Life.

Isaiah is all about football these days. He says all the time when he gets older, he's going to play football on TV. 

So every day lately, in the 100 degree heat, he puts on his sweatpants, jersey and helmet, tucks his football tight in his arm, and sprints up and down, back and forth, across our yard. He yells at imaginary teammates and tackles fake people. And he always wants somebody to be his 'coach' to yell at him and tell him a play or pattern to run. 

And then there is our Carsyn Grace. She is all about dance. If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you she wants to be a dancer. She will also be quick to tell you that one day she is going to walk and dance with her feet.

Her legs have still not regained the strength they had prior to surgery last year. She is getting stronger all the time, but she has a ways to go. So right now her walker is not as easy as it once was for her. And she often gets frustrated with it quickly. It requires a lot more effort, work and energy than her wheelchair does. But to get stronger ... to one day walk and dance with her feet ... she has to use her walker. And so we often have to 'tough love' her, take her chair away, and force her to use her walker. 

So today, I was outside with the two of them. Zay in his football getup sprinting around the yard. Carsyn in her walker, getting stronger. 

Me trying to build a new fire pit. 

I watch Isaiah walk over to Carsyn and ask her to coach him. Which she LOVES. So, she starts yelling at him, telling him where to run and what to do. He's calling her 'coach' and doing whatever she says. She's enthusiastically yelling louder and louder. My little guy is drenched in sweat and loving it. 

Carsyn is getting tired. She's hit the point where she is just done with the walker and needs a break. So she starts calling over to me asking me if she can have her wheelchair back. 

I knew she had a bit more in her, so I told her 5 more minutes of walking and that would be it.

She throws her head back in frustration and tears and yells out, 'BUT I NEED SOMEBODY TO WALK WITH ME! CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE WALK WITH ME?????!! I DON'T WANT TO WALK ALONE!!!!'

Isaiah hears her and I watch as he stops running and turns and looks at her. 

He stares at her crying for a minute, then takes off his helmet and yells back ... 'Don't worry Carsyn!! I will walk with you!!!'

I watch him as he sprints over, and starts to encourage her. 

She is crying because she doesn't want to walk anymore. And he is telling her how strong she is. And how one day she is going to dance just like one day he is going to play football on TV. And he is telling her, 'It's ok .... it's ok Carsyn, just work hard. One day you are going to dance! And one day I am going to play football on tv! We have to work hard!'

Then he give her a goal ....  'Come on Carsyn, lets just go to the soccer goal. You can do it! I know you can!'

The soccer goal was about 40 yards away. Carsyn looks at where he was telling her to go, stops crying, takes a deep breath, and agrees to walk there with him.

And then they just walk. Side by side. All the way to the soccer goal. Not knowing that I was watching the whole thing with tears in my eyes. And thinking a million different thoughts about all the things I learn when I just stop and watch my kids. 

These 2 kids ... the cream to our cookie ... they drive me crazy so much. They fight a lot. They are difficult to parent. They each have their own little things that present challenges for Jeremy and I that we don't experience with our other two kids. But man oh man, these 2 have taught me more about life than anyone else in this world.

And here was my take away from today ....

It's necessary to have a goal. To have a vision. To have something to work toward. 

It's necessary to have a dream. And a willingness to work to make that dream happen. Even when you don't understand how it could possibly play out. It's necessary to believe it's possible. To believe you were created for something amazing. To believe in the possibility of the things in your heart that make you feel alive.

And then, its necessary to go after them. 

Whether you are 80 years old or 4 years old. Age is irrelevant when you believe you are destined for greatness. 

And the next take away is this ...

It's necessary to have someone to walk with. 

When its hard, when its challenging, when the odds are stacked against you ... when you don't want to walk anymore ... when you don't have the strength or the energy to go another step ... its necessary you have someone to come along beside you to encourage you along the way. 

And it's necessary that you be vulnerable enough to ask for help. Confident enough to admit your shortcomings. Willing enough to admit where you are weak ...  because really, most often, your destiny lies in the weaknesses you conquer. 

And the last big thought that came to my mind when this all played out with my two kids, is that to have a friend, you gotta be a friend. And when you are willing to give help to others, others are more willing to help you. 

And the thing you need most, is often the thing you need to be most willing to give away.

Need encouragement? Give encouragement.
Need love? Give love.
Need a friend? Be a friend.

Life is so simple when you look at it through the eyes of a child. 

These two, at the soccer goal ... their finish line.

Work hard. Dream big. Believe in possibility. Give what you need. Be a friend. Walk with someone. Encourage. Support. Love. Live Big.