Raising Big Pictured Kids

One of the reasons we like to travel locally and globally is to expand our kids’ viewfinder.  It seems easier, at times, to do this when we are traveling.  Taking them to environments and cultures that are different from theirs naturally expands their awareness. When I walked the trash covered streets in Haiti and saw the houses pieced together by that very trash my world got a little bigger.  But here in small town America, it takes effort and intentionality.


I’ve been deliberate about creating a safe place for my kids – but that doesn’t mean I want them to always stay there.  I mean if I’m being honest, my mom heart does.  But in a world of passivity, what I really want is to raise a generation of “do-ers.”  I don’t want them to pass on opportunities because there is risk or because they are scared.  I want them to see something that is wrong and feel compelled to change it.  As Jen Hatmaker says, ” I don’t want to be the reason my kids choose safety over courage.  May my fear not bind their purpose here. Scared moms raise scared kids.  Brave moms raise brave kids.  Real disciples raise real disciples.”


That’s an easy concept in my head but where’s the practicality in the day to day?  I think it starts with looking for opportunities.  Looking for ways to fight injustice, to serve, and to love others in whatever season you are in.  I want my kids to understand that there’s always something you can do, using what you have, right where you are.

Enter Running Across Ohio.  A couple of years ago, my friend Emily had this idea to run every half marathon in the state of Ohio.  And to raise money for charity along the way. Emily is a mom of three littles, her days are filled with diapers, laundry, and temper-tantrums. But Emily loves to run and so she does it with purpose.  She’s already raised over seven thousand dollars by running.  By using something ordinary, like her morning run, she is doing something extraordinary.  But the story doesn’t end there.  Earlier this year, Em was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  Long story short she needs invasive surgery and isn’t allowed to run. You’d think that would be the end of Running Across Ohio or at least it would cause her to push the pause button on her mission.  Well, you’d be wrong.   Now she walks.  She’s currently walking every street in her city, and if I know her, I doubt she will stop there.  You can see her latest charity feature: here.


We had a unique opportunity today to join Emily on her daily walk.  There were two moms and 6 kids, all 9 and under.  It seems small but it’s not. It was a tangible way to show my kids that when you give what you’ve got to God, no matter how small it seems, He can do something really big with it.  It’s about learning how to make a difference right where you are.  It’s about pushing through even when it gets hard or seems impossible.  It’s about staying the course.  It’s about being faithful in the seemingly mundane.  It’s about shaping little hearts to see people who are suffering and empowering them to do something about it.


It’s funny because Emily is actually a big factor in how this blog came to be.  Starting this blog was an idea that formed in my head a long time ago.  But for years, fear stopped me from following through.  What if no ones reads it?   What if they think it’s stupid? What if… What if….  And then Emily launched her blog.  I watched her follow her passion and step out in faith trusting God to do something with what she was offering.  I’m sure she had the same fears as me, but they didn’t stop her as they had stopped me.  Her courage and faithfulness was a huge inspiration to me to step out of my own comfort zone and start The Adventure in the Everyday.  Here I am, a year later getting to use things that I love like travel, picture-taking, and writing to encourage others to make the most of each moment, to refresh hearts and minds, and to share parts this beautiful world with people who may never get to see it.  All glory be to the One who takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.


So Emily, thanks for following your dreams, overcoming obstacles, choosing courage,  living in faithfulness, and letting us be apart of something bigger than ourselves.


Raising Doers