Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Where Once Upon a Time Begins

Have you noticed the ancestry kits advertised on
Twitter &

They are everywhere.

Today one commercial caught my eye whereby the man in the advertisement was pleased to find out that his great, great somebody was a blue-eyed fisherman just like himself. However, and apparently thrillingly, the blue-eyed ancestor was from Ireland.

Cue music and flash the website where for $99.99 you too can find out your family tree with one DNA swab via postal service.

Cool, right?

And very popular. According to, over 1.5 million ancestry gifts were sold on Black Friday making history one of the most popular Christmas gifts last year.

In addition, Ancestry said it sold 800% more kits on Amazon on Cyber Monday than it sold for the entire 2016 holiday season!

That is a lot of stories being sold!

And then it struck me; we are swabbing our cheeks, sealing hair strands, and sending away our DNA to pay for a story.

Our story.

Since the days following our birth, we’ve longed to be enveloped in the warmth of our loved ones and the words that bring connection and understanding to who we are and what is our place is in the world.

While technology, websites, and DNA kits delivered via UPS to our front door invite us to access the information we never imagined we could obtain I'm reminded of a most basic tenet of the human race .... we are wired for story.

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.” Donald Miller

We want to know where we came from.
Who are my people? What did they do? How did they come to live here? Or there?

Wouldn't you like to know?

Know your story? I’d bet 1.5 million ancestory kits that most of us do.

I think we long for story in our lives.
I think knowing a bit about our past connects to the present.
I think we hold a secret hope in our hearts our story will get told.

I often imagine a future where, for example, my children look across the kitchen table from their grandchildren and say, “Your great-grandmother Steph loved to make her mother-in-laws sugar cookie recipe too!”

I would love that!

In a time when .coms and swab kits are super hip

let us not forget the power of our own stories.

May we remember to tell our stories.
May we find ways to work “Remember whens...” and “I’ll never forget...” into today’s conversation, tomorrow’s dinner, and tonight's bedtime’s cuddles.

Perhaps then, if we weave our tales in and out of all our todays, we may find our stories being told in many tomorrows. Because once upon a time must begin somewhere.

Why not with you?

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