What does "God bless you", mean?? I’ve been sifting it lately, trying to get to the root. It feels right to say it when that stranger in the grocery aisle sneezes. I don’t know why...it just does. It feels like a compassionate gesture of solidarity. It’s like in saying "God bless you", what we’re really saying to each other is, "I acknowledge YOU (and your sneeze). There’s no need for embarrassment. Even though you honked that wet, beastly sneeze out, I want you to know I’ve been there too. We’re in this together!" The blessing is usually offered with a comforting wink and smile, and typically returned with a bashful, "Thank you".
But beyond the confines of sneezes, "God bless you", has always been that one phrase; the one that doesn’t roll off my tongue well. When I consider using it, it gets hung up somewhere in the back of my throat, in that space where my ‘nervous spit reserves’ are stored; just for moments like this, so my emergency ‘nervous spit’ can strategically pile up around my words forming an impassable blockade.
For those of us who grew up "Christian", we’re well acquainted with the specific scenarios where "God bless you" is customary and merited. The scenarios include, but are not limited to, the completion of a selfless act such as helping stranded motorists, walking blind elderly pedestrians across busy intersections and caring for the homeless. "God bless you", is also widely used when Christians meet fellow Christians at random. But being that I can’t seem to form the words unless initiated by a sneeze, has made me wonder (at times), what my issue is.
All this blessing business began to trouble me EXTRA, this week...
As I rolled to a stop at the end of my freeway exit, I could see him. I knew he would be there. He’s always there. Standing at his corner, in his spot; ankle deep in parched, yellow clumps of untrimmed grass and weeds. He holds a sign that says something about food and money and maybe a job too. Last week his sign said he was a vet.
For years I evaded the searching glances of the "corner dwellers". I’d approach the intersections with caution, doors (double) locked. Once pinned between the red light and that forlorn expression, I’d feel suddenly inspired to carefully examine the carpet and the passenger seat or maybe aimlessly scroll through my phone for anything to keep me from having to make eye contact.
Eye contact was the last thing I wanted because making eye contact means I can’t deny that I’ve seen him. I can’t ignore him and his needs. I can’t just flee this scene of insufficiency in my comfortable, working vehicle; retiring in relief to my provision-filled life.
About a year ago. I met a girl who works with the homeless population of downtown Seattle. She confessed to me that she also used to struggle with feelings of guilt and shame over having so much in the presence of someone who has seemingly nothing. She understood the burden of wanting to do something; anything, but feeling overwhelmed by the blatant magnitude of the problem.
Cuz 5, 10, 20 or even a hundred dollars isn’t the cure...it’s a band-aid. Offering money might ease my conscience, but that person will (most likely) still be standing on that corner tomorrow, looking for more.
While understanding of my struggle, this person challenged me to see the homeless ‘corner dwellers’ differently. Not as mere unabashed beggars, working that sympathy card, but as fellow humans, worthy of acknowledgement. Maybe money is an appropriate gesture...but maybe it’s not. Maybe money is an impossible gesture, but eye contact, a smile or a small wave go far to affirm a person and their value; acknowledging that they possess real thoughts, emotions and obvious struggles. These simple, nearly effortless interactions are offerings of compassion.
So, over the past year I’ve been intentionally, cheerfully acknowledging the homeless men and women who pace the roadside near my car. I don’t have cash to share, but what I have I give often and freely: granola bars and water.
Which brings me to the incident…
The paragraph earlier, about the familiar guy who stands at my freeway exit with his sign...he’s real. Over the past few months I can’t tell you how many granola bars and water bottles I’ve off-loaded on him. He’s always very appreciative. When I have nothing physical to offer, I make it a point to smile and acknowledge his presence.
There were a couple of weeks where I had nothing to offer and could spare only smiles, but as I was leaving my house a few days ago, his weathered face came to my mind. Having gone shopping, I made sure to load my purse with snacks for him before darting out the door.
I was just about home from spending a lovely, kid-free afternoon with a dear friend, and there he was, on his corner, as usual. I suddenly remembered my stash and quickly rolled down my window to hand them over. He accepted them sweetly and you wouldn’t believe what awkwardly came out of my mouth as the light began to turn green… “God bless you”.
The entire 2 mile stretch, from the freeway exit to my front door, I spent in stunned disbelief. How did those words so easily tumble out of my mouth?? Why had I said it? Of course I wanted God to bless him, but I’ve never felt comfortable saying "God bless you". Those words belonged with nuns and grandmothers, but not me. Even as I spoke them, I wondered why I was saying them. The words felt so flat and forced. What had compelled me to say "God bless you"? I wished desperately that he had sneezed!!
Was I trying to make a shrouded proclamation that this benevolent granola-bar wielding philanthropist was assuredly a Christian? Did I say it because I believed those words would change something within him or alter his circumstances somehow?? I wondered if he felt God’s blessing. I wondered if my words settled in his ears, leaving him with more questions than answers.
Here’s the thing...I think that generations of old have shared the phrase, "God bless you" with passion and fervor. They meant it and the recipients appreciated the sentiment. It worked because when people heard it, the interpretation was, "God loves you" or "I wish HIM to be with you". The problem for me is this: I don’t know that "God loves you" is the contemporary interpretation. I kind of think it’s not. Times have changed and people have changed. The old one-liners don’t work like they used to...they don’t even work well on us church folk. Possibly "God bless you" has become cliche.
So, today I saw a shirt that said, "Non-believers doing good, doing good for goodness sake". I have to admit, it sort of irritated me, but writing this now, I think there’s a deeper issue there that might need to be addressed...and it’s a hard one. We, Christians, struggle to just love and help and obey the silent urgings of our hearts without publicly claiming the deed for God.
The electronic Bible has entirely revolutionized Christian life. I think we can all agree that having continuous access from our phones or tablets is such an advantage over the old “cart your Bible around” way of reading. I have to confess, ‘YouVersion’ has pretty much become my lifeline! For those of you reading and scratching your heads, I'll fill you in. 'YouVersion' is a downloadable Bible application, and for this busy mama, that Bible app has spoonfed me spiritual nourishment more times than I can count.
I’ve perched on the edge of my toilet seat, or maybe more accurately, hidden myself away, phone in hand, reading that "verse of the day" and trying to ignore the tiny fingers pursuing me through the gap beneath the door. Honestly, ANY awkward place is fair game and entirely good enough, when I'm nearing the brink of breakdown! As you might imagine, having 4 kids brings me to the rear edge of sanity rather often. So, cheers to you, Bible app, for helping to hold the pieces of my mind together!
So yes, obviously I believe that having quick and easy access to a Bible is a tremendous thing, but there’s another VERY significant impact that the e-Bible has had on American society. I think not even the visionaries of this tech could have foreseen the extent of the impact they would have.
The development of the e-Bible has stripped away an element of legalism from the arsenal of Christian religiousness. It's likely that the generation behind mine isn’t even aware of the shift, but for me, this is really BIG one!
Before I jump into talking about legalism, which I know can be a real hot button issue for many, I want to VERY clear about something: there are many amazing, beautiful, wise and balanced Christians who don't take issue with the things that I take issue with. Some of these church "rules" drive me absolutely buggy, even so, I'm comfortable with our differences. I promise that I won't judge you if we disagree. Acknowledging our differences, being able to discuss them rationally and still embrace one another, makes us stronger, well rounded and more sensible humans. I sincerely believe that our true and greatest strength (as Christians) lies in our ability to love each other WELL in the midst of our differences and our diversity (in all its forms). Because if we can’t love each other well, how can we ever begin to successfully love those who have no context for God’s love?? Sharing a faith requires that we agree on at least a couple foundational truths (i.e. the path to salvation), but beyond that, the road splinters a bit. And honestly, it’s ok that it does. Heaven and earth will not collapse if we Christians disagree, but it might if we fail to love.
Now on to the gritty (legalism) stuff: I grew up in a time before E-Bibles. Geez, that makes me sound soooo old! Here’s how things have changed: when I was a kid it was customary and expected for church attendees to EACH bring a Bible with them to church. I'm not really sure if this tradition was unique to U.S. churches or if it was a worldwide phenomenon, but it likely grew out of a need. Before overhead projectors or powerpoint presentations, and likely even before churches packed their pew backs with Bibles galore, people needed to bring their Bibles so they could follow along with the sermons. It made perfect sense early on, but somewhere along the way the need diminished but oddly the expectation didn't. The expectation didn’t merely remain but it increased. It got more stringent and mutated into a religious rule.
As a kid, I remember being instructed to bring my Bible every Sunday. There were "bring your Bible" incentives, where kids could earn points for bringing a Bible. On the days when I lacked one, the result was either a shaming look of disapproval or the question: “So...you didn’t bring your Bible??”. Even as a child, the "bring your Bible rule" (as I call it), made me feel so ashamed of myself, so...less than satisfactory.
I remember over hearing conversations about the virtue of not showing verses in full text within the sermon’s powerpoint notes because it would deincentivize attendees from using their Bibles on Sunday mornings. It was as if the belief was that somehow spiritual growth and maturity could be tied directly to one’s ability to tote a Bible on Sundays and navigate to a scripture reference. It still confounds that this perspective was ever considered sound logic, rather than an a blatant attempt to control and manipulative behavior.
After reading just a couple of my blog post, I imagine ANYONE could easily discern that I'm a touch rebellious. Not outwardly nor overtly...at least I don't think so. I'm definitely not rebellious in a dark, deviant or delinquent, 'anarchy rules!' sort of way, but rebellious none the less. I'm NOT quick to submit to authority or comply with the traditions or "rules" that seem arbitrary to me, specifically rules attached to spirituality.
I’ve always been analytical, but as a kid I was much more submissive than questioning. I craved the affections and respect of the spiritual authorities in my life. The things both directly stated and loosely inferred from the pulpit seemed unquestionable to me; above reproach and most dangerously, I considered them to be as pure as if delivered by God himself. Thankfully I did NOT attend any evil, abusive churches. The pastors and congregants were well intended Christians doing the best they knew how to do. But legalism was pervasive. I embraced all the rules and lived consciously by them. I imposed them on others, thinking it was right. I believed that God wanted me (and all Christians) to live meticulously restricted lives. Why did I believe this?? Well, it doesn’t actually make ANY sense other than, it was my context.
Through the years I've learned to assess things differently and I’ve grown away from my legalistic roots. But in growing away, I’ve become a bit intense about church quirks. I get kind of worked up over this stuff because these little requirements; these artificial “rules”, they can twist our minds up. They can bind us and restrain us from experiencing an authentic, truth filled relationship with God and others. Religious legalism deeply impacted me and I still fight against these tendencies within me. These “rules” have the power to unwittingly shape the way we perceive ourselves and God. They also HUGELY shape the way we imagine God thinks about us.
What I am quick to do these days is analyze and question. I pick the "rule" or instruction to pieces. I look at it from every angle. Some, like my Dad, have assessed that I’m capable of finding angles to address that might not actually exist, and he’s probably right. I've been known to go a little overboard. I'll be the first to admit that my analytical side is both a strength and a weakness, but this who I am. So, as with all things in life, the challenge is finding balance, right?!
Sifting tradition to glean truth is SO important! Is God a nickle and diming tyrant, looking for opportunities to punish us or is he loving, merciful, forgiving and generous? I have to be honest, he can’t be both. Those qualities are opposites. If God is loving, merciful, forgiving and generous and pro-freewill, then he’s not taking role call on Sunday mornings. He’s not even casually noticing who’s present and who isn’t. He doesn’t require me to come with my Bible. He’s not going to try to manipulate my behavior with sideways glances and rhetorical questions.
He sees my heart and my motives. And those two things matter the most to him. Our hearts are his true pursuit. He doesn’t care if I put my hands up or leave them down. He’s not at all interested in whether I did the whole ‘stand up’, ‘sit down’ thing and then carefully took out my checkbook and inserted the VERY FIRST check written, following payday, into the offering basket.
He wants my heart, but he wants me to freely give it. If I’m giving my heart because I want to fall in line or because “good Christians” are supposed to submit, or maybe I feel coerced somehow, or I want someone to notice my "good deeds"...then where is my heart really??? I’d say it's focused on pleasing man. I don't say this to condemn or stir up guilt. I say it because I'm familiar with those motives. The desire to please others was my main focus for years. I followed directions for the purpose of following directions and my top desire was to please man.
Today, this girl (me), cannot stand being fenced in especially in Jesus' name. I say "especially" because I believe that many of our religious fences are actually human-made boundaries, not truly positioned by God for our betterment.
Here's what all my rebellious energy shapes up to looks like today: when a worship pastor tells me to stand for worship, every muscle in my body fights to stay sitting...and sometimes I just do (stay sitting). When someone tells me to worship by raising my hands, right now, uhhhh...no! I’m not going to lift my hands till I feel it in my heart. And hearing someone say, "raise your hands" sadly, usually makes the "feeling it" part, take quite a bit longer to happen.
This is sort of a lame-o example, but even when that person in front instructs me to bow my head and close my eyes for a prayer...you get the idea, eyes open or eyes closed, there's nothing more righteous, spiritual or reverent about either. God never said, “Here’s how you pray. You ready?? Make sure you close your eyes...oh yeah, and bow your head!”. I'm not interested in simply following directions. I want the directives to have a value and a purpose.
Can I also confess that I really enjoy the fact that I can walk into church these days with my Bible stealthfully hidden within the confines of my phone. Even though I’m technically toting my Bible, it almost feels to me like a liberating act of defiance...cuz no one can be sure (except for me) that it's really there. Ok, so maybe I still have some issues to work through...
But my grandparents were taught that God disapproved of dancing and movie theaters, but where were the verses to support those rules?? Although I grew up with MUCH less spiritual regulation in my life than my grandparents' generation did, the “rules” still impacted me. So, my husband and I are consciously raising our kids to recognize our human tendency towards legalism. My prayer is that our grandkids will be freer than any of us. I’ve seen heavy chains of religious legalism crumble with the invention of the Bible app and I know more chains are loosening!
Every Sunday and most Wednesday evenings we were there; somewhere in the middle, folded into the masses, tucked between other sets of grown ups and their offspring, singles and the elderly. We all knew the (unspoken) rules for the other sections. The back group of pews were for the “wiggly kid” families: the parents who needed to have one ear in and one ear out, covertly entertaining while attempting to partake. Back there was also where I imagined the uncertain but inquisitive looky-loos sat alongside the shy prodigals. The front section of pews were the opposite. No one ever sat there. Aside from the periodic overachiever or eager beaver, the front two sets of pews were always left ceremoniously empty, reserved solely for the pastoral team.
Some mornings, the pastor’s rhythmic words made my eyelids feel like semi trucks had parked on top of them. Holding the weight of them open seemed to require superpowers and a strength that I didn’t possess. Other times I doodled on bulletins, transforming the hymnal into a makeshift table. I used to draw what I imagined the ultimate R.V. might look like. Each sketch was essentially a mansion on wheels; absurdly impossible to physically construct or use for any sort of road trip!! With numerous levels and an oversized glistening swimming pool, how did I ever imagine that beast would squeeze under over passes??
Instead of drawing, sometimes I’d sit and stare up at the mammoth ‘70’s era lights that dangled ominously from the cathedral ceiling. I’m sure each one weighed as much as a car. Even with their dark wood framing, each hanging cylinder faintly resembled L.A.’s iconic Capitol Records Building. I’d imagine that instead of lights, they were actually futuristic hotels or high rise apartments hovering between Earth and its atmosphere.
On rare occasions, the pastor would speak casually enough for me to tune in. The types of messages that held my attention (for a couple of minutes) were sermons with stories. Personal stories, Biblical stories, any sort of story, it didn’t matter; I just loved hearing stories
Through the years, through a dozen churches, and numerous pastors, I’ve listened to a hefty number of Old Testament stories; Exodus stories in particular. In a nutshell, they usually sounded something like this: God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. He fed them, clothed them, led them through an unfamiliar wilderness and helped them conquer their enemies. Through it all, his presence was VERY obvious, hardly any faith was needed; pillar of fire by night, cloud by day, and he literally spoke to them. But the Israelites were unhappy and began to long for the slavery they’d just been freed from. They “complained and murmured”. Even after experiencing miracle after miracle after miracle, the Israelites decided to honor man-made gods and statues in the shape of animals rather than the one true God who was literally in their midst.
As a kid, teenager and young adult, I struggled to find the take away. One question always plagued me: how could the Israelites be so dense?? Having not yet encountered my own season of personal crisis, I oozed self righteousness and judgement.
For years I wondered why God would choose these people who, because of their lack of faith, were destined to roam the wilderness. I couldn’t grasp why God would want people who he knew would turn away from him. None of it made any sense to me. I thought, if I had been God, I never would have fought so hard for someone I knew would cheat on me and break my heart.
So...about a week ago I opened up my Bible to the Old Testament. This was a completely unnatural choice for me. Reading the Bible usually means making a beeline for ANYTHING in the New Testament. The Old Testament has always been the dustiest part of my Bible. The newer, Jesus and post-Jesus stuff, has always felt more applicable somehow; food for today. But, somehow I found myself in the book of Jeremiah.
The story of the young prophet Jeremiah, was one I’ve always loved. Truthfully I didn’t remember ANYTHING about his prophetic message to Israel, but the part about him being called by God when he was just a child amazed me. The first thing he ever heard God say to him was, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” But Jeremiah, so aware of his age (his youth), told God he couldn’t be his messenger because he was “only a child”. But God said, “Do not say I am only a child…”
God’s answer to Jeremiah could have given me enough strength for multiple days. Even at thirty...something, I still feel like a ridiculous child with a pathetic, shaky voice and weak knees. I’m easily distracted by judging spectators and afraid of being dismissed as “crazy” by people I care for.
I kept reading deep into chapter 2 and started feeling awed by the poetic imagery of the words.
“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving-in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.” Jeremiah 2:23-25
The message was poetic but VERY strong. The Israelites were blind to the nature of the things that allured them. They were literally chasing after physical, emotional and mental bondage, choosing slavery to their desires over love, prosperity and protection. None of the things that bound the Israelites looked dark, ominous or corrosive from a distance. Their temptations didn’t snarl at them or bear bloody teeth. They shimmered and glittered, luring them in as a siren might, only to devour them from the inside out.
Suddenly, for the first time EVER, I could identify with the Israelites.
I started to review in my mind all the things I’ve pursued in my life; the “Baals” I’ve revered and occasionally worshiped, the shiny things I haven’t wanted to uncurl my fingers from, the cravings I’ve indulged even when I’ve felt God saying to me, “Be careful with that...it’s getting its hooks in you. It’s starting to enslave you”. I’ve shrugged off the warnings and sometimes ignored them, because I reasoned that I could have misunderstood the message. His voice isn’t easy to hear and sometimes he isn’t very clear...right??
No longer were the Israelites the daft and deeply rebellious herd of vagabonds I always thought they were...they were me.
But threaded through God’s pain, frustration and sadness was a constant and beautiful theme of LOVE! The story of the relationship between God and his people (the Israelites) is heartbreaking but his love was relentless, pursuing and passionate. In spite of their frailties and missteps, God refused to leave his people. He refused to give up on them...just like God refuses to give up on us, EVEN when our shame tells us we deserve for him to abandon us.
Through the words of Jeremiah, I could hear God declaring over his people, speaking to me (and YOU), “I’ve made you for more. I created you for greater, for bigger, for better. And I know that sometimes it’s hard to see truth through the fog of “Baals”, but through the murk and haze, the truth of my love remains.
If a MASSIVE tidal wave surged DEEP inland and miraculously lapped across Bellevue, Washington, taking all the baby dolls along the west coast out to sea with its exit, my two youngest girls and their powerful imaginations would still find a way to play “babies”. They might mother a couple of large rocks or maybe a few baby-sized logs. However strange and awkward it might end up looking, they’d press right on with their imaginary play and they likely wouldn’t miss a beat.
These precious girls have an astounding stamina for playing “family”, in particular. Each day begins with a continuation of the previous day’s charade. Sometimes they'll round up all the baby dolls in the house (we have A LOT of them), and they’ll begin mothering the whole heap.
There are times where, instead of dragging all the babies out from under our numerous beds, they personally assume the roles of mother and baby. Sometimes an auntie or a grandma is introduced. I’m usually given the title of grandma. I’m a rather resistant, rebellious, UNenthusiastic grandma; clinging to my youth! My girls will chatter out a script as they play. Usually, Nyla (my 2 year old) suggests wonderful ideas that are shot down and quickly rescripted by my, almost 6 year old daughter, Sofia. A YES/NO yelling match then breaks out and sometimes they go to blows over which baby is whose daughter and who’s actually an auntie and not a mommy. In person, these Smith family brawls are a lot like punishment, but recounting them is a whole lot of fun.
As kids, my sister and I had really impressive imaginations too. On family road trips we’d occasionally entertain ourselves by (each of us) scooping up the lower half of one of our legs. We’d cradle the knee in one arm with the ankle in the other. It was remarkable really, how that lower leg made the perfect ‘insta-baby’. We could even rock that little baby-leg to sleep. I know, I know, it sounds clinically insane...I guess it sorta is. Maybe now, as you’re reading this, you’re beginning to rest back in your seat, starting to feel a bit disturbed; subconsciously trying to place some distance between you and this blog post. But don’t you dare judge! You know, you were a weird little kid too!! We all were!
My sister and I had a rare and valuable ability to imagine anything into being! All of our Barbie furniture was sculpted and whittled out of hand towels and washrags. It sounds pathetic, but honestly we were completely happy with our terrycloth-laden Barbie decor. We never felt deprived until we visited that one kid’s house. We all know the kid, she was an “only child”. She embodied all that those quotation marks imply. She had more Barbies then a whole neighborhood of average, multi-kid families put together. This girl had the Barbie mansion and the pool, plus all the miniature matching furniture. She was also the kid who didn’t want anyone to adjust the positions of any of her things. Plus, we were forced to play with only one of her Barbies; the one she loved the least. That was probably around the time that I discovered that disgusting and thieving emotion; envy...laced with disdain. Ick!
All Envy aside, kids dream SO BIG! There are no limits or concerns for the absurdity of the thing. Kids never suggest to one another that they’re shooting too low by admiring the trash collector or the neighborhood gardener. They don’t ever poo-poo each other’s dreams by implying that when firefighters have to wait around for something to catch fire it can be pretty boring. They never tell each other to rethink that police idea because it's too dangerous, or that teaching and mothering pay very poorly. Kid dreams are fun and they inspire more dreams!
No little kid ever flops down in the grass, starring at the clouds, fantasizing about cubicle life! At least I don't think so...
My dream was to be an astronaut. Not even that ‘90’s movie, Apollo 13, and its depiction of the 1970 space disaster, was enough to dissuade me from my plan. For me, space was everything! I used to proclaim that I’d be the first female to walk on Mars. Like many kids, I transformed my bedroom ceiling into a glow-in-the-dark star filled sky. I didn’t realize, back then, that the job requires major math skills. I (very sadly) have none! So, upon learning the truth, I tearfully kissed Mars goodbye and sought out dream number 2 and then 3 and 4 and so on. You get the idea. For each season, a new dream was born.
Weeding through those myriad of dreams to find the one was important, but somewhere along the way I stopped dreaming BIG astronaut sized dreams. With each year my dreams got slightly smaller and easier to attain; more realistic, safer I guess. I’d grown bigger, and so had my fear. My fear of failure and my fear of rejection were larger motivators than the possibility of my dreams coming to life.
Why do we grow up and leave the big dreams and big dreaming behind?? Why does "growing up" have to mean that ‘big dreams’ equal ‘stupid dreams’? And when did we stop going to blows and engaging in YES/NO yelling matches over the script?? I’m not advocating violence or terrible communication, but maybe I (we) shouldn’t have been so quick to release those pure, beautiful dreams, imagining (naively) that they’d find their way back to us if they were truly meant to be ours (who really believes that steaming pile of wisdom anyway??).
I’m 100% certain that I was never truly meant for space. But I can’t help but think that there have been plenty of other dreams along the way that might have fit, but I (possibly) shrugged them off a touch too fast, discrediting my abilities or intellect or maybe I gave too much weight and power to the dissenting voices.
This is what I've come to believe. In spite of what life looks like right now (my life included), I believe we’re ALL meant for something amazing; something grander than today. Maybe it’s just over the next horizon. I know you feel it. I feel it too! Sometimes the path looks dismal, but I know that deep down you sense something magnificent is coming. It’s coming for YOU! Dream BIG again. Let yourself dream big and wide and unrestrained. Awaken the 'little kid' you; the girl or boy who didn’t care what anyone said when you declared your BIG dream with pride!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.