In Others’ Words: Tell Me a Story

surrounded by story redo

I just came back from a writers conference. Besides the word “Hello,” — usually accompanied by lots of laughter and hugs — do you want to know what the most repeated phrase/question was?

“What are you writing?”

Yeah, get in a hotel full of writers and there’s going to be a lot of people talking about story.

But you know what I think? Everyone loves story. Everyone has a story. We are surrounded by story just like today’s quote says. 

A few years back there was this reporter who drove around the country looking for people with stories to tell. He would drive into town, grab a phone book and randomnly pick a name. And then he’d interview that oh-so-random person. And guess what? There was always an amazing story to be told — every. single. time. (Anybody else remember this?)

I’ve come to look at people two ways:

  1. each person I meet is a story waiting to be discovered
  2. each person I meet is made in the image of God


Yes, I have my story too. But you know what? I’m surrounded by story. It’s a gift to be invited to listen in on someone else’s story — to learn who they are, where they come from, what they dream about …

There are stories written inside books and then there are life stories inside people’s hearts and minds. Both are powerful, but only one is eternal.

In Your Words: What stories are you surrounded by? And how would you answer the question: What’s your story? 

[Tweet “We are surrounded by story. Are you listening? #lifequotes”] [Tweet “Help @bethvogt plan the the destination #wedding for her 2015 novella Can’t Buy Me Love! #Pinterest”]

Destination Wedding Invite 10.6.14

You’re invited! Want to help me plan Bellamy’s wedding for my novella, Can’t Buy Me Love? The novella releases next May and I’m writing it this month. Visit this blog post for more details. 

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  1. October 8, 2014, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    I’m surrounded by stories I’ll never know – in my dogs. Stories of abandonment and fear and heartbreak and pain, suddenly changed to love and warmth and care. I hope they have forgotten their ‘old stories’.

    As I wish I could forget some of mine.

    • October 8, 2014, 6:56 pm   /  Reply

      I think we all have parts of our story we wish we could forget — and you are brave enough to mention it.
      And I respect and admire you for how you’ve rescued and cared for all those dogs. You’ve changed their stories.

  2. October 8, 2014, 7:19 am   /  Reply

    Oh, wow, here it is 8:15 and I’m procrastinating from my wip…Would you believe that reporter is still doing that? Or some reporter. I watched a show just this week where the reported stopped random people and asked what their story was. And you’re right. Everyone has a story. I think Elaine Stock has a blog by that name.

    Now back to work!

    • October 8, 2014, 6:59 pm   /  Reply

      I love that, Pat, and I would have loved to hear some of those answers to the “What is your story?” question.

  3. Susan
    October 8, 2014, 8:09 am   /  Reply

    Love this…we are surrounded by stories. I think sometimes I forget that every person around me has a story and some are just waiting for someone to listen to theirs.

    • October 8, 2014, 6:59 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, story … and yes, it is all about listening.

  4. October 8, 2014, 10:13 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. Everybody does have a story. Sometimes I need to take the time to stop and listen to others’ stories. I am surrounded by stories of hope, of hurt and of overcoming. My story is one of learning who I am in Jesus, one of working through rejection and beginning to see the beauty of believing what Jesus tells me—both about who He says I am and what it means to walk in that truth.

    • October 8, 2014, 7:00 pm   /  Reply

      You have a beautiful story, Jeanne — one that reflects Jesus.

  5. Dave Hamlin
    October 9, 2014, 6:31 pm   /  Reply

    The importance of story is especially evident in those times when we feel a bit lost or disoriented. Something inside us compels us to make sense of the narrative. It just has to make sense somehow. There has to be progression. It has to be going somewhere. That’s why reading a good story is so satisfying. And that’s why we learn from reading a story well told.. So keep writing good stories, Beth.

  6. October 9, 2014, 9:39 pm   /  Reply

    “Surrounded by story” sounds so writerly. I love it! I don’t remember the reporter, but there was a book that some guy wrote where he told lots of people’s stories. I wish I could remember the title.

    I’d describe my story as learning to live out loud (from one of my favorite quotes).

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