I’ll admit it. I’m one of those girls who has always dreamed about my wedding day and planned exactly how I wanted it. I’m not kidding when I say that most girls do. We grow up around Disney princess movies, romantic advertisements, and the dream of having the most beautiful wedding ever. Pinterest boards about future weddings are not in short order with us, teenage girls, and most of us think we pretty much have it all planned out by now. As we picture the perfect dress, flowers, and decorations, something else comes to our mind: the engagement. Being proposed to is the stepping stone for any wedding, and someday, it will be one of the greatest days of our life. Girls can’t help but fall in love with the idea of having someone fall in love with them.
Engagement is something we as a society have been taught to look forward to, but in reality, a life of engagement is something we should be embracing now. Being engaged isn’t really about a guy on his knee with a ring, but it’s about living a life in which you go all in.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to attend Timberland, a camp put on by the Sleepy Eye, Marshall, and Tracy FFA Chapters. We spent the week learning about FFA, playing games, enjoying free time, and sitting around the bonfire. It was a week in which I formed countless relationships that mean the world to me, and as the week, came to a close the end of camp banquet and talent show arrived. The night before two girls in my cabin, Lauren and Josie, decided that they were going take part in the talent show performing none other than High School Musical. Now, I’m a huge fan, and I just couldn’t believe that Troy Bolton was going to be at camp. How could this get any better?
The night before I sat on the floor of the cabin and listened to Lauren and Josie sing their hearts out into the best kind of microphones: a hairbrush. I laughed and smiled as they filled the room with joy. Energy is contagious and in that moment, there was nothing truer. As I sat there with a smile on my face, I couldn’t help but notice just how much they were putting into something that someone might think of as “just a camp talent show.” Josie and Lauren didn’t think that way though. They were thrilled to be able to showcase their spunky attitudes, sweet dancing moves, and joyful personalities.
The night of the talent show arrived, and as expected, Josie and Lauren rocked it: they even won. As I watched all of the talent performances that night, I couldn’t help but admire the way that they lived an engaged life. You see, I recently finished an amazing book called, Love Does by Bob Goff. In one of the chapters is a quote that I can’t help but fall in love with. “Being ‘engaged’ isn’t just an event that happens when a guy gets on one knee and puts a ring on his true love’s fingers. Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. I’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light.” The more that I’ve gotten to know these girls, the more I realize how much they exhibit this way of life. They live a life not of mediocrity but a life that is all in.
Living a life that is all in is something I want to do every day: we should all want to. As we enter into a season full of sports practices, FFA meetings, and piles of homework, we are called to not to go half in but all in. To go all in throughout our lives could be going out of our way to help a friend or putting a little extra effort into our homework or maybe even spreading a little more joy than we normally do. Living a life of engagement means to never stop finding ways to show our passion, love, and aspirations. It is about giving everything we have so we can live a life that is never ending with joy: we put everything we have into it. It’s a life in which we do things big. It doesn’t matter what it is. Each person and part of our life is important. Where in your life can you give a little bit more?
These are the parts of our life in which we can look to Josie and Lauren as an example. You see, they showed me that it doesn’t matter where or when. It doesn’t matter if it is a camp talent show or American’s Got Talent. What matters is that we grab ahold of life and put everything we have into it. They taught me that I should never stop showing how much I care and I should always give everything I have. You see, I used to dream about the day someone will propose to me, but now, I am not going to just dream about that one day because I want to live engaged and in love each and every day.
Stationed by the Plow,