Let Them Dream

When I was little, I loved to talk.

My relatives commented how I yakked “on and on and on”. My teachers said I talked too much. Sometimes I even talked while they were talking. (I thought what I had to say was way more interesting!)

In high school I loved speech class. In college I talked a lot. In fact, my college boyfriend (now hubby) said one of the things he loved most about me was how I could work a room, make the shy ones feel included; how I could talk to both the college president and the grocery store clerk up to Hutch’s Food Center.

Then, about three days into our honeymoon he wondered, “When is she ever gonna shut up?”


Today, I get paid to talk.

6-year-old Kenna with 3-year-old brother Mitchell. She dolled herself up and made him wear a hat too. :) We were only going to the grocery store.

As a little girl, our daughter Kenna loved anything to do with fashion. Dress up clothes. Sparkly lip gloss. The gaudy fur coat she got as a hand-me-down from the neighbor girl. Bell bottom jeans.

She also loved to cut hair. Her doll’s hair. Her best friend Annie’s hair. {Yikes!}

My fashion-plate girl used to embarrass me a little. The flamboyant, creative side of her didn’t always mesh with the very conservatively dressed little girls usually donning denim or khaki skirts we often were around. These girls were dear friends (and many of them still are) and I have absolutely no problem with their choice of attire.

It was just that our out-of-the-box girl didn’t “fit in” when it came to clothing. And so? Well, I thought we should make her.

My husband did not.

My wise man said, “Let her express herself.” As so we did.

We let her dream.

We noticed early on that she not only loved fashion and hair, but also people (especially kids), adventure, missions, talking (apple–meet tree) and rooting for the underdog. We tried our best to provide opportunities for her to do all of these things. (Even got a set of clippers for her to cut her two baby brothers’ hair into buzz cuts!)

Getting a cut and blow dry from my girl over spring break.

That little fashioista girl is now a 21-year-old stylist in a top salon in Charlotte, NC (some stylists from their salon have done hair and make up for some major motion pictures!)

She is also a part-time nanny, the “announcement chick” at the church she and several friends just planted in uptown, and an adventurous, traveling, missions-minded woman. (Mission trips to Germany the past two summers. Last year she traveled to Italy and Germany all alone! Yes, the knees on my jeans got worn out from praying.)

Do you have a child who doesn’t fit the mold? Or one who has an interest or passion already? Let them dream. If their loves are not against scripture (just maybe a little against the crowd) give them opportunities to explore, to try, to dabble.

They might just end up serving Jesus, working in a really cool career and giving you free haircuts.


  1. Karen ~ This bought tears to my eyes! I was always the girl that “yakked on and on” (and still do) and I am pretty sure my husband wondered the same thing on our honeymoon ;) We don’t have kids of our own, but instead have nieces and nephews that we love to pieces and this makes me think of them and how they each strive to be their own person and a little out of the box. Thanks so much for sharing and touching my heart in a special place today!

  2. Karen – this is so good! My girl (5) is a bit out of the box. Very creative and much less structured than I. It scares me at times but I want so badly to embrace every bit of her. Thank you for this encouragement!

  3. I have an out of the box daughter as well. She is now the owner of a hair salon, so I am so grateful for the free hair as well.
    My eight year old grand daughter is a lot like her auntie, she always adds something to her outfit that stands out a little and somehow she can pull it off. I love it. God give them that little extra flair that works for them.

  4. Wonderful reminder to a Mommy of a 3 year old who likes to take a mic and loudly, errr I mean passionately, preach about Jesus being God’s son while the other boys play with super heroes and sports. I love you! And I’m getting a haircut from Kenna next time she’s in town!

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