Saturday, February 24, 2018

Stories to Help You Navigate a Difficult Family Life

We all need a little love from stories sometimes, right?

I believe that stories have a power over the human heart that almost nothing else can rival. I believe they speak to us in a language that regular words and advice doesn't understand. Stories have always been one of the places I turn to when I'm troubled. Here are three I'd like to share with you that have recently helped me navigate some difficult situations.

1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
Wow. This book took my breath away. The Glass Castle is a memoir about the troubled childhood endured by Jeannette Walls and her three siblings. Despite poverty, constant moving, and running from authorities, Jeannette manages to tell her family's story from the most balanced perspective. She shows the ways that her parent's neglect negatively affected her family, but she's also completely honest about the good side of her mom and dad. She embraces their dreams, their loyalty, and their courageous hearts. She helps you to understand her parent's demons and their strengths. The Glass Castle gave me the courage to also accept the good and bad sides of troubled relationships.

2. Gilmore Girls
One of the things I love about Gilmore Girls is that it overcomes judgement. In Christian circles, shows like this often have a bad reputation. And, I get it. Lorelai and Rory probably shouldn't be your role models for romantic relationships. But I loved Gilmore Girls because it taught me so much about family. The story is centered around difficult relationships between mom and daughter. Things get messy, people get mean, worlds crash, and the Gilmore family has a grim time staying afloat. Although they sometimes go months without speaking to each other, Lorelai and Emily always end up working things out. I love Gilmore Girls because it shows the rawness of difficult families and the hope that family sticks together in the end.

3. The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
This book came to me at just the right time. I stopped reading for a season during my Lyme Disease treatment, because my brain was messed up and full pages of words were challenging. The Castle Behind Thorns was the first book I finished reading after Lyme. It's a cute magical story about two friends trying to escape an enchanted castle. Both of them are struggling with relationships in some way, and they begin to realize that their bitterness is what's keeping them from leaving the castle. This story taught me a lot about myself and the things I need to let go. It gave me the grace and encouragement I needed to rise above old feelings and find forgiveness.



  1. I needed a post like this, I saw the Glass Castle movie and loved it. I love that she showed the positives as well as the negatives, it was really inspiring.

    1. Awww that's great to hear! I enjoyed the movie, too, and have been loving the music from it. :) The book is even better, though, if you haven't read it!

  2. These sound like some pretty interesting stories! Especially The Castle Behind Thorns. That excerpt. Beautiful. <3

    Danielle |

    1. The Castle Behind Thorns is absolutely incredible. :) One of my all time favorites. It's such a fun mix of engaging story and the spiritual lesson you didn't know you needed.

      Thanks for stopping by! I've been enjoying your emails. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing with us this wonderful list! I also often turn to stories when I'm troubled. I like resolving family conflicts through different kinds of literature. Family relationships are so important in our lives, so we should do our best not only to save them, but to make them stronger each new day!

  4. Thank you for sharing these! I'm undergoing some family difficulties at the moment, so I hope these stories might help me navigate them. <3