Here is a picture of our 3 month old son, Aubrey:

Aubrey and Mr. Bunny

Aubrey and his favourite toy

Aubrey really loves Mr. Bunny.  There’s not much he likes more than the soft, ticklish feeling of Mr. Bunny’s ears against his cheeks.  And right now, that’s pretty much Aubrey’s story.  He eats, sleeps, and plays with us and his good friend Mr. Bunny.  He’s pretty happy with this story, but one day he’ll be looking for a better one.

This past summer I read a great book, “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life”, by Donald Miller.  In this book, Miller writes about how important it is to view your life in terms of story, and about becoming a character who lives a story, by having difficult goals, and overcoming conflict in order to achieve them.  One particular example in his book really struck me.  It was about a family whose daughter was getting into drugs and was in a relationship verging on abusive.  The parents did not know what to do about it.  But at some point the father realized that she was attempting to live the best story she could, and that the family needed a better one.  So he decided that they as a family would build an orphanage in Mexico.  While at first his family wasn’t too impressed with the idea, as they got more into it, they saw huge changes in their daughter’s life, as she abandoned her drug-taking abusive relationship story for the new one that was presented for her.

A little less than four years ago, Victoria and I began a similar story.  We were discussing our finances, and what we could do with them, as people who live in a country that is so wealthy compared to the rest of the world.  We decided that we would work towards being able to fully give away one of our incomes.  We would only live off one income and give the rest away, to charities, to people in our community in need, to wherever we thought it would help the most.  At the time, however, Victoria was doing an unpaid internship and I was on half-time income.  We were going more into debt, so this wouldn’t be as immediately as we had hoped.  We didn’t know where our future was going, so we gave ourselves 10 years to accomplish this goal.  With a goal in mind, and a story to play out, we began working on getting to this point.  We both had a large amount of debt and at the time little income, but over the past 4 years, we’ve made huge strides, and if all goes well, we’ll be meeting our goal a few years early.  Now that we see the realization of this goal in sight, we find ourselves excitedly talking about it all the time, and it just seeps into all of our decisions.

Three months ago, our story changed a bit, with the arrival of our son.  When I read the chapter in Donald Miller’s book about the family’s orphanage-building story, my immediate thought was, “how do I invite Aubrey into our story?”  I want him to be excited about the idea of giving to the rest of the world rather than just taking.  I want him to feel like he’s part of something bigger and making a difference.  I want him to experience how as a family unit, we can accomplish things that none of us can individually.  I also want him to find his own story too – to find something to be passionate about and to take risks and overcome obstacles to make it happen.  These are all high hopes indeed, and I suppose by Donald Miller’s definition of story, helping to Aubrey to find his own place in one is a story in itself!

For today, Aubrey is still pretty happy with his current story of fuzzy tickles from Mr. Bunny.  But I am looking forward to seeing how his story evolves, and how I will be a part of it.