Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Things Worth Writing

They say authors should write what they know. Though it seems common enough to me, my life is a story to God. So what parts are worth the writing? 

On my trip to Philadelphia with my mom in October, we visited Benjamin Franklin's print shop. No white-out back then. No word processors or Word software. No delete button. Every piece of paper was precious, every word weighed for its worth.
Franklin Court Printing Office & Bindery
Philadelphia, PA
Benjamin Franklin said:"If you wou'd not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."Poor Richard's Almanack, 1738.

Though my tagline is Mennonite Girl Without a Bonnet, I was reminded tonight of the diversity that I grew up with. My mother was raised conservative Mennonite, but my father was never "churched" until his probation officer required it as part of his penance as a teen.

You could say my parent's life long love affair is literally the stuff of novels----Conservative girl meets Americana bad boy. But often truth is stranger than fiction, and often I've been glad of it. 

Tonight I was reminded, that as much of my growing up identity was grounded in the Mennonite faith, as it was being a tomboy who loved to go coon huntin' with her Dad and the gang.
My cousin stopped by tonight to run his coon dogs behind our house in our woods. A flash from my past.

When I wasn't spending time dreaming I was Laura Ingalls--I was busy hunting with dad, watching the gang tan hides in the garage, raising coon dogs--dreaming I was Little Ann and my dog was Old Dan.


I mean--I have special skills no one knows about, right?

I know how to walk through a woods and not get slapped in the face with twigs that just spring loaded off dad's shoulders and aimed at me on eye level. I know the sound a bawling walker dog makes when he's treed a coon. I know the smell of the beagle club and the all night championships when we waited to see if Timber made Grand Night Champion, waking to a room so full of smoke it made me nauseated. I know how to show a coon dog and clean a kennel. I know that you can't tip over dad's battery pack for his headlight, or battery acid would eat a hole in the carpet.

But above all, I've known the enduring truth--that no matter how diverse our paths and our pasts--God is an author who writes incredible stories--of love and forgiveness, stories where second hand lions have a placed called home

I love you Dad.

So tell your stories. They may seem common to you, but your Author is uncommon and He tells amazing stories...

4 comments:

  1. In 1964, my mom was a 22 year old, pregnant with #3 cute young thing. THEN?? Her husband left her for his pregnant girlfriend. Who bore the shame? My mom.
    A few years later, Mom's office mate was engaged to a dashing Christian Arab engineer...who then dumped her. Why? He told her that her faith wasn't up to his standards and she would not be the best wife for him. So who hooks up a while later? My mom and Mr Dashing. Who tried to break them up? Half the free world and the bigots on both sides. Who just had their 37th anniversary? My Mommy and my Daddy. And yeah, he is totally my Daddy. It's all in the paperwork. And the pictures of him walking me down the aisle.

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  2. Love it Jennifer. My parents just celebrated their 50th recently. I've been asked before, by "fine" christian people--"those two are still together?" I mean, who says that?
    Their story has been no cake walk, but a love story that has shown me God's hand and made me a hopeless romantic.

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  3. 50th? Awesome! John's parents just celebrated their 65th.
    Heh, alot of 'fine' Christian people are SPECIAL, aren't they? We've had a tonne of racist comments come our way, but now that inter-racial marriage is no big deal, it's stopped. And I wonder how people think when "those two are still together?" pops out of their mouth.

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  4. Girl, you gots skills! :) :) Great post ... memory lane is always a bittersweet journey, isn't it?

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