Category Archives: Chasing Dreams

Choose Hard.

Choose hard

The easy way out. We all want it sometimes. The easiest way, however, isn’t always the best way. Usually the easy way means there was no growth, there was little or nothing gained, and there was no positive change. I think I’ve been looking for the easy way out lately. And, since I write and post a lot about our triumphs, I think I should also write about the revelations of when I also realize I’ve been falling short.

I’ve been choosing the easy way out in my health. What’s the quickest and easiest way to satisfy my hunger? What’s the easiest excuse to justify not being physically active and taking care of my body?

I’ve been choosing the easy way out in my attitude. Being positive is hard and takes daily discipline. Being careless with my words and sliding into being negative about a few situations have been really easy. That ease leads to habit. That habit leads to automatic negative responses to the most ridiculous things. Embarrassing things.

And, the real kicker: I’ve been choosing the easy way out in my relationships. In some relationships, I’ve just taken a step back and justified it with our busy summer. In some relationships, I’ve put up a wall and justified it by calling it a healthy boundary. In some relationships, I’ve created in my mind who I think they are and what I think their intentions are, because it’s easier than being a seeker of the heart.

I’ve been happy. I’ve been content. I’ve had an amazing summer with my family. But, I have also sacrificed the more. The more in my health, the more in my attitude, and the more in my relationships. I haven’t been intentional in how I walk in these things lately. And, when we aren’t intentionally living life in every area, something will go lacking. Something will be sacrificed. The first step is to quit making excuses for them. The second step is to remember that the easy way out isn’t always the best way.

Hard means work. But, hard means growth. Hard means you’re choosing discipline, because your health matters. Hard means you’re allowing those around you to hold you accountable for every careless word and taking those words captive and replacing them with truth. A truth that is grounded in love. Hard means that you invest in your relationships even, at times, when you are tired, because you will always be strengthened by their presence. Hard means if you want a relationship with someone, you fight for it…..even if it’s been a struggle. Hard means you rise to your higher self and see people the way you’re meant to see them. You eliminate judgment, and you see the light in every person.

Hard means you’re living an intentional life. And intentional life means you are living the life you’re meant to live. It’s the more in life. It’s the cherry on top in life. It’s the “I came that you may life and have it to the full” in life.

Easy won’t get you where you’re supposed to be. Where you’re meant to be. Hard will.

Today, I choose hard.

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My Dreamer is 8.

me jett

Jett: “I see the future sometimes.”

Me: “What do you see?”

Jett: “I see myself on a stage, playing guitar and singing.”

Me: “I see it with you, bud. Hold on to that picture.”

I’m so glad I’ve learned to not downplay these conversations. I’m glad I know to not only allow my children to dream dreams but to dream them myself. I’m thankful I know the power of imagination. And, if anyone has taught me the beauty and power of it, it is Jett.

Today, my sweet, funny, sensitive, creative, smart, imaginative boy is 8. I know. I can hardly believe it myself. But I can tell you that I have soaked in every single second along the way. Because, no one has ever made me pause and be in the moment more than Jett Takle.

I love conversations with him. Some of his stories can take a LONG time to tell. But, many of his conversations, where he seeks truth or shares his own truth, well, those are pretty remarkable. Many times, they are so heartfelt and rich that he blows us all away.

Earlier this week, he and Anna were outside. Anna, my resident philosopher, began sharing with Jett how amazing everything in nature is and how it is connected to everything. “God is in nature. Isn’t everything out here just beautiful and amazing? It is so important we honor the beauty of everything around us.”

Jett responded, “Do you know what the most important thing in the world is? You.”

anna jett

I’m sure later that day he was aggravating her like any little brother can do. But, I can’t tell you how many of those conversations just win us all the time.

Last night he said, “This is my first birthday without Noodles.” (This is our dear friend Mike Thompson who transitioned last September.) He said he’d like to go to his grave and Big Mama’s grave and just hang out there sometime. I reminded him that Noodles and Big Mama aren’t there, and he can talk to them any time. I told him I talk to Big Mama often. “Oh, I get that. I talk to Noodles a lot.”

He is my deep feeler. He is my big dreamer. He is my constant reminder that life is precious and is meant to be FELT. It is meant to be FUN. And, we are meant to take it ALL in.

Jett Takle, I love you so. I love how you say that Saturdays make you “feel lucky.” I love how we can just go to the movies and you will say “this is the best day ever.” I love how you always tell me that you love me. How you always tell all of us that you love us. I love how you love to learn. I love how blown away you get at things in history and science that the rest of us can take for granted. I love how you ask the hard questions, because, you’re not afraid to feel the hard emotions. I love how you love to dress nice. You wouldn’t turn down a good hat or tie ever. I love how you love music. And, how nobody, NOBODY, can hold a candle to Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars. I love how you have legit studied their dance moves and learned the lyrics to every song you can. I love how you look up to your big brother.

jett jh

And, I love how you’re not afraid to be you. You are proud to be you and let other people be who they are. You find your lane, and you enjoy it. And, you make us all want to hop in the same lane with you.

You are fun and amazing and make ALL of us imagine more. I’m so glad you were born. The world needed you. 8 is the number of new beginnings. I can’t wait to see all of the new things you do this year. All of the new things that inspire you. That challenge you. That grow you. That amaze you. I can’t wait to see all of the new things you open us up to. It’s going to be your best year ever, bud. I just know it.

Happy Birthday, Jett. Thank you for being my greatest showman.

I love you so very much,

Mom.

“Men suffer more from imagining too little than too much.” -P.T. Barnum (The Greatest Showman)

Jett - hat

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Filed under Big Mama, Chasing Dreams, imagination, Kid Stuff, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Don’t Kill the Wonder.

Wonder

I receive these texts every morning with some sort of positive affirmation or healthy advice for the day. Today, the text read, “Unapologetically seek bliss today.” The text link led me to an article called “‘Ikagai’ is Japan’s Secret to Living a Long, Happy Life.” The author writes that ikagai is “the happiness of always being busy, but it doesn’t mean a schedule packed with mindless errands and activities. Rather, the thing that makes you want to get up in the morning, makes you want to work hard, and colors your life with purpose.” She further writes, “When you follow through on things you enjoy and limit the things you don’t, you’re taking steps towards pursuing what’s important to you.” (Anna Meyer)

This came at such a perfect time as my dad and I were discussing yesterday how so many lose their wonder in life. The truth is, we kill it. Or someone else kills it for us. We kill it in our children completely unaware that we are doing it. When we seek after the things that fill us with joy, we inspire that wonder. When we stop, so does the wonder.

We tell our kids things like, “You can’t always get what you want.” We tell them, “Life isn’t always one big party.” I’ve done it. I’m sure you have. I know our hearts behind it aren’t wrong. We think we are teaching them responsibility. And, that lesson is important. We think we are teaching them to be realistic with their wants and goals. Now, THAT lesson isn’t so much. We think if our little ones want too many things, then they aren’t thankful for what they already have. So, we squelch or diminish the importance or value in them wanting something. We kill their wonder.

It’s not that we never use the word “no.” It IS that we become facilitators, teaching them how to create their world. Teaching them that life IS meant to be full of wonder. Teaching them it’s okay to seek happiness. A couple of years ago I read a book by Shefali Tsabary called “Out of Control.” She is also the author of the “The Conscious Parent,” which may be more familiar to you. One chapter was titled, “How to Say ‘Yes’ or ‘No” Effectively.” My conversation with dad prompted me to pull this book back off the shelf. I’m glad I did. I began reading again about how we kill their wonder when we don’t value what they desire. Tsabary writes that we “deliver messages such as, ‘You are being so greedy, you should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t you know that money doesn’t grow on trees? You seem to think we are made of money.’ Shaming our children for their honest desires in this way, we dishonor their feelings. A practical matter has become a personal issue, with the parent feeling frustrated and the child rejected. Our children have every right to want things – this is normal and healthy. It indicates they have a connection to their lives.”

You see our purpose isn’t to run out and buy those things for them. I’m not arguing you can’t. Sometimes, the joy of parenting is saying, “Yes. Let’s go get this.” BUT, the beauty for us as parents is to facilitate their dreams. To teach them to have goals. To help them create ways to work for these things and attain them. To let them know that we are for them and will partner with them. “Our children learn they are active co-creators in their universe, able to actualize their dreams through action. Such children grow up to make good decisions in life.”

I dare say, such children grow up to never lose their wonder for life. Because, we as parents have taught them what it means to truly be created in God’s image – Elohim – creators. Creators are always inspired. And, that inspiration always comes from wonder. So, everyday, they get up and unapologetically seek bliss by actively fulfilling their life’s purpose.

Finally, I would say that this is not selfish. It sounds self-fulfilling. Partially, it is. But, as each one fulfills his or her purpose, the rest of the world benefits. We all gain from each other’s gifts. Am I trying to create a world filled with magic and love and peace and hope and bliss? Am I THAT crazy to think it’s possible? You better believe I am. Now, YOU. Go seek bliss today.

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Jehovah Elohim (Part One)

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein

I wish this quote meant as much to me when my older two were smaller as it does now. I was a bit of a realist. I didn’t want to “do” Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, because I didn’t want to feel I was lying to my children. I didn’t want to make them believe in something that couldn’t possibly happen. Kris disagreed with me. Even my father, a pastor, disagreed with me. So, every year, Santa comes down a chimney here. And, this year, an Easter Bunny will leave little gifts.

I didn’t tell them an Easter Bunny gave them anything last year. I told them it was from us. John Henry came home from church in tears. “Why didn’t the Easter Bunny come see us? He came to see all of the other kids.”

The realist in me just wanted to tell the truth. And, I certainly didn’t want to take away from the true meaning of Easter.

But, this idea of “realism” can do just that. It can take away the meaning of Who God really is.

Jehovah Elohim.

Creator.

Jehova Elohim formed the world with His words. Since we are created in His image, we are also creators. Likewise, we form our world with our words. We create the chaos. We create the blessings.

With. Our. Words.

So, if God, by nature, is a creator, that means He is creative. Yes?

Creativity is inspired. It’s inspired that believing that ANYTHING is possible. And, when we believe that anything is possible, we aren’t afraid to create. To do. To be.

As a mother, I am making some changes in how I inspire my children. We will read fairy tales. We will read stories in the Bible that, well, seem impossible. We will get excited in a few days when a little bunny delivers surprises.

We are creators. Inspired by believing in the impossible. Inspired by believing we can make a difference in the world. Inspired by the One who thought of us long before He created this incredible world.

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – G.K. Chesterton

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The Hands of Time.

Fifteen months.  That’s how long it’s taken for his little hands that could barely grasp my finger become large and strong enough to hold onto these wooden rails.  It just seems like yesterday I was sharing with the world…well, you….that we were adding kid three to the mix. 

But, you and I are no strangers to the brevity of time. 

I love his hands.  I love his feet.  And, according to my experience with the feet of my older two, my love for his feet has an average life span of about four years.  That’s about when those chunky, little, kissable feet become far from kissable. 

But, his hands, well, they will always be kissable. 

A good friend told me once that whenever she begins to get irritated with one of her children, she intentionally looks at his or her hands.  Then, she is reminded of how young they are.  How much they’ve still to learn.  And, she softens.

I’m not sure what Jett will do with his hands as he grows older.  Perhaps, he’ll use them to write songs like his sister.  Or, pick a guitar like his brother.  Maybe, he’ll use them to pull back the yoke of an airplane like his father.  Only time will tell. 

But, whatever his hands finds to do, I pray he does it with passion and purpose.  I pray that one day, he offers his hands to his King, and says, “These are Yours.  Use them.” 

As for me, I will pray for those hands.  And, I will kiss those hands for as long I as live……

Or, however long he lets me.  

Whatever your hands finds to do, do it with all your might…. Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Keep Getting Out of the Boat.

In small group last night, we were talking about getting out of the boat and the risks involved.  I retold that story in Matthew where the disciples were crossing the lake and a bad Mama Jama storm hit.  I’m sure they were shaking in their fishing sandals.  Then, Jesus showed up. 

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”  28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”  29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.  So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.  30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.  31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”   Matthew 14:27-31

For Peter to walk on the water, God had to show up.  God will show up in your life and tell you to get out of the boat and trust Him.  But, often times, we don’t get out, because we are afraid.  Afraid we may make a fool of ourselves.  Afraid of what others will think.  Afraid there is too much financial risk.  Afraid we are really not seeing God in it.  Afraid we may fail.  Afraid we may sink. 

But, in order for our lives to affect eternity, we have to be willing to take risks.  When God shows up, we have to get out of the boat no matter how uncomfortable it might be.  There will be times we will take our eyes off of Christ and sink.  There will be times we may become too self-sufficient and no longer dependent on the One who showed up in the first place and sink. 

Even still, we never stop getting out of the boat. 

Sure.  Staying in the boat is comfortable.  It’s safe.  It provides security.  But, it’s really a false sense of security.  The real security comes in knowing that you are doing exactly what God has called you to do.  The real contentment comes in getting out of the boat and keeping your eyes on the One who will make it all possible. 

You might argue, “But, Peter sank!”  But, Peter freaking walked on water!  And, our small group consensus was the dude succeeded! 

Maybe, God is asking you right now to risk something and step out of the boat.  That means He has showed up.  So, trust Him.  Step out.  The conditions may not be ideal.  My good friend, Michael Thurston reminded us last night that it wasn’t calm, still waters Peter stepped out into.  Those were some pretty dang rough waters.  So, don’t wait for perfect conditions.  Instead, wait for God to show up.  For Him to whisper to you.  For Him to keep presenting you with the same opportunities over and over again as if to say, “Hey!  I’m not dropping this!  Get out!  Do it!” 

He loves you.  And, you already have everything you need to do all He has called you to do. 

Get out!  Do it!  And, if you sink, allow God to dry you off and grow you.  Then, get out of the boat again.

And, again. 

“A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are for.”  – John A. Shedd

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Filed under Chasing Dreams, God Stuff, making an impact, Spiritual Journey

Chasing Babies, Chasing Dreams.

I’m back.

I made a few resolutions for this new year.  One was to blog.  Consistently.

Again.

I blame my previous lack of consistency on Mario Andretti here.

Why didn’t anyone tell me these little guys like to eat paper, climb stairs, swiffer floors, and find every single, tiny, choking hazard on the ground?  Because, clearly, I have never done this before.  Or, at least, that’s how it often feels. 

But, I also don’t remember soaking up every second of growth and change like I have done with this grand finale to the Takle family.  I think I am much more aware of that whole “you’ll blink your eyes” analogy.  And, he is a joy, I tell ya.

Along with my resolution to write more on this blog, I begin another writing adventure this week. 

A book. 

I am in the process of outlining a book with my dad on….

My lips are sealed.  Its title is top secret.  But, if you run into me in the grocery store, I’m sure I’ll tell you if you ask.

I’ve also been outlining a book on my own.  But, I’m switching gears on that one to devote my time to this collaborative effort with Dad.  I am hoping that by the year’s end, both will be finished.

Because, writing a book has been a dream. 

And, I’m excited about chasing after that dream.

What are you chasing after this year?

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