A nod of enCOURAGEment

What image comes to mind when you think of a time you stepped out of your fear, only to find your own footing? Who was standing beside you? The root of the word encouragement is COURAGE. Those that infused courage into our lives when we were children can be a great resource to us today.

The first image that might come to your mind is riding your bike without training wheels. Who was running beside you? Maybe it was when you first drove on a busy interstate. Who was sitting beside you? Try to dig a little deeper and remember a time when you were literally changed from one moment to the next and look to see who was there encouraging you.

For me, it was the first time I saw the ocean. I was 12 years old. Mom took us on our first vacation ever.  Money was precious. It came with a lot of sleepless nights and hard work as she raised 8 children by herself.  Up until now, vacation was spending 2 weeks of the summer at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Iowa.

We were on the historic highway 101. Mom pulled over so we could see the Pacific Ocean shoreline. I was wearing my new Sunday dress. The waves that went in and out with the tide were calling to me, I put my feet in the water. The water came up to my ankles and I laughed out loud. The water hit my knees and I squealed with joy. I turned around and gave my Mom a pleading look, clearly asking if I could go further. Even though I was wearing the new dress she probably worked a whole day to buy, she nodded.

When I took the first few extra steps forward, the tide went out and I followed it. Imagine my shock when I saw the waves coming back at me!   I started running.  A wave hit my back and knocked me down! I felt both shock and thrill at the same time. The dress was completely soaked, but I was then free to fully experience the ocean.

The dress - it was ruined.  The gift my Mom gave me that day ----- priceless.

When I want to pursue an amazing new opportunity in my life that is scary I remember that simple nod from my Mom, giving me permission to let loose and fully experience life. Find that memory and carry it with you as you pursue new and amazing things in your life. Oh… and thanks Mom for the courage!

What memory came crashing back for you?