Periodically, I like to share a guest blog post here; today is one of those days! Please welcome Deanna Nowadnick, author of 'Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God's Grace.'
AND THIS IS WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE: We need to tell our stories!
Deanna Nowadnick, Author
Holding my first book Fruitof My Spirit, I love that I got to tell my story. The experience reaffirmed for me the importance of telling our stories. As Oprah used to say, “Here’s what I know for sure…” I know that telling our stories is important for each one of us, for our friends and family, and even for our entire community.
· Do it for yourself.
I have to admit that divine gratitude gave way to sheer joy and excitement when I held the first copy of Fruit of My Spirit. I carried the book with me from room to room. I thumbed the pages. As I held the book, I was reminded that there is nothing as cathartic as sharing our experiences in writing. Words, sentences, paragraphs give order and meaning to so many things thrown into our mental box of memories. Writing gives us the opportunity to share joy and heartache, success and challenges in our own words, in our own style, from our own special vantage point.
· Do it for your friends and family.
Shared experiences and the retelling of our shared experiences give life depth and meaning. Reminding my sons of their grandfather’s love of all things Chrysler put his gift of their first cars in context. We don’t want to bore those listening. We don’t want to monopolize dinner conversations. We just want to find opportunities—make opportunities—to share life’s experiences. And then we want to be ready to listen when they’re shared with us.
Do it for your community.
Sounds a little grandiose, doesn’t it? I don’t care how you vote. I don’t care whether you belong in a red state or a blue state. I don’t care whether you’re part of the 99% or the 1%. I don’t care about the size of your 401(k). I don’t care about those last 10 pounds.
We’re not just huddled masses. We are individual creations. We are wonderfully unique in our likes and dislikes. We are delightfully passionate about the widest variety of things in this life. And unless we share that uniqueness with each other, others will define us, definitions that ultimately divide us.
Because life is not about whether you live in a red or blue state. It’s about living a colorful life.
Because life is not about being part of the 1% or the 99%. It’s about being part of something meaningful.
Because life is not about sound bites. It’s about each one of us, our life and our own experiences, those unique to us and those we’ve had the joy and honor of sharing with others.
Fruit of My Spirit is a memoir of short stories. More important, it’s a book about God’s love and faithfulness. And this is what I know for sure: your story is no different.
You don’t have to write a book. Just resolve to share your own story when and where you can. It might be as simple as thanking someone for a gift: “You know--my grandmother loved petunias, too.” If you’re not a writer, take pictures. Post them to Facebook and tag each and every face. For Christmas, my aunt sent me a wonderful cookbook of favorite family recipes. I don’t cook. I’ll probably never use a single recipe, but upon opening the package, I sat down and read the book cover-to-cover. You see each page had a paragraph or two about Lorraine, most of the stories unbeknownst to me. Did you write a Christmas letter? Did you save the Christmas letter? Consider compiling them in a book for your children and grandchildren. What a delightful gift for that day when they long to know more.
Thanks so much, Deanna, for sharing your story and your insights with us today! I will be posting a review of 'Fruit of My Spirit' here on my blog later this week; Deanna has also graciously provided a giveaway copy. So come back soon to enter to win!