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“Sailboat” – A Song for the Lonely (Sung by my Son)

Back in the day, moms carried around a wallet filled with their kids’ pictures.  But it’s a new day.  I’m passing around a YouTube link. This kid – my kid – has been discouraged for years by teachers and school administrators because he doesn’t learn in a way that the school recognizes as ideal. He has also been blessed by some incredible cheerleaders and advocates, for whom we are incredibly grateful.

If you know anything about my family’s story, you know that our journey has been filled with opportunities to move past labels or “what people think” so the world can begin to understand that gifts come in all kinds of packages,  intelligence can’t always be measured by letters of the alphabet, and potential is not decided by skeptics.

Certainly, we all have felt just like a sailboat many times.  You can tell from his voice that this kid knows that feeling, too.  But I hope and pray he feels the wind blowing him exactly where he needs to be as he pursues his dreams, today and always.

Enjoy Jackson’s cover of Ben Rector‘s song, “Sailboat.”

 

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Fright or Flight (Or… The Year I Made My Daughter Dress as a Fighter Pilot)

What better time than the present to look fear in the eye and show it who’s boss?!

Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
~Orison Swett M
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I’ll never forget the year my daughter wanted to dress as a princess for a costume party, and my husband and I all-but forced her to dress as a fighter pilot.  (She will never forget it either, for completely different reasons.)  She looked SO AWESOME.  I was so jealous of that costume.  And she would have GLADLY given it to me.

I wanted her to see herself as a strong, courageous contributor to society, rather than a cliche’. She wanted to reflect the grace of fairy tale character.  I wanted her to embrace her inner warrior.  She wanted to wear pretty colors.

That was the last time I ever saw her in a fighter pilot jumpsuit.  She has, however, embraced the look of aviator glasses.  (Baby steps.)  But here’s the thing.  She is growing to be such a wonderful combination of two extremes.  She is lovely, gracious and sweet…but I would dare say there isn’t a fighter pilot anywhere who could match her strength when courage is needed.

I want more than anything for my children (and myself… and all you friends out there) to realize that most of the things we fear are not nearly as scary as they appear.  We were created to thrive — to take life by the horns and LIVE –  not to shrink back and wait for a magic wand to sweep over all “unfairytale-like” unpleasantness.

We all have to find our own journey to courage and strength.  That journey may or may not involve a fighter suit and aviators.  But I hope we can all find it.  Somehow, some way.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Faith, Life, Parenting

 

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Wordless Wednesday 10/30/13

 

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Wordless Wednesday

 

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Fighting Discouragement

painI don’t know about you, but some days – many days – there seems to be an invisible weight tied to my heart.  I start feeling caught in the undertow of circumstances.  Problems feel overwhelming, the issues in our government seem hopeless, the worldwide condition of humanity looms like a dark cloud with horrific things like starvation, human trafficking, terrorism, poverty and disease.

Meanwhile, I’ve got paper piling up, laundry collecting by the hour, bills to pay, a sick kid, dreams on hiatus, a discouraged husband, and a future to think about.

How do we get out of bed on days when discouragement seems to be winning the battle?
The thing that gets me out of bed is Eternal Hope.  Knowing that this world isn’t just spinning in utter chaos without hope.  The problems are too big for me, yes.  But to the Creator of the World, nothing is impossible.  NOTHING.  If I take my cues from Him, there is always, always a way through.

So I remember to be grateful.  For Him.  For daily bread.  For His guiding Word. For family.  For friends, mentors and cheerleaders.  For breath in my lungs and this moment in time… this moment when I can choose to not give up on filling my purpose in this world. Admittedly, my purpose feels small at times.  But remember, we see only a keyhole version of eternity.  There is so much more going on – in realms we may never actually see or understand – than we could dare to dream.

One foot in front of the other, let’s keep doing the next right thing.  Keep listening for the Voice of Truth that reminds us we are not alone.  Let’s let discouragement lose today.  Let hope win one more time.

OH. And this…

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable. 
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:28-31)
 

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How To Be Original

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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Creativity

 

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It’s The Weekend… Relax!

Welcome to the weekend! And if you need any help getting into serious relaxation mode, I bring you Paco. He is a professional.

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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Life

 

“Mini Me” & The Many “Me-s”

easter bonnetI recently read a great analogy of the aging process resembling nesting dolls.*  The little child, the tender teen, the student, the young adult, the graying parent… each phase of life comes along with us for the next phase, layer upon layer. Each of those people remains inside of us in some form, and together they continue to enlarge us in so many ways.

As I look at the little girl in the photo to the left, it is hard to fathom that this “three-year-old me” is still inside my skin under the layers of years.  But she is most certainly in there. She still loves hats.  She still loves baskets. (Candy, too.)

I’m finding that maturity isn’t about leaving the younger, more foolish versions of ourselves behind, as if they do not belong in the story of our lives. Those versions of ourselves – versions we may barely remember or did not necessarily like -  all help us grow into someone better. The secret is keeping all that is good, learning all the lessons there are to learn, and continuing to embrace each beautiful new layer of wisdom and experience as another part of who we are.

I know all this is a little deep for a “Throwback Thursday.”  But, hey, let’s acknowledge our entire story – our “mini me” and our many “me-s” – celebrating all the people we have been, are now, and are becoming.

*The nesting doll analogy comes from the book, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, which I mentioned in this previous post.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2013 in Life, Throwback Thursday

 

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