....or Stories Part Three
As you may know, one of my favorite authors answers to the name of Donald Miller. I recently read his blog and noticed a 'contest' of sorts involving blog entries and an opportunity to attend a Living a Better Story Seminar. The Seminar just happens to be in Portland over my school's Fair Break (yes, we get the week off for the County Fair...Yee-haw). So I figured, what the heck? This is, my entry of sorts.
I typed parts One and Two of this specific "blog series" before I even THOUGHT about submitting all this as an entry for Portland. If you have the time and energy and desire, feel free to scroll back to the past two days.
If not, that's totally cool.
If My Dream or my "better story" was a novel, This is the Cliffs Notes. (These ARE the Cliffs Notes)?
In an attempt to Live a Great Story, my husband and I dream about using his family's farmland to build a house along with a building that would house dogs in need. I want to make this very clear. This "building" would be an extension of our house. It would NOT be a glorified shelter.
We'd like to make our property, this building and its canine inhabitants available to people who are suffering. Some examples would be children with disabilities or diseases, senior citizens, you get the point.One can find great comfort in sunshine, the outdoors and well, some doggie cuddlin.'
Another way we'd like to use the space is to host parties for people in need, specifically children. We are all children of God, and deserve to be celebrated for that fact alone. No child should miss out on that opportunity, no matter how great the need, how deep the illness or how empty the pocketbook. The idea would be to use the space we have to host parties for children who are having birthdays, grandmas who have turned 100, Aunts who have finally beat cancer, etc. at no cost to those attending.
We would like to be in the dog rescuing, party planning business, and if there's any more fantastic dream then we haven't found it.
In Don's book, he explains that every character in a story encounters a conflict, if not many. I think the biggest part of our conflict is the lack of connections we have with people who have, so to speak, gone before us. We need to be connected with people who know how to do THIS. We need people who have (figuratively) started with 10 acres of empty land and built The Park. We need our paths to cross. I think that is the most important part of creating this story. I think if we can find the people who have the heart, that discovery will lead us to the people who have the know-how. I think this seminar will do that.
You know, being a teacher, I am a sucker for following directions. The directions say, "Be specific." Sometimes, I am tempted to be all wide-eyed and dreamy and tell you that it will be easy and fun and it will all work out and if you bring up the hard stuff then you are being a jerkface, but the truth is...this will be hard. I know. To open a large dog park where sad people and sad dogs can come and play next to a 'farm' where we can host FREE parties for people who really need a party is a big undertaking.
We are standing in a playground of conflict.
We will need insurance papers and legal-stuff (oh, will we need legal stuff). We will need money because let's face it, dogs are expensive. Everyone will need shots (ok, mostly just the dogs will need them) ...behavior training...fencing...extra funding in case one of our dogs ends up having special needs...people who will care for the dogs in case we get sick or take a vacation...a building that is heated and cooled and EASY TO KEEP CLEAN...party favors...a driveway that could double as a parking lot...a marketing strategy so people will know where to come if they need a free party or to pet an old dog...did I mention cake?
And we need approximately 2,000 balloons, 100 boxes of birthday cake mix, and 5 gazillion pounds of kibbles -n-bits with a side of flea powder. Thanks a bunch. See you in Portland...?
Well, either way, we just may get our Dog Farm. Or maybe we'll just spring for another dog...or a baby.
Love and random contest entries,
Oh yea, and this is my friend (I wish), Donald Miller. I am hoping that if I tell you to read his book enough then eventually, he'll find out and really will be my friend.
Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.