This is story. My story. Because we are all story. What is yours?
There are times I’m asked to speak. As in stand in front of a group and share something (rarely does anyone ever have to ask me to talk in a regular conversation). On those occasions, I share things that don’t normally end up here in this mish-mash of life, love, and food. Some of the things wouldn’t necessarily fit well – rarely do I use the phrase “leverage social media” or “define your brand promise” when I’m baking cupcakes or painting the walls of an orphanage. But there are other things – about being defined and refined – that I’ve come to realize might be OK to tuck away here for safekeeping. You know, keepsakes. This is one of those things.
if i could, i would sit with you and we would talk about everything and nothing at all. we would dream dreams and laugh and pray. and we would share our stories. because we are stories, you know.
(my) story? well, let’s see. i’m ronne. it’ s a nickname i’ve had since eighth grade. it started as ronnie. then it became ronni. and then ronne. did i mention i was nicknamed after a parasite? good. i’m glad i didn’t. ronne is short for veronica. veronica lake, to be exact. she was my mom’s favorite actress. mom always wanted me to have hair like veronica lake. i always wanted to have eyes like veronica lake. clearly, both of us would have to deal with disappointment. and my middle name? well, there are some things that are given to you that you just don’t enjoy much. laverne isn’t a very pretty name. but it’s a family name. and that’s all we’ll say about that.
my last name is rock. and it is by far the best last name around – but not because of the word. it’s because of the person who carried that name into my life. he loved both me and my son into his family. he is his name. i am a wife. scooby. june bug. mom. mother. gigi. my heart melts at the sound of all those names. because i am in love.
i am a friend. and i’m thankful that friendship isn’t defined by age or stage of life. i’ve been blessed to have been given real friends. i don’t take that gift lightly. friends are rare gems in this broken world. i hold them tenderly.
i adore some of the most amazing little folks. i would love for you to meet them. they are tucked away in places easily ignored – in Russia, Guatemala, Uganda, Romania, Honduras… oh my heart. it has been ripped and sewn so many times.
i am from oklahoma. an okie. i sing the rogers and hammerstein tune with pride. no matter where i live, i’ll always hold fond affection for my home. i am a sooner born, a sooner bred, and when i die – well, i’ll be in heaven. and yes, i’ll still be a sooner.
i love to cook. and perhaps even more, i love to bake. but what’s truly true is that i love the smell of warm sugar and nutmeg and cinnamon, when the air is perfumed by kindness and a chocolate kiss. my love of cooking is matched by the joy i find in feeding others. or maybe it’s in the gift of being fed. my soul fills to overflowing at the table. you are always welcome in my kitchen. and you are always welcome at my table.
i think roadtrips are the best. nowhere becomes somewhere on a country road, and anywhere can be the perfect destination. maybe i like roadtrips because i have a renegade heart. i believe there is always a way to get from here to there. always. always. always. there’s a particular sense of wonder for me in finding simple treasures. perfectly shaped pinecones. well-worn marbles. a dance card with the name of one special guy. stories waiting to be told.
yes, there’s that word again. story. it’s one of my favorites.
home has become for me so much more than a place. i find home anywhere i find the embrace of love. and of all the places i call home, it is the place where i am the minority where my heart beats the strongest. and it is the place where i am emptied where my heart feels most full.
i love pigs and collect them, thanks to charlotte’s web. it’s on my nightstand, along with my bible and books by henri nouwen. though i love pigs, charlotte is my real hero. she selflessly poured her life into wilbur’s to give him hope and let him shine. that’s philippians 2 in action.
i love to write, though i am hesitant to fancy myself a writer. the writers i know all have big things to say. i write so that one day, when my thoughts get stuck in another place and time, my grandkids will get to peek inside to see who and why i was. anything beyond that is serendipity. as i awaken the day with prayer and reading and writing in my journal, i let my soul select a theme song – songs of joy or justice or love. i carry that theme in my pocket like a soundtrack. moving to the music helps me not to trip over my stumbling self so much.
i run, though in the same way i am hesitant to be called a writer, i have difficulty calling myself a runner. i run because i didn’t think i could. i run because god always has something to share on the journey. oh, and i run because you are always welcome in my kitchen and at my table.
my favorite color is – all of them. god all-mighty is an exceptional artist.
if i was a superhero, i would want my special power to be teleportation. i would visit my precious little forgotten friends in russia in the morning, then have tea with friends in uganda in the afternoon, and still have time to deliver cupcakes to you and give my grandson a backrub before snuggling in with my hubby to watch parenthood.
i dance, randomly, for no good reason at all. or maybe no reason is the best reason to dance. a friend once said, “dance is visual music.” so dance becomes a wonderful beautiful song of hope that springs up in me. and sometimes, that dance just can’t be contained. it has to sing loudly.
oh yes. sometimes, that dance just can’t be contained.
but mostly, i am a story that is still being written. i am a life that is still being defined by the One who loves me and being refined as i learn to love Him more. i pray my story doesn’t end before my days do – that this little renegade soul will continue to say “always, always, always.”
so if we were sitting together, talking about everything and nothing at all, dreaming dreams and laughing and sharing, i would look at you and say “your turn.” because you are a story still being written.
you are a story to be shared.