Wonder. Believe. Believe Anyway.Holiday Life Lessons from Children to Embrace the Whole Year Through
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
I wasn’t the first person in my circle to have a bonus baby. If you aren’t familiar with what I mean by bonus baby, this would be a kiddo born when many assumed you were done having kids. One of my old neighborhood friends was the first to have a bonus baby, a spicy little daughter 7 years younger than their son and 9 years younger than their daughter. After watching them take turns chasing her around at the school holiday program, I asked my friend how it was having one so much younger than the rest. Her response was, “it’s really wonderful...she brings the magic back to everything”.
Six years later, I would be the one chasing a toddler around at the holiday concert, you know, if we could do such things. You know what? Her words ring true. My bonus baby, Lucy, now 2, is brimming with the wonder that Christmas and the holidays bring, and her wonder is magical and contagious, in a good way...lol. This got me to thinking about all three of my kids and where they are in their Christmas spirit. I realized I have three kids in three very different stages. Not only are these fun to consider during the holidays but I also realized there were life lessons to embrace the whole year through to infuse my life with fun and inspiration.
This is the word that best describes a 2 year old at Christmas time. Lucy really has no idea what is going on but everything is AWESOME!! Here’s what I imagine the running dialogue in Lucy’s brain is saying: holy cow, there is a TREE in my house. And, it has LIGHTS and toys on it! I know they keep saying those red, sparkly things aren’t apples but I don’t know what else to call them. They are AMAZING. There are presents under the tree. I can’t open them but I can carry them around. There are lights on my HOUSE and my neighbors houses. This one person has this HUGE reindeer balloon. We made cookies and decorated them and got to EAT them. THIS IS AWESOME!!! What’s really cool is that everything in life is this exciting to Lucy; Christmas with all the lights and sparkles just really have her attention.
As adults, we have a tendency to overlook the joy and beauty that is around us every day. It is my wish for you to join me in reveling in the wonder of life around us, small and big, to bring the wonderment and joy of a 2 year old at Christmas to our everyday life.
My 9 year old, Liam, firmly believes in, ahem, that guy in the red suit who brings presents and, like Lucy, embraces all the wonder that Christmas offers...he is my present-wrapping helper, card stuffing assistant, cookie baking and decorating sous chef, and hall decking extraordinaire. Interesting, he has also been equally interested in discussing our faith, which is Christian based, and has taken an interest in discussing what other people believe...always thinking, that little fella. He doesn’t need to see the proof; he just believes.
Whoa, Liam, thanks for the important lesson. You know that phrase “seeing is believing”? Throw that out immediately! This seemingly innocuous phrase is crushing your dreams and goals! Here’s the thing, anything that you want, that you really, really, really from the bottom of your soul want, can’t be seen because you haven’t achieved it yet. Living by seeing is believing will stop you before you even start. Instead, believe it will happen. Liam firmly and unwaveringly believes Herbie the Elf will return to his spot in our decorated tree after Thanksgiving, that Santa will bring him his heart’s desire and that the Christmas story about a baby being born in a manger is true. He doesn’t need proof that any of these are real; he just believes. Be like Liam; believe in your heart’s desire, focus on them happening, and bring those dreams into reality.
Here’s the most important one. Ethan is 12. I assume he knows the elf doesn’t have magical powers and who is really behind the gifts that appear on Christmas Eve. Why do I say assume? Because he has never actually said he doesn’t believe. Why? I was the same way...believing is more fun. So, despite the doubt and evidence to the contrary, he chooses to believe anyway.
This is where I want to leave you, DreamChaser. Believe anyway. Believe even if the cards are stacked against you. Believe even if that goal, that dream, is too big, too far away. Believe you can. Your belief is the only thing that is stopping you from having EVERYTHING you want in life, instead of just thinking or dreaming about it. If you don’t believe, it is impossible to do. It’s that simple. So, be like Ethan, and believe anyway.
Wonder. Believe. Believe Anyway. Until next time...Shine On!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.