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Dream 24: Dancing & Giving (Guest Post From A Nine-Year-Old Girl)

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Meet Elsa.

She’s my 9-year-old daughter. Two nights ago, she asked if she could start her own blog. I told her I would support that, but maybe it would be nice to try writing a guest post on my blog first and see how that goes!

So I asked Elsa one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This is the response she typed, word for word, all by herself.

“I would probably be a dancer, because whenever me and my sister are bored, what we do is dance in my room. Sometimes when I’m just bored, I act like I’m a real dancer. I’ve been in dancing for 4 1/2 years. I like dance a lot. This year I have dance class on Wednesday. The type of dance I’m doing this year is hip hop. This year is the first year I’m doing hip hop and so far I love it.

I would also like to give a chunk of my money to people who need it. I would like to because I like giving to others. I would give the money to people like my sponsored child, poor people and much more people, but I can’t think of anyone else. If I were you, what I would do is give at least 5-10% of your money to charity and other people groups. What I would do is give 30% of my money to anyone that needs it.”

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So what can we learn from Elsa?

Elsa is passionate and generous.

She knows what she loves, and at this point in her life, she’s willing to believe anything is possible. Elsa loves to dance. It energizes her and it’s her go-to activity when she’s bored. What did you do when you were a little girl that still lights you up inside as a grown woman? What if we let that little child shine again?

Elsa’s generous heart allows her to think big when it comes to giving. I love how she’d give “money to…much more people but she can’t think of anyone else” and “anyone that needs it.” Elsa is willing to step out of her comfort zone to serve. Her heart is open. She doesn’t personally know every person that needs help around the world, but what she does know is that there are “people groups” who need help. Bless her soul, she just wants to help.

Leave some comment love for Elsa, will you? Encourage her in her dreams, compliment her writing, or just share a little of what’s on your heart for my sweet nine year old. I’m gone at a writing conference, but she’ll be reading the post and your comments with daddy later tonight. Thanks, friends.

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

Susan Chamberlain Shipe - Elsa, I loved your premier blog post. I am not a dancer but I almost envy those who are – my husband is a great dancer and we like to dance in the kitchen! I hope your dancing dream comes true. Like you, I love to give. Keep writing and dancing and giving – God bless you!October 24, 2014 – 2:31 pm

Carol Femling - Love you Sweetie!! Love your BIG heart and good thoughts about helping people in need! LOVE when I get to see you, Maisie and Raegan dance together! Love coming to watch your dance recitals–you are an awesome dancer! Keep doing it all!! XOXO :)
October 24, 2014 – 1:38 pm

Christie Scanlon Fleischhacker - Oh she is such a sweet girl with a big heart! Follow those dream Elsa and never stop dancing! October 24, 2014 – 12:45 pm

Rachel Arntson - Elsa, Keep dancing! I love dancing, but I kind of look like a bull in a china closet when I dance, so it’s best if I keep that dream for you. :) Also, keep writing. You will never know how many people you will touch. Also, I loved your comment about giving. That shows such an amazing heart. Take care and God bless you and keep you in your journey through life. I loved your post. (P.S. – Come back to mosaic with me. lol) October 24, 2014 – 12:29 pm

Monica Anderson Palmer - ❤️ brave & beautiful Elsa! October 24, 2014 – 12:13 pm

Katie Wilson - Keep writing and dream big!October 24, 2014 – 9:28 am

Raquel - Love it Elsa!! I hope you do start a blog and follow in your momma’s footstep…you have her gift of writing and thinking! Dream Big Elsa!! God has amazing plans for you:)October 24, 2014 – 8:20 am

Laura - Elsa – Your guest post was wonderful! Thank you for sharing your generous heart. I am looking forward to more guest posts from you!

PS – I hope my daughter loves to dance, too (she’s just a baby, now)!October 24, 2014 – 7:44 am

Julie Reynolds - Elsa, you did a wonderful job! I love dancing also. I like to watch beautiful dancers, they inspire me to dream. I loved what you wrote about giving, I think the world would be a much better place if everyone thought of others and their needs as you do. God bless you as you continue to write.October 24, 2014 – 7:08 am

Dream 23: Cartooning & Animation

31Daysgraphic2014

DSC_1422Meet Cassie.

She helped me checkout when I went into Michael’s arts and crafts store to buy some fall stickers for speech-language therapy.

I asked Cassie one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was her response.

She’d “dedicate more time to improving the arts.” “That’s a career goal,” Cassie noted.

Cassie would like to get into cartooning and animation. She “draws on a daily basis for now, to improve for when she takes classes to make it a career possibility.”

Full Sail University would be Cassie’s “Harvard” in regards to schools for cartooning and animation, because they work with Disney and Pixar quite a bit. Cassie’s other dream would be to work at FUNimation Entertainment in Texas. There, they specialize in anime, which is one of Cassie’s loves.

If Cassie didn’t have to worry about money at all, she’d also make sure to leave time for more exercise and video games.

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So what can we learn from Cassie?

I love how Cassie’s found work that’s in line with her dreams. She dreams of getting into cartooning and animation someday, so she landed a job at Michael’s arts and crafts store. She’s not wasting her time doing work she dislikes. She’s not wasting her time on some random job that has absolutely nothing to do with cartooning and animation. She’s spending her time as wisely as she can, and she’s moving in the right direction.

Cassie’s not currently enrolled in cartooning or animation school, but she is drawing on a daily basis. They say practice makes perfect. So even if you’re not anywhere close to achieving your ultimate dreams, keep practicing. Because you never know where all that practice will take you!

What are you practicing? Even if you haven’t achieved your ultimate dream, are you somewhere along the way? What could you do, today, to propel yourself towards that dream, even if it seems small, even if nobody knows or notices but you?

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

Dream 22: Loving, Living & Traveling

31Daysgraphic2014

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Meet Jose.

I met him at a skateboard park at sunset. As you might guess, I don’t usually frequent skateboard parks. But I’d gone to the park for a relaxing walk before my mom’s night out at the movie theater. As I was driving into the park, I looked up the hill and noticed two young men skateboarding. I decided it might be interesting to go up and watch for a while. It was then that I met Jose, who was sitting on the ground watching one of his sons skateboard.

I quickly realized that Jose might be a perfect person to interview for this month’s blog series, so I approached and asked him one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was his response.

Jose “would travel.” It’s his biggest passion, for sure. When he was younger, he got a scholarship to study in Portugal. He traveled all over Europe and visited relatives in Spain.

Jose noted that in Europe, “they work to live, not live to work.” He really appreciated how Europeans “work enough to get money to live.” Since I haven’t been to Europe yet, I asked Jose for more details. I wanted to know what this looks like in real time. Jose expanded. Europeans want to “have fun, a good meal, enjoy each other, and help each other.” They’re just “more human,” he said.

Currently, Jose works from home as a web designer. It’s been a great job for him. He’s of Puerto Rican descent and has been living in the United States for 30 years. All of his family and friends who still live in Puerto Rico have “a great life.” (Special note Minnesotans: Warmer weather is definitely a part of Jose’s ideal, great life formula! As a southern soul displaced in the north, I couldn’t agree more!)

Jose’s traveling to Puerto Rico to visit his family for the holidays this year. He’d like to bring his children when he’s able, and when they demonstrate readiness and maturity. They’re eager to have an opportunity to be immersed in the culture and learn Spanish. Ideally, Jose would love to do his web design work from Tampa, Florida, where a lot of Puerto Ricans live. If he lived there, it would be easier to travel back and forth to Puerto Rico to visit his elderly mother, family and friends.

As we wrapped up our conversation, Jose made some excellent points. “It’s very important that you love what you do,” he noted. “Why wait to enjoy life until you’re 65 [and retired]? We’re here for a little bit. Why not enjoy it?”

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So what can we learn from Jose?

The concept of “working to live” NOT “living to work” is the most notable learning from Jose as far as I’m concerned. So many of us climb the ladder, dreaming of the day when we’ll finally reach the top. We climb and climb and climb some more. After a while, after we’ve earned the big bucks and bought the big house, we realize there’s more to life than work. This “dream” we spent years, perhaps a lifetime pursuing, isn’t the end all be all of life. The things that truly satisfy us in life aren’t things.

Perhaps instead of dreaming about better jobs, higher pay, bigger houses and all the disposable income we ever wanted, we should be dreaming about things that aren’t easily quantified – spending time with one another, helping one another, enjoying meals together, being “more human,” and loving what we do?

So what do you think? Do you “work to live” or “live to work?” I’d love to know a retired person’s perspective. Now that you’re no longer “living to work,” how have things changed in your life? Or maybe you decided to climb down the ladder in pursuit of a simpler life. Tell me more. I’d love to chat.

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

Dream 21: Food & Shelter

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Meet Jazmin.

I was headed for a night at the movies by myself. Instead of paying $4 for a box of candy at the theater, I decided to stop by the Dollar Store for a $1 bag of Sour Patch Kids. Jazmin helped me through checkout. And bless her soul, when I decided to ask her my question of the month, she agreed to chat!

So I asked Jazmin one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was her response.

Jazmin felt very clear that she’d “still work because otherwise life would be boring.” I agreed wholeheartedly with Jazmin on that one.

Jazmin would “first help other people, too.” Her dream was three-fold and as clear as it could be.

1) She’d make sure “other countries had food.”

2) She’d make sure “men at war had food.”

3) She’d make sure “homeless people have a place to stay.”

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So what can we learn from Jazmin?

Jazmin is one awesome woman. She loves people,  is a servant at heart, and allows herself to dream big.

Jazmin might not solve hunger or homelessness in her lifetime. But I’m guessing she’s going to do her part – in her own way, in her own time, within her circles of influence. Heck, maybe she’s already achieving part of her dream by working at the Dollar Store? Who knows how many people she comes in contact with on a daily basis that might be hungry or need a safe place to fall?

When you really sit down and think about it, none of us know when we’re serving someone in need, do we? That person you just passed on the street? That person you caught a glimpse of across the public library? They might be hungry. Hungry for food,  friendship and companionship, hungry for peace, love and joy, hungry for something more. That person you think has it all together, has everything they need and relationship with everyone they could possibly imagine? They might, in fact, be lonely, isolated, in desperate need of someone to talk to. They might need you. And who knows? Maybe your dream to serve and help others could be fulfilled in an instant if you just reached out and provided for someone, anyone.

What if?

What if?

There’s no better way to spend your life than on behalf of others in need. So thank you, Jazmin, for reminding us of that truth.

Today I’m wondering if many of us have a tendency to view our dreams as too far-fetched, impossible to achieve. What if we viewed our dreams in a different light? What if we started fulfilling our dreams in tiny ways throughout our days. What if we lived our lives as if little things count as much as great big things? And what if a bunch of little things add up to great big things in God’s economy?

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

Dream 20: Diesel School & A Diesel Truck

31Daysgraphic2014

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Meet Maddy.

Her smile and eyes were stunning. The light that came from within was undeniable.

I met Maddy in the sporting goods aisle of Walmart. She was with Mat, the awesome dude I introduced you to yesterday.

I asked Maddy one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was her response.

She’d get her dream diesel truck, a lifted F250 on 38-inch tires. And she’d have her own house.

Maddy would like to go to school to become a diesel mechanic. It won’t happen quickly, but she hopes “eventually.” Maddy shared that “it’s expensive” to go to diesel mechanic school because it requires specialized training above and beyond the schooling you need to become a regular mechanic.

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So what can we learn from Maddy?

Without a doubt, Maddy proves by example that dreams have no boundaries. If you’re a female and you dream of a career that’s primarily populated by males? Great! You go, girl! Don’t let anything stop you. And vice versa. If you’re a male looking into a career dominated by females? Awesome! Go for it!

If you’re called, you’re called.

If you love something, love it freely.

Who cares about human-created boundaries.

Do what you love.

Let your light shine regardless of whether your choices are standard operating procedure or not.

Thank you, Maddy, for your wonderful example. You go, girl. I’m all in. We’re all in, right behind you, rooting for you and that awesome dream.

Is there someone out there who’s successfully pursued a dream that’s outside of the box? Are you currently considering a career, hobby or life’s pursuit that’s nontraditional? I’d love to hear all about it! 

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.