Ariel said, tell us a story. Make it short, just six words.

So here are mine:

Soul-listener. Story keeper. Grace seer.

It’s another fun scholarship opportunity for SheSpeaks. Read all about it here. I wanted to explain my words a bit more, so here is a post from the archives about my work.

with morning dawning
I take broken
bits of me, the open
gaping wound of
me—I carry pieces
up sterile stairs…
tendrils trail behind
and I pad to the cabinet
to find my glue, a
notebook, some keys,
and a little bit of putty.
story-collector, mind-
bender, open-heart
tinkerer…I listen to
the soul-voice.
bread crumb heart
helps me find my
way back, I sweep
them up in my dust
bin and go. a little
milk and sugar and
wa-la! I am pudding.
a few crumbs are
left behind.
I take my camera to work.
But how? How to give a picture—or even a word—to a place people go to be put back together?
These therapists I work with, they do God’s work—they are His hands and I have seen more miracles than I can count. But don’t I know that when I climb these steps that take me up to fix the broken people—don’t I know that they will help put me back together again?
They give me their stories. I receive them gentle—place them soft in my story basket. Some days I weep at the beauty of the gift. Others bring silent marveling with the strength they tell. Some will shine in the corners of my mind longer than others. Or maybe leave splinters in my heart. There will be those that weave tiny threads—whispers–into mine. But since these are not my stories to keep, I bless them and let them go.
I have my own story to tell.
This broken person meets these broken people and when we come together—for just a short time—we are almost whole. We rub up against each other–sometimes soft, sometimes rough—shaping and sanding sharp edges…leaving beauty.
And I think of the place where deep joy is and I know…this hard place takes me there. Life is rich and joy drips deep into these veins because we. share. stories.


  1. says

    The first time we break
    it’s because the heart

    wants to expand, fill itself too
    full, the way our mouths fill

    with the words we have to say
    back to show we not only listen,

    we hear. When we break
    from their stories, we try out

    beginnings, look for new endings,
    figure out how to make connections

    they can see between the spaces
    we leave for their discoveries.

    We might break at the right time
    in the wrong place in their stories.

    They will break many times
    and all over again in the hour

    they share. The story-tellers
    want the story-keepers

    to just make the way clear.

  2. says

    So beautiful your words and the insight. WOW! I loved it so much. It made me think of all those little old people that the Lord graces me with and their beautiful story’s thank you.

  3. says

    you write with what I like to call ‘word pictures’… my mind is filled with pictures as I read. I always believe that the things we have gone through in our lives, ‘our stories’ are God’s gift to us… gifts that we are meant to share with someone who may be walking down the same path we have traveled. You have beautifully reminded me to listen to others, and never be afraid of sharing the stories God has given to me! thank you for this blog that blessed me so richly!

  4. says

    What a cute picture. Love those toes!
    Your words are so heavy, so full of the pain of knowing and wanting to be able to reach in and heal. But you carry their stories with care and grace to the Only One who can heal.
    Such beautiful work you do, but oh! so hard.

  5. says

    Laura, I remember that post from a while ago – I loved it then, and love it now!

    I hope and pray you will be able to go to She Speaks. I would love to go again sometime, but just don’t feel called this year.

    I am doing the Scripture Memory Team through the Living Proof blog with Beth Moore – hoping to get 24 verses memorized by the end of the year, and hopefully go to the celebration she is hosting in Houston. We’ll see if I can make it, but that is my “thing” to look forward to this year.

    Maybe sometime again, as I need equipping i will be able to make it to she speaks again.

    I am so blessed by your words and your visit to my blog.
    I think of you often too, my friend.

  6. says

    Beautifully written when I read this I was reminded of a blog I read about a lady name Joanne who is dealing with the devastation of a stroke. Have you read her story? she is a recovering slowly at age 36? If you haven’t heard of her I will try to get you a link.
    take care

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