If you get a chance to meet Ali Edwards, take it. I first met Ali when we were Garden Girls at Two Peas in a Bucket.com. I can tell you first hand that she is a lovely woman: unassuming, kind, and brilliant. She is authentic, sincere, and inspiring. She is loyal and thoughtful.
She was the first person to tell me I was a storyteller.
It's taken me years to realize the truth in that little sentence. Years to see that it was more than just the paper and products we used. I spent a great deal of time recently looking back over the stories I've shared here on the blog. The birth of several of my children happened within these pages, the death of a dear sweet grandfather, the struggles and triumphs of adoption, and so much more has been expressed through the simple keystrokes and click of a camera.
Lives have become interwoven and generations linked through the swoosh of a pen and the lens of my camera.
Can you imagine my grandchildren getting a glimpse into the silliness of their parents through the stories they find here? My grandmother loves to see what is happening online and she lives next door.
Last year I was able to attend a conference called Story at Home. Here I learned again that I am a storyteller.
I learned to ask:
*What is my story about?
*Is there a story within a story?
*What "lens" are you seeing this story through?
*Are you giving the overview or the moment?
*Am I writing my story or "the script" that was given me?
I went to the conference with a blogging focus. I was excited to improve my "skills" and learn trade secrets. Instead, I found myself drawn to the geneology and storytelling portion of the conference. It was amazing. I come from a family of geneologists and it is not really something I was interested in until Michael J. Hall from Family Search retold the most amazing story of his ancestors from basic form documents. I look at geneology in a different light, not in the traditional sense.
My children need to know who they are based on where they have come from; this is why I write (blog) the stories of our lives; the testimonies shared and most importantly the love expressed. These are our words, a treasure for generations to come and a strength for the everyday moments.
The Joseph Smith Memorial building was too beautiful not to snap a few photos from class to class. If you have a chance to go, I would recommend it. It was a wonderful experience. A few other things that jumped out from my notes:
Hearing the voices from the past:
"I desire no future that will break the tie from the past" George Elliot
"Over 1/2 of the children of the world will have no record, ever, of their lives." Steve Anderson (Family Search)
"We need to sense that something very important is going on, because it is." Syd Liberman
"History is people caught up in events" Syd Liberman
"A grocery store experience can become an opera" Syd Liberman
"When you understand someone else's story, you have an immediate connection." Kim Weitkamp
"Giving children their stories will root in them and give them stability. It will give them a true identity." Kim Weitkamp
"Not everyone is a story listener. Create different ways to share your story." Gordon Clark (Family Search)
I also learned how much more comfortable I am in a pew than a row of chairs. A pew , although perhaps not physcially comfortable, it is emotionally relaxing. There is probably a story just in that fact.