#TellHisStory: We Need YOUR Story

March 26, 2014 | Tell His Story | 7 comments

It had been years since I attended a MOPS meeting.

The last time I went, I had to use every ounce of sheer will to drag my bedraggled self out of the house, along with two little girls – one with maple syrup in her hair, and the other throwing a tantrum because I wouldn’t let her take the Sharpie marker that she was trying to hide in her chubby little fist.

I was so tired. But I was also desperate.

I was desperate for community, desperate for something other than these same four walls. I craved a place, safe enough to wear my “real” on the outside, instead of tucking her somewhere safe. I wanted someone who would listen and relate to the fact that my kids hadn’t been bathed in three days, and who would understand why I couldn’t remember the last time I pee’d without an audience.

I was desperate for sisters who cared.

And then, I turned around, and my babies grew up. All those Velcro shoes and lisped S’s and dino-shaped nuggets are miles back on the memory track. 

I went to a MOPS meeting Tuesday, this time as the speaker. And I felt all growed up. And yet so NOT.

Because really. Who outgrows their need for community, for a safe place to tell your story?  And who outgrows the responsibility to listen and learn from the story of another sister?

 

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daughters

I saw myself in every set of eyes in that MOPS room yesterday. I saw myself in the mamas with their eyes wide and red-rimmed. I saw myself in the eyes of both the hope-filled and the hurting.

“Tell your stories,” I told them. “Tell your stories and reach across your tables today, to tell each other that you matter. That it’s going to be okay. That we are gonna make it. That you’re going to get a full night of sleep again.

 

“Remind each other that there’s glory there, in the fingerprinted windows that you just washed two minutes ago. Tell each other that your kitchen tables are altars, even if you’re just serving up mac & cheese tonight. There is something sacred going down every day, in that kitchen of yours with its Cheerio-covered floors and outdated countertops. And there’s beauty right there in your everyday moments, even on the days when you can’t find the library books or the lost socks.

 

And when the thunderstorm rumbles on a hot summer night, glory happens again – and it looks like your own queen-sized bed  -- suddenly full of kids who just want to know that you’re always there to protect them.

 

These are the sweetest days. And yes they are the hard days, the messy days – the maple-syrup in their hair days, …. the days when you wake up on a Tuesday morning and realize that your kids haven’t had a bath since last Thursday.


But that’s where your story is unfolding
, right between the laundry baskets … and the unorganized art bins … and this LEGO city that is experiencing urban sprawl right in your living room. It's unfolding on the nights when you decide that Captain Crunch is a perfectly acceptable dinner, and that Ketchup counts as a vegetable.

 

And I’m thrilled to be here, to tell you how your one beautiful life matters. How your life has significance. To tell you that you’re going to make it. And to encourage you, to wear your real on the outside today. Because your story will change the world.

 

And it might just change YOU.”

 

AN INVITATION

If you’ve spent much time around these parts, you know that I'm a sold-out believer in the power of story. Your stories change the world. They let people know they’re not alone. And they are proof, visible, that God is on the move.

That’s why I’m so excited to be a part of the 2014 {in}Real Life conference, hosted April 25 and 26 by {in}courage. They have adopted the theme of STORY and COMMUNITY this year. They want us to wear our real on the outside.

And they want your story.

How to participate

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This is the conference that comes to you.

No plane tickets.

No expensive conference fees.

Registration is FREE. Register right here. http://www.inrl.us

You’ll find a full list of speakers here.

And tonight (Wednesday March 26) we invite you
to join our Twitter party. It starts at 9 pm EST (8 Central). Use the hashtag #inRL. There will be amazing prizes, including some brand new (in)RL products and a super special announcement for all ladies who are registered for (in)RL!

Friend. We need YOUR story. 

You with us? 


The #TellHisStory linkup is open, below. 

If you've come by to share your Love Idol/Preapproved stories, you can also link those up on the Love Idol book page, over here. There's a whole community of people, bravely laying down their love idols. You won't want to miss it.  

And did you see the fun giveaways from Monday's post? I'm giving away baby shower gifts -- like preapproved necklaces and Skype sessions -- to celebrate our new book baby. 

Oh, another thing: Amazon sold out of Love Idol yesterday, but more books are on the way. (Amazon's site says two weeks until delivery, but that's not the case. The books are already on their way. Meanwhile, you can also find lots of other retailers listed here, places like Barnes&Noble and Parable. Or visit your local bookseller!)

Happy linking! We need YOUR story!


by | March 26, 2014 | Tell His Story | 7 comments

7 Comments

  1. Laura Risser Moss

    Excited to hear more about your invitation. And SUPER excited to hear that your Book Baby sold out on Amazon! How amazingly wonderful!!

    Reply
  2. ElizabethDBarnes

    Oh, another thing: Amazon sold out of Love Idol yesterday, but more books are on the way. awww http://num.to/834-920-855-150

    Reply
  3. Lyli Dunbar

    So excited for you Jennifer! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Sandra Heska King

    So when do those full nights of sleep come? I mean, here I am with a preteen grandgirl that stays over on many nights and texts(!) me at 2 a.m. that I need to come… hurry… right now… just come… and I go, and she tells me something bit her (we are unable to find the point of entry) or she saw a mouse’s tail hanging from her craft bag… 😉

    I’m so excited about this journey you’re on!

    Reply
  5. Lisa notes...

    Yes, this is part of our journey–to share a message of hope that every season does eventually pass, both good and bad, and that it’s all worth it. I’m glad you got to go back and be an encourager. You’re very good at that!

    Reply
  6. soulstops

    Jennifer,
    what beautiful redemption here as you encourage others with your story 🙂

    Reply
  7. Jenna Guizar

    Thank you so much as always for your bravery and your love. It means the world 🙂 ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

    Reply

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