What do you want to be when you grow up?

Encouraged.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked my junior high school counselor, as we pieced together my high school schedule. You see, I was my own kind of Amelia Bedelia, struggling to learn, with no talent whatsoever and fearful of my own shadow. After pondering the direction of my future for a few seconds, I responded, “I’d like to be kindergarten teacher.” With a respectful smile, he replied, “I don’t recommend that for you. You don’t like school and teaching means you would need further education. I don’t see you doing that.” Eager to know his thoughts, I replied, “What do you think I should do?” “Do what your mom does” he said, and that afternoon, I watched carefully as my mom cut and styled her client’s hair. Clueless yet curious, thoughts of, “The apple never falls far from the tree” came to mind. After telling my mom about my conversation with my counselor, she blessed me with words of wisdom, “If this is what you want to do, then I want you to get a job this summer in a salon to make sure it’s right for you…”

In sharing this story, many people are offended by my counselors dispirit. However, to me his recommendation was a truly valuable puzzle piece to my life. Like an angel in disguise, he helped guide me to dig deeper into becoming all that I was created to be. We all have a purpose in life and God gives us exactly what we need in order to accomplish all that we are called to do. We may not always hear what we want to hear, or get what we want when we want it, nevertheless, the direction we take with what we have been given is up to us. For me, it wasn’t that I couldn’t be a teacher; it just wasn’t a good fit at that time. Truthfully, styling hair has been a tremendous gift to me. 

Life doesn’t always do what we want it to do, but it is comforting to know that God’s love remains steadfast for each and every one of us everyday. We don’t need to lose faith when we see others receive answers to their prayers, while we feel like we haven’t yet received our own blessings. We can rest assured knowing that our time is coming, and when it hits the ground, the earth will feel it. My mom recently shared with me this motivational story:

An elephant and a dog became pregnant at the same time. Three months down the line, the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies. The pattern continued. On the 18th month the dog approached the elephant questioning: “Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date. I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. What’s going on? The elephant replied: “There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration. What I carry draws attention. What I’m carrying is mighty and great!”

The key to mighty and great in the word of God simply teaches us that God is our Hero. The question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is an on going question, that continues to grow within us no matter how old we may be. As I look back over the years, I can appreciate God’s intimate love in the details of all things. Our path is designed by God and bound to be glorious if we are willing to follow Him. Everyday is a stepping-stone of grace to use as a tool to move forward in the grand puzzle of life.

Be encouraged and committed as you take bold steps and healthy risks. Remember, without the struggle, it’s difficult to find your strength. While serving others, we will see more clearly the bigger picture. At the same time, recognize the little blessing that come to us daily. “Say your prayers” were the closing words my Dad would speak as he hit the light switch after tucking us into bed every night. Years later, I am still praying. It gives me great pleasure to share the word and love of God with others. As a catechist (teacher of the principles of Christian faith) my prayer for everyone I meet is to come to know and feel the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who traded it all in for the Cross; giving His life as a sacrifice to set us free from the spiritual chains of slavery that trap us in a web of confusion, addiction and sin. The Bible is filled with so many treasures and tools. The Word of God is our sword and shield as we all travel or wander like a pilgrim on this journey through life. Here are a few scriptures to ponder:

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. [Luke 16:10]

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. [Hebrews 13:2]

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

Michael’s hands: My 3rd grade student 2020-2021

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