Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

Archive for the tag “Donald Miller”

Telling Stories

I started this blog, inspired by Donald Miller, to try to live a better story. If you look at some of my early posts, this theme abounds. I deliberately sought out risks. At times this has worked out for me. At other times, not so much. This continues to be a theme in my life and will continue to be a theme on this site.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years chronicles Miller’s attempts to live a better story. When a movie being made of episodes from his life exposed how little story he had to tell, he consciously made the effort to change that, to take some risks, to seek adventure so that in creating better stories to tell perhaps his overall storyline would be more compelling.

Like Miller, I wondered if I had lived enough story to make a movie. And… if I had, would it be worth watching?

I began re-evaluating this after my mother’s funeral a few weeks ago. My siblings and I sat around sharing stories about my mom. It was neat to hear about aspects of her life that I had not experienced.

Shortly after my mom retired from work, she began to volunteer as an assistant teacher at a local elementary, helping kids understand their assignments so that they could prosper in class rather than falling behind.

My siblings told story after story of while walking through a store, they would hear someone call out “Hi, Grandma B!” When the person that called out came over to talk, it was always someone who my mom had helped when they were little, now as an adult. Her assistance made a difference to them in school and in life. Enough that they wanted to speak to her when they saw her.

When pondering this, I realized that a certain part of living a great story is taking a smaller role and helping others excel in their own story. Lifting others up can be as powerful as rising up to my own challenge.  I now feel inspired to find ways to do both, to live my life better, creating a better story for me, but to also help others do the same.

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Brad Bellmore Gets a Life 29

I received an email to register for Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference. Unfortunately, at present he isn’t offering one at a location that is geographically favorable to me. At a different point in my life, I would have figured out a way around that. Road Trip!
Miller is the impetus behind this blog. My efforts to try to get a life or a better life were originally inspired by his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. In that book Miller encourages us to live a better life. Well, his words are to live a better story. Thus, the storyline conferences. Thus, my desire to attend. I really want one to land in the Chicagoland area.
But as I said, my stage in life limits my ability to just run off to such events even though I long to do it anyway. But a lot of situation in learning to live a gain came from my stage in life. I left college with ideas of changing the world. But there are more people dependent on my ability to provide food shelter and clothing than just me. I have had to focus on changing their world first instead of changing The World. If As I focus on that more, focus more on their dreams, I find my dreams floating away.
Somehow, there has to be a way to accomplish that, to deliver on my primary mission and still grasp those things that matter in the deep places of my heart. In my coming alive, I need to make sure those around me live. As I provide a living for those around me, I need to be fully alive.
I thought I was onto something there, but it feels like I just keep finding more questions. This blog continues to breed questions. Is that part of coming alive? I hope so; I’m on the right path if it is.
And it all started because Donald Miller convinced me that all these fun little stories of my life would have more power if they were connected to solid storyline that ran through my life. Perhaps if I drove to Oregon for the conference I could figure it out.

Brad Bellmore Get’s a Life – 2

Donald Miller is one of my favorite authors and with the soon to be released movie of Blue Like Jazz, I have been pondering his influence on my life. That book made me rethink many of my perceptions on Christianity. He made me consider what am I really believing in and find a way to connect my faith to my life.
To Own a Dragon, his take growing up without a father. To him, a father was as mythical a creature as a dragon. This book connected with a lot of my thoughts and feelings of growing up without a father, some of which I did not even know I had until I had kids.
Another challenge to my faith and why I believe what I believe was Searching for God Knows What. It even challenged me to think about how I express what I believe.
But, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years pushed me farther than any of the others. The basic idea of this book revolves around Don realizing that he wants to write a better story for his life. This is actually spawned by the process of creating the movie mentioned above. Anyway, it resonated with me when I read it given that my life is rather a rambling mess than a cohesive story. I felt inspired at the time to make some changes. That was short lived, mostly because the various waves of depression stemming from unemployment plowed that inspiration deep into the dirt.
But now, as I ponder how I learn to live, to truly be alive for whatever is left of my life, the movie surfaces and stokes again the fires of creating a better story. Which is what I hope to do here, both explore the process and tell the story.
And so, I set forth in quest for a life worth living and a story worth telling.

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