Holiness in our Midst: Session 69


Holiness in our Midst


My friend Tamara Andrews, a French teacher at Johnston (IA) High School, uses this story prompt both to teach tenses used in French and to encourage her students to share their stories: When I was a child, I_________. With her permission, I pass it along as an excellent starting point to elicit deep sharing among group members.

What is your answer? Mine is: When I was a child, I actually had a childhood. I ran free as a red-winged blackbird on our Iowa farm. I skipped alongside my father to feed the cows and pigs; my mother protected me as I gathered eggs from the feisty laying hens. My little hands were welcomed to weed and hoe our big garden. In season, I helped can and freeze the fruits of our labors. My labor was always voluntary.

I had time to swing, dance and turn somersaults and cartwheels. Late in the evening, under the yard light, I chased lightning bugs or played tag with my brother and sisters. On Sundays, I went to church, twirling all the way in my pinafores. I feasted on delicious casseroles and red fruit punch at church basement potlucks and family reunions. I accompanied my mother to Garden Club and Farm Bureau meetings, playing under watchful eyes with the other tag-along boys and girls. On Friday nights, we rooted for local sports teams. Church, school, community and extended family were strong threads woven together seamlessly, forming the fabric of our everyday lives. Life would get more complex beyond my first years. My mother passed away when I was seven, and we moved many times after that. But I’ve retained a sense of rootedness and place from my idyllic beginning.

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Fill in the blank: When I was a child, I_________.


  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write about your childhood, using the story prompt. Because it is so open-ended, try several variations


  1.   Read aloud Session LXIX.
  2.  Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

No comments yet

Comments are closed