Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dream BIG - A Letter to My Daughters

The girls and I were talking about an exercise they did at youth group.  They were first asked to select a picture card that best showed where they felt they were (in life) at the moment.  Then they had to describe how the picture reflected that feeling.  After, they chose a second picture showing where they hoped to be in the future, and then describe the how and why.

I listened as they explained their thoughts, and as I did, I felt a nudging to be sure they know how to dream big, and not settle.

How do I do this?  How do I try to explain or show that this world is filled with so many possibilities?

Well, the best way to start, is to start!  So here is a letter to my daughters:

“you are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.”
c.s. lewis
 Hey Girls,

As we talked about the conversations at youth group, and you each shared what you wanted to, or maybe tried to share with your friends and leaders, I was excited to hear about your deeper thinking, your hopes, dreams and fears.  

I want you to have a place to share those thoughts, those ideas.  It may not always be with me, and that is okay.  But I do think you need to find someone or more than one, to confide in, dream with, discuss the endless possibilities that wait for you.

I want to encourage you. . . no, stronger than that. . . I want to be sure you know the possibilities truly are endless, without limit, vast. . . you get the idea.  Don't limit yourself by what you think might happen or what probably won't happen.  Don't limit your thinking to only what is practical.  Yes, there are responsibilities in this life, and we choose those (carefully, I hope) but there is also an enormous world out there with people, places, sights, sounds, tastes, textures all waiting to be explored!  What can you learn?

Know that you can dream.  Dream big!  Know that you are able.  Yes, it might take some hard work, and there may be rough spots, but you are intelligent, strong, capable of so much if you put your mind, abilities and work ethic into play.  

Feeling scared?  That's okay.  Fear is something that we all live with, live through, and hopefully, hand over to our heavenly Father.  Don't let it rule over you.  What are you afraid of?  This is where talking with others can help.  Many times we have a fear that seems so strange that no one could possibly understand, but if you are willing to talk about it, you may just find someone with the same fear, and by talking through it together, you may find a solution or at least a new friend to lean on when those fears come up!

Feeling tired?  You need to rest, to take care of yourselves, be sure you aren't holding on to something that you shouldn't, and if you are, let it go.  Keep moving forward.

Feeling stuck?  Pray.  Listen for God's voice and direction.  It might not be a thundering voice or a bright, blinking arrow that points you in a direction, it might be your abilities, an opportunity that arises, or just a gentle nudge from inside.  Take a step and see where it leads.  Trust that God will direct your steps.  A wrong turn isn't the end of the world.  It is just a detour.  What can you learn from it?  Learn, find a new way and keep moving forward.

Feeling alone?  Seek out those friends. You know, the ones you share your thoughts and ideas with?  Maybe you haven't talked with them for a while, but reach out and reconnect.  Sometimes we can't wait for others to reach out to us.  Sometimes we have to take the first step.  If there were feelings hurt, don't be afraid to just say hello and see how they are doing.  Maybe it requires an apology from you for something said or done.  Maybe it was just a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared.  You won't know unless you try to reach out.

**Now, I know this isn't easy and could invite some hurt.  I know that sometimes others aren't willing to forgive or reconnect.  But as you are able, always be gracious, kind and forgiving, even if there is no reciprocation.**

I'll end for now, before this becomes a novel. . .

Life is an exciting adventure, not a dull chore. Dream BIG!  Work hard!  Keep Learning, and Don't Settle!

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