No Story to Tell

Typewriter photo Florian Klauer | Moving Peaces

Writers love to have experiences so they have something to write about. Give them a challenge or a thought that they can work through and give words to. It is another story to tell, a light to shed, and a trial to overcome.

But in the thick of it, the story is awfully uncertain. The ending is unclear and the resolution is weak. Words feel empty and forced, while the problem remains unsolved.

We all want the answer, the direction, the purpose in a story. Even in the artsy movies that all of a sudden fade to black, we look for the meaning and the motivation for each character. Whether an act of physical strength or some sort of epiphany, we want an achievement to be made.

Most storytellers try to wait until the story is long done before they relay it to anyone else. But blogs, they make that pretty hard on writers. I’ve spent months being vague or avoiding certain topics on my blog. Weekly recaps provide a few photos and give the appearance of a life well-lived. But there’s more to it than that.

The story over here feels more like ten stories, all with uncertain endings. Sure, I want to bring transparency to my writing and hate the idea of giving some false perception of perfection. I just wish I knew more of how this season of life resolves (and if it ever will).  Before sharing all of the details, I want the benefit of time and distance to process it and allow the wisdom and lessons learned to (hopefully) set in.

So, forgive me because I don’t have juicy details or riveting and epic adventures to share. Instead, I have my basic needs met, a hopeful outlook, an unclear future, and a metaphorical rain cloud over my head. That might just be enough for now.


What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story?

What's Your Story? | Moving Peaces

Go to any event or get together, and you’ll hear something along the lines of “what’s your story?” Whether it’s asking what your job is, where you’re from, what your relationship status is…whatever. We get the basic questions to start and then as we get to know people better, we get into more of the details. What did you do before that? What do you want to do? Where are you going? What’s your family like? Why don’t you…? When did you decide…? What can’t you eat?! 

Personally, I love hearing a person’s story and think we should all keep sharing with each other. It allows us to connect, relate, and encourage. We learn from others and are inspired. But sometimes, the story stops us. 

We hide from our stories or get stuck on one part of it. Whether it’s a failure or a hardship, we get tired of sharing that story yet feel it’s the only true story to tell. We convince ourselves that we’re lying if we don’t include it, so we either avoid people altogether or share more than we should. Instead of connecting, relating, and encouraging, we drown out the rest of our story with just one part of it. 

So often in our minds we let a section, sentence, or chapter of our lives become THE story.  For example, I could just be the girl who has allergies or the girl who has had a weird string of job troubles (or a number of other unfortunate things). At certain points in my life, that felt like all I would ever be or at least, all I seemed to talk about. Admittedly, those things used to take up a lot of my time and energy and understandably so. During said seasons when I was trying to figure out my health or trying to find a job it was miserable and exhausting. But I couldn’t figure out how to be anything other than that struggle. 

The trick is to learn to tell your story without getting caught up in all of the subplots. I’m not saying you need to run from your story or ignore the parts that weren’t pretty. The hardships do have impact, but they do not have to be the only story we tell with our words or actions. Your story keeps moving if you let it.

Maybe you are in the thick of a subplot or maybe you don’t know what you want your story to be about. We’ve all been damaged, lost, hopeless, and heartbroken. Don’t let that stop you from living out an incredible story. There’s so much more in store–there’s more to the story than just this chapter. You have a bigger story to tell. 


News on the Job Front

News on the Job Front

New Job | Moving Peaces

Back in February, I had a few choices to make and offers to consider. It came through around the same time that I was realizing my strengths and possibilities and feel more at peace with where I was in life. I didn’t love being without a job for so long, but I finally found the flexibility it afforded me and uncovered some of the dreams that had long been ignored. Last June, I had so desperately wanted to hurry up the process and shake out the remedies, but that just wasn’t the way it went.

Instead, I got to pour into my blog, plan an awesome event, invest in relationships around me, submit my writing to a major publication, play my first gig, start doing voice overs and freelance work, ask what if and go on a big trip.

Do you know how full those nine months in between jobs were? Full of questions, doubt, tears, struggle and uncertainty, sure. But also full of time, opportunity, challenge and joy.

It was far from easy, and I will continue to be a voice and sounding board for those in the midst of a job search. It is some sort of terrible to face rejection after rejection and doubt everything you’ve ever known career-wise. But I also want to share the other side, the side where I found a job.

I wish I could explain all the ways I’ve seen good come out of all of this mess this past year. It was never a guarantee that things would end up the way they did, and I will surely face trials in the days and years to come. Life brings pain and hardship, because that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s what reminds us we aren’t invincible–that we need friends, family and God in it all.

There’s a lot to learn still about my new position and what all it will entail. Right now I know that I’ll get to write, communicate and think creatively. As far as logistics go, I have the option to work from home or in the office just 20 minutes away. I get to work with a team and help a company continue to grow. And on top of that, they want me to keep going after my hopes and goals in my spare time: to keep blogging, dreaming and being me.

So thanks for listening to me and offering encouragement. Thanks for putting up with the rants and enduring the in-between. I’m glad to be where I am now but also grateful for the journey, as tough as it was.

(There are a lot of links in there…mostly to other parts of the story. This wasn’t a short story, and I have a feeling the story isn’t over yet.)

UPDATE: Sadly, this job did not work out. Major bummer. I’ve edited out some of the specifics about the job and company but decided to keep the post. It was triumphant, not only about the new job but also a celebration of everything I had learned and how far I had come. I stand by that celebration of growth today, despite the disappointment of how things happened in this particular job.




Challenges Defined

We all face challenges. Can I start by saying that? I don’t care what you say, the person next to you definitely faces challenges too, no matter how seamless they make life look. Okay, glad we cleared the air there.

Challenges Defined | Moving Peaces

One of my challenges has been food. Some of you know about my story of sickness our first few years of marriage. The short of it? I found myself throwing up multiple nights a week with no clear explanation why. After months of doctors and specialists and prescriptions, things hadn’t improved. I changed diets and pressed for more tests until they finally removed my gallbladder. Things didn’t end after surgery as I still found myself quite sick, but on slightly fewer occasions. When I wasn’t throwing up, I felt like I might. I was told I had food allergies but had a long way to go before I found what foods I could actually eat and how to navigate restaurants and grocery stores. I have a long list of allergies to varying degrees, but at the top of the list are garlic and onions.

So that’s the story. It’s why I can’t eat sauces or dressings. Why I have to call ahead when we go out to eat or why I have to coordinate with the caterer directly for weddings and special occasions. It’s why my food inevitably looks different than yours when we share a meal together. It’s why I stopped caring about cooking or complex meals. It’s why I sometimes feel left out in social settings.

When I was in high school I remember seeing the challenges of someone else, which were visible and noticeable to everyone and wishing my challenge was something more easily identified. Now I can’t get through a meal without at least explaining part of the story, regardless of how much I try to skirt around it. For a little while, it felt like that was my story. It was taking over my life in so many ways as I fought through the sickness for answers and relief.

But that’s not the whole story, just an element. It’s something I still have to face on a regular basis. I still get sick (although far less often), and I still have to navigate through menus and ingredient listings. As soon as I can, I try to change the subject. I’m not my sickness or allergy or challenge.

It has shaped me and changed me. It has made me so grateful for the things I can eat (like chocolate) and more aware of the difficulties that one issue can cause in many other facets of life. But it does not define me.

So whatever your challenge is, realize what it truly amounts to. It might be huge, and I am not trying to minimize it necessarily. When this sickness first hit, it seemed like I would never go a week again without feeling sick (and specialists told me as much). What I’m saying is, your challenge might be huge but it doesn’t have to overtake you. You are so much more than the challenges you are facing.


31 Days: Finding Self | Moving Peaces

This post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.


Thursday Three

It’s here! It’s finally here. Lock the doors and close the blinds! Thursday, my night of the week. The night that I blog and supposedly accomplish things and relax and have time to watch a ridiculous TV show while the hubby’s at work. Cram it all in because no other night of the week is like this. Phew, and what a busy week it has been!

1. Every week I check my photos and my calendar to figure out what to say. The Thursday Three is not always easy to come up with. Sometimes my thoughts are jumbled and I can’t even put together a cohesive thought, let alone an entire blog. It’s like when your mom asked you how school was and the only answer you could come up with was “fine.” There are so many things that go into a day or a week that it can be difficult to summarize it all up. There was challenge and boredom, nervousness and excitement…the list could go on really. Sometimes it’s good to think of more specifics like, “When did you feel most accomplished or loved or brave?” or “When were you most challenged or upset or sad?” Maybe it sounds cheesy to think of things this way, but this can help sort out some thoughts from time to time and are good questions to ask.

2. Packing your week may make you more productive, but it comes at a cost. As I mentioned, this week was busy. I’m working now from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM but every night of the week have had one or two other meetings/get togethers/tasks attached to it. I’ve been scurrying around trying to make everything happen and pretend I can do it all. It’s just one more email. One little phone call. One more hour. As I write this sitting on my couch while wearing workout clothes (as if I made it to the gym tonight, HA!), I’m a bit exhausted and overwhelmed by all of those “one more” things. The hardest part has been to be present wherever I am, but also to try to realize what’s actually worth my time and energy. Reading a book over lunch or scrolling through email? Staying up late to cram more of the day in or getting some much needed rest? Networking event or time with a friend? Some of those decisions are hard, while some are easy. Because let me tell you, a loud close talker at a networking event will lose every time to telling life stories with a friend.

Leaving said unfulfilling networking event
Leaving said unfulfilling networking event

3. There’s always a story to tell. Life can get monotonous quickly if you aren’t careful. I want to establish some sort of routine but no one wants to be totally stagnant. While I encourage you to create, as a writer I can’t help but to tell you to look for the stories in life. The little things that make it interesting. Story of the week for me? Loading up my cart with cans for a food drive at work only to be given a bag of cans from a guy also wanting to contribute. The receipt happened to come with it, name and number included. Creepy, clever, flattering and funny all rolled into one. What’s your story this week?




The Story

“I bet God has done something in your life that would make our hair stand on end if you told us about it. I bet the story God has written in your life and your home gives voice and breath and arms and legs to the gospel every bit as much as a church sermon ever did.”

God has done something. I don’t even know what it is in its entirety, but I can feel that it’s him. Yesterday, I wrote that “today is the day” and then went to church to hear a sermon specifically about trusting God today. The final song was “Today Is the Day” and it confirmed the thoughts and feelings I wrote about before church without any knowledge of what the message or songs would be.

I’ve been reading the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist lately and have found quite a few moments that have challenged and inspired me as I read. In the final chapter she talks about our stories. Her story, my story, your story. A few snippets of what she said (in italics above and below) has given me a deeper understanding of why sharing the next part (as well as the rest) of this journey matters.

“…There’s nothing small or inconsequential about our stories. There is, in fact, nothing bigger. And when we tell the truth about our lives – the broken parts, the secret parts, the beautiful parts – then the gospel comes to life, an actual story about redemption, instead of abstraction and theory and things you learn in Sunday School.”

Last week, my workplace got a tweet from someone none of us had ever met asking if we were hiring. Well, we weren’t. But within a day or two, we had her resume and decided that taking on a part-time receptionist wouldn’t be the worst idea after all. Thanks to some internet stalking abilities, I quickly came to find that she had just picked up and moved with her husband. Just like that. Sold all of their things, quit their jobs and prayed hard. They left their home in California and drove halfway across the country for a change and were living with relatives until they found jobs and a place to live. Hmmm, sound familiar?

When this came about, I thought it would be great to bring up later when I was giving my notice as a person to contact and potentially hire to cover some of my workload. (For the record, I’m not a receptionist. As a project manager though, my work can involve a fair amount of administrative duties that could/should be passed on to someone else in the downtime between project managers.) In my head, this was an awesome solution to the inevitable problem I was about to present to my boss a week later. Suddenly, this girl is in the shop and the owners are walking out with her for an interview and ask if I want to come. What? Is this real? Am I about to help interview for someone who could help with parts of my job unbeknownst to everyone else there? At the end of the interview, the guys offered her the job. She accepted that night.

This is an answer to my prayers, only I wasn’t praying for such a possibility. I couldn’t even begin to imagine it would work out like this. By no means will she be able to pick up where I left off, but it’s a start. Even if none of my work goes her way, there’s still someone else added to the team to contribute and help out around the shop. Not only do I feel more at peace about leaving my job, but I feel more at peace about finding a job. She found one within two weeks of a move and will work with a really great group of people. God provides. He provided for her and he will provide for us. And that is the (somewhat long) story of the latest way God has shown his provisions and power to me.