You might have noticed that on Fridays I have started to link up with Lisa-jo Baker (lisajobaker.com) pretty consistently. She hosts a Five Minute Friday blog prompt and it has been a great way to connect with others (online) around the country. It is easy to feel like you’re operating in a vacuum when your little blog gets few comments, and when blogging is something you quietly plug away at with the hopes it will matter someday. Five Minute Friday is one way I’ve found to connect with others who are also exploring this blogging thing in various ways, and if you are at all interested in finding encouragement and really great people, I suggest you check it out.
Here’s how it works. Check her site for the word prompt. Start your timer. Write for five minutes and five minutes only. Don’t worry about it all making sense or being perfect. This is an exercise whose goal is to release you from all that doubt. Write for the fun of it. Now link it up so we can all benefit from your unedited brilliance.
Today’s prompt: Story.
I can’t think of this word without Donald Miller’s book jumping into my head. Love him or hate him (or somewhere in between) he wrote a compelling book about story, and about changing your life’s story, Million Miles in A Thousand Years.
It informs the way I talk about family with my children.
See, as a kid it never dawned on me that I had a contribution to make to the ethos of my family. All my parent’s lines of “He’s your brother so he’s your best friend” fell on mostly deaf ears. I focused only on myself and on how I could relate to people outside my household, and didn’t pay much attention to how I related to my younger siblings (I’m oldest of four kids). Mostly they annoyed me and I tolerated them with the aggrieved air of my teenaged angst.
When my husband and I talk about family with our three kids today, we talk about creating the kind of family you want. We talk about their role as co-creators. We talk about all members having an important role to play. We talk about how one person doesn’t get to decide for the whole family what that family is going to be like.
They have a voice.
And because they have a voice, that gives them some power. Their input is valued.
Is this family a democracy?
It’s a dictatorship, with my husband and I as benevolent tyrants.
And we explain.
And we encourage.
And we try again.
Our family is not a set in stone family, one that has rules and traditions that must.not.be.broken. We try stuff, we let it go, we forget, we pick it up again if it worked, if it didn’t, we cast it aside and let it roll under the couch along with the other rogue Legos, single socks and tumbleweeds. But we all have a role to play. The story that is our family will be shared by my husband and I as well as Rex, Bobo and Princess Teacup. Maybe not equally shared yet, but shared and co-created alongside our Creator.
What was your role in your family growing up? What kind of story you are creating with your life every day? What is one way today you could create the life-story you desire?