Awestruck wonder.

That was the look in her eye as she watched the performance under the big top.  I imagined her dreaming of dare-devil stunts that she and her twin could perform one day.  There was no fear on her face; only awestruck wonder.

As children, everything around us seems BIG.  Not too big to handle, but rather an opportunity to dream BIG.  This idea of dreaming big is what I adore about children.  It's why I let my naked two year old run around with a towel around her neck as a cape after bathtime.  It's why her sister is allowed to play dress-up with my old costume jewelry pretending she is a princess in a far away castle.  Dreaming big as a two year old is the beginning of developing her confidence that God has created her to do BIG things.

I want my girls to do amazing things with their lives.  I see such a gift in Adeline for painting and gymnastics.  Maralee can make anyone smile with her charm and she is such an adventure-lover.  I have no idea what career path they will each choose twenty years from now.  But, God does.

One of my all-time favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-7 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."[pullquote_left]Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths[/pullquote_left]

I tend to lean more towards the trusting that he will direct my paths than the do not lean on your own understanding.  But, a few weeks ago, our pastor made me see the verse in a new light.  He said that when we lean on our own understanding; we are doing the very opposite of trusting: we are choosing to take control of our lives instead.

I want my girls to live the out loud life that God has called them to live; not what I think is best.  I don't want to be that mom that pushes Adeline into taking gymnastics to the point she no longer loves the sport.  Nor do I want to give Maralee approval to go do something crazy and possibly life-threatening one day.  The last thing I want is to be a mom with an iron grip suffocating her children.  But, I do want to help guide them into making the best decisions possible for their lives.

I think this guiding begins with being guided myself.  I've got to pray (aka acknowledge the Lord) for direction while raising our girls to become young women.  And, it is essential for me as their mother to lean not on my own understanding but trust that God has only the best in store for them.

Sometimes this is hard because I don't want them to fail.  My mom would always go look at the gym door first to see if my name was picked to be a high school cheerleader.  It was her way of preparing me if I didn't make it.  As moms, it is in our blood to protect our children from pain and heartache.  But, if I've learned one thing in 28 years it's this: pain and heartache is going to happen to all of us eventually.  It doesn't mean we aren't loved by God.  It is actually a way for us to feel his love the greatest. 

Living life in fear of failure is not living life out loud.  It leaves no room for awestruck wonder to set in.

God has BIG things in store for all of us.  Your BIG probably looks a lot different from my BIG.  Adeline's BIG is going to be different from Maralee's BIG. I think it's important for us to remember what makes our eyes dance in awestruck wonder instead of comparing BIG to BIG.  Because, there really is no comparison.

Look at your world today with awestruck wonder.  Lean not on your own understanding and trust that God has BIG things planned for your life.  That's the way to living life out loud.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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Day 1 - 31 Days of Living Life Out Loud

Day 2 – Why?

Day 10 – Pruning

Day 11 – Thank You

Day 12 –Show Your Style

Day 13 - Wind in Your Hair

Day 14 – Embracing Change

Day 15 – Compassionate Marriage

Day 16 – New Beginnings

Day 17 – Growing Live Out Loud Children

Day 18 – Seek Christ

Day 19 – Pleasures of Home

Day 20 – In Christ Alone

Day 21 – What I Came to Do

Day 22 – Need or Call

Day 23 - 10,000 Reasons