I was in elementary school when I realized I wanted to be a writer. I was completely obsessed with the tweenie book series of my day: Sweet Valley Twins.
If you’re not familiar with this book series (I will shed private tears for you.), it was about the day-to-day shenanigans of 6th grade twin girls, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Jessica was the fun-loving, boy-crazy, and sometimes trouble-provoking one, while Elizabeth was the smart and studious, responsible and reliable twin that headed up the school newspaper. I wanted to BE Elizabeth. I actually ached to be their triplett, but I would settle for being as much like Elizabeth as possible.
I remember the summer I really caught the writing bug. In three short months, I wrote a “book.” (I really wish I knew where it was; I’m sure it would be worth some mad cash.;)) And, feeling inspired by my fictional idol, I contacted my grade-school teacher and asked if we could start a school newspaper.
I was on fire!
And do you know what helped fuel my fire? Well, it was WHO fueled my fire…
My mom practically bent over backwards to take me to the (not even remotely close) bookstore every time I saved up enough money for the next book in my beloved book series.
My grandma was always extremely interested in how my book was coming along. She spent many years as a teacher and was always happy to proof read chapters and give me her input.
And remember my grade-school teacher? She thought my idea was great and helped implement our small christian day school’s very first newspaper!
Fast forward many (many) years later, and I still love to write. But somehow along the way, I started to believe that wasn’t what I could BE. Surely, it couldn’t be my livlihood.
After a long postpartum journey, with the fresh eyes of a new mother, and clinging closer than ever to my God, I’m beginning to dream again.
I’m starting to remember all those individuals that breathed life into me. I STILL recall their words, their time, and their belief in me.
And THAT, my friends, is quite possibly the most precious gift I’ve ever received.
When you breathe life into someone, you are speaking positivity into action. You are reminding her of her unique gifts and talents at a time when she might need it most. Your encouragement gives him confidence, passion, and bravery. With your simple act of support, you could be changing someone’s life.
This topic is so close to my heart, I wanted to encourage you today to breathe life every chance you get.
Breathe Life Into Our Children
Whether you are a parent, an aunt or uncle, a teacher, or a friend, we all have special children in our lives. Just like the individuals that encouraged my dream, your words will be heard- and remembered- for years and years to come. Pay attention to what makes that child come alive. When she asks your opinon, choose your words carefully, and lovingly. You may never know if your influence made an impact, but I assure you, it will. Breathe life.
Breathe Life Into Marriage
Marriage is getting a bad rap these days. It seems that more and more often it is being treated with flippancy, negativity, and as though it is disposable. This is a tough currant to swim against in our society.
I want to encourage you to try something new in your marriage. Instead of pointing out the faults in your spouse (even if they are real and legitimate), try speaking life to them instead.
I hope that when a friend comes to you with marriage troubles, you choose to speak positively about their spouse and to give them hope. Marriages can fail, or they can succeed. Breathe life.
Breathe Life Into Others
Sometimes it’s hardest to be kind to the ones we’re closest to. Surely, they NEED our tough-love and incredible wisdom. I’m not saying there aren’t moments when this isn’t necessary. But I challenge you to be a little more gentle with those you love most. Instead of “critquing them in love”, simply LOVE them.
And what about that stranger on the street, or the acquaintence we think we know? Instead of assumming we know his story and what’s best for him, imagine what could happen if we acknowledged the positive things he did! What if we paid her a compliment when she really needed it? Breathe life.
Breathe Life Into Yourself
This one is tough, isn’t it? We are our harshest critic. And while I firmly believe in constant growth and trying to be better, I think we do ourselves a disservice more often than not.
Too often we can focus on what we don’t have, who we aren’t, or what we lack that we forget to acknowledge all that we ARE.
The next time you find yourself falling into the negativity trap, try thinking of all that you are grateful for. Name your blessings- specifically, and OUT LOUD. SMILE when you look at yourself in the mirror. CELEBRATE when you achieve your goals.
If you heard someone talk about your best friend in negative and nasty ways, you would come to her defense immediately, right?!
LOVE yourself. Breathe life.
*This post is dedicated to all those who have breathed life into me. Family, old friends and new – THANK YOU. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for seeing me even when I couldn’t see myself. Thank you for your encouragement, your faith, and your love. I am forever grateful.