I could cry. Really. I am so full of joy and life tonight. Even though my life feels a little crazy right now, it’s SO very good.
My children bless me. Each of my children has accomplished so much, and I couldn’t be more proud. From Grace’s Jazz Player of the Year award, to Julia’s leadership awards, I am without the right words to express my joy.
Then Isabel. Yesterday, she was like a kite that was swept up into the sky by the wind; today she is like a rocket that has been launched into space because of the Storyline Conference.
Last night, before bed, we were praying all sorts of interesting prayers because of her nerves. We prayed she would not throw up on Donald Miller, we prayed she would not burp, or do other embarrassing things in public. Today, two hours before she would be going on stage, she was getting very nervous again.
So we prayed.
Right before she stepped on that stage in front of 500 professional people, she broke into “double dream hands” and little “head, shoulders, knees and toes” action, and I knew she would be ok. She started giggling. God is good.
She rocked her story. In fact, she made me promise to come on stage with her in case she forgot her words, but I was more like a statue, she did not need me. I didn’t have to say a word because when you have passion in your heart, and you care enough, and you have God in the mix, it all works out. Isabel articulately told her story because she cares so deeply.
But then, Donald Miller asked the audience this question. “How many here brought shoes?”
Across the auditorium hundreds of hands came up. Isabel’s face was priceless. My husband was so moved he forgot to film the moment. Then Donald handed Isabel a check of an amount that will certainly launch her ministry in a new way. “This is to launch you, Isabel. Thank you for inspiring us and telling your story,” he said.
Boy, did this launch her….like a rocket!
After the conference, many many people came to her, offering her their skills, their talents. From movie producers to PR people, to writers, bloggers, photographers, the offers rolled in. This conference is themed around living out a good story, and tonight the story is ALIVE! While I write this update, Isabel is writing email after email to these people that have generously offered their gifts to serve in her cause. It’s inspiring. She has been moved like a mountain.
I leave Friday for Bolivia. My friend, who is one of the leaders of the church I am traveling with, told me about a child we will visit. He is a 16-year-old boy whose parents have died. Just recently, he lost his only sibling, his sister. My emotions are kind of off the charts right now after traveling to the Philippines and having this lively week at home. I couldn’t help but feel like life is so unfair, when I heard this news. What a privileged life I lead, yet so many around me hurt. They just hurt. Deep hurt.
I see the smiles in my children, the accomplishments, their happiness, then I hear about some child who has lived in the SHOES of Job and has suffered gravely.
Trying to process all of this after a week in the Philippines, after a week at home with LIFE, LIFE, LIFE…is so much…
…so much to process. “And this is my story, and this is my song.”
Tonight I feel. I feel joy, I feel tender-hearted to this orphan, I feel proud of my children, I feel overwhelmed by God’s tremendous moment in Isabel’s prayers, I feel like there is so much more to do. Not in the world of chores or duties, but in the world of people. We must relieve some pain. We must be givers. We must live a good good good story. We must be like Jesus, giving our lives to save others. We must GIVE…
…to save others.
I have learned a tremendous amount by watching my children come alive in their faith. It’s such a God thing, and honestly, I can’t take credit. I am not that good, but I care. I care about my own life story, and I care about my children’s life story and I care about the story of this young boy in Bolivia. I just care. And sometimes I care too much about what people think, and then I stop speaking truthfully or I start trying to please people rather than speaking TRUTH. The TRUTH is…there is a lot of pain in this world, and there are a lot of us who live privileged lives…and we just need to get off our butts, or get our pocket book out and do something. If we don’t do something, then I would say something is wrong. Do I sound judgmental? I don’t mean to be, but why would you let a child lie hopeless in a street if you have the means to help? Why wouldn’t you feed someone who is starving? Why wouldn’t you help a neighbor if they are suffering?
It’s about living a good good story.
Are you living a good story?
There are a million reasons to live a good story today. And on this site, you may find a few.
Thanks for letting me process tonight. I don’t usually write this much. Tonight I am just soaking in the story, and asking myself the same questions. Is there more I can do?
When we experience the generosity of others, don’t we become more generous? And…when we become more genorous, don’t we experience the generosity of others?
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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LOVE this post! Love your joy! Feel your hurt, the pain of isolation, deprivation, loss…pain…and your deep desire to do more, infinitely more. For isn’t that where the joy rises? In the giving? In the generosity of time and love and self-abandon? The desire to love on one another, to make life better, to ease the pain, to love like Jesus? I pray your passion will ignite the fire in other hearts, other lives to live generous, selfless, giving lives, to make a difference and touch hearts for all eternity, to live a “good, good, good story.” God bless you and your beautiful family!
Thanks for sharing….i was wondering how the event went! I just read Don’s book a few months ago and it SO changed my way of thinking. And when I saw that he was having a conference (advertised on a Chick-Fil-A cup no less!) I thought how awesome it would be to be able to go. And then when I your daughter was invited….i was so thrilled for her! I have a 15 year old who needs to discover her story in a new way! And i’ve been praying that God would show me how I can point her in that direction! Blessings and thanks for sharing!!
Your story is beautiful to me. I praise the Lord for you and your family. Isabel is a remarkable little girl. Her courage and passion touch me deeply. Thank you for your openness to share the details of your life. The little girl that I sponsor in Bolivia is Daniela Diaz. She lives about 5kms north of El Alto and attends the Restauracion Student Center. Will you be visiting that location? I would ask you to hug her for me if you do visit that center. It has been my great privilege to sponsor her for 8 years now. I confess, though, that I don’t correspond as often as I should. It would be a great joy to me to visit her one day in her country and to be able to hug her for myself. I pray that your trip will be safe and fruitful. Thank you for all that you do to bless the children.