“A million miles in a thousand years” by Donald Miller.  I’m slightly obsessed.  I’m not being dramatic when I say it changed my life and my entire perspective about what really matters and what we’re all doing here in this crazy hard life.

Reading this book is what initially compelled me to start this blog.  I’ve been resisting for several months (you can read about that here), but the time has come.  Time to quit thinking and start acting.

There was a story in the book that haunted me.  I thought about it for days and continue to think about it often.  Because it answered SO many questions about why kids stray.  Why they don’t do what we want.  Why they choose bad friends.  Why they may make some bad choices.  Why they don’t want to be at home instead of with friends.  Why they go in directions we never hoped for or intended.

These are the words Miller wrote:

“When I got back from Los Angeles, I got together with my friend Jason who has a thirteen-year-old daughter. He was feeling down because he and his wife had found pot hidden in their daughter’s closet. She was dating a guy, too, a kid who smelled like smoke and only answered questions with single words: “Yeah,” “No,” “Whatever,” and “Why?” And “Why?” was the answer Jason hated most. Have her home by ten, Jason would say. Why the guy would ask. Jason figured this guy was the reason his daughter was experimenting with drugs….

The night after we talked, Jason couldn’t sleep. He thought about the story his daughter was living and the role she was playing inside that story. He realized he hadn’t provided a better role for his daughter. He hadn’t mapped out a story for his family. And so his daughter had chosen another story, a story in which she was wanted, even if she was only being used. In the absence of a family story, she’d chosen a story in which there was risk and adventure, rebellion and independence. “She’s not a bad girl,” my friend said. “She was just choosing the best story available to her.”

I pictured his daughter flipping through the channels of life, as it were, stopping on a story that seemed most compelling at the moment, a story that offered her something, anything, because people can’t live without a story, without a role to play….

So how did you get her out of it?” I asked. And I couldn’t believe what he told me next.
Jason decided to stop yelling at his daughter and, instead, created a better story to invite her into.”

I was most struck by the line “He hadn’t mapped out a story for his family.  And so his daughter had chosen another story…”

This got me thinking.  Really thinking.  Have I mapped out a story for my family?  And is it a GOOD story?  One in which our kids will want to be a part of?  It scared me that I couldn’t answer definitively yes.  That I knew where we were headed and why.  That we were being intentional about our parenting, our thinking, our actions.

I read a comment on instagram (and for the life of me can’t remember who said it):  “We all end up somewhere, but few of us end up somewhere on purpose.”

I started thinking about everything I do.  Every.thing.  What am I doing and more importantly WHY am I doing it?  Am I headed somewhere on purpose?

It has made me stop and reconsider all of my “systems”.  For myself and for my family.  Are we doing things just because other people are doing them?  Or because that’s just the way things are done?  Or are we carving our own path?  Doing things because that is what is best for our family regardless of what anyone else is doing or thinks?

So I’m entering the new and unfamiliar world of creating a story for my family.  One with values, and purpose, and direction.  And I’ll be honest.  It’s not easy.  At times it has been downright discouraging and I feel confused and frustrated.  But it is also inspiring and full of hope.  And I am determined to face the obstacles ahead and create a family story I can invite my kids into.  One that will allow them to be everything they already are.  And to show God we remember him and will do all we can to make him proud.

{I am fully aware that kids do what they do for a million different reasons.  And even if we have an amazing story to invite them into, a family filled with intention and action, they will still sometimes stray in ways we never imagined.  I’m only stating there are ways in which we can try to prevent them going in directions harmful to themselves.  Because as parents, all we really want is for our kids to be who they were always meant to be}

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

4 thoughts on “stories”

  1. Awesome post and a truly wow moment for me. I have just read it but know I am now going to stop and think about things in a totally different way. I currently have no idea what direction I am headed never mind my family. Cannot wait to read the book. Thank you so much for sharing x

    1. Hey Bronwen,
      THANKS for your comment. This book honestly changed my life. And makes me think EVERY day “what is my story” and what direction am I taking my family. It’s incredible. I think you’ll love it.

Comments are closed.