The Story of Our Lives

A friend of mine, Ryan, gave me this amazing book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller. I encourage everyone to read it.

Million Miles is about what it’s like to edit down your life to the interesting parts. Donald wrote his memoir and in the process he had to cut out a lot of his life. If you write a memoir, hopefully you want people to read it. So it needs to be compelling. It needs to be a good STORY. That means all the boring stuff needs to come out. Editing your life. Yikes. What a strange experience deleting big parts of your life that people wouldn’t think is interesting.

What it led Don to realize was that we can write The Story of Our Life in the present and make our lives truly remarkable right now, not so people will want to read about it, but so we will live amazing lives.

There is a chapter early on in this book about Don listening to a friend (Jason), as his friend is telling him about the trouble he’s having with his teenage daughter. Jason and his wife found pot in her room. She was hanging out with the wrong crowd and the wrong guy. The whole thing was devastating to Jason and his wife.

So Don starts telling his friend about the concept of Story. Telling Jason about his experience editing his life story and realizing we can all create wonderful stories in our lives in the present moment. Then he said, “Your daughter is living a terrible story. She’s writing a story where there is risk and adventure with pot and crazy boyfriends” which made Jason realize he hadn’t mapped out a great story for his family so his daughter had chosen one for herself. The best story available to her.

Don’s friend kind of went a little crazy after that as most of us would define crazy. He did what I think is amazing. He took a $25,000 second mortgage out on their house (he definitely should have talked to his wife first!) and paid for an orphanage to be built in Mexico that they were also going to help build. It transformed the family. Jason had had the realization that not only was he not taking risks, but they weren’t helping anybody. His daughter was totally into it, wanted desperately to go to Mexico to take pictures of the orphanage and children to post on her website and inspire people back home to help. She dumped her boyfriend. Their lives changed dramatically for the better.

I am so inspired by how this dad changed the story of his family’s life and by how he saved his daughter. The chapter is called, “How Jason Saved His Family.”

This whole concept of story has made me think how Nan and I can change our story. Nan is thinking too. What can we do to give back? All of us can change the Story of Our Lives at any moment.  Why haven’t we built an orphanage? If we do something crazy soon at least you wont be surprised.


18 thoughts on “The Story of Our Lives

  1. You guys already have given so much back but you maybe haven’t even realized it !
    The part about the story of having to “edit your life” reminds me when I arrived in Paris at age 23 and my model agency told me I needed to lie and say I was only 20. I was really perplexed about this . I mean I had to cut out the fact that went to university for 3 years . . . I wasn’t sure how far into my story could go before I was found out . LOL.
    Those were the days. . . Right Nance ? xx

  2. As far as I can tell you and Nancy have already edited your lives to the essential, compelling, meaningful parts–and given all of us so much by sharing your story. You don’t need to found an orphanage but nothing you two do would surprise me.

    Love and thanks for sharing once again!

  3. Love this post. Life truly is whatever narrative you make of it. ThIngs don’t always turn out the way you think as we all know. But putting a little psychic pen to paper sure puts you in the writer’s seat. Thanks for this you guys.

  4. Great inspiration and I must agree with other two comments – your gift of sharing yourselves is huge and novel. Thank you for your willingness to keep pursuing the edge and stretching as that is what makes the journey juicy, compelling and a story worth being told.


  5. I must say also that you both have already given a HUGE amount to our community and beyond. What you have shared with us has been incredibly life-changing and inspiring for many. I don’t know you both well personally, but I think about you and YOUR story and how you have chosen to approach this current chapter and its just been incredible. THANK YOU for sharing your journey and your story. I send your family best wishes every day and am grateful for the mindfulness that you have imparted which has enriched so many of the lives around you.


  6. We also are so happy to hear from you both. We, as well as obviously others feel that you are doing a great job writing your story. You may not have built an orphanage, but your impact has been pretty substantial to alot of people and how they live and treasure their lives. Time to write your own book….

  7. so lovely. so moving. so powerful. I can’t wait to see what you two come up with next. I’m inspired just thinking about it. thank you for writing lance. it’s good to hear your voice. all my love, diana

  8. Nanc and Lance, you have already changed my story with your friendship, love, amazing energy and values. I absolutely loved reading this blog in particular. We should all strive to have the best story possible for our children. At the end of the day, the future of the world is resting with them. Love you!!!!!!

  9. wonderful story lance!
    you are 100 % right!
    if everyone stopped right now and did something that dramtically changed someones else’s life and their own what a fantastic earth moving experience it would be for all ..
    you and nancy insprie me alll the time!!
    keep doing what your doing!!
    keep up the amazing work!
    love and appreciation
    Susan Brown

  10. Love this…And I often remind myself that it is the smallest acts of kindness that can transform – a smile for someone who looks sad, a helping hand to an elderly lady loading groceries in her car, giving up a coveted parking spot to someone who looks harried. We all can’t build orphanages but we all have our every day lives we can live with more grace. And there is always a child closer than we know that might need a caring adult or help with math homework. Keep it simple sweet thangs….you give more than you know!

  11. Ever since reading that quote in one of Nancy’s recent posts about our whole experience being based on the glasses we are wearing, I’ve been imagining physically changing my glasses when I find myself losing perspective. This post builds on that theme: editing your life down to the best parts of your story is like choosing your glasses every moment of every day. Thanks for continually shining a light.

  12. You both have changed the lives of so many and I want you to know that you are in my healing thoughts, prayers and devotions every day. Keep keeping on. You admired and loved. GG

  13. Your story is an inspiration to all of us. You and Nancy have shared a story of love, courage, hope and transformation that has touched more lives than you can imagine! Your family is so loved and we are holding you in our hearts wearing your fuzzy hat and huge smile forever.

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