A Bigger Story.

Day 30.

IMG_2923First day on the ski hill today for a few of the Collins fam.

Cue Vangelis, ‘Titles’….

I did it. Set my goal. I completed my goal! 30 days of writing.

30 posts drawing thousands of visitors from over 50 countries. New subscribers. New friends. Old friends reconnecting. Faithful cheerleaders. Daily prompters. THANKYOU! I just love fulfilling my passion, to encourage, to cheer you on. Challenging you to a deeper place of spirituality, of self-examination, asking the who and why, integrating that with the world outside, to a place of knowing a daily reality of God in your world.

I want to encourage you to set your own goals and realize your part in the big story, and to understand the part you play in your story is so important. So needed, not only for you, for those around you.

Yes, that includes you…

Donald Miller writes these four points on the Storyline blog:

• Every story is built around a character or characters. This part is easy. By God’s design, you are the principal character of your story because you are the only character in any story you can control. You are the storyteller and the principal character all in one. The story may be about something other than you, but you have agency and to deny that is to tell a really boring story. The first of many keys to living a great life is to take full responsibility for our lives.

• The character has to want something. If the main character in the story doesn’t want something or if what they want is muddled, the story lacks direction and purpose. The same is true in life. When we want something we launch into the story question, that is “will the character get what they want.” But that’s not all. What we want needs to be good, self sacrificing and we have to want whatever it is we want more than we want glory or to feed our ego or even validation. When we find that thing we want, our story not only engages the world, it engages us and we become much more interested in life itself.

• Every character must go through conflict. Far from being a bad thing, conflict in story is a necessity. In America we live in a culture that avoids conflict but we do so to our own detriment. Conflict fills a story with meaning and beauty. Not only this, but conflict gives value to that which we are trying to attain. And conflict is the only way a character actually changes. There is no character development without conflict. So when we choose our ambitions, they should be difficult and we should anticipate and even welcome conflict.

• Stories must resolve. In stories there’s a scene called a climax. A climactic scene will resolve all the conflict in the story in a single action. Life doesn’t really work this way, but having a visual scene in your mind that you can head toward is motivating. For instance, if you want to lose 30 pounds, don’t set that as a goal, make the goal finishing a marathon. Finishing a marathon is visual and much more motivating.

My Prayer for you today:

“….is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you:

Leave.

Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”

Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road

This isn’t the end of my blogging, just a little less often.

See you soon,

Love, Michelle xoxo

For those who are joining today. Here’s a quick link to my 30 NaBloPoMo posts!

1. Uproot for Fruit

2. Getting intimate with Strangers. 

3. Stop for the One

4. Uncomfortable

5. TuneIn 

6. All in a Days Work 

7. Baby steps to dreams

8. Billy Graham’s last Sermon

9. Marnie’s Story. 

10. Remembrance Day  

11. I Choose to Forgive

12. Meditation: That’s what you need. 

13. Glorious Ruins

14. Beautiful BC. 

15. Stretched. Exploring Beauty. 

16. Sadness and Joy Kiss. 

17.  Sunday Smiles.

18. Reach Out.

19. A Chat with my Blogging Muse.

20. Expectations.

21. Cheers.

22. Fly.

23. A Cosmic Trio.

24. Sunday Soup.

25. Diamonds.

26. Hope on a Rope. 

27. A Wordy Reminder.

28. Giftastic.

29. Trees

30. A Bigger Story.

A chat with my blogging Muse.

 

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You haven’t written for a couple of weeks Michelle. 

I know, I know. Hmmm. I have many excuses… Lots of half finished pieces, thoughts whirring and so many ideas dancing, but to translate that into a coherent post is another matter. I write when I’m inspired, but I have to allow Inspiration time to flow and to direct my thoughts. My words.

What happened to your Friday faves?

I am inundated with some wonderful writers in my inbox. The last few weeks have been thoughtful and respectful pieces on depression, suicide in the body of Christ and our understanding of mental health in the church – highlighted by the death of Matthew Warren. We continue to pray for the Warren family.

As this is an area so close to my heart and prayers, writing about the ‘fave things’ I had enjoyed that week seemed a little shallow.

Remind Me of your passions, maybe  new blog posts will emerge from  them.

Oh where do I start.

* I help run our church Hope Centre every week. Those who visit have found a place of community, friends and free flowing coffee. I love to feed people, but more than that to see hungry people being fed. We also give away quality, donated clothes; it’s awesome to see people kitted out. Last week I gave a super expensive sleeping bag to a friend of mine who was sleeping on the street.(Thanks youth department lost and found – sorry parent whose teen lost your sleeping bag.) Yes! I’ll blog some Hope Centre stories soon.

*My passion is to see our church and community introduced to a new place of healing and freedom in Christ. Wholeness. There is no doubt that this is where our calling and vision lie. Last week, Phil and I went down to New Life church to visit the Eyes and Wings Prophetic conference. God shone light on our future with words around transformation, overcoming, creativity and presence through Charles Stock, Stacey Campbell and James Goll as they prayed and declared prophetic destiny over us. We spent today reading through and absorbing our words, then took time to pray over the city.

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I have no doubt I will continue to write stories of healing and freedom and encountering God.

Any more areas of passion?

Teenagers! You do know I have worked intermittently with teens for many years and have received training and qualifications in this area? Oh yes.

So all that expertise really helps now that you have your own teens right?

(insert own nervous loud laughter here)

Wrong.

But.

I am reading the best book on parenting teens I have ever read.  I will summarize each chapter for the many parents of teens (or soon to be) who read here.  Such great nuggets of truth and lights on moments. Sound good? Look out for those posts!

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‘my very own teens’

All this talk about writing, how is your writing degree?

Ironically, that would be another reason I haven’t posted my musings as often.

I am mid assignment. I am currently writing a screenplay on the life of John Harper. More to come on that as I am nowhere near complete.

Narrative, dialogue, outlines, treatments – it’s all new to me.

There are a trillion writing facts/quotes, here are a few for this week:

‘Tolstoy had thirteen kids and wrote War and Peace.’

 Someone asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or when struck by inspiration. ‘I write when inspiration strikes he replied. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’

‘I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.’― Madeleine L’Engle

Finally, you love your camera, have you any new photos to share?

I didn’t take this shot, but it really does deserve a post of its own. Don’t you think?  It was taken of my Mom singing at her friends wedding.

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It made us laugh out loud.

A lot.

Still does.

Even right now.

Hope you find something to inspiring on here over the weeks to come.

For you today I pray you know that:

‘God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever’
Psalm 100:5

Lots of love,

Michelle xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life is Grand

A heavy black presence entered our home this week.

It sits waiting for us.

We stare and wonder, we stare in wonder.

Yes, this week we adopted a baby grand piano. I am thankful and imagine the day when the sounds play beautiful around our home.

We love it; we polish it, we wonder about best methods, we discuss who really wants to learn…

This piano, with its life and memories and years of love, could sit in that corner for years to come, a beautiful ornament, waiting.

Or. We can embrace it, find a teacher, play daily, learn upon learn and allow life and beauty to emerge.

Life and Beauty

I look around my room and see bibles. Do you?

They too could sit and become grand ornaments of leather bound, lifeless, gold lined paper.

Lifeless, that is, until we pick it up, open it, speak it out, live it and play it.

The word of God brings life. Bringing a new song, a God song.

Yes! It penetrates those situations. It brings energy. It is active. Effacious.

But Michelle I don’t know where to start with the bible.

Pick it up, dust it off if necessary, open it around about in the middle and find Psalm 17. The shortest Psalm in the bible. I thought I’d be go easy on you… now if you really want to grasp some beauty move on a few pages and read Psalm 139.

Let that Psalm invade and you’ll be forever changed. You are loved.

Back to the piano, if anyone has a birthday feel free to come on over, Happy Birthday is the ONE song Bella knows…

Now. I do believe this piano needs a name so I’m setting up a competition this week.                                   Simply ‘Name the Piano’ feel free to leave your chosen name in comments and the winning name chosen by the Collins clan will win an itunes copy of  ‘For the Sake of the World’ by Bethel Music. Out on October 2nd!

Here’s a verse to capture my musings today!

Psalm 33

Good people, cheer God!

Right-living people sound best when praising.

Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs!

Play his praise on a grand piano!

Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare. 

For God’s Word is solid to the core; everything he makes is sound inside and out.

He loves it when everything fits, when his world is in plumb-line true.

Earth is drenched in God’s affectionate satisfaction.

Have a great week,

Michelle xoxo