It’s Going To Be A Good One…

March 18, 2012

I used to manage a horse farm. In fact, that is what I went to college for. They were always my passion. As a small girl growing up in Lancaster, PA, I dreamed a runaway horse and buggy would drive by and I would be the one to stop it and be able to keep the horse.

I don’t know where I thought the owner would be, but those small details don’t matter when you are dreaming.

I now work on teeth. I am an orthodontist assistant.

When I tell people this, they give me a funny look. People wonder how I went from horses to teeth.

What makes our stories our stories? Why do we decide to take the paths we do? In the past sometimes my story seemed guided. Sometimes random. Now it seems a wild mix of both.

I would often look back and wonder, “How did I end up here?” Actually, similar to my writing, I can sit down to write one thing and a totally different story will come out through my fingers. I have heard writers talk about how they just have to let the story play out.

In their books, the characters take on their own story and fight against the writer. I can relate to this. I can sit down and start writing about getting a box of freshly made warm donuts from Crispy Creme and what comes out is how I heard of a guy going on a whale search in Antartica.

Where does this stuff come from?

But as a writer, I have to let it out. Then the real words, the ones I meant to say, can come out.

You gotta unstop the drain, you know?

So, back to our stories. Back to my story of horses and people’s teeth. How do they fit together? How does that make a good story?

I want a good story. I want to ride horses again.

I’ve decided to let my story be it’s story. It is just that. A story of ups and downs and highs and lows but all the while weaving and winding a complex web of life and experiences. Life and experiences. Experiences.

“Be a good student of life” I’ve heard it said. I can honestly say I have been. I’ve hiked in Tibet, yes I have. I’ve galloped on the back of a white horse through a meadow, jumping over logs and into water, yes I have.

I’ve biked to the top of a mountain in China and had tea with an old lady with crinkles around her eyes. We didn’t understand each other, not with our words, but our eyes told the same story.

I’ve gotten sunburned in Australia at Christmas, hiked in waist deep snow in Colorado. I’ve rounded up cattle by horseback in Montana, seen the sun rise over the mountains in Wyoming, and have eaten Mexican food in Hollywood, California. I have shown orphans in Mongolia how to brush their teeth and been in Seoul Korea’s airport four times.

I raised 17 parakeets when I was young and have 6 siblings.

I’ve been depressed and happy. I have had a little and a lot. I lived with a lot of people and a few.

This is my story.

But this is only part of it. The rest is being written today, tomorrow… as long as I am here, I am going to write a story.

And, I’m going to make it a good one!

Question: How is your story writing going? I would love to hear!

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  • Reply Justin Lukasavige March 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Keep living that story and never stop, Claudia. It’s exciting, isn’t it?

    • Reply Claudia Good March 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      It rocks… truly! Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  • Reply Joe Lalonde March 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Your story is pretty amazing Claudia! Thank you for sharing it with the world.

    My story has been filled with ups and downs, great relationships and heart breaks, adventures and boredom. It’s a story I’m proud of at times and ashamed of at others. But I don’t think I would trade it for anything.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Hey thanks.
      Don’t trade it Joe… don’t trade your story. πŸ™‚ I’m sure it is quite amazing!
      I’m off to live a better… no the best story I can! Glad to join you in it!

  • Reply Annettegarber March 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I love reading your writings, Claudia! I remember when you would write really long letters to me when I was at EMU (they were often written with a shiny pen on a page ripped from a magazine); they were so interesting and fun and I drank up each word with a smile. πŸ™‚

    As far as stories are concerned… I love the analogy of life being like a story. I’ve also heard it said that we all believe different stories about life, and the stories we believe are very important to our formation. I’ve bought into stories that were really fantasies and haven’t ended with the “happy-ever-after” ring that I thought they would (i.e. physical beauty equates love and happiness; romantic love is the ultimate joy in life). I am learning to abandon these stories and follow new ones that are True and Joy-filled.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      haha Annette,
      I do remember those letters πŸ™‚ I guess I was combining my love for writing and creating all into one!

      Thank you for being an ever flowing source of encouragement. It really means the world to me!

      I like how you said the stories we believe are very important to our formation. I hear you friend, and I am glad to be on this journey with you to find truly true and joy filled stories.

  • Reply Ann J Musico March 20, 2012 at 9:26 am

    You have a pretty amazing story already – it will be really interesting to hear the rest! I have no doubt there will be more adventures in your story – hey, who knows, maybe it will one day be a movie!!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      Now that is an amazing thought! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Michael Wright March 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    This is simply beautiful, Claudia. Your writing, your story. So simple, so profound, so reaching. Life is in the doing, it unwinds behind us. “Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood by looking backwards.” And you get to live this story with your amazing family. I’ve thought about story so much my brain just freezes sometimes, trying to think of all the characters in it, how many years seemed to have been “lost” (but not). Training me for something deeper, something greater in His Story.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you Michael,
      Talk about beautiful writing… that was a beautifully written comment! πŸ™‚

      Ahhh the “lost” years. Yes indeed. I think I spent about 10 years now thinking and longing for the “lost” years. How freeing to realize they had purpose and meaning and grew me into who I am today.

      I love that quote… I remember Gary Barkalow talking about that quote in his “Calling” recordings.

      Have any idea what your training for?

      • Reply Michael Wright March 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

        What am I training for? I think if I knew, it would scare me to death. Donald Miller writes about creating our story and I believe that, but I just don’t have this grand vision of what it will entail (yet). I think about leaving a legacy and as common as it sounds – if I can just raise my daughter to be a strong, confident, able Lady Warrior in this topsy-turvy world, then that will be enough for me. My wife and I often talk about creating a family business that we can have in place for her as well. That may be part of it too.

        Sometimes it is those events we don’t plan for that force change and shape our story. Like my wife’s pain issues for the past decade. Like my daughter’s Asperger’s. Totally changes how we look at life, at people, at God. There is a deeper calm now, when issues arise. I sometimes shutter and think “What’s next?” or “Why this, now?!”, but as I ask God “What is REALLY going on here?” – the answer is always “Training”. He just hasn’t said for what!

        • Reply Claudia Good March 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

          awesome perspective Michael!

          I like how you are focused on asking healthy questions rather than just “why is this happening to me”

          May you find peace during these times of training!

  • Reply Marianne Clements March 21, 2012 at 8:57 am


    I’m not really a “story” teller, but as Elvis Costello puts it in his song, “Every day I write the book”. We are “writing” a story of our lives whether we physically write it or not. My story is similar to yours in that sometimes it seems like a tangled web — like going from a small town in South Georgia to Long Island, NY and from a degree in Psychology to a degree in Accounting. However, when I let the Light shine on that tangled web, it becomes more like a beautiful tapestry. I see how everything connects now.

    By the way, I have 6 siblings as well — 3 brothers and 3 sisters.

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne Clements
    Victory Christian Coaching

    • Reply Claudia Good March 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      That sounds like a beautiful story! One of opposites πŸ™‚ So wonderful and intriguing to see them start to connect isn’t it?

      Hey! Another person that grew up in a large family!! Michael has 7 πŸ™‚
      I don’t meet many people that grew up in large families anymore! Does your family live close to you?

      • Reply Marianne Clements March 26, 2012 at 8:00 am


        Wow — both of you grew up in families of 7. Very cool. None of us live in the same town, but there are 4 of us in Georgia. The others live in AL, TN, and Missouri.

        Have a Victorious Day!

  • Reply robclinton March 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    You know Claudia… A client of mine is a painter. She envisions what she would like her painting to look like, and then she lets it go. In a sense, she kind of gives it to God to let the rest take its course as she begins working in the details, stroke by stroke she brushes her canvas. In the end, the painting was not like she envisioned it. It was far better than she imagined! Sometimes, you just have know what inspires you, and then let the inspiration pull you into an amazing story. Enjoy the adventure; that’s the greatest opportunity we have.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Wonderfully put Rob!
      I’m going to do just that πŸ™‚

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