The Stories I’ll Tell

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This story is for Esther or Chloe or Faye.
This tale is for Oliver or Jasper or Mark.
I have never met you, yet I live for you, my children.
I live in retrospect, crafting the stories I will one day tell you,
that you will one day weave into your personal narrative.

Will this story of mine be one you repeat with pleasure or shame?
Will you whisper it to your children when I’m gone or have forgotten?
Or will it grow dusty like a faded album in the dingy attic of memory?

I journal, making meticulous notes for an imaginary memoir.
I collect sensations like ticket stubs and pressed petals.
Every detail is preserved for these time capsule stories.

I am still sketching out the protagonist for this story,
hoping she’s embarked on nothing less than a Hero’s Journey.
Am I living with courage and faithfulness and compassion?
Or do I wait, paralyzed, for some other hero to come along?
May you build on your mother’s wisdom as I have built on mine.

I look for adventure – may my story be a page-turner.
I look for romance – I miss a man I have yet to meet.
I look for drama – tales of risk and sacrifice and humility.

I live that you, my son, may learn to love women who walk boldly.
I live that you, my daughter, may learn that confidence is gorgeous.
I live that you, my children, will know that I too am full
of soaring ambitions, fragile desires and crippling insecurities.

I live for you, that you may tell a better story than my own.

Advent Reflection

This is a guest post I wrote for my church during the advent season. Originally published here.

Advent Reading Day 5 – Revelation 19:1-10

Revelation has always confused me and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. This passage is no different. It’s full of mystery and symbolism I don’t fully understand. But a few things stand out to me about the character of God.

First, this passage shows that God is just. We have all experienced the brokenness of this world, but we have the comfort of knowing God isn’t going to leave it like that. In Revelation, we see that God has punished his enemies and “avenged the murder of his servants.” Not only does he fight for his glory, he fights for us. God sees every pain and injustice we have experienced on this earth and promises to make everything right in the end. What a wonderful promise!

Second, this section shows us that God is worthy of worship. It also shows us that we are not alone in worshipping him. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a little crazy to be worshipping a God I’ve never seen, but reading this story is so confirming to my faith. When we worship, not only are we joining countless believers in glorifying our God, we are singing with angels and heavenly beings. One day, we will get to see all of God’s worshipers in one place and hear what will sound like “the shout of a huge crowd, or the roar of mighty ocean waves, or the crash of loud thunder.” And God will be worthy of all of it.

Finally, I love the last verse in this passage. It seems to clarify everything I can pull from the rest of the story. I may not understand all the things happening in this passage, but here is something I can hold onto: “Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”

The beauty of our faith is that we don’t have to understand all of God’s mysteries in order to know Jesus intimately. By worshipping God and building a relationship with the person of Jesus, we will naturally begin to bear witness about him to the people in our lives. We don’t have to explain him; we just have to make the introduction.

I may not understand the subtle symbolism of Revelation, but I’ve come to experience the love of my Savior. And more and more, I’m realizing that’s all I need to know.

Visual Storytelling for the Deaf

This past weekend, I competed in an event here in Austin called Create for the Kingdom. It’s a weekend-long hackathon and film challenge geared towards Christians wanting to use their talents for good. Apps and films were created to change hearts and solve problems relating to foster care, human trafficking and persecuted Christians, to name a few.

C4TK

The Team: Lauren Quigley, me, and Brandon Reich

The task my team tackled was to create a Christian resource for the deaf community. The fourth largest unreached people group, the deaf have a great need for the message of the Gospel in a form they can understand. So we set out to create a purely visual retelling of the prodigal son story as a way of demonstrating God’s grace, love and forgiveness. It was a huge challenge, but great experience in visual storytelling. We wrote, shot and edited the film all in one weekend starting late Friday night and submitting it by 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Our actresses were incredible as well, dropping everything to film with us when we called them out of the blue on a Saturday morning.

This was the first time the event had included a film category, so there were only a few other teams, but it was still an honor to win the prize for Best Runner-Up! We even won a giant check! Speaking of checks, check out our film below!

Gate37: A Website for Third Culture Kids

As I mentioned in a recent post, it’s one of my dreams to tell stories that resonate with Third Culture Kids. Turns out, there’s someone working on a similar dream in the form of an online publishing house. Gate37 aims to publish content created for and by Third Culture Kids, giving them a place online where they can truly belong. Intrigued, I reached out to founder Nasri Atallah and sent him the link to my short film inspired by the TCK experience. In the end, he agreed to feature it, along with an interview with me about how culture influences my creative process. It’s so exciting to meet people with such a similar vision, even though they are miles away! Anyway, check out my interview and the rest of the site by clicking the image below.
Gate37