My mother never simply read a book to me. She acted it out. She changed her voice to be each character. She put the book down and acted out the parts. She was so funny!
Not only would she act out the stories, but she would also encourage me to join her. She would say, “Today, you be the rabbit!” And I’d act out the parts to the tune of her laughter.
Then the day came when she stopped right in the middle of a story. I wondered if something was wrong. Instead of completing the story, she said, “What do you think happened next?”
I said, “I don’t know. You haven’t read that part yet.”
She said, “No … you finish the story. Don’t let other people be the only ones to tell the stories. You tell the story too. Your story may be better!”
So I’d make up a part of the story that came next, and then she would chime in with a part, and sometimes we never read what the author intended.
Later as I began to write stories and plays, I realized the seeds of telling a good story had been planted by my mother. Even today, I find myself thinking of alternate endings to tv shows and movies.
As much as Mother enjoyed launching me into a world of imagination, she was a realist too. She knew how important it was to catch the vision and dream big.
But she also knew how important it was to plan and take the right steps to make the dream come to life.
If I said, “I think I might do …” my Mother would say, “How are you going to do that?”
And I would say, “I’m not doing it now. I was thinking I might do it one day.”
She would then counter with, “When? When are you going to do it?”
She said, “Success is in the details. When we take a trip, we know where we want to end up. We may change course on the way, but we still have some idea of when we are going, where we want to go and how we might get there.”
But when I would come back to her, seeking her approval of my plan, she would say, “Interesting. Let’s ask God what He thinks about it.”
And then she would pray with me, asking God to reveal His Perfect Plan for whatever desire I had in my heart.
Mother always reminded me that God is The One with The Plan. She said, “He lets us tell part of the story, but He gets to finish it (or begin it!).”
She winked and added, “He knows where you are going and how you are going to get there, but He will let you help ‘pack the car’ for the trip!”
Don’t let anyone but God write your story.
When it is your turn to contribute to the story, do so with enthusiasm.
Learn to see the stories of other people from their point of view. Imagine what it would be like to see life as they do and speak with their voice.
Success is in the details. Dream big, but start planning how to make those dreams come true.
Trust that God knows your whole story. Even if you take a wrong turn, He can change the story from a disaster into a “happily ever after!”
“For I know The Plans I have for you,”
declares The Lord,
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
Plans to give you hope and a future.”