Sunday, December 22, 2019

Instead of Dream Bigger, Dream Smaller

We are told to “dream big.” We are indoctrinated through movies, television, and the Internet - that “dreams” are made of leaving that job and traveling, or risking it all for that one venture and business you’ve always wanted to own.

Everyone “wishes” they could just escape and go do what they want to do for awhile.

But I think we’ve got it all wrong. Because love can’t be found in these things. True meaning and value is often right under our very noses.

Sure, we can go OFF and minister to a hurting world. But most of us live with a hurting world right in our backyard. I’m betting you have immigrants in your own city. Homeless in your own town. Sex trafficking in your state. So although it’s not BAD to go and experience the world, doing it at the neglect of where we live everyday? Might bear some deeper thinking.

What about taking that leap of faith and risking everything for your dream? Whether it’s a business, or not - it sounds dreamy. But what about our family? What about the sacrifices they have to make for US to dream selfishly for ourselves?

None of these things is bad. In fact, they are all great. It’s great to see dreams come true. Admirable. Inspirational.

But I think more often than naught, we put our wishes, dreams, and hopes in the wrong thing. We think the “dreamy” things are the things far off or that seem untouchable. 

How many people DREAM of having a family?

A house?


How many dream of having a job?

These things we wish to escape from? Are the very things others dream of.

The 9 to 5 job isn’t something to dread. It’s something to be proud of. It takes determination, grit, perseverance, and love to support a family, to steadily hold a job.

Being home on the weekend instead of out DOING something, isn’t something to be ashamed of. It’s something to cling to.

You see, we look out into that big expanse of a world and we dream for OURSELVES. But at the end of our lives.. is it just ourselves that matter? What if it’s just ourselves and our experiences left at our death beds? No family by our sides. No legacies left. No one that we discipled or impacted in any way, shape, or form. Just experience.

We dream big. And dreaming big sometimes, is good. It’s what motivates us and gives us hope. And sometimes we are MEANT for big. But for most of us, maybe we need to start dreaming smaller. And see that those empty spots in our hearts can be filled with people living underneath our very roof. See that adrenaline can be found in laughter with the little ones in our lives, or experience can be felt in walking through the ups and downs of life with each other.

We are missing it. We are completely missing it. 

Life is not out THERE. Life is right HERE.  Love is right HERE. With those God has placed in our lives. In the cities in which we live. 

We need to reach for it. Feel it. Experience it. And share it.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Are We Family, Or Aren't We?

Families. I don’t think there is anything in life, that brings more laughter and joy, or heartache… as families can.

In this age of social media and technology, the closeness or distance of a family, can become so very evident. It can also show someone just how much, or how little, they truly feel cared for.

I know a young girl. She was lamenting to me how out of her vast expanse of cousins on instagram and facebook, how only about 3 of them followed her or interacted with her.

It caused her pain.

She followed them. She tried to interact with them. But was met with silence. Add to this, the fact that she didn’t live near them, but was trying to keep in touch - it hurt her.

She looked at me, and lamented, “Are we family, or aren’t we?”

I wish I could have told her things would change. But I wasn’t sure they would.

And I understood.

I, myself, have been met with silence online. I am friends with almost everyone in my family on the various social media platforms - but on my public writers page? I, too, am often met with silence. No one in my family really likes, interacts, or shares my writing. I can think of maybe 1, who blesses me with their online support.

It does sting a little.

You don’t want to pressure people in your family to understand, or be involved with everything you do. People are different, and everyone needs to be free to choose what they want to be involved with.

I get that.

But how about just a little support from time to time? A little love? A little something that says, “I’m glad you’re a part of me.”

Is that so tough?

We have families. Not just HALF families. Not just one side of the family we live close to, or have more things in common with. We have WHOLE families. Those who live far away, those who believe differently than us, and those we have maybe, had contentious communication with.

But they are our family. God gave them to us. He CHOSE them for us. And unless they are physically or emotionally a threat to us, we should (at the very least) choose to love on them from time to time.

If that means simply following them on social media, then follow. If that means sending a text to them when we haven’t spoken in awhile, send that text. 

We can so often assume that people don’t care if our presence is in their lives. But they most often do. 

And the rejection of family often hurts more than any other type of rejection.

Do what you can to love on those in your family circle. Make an effort to connect from time to time. Ask how they are. Send a gift. Invite them to that small gathering - even if they live far away - just to let them know they are wanted. (They might surprise you and show up!)

And especially, don’t neglect the aging ones in your family. They might not be on Facebook or instagram - but I bet they have a telephone or can get mail. 

You may have a busy life. I know I do. You may not want to hang out all the time. And that’s ok. You don’t have to. But time passes by, and a little effort goes a long way.

Are we family, or aren’t we?