I've been thinking about my story in light of my 33rd birthday. I live in stories all day long...reading to Robby and listening to stories on CD (into the Magic Tree House series right now). And as Eugene Peterson says so well: "the reason that story is so basic to us is that life itself has a narrative shape - a beginning and end, plot and characters, conflict and resolution." Reflecting on this last year of life, as its a birthday tradition for me, I am thinking about the characters in my life and the conflict.

Characters: -Olive Charlotte. Sweetest Pea Award. Delectable. Smiling. Pleasant. I'm so glad we begged God for her. -Robby. Curious. Reading. Building and daydreaming. Silly and thoughtful. Recently wanted me to inscribe to Erica (as we gave her a Bible) " -Rob. Humor is his sword that cuts through the conflict in our lives. He is a knight who chases my heart. All love and devotion are his. -Erica. Up and down and all around. And definitely west. She's heading west to catch some dreams and love her some mountains. And use her hands to heal others. I'm beside myself.

Conflict -Ending 8 years of a leadership position -Being more mom than ever before (such conflicting daily emotion, problem solving, death to self) -The Great Homeschooling adventure (yesterday I said I was NOT. Today I am. Sigh.) -Tennis (I'm 8-2) -Turning 33. Of course and really?

The gift in stories: movement and building. With each character and conflict...the plot is moving and changing and building. We are building something and we are building toward something and we ourselves are being built. I want to see my next conflict, micro or macro, as an opportunity. What part of the great adventure will we find ourselves in light of this turn? This bump? This tantrum? (my tantrum)

As my friend Tim keeps telling me: blessings on your journey.