A Cowboy, a Lion Tamer, and a Clean Slate: On Believing Again

Isn’t it amazing what little ones can do? We look at them and see unlimited potential, we believe they can do anything! Any little move they make – impressive milestone or otherwise – reveals to us their bright future as a fill-in-the-blank. (OMG! Johnny smeared poop colored on the wall! He’s going to be an interior designer on HGTV!)

Contrast that thought with the image you carry of yourself. Do you see potential in your abilities? Do you see the possibilities within your grasp? Many of us would say we gave up on all that a long time ago. You may not even understand why… But I think I might.

Why do we parents see a limitless future for our children (especially babies)? I believe it is because they have never seriously failed (except occasionally missing the diaper ). They have not shown us a deficiency by which to label them as “bad at math,” “not a people person,” or “a little too klutzy.” But they have not had the opportunity! Babies have a clean slate, and we grip it with hope, needing to believe that our children are extraordinary – so that we bearers of babes might be deemed important, too.

But here’s a wake-up call (deep down you know it)… Johnny will fail. {GASP!}

And thank God.

He will inadvertently fling mashed carrots across the kitchen, he will tumble to his bottom when you remove his training wheels, he may get cut from the hockey team when practice didn’t make perfect, and he will probably face rejection from at least one “pretty” girl… But who have you ever heard of that succeeded without failing first?

I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And, that is why I succeed.

~ Michael Jordan

I asked some friends what they had wanted to become as a child. Some responses were silly-ish, like a cowboy, a lion tamer, or an acrobat (although I hate to call any dream silly – you really could be anything you imagined if you were flexible with the definition). Some dreams were unrealized, and I could sense by their language that these friends were saddened by such a status. Other ambitions were shared with the unemcumbered joy of achievement. Amber, a young woman I graduated high school with, made me so happy when she recalled:

I wanted to be [and I am] a stay at home mommy! Mrs. D—– [Our 9th grade English teacher] laughed when that’s what I wanted my topic for our research paper to be and said it couldn’t be done in this day and age. I had to choose something else and I don’t even remember what it was. God has truly given me the desires of my heart.

The job Lyle and I must undertake as Charlie’s parents is to keep on imagining with him as he grows. To never underestimate who he will become. To keep believing in him as he experiences failure. And to learn to believe again in ourselves, despite our failures. So, for the sake of the children… what do you really, deeply want to become? What in the world is holding you back?

Enjoy this (obviously) homemade 90 second movie of our Rising Star… the early days!

Our Rising Star…the Early Days 🙂 from Nelson Total Life on Vimeo.

Recommended reading: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson… “You were created to be a Somebody, and destined to achieve great things.”

Recommended listening: your heart.

“And whatever you do, whether by speech or action, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

I believe in you.


Carolyn 🙂


About Carolyn Nelson

Just trying to spread a little grace. I am in love with 4 boys (married to one, mother to three), and I think you're stinkin' awesome.
This entry was posted in Charming Charlie, Just Sayin', Things We Have Learned and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Cowboy, a Lion Tamer, and a Clean Slate: On Believing Again

  1. Penny says:

    That was beautiful sweety 😉

  2. This was so beautiful! A great reminder that we can be anything we want to be and should never let people tell us our dreams can’t happen. Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Reblogged this on Peeling Away the Layers: Autism and Adoption and commented:
    A great article written by a friend of mine that attests to the fact that we can ALL be anything we want to be if we give it our all.

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