I Love to Tell the Story

January 2, 2009 | 14 comments

DATELINE: January 1, 2009, in a garage somewhere in northwest Iowa

This is Jennifer Dukes Lee here, reporting for The GDWJ Times, where we “get down” to the facts. That’s me over there: the lady in the press hat, with the Canon in her hand and a sly grin on her face. Convincing, eh?

I ushered in the New Year at a costume party with two doctors, a nurse, a pair of ballet dancers, a rock star, a farmer, Indiana Jones, Andre Agassi and a few other characters.

Elvis left the building early, and was unavailable for comment.

Our instructions were this: Come to the party dressed like the person you wanted to be when you grew up. My sister slipped into a tutu, and my nephew came dressed as a Top Gun pilot. A friend of mine arrived in her flannel nightgown, dressed as Laura Ingalls Wilder.

But for some of us, the event was a come-as-you-are affair. My husband — who wanted to be a farmer as a child, then took a detour to law school before returning to the farm in 2002 — came dressed as a farmer. He wore his high school FFA jacket and my grandpa’s old farm overalls.

And me? I came dressed as a caricature of my old self.

Growing up, I wanted to write. Books. News stories. Cheesy poems. Recipes. Anything.

I graduated from Iowa State University, then landed some decent reporting jobs at newspapers in the Midwest.

I covered presidential elections, fires, tornadoes, heroic rescues, jailhouse confessions, the Timothy McVeigh execution, and the state of Iowa’s family farms. It was an exciting and fast-paced life.

So on New Year’s Eve, I went to the party dressed as a reporter. I pinned old press badges to a suit coat, hung official press passes on a lanyard around my neck and went to “get the story” with a notebook in my hand. I found my story in a question that came from “Laura Ingalls.”

The girl in the flannel nightgown and pigtails asked whether I missed my old life. You see, my dream of being a big-city news reporter ended when we moved back to the family farm. No more hob-nobbing with folks at the Capitol. No more front-page bylines.

She asked: “Do you miss it?”

Did I love the pace, the daily news chase, getting the Big Story? Yes, very much so.

Would I rather be a news reporter now — instead of doing what I’m doing as a mom, wife, volunteer? Nope. This life suits me well.

Which leads me to my point. I rather enjoy living in The Now — never looking too far back at what was, and never looking too far ahead at what I think ought to be.

Finding a nice place in the middle seems to make pretty good sense to me.

Even if my stories don’t make front-page news anymore, I rather enjoy telling stories here, with the few who gather here at The GDWJ Times.

As I reflect, it seems like the old song by Katherine Hankey could be my anthem in 2009. For as a child I wanted to tell the story. And today, I still do.

I love to tell the story;
more wonderful it seems
than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
and that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.

I love to tell the story,

’twill be my theme in glory,
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.
— Katherine Hankey

by | January 2, 2009 | 14 comments

14 Comments

  1. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    How cute you look all dressed up like that with a camera in your hand. You look so different from your profile photo. Very cute!

    How wonderful it is that you can say that your dreams as a child were fulfilled, even now as you write in your blog for all your readers.

    I’m glad you had a blessed coming into the New Year.

    ~Sarah

    Reply
  2. gabi dickinson

    I really enjoyed this post. It was wonderful to see more of where you’ve come from. I hope you will be writing, blogging and loving for many more years!

    Reply
  3. Chris Godfredsen

    Standard writing at GDWJ – MONEY! You tell the story oh, so well, and also cut right to the chase every time I stop by here. In some way, I am moved, convicted and/or drawn closer to Jesus. Thank you for that!

    This is what strikes me today. You wrote: “I rather enjoy living in The Now — never looking too far back at what was, and never looking too far ahead at what I think ought to be.

    Finding a nice place in the middle seems to make pretty good sense to me.”

    I pray, Lord I pray, that this makes sense to me, too!

    Thanks for the post, frienster!

    Reply
  4. Chris Godfredsen

    Standard writing at GDWJ – MONEY! You tell the story oh, so well, and also cut right to the chase every time I stop by here. In some way, I am moved, convicted and/or drawn closer to Jesus. Thank you for that!

    This is what strikes me today. You wrote: “I rather enjoy living in The Now — never looking too far back at what was, and never looking too far ahead at what I think ought to be.

    Finding a nice place in the middle seems to make pretty good sense to me.”

    I pray, Lord I pray, that this makes sense to me, too!

    Thanks for the post, frienster!

    Reply
  5. Billy Coffey

    How great it would be to show up at this party wearing the sort of clothes you wear everyday. I envy both your husband and you, living the life you want in the now.

    Your stories might not make the front page, but they do make my day!

    Reply
  6. Carey

    How FUN! And how even more FUN and blessed that you love where you are today (me, too!). Great post. Happy New Year!

    Oh, and your other sister was a…..???

    Reply
  7. Carey

    Oh, I just had to mention. I wanted to be a belly dancer (not ballet…belly). Don’t think I would have shown up with a coin belt on my hips and my belly button showing. Ha~!!!

    Reply
  8. Carol

    You’ve beem Tagged!!!
    Sarah at http://www.godsnotfinishedwithusyet.com/ has issued me my very first tag. This one asks each person tagged to share 7 random and/or weird facts about themselves, then tag 7 random people and include their links. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged.

    That’s all there is to it! Hope to hear from you. Check out my blog to see MY 7 random facts and feel free to copy the box with the directions. Carol

    Reply
  9. Jennifer

    Hello dear ones! Happy New Year to all of you. Good to “see” you here in the New Year.

    Sarah — How true. Dreams fulfilled as a child have come true — more than I could have imagined.

    Gabi — Thank you, and God bless you. It has been a joy getting to know you this year.

    Chris — You know how you and my hubby feel about you. It’s been a tough year, and you’re a consistent prayer warrior. If we look too far ahead, we drive ourselves crazy, so it is good to stay in the NOW! God bless you brother.

    Billy — True, so true. Sort of a come-as-you-are party is the best, isn’t it? Sounds like Heaven. … P.S. — I’ve been blessed immeasurably by your blog in 2008.

    Carey — It was a very fun night! A belly dancer, eh? Well, I do recall hearing a story that you were dancing on top of a table at a certain retreat once upon a time. 🙂

    Carol — Cool idea. I’ll check it out. God bless you!

    Reply
  10. girlforgod

    What a warm post 🙂 Looks like you had a blast! yes, there are things in my past that I thought I wanted, but now being a mom, and more committed to Jesus, I gave it all to Him. Somedays, I try and fight Him on it, but then I’m quick to remember Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declairs the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future”. Thinking on that usually nips it in the bud for me 🙂 He’s so good us, and oh, so patient. God Bless you this new year. Robin

    Reply
  11. Michelle

    My best friend sent me the link to your blog and I’m so glad I took the time to visit. I love how God brought you from being a big-city news reporter to writing for us and for Him.

    Your blog is beautiful! I look forward to reading more.

    God bless you,
    Michelle
    http://handsfrozentothesword.com

    Reply
  12. Carol

    Jennifer, I am happy you are here, in our community, preaching and teaching and using your gift of writing just for me! Hey, I joined High Callings today, but not sure what I have to do from here. Just talk? I can do that! Hope you are having a great new year! Love, Carol

    Reply
  13. The Unknown Contributor

    Oh Jennifer, its a good thing I wasn’t at your party. I’m told that in first grade I wanted to be a go-go dancer. Hmmm. As it turns out, not even close to the real thing!

    Off topic… due to technical difficulties (oh we newbies), I have changed the url to my blog and thought you may want the new one. http://theunknowncontributor.blogspot.com

    Reply
  14. missyhage2005

    SIssy,
    Thanks for the New Year’s post! I enjoyed this party and look forward to making many more memories with these crazies!! Love ya, Michellle

    Reply

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