Sometimes you strike gold when you aren’t even mining for it.

The idea was planted the way a lot of great ideas are–buried in the loamy subconscious, waiting to burst surface at just the right time.

The blame–no, make that credit–goes to Don Miller, an author who has made me think and giggle (and sometimes just aggravates me).  We were first introduced when I read Searching for God Knows What; I started reading the book while browsing at Barnes and Noble, and when his ramblings extracted an unexpected out-loud snort laugh, I had to take it home.

But it’s in Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years where I unearthed treasure.  I had no idea I was buying a book that would teach me the art and beauty of “story”; not in a heady, intellectual, academic boring sort of way, but in a motivating, inspiring, engaging story kinda way.

In A Million Miles, Don introduced me to Bob Goff.

Unless you’ve read the book, it’s likely you’ve never heard of Bob Goff, but to me, he’s an unassuming, modern-day hero. He’s a husband, a daddy, a lawyer, a pursuer of people, a thinker, a dreamer, a seeker of Jesus, a doer…and a lover of balloons. Bob is founder and CEO of Restore International, whose mission is to make a difference on behalf of those who do not otherwise have a voice.  That resonated with me because it’s close to the exact phrase I’ve used to explain why I so wanted to write as a Compassion partner.


Through memory’s cloud, I recall something Bob shared with Don:  writing down a memory from each day.  Though I don’t remember the particulars of the chapter, this idea has been my ghost companion for months; I’m gifted with poor memory. What a simple, marvelous answer for remembering a lot of little somethings!

In October, I declared it to be my New Year’s resolution.

January first came and went, but I never began.

School ended and I thought, “Now!  Now, I’ll start!”

But I didn’t.

This week, my daughter and I stopped in Francesca’s, a darling little shop stuffed with oodles of this, that and the other, when suddenly fire engines clanged to life in my head–

One Line a Day - Five-year memory book
I picked it up…petted its leatherette cover…stroked its slick gilded pages.  Then I turned it over, saw its price tag and thought “Are you kidding–$16.95 for a blank-paged book?!”  Bob whispered in my ear, quickly reshaping my thinking–“ONLY $16.95 TO CAPTURE FIVE YEARS OF MEMORIES?!”

Peeking over my shoulder, Rachel, who by now had sidled up to me, interrupted my thought, “Well, that’s a good idea,” so I asked if she wanted one, too.  To my disappointment, she declined my offer.

Not half an hour later, she exercised her woman’s prerogative. We didn’t have time to return to the store, so I gave her my copy.

Three days later she declared,
“Mom, I have a feeling this is going to end up being
one of the bests gifts you’ve ever given me.

I’m inclined to agree.

I think Bob would, too.

An idea planted by stranger-friends has blossomed into a most lovely bouquet.

* * * * * * * *

{Note:  If you’re interested in in purchasing your own One Line a Day/Five-Year Memory Book, I found them for under $12 at Amazon!  To me, they’d make wonderful gifts for birthdays, graduation and even wedding gifts.  Click through and purchase any of the books linked in this post and I’ll earn pennies through my affiliate status with Amazon; in five years I might even be able to buy a bowl of cherries!! 😉 }

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