books. We wrote stories, and shared them with my children. And were satisfied. Mostly…

Yet these stories would not be ignored. So, we have been working this past year to get them from our not-so-fancy, self-illustrated prints to something more professional and publishable. We’ve completed a lot of learning, research, and work along the way. As well as edits. We pulled my uncle and cousin along for the ride, getting their help with the business aspect as well as illustrations**. And the result? This last week I got my hands on our first ‘proof.’ An actual book!

I keep looking at the word “proof” stamped right across the inside of the cover and I feel like God himself could have placed that stamp there. As if He were saying, “Proof that you can trust in Me! Proof that I see my work through to its finish!”

porkie_curious
This is how I draw a porcupine, one of the original, self-illustrated pieces.

And He does. Over and over again, He proves himself.

We don’t prove Him, He does. He proves himself through us, even as we bumble our way through life. I know I have messed up enough in this lifetime, that I seriously considered buying a garden plaque that read, “Oh God of infinite second chances, here I am again!” 

He is a good God.
He has a good plan.
He is working out His Plan.
And He will see his work through to completion.

Thank you Lord, that you are trustworthy. That you are good, and working good in our lives. We praise your Holy Name, and point back to you as the creator of all that is good! And we thank you, for the work you are continuing in us. In Jesus name, Amen!

*Louisa M. R. Stead, the woman who wrote the lyrics to ‘Tis So Sweet to Turst in Jesus,’ has quite the heart wrenching story, if you care to look into it. Someone who truly did learn to trust in Jesus in all circumstances.

**Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to draw a porcupine?

The Mundane

The Mundane

Children Encouragement From the Authors

 Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:17 (NIV)

"Cinderella"
“Cinderella”

This is one of my mom’s favorite pictures of her granddaughter*. We call it the ‘Cinderella’ photo. We were at the children’s science museum. And what does a 3-year-old wear to the science museum? The same thing she insists on wearing everywhere else- her princess dress. And what does a little girl want to do at the science museum? Well, everything. Which includes washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. So- ‘Cinderella’, because she is a princess doing the dishes.

Isn’t it a cute picture? Is your cute-o-meter on overload? Or am I just biased?

Now here is something I tend to forget while I am doing the dishes and sweeping the floor. I’m a coheir with Christ.

Do you know what that means? I am a sister to the prince, a daughter to the king. I. Am. A. Princess! I might not rock a lot of Disney Playwear like my daughter, but whether I look the part or not, I am a princess. Not the snooty kind, but the beloved princess. The apple of her Father’s eye. Yep. That’s me.

And that’s you too!!**

I don’t know if you have a daily devotional (I would recommend getting one, though). But I tend to get my ten minutes in the morning, and then I’m like, “Thanks, God. You’re the best. Help me today!” and I’m off to the races. The dishes, laundry, feed children, wash something, get to work, is the curling iron still on?, overdue books, when was that bill last paid?… and on we go. Drowning in the mundane.

You are a princess. Nothing you do is mundane.

God is not in the background all day. He is with you. Every moment you draw breath is shrouded in glory and holiness because God is dwelling with you, and you are his princess. The trick is pulling God past the morning devotional, and into the rest of the day with you. No, that’s not quite it, because He is always with you. So, I suppose, it is becoming aware that He is with you. It is making your meetings with God more than just a moment in the morning, but a continual conversation throughout the day.

When I see this picture, I don’t see a silly little girl. I see my princess. I know her strengths, I have plans for her future, I want to be there with her in that moment, and I want her to know how very much I love her.

And that’s how God is looking at us.

He wants to be a part of everything. The amazing, the hard, the mundane.

Jesus came as Emmanuel, God with us. And He still is today. The God who was, and is, and is to come with us!

Thank you, God, for adopting us. Thank you that you want us in your family, and that you have a purpose for us. Thank you that you love us so much, and that You just want to be with us. Open our eyes again to how You are in every circumstance, big or small, easy or hard. Bless us to feel You along side us throughout the day. And help us to trust more in Your Love. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*Let’s be honest, EVERY picture of a grandchild is a grandmother’s favorite picture!

**Unless you’re a guy… then, you are, obviously, a prince. Swords. Dragons. Still very cool.