Monday, April 11, 2016

Find Bright Stars in Your Darkness


As I was driving to the studio last night I was constructing  (and deconstructing) what my answer would be the question that somewhat haunted me:

What would I tell someone who was listening about how to get out of the muck of their life? If I was talking to someone who had totally lost hope, what would I say? What is one of the steps to help them move forward towards peace? 


What a question; It does put a lot of pressure on someone, but then again what a privilege to be able to share what has helped me with others. 


Want to know what came up again and again like a broken record that I could not stop?

Community. 

Friends. 

Support. 

Loving Relationships. 

And want to know what God did with my thoughts last night?

He confirmed them (not sure why I just read that with Forrest Gump’s voice)

Yesterday, I was loved on and prayed over. Jesus’ love just oozed out of my friends, my congregation and my family. 

On the way to the studio my phone illuminated with texts from my groupies, sitting patiently in their cars with their radios already tuned in. Even, my mom, was poised with her iPad ready for the live stream. 

I could feel every ounce of love and every powerful prayer yesterday. 

Jesus has a big part in my story, but you all, my friends, the ones who love and support me have such a large part, too. 

I could not have made it this far with you. 

From, my dear friend, Emily standing in a park with me over a year ago saying, “Oh, I want to hear all of your story” to Sarah making me cry by reminding me that it was her turn to sit with a goofy smile on her face as my voice played. To my dear friend, Sandi, who adamant that she would not miss my lifestream. And, Casey, my awesome cheerleader who made this interview happen. 

(I feel like I am accepting some sort of award)

I could go on for hours listing names and telling you all individually what your role was in this journey. 

The holy spirit was even working through the men a block away from the radio station. As my nerves were at an overwhelming level partially because we were running late (it’s a Bahn thing - heehee) there was a group of men cleaning windshields at the last stop light before our turn. One of them came over with his squeegee and drew a big heart on the windshield in front of me. I wanted to jump out and just hug him! I should have, but the light turned green and did I say we were late? 

But in that moment, that heart was such a sign - I was loved. I was loved by all of you and I was loved by my heavenly father. 

So, if you were to ask me today, what is one of the keys to getting out of the darkness? My top answer would be surround yourself with people who love you and aren’t afraid to show it. Find a community of friends who illuminate Jesus’ love all over you! 

As a wise man said yesterday in his sermon, Even a dim reflection of God’s love is a bright star in a dark night. 


Thank you all so much for being my bright stars! 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Renewed Strength: Live Radio Interview Details

There is an Ellie Holcomb songs that goes, 

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint
And like a flight upon an eagle’s wings, He will give the weary strength

So lift your eyes up to the sky
To the one who hears you when you cry

It played this evening as I was driving alone. I found myself grasping onto the words, embracing what feels like are just hopes, praying for strength, praying to not grow weary, praying to not be faint. 

You see twenty-four hours from now my voice will play out through the radio waves in Houston and in Austin. My story will be shared with a listening audience of, wait for it, 20,000. 

20,000 people, seriously. 

And that is just the first night. My interview will re-play in Georgia and in Kansas and in Wisconsin. 

To be completely transparent with you, the Lord and I have been battling this for a good week now. While I have been knocking myself down  (telling myself that I am not capable, that I am going to stumble, I am going to choke - I am going to say the wrong things), God has been there urging me along. 


I can’t do this. 

Yes, you can - I am here and I will be there. Open your mouth and I will give you the words. 

But, more that 20,000 people? I am not qualified for that. 

I am not asking you convert a single soul, that’s my job. I am asking you to share the story I wrote for your life with them. 



It almost feels like I am typing a skit guy’s video. (love them)

2 Timothy 3:17 has played in my head over and over again this week - 

so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Why do I fight it? 

I will tell you that my purpose (I know for a fact - 110%) is to reach the women like me, to give hope to those who are sitting in a life that is drowning them in shame, grief, self-hate. God saved me from myself, over and over again. God saved me for this. 

But dang it, that fact doesn’t make this any less nerve wracking. 

Here in print, I am not as awkward (thanks to that delete key) than am live in person. I get nervous, I resort to inappropriate humor and pronounce things wrong. Oh man, I apologize for things that have nothing to do with me. I’ve been know to say, “I am sorry” for the sun that is shining. 

And can I just say that the world winsome has put such fear into me? I am shacking my head, it’s silly, I know. Of all the words in our language, winsome is one I have never used and seriously I never in a million years thought that would be something that could describe me. And that, ladies and gentle, is me beating myself down. This is the moment where just about all of my girlfriends want to shake me. 

When will I ever start believing that I am capable, that I can help so many, that my story is amazing? Umm, I am not sure, because even though I don’t feel an ounce capable, even though I feel just as Moses did:

Moses said to the LORD, "Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

I am so grateful for my story, what I have come out of, and I am thankful that just as he said to Moses

"Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say."…

He says to me. 

Oh, man, God is amazing - His timing is even humorous. I’ve had headphone in while writing this and as I have written these are the songs that have played. 

At the Cross (Love Ran Red) by Chris Tomlin: There’s a place where sin and shame are powerless, where my heart has peace with God. 

Forever Reign by One Sonic Society: You are peace, you are peace when my fear is crippling

None But Jesus by Hillsong United: When You call I won’t refuse

Then, Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin

And just incase, Him speaking to me through music wasn’t enough, I get a text from Pastor Schultz (who will be interviewing me tomorrow) that says, “Blessing on your thoughts. May your evening be one of peace” right in the middle of all those songs. it’s as if  God is saying, “take a deep breath, I’ve got this.”


These are the events that leave me sitting in front of my computer, hand over mouth, just ugly crying all over my keyboard. These are the moments when I am amazed, taken back and overwhelmed by the amazing love that I never for a single minute deserved, but received through grace. 

So, 800 words later I am at peace. Even after hearing that I will be video taped and my video will also be shared, I am at peace (though rummaging through my closet in my mind at this very moment - what will I wear?!?!)


Here are the details about tomorrow (Sunday, April 10th): 

If you are in the Houston area I will be on KKHT The Word, 100.7FM Houston from 7:00-8:00pm (central time). 

The broadcast will also play live in Austin on KTXW (AM 1120). 

Or you can listen, through life stream here: http://www.kkht.com/ (click “listen live” in the upper right hand corner). 

My interview will replay on these stations on these days, times:

WFAM (AM 1050) Augusta, GA - Saturday, April 16th at 6pm
KCNW (AM 1380) Kansas City, KS - Saturday, April 16th at Noon
WJYI (AM 1340) Milwaukee, WI - Sunday, April 17th 6:30pm
KLNG (AM 1560) Omaha, NE/Council Bluffs, IA - Saturday, April 16th, 10am
WITK (AM 1550) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA - Wednesday, April 13th at 6pm

Also, next week you can find my interview on Evangelical Life Ministries’ website: http://www.elmhouston.org/houston_radio_ministry_programs.htm

Thank you all so much for your continued support and prayers. 

I don't feel I can end this without share the amazing blurb (I know there is a more educated word for this, but it's lost in my mind) that an truly amazing, truly winsome, friend wrote for me: 

Dana Bahn lives a modern-day resurrection story with many Biblical parallels. Her choices, which tore at the fabric of morality, left her condemned, alone and broken. Yet, she has a welcoming, forgiving, and healing God. It has not been easy, but through the powerful work of Jesus, she has been restored with confidence, guided to a loving husband, gifted with three beautiful daughters, learned the incredible forgiveness of God and given a platform to share her renewed life with many. Join Dana with host David Schultz to hear of her redemptive story.



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cardbord Testimony: I Was Not Alone

After a long day of work I hope to find words to best describe my feelings about this video. 

I sat in the pew Sunday morning with Matt and Shelby on each side of me. As the video started playing on the gigantic screens in front of me I grab their hands. Shelby gave me a reassuring, “it will be okay, mom” as I squeezed her hand. 

In reality this video had already played in four services that morning, over 1,000 people in attendance on Sunday morning had already seen it and many of those people I exchanged pleasantries with during Easter morning brunch, but this time it would play with me sitting right there. The people around me would be able to say, “oh that’s her.” 

In reality they could say that about all of us. We pretty much all were in the same service that morning, I shared my fears, my butterflies, and my tears with my dear friends (old and new) who sat scattered throughout the 11 am service. I wasn’t alone. I knew I had a friend three sections over crying just as I was, when her statement flashed on the screen. I knew I had another friend who also was crying and had the unique pleasure of returning to the stage to sing after the video - she did and she did amazing. And another who shared a secret she kept out of the public for many years. 

And I think that is the key: I was not alone. 

I shared this experience with 12 amazing people, but I also share it with 2,000 (and that number will continue to grow). In the growing, we will each realize, accept and experience the overwhelming peace in the truth that we are each not alone. Though, our stories are not identical, we each had struggles that God has lead us through and now we sit on the other side. 

And as a roar of claps and cheers radiated from the audience Easter morning, my hope is that each one of my dear friends felt just how amazing grace is, how it can bring tears to your eyes (as it is doing to mine now), but still make you exude with happiness. 

This was special, this was good. Oh I am so happy right now and I am also happy that I got to watch the video again. I remember leaving church that day thinking, “wait, I was crying so much, I missed parts of it.” 




Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday: the Weary, the Worn and the Weak Sitting Next to You

It’s quiet, the sun has not risen and neither has my family. It’s just me, the dog and the guinea pig, oh and Nicole C Mullins. Yep, It’s Easter Sunday Morning and you can tell in my house because My Redeemer Lives is turned up loud on repeat. 

I know, That I know, that I know, that I know, that I know
He lives
my redeemer lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow

I can tell you right now that Matt isn’t even up yet, but he is irritated. While he agrees with every line my favorite Easter song, he cannot stand the song, at all. So, I play it more and louder. 

I mean, come on, how can you not belt this out this morning?

The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory


Again, I don’t believe it’s the message that Matt dislikes as much as the vibrato. That or me turning into a Southern Baptist Choir singer over and over and well, over again. I just cannot help myself. This song. This day. 

As I was getting ready this morning, I was thinking what I wanted today to be, what I wanted to make sure I shared with you today. While we are all in our best clothes posing for family pictures which in my house will line my stairwell for years come, what do I want you to see, to learn today. Now, let me just say my goal for life is not to “teach you” something every day, I would go mad living in that pressure. But today an idea was laid on my heart. 

hold on I have to hit replay

And whoooo-ooo showed the moooon where to hide till eveninnnngggg. 

Ahem, an idea, on my heart…

While I would love and adore to say “take this song, embrace it and shout it from the roof tops, ‘MY REDEEMER LIVES!’” I don’t remember, even once, an altar call rush on Easter morning. (now, altar calls are from my upbringing and really aren’t something practiced in the Lutheran denomination) That’s why I think today you need to sit. Today, I want you to take in somethings. I want you to embrace some truths. 

The weary, the worn and the weak from the lyrics above includes the woman sitting on the end of your pew in her gorgeous purple dress with matching shoes and accessories. 

The weary, the worn and the weak includes the pastor that paces the stage in front of you. 


The weary, the worn and the weak is the family who appears to have it all together, who sit almost perfectly three rows back from you. 

As you sit in service this morning, I want you to know that we are all on the same playing field. We are all broken. We all sin. There is no “perfect” in God’s house this morning. The only perfect person of this world is the one we celebrate today, the once who conquered death and brought US ALL victory. 

When I was a child and attended church with Meme on Easter morning (she is the woman in complete purple - even her eyeshadow and lipstick were purple, God love her she loved that Easter assemble - man, I love her) I remember sitting (with all the seniors) and watching Pastor J. Don George and his family. To me that day, and for years to come, there was no weariness, they were not worn and they were not weak, they were absolutely perfect. Now, I cannot say if their goal was to make everyone around them believe in their perfections - I would pray not, but I have also not heard him confess his weakness to the thousands who attend his services each Sunday. (wow, I am not meaning that to be tacky sounding)

What I am trying to get across to you is I don’t think today, is the day to join a church (if you are not already a member) and don’t think today is the day to say the sinners prayer and request to be baptized. Take that pressure of yourself today. Today, I want you to take it all in, but don’t believe the lie that everyone around you isn’t weary, worn and weak just like you. Today is the day we strive to look perfect, but brokenness is lying just beneath the fabric on our Easter best. 





Saturday, March 26, 2016

His Wounds, My Ransom and also Yours.

Six years ago, I attended my first Lutheran service. It was Good Friday (I guess it’s not exactly six years since Easter bounces around some). The guy I was dating (who is now my husband) took me to his church. I was 31 and had never experienced a Good Friday service, but thinking back on it, Matt may have been up to something. Normally, you leave somberly from a Good Friday service, it’s quiet, not a lot of speaking - it was a great time to bring a new girl friend to a small church you’ve attended since you were a teenager. Well played Matt, well played. 

Easter, outside of chocolate bunnies and big hats, always seemed a bit depressing to me growing up. Why do we celebrate the horrible things, this poor man went through? I saw Passion of the Christ in my early twenties, in the theater, I walked out shocked with mascara running down my face - it was horrible. It was hard to see the bigger work that had been done through the violence and hate that occurred that day. 

So, what exactly happened on Good Friday? My father in-law (JAGdad) shared this in an email to our congregation. 


Jesus is tried, convicted, sentenced and sent to be crucified.
Jesus is nailed to the cross between two thieves.
Jesus forgives, calls out in prayer, declares that his work is FINISHED, gives up his spirit, and dies.
His body is taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb.


This morning as we wake to prepare for egg hunts and assure our Easter outfit is perfect, it is FINISHED. 
As you add the last minute items to your children’s Easter baskets, know it is FINISHED. 
As we place a glaze on our ham tomorrow morning, it is FINISHED. 
As some of you may grumble, that your favorite store is closed when normally open for Sunday afternoon shopping, it is FINISHED.  

It has been finished for 1,983 years, but we still need this yearly reminder. 

Do you know the story? Even if you’ve heard it over and over, it’s time to remind yourself. This morning before the busyness of your day I invite you to open your bibles (or click one these links) and catch up on what happened yesterday: 



I personally prefer John 19. 

 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


“‘It is finished.’” The debt is paid. 

“He bowed his head and gave up his spirit”

Your heart changes when you realize, though brutal and horrible, He did this for you. His wounds were the ransom for my life. 

Living He loved me
Dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away

Can you live today as if your sins have been carried far away? 

Oh, I will be honest, I held tight to those sins through many, many Easter celebrations. Six years ago, as I started a relationship with a pastor’s son I kept my long list of sins hidden away in hopes they would never see the light of day. I knew, just knew, with all my heart that if just one of those sins came to light that it was over, my picture of my perfect family would never come to fruition. Just about every Easter since my first Lutheran service, I would walk the doors of church (where my father in-law lead worship) and suck in a deep breath knowing that God was going to do business with me. As I sat in the pew, I wrestled over my determination to keep my yuck, my mess just between me and Him. Normally, you’d find tears tricking down my cheeks because I knew just what He paid the price for, I knew the sins that were forgiven that day. 

But this year, almost an entire year after I began living transparent with you here, I feel I can finally walk through today as if all my sins have been carried away. I surrendered to His will for my deepest secrets and I live in his mercy. 

Now, I am not saying, that you should spend today listing all your laundry online for the world to read, but I am telling you that 

if you’ve given your body, your purity to someone prematurely…
if you’ve let addiction take over your life…
if you’ve taken someone else’s life through an abortion…
if you’ve ended a marriage…
if you’ve been unkind to those who love you…
if you’ve been unfaithful to your spouse…
if you’ve caused someone else’s marriage to end through an affair…
if you’ve lied to everyone around you…

Even if you feel your sins are too horrible to even utter…

IT IS FINISHED

He did this, not just for me, the girl who sits in the front pew each Sunday, but He did this for you! 

You my love are forgiven, your sins He has carried away. 

Rising He justified
Freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh, Glorious Day

Please, for me (and for you), take all that in today. My hope is that tomorrow as you walk through the doors and sit in the pew, that your heart will be at peace and you are not distracted by wrestling with your sins. Lift those up to him and breathe the beauty, the feeling of “freely forever” that Easter brings. Girl (or guy), even if you are a card carrying member of the C & E club, breathe it in! 

Now, I am off to make bunny pancakes for my Littles. And prepare my voice to belt out my husband’s favorite (NOT) song tomorrow morning! 


Lyrics above are from this song. And FYI…it’s not the song I belt out every Easter morning, you’ll get that tomorrow. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Story: One Word, So Much Shame

As I sit down to write this morning I am frightened and scared. In moments like these I clearly hear God’s voice saying, “yeah, ummm, we are not done yet.” (not sure why God’s voice sounds like Mr. Lumbergh leaning on the edge of my cubicle this morning) 

On Sunday I did my part in a cardboard confessional (google it). I prayed Sunday morning as I was fixing my hair just right, for the words that I would write out in sharpie on top of a piece of cardboard. I prayed for just the right words, the words that would reach someone who needed to see there is hope. I kept getting the response of “all of it”. I had complete confirmation that I was not allowed to just write, “broken”, that someone sitting a pew hurting needed to see more. Can I tell you that I have never been so nervous? Well, I probably have, but really I was way too anxious about this event. 

And now, afterwards, I am even more anxious. This is where I am to remember that He has got this, right? Good ‘ole Jeremiah 29:11. 

I am thankful, that a sweet girl (who I feel is a part of my family) was the one to walk me through the process of filming my confessional. She was patient in my freakout, my pacing, my “okay, okay let’s do this”. I was given a max of six words - six words to reach that person who needed to see that there is a light on the other side. Six words? How in the world could I encapsulate my story with meaning into six words? You know me, I average about a 1,000 words a post. Very seldomly I am a found to be at a loss for words, especially when it comes to my life. 

I started throwing out things (that this girl knew about) and she directed me with things like “someone has that point covered” (not her exact words, but the comfort I took from her words). I wanted to make sure that my “go-to” subjects had shared by someone because again, there will be someone sitting with us on Sunday morning that needs to see the front and back side of our cardboard pieces. 

To be completely transparent with you, my thought in that moment was, “Oh crap, really, God? This is what you want me to write?” And the confirmation was back, again. On my third line I was to write a word that very few have heard from me - a word that still brings shame, a word that I have begun to work through, but am not healed from. A word that in our world, brings disgrace. “Well, fine, but you have to help me spell it correctly.” Wouldn’t that be horrible, hundreds of people seeing my confessional and realizing, “yikes, she spelled that wrong.” 

I am stalling because I have trouble typing the word, hell, I have trouble writing the word. “I can’t believe I am writing this, it’s so embarrassing, but it’s my story” is what I said as the sharpie squeaked across the surface of the cardboard. 


Prostitute

And this is where the devil always attempts to grab me. I am automatically overrun with shame and then I hear, “it was just once, please, there are women who are lost in the sex industry and you are making a big deal about the one time you took paper money for sex?” 

Yes, because the scars from that day hurt, still. 

During the Spring of 1995, you will remember I was deep into some major drug addictions and I guess you could say I was already involved in the barter system of using sex for drugs. One afternoon the guy I was seeing (station wagon guy) had a brilliant idea to help me and his sister get some money. He knew that the main drug distributor had paid girls for sex in the past and what a great opportunity for us to make a quick $200. It still amazes me the lengths I would go to when I was lost and so wanted to be loved. I will spare you the details that are etched into my mind, that haunt me at crazy unsuspecting times. I will remind you though that I was seventeen and this guy, well let’s say today he is older than my father. It was sickening and is worse now look back on it as an adult. 

For those of you who remember the pure anger I shared after sitting through a presentation by Cat French from Elijah Rising this is where that angers stems from. Anger is a sign that I am not healed. The fact that I have no fear of the men who pimp-out and hold in captivity young women like I was 21 years ago, the fact I say things like, “that wouldn’t be a safe ministry for me to be a part of because I would probably end up in jail” shows that there is still healing to be done. Because like M’Lynn in Steele Magnolias, I am screaming “I just want to hit someone till they feel as bad as I do”. That’s not good, people, that’s not good. 

I am not sure if my feelings would be as intense if the aftermath of the event played out differently, but I left his high end beach front home thinking that no one would know what happened, that I would have a new cute outfit that I purchased from a store I could have never afforded normally and the world would never know. But that was not the case. First, I did not receive the money, it was passed off to the person who played the pimp in this horrible story. Yep, station wagon guy. And the day after, news of my trist, every horrid little detail was spread around our small town. I was shamed by people I thought I loved and cared for - it was horrible and  it marked the beginning of the end. I would say less than a month later, station wagon guy laid out lines of cocaine and said, “do it or get out?”  Thank you, Lord. Thank you so much for giving me the strength to walk out that day. 

As I sit here still shaken by this event in my life, I keep seeing Romans 5:8…But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners

I want to leave you with this song, as I did last April when I shared about this time in my life. (You can read it here: My Story: The Early Years). 


You cry yourself to sleep
Cause the hurt is real and the pain cuts deep
All hope seems lost with heartache your closest friend
And everyone else long gone
You've had to face the music on your own
But there is a sweeter song that calls you home, saying

You're not alone for I am here
Let me wipe away your every tear
My love, I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
And I'm the One who's loved you all your life
All your life


If my story matches pieces of yours, please know that you are not alone. Not only are we sisters in this story, but my dear we are Sisters in Christ. And HIS love will never leave you! I want you to know above everything else, that HE loves you - He ALWAYS HAS, even through what the world sees as the most unloveable sins, He loves us. And so do I. 

To learn more about Elijah Rising, please visit their website: http://www.elijahrising.org/ 

If you need healing from past sexual abuse, here a great resource for you: http://www.grieftograce.org/ 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Importance of a Story, Your Story

I stood at the kitchen counter this morning and thought, “Did I take my pill?” It was something I would have done less than an hour before. In slight panic I thought, “Retrace your steps. How could I tell? What would be different?” Then I saw a glass in the sink, “yes, I took it with lemonade, just after I sat Shelby’s out.”

Now, this may happen in your house often. I know with the business of life we can all have times where our brain is scattered. But for me, well, for me I pray this is not a foreshadowing of life to come. The fear escalates when I can’t remember if I’ve taken my medicine since my grandmother’s diagnosis came after she accidentally overdosed on medication she took at the same time everyday for years. 

Fear comes as I find myself behind a couple in a department story, trying hard to not listen to their entire conversation, but being pulled in when she asked her husband, “So, I called you?” And he patiently and sweetly responded with, “Yes, you said you were afraid and were not sure where you were.” Man, will that be my life? This was not an “old” couple either, I would estimate they were maybe in their mid to late fifties. 

Could the abuse that I’ve done to my body, to my brain with extensive drug use and years of depression make this disease come on faster than it did for my grandmother and also my great grandmother? And my great aunt? Though, I believe that her’s may have started earlier than all of them. Does my mental health and struggle with anxiety play a factor into my timeline? 

Have you noticed I haven’t even said the word? 

Alzheimer’s 

The horrid disease that steals you from your family, but lets you remain in form. The disease that pretty much hits the reset button on all your memories, years and years of memories gone in just a moment’s time. 

In our family the disease is a source of pain, but also humor. It’s a running joke that I will soon receive calls that my mother has been caught streaking through the neighborhood. It’s a funny image and we laugh, but then things become reality when my parents spend an uncomfortable amount of time locating their truck in the parking lot. I expect my father will remain sharp as tack until his final days just as his mother did. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that his filter will slowly deteriorate and I imagine I will be asking people to forgive his saltiness on a regular basis (wait, don’t I already do that?). 

It is when these stories pile up that I am reminded why I starting writing this blog over seven years ago - to preserve stories for my girls (then just girl). If there was one thing I wish I could do again (more than anything in the world) it would have been to take the time to record in some manner both of my grandmother’s stories. That was the plan, always intended for, but trust me, time moves so much quicker than you could imagine. Then, the stories are gone or distorted. I would say for the first year after my grandmother’s diagnosis she believed my Papa was still alive, but that he has abandoned her for someone else. If that doesn't break a granddaughter’s heart, I don’t know what could. Though I hesitate to say I do not know what life was like in their home before my grandfather committed himself to the Lord and in the same breath I make a public statement that I really don’t want to know. I will preach until the cows come home about the power of your true story, but I’d rather remain a hypocrite when it come to my Papa. I’d rather him remain someone that I look up to, I want to keep the version of him that Meme shared with me, I want to keep him locked in time with his jumpsuits and thick dark framed glasses. 

Urgh, sorry, that was a tangent. I have a reason for this post. 

It is to remind me and you about the power, the purpose for telling stories to our children,  and also preserving those stories.

I recently began reading through a book called the Secrets of a Happy Family and while it is full of great tidbits, I keep coming back to two pages. On these two pages they discuss a study done that concluded, “the more children know about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem.” This study took place in the Summer of 2001 and after September 11th they follow-up with the children just to see what the dramatic events that touched our nation did to them. The found, “the ones who know more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning that could moderate the effects of stress.” Isn’t that just amazing? 

It all has to do with a child’s sense of being a part of a large family. So, what do your children know, can they tell you where their grandparents grew up? Do they know where you met your spouse or about their birth? Do they know about your first pet or why your parents chose to name you Stan instead of Dan? 

Have they gotten the good stories, but have also learned about the struggles? Do you spend time telling the Once Upon a Times of your life around the dinner table? 

And what is the next step? For, me (and the strong likely hood that I will lose these memories) documentation, preserving in type, picture and even video is a must. My goal is to leave my daughters, who I hope will leave their children, with a strong understanding of who I was, what I thought. I also need to (I am scolding myself here) document my daughter’s lives. I need more pictures, more words about what they are like at 14, 4 and almost 3. I need to use my cannon more than my iPhone and I also need to use the video equipment that cost a pretty penny (yep…I just admitted that out loud) to catch them in action. 


While, I have spent the last year sharing my story on this blog to which I will continue in hopes to reach the people who need to hear it, I want to bring back in the more everyday, the possibly mundane sometimes boring parts of our everyday lives, so my littles (when they are not so little) have something to connect with. My legacy to them.