Your story is valuable

Everyone has a story to tell.

Multiple stories actually.

I would never consider myself a story teller, or good at describing situations that have happened, but nonetheless, I have stories to tell.
Stories of my own adventures, stories of experiences throughout the day.


I have began to wonder about people’s stories recently.
As I drove into the mountains and passed small towns hidden in the woods and what I would consider “the middle of nowhere,” I wondered about the humans residing there. Have they lived here their entire lives? Do they continue the work and business of their parents? Do they live here in the summer time when hikers, tourists and vacationers pass through and have another life elsewhere? Do they crave other locations?
Are they content in this small town on the pathway to Mount Rainier? Do they frequent the mountain closeby? Do their children long to see a world outside this one? Do they encounter people from all over the world? Do they become excited at getting to know new travelers? Do they live here to live in a place that is quiet and undisturbed? Do they hunt? Do they fish? Do they expand their borders of travel, or remain here?


My mind was overflowing with questions of wonder! I became so curious of the lives of these individuals who run and own lodges in the woods of western Washington.


I scrolled past this quote a while back, scrolled back and saved the image.

Every person has something to share and teach. I can learn something from every single person I meet and encounter.
Studying anthropology in college, this way of thinking was pointed out countless times. I believe it to be true! If we will take a few moments and put ourselves outside of the center of our universe from which all thoughts circulate, we will be able to see others more clearly.
I pondered this mindset as I drove home this evening. Every person has a story to tell, they know things I do not, they have experienced life differently from me. They have worked jobs I have not, they have been places I have not. They have a worldview that I do not. Wow, I can learn something from every beautiful human! Young, old, age does not matter, because I can learn from every individual.


What if I approached every day life in this fresh mindset? How would my world change. Well, it wouldn’t change, but my perception and perspective on it would change.


Every so often I will stumble upon quotes that are thought provoking and I save them. Such is this one:

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
-Albert Einstein


Einstein has good nuggets to share in this statement. What if I were to apply this to the mindset of everyone having a story to tell and something to teach me? What if I took this statement from Einstein and paired it with the quote on image above? I think Einstein was referring to how we present ourselves. If I am moving toward value & finding that in the people I encounter in my day, how will Papa move? When I remove myself from the center of my ever churning universe, and place others there instead, I place their value as more important to establish than my own.


Establishing my value? Yes. I want to be valued. You want to feel valued, right?
What does that look like? Well to me, this means wanting my friends and family to value me and me feeling loved, valued and important. I feel most loved when I spend quality time, am listened to, not ignored, invited over to hang or play. This establishes my value; these actions translate to me, “Andrea you are important to me, I want to spend time with you, doing something or doing nothing. I want to hear how you are; the highs & the lows. I want to share my life and these moments with you.”


Okay, so how do I establish value and importance of others? For me, spending quality time speaks volumes of importance. I also like to give cards; I find I can express through words onto card what is in my heart.


That’s one way. But how else can I establish value and importance? Especially to those people I see broken and lonely and they aren’t my friend? What if it’s a person I will likely never see again? How do I establish their value and importance? How do I make them feel important?
Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody.
Not just the somebodies who are frequent in my circle of friends. What about the somebodies who are lonely and shy away from the crowds? What about the somebodies that I don’t get along with? What about the somebodies that I have nothing in common with?
Hmm…I’m challenged.


What are your thoughts? Come now, I have loads to learn and you are someone I can learn from. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree?


Finding where I belong

Kicking it back to the days when these Michael W. Smith lyrics were known by many.
Looking for a reason
Roamin’ through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world

I will admit though the tune is outdated today, the lyrics are relevant. Especially to my generation.

Finding where one belongs is a life quest; I believe there will be people and places you & I feel at home. But there will inevitably be moments of doubt and wondering. No matter how secure I feel that I am in a place I call home, there will come those moments and days of insecurity. Moments when I feel left out. Moments when I feel excluded. Moments when I feel I am missing out on something.
Let me tell you from experience, these feelings will come whether you are strongly planted and know without a doubt you are home. It’s the enemy’s way of trying to get us to throw ourself a pity party, or single out + isolate ourselves. It’s his strategy to get us into the mindset that we are alone, lonely, sad and excluded.
It’s okay. You have not taken 15 steps backward. Your feelings and thoughts are valid; don’t discredit them.


You have a choice when these feelings come into the forefront of your mind. You might analyze & observe the actions of those whom you are feeling excluded from. You might wallow and be down. You might wonder if you have done something wrong. You might try to find where the feelings root from. You may ignore the feelings. You might busy yourself so you don’t have to face the unpleasant feelings.
The choice is yours. You may talk to a friend or confidant. You may get away.
May I advise you? Don’t stay in this place too long! You know how your thoughts and feelings affect you, be sensitive to what you need to process through this place of feeling like you don’t belong.

Can I testify to an action that helps me through this process?
I often feel this atmosphere of “I don’t belong”, and I hate it. It’s not who I am and it’s not who you are.
Why do I hate it? Because it’s a lie. The truth is I am a child of God.
[gal 4:6-7] “And because we are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ Now you are no longer a slave it God’s own child.”

He has replaced labels on your DNA that were false (lies) and stamped them with truth.


But hear me out, if you are not feeling like you have found where you belong, if you are not feeling like you have found your tribe or community, don’t give up.
You will find your tribe.
Remember what Papa has stamped on your DNA? He cares about the details of your thoughts and heart. He knows what you desire and hope for. Ask him. He desires for you to thrive.
I know this- he is a good Papa.
I don’t know why it’s a process to find community. I don’t know why some people struggle in this area consistently, and others may not.
But I know that our Papa won’t leave us or abandon us. He is faithful. He is dependable.
I know he is good, and has the ultimate good for us. We are his kids!
Thank you Papa for being a good Daddy.