When Story Begets Story

14 02 2011

Story begets story.

When two or more are gathered, and the table is set.

When love whispers welcome in sparkling china and soft pastels.

When the details declare, “You are wanted.”

When color and comfort say, “Come and sit with me a while.”

When safe harbor holds a feast for the eyes, the body, and the soul.

Story begets story.

When the giving is extravagant.

When the giving is tender.

When the giving goes Christmas deep.

When the one invited is the treasured gift, wrapped in acceptance and received with joy.

Story begets story.

So I tell mine first, and kind friends listen with love, and heart meets heart here on this page where our stories intersect — and we remember there’s an Author, that every day of our lives was written in His book before there was one of them, and nothing in our stories takes Him by surprise.


Story begets story.

I tell mine first. How my heart broke, and I couldn’t see past my lost treasure, and I lived in the “why?” instead of the “Thank You.” How even when it hurt to breathe, every breath was grace. How ripples were set in motion, and nothing they touched will ever be the same, but I had a choice whether or not to watch the beauty unfolding in their wake.

I tell my story, and then in the after moments, one by one, some of them tell me theirs. I listen, and I’m humbled, because we all have scars, and who am I to stand before those brave and beautiful souls? I listen, and I’m amazed, because redemption shines, and there’s a glory on their faces that only grace can explain.

Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And every person has a story. Here on this page where our stories intersect, we receive His gifts and taste His goodness. Ripples are set in motion, and we choose to see, and we live in the “Thank You.”

 

Giving thanks in community:

#28. Safe travel to Houston and back home again.
#29. A warm welcome from my host family and their black lab, Mollie.
#30. Jacob’s Song and a gorgeous instrument to play it on.
#31. The way ripples keep expanding as story begets story.
#32. Bountiful, delicious, lovingly prepared food.
#33. Polished silver and cloth napkins.
#34. The tender, embracing, resilient hearts of women whose brokenness has been redeemed.

#35. A surprise reunion with a high-school friend, who came to the brunch not realizing she knew the speaker, because she didn’t know my married name. We were also surprised to discover how similar our stories are. More ripples here in days to come.

#36. An extended visit with the lovely and charming “katdish.” What a delight to finally meet her in person! For those who know Kathy online, she is exactly as you would expect her to be. Genuine and thoughtful. Playful, yet passionate for truth, and not afraid to ask the hard questions. She challenges me and makes me laugh. That’s a good gift indeed.

 

Visit Ann Voskamp to read her thoughts, find other links, or to add your own voice to the chorus of thanksgiving.


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11 responses

14 02 2011
katdish

What a wonderful, beautiful day! Thank you for the extended visit. You are exactly what I had imagined you would be–beautiful and wonderful.

14 02 2011
jeannedamoff

And short. You forgot to mention short. (I look like I should be serving pints in Hobbiton!)

Thank you again for coming to the brunch and hanging out afterward. As I drove home I thought about some of the things you shared. Praying for you and yours, for grace to discover God’s good purpose in every gift — even the ones we never would have asked for.

Much love to you!

14 02 2011
craig

I’m here from Ann’s today.

First – the way you wove picture and story – priceless.

My favorite from your thankful list is this one …

#31. The way ripples keep expanding as story begets story. (you did it above and I can see it – and learn from it – and it’s a beautiful analogy)

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

God Bless and Keep you and your family

14 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Welcome, Craig, and thank you for your kind words! Happy Valentine’s Day and beautiful blessings to you and yours as well.

14 02 2011
laura

Jeanne, you are so beautiful. And what a beautiful brunch was set to receive you. Wow. I’m all agog. I would love to share stories with you, sweet friend. Perhaps one day…

14 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Laura. You’re slightly gorgeous yourself. 🙂

Wasn’t it lovely? Each table hostess set her table in her own theme with her own dishes and decorations. I wanted to post photos of all of them. So creative and welcoming!

Yes, one day! Let’s hope. Much love to you.

14 02 2011
Peter P

OK.. Katdish and Jeanne.. is one of you a little shorter than average or is one of you very tall?

14 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Yes.

14 02 2011
Glynn

Wonderful photos — AND you got to meet Katdish. What a great day!

15 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Glynn! It was fun. 🙂

17 02 2011
karenzach

Love all that glitz & glitter, all that warm embrace of hospitality and beauty, and, of course, Katdish & you, together.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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