Heart Choices: The Little Girl in Me -->

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The Little Girl in Me

The little girl in me is alive and well. I have to laugh. When I look in the mirror, I look older than the way I feel inside.  It's been a long journey but I'm still learning and growing.

I was born with a congenital heart defect.  For seven years, I was sidelined since I couldn't run and keep up with other children.  I loved to color and play with my dolls.  Even at that young age, I was aware of the worried looks and whispers. In my innocence, I tried to be good and not cause any further problems.

Eventually I had successful surgery and my life changed.  I was able to do all things kids my age could do physically.

But the seeds of people pleasing had taken root.  

I made my share of mistakes and had a time of rebellion.  I enjoyed my teenage years.  As I look back, I realize how fortunate I was to have parents who were always willing to listen.  What a gift that can be to a child!

But as I grew older, I wasn't always aware of my true feelings.  I was often on autopilot and knew the expectations.  I tried to meet them in my work and personal life.  At one point in my adult life, I was going through many changes. I tend to dream a lot when facing decisions and change.

Early one morning, I awakened and immediately grabbed my journal so I could write down my dream. I didn't want to forget because I knew it was significant. In my dream I was a dog.  I know ...don't laugh.  

I can almost hear the kids in our preschool class beginning to bark if I told them this story. But back to my dream.

I was swimming underwater. There was some kind of a party going on beside the pool. Eventually, I got out of the water and did what dogs tend to do.  I shook and shook to get the water off. There were many people at this party in my dream and they became quite upset.  As I was shaking, the water was spraying all over them!

Photo Credit
As I pondered this dream, my husband got in on the action. He attempted to interpret it along with me.  I knew I had the tendency to stuff my emotions. I wanted to keep the peace and not create waves. However, inside my head I had many thoughts and feelings but often kept them to myself.  After all, not everyone would approve!

The dog was symbolic of how I thought people would react if I shared what I felt inside.

I can't say that things changed overnight but having that awareness had a profound impact upon me. I've come a long way since that time. I still have a tendency to prefer peace.

But ...I've learned that I have a voice.  

Through my writing and blogging, I'm sharing it with the world. That would have been very scary for me in the past.  After all, not everyone agrees with me.  But as Pete the Cat says in our children's story book ..."that's OK".

I love to share and discuss. I don't like to push my opinions on others.  But as my faith has grown and deepened, I've learned that I'm playing to an audience of one.

Galatians 1:10

New International Version (NIV)
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

So the little girl in me is ...alive and well. She has a voice and is proclaiming it to others.  I invite you on to join me on this journey.  We may not always agree on everything and ...that's OK!  

I'm linking up with Bonnie of The Faith Barista for this Faith Barista Jam.

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Oh, I love dreams for this very reason. They change our perspective and help us realize what we hide from other wise. I'm so glad you have your voice now!

  2. I can certainly identify with parts of this Debbie as I too am a people pleaser and don't want to rock boats or cause issues. But the older and older I have gotten the easier it has been for me to open my heart and mouth and say what I need to say sometimes. Kind of scary, but HE has been faithful and has given me courage when I have needed it most. And your question is a good one....WHO do I want most to please?! God or man? Well, it is definitely God so I need to live that out. Lots to think about here today...Enjoy your day!

  3. I'm so thankful you found your voice, Debbie, and that you speak to us. I'm blessed to read you through your words, but I know you bring huge blessings to those who get to hear you in person too. Love you, friend!

  4. Another great post Debbie! I think it does take a lot of us longer to find our "voice" than others. It has taken me a long time too. Hugs to you this Christmas season!

  5. Dear Debbie
    It is so sorry that so many children grow up with the idea that they need to behave this or that way to please others, especially their parents. I am not advocating disobedience, I just think that children need to grow up with discipline to become a beautiful individual, trusting God for just everything. I am so thankful that you are shaking off your coat and that your birth defect could be fixed. You are such a special lady.
    Blessings XX

  6. Your shaking off water/words touches many and helps bring focus, peace and joy -- peace and prayers to you Debbie!

  7. This is a strong testimony Debbie. Just think of all the changes God has brought about through the years. You are such a blessing to me!

    Love you!

  8. If I had a dream it would be about rocking the boat - and - maybe I would stop trying to keep it balanced - which is what I did growing up - tried to keep people at the o.k. setting.

    Your dream made me think of this - that you were a people pleaser. In the pool, you made people laugh, amused people. When you got out, you revealed your true self - and that just wasn't water - maybe it symbolized the Holy Spirit - and you are shaking into who God made you - and sharing the Holy Spirit - 'cause dogs shake off that water with joyful abandon. Some people will be uncomfortable - but some people need to be shaken out of their comfort zone! I love how God talks to us in dreams!

  9. We speak our piece, let God validate us. Blessings


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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