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I share these words from Emily P. Freeman, because I believe that there is at least one person that needs to hear them.
"You were born to make art. But that's not all..you were born to live art. It's time to live as though we believe we have something to offer."
We were born to create. Each of us has this desire deep within our soul. We all create differently. Our mediums vary; yet none is more beautiful than the other. Some create art in the kitchen, while others live their art on the sports field. Some create with a brush or pen, while others use their voice. The ways in which we create are endless. What makes you feel alive?
Somewhere along the way, in this media driven world, people have become paralyzed. So many are frozen; afraid to start or afraid to keep going. Self-doubt has crept in. Comparison has a sick way of killing our joy and we forget that we each have a gift to give this world. Silence the noise and remember these words.
There is a place for every one of us. Nothing or no one is off limits. Find your canvas and go create.
“Don’t wait until tomorrow. Pick yourself today. You already have everything you need. Embrace the art alive within you, and believe in the little ways God wants to release his art into the world through you.”
Two sisters who are cut from the same cloth, woven together with such similar threads; yet each one beautifully unique. One is loud and one is quieter. One is a rule follower and one a rule breaker. One is reserved, while one is more outspoken. One is independent and one still seeks guidance.
Both loved abundantly and equally.
I've learned numerous lessons being their mother. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is not to compare. Honestly, this can be very hard at times. Like wanting your more reserved child, to step out and be a leader. Or asking your more boisterous child to be still and quiet. So often we have expectations of our children. Sometimes these expectations are based on what we see other children doing; how they are performing or behaving. It is so important, as parents, to remember that each child is completely unique. One may be capable and strong in areas that another may never be.
God gives us each our own individual strengths. We should each strive to learn how to utilize these gifts for His glory. I love the differences I see in each of our children. They remind me that He carefully created each of us in such a special way. It is fascinating to look at each person and see the beauty in their individuality. I want our children to know that I love each of them and that I want them to be nothing other than who they were created to be.
The life of soccer siblings.
This photo captures the life our children have grown to love during soccer season. Our team families have spent countless practices and matches together at soccer complexes around our state. The siblings, who are not playing soccer, have become the best of friends as they wait for practices or games to finish. The kids play on the field sidelines, play-park sets, or wherever they can find room to run. These team families have become like family to each of us. It is something special. I am so grateful that our younger children enjoy this time at the fields. They may never know if Big Sissy won or lost; but they have a great time while waiting and always ask when is the next game.
For Christmas our youngest daughter got a butterfly garden and a certificate to get live caterpillars in the mail. You can imagine her excitement when they finally arrived a few weeks ago. For days we watched them and often wondered if they were even alive. Then, all of the sudden, the transformation slowly began to take place. We watched them grow and then we watched as the chrysalides were formed. It was such an amazing sight. We waited patiently until one by one each butterfly emerged. It was truly something beautiful to see this full transformation complete. We were all fascinated; even at 39 years old, I was in awe.
Yesterday, the time came to release our 5 beauties. None of us wanted to let them go, but we knew it was time. They were ready to fly and explore the world around us.
As I thought about this experience, it made me think about my own experience as a mother to our three children. It’s can be so hard to give our children wings to fly. It’s hard to let them go; knowing they will make their own mistakes, and even get hurt. But, when we do, we give them the chance to see the world and its beauty. Likewise, the world gets the chance to see the beauty inside each of them.
We will continue to ask God to help us provide the foundation our children need to grow, but then it is our turn to trust Him and trust them to fly. I believe this is one of the greatest ways we can show them our love.
With each New Year, we often begin to focus on how we can improve our lives. How can we be better versions of ourselves? We seek to lose weight, eat healthy, get out of debt, etc. This weekend I listened to a sermon that really got me thinking about New Year resolutions in a different way. The pastor, Andy Stanley, asked, "What breaks your heart? What needs to be done around you?" He continued; "if you really want to become a better person, do something to make the world a better place. Be a means to an end." He shared that “we tend to forget that the people we respect the most didn't devote their lives to becoming the best version of themselves. They devoted their lives to making a difference in the world . . . or in someone’s world.”
That one word was so profound to me. Oftentimes, we feel like the problems in the world are too big for us to make a difference. We wonder how our little bit of time, effort or finances will make a difference.
But, it starts with one person.
These words gave me such encouragement. First, they reconfirmed that my role as a mother to our children does make a difference. There are days, it is easy to lose sight or downplay the importance of this role, yet as parents we can make an eternal difference in the lives of our children. Second, I was encouraged to seek the people in my daily life that are in need; people I see in my neighborhood and community. Who is in need of a smile, an open ear, a genuine heart? Each of us can make a difference and make this world a better place.
We must ask this question daily.
How can I make a difference in the life of someone?
Who is that someone?
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.