How a grandmother instills the love of storytelling in her family
Posted in , Oct 4, 2017
Did you know that October 6-8 is National Storyteller’s Weekend? I tell stories for a living—stories from my everyday life, stories that hopefully encourage and inspire and, most of all, stories about our amazing God.
But stories were a big part of my life long before I became a writer. I was fascinated by reading or hearing about great things people did, and as a little girl, I loved reading the stories in Guideposts. Even as a child, I recognized that the stories captured in those pages were special.
Stories are a great way of passing down our family history from generation to generation. They’re a super-glue that can bind our hearts together. And there are no better stories than those that share what God’s done in people’s lives.
Jesus knew the power of stories. He used them often to help people visualize important truths. The imagery of the shepherd hunting for his one lost lamb and of the woman searching for her lost coin sticks in our minds.
God’s given each of us a completely unique story—and He doesn’t want those to be wasted. They’re to be shared so that others can see what a big and awesome God we have.
That’s one reason I want to instill a love of stories in my grandchildren, and I thought I’d share what we’re doing in case it might be helpful for you.
I want stories to be fun for my little ones (ages almost 8-3), so when we’re in the car together or piled onto the swing on our deck, I’ll say, “Let’s tell a story!” and then I’ll start with something like, “Two friends were in the woods when they saw a BIG bear!” The child sitting closest to me carries on with a line or two and then we work our way around until all of them have contributed to the story. They love doing this—and I love listening as their imaginations come to life. I’ve been amazed at the intricate storylines they’ve come up with.
I want my grandbabies to know about our family and those who came before us, so I weave those stories into little moments. For example, if we pass a canoe, I can tell them about the time my cousin and I were out in the middle of the lake when our canoe overturned. They beg for stories from when I was a little girl and they want to hear them over and over. Looking at old pictures together can also be a great way to lead into family stories.
Most of all, I want those precious children to know that Grandmama loves God and to hear the stories of what He’s done for me. I’ll never run out of those.
How could you use the power of story to touch the lives of others?