Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dream Big

There is a scene in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness where the main characters (Father and Son) are playing basketball together. The son (who is 5 years old) is telling his dad how he is going to be in the NBA someday. The dad responds with a reality check. He basically tells his son he has no hope of being above average in basketball because it is not "in his genes." The son responds by throwing the basketball away. Realizing his mistake, the dad pulls his son aside, "Don't let anyone take your dream away, even me."

I've been thinking about that scene today. I have a tendancy to be a dream-breaker. I tend to shoot ideas down quickly if I don't think they are realistic. I don't like to take chances and weigh the risks very carefully. Now there is a time and a place for reality checks, BUT dreams can be fragile and should be protected and nurtured.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" As a child this question holds endless possibilities. While many of them are unrealistic (i.e. astronauts and presidents are few and far between), does it really hurt to let my child dream an unlikely dream? I hope that when God gives my child a "big dream" I will not stand in the way with a reality check, but will cheer them on.

I also hope I will not stand in the way of my own dreams. Dreams can be scary. They often mean leaving your comfort zone and taking a risk. Going after a dream is very easy to write about, but very hard to put into practice. To never attempt, however, sounds worse. To make it to the end of my life and never have tried is something I do not want to experience.

If you have a dream, my advice is to pray about it, make sure it is a God-given dream (the other kind aren't worth pursuing), don't let dream-breakers get in your way and go for it. Then watch out, dreams really can come true!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

Tonight A Charlie Brown Christmas was aired once again on ABC. I grew up watching this movie at Christmastime. It always makes me nostalgic. This year Mya watched it with me. It is so fun to introduce my daughter to Christmas traditions that I enjoyed at her age.

On another note, I was pleasantly surprised to see that A Charlie Brown Christmas is still being aired. When Charlie Brown asks if anyone knows what Christmas is all about, Linus proceeds to tell him - quoting directly from scripture (Luke 2 - "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night..."). Who would have thought that the same network that gives us quality programming like Desperate Housewives and Wifeswap would share with its viewers what Christmas is really about? Especially in a world where saying the words "Merry Christmas" is becoming politically incorrect, baby Jesus is being removed from public nativity scenes, and "Christmas" break is being replaced by "winter"break. Will this country someday just celebrate the "holidays" and take away Christmas altogether? I can get worked up just thinking about it...

...and then I remember that I serve a Sovereign God who is in control of this crazy, mixed-up world. He came to earth and confined himself to human form. He became a baby - a helpless, little baby - and was born in a dirty stable and laid in a manger. Because of that mind-blowing sacrifice, Christmas will always be Christmas - a celebration of Jesus birth. Praise God political correctness can never change that!

As I bring today's ramblings to an end I want to shout with Linus, Lucy and the gang,

"Merry Christmas Charlie Brown"

Thank you for sharing the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Christmas time is here! My goal this year (and every year for that matter) is to pass on the true meaning of Christmas to my kids.

Today Mya and I had a little conversation:

"So, Mya Christmas is coming soon. Do you know why we celebrate Christmas?"

To which she replied, with much enthusiasim, "PRESENTS!"

I think we have a little work to do. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Words to Live By

It strikes me as ironic that the day after I write a post based on one of my grandpa's comments, I receive a booklet filled with them. Jill and Jeremy at The Manna Group asked Grandpa to write down his favorite sayings and then they typed it up. It is a great list. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you!
  • Assume people like you, until they tell you different
  • Our attitude determines our altitude
  • Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
  • Don't holler at your wife unless the house is on fire
  • Habits work for or against us. Form good habits.
  • As you sow, so shall ye reap
  • The little things we do or say make the big difference
  • Put round pegs in round holes and square pegs in square holes
  • Procrastination is suicide of time. Remember the three magic words: Do it now.
  • Plan your work and work your plan
  • Believe in what you're doing or STOP doing it
  • It is not so important what happens to us, as how we respond to what happens to us
  • People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care

Grandma had her own list - here are a few of her favorite sayings.

  • Its what you learn after you know it all that counts
  • A good example can overcome a lot of bad advice
  • Getting back on the right track usually involves gettint out of a rut

Golden nuggets of wisdom to live by. For those of you who know my Grandpa, I'm sure you can picture him saying a few of these nuggets - I can. To me, the list conjures up wonderful images of my Grandpa, making them not just words to live by, but words to treasure.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Little Things

My grandpa always comments on how "the little things make a big difference." (He also uses the saying "round pegs in round holes, square pegs in square holes" - but that is a different blog topic!) As I live my life I see more and more how the little things of life DO make a big difference.

It is the little moments that bring the most joy. A musical toy that makes us stop what we are doing and dance for 10 seconds. A game of "drop the blanket out of the crib and laugh hysterically while mommy picks it up" before naptime. My son bringing me his shoes, "uh-uhing" at me , then taking them away again while I sit at the computer. A spontaneous daddy who takes his kids sledding in the dark for 20 minutes before bed. Hearing my kids laugh
as they play together. Making my kids laugh when I play with them. I could go on and on. I'm sure you could add a hundred other small moments that bring joy to your day as well.

Although the "profession of motherhood" consists of many mundane and never-ending tasks (i.e. keeping the kitchen clean and laundry), it is the little joys that make me so thankful it is my chosen profession. Sharing the little moments with my kids brings fulfillment that no other job can give. It is not an easy job (its the little things that can break you too!) but it is an important job. I need reminded of that when I get lost in the monotony of the every day jobs. I also need reminded of that when all three kids are crying at my feet (i.e. 5 minutes ago). And when ... lets just say I need reminded a lot!

It would be easy for me to get impatient waiting for the "big things" in life to happen, wishing away time with thoughts like "I can't wait for them to walk" and "I can't wait til they can feed themselves." The problem when I think that way is that it distracts me from the little things, the small joys that make life special. Pardon me as I end how I began, "its the little things that make a big difference!"

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Days

Snow Days. I have memories of waking up to a snow-covered yard, running downstairs and tuning into the radio hoping that I would hear Gridley schools listed with the other school closings. An unexpected day off with a yard full of snow to play in made for a very fun morning! Tromping through snow drifts, catching snowflakes on my tongue, making snow angels, taking in the transformation of our yard into a winter wonderland - all special parts of a snow day.

I loved snow as a kid, still do. The first snow of the year is always exciting. This year it came in force! Kory's office closed down today making the snow day official. Our house feels especially cozy with the wind howling around us and the wintery landscape featured in every window. A game of Monopoly and a cup of hot cocoa seem like obvious choices to fill our time.

"Its beautiful" Mya observed as she gazed at our backyard covered in snow. She wanted to look out all the other windows in the house to see if the snow was there too - it was. She couldn't wait to put her snowsuit on and head outside this morning.

What a blessing to share the excitement of the first snow of the year with a child and enjoy an unexpected snow day with my family!