Why I Love Being a Storyteller {& Giveaway}

June 11, 2014

I have always loved stories.

As a fairly shy and quiet child, I quickly became a good listener. I would be perfectly content to listen to others share about their lives. Fascinated by their experiences -- sometimes common, sometimes not, similar only in that they were all one-of-a-kind. I’ve heard that fingerprints are unique to a person, that no one's are exactly alike; that is true of our stories, as well.

We are different. And we are varied. Together, we color this life beautiful.

As an adult, I found that one of my favorite parts of being a social worker was once again listening to others' stories. It was always part of my job to gather information about each individual's history, and I loved it. I would spend hours in homes, sitting by hospital beds and in nursing homes, assisted living and treatment centers. The settings would change, but the stories did not. I would hear of life and love, good times and bad, heartache and joy.

As people, we experience everything this life can offer. And as an observer, it is incredible to behold.

Now, as a writer, I find that it is the story that I am most often drawn to. Words of wisdom are wonderful. Information is great. But tie it to a story and I will remember it forever.

There’s something relatable and understandable in stories. As a storyteller, I simply hold up a mirror to life—whether it’s my own or others—and find commonality there. Reflections of ourselves in others. There is community to be found among stories, no matter how different the individual circumstances.

We are different — and yet, we are the same.

Our stories, no matter what they are, can encourage, uplift, and draw us to each other. Reminding us of our humanness, our need for God, and our need for others.

Now, we want to know: what’s your story?

This is our 200th post and we want to celebrate! We are so excited about the past couple of years and all the stories we’ve been able to share, now we want to hear more of YOUR stories! All you need to do is send one small reflection of your own story (a time you’ve laughed, cried, or loved) along with your name, email address where you can be reached, and blog address (if you have one) directly to us at theruthexperience@hotmail.com. In a couple of weeks, we’ll publish all of the stories we’ve received in one blog post, as well as a link back to each of your blogs. Oh, and everyone who submits a story will be entered in a drawing for a beautiful necklace designed by Jodi from Broken and Beautiful just for our storyteller giveaway! How cool is that?!? Read below for further instructions.

Why a necklace by Broken and Beautiful? Because we love the story behind the jewelry and every incredible piece. As Jodi explains:

Each “Broken and Beautiful” pendant is imperfect by design. I use broken vintage glass, and each tiny piece is placed just as I pulled it from the “wreckage.” These miniature mosaics are unique, each with a different message. No two will ever be exactly alike. They are tiny masterpieces. 
The list of our human struggle is endless. You may be experiencing loss, hardship, illness, abuse, severed relationships, addictions, hopelessness in all shapes and magnitudes. The truth is that we are all broken. The precious good news is that we are also beloved, and we are beautiful.

It is my hope that wearing one of these mosaics will remind you of a memory, passion, or experience that brings comfort, healing, and joy. When the world is but a pile of brokenness, we are encouraged to pick up the pieces carefully and create a new beautiful. You, my friend, are the precious masterpiece.

We can’t wait to hear your stories!

Storyteller Submissions:
  • Stories must be 200 words or less, or roughly one paragraph. Choose one small piece of your life to write about -- think of it as a verbal snapshot of your life.
  • By sending us your story, you agree to to let us edit and publish your story on our blog. We reserve the right to make any changes we deem necessary prior to publication. We also reserve the right not to publish any story. 
  • All stories must be submitted by June 27, 2014.
  • Be sure to include your name and blog/website address so we can link back to your site!
  • Once we've received all the submissions, we will email you back, letting you know we recieved your submission and giving you the exact date the post will go up. (Late June or early July depending on how many submissions we receive!)
  • Once the post goes live on our blog, we will also announce the one (randomly chosen) lucky storyteller who won the necklace made by Broken and Beautiful.
We're also once again linking up with Holley Gerth today.

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