Think back to when you were little. Now think back a little farther. Why?? Think back to when you could dream. I mean really dream. Not dream with your eyes closed while you sleep, but dream with your eyes wide open believing somehow those dreams would come true. I remember dreams like that. Dreams of being a princess living in a castle. (Bet some of you are choking as you are reading this because you can’t imagine me as a princess.) True, now I am not the princess type, but at some point we all want to be one. Some of just never grow out of it. Do we, Jenn Novotny?? LOL. But anyway, I hope Emme never grows out of it. Then I remember dreams shifting to what I would be when I grew up and who I would marry and how many kids I would have. All natural progressions. One thing that was absolutely certain was that my mom, my Papou, and my daddy told me I could be and do whatever I wanted. My dad used to tell us all: “Hey you can be anything you wanna be. Remember, you’re a Kingas!” He may have adapted that slightly from the movie Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield, but we will credit my daddy with that one. You know what I believed it. Those times were great because you believed anything was possible.
I was watching Sofia the First with Emme this morning. Actually, I was watching it more than she was. LOL. Joel said, “Are you engrossed in this show or what?” I had to laugh. He was right. I was. I will let Emme watch Disney Jr. always. Why? Because every show I have ever seen tells the kids that anything is possible. So, why do we tell our kids that? Because, honestly, as an adult, do you believe that statement is true? Not just for other people….but for you? Most of us would have to say no. We don’t believe it’s true. If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said no, too. So, if we don’t believe it’s true, why do we tell our kids that? Here’s the reason, because at some point for us, it was true, and we know that those days in our lives when we believed that were the best days we ever lived in. Those were the days when we could make anything happen. We want our kids to live like that. We want them to live wide open embracing possibilities that seem impossible because the truth is when we do that the impossible seems to become possible. We want them to take risks, to not be afraid to try new things, to take on the world. That’s what we want for them.
But then something happens. We are all hit with life.
Slowly, things don’t go quite as planned and little by little that belief is eroded away in us. We stop living big. We stop believing things are possible. We stop dreaming like we used to. When you think about it, it’s sad. But you say, it’s reality, and you have to deal with it. In some ways that statement is true, but let me ask this question, isn’t life more exciting when we embrace the unknown? Doesn’t it seem more fulfilling when we embark on a journey that is full of unexpected twists and turns and who knows what will happen? Don’t those people who seem to embrace those philosophies seem more fulfilled, more accomplished, more like they’re going somewhere? I know you know someone in your life that although they have seen hardships and setbacks have not let those things determine their course. They have lived life wide open and believed in spite of the odds. That’s who I want to be. That’s the path I am determining to take.
Is it easy? Absolutely not. Because we have let life dictate to us what is and what will be, instead of taking the reins and not giving up. Setbacks and hardships can be hard, but they are worth the risk to live big. We talk big talk to our kids because we know if we can keep the belief in them, it will make their world bigger. I read something on Facebook this week that said something along the lines of would you talk to your child, the way you talk to yourself.
Hit me big time. I would never talk to Emme the way I talk to myself in my head. Will it be easy to stop? No. Will it be worth stopping? Big time. Why? Because I want to live big. I want to live wide open. I want to take risks and embrace the path toward success and making my life count for others….not just myself. When did that desire hit? When I became a mom. I want my life to count. Not for the money I make, or the car I drive, or the house I live in…..although I want things like that….I want my life to count for my friends who need me. For that stranger who is desperately looking for hope and somehow I can give it, and for that person that thinks you can’t change, but you can.
Can we change? I have learned the answer to that is absolutely yes. It takes time, and it takes effort, and there will be things along your path that make you want to stop and turn around and say I have had it. Been there many times on this journey toward being a mom, better self image, believing God, and living for Him. I think the reason why the change is happening this time, and it wasn’t before was my motivation. I started realizing God wasn’t my problem. I, my messed up thinking, was my problem. I’ve started seeing that the reason why God told us to not worry, to let go of anger, to not have sex before marriage, realize the brevity of life, follow his leading, believe at all times, love ourselves and then others and then others more than ourselves, and trust in His grace and mercy and not our own strength is for us. It is to help make our lives better. It honestly has nothing to do with service to Him. But that’s how I saw it. That’s what I believed. I believed that you could only embrace these things when everything was going good. I believed that somehow doing them would make him do things for me. An absolute lie. It changed my life when I started seeing that these things were for me. He said these things not to create a list of do’s and don’ts, but to help make my life better. Why? Because worry won’t change one thing about your situation. Because anger imprisons you. Because sex outside of marriage creates bonds with people other than your spouse that leave scars. Because life is short whether you believe it or not. Because His leading will take you to true fulfillment and YOUR heart’s desire before your steps will. Remember, he put those desires in you. Because believing always produces action and life. Because you have to love you first before you can truly love another, and loving others produces joy in life. Because at some point your strength will fail, and you will need him to carry you.
Anyone who knows me knows that being a SAHM is not in my DNA naturally, but it was in my heart. God knew that, and I am a FAR better mother today than I was a year ago because I stepped out of my comfort zone. I did what I felt God called me to do. To stay at home and He promised He would draw my heart to my daughter and He has made good on his promise. He has met me every step of the way and still continues to do so. My beliefs about possibilities are changing and yours can too. But I am going to say something that seems to go against theology and what religion tells you to do. Don’t make the changes for God. Make the changes for you. That’s why he said everything He said and provides everything He provides. He did it for you. To make your life better than you could ask or thing.
Will you fail? Yes. Will there be obstacles and setbacks? Yes. Will there be times when you want to give up? Yes. But those are the lies. The truth is 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) Because with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Don’t believe the lies that you can’t change your life, your career, the way you think, the direction of your family, the way you parent, anything. The lie is that we can’t. The truth is that with God all things are possible. Live big! And the truth is, as my friend, Melissa Leslie, said, “Perspective is everything!”