Write a Story Every Day
By Steve Gahagen
A few months ago, I returned to Buffalo, NY to help my mom move from her home of 60+ years into an apartment. It was the only home I had ever known and only one my kids (now adults) loved to visit when we traveled the 1,000 miles from Minnesota each year. A visit my kids will always remember was the time we didn’t tell my parents we were coming and showed up on their doorstep unexpected. It was a beautiful thing and not easy to orchestrate with four children.
In those few days back home I helped my family clear out the house and throw all the unusable and unwanted items into a giant dumpster. It was fun and strange at the same time. My dad saved everything, including old lamp cords since he was an electrician. You never know when you will need a lamp cord. The dumpster was a reminder that life moves on and the meaningless things get thrown away.
Later in the evening I went back to the house, which was now mostly empty - empty bedrooms, an empty living room, and an empty dining room. To be honest, it was surreal, even sad. It was a vivid reminder that life is not about stuff - it’s all about what happens in the spaces between. My mom was gifted in caring and hospitality, so our home was a place where people were always welcome for a meal or an after church get-together.
That empty house made me think of the thousands of dinners we had around the dining room table, the games played in the large backyard, the stories read, and the people that walked through the front door. The important and lasting things were not necessarily big events, they were the day-to-day living of our story and my parents giving their lives to serve others.
Today might not seem that important in the scope of things, but the way we live our life today, the way we use our talents to breathe life into others is forming a story.
Questions to consider
I encourage you to discuss these questions around the office water cooler or home dinner table. You can breathe life into people in your sphere of influence as you ask them to share their thoughts.
What daily habits influence the environment of your home?
What are the threats to you living out your family values?
What is one daily or weekly habit you want to incorporate into your or your family’s rhythm?