Tag Archives: motivation

Words of Wisdom From a Dad to His Future Son-in-Law

12 Apr

When Adam asked my father for his blessing to propose marriage to me, my dad had a little talk with him. From what I’ve been told, that talk included a discussion about what motivates people. My dad told my future husband that people are driven by one of the following:

1. Money
2. Power
3. Sex
4. Faith
5. Fame

My dad told Adam that he believed that my husband-to-be was motivated by faith and gave Adam his permission to marry me. (Thanks, Dad! Good decision!)

Engagement Collage

Adam and I have come back to this conversation several times when talking about right motivation and the way things are in the world right now. It’s so easy to see that when faith is not someone’s primary motivation, their priorities are out-of-whack, relationships are damaged, and they are ultimately unhappy. I think it can be a very helpful tool to use when making decisions to help us stay on track.

This is also useful when evaluating our goals and dreams.  Often, our dreams evolve into something else and take a turn down a different path. We grow and gain new perspectives. We get married… have kids… embrace our vocations, hopefully… Priorities shift and relationships need to be fostered. If faith is our number one motivator, then what matters to God will matter to us!

For Adam and me, the past couple years have consisted of slowly letting go of our old ideals and hopes, and learning to mold them into what God wants for us. It has been such a blessing to be able to see how our desires have aligned with God’s will for us and our family! Nothing that we can come up with on our own could ever be better than what God has in store for us! I can tell you that Adam and I are truly happier than we have ever been, even though our initial plans never materialized, because we are so grateful for each other, our children, and our faith! God is good!

I wish you true joy and peace, as well! I pray that you are open to wherever God is leading you! Have a great weekend!


Cheering for the Underdog Part II

29 Aug

To expand on my previous post,  I think there are two additional keys (besides hard work and determination) to achieving our dreams and pursuing the path God has for us: right motivation and another person’s belief in our God-given abilities.  This is how we pursue being the “best-version-of-ourselves,” to quote author Matthew Kelly.  And this is how we will find true joy in this life.

First of all, we need to be motivated by good things; not money, fame, materialism, etc.  I’d like to share some lines from Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotional blog on August 11, titled “Make the Most of Your Talents.”  In this post, he writes:

Are you using what He’s given you for the benefit of others to make the world a better place? Or are you just using those talents to benefit yourself?

When God gives you a talent, he expects you to use it. It’s like a muscle. If you use it, it will grow. If you don’t, you’ll lose it. If you have a talent but are afraid to use it, or if you get lazy and don’t use it to benefit others, you’re going to lose it. Like the parable of the ten talents in Luke 19, if you don’t use what God has given you, he will take it away and give it to someone else who will.

But if you use your talents wisely, God will give you more. If you use your time wisely, God will give you more time. If you use your energy wisely, God will give you more energy. If you use your influence wisely, God will increase your influence. God will bless your level of faithfulness.

God has a purpose for each of us, but we  need to trust Him and be open to using our gifts however He calls us.  When we try to do things on our own terms on our own time-frame, we will find ourselves on the wrong track.  We may have things that the world defines as success, but we will still feel lost.  With God, we can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  He gave us our talents and He wants us to use them.  Believing that God wants us to follow our dreams, is what keeps my hope in Adam’s musical career alive!  God would not give Adam all of these musical gifts and the passion that he has just to squander it.  (Of course, how things will work out is a mystery, but we know there is a plan!)

I mentioned above that there is another key factor in achieving our goals and dreams: support of another person.  Since I talked about Rudy in my last post, I’ll stick with that here.  Most people in Rudy’s life, including his family members, thought that his dream of being a football player for Notre Dame was not a realistic goal.  Rudy had one best friend, Pete, who encouraged him, though.  Pete’s tragic death prompted him to go for his dream, despite the many obstacles in his way.  It could be that without the support of his best friend, he never would have had the courage to do what others thought could not be done.  Now, everyone loves the amazing story of Rudy Ruettiger and how he accomplished the seemingly impossible.

Adam and I were talking about underdog stories yesterday, and he pointed out that a lot of people only root for the underdog when they start to see success.  People want to hop on board after a lot of the hard work has already proven to pay off.  It seems that we are so quick to dismiss dreams, because they aren’t practical or “realistic,” and it’s hard to believe what cannot yet be seen.  But once a dream comes to fruition, we want to share it and be associated with it.  How much better would the world be, if we encouraged each other to pursue our skills and talents even when things look impossible?!  Let’s be dream “ENcouragers,” not “DIScouragers!”

Have a great week!

Cheering for the Underdog

18 Aug

Golden Dome

Last weekend, we watched my husband’s favorite movie, Rudy, with our 2-year-old daughter.  It is the consummate underdog story and Adam usually likes to kick off football season this way.  This time, he was excited to expand our daughter’s knowledge of Notre Dame football!  He has already been showing her a Notre Dame board book that labels the Golden Dome, Shamrock, Grotto, etc.  Seriously!  And she can name them all!  For about the past year, every time Adam would take her down the stairs to our basement, he’d lift her up and have her hit the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign that we have hanging at the bottom of the stairwell.  Of course, imagine my husband’s delight when our daughter recognized the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign in the movie and immediately ran off the couch to go hit our own sign!  He’s also been having her “practice” field goals with a big inflatable football.  I think she is ready for football season to begin!  Go Irish!

Anyway, this movie got me thinking about how others’ perseverance, determination, and hard work in the face of adversity and doubt is so inspirational!  Who doesn’t love a good motivational story where the unlikely champion/hero/dreamer achieves his or her goal?  It gives all of us hope to continue with our own pursuits, despite what others think and the obstacles that may come along.  Something I didn’t know until recently was that record setting, three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, Tom Brady, was a 6th round draft pick!  Now he’s debated as one of the best NFL quarterbacks!  Of course, there are lots of great underdog sports movies, such as Hoosiers, Remember the Titans and The Blind Side, but there are also several other great non-sports related stories, like Temple Grandin, Patch Adams, and Erin Brockovich.  I think that we all love hearing about real life, everyday people using their talents and skills to do extraordinary things!

I know that Adam often feels like an underdog.  He’s heard so many times to “wait to have children until you make it.”  Adam loves our family and wouldn’t change a thing, but it is definitely more difficult to devote all the time that he would like to his music career right now.  He stays at home often during the week while I work to care for our daughters.  We don’t have extra money to put into his music, so he makes his own CD’s to sell every weekend and relies on good friends to help with recording, etc., for free.  He feels like higher-ups in the industry count him out as soon as they see him because he does not have the typical male country artist look.  Adam doesn’t quite know what genre/category his sound fits into…

Adam is going to continue to dedicate as much time as possible to his goals and continue to pray for God’s guidance.  He is pursuing a publishing deal and is collaborating more with other songwriters.  Yes, it will take a lot of work, but any progress he makes will definitely be due to God’s grace.

Hope Wins

19 Jul

So I’m finally able to get to the computer after a couple days of wanting to get on here and blog about a few different things that came together in my head about having faith and pursuing our dreams.  Things can get frustrating sometimes and it can be easy to feel discouraged.  It is a continuous battle to try to remain positive and hopeful about the future.  One song that popped in my head when thinking about this was “The Impossible” by Joe Nichols.  Here is the chorus:

Unsinkable ships sink.
Unbreakable walls break.
Sometimes the things you think would never happen,
Happen just like that.
Unbendable steel bends.
If the fury of the wind is unstoppable,
I’ve learned to never underestimate,
The impossible.

This song is just a great reminder that even when we can’t see what will happen and we don’t know what steps to take next, we should not give up hope.  “With God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26)

I mentioned in my first blog post in the middle of May that Adam had recently had some revelations about the direction of his music career.  That same weekend, my dad was driving to visit my grandparents in Northern Indiana and while listening to Adam’s recent songs, he saw the sign “Hope Wins” outside a church.  He decided to turn around a take a picture of it to send to a friend who was going through a situation and had expressed that she was losing hope.  Little did my dad know that this would turn out to actually be a significant message for Adam.  About the same time that this picture was taken was when Adam was being questioned about what his vision is for his music.  Adam had been very discouraged before this and a light bulb went off in Adam and his passion and motivation was reborn!

The picture that my dad took on his phone 🙂

I’ve come across some inspirational quotes, recently, that I also thought would be motivating and appropriate to share.

“Take care of yourself and continue to persevere.  Do not allow doubt to creep across your goals.”  -Gary Caplan

“Each of us has been given a destiny and a light to shine.” -Marie Jones

“I believe 100% when your heart and  your mind are in the right place and there is no pretense, great things will come.  It’s that simple.” -Jimmy Wayne

“God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.” -Billy Graham

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

“Be patient.  God knows what He’s doing.  God knows what is best for you.  He can see the end result.  You can’t.  All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays–all the things that make you ask “why”–one day will all be clear in the light of God’s love.” -Rick Warren

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

I’d like to wrap up with a prayer from a book that I just started reading on my Amazon Kindle called, I Do… Every Day: Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not So Newlyweds by Cynthia Bond Hopson and Roger Hopson.

Lord, with you we know that anything and all things are possible.  We claim and believe that you have plans for us–plans to nurture us and give us a future.  Direct our paths to the right people, places, and things to help make our dreams come true.  Help us be patient, prepared, and purposeful.  Amen.

God has plans for each one of us.  How wonderful this world would be if we all would strive to seek His will and pursue our gifts!  Anybody have any dreams of their own that they are following?

Class of 2001

10 Jun

Adam and Me - 2001

I just can’t wait til my 10 year reunion
I’m gonna bust down the double doors
And when I stand on these tables before you
You will know what all this time was for
– “No Such Thing” by John Mayer

I’m sure these lyrics summarize what Adam secretly thought when he graduated high school.  And now it’s here – the Concord High School Class of 2001 Ten-Year Reunion… Adam won’t be attending, though, because he will be out on the road.  I know that part of him would like to be there, but the other part is not satisfied with where he is at in his music career.  (Don’t we all wish to be living our dreams when we attend our first reunion?)  Adam is definitely a proud husband and father, but I know that he would feel like he hasn’t been as successful as he thought that he would be at this point in his life.  He wants to be able to support his family doing what he loves – singing his own music!  Of course, everyone measures success differently.  The fact that Adam moved to another state by himself to pursue his dream at 19-years-old is pretty courageous.  Adam is able to play music and sing professionally.  He works off-and-on at a well-known rehearsal facility in Nashville.  He has written (what I and others believe to be) some radio-worthy songs.

Even if Adam were where he wanted to be right now, there would be no “Toby Keith ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ moment”.  The vast majority of people who have known Adam and have heard his voice have believed that he would be a star someday.  He was voted “Most Likely to Succeed In Music” in his senior class.  He performed original songs for two graduation ceremonies and a choir concert (which was extremely rare, if ever done before).  I know that a lot of people in the town of Elkhart, Indiana are rooting for him!  Please continue to support him!  I know that he appreciates any encouragement he receives!  It can be very frustrating and discouraging at times to feel like you have come so far, but have so long to go!  There is no sign of giving up, though.  There is no “plan b.”  The dream is still alive!

We have no idea what God has planned for him.  We are open to His will, but the difference now is that Adam has a focus and a mission to let God inspire and bring joy to others through his music and singing.  Adam’s confidence has grown so much in just the past month, because  as long as he is following what he believes is God’s path for him, then he knows that’s all that matters.  He cares about how God views what he’s doing more than what anybody else thinks.  How can a person go wrong with an attitude like that?!

Performing "Tell Me It's Real" by K-Ci and Jo Jo for Pops Concert (2000). That's Adam with the bleach blonde hair!