[another] invitation

Dear Story Collectors,

I write this letter during one of my favorite weeks of the year: the week between. It’s the last week of the calendar year, and it holds reflection and possibility. I’ve been thinking hard about SOS Magic, and decided a decision needed to be made.

Often in life when I don’t know what choice to make, I write. I began this letter unsure of how it might unfold. The truth is I feel like a failure when it comes to this space.

Recently I was reading a familiar passage of scripture in a different version from what I normally read. This sentence wrapped around me:

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Matthew 11:28-30, The Message

I’ve been challenging myself to extend the unforced rhythms of grace to my own soul. I read the original invitation of SOS Magic to Story Collectors and was struck by these words:

This isn’t a challenge or a competition. This isn’t something we track. This isn’t something to join, which means it isn’t something to fail. 

You’re Invited: Link to the original invitation

If any Story Collector told me they feel like they should quit writing because they’ve been stumbling along the journey, I would be aghast. I would tell them the perfect place to begin again is with SOS Magic. It’s the purpose behind this space: a place to share our stories and connect to other story collectors so that magic pulses around the globe. It’s a project that means a lot to me.

Perhaps I can extend the same unforced rhythms of grace to myself?

In the same spirit as the original invitation, I am throwing an SOS out into the world.

This is an invitation. 

An invitation for those who discover the magic of stories because you write.

An invitation for those who know the magic of stories because you used to write

An invitation for those who want to know the magic of stories because you imagine being a story collector and sometimes you imagine being a writer

An invitation for those who wish they could know the magic of stories, but feel like there’s never a story to tell. This is especially an invitation for you.

It is not a secret that I’ve struggled to stack words on my blog or maintain weekly invitations to SOS Magic. Beating myself up for falling short is not going to make the posts magically appear. Giving up on writing or giving up on inviting others to write is not going to make my life better.

Thinking there is no more grace available for Story Collectors to extend to me is just plain silly. 2021 has been a year where I’ve been forced to established a new normal. In some ways I did it well, while in other ways it left a bit to be desired.

We begin again. On January 6, 2022, Invitation No. 70 will be extended. You can expect an invitation each week. I look forward to the surge of magic that will greet us by beginning again (only better this time).

Shine on,

Published by Ruth Ayres

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

18 thoughts on “[another] invitation

  1. Ruth – I am deeply moved by this,”learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” I know I will need to write around it. There is much I need to write. I am grateful for this space even if I don’t make it here as often as I’d like. I am grateful for fellow story collectors (love that). I m grateful for all the magic-making here. And I am grateful for you.



  2. Ah, Ruth. As always, your words speak to me. Grace was my OLW for 2021, and I had to work harder to extend myself grace than other people. I’m so happy we are continuing. Jan 6 is circled on my calendar. Stories are starting to circle around in my head and I’m getting ready to write. Hugs to you!


  3. I have been so grateful for these weeks of winter break to have no obligations and to sit and write whenever I feel like it. My journal had been neglected the weeks leading up to the break because I had been so busy wrapping up many obligations. I am hopeful this year will be a big less harried as I have given up a big responsibility. When things are going well, I write. When I cannot figure out what is going on, I write. But, there are times when the time to sit and write just isn’t available. I cannot even write about the lack of time!


  4. Hug! My first impulse is to smile and then I reach through space and give a hug. I love the invitation. And Grace.
    The beginning quote resonates with me. To begin again is an invitation that soothes my soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruth, the scripture you quoted expresses such an important message for us creatives. I think we can be the hardest on ourselves and forget to extend ourselves the grace we often extend to others.

    These words, however, “This isn’t a challenge or a competition. This isn’t something we track. This isn’t something to join, which means it isn’t something to fail.”, touch my soul so much more, because they free me to show up to this space and share without fear and pressure whenever invited.

    Thank you for starting again, and thank you for extending the grace you deserve to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A few weeks ago, my one little word for 2022 found me. This post assured me it was the right one. Thank you for this space and this invitation. I am so glad you didn’t give up. See you on the 6th!


  7. From someone who primarily lurks here and responds privately within my own notebook pages, thank you for maintaining the open invitation of this space.


  8. So many words to love in this post, Ruth! I recognized the verses from Matthew 11. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” are words that I cling to when life seems hard and I’m seeking rest for my soul. “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace,” is a new way to process these words. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    Sometimes I hesitate to post because my stories aren’t always stories, sometimes it’s just a jumble of thoughts. But then I think about the quote you shared: “…the real reason why we are here: to love each other.” Grateful for our community and ready to begin again . . . together.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I was in the mountains with my family when this email came, so I saved it. Because I knew once I got back I would need to read it. The hustle and bustle have started again. Covid is here again, and I need a friend. You are the kind of friend I know I can lean on if I need to. You give all of us grace as much as you give it to yourself. That’s what I love about this space. It’s safe and welcoming. No expectations. Just open arms.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ruth, I’m so grateful for this letter and to know that I’m not alone in the feeling that I’ve let myself down – 2021 was a tough-y! Thank you for these words and for your openness and understanding, always. I’m grateful for you! I hope to join in on the 6th! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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