courage

You simply don’t have to live like everyone else. (Permission slip granted.)

Why does everyone think they can tell me how to live? How do I get permission to make my own choices?

Today on the blog we’re handing out permission slips.

They’re exactly as you remember them from your school days. They’re pink and sort of gritty and smell weird, like carbon copy paper always does. You’ll love them just as much as you used to, because you can wave them in the air wildly whenever an authority figure questions your location or motives or general life choices. “See? See right here? I have permission. Here’s my slip.”

permission slip for adults

Hopefully we’ve outgrown the need to get a slip to go to the bathroom, but I swear adulthood doesn’t feel much different some days. All we’re trying to do is live our life, but all these people have all these opinions.

No more! Today we’re deciding to do what we want.

You, over there. The woman who wants to have ten children and then homeschool them in the wilderness? Here’s your permission.

To the man who wants to learn to surf even though he lives in Nebraska? Even though he’s about to turn 65? Fine. Go for it, fine sir.

Start an organic farm? Go into ministry? Go to college? Drop out of college because you’ve realized you’ll never be able to pay it all back and actually live your life?

Have one child, have no child, get married, travel the world alone in a sailboat. We’re fine with all of that.

Permission granted. You simply don’t have to live like everyone else.

You simply don't have to live like everyone else. Permission slip granted

Now, cranky Great-Aunt Gretel might have a problem with that. And she’s likely to tell you all about her opinion of your life choices, and this is where you’ll need the permission slip. Print it out and hand it to her.

We’re all adults here.

We know our loved ones mean well. And let’s be honest, the status quo was pretty much developed because it’s quite nice to have warm, safe shelter and food on the table. When we run after our dreams, sometimes those dreams don’t come with things like stability or paychecks or health insurance. Great Aunt Gretel just wants us warm and fed and also not living in her house.

We can’t blame her for that.

And this is why we’ll be gentle with our responses when she comes at us. We’ll remind her that we really have thought it through, and we’re really sure this will eventually be a blessing. A weird blessing, maybe. But a blessing none the less.

I understand what might happen here, okay?

Because we’re adults we understand the consequences of our actions, and we have no desire to leave our loved ones in danger or despair. We’re trying to manage the dream and the reality, right?

Right. And that’s why we get our permission slip. This is going to be fantastic.

You can do it, I promise. You can make the changes needed to live your calling and your dream. And maybe one day Great Aunt Gretel will look around at all you’ve changed and smile a little, tiny bit.

We can always hope.

Think you’re stuck in life? Think again!

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I’ve been slowly making my way through My Life in France, by Julia Child and Alex Preud’homme. (If you’ve seen  the movie Julie & Julia, you have a good idea of the book.)  Julia and her Alex, her nephew-in-law, went back through old letters and memories and then transcribed them into a pure delight of a book.

Did you know Julia didn’t move to Paris until she was 36 years old? She didn’t really find her love of cooking until she was 37! Raised in a wealthy Californian family, she grew up with cooks who turned out all sorts of bland American food, so the art of excellent cooking with fresh ingredients was foreign to her. Her love of these things caught her off guard.

She discovered them by taking risks, trying new things, and then working really hard until she perfected them.

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Let’s all be more like Julia, shall we? Let’s try that new recipe or craft project. Let’s start writing that book or planning that trip or designing that new business. It’s never to late to find what we really love, what God has for the next season of our lives.

Don’t be discouraged if early attempts are pitiful and awful and a little bit humiliating. That’s part of the fun! Here’s proof:

The first meal I ever cooked for Paul was a bit more ambitious: brains simmered in red wine! I’m not quite sure why I picked that particular dish, other than that it sounded exotic and would be a fun way to impress my new husband. …In fact, the dinner was a disaster. Paul was unfailingly patient, but years later he’d admit to an interviewer, “Her first attempts were not altogether successful…I was brave because I wanted to marry Julia. I trust I did not betray my point of view.” (pg. 6)

Julia Child cooked brains simmered in wine for her first married meal. And it was ghastly.

If she can goof it up like this, so can we. She eventually became a world-famous chef and now her kitchen is on display in the National Museum of American History.

All because she didn’t give up after that brains-in-wine debacle. So let’s stop with the excuses and get to the next thing God has for us, shall we?