A Thankful Fall

The older I get the faster the time seems to go by. I can’t decide if this is because I have more commitments or because I value time completely differently than I did when I was younger. Either way, I know that in a blink of an eye it will be 2020 and 2019 will be a distant memory.

This last weekend I had the absolute honor of being a bridesmaid in my favorite girl cousin’s wedding. Well, Megan is my only girl cousin, so I can say that. It seems like just yesterday we were growing up in the Applegate Valley, talking about Santa and learning to ride bikes. We both had the dream childhood, complete with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and even an occasional cow. All of us cousins grew up together and we were blessed beyond measure. We had safe homes, great food, and most of all, a huge extended family that loved us just as much as our own parents.

As I watched this beautiful woman getting ready for a day she has dreamed about since she was a child, and as I looked around the stunning venue, I was so proud of the memory she was creating. There was such attention to detail throughout the entire ceremony: the flowers, the personal vows, the menu, the photographer and the list went on. In that moment I found myself reflecting on the magnificent power of dreams. We all know most little girls and even adult women dream of their wedding day. We think about and often obsess over the details and the experience we want for that special day.

What I find interesting is a lot of us tend to forget to continue dreaming once monumental “goals” are achieved. Before the wedding, typically comes the career dream, and after the wedding historically comes the dream of having children. Once again there is planning: the nursery, the baby shower, the name, etc. It’s during these moments you can really feel the power of a goal or a dream.

As I watched Megan on “her day” I reflected on all the people who were instrumental in making sure she landed on her feet as an adult. The people who spoke life into her, helped her learn to dream big, who guided her on what to look for in a husband, and how to be a kind and loving member of society. The memories that rose to the top, of course, had a lot of family ties, but there were also other acquaintances in her life that had a lasting impression on her; the mother of a friend who guided her away from a certain crowd or even one of her teachers who spent just a little extra time so Megan knew she was valued and important.

In the fast paced world of today, it is so easy to buy into the lie that we can’t make a difference or an impact and the only people we leave a lasting impression on is our immediate family. These lies are so powerful and often leave us complacent. They can easily take hold and sometimes even change the trajectory of our lives.

As we enter into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, my hope is you’ll take many deep breaths, slow the pace and really relish in the moments around you. With each interaction, you have the opportunity to really influence a life. Not just the person you’re engaging with, but your own.

My prayer is you may even spend just a few extra moments dreaming instead of rushing.  May you know you have the power to dream big, the strength to move towards it and the tenacity to get there. There is power in dreams. And no matter what your age, there is still more to come.