the power of story-time



If you know these two men, you know that I’m completely bragging by posting their pictures. The Hamster and The Baker were here in October for Seth’s birthday weekend, and it was gloriously engrossing. They love a story and, as proved by Isaac’s face in these pictures, were able to wisp us up from one spot and set us down in a completely different place with their storytelling.


Sometimes Seth will have meetings that require my staying home alone with the boys, and I tell you I do not look forward to those nights I am wrestling, cleaning, training, and disciplining by myself. But there is something about the bedtime routine and the story-time therein that is mesmerizing and up-lifting. As it was with my Daddy when I was small, I make the stories up as I go. Isaac gives a topic, and we roll with it, and I can’t describe how pleasing it is for a story to unfold, as the values at the top of my heart unwillingly lift out in them. 



When our friends were here that fall weekend, we exposed ourselves in the stories we told. The Hamster told me one story, one true story, that has settled into me like hardwire. Maybe he’ll guest post it here for me someday. As I shared with our friends and their wives, confessing an intense struggle with fear, the Hamster reminded me of this:

Revelation 12:11 (NIV)

 11They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb 
      and by the word of their testimony; 
   they did not love their lives so much 
      as to shrink from death.
He encouraged me to keep telling what is true, that story that picked me up and put me in a completely different self, giving me new eyes and ears, and making me aware of another realm, and I have never been given better advice. Imagine if the stories we make up are so grand, then the story God writes is galaxies better.
Tomorrow I’ll begin true storytelling here. I shall spill the beans and empty my purse. It’ll be the first installment.
Don’t you also have one to tell?
About me


Reply January 27, 2009

This pictures are priceless!

Cindy’s last blog post..Of Precipitation and...

Reply January 27, 2009

i have been waiting for these pics since october. thank ye for posting them, my friend. hearing seth haines tell a bedtime story puts the narrative pressure on a hamster. and old brocktoberfest ain't so shabby himself. i sweated myself straight through this one. isaac was sweet to humor me.

say, a week after this pic i detached the wombat from my face. shaved it clean down to the nub. i'm still bearded; i'm just no longer protected by the national wildlife federation. time to try something new.

you're quite the coffeetime storyteller too, lady. see if you can attach a vocal track on here sometime. i'd sure like it. can't wait for the springfling, yo. fayettevegas, here we come!

Reply January 27, 2009

mrs. haines - i wrote something of john updike on our reading room site. seemed fitting. not sure if you are a fan of his. the passing of writers and artists and musicians is oddly resonant within me. they seem to encapsulate something of us, perhaps who we would like to be or what we would like to achieve if so many variables were vertically motioned escalators instead. they shine envy and hope all at once. life, huh?

hamster’s last blog post..JOHN UPDIKE : MARCH 18, 1932 - JANUARY 27, 2009

The Baker
Reply January 28, 2009


your children are a blessing. Good stories are also a blessing. You and your husband are big fat blessings, emphasis on blessings.

That weekend has popped in my mind many a time since. We must do it again this spring if possible. Ike needs to hear a new story and we need to give it to him. All the snow up her in st. louis has kept me indoors today and i have dedicated the afternoon to reading and writing--two blissful things.

I've got a story in my head fluttering around, actually a poem, possibly to be called "Ode to one day returning to Fayetteville." In it, the two of you are mentioned in a sweet and impressive way. This poem will never be written, but know that it was once in my head.

The Baker

The Baker’s last blog post..Friday-Recap The CG World

Reply January 28, 2009

i love how matt previews a poem that will never happen. that's great.

(hey, matt, let's chat it up with amber to surprise seth again. remember how shocked he was. he was all like, "i gotta change my pants, y'all!" and we were all like, "fighting with light sabers is great!" and the ladies were all like, "our men are hot!" and jude was like, "AAAAAHHHHH!" and i want all that to happen again.)

hamster’s last blog post..JOHN UPDIKE : MARCH 18, 1932 - JANUARY 27, 2009

The Baker
Reply January 28, 2009


Ok, let's talk weekends. i will roll with whatever. This is worth taking off work if i need to.
Ike was like, "um, excuse me, nobody is playing with me." Seth was like falling asleep every night we talked late. Amber was like, making amazing food and being her sweet self. Latonya was sporting amazing hair and laughing her joyous laugh and initiating deep conversations. Music played, beverages were consumed, books came to life.
I came to life.
This junk was soft and warm. We need more.

The Baker’s last blog post..Friday-Recap The CG World

Reply January 29, 2009

Wait a second.

How did this awesomeness happen right here on my own blog property and I didn't see it until just now. Goodgummit.

Yes, another secret weekend is in order. Aw, man. Let's look at late March?

I love John Updike. I didn't know he passed. He was one of my prof's old friends from the glory days. Art remains. I can't wait to read your post.

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