November is Family Stories Month

Did you know that November is Family Stories month? When I saw that, I smiled. I have a lot of family stories. Far more than I could ever even begin to share here.

Some of them are lovely and funny and bring a quick laugh to the heart.

Some of them are sad and scary and bring a whispered prayer to the lips.

That’s the thing about stories – the story is in the words that are shared, and in the experience of the storyteller. There are the stories that are told – and retold again – during family reunions and holiday meals. The time that “so and so did such and such” and people add their remembrance, their perspective.

My dad has always been a fantastic storyteller. While he could be so quiet and reserved, when he got into telling a story, he was animated and entertaining and drew every listener in with each and every word. Many of my favorite stories are the ones that he shared as I was growing up – and as I’ve become an adult and a wife and a mother.

There are some stories he cannot share with just anyone. There are some stories he cannot share at all. A Vietnam veteran is bound by his experience.

But the stories of his childhood, of his parents and 9 siblings – of friends and silly pranks – they are the stuff that movies like “A Christmas Story” are made of.

My dad gave me a LOT of stories to tell. He taught me, by his own skill, how to spin a good yarn and share a great story. And this is a month where I hope that I can begin to share this gift – the gift of storytelling – with my own children in ways I have yet to explore.

What is your family story? They aren’t all pretty, are they? But every story is worth telling.

And the greatest story of all is that of a Father who loves me – who loves you – so much that He literally left heaven for hell, offering a redemption that is both terrifyingly transforming and perpetually life-changing. Of all the stories I could ever tell, that is the one I long to share now – more than ever. I hope you’ll join me in sharing family stories this month…