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My Dad’s Messy Workroom (Hey, dad, I get it now!)

I wanted to put this up again in honor of my dad for Father’s Day. Miss you and love you, Dad.

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My father was a tool and die maker by trade but a carpenter by choice.He made all sorts of stuff in his workshop from common household items to sweet children’s toys for his grandchildren. That’s how I remember him most, that and the smells of the workshop. Sawdust has a sweet, dry scent but also paint and turpentine (not so sweet). He had many hobbies beside woodworking. He discovered an artistic talent late in life which turned his bedroom into an artist’s studio. The man had the greenest thumb in the neighborhood and always grew the tallest sunflowers and tastiest tomatoes. I remember marigold flowers that he would save each year to dry and use the seeds in the spring. To this day, when I plant marigolds their pungent scent sends me back to my childhood. He was always working on several things at once which kept him very busy. It was always…

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Dream Big

This one’s for my kids. For the one with a year of college left and wondering what will happen and the one who will graduate high school this week. Whatever happens, don’t let your circumstances limit you. Love you both to the moon and back!kitten poster

       When my youngest started Kindergarten, I found a poster of a kitten. He is looking up into the clouds where there is a picture of a large tiger. The caption reads, “Dream Big”. I bought it and put it up in my son’s room. I wanted it to be a reminder for both of my children that having big dreams was a good thing. If someone should say to either of them, “Get your head out of the clouds!” I wanted them to feel confident enough to yell back, “Bring on the tigers, I’m not afraid. I dream big”!

        When both kids were in elementary school, I had the pleasure of double parent/teacher conferences. I looked forward to and yet dreaded the detailed account of my child’s scholastic progress. “Tommy is doing great with his numbers but he just won’t sit still for story time.” “Little Sally is doing very well with her lessons but I would like her to be more interactive with the other students.” I fretted and worried over every negative detail of the well-meaning teacher’s report. But the truth is, they were just young children trying to fit in.

At some point every parent realizes that they have to be the positive, encouraging influence in thier children’s life. You can’t count on the school or church to step in. It has to start in the home. It’s not always an easy thing to do as all kids figure out how to push every single one of their parent’s buttons at a fairly early age. As I look back on their childhood, I think that I was probably yelling much more than I ever was able to be the encourager. Don’t get me wrong – I am their number one fan. I will always be in their corner but I also had to be a parent and that means laying down the law sometimes. The one thing that I knew I could consistently do for them was to teach them to dream. I tried to encourage them to go ahead and dream the big dreams. I didn’t ever want them to let circumstances limit them.

Jesus tried many times to instruct his followers in this very lesson but with an important twist that will make all the difference. He taught them that they must be willing to give all they had to Him. All their resources, all their strengths, even their weaknesses – whatever they had. Jesus is able to take everything that we offer and use it in ways we never would have imagined. When He was being followed by large crowds, Jesus asked his disciples how they could feed so many people. Andrew holds up a young boy’s small lunch and offers it to Jesus. Next thing you know, Jesus is feeding over five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. Andrew had brought Jesus what little he had been able to find. Jesus looked into Andrew’s doubtful face and said (I am paraphrasing here), “Dream big”. He takes the little offering of food and manages to feed a huge crowd – with leftovers!

My youngest is now preparing to graduate high school. My oldest will begin her senior year at college and is looking ahead to her future. I still offer the same advice:

“Dream Big”

       And when I say that, I mean give all those dreams along with your abilities, the things you love and the things you hate, your strengths, your weaknesses, your doubts and fears and give them all to the One who gave them to you in the first place. Whatever God has given you, it will be more than enough for whatever job He has for you. Those earthly limits that may cause you to doubt, cannot stop Divine plans already set in motion. Trust God with all your hopes and dreams and then watch Him open doors for you. He may not open every door you knock on but He will lead you to the doors that He has prepared for you to walk through.

Remember the example that Jesus gives us in John 6:1-15. The disciples gave everything, thinking that it wasn’t very much. Jesus took all they offered. God blessed and multiplied it so that it was more than enough for the job at hand.

Don’t be afraid to dream – dream big!

“For nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37

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