Elizabeth Turnage has been a great resource for us at Parakaleo. Try her timeline story tool and while you’re at it, check her out at www.livingstorygrace.com.
Do you ever feel like you’re in a story you can’t get a grip on? Or perhaps you’re making plans for moving into a new story? In last week’s amazing wonderful retreat for Mitchell Road Pres in Greenville, I mentioned using timelines both for catching a glimpse of what God has already done in our story, and for envisioning where he might be taking us. Timelines are helpful tools for coaching too, as we reflect and pray on what next steps might look like based on the past or current story. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your own timeline:
Use a large sheet of paper and a pencil, or if you are super-technical, try using a database, like Excel or Numbers.
Choose a topic. In the timeline on the right, I was thinking through the losses I’ve experienced in having two shoulder surgeries in a year with one to come. I’ve also used timelines to make plans for Living Story, putting markers for goals at certain dates for the future.
When you’ve finished your timeline, write some words that describe some of the experiences on the outline or on another piece of paper. Take a different colored marker or pencil and note places where you see God’s hand at work. Write themes or Bible verses that you think of as you look at the history.
- Finally, remember that this doesn’t have to be too complicated or difficult. I drew the one on the right in about 10 minutes, but it really helped me to understand some of the struggles and redemption in this particular story.
Try it, and let me know how it works for you! If you would like to learn more about Living Story coaching, contact me or visit the website.
Feel free to share this tool if you think it might benefit others, and remember you can find encouraging thoughts and helpful questions at the Living Story blog! Thanks, and have a great week!Elizabeth Turnage