Donald Miller

Resources for Finding Your Dream/Passion/Meaning and Living a Better Story

Here are some resources that might be helpful: (I will be adding to this list as I find more resources) Please feel free to add your resources in the comments below.

Books:

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl    THIS has been my favorite find while doing this series. I LOVE this book. And bonus find – I found this on youtube in an audio version. I don’t know how long this will be posted, but here is the link.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

Youtube:

Living a Great Story – sermon by Don Miller

Articles:

What Makes a Meaningful Life by Donald Miller

Blogs:

Storyline

TED talks:

Conferences:

Storyline Conference Coming up! November 5-7 , 2015 Chicago

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Your Life as A Story

In previous posts we talked about defining our life’s dream (or purpose) as a pursuit of pleasure versus a search for deeper meaning.

I love the word picture of one’s life as a story.

Every story has a cast of characters and a plot line. Every story has a message.

If your life is a story, who are the characters that play a role in your story? What is the plot or message of your story? Is your story heading where you want it to be heading? Is your story a search for pleasure or a search for deeper meaning? If your life is not the story you long to be telling, what needs change? This series will help us look at how to live a better story.
Author Donald Miller talks about this concept in his book “A Million Miles in A Thousand Years”. When his book “Blue Like Jazz” was made into a movie, he literally had to think of his life as a story. He shares the lessons he learned as he talks about how to live a better story. His business, Storyline, has an upcoming conference to help people live a better story and develop a life plan. You can find out more about the Storyline Conference here.

I love this illustration.

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either”

Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

Today’s questions:

Think about the story you are living: the characters, the plot line, the central theme, the direction you are heading.

Are you living the story you want to be living?

If not, what might need to change?

Join the conversation on our Facebook page, or send me a message below

Living the Dream (or How Donald Miller’s Words and the Storyline Conference Shaped My Path) 

*please forgive my accidental post earlier. I was trying to save what I had written and accidentally pasted a text to our real estate agent. Yikes!

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I haven’t written in a while.
Quite a long while.

In the past six months the whole direction of my life has changed and I’m very excited to tell you the story. There has been an upheaval in our family, in our home, and in our hearts. 
I believe it all began a number of years ago when I read Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. It was a time in my spiritual walk where I was lost. Dissatisfied. Hungry for more. Blue Like  Jazz was the type of book one reads with a huge sigh of relief – finally someone had put into words how I was feeling. It made my heart come alive with hope. This book gave me the courage to think outside the box, to question, to tell myself it’s okay to be hungry for more – for truth, for love, for community. It started me on a path to being a more honest wife and mother. Let me to start becoming a more purposeful friend. And it gave me freedom as follower of Jesus that I didn’t know I was missing.

A few years later my son was in high school and was walking a troubled path. He had a lot of spiritual questions, as did I. I desperately wanted to find a way to connect with him and his small group of ragtag friends. And here Donald Miller played a part again. I had read his Searching For God Knows What, and thought maybe this would be a way to start a conversation with these kids. I talked to my son and he asked his friends, and to my shock they said they would be interested in a book study. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing for some cool college kid to come alongside and do a book study with this group of kids?” I prayed for days, for weeks, for months, to find the right person in my church of 6000 people – and it just wasn’t happening.

Then I felt this (horrible) nudging in my heart that maybe I’m supposed to lead this book study. NO. Just no! Dear God, I’m the MOM. These kids do not want to do a book study with their friend’s mom. But my son and his friends said yes. So there we met, week after week. Our little group included straight edge kids, drug using kids, atheist and agnostic kids, wounded Christian kids, bisexual kids, and a Jewish kid. I would love to tell you this study was a huge success and all of the kids opened their hearts to Jesus – but you know what? That didn’t happen. I learned to step away from being a mom and just listen to what my kid’s truth was – whether I wanted to hear it or not. I gave all the kids a safe place where they could say whatever they wanted, and I would listen. And that was okay. Actually, it was better than okay.

Fast forward to February, 2014, at the Storyline Conference in San Diego. I had already read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. This Donald Miller book helped me to start thinking of the story of my life in a very purposeful way. What kind of story did I want my life to tell? Who are the characters in my story? What can I do to build an even more beautiful story as a follower of Jesus? I was beside myself with excitement as I arrived at this conference with a few of my best friends. I don’t know if my friends quite knew with they were getting into. As a middle-aged stay-at-home mom for many years, the concept of dreaming and building a better story often felt out of my reach. But it had been building up for months in anticipation of this conference. And man, let me tell you – once I got there, my heart and my brain exploded!

Warning: once you open the floodgates of dreaming and creativity, especially if they have been closed for years, it is overwhelming and invigorating. And it’s also very difficult to shut off.

Starting with the incredible author Anne Lamott, the wheels of my heart and my head started turning. I soaked it in as I listened to amazing speaker after amazing speaker, each telling their beautiful story. I began to think and dream – I was hungry for community, I wanted our marriage and our family to be purposeful. I longed for for our home to be a safe haven, a healing place for broken people. And that is the beginning of our story.

This story involves a dream – born, shattered, and reborn. It’s the story of a broken marriage that was healed. It’s the story of the journey of a prodigal son and a wounded family that was restored. It’s the story of a family scattered across the globe to live out their dreams. It’s the dream of finding our tribe, learning to live in community, and welcoming everyone to our table. Every single one.


And right now it’s the story of a woman who needs to keep packing so that she can move across the country next week.

Please stay tuned. The story is unfolding, even as I write this.