The Day The Earth Moved: A love letter to my children

The Day The Earth Moved: A love letter to my children

I could feel the earth move under my bare feet. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide as I watched our granny flat begin to shake violently from side to side. The sound like a thunderclap accompanied the first warning that an earthquake had just hit Newcastle.

The Day The Earth Moved: A love letter to my children

The wooden boards of the old weatherboard flat slapped and rattled against each other as I tried to comprehend what was happening all around me. Everything seemed to move in slow motion, and the sounds and the feelings lasted for what seemed to be minutes. Having never experienced an earthquake, I had no reference point to compare it with.

When the noise subsided, I raced past the granny flat and back into the house. The electricity was off and the phone was dead. I ran to where my son had been sleeping in his cot, and seeing that he hadn’t stirred I then rushed from room to room checking for any damage.

Fortunately we hadn’t been at the epicenter, or else our old weatherboard house would have been a heap of rubble. In a matter of seconds the Steel City had been shaken to its foundations. Any fault or weakness in any building was exposed for all to see; sometimes with devastating results. The tragedy that struck in a split second would take years to rebuild.

Children, my desire is to help build into your lives some solid foundations. The two most important things I can help you discover are wisdom and understanding. Many lives look all right on the outside, but true strength of character is unveiled when a tragedy or a challenge strikes. It is much easier to prepare, than it is to repair. It is so much better to build, than it is to rebuild. In the letters that follow, I’ll share numerous stories with you. I pray that they will plant in you a desire to win, a willingness to dare, and the courage to dream.

I want you to succeed and prosper. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. Learn from them, dust yourself off, and press on with a little bit more experience under your belt. To be taught, you need to be willing to learn. With that attitude you’re destined to win.

Find out what gift God has planted in your lives, and then use it. Go with your strengths.

Learn this while you’re young, and it will put you light years ahead of those around you. The greatest discovery any man or woman can make is what purpose they’ve been born for, and then to pursue it with a passion.

In your pursuit, don’t forget to always love people. Forgive them whenever they let you down. Amidst the scraps of life never forget to love them. Sometimes the greatest investment you can put into another life is a smile or a kind word, a note, a hug or a gift. Live to give.

It doesn’t have to be anything of great expense, but the act of giving will touch a life, and could change it forever.

I want to give of myself to you in these letters. So many people, when they’re dead and gone, leave their children a bit of real estate, a few investments and a bill for the funeral. The graveyards are full of those who never left a lasting legacy. I, for one, want to leave you with love and wisdom that can act as a guide to you throughout the raging seas of life. A lifeboat or two may come in handy if things ever get a bit rough.

Life is a struggle. Unfortunately we haven’t been born into a perfect world. You’re going to have to fight for everything you’ve got. The greatest freedom that we have in this country, within the guidelines of the laws of the land, is that we are free to pursue our dreams. Free to be our own boss. Free to fail or succeed. Free to pursue our own personal dreams. Free to have our own goals. It’s a responsibility, but it’s a freedom that I wish for you.

Dream your own dreams. Fight your own fight. Get a vision for your life that will stir your heart.

It really doesn’t matter to me what you choose to do with your lives, as long as you use your strengths and enjoy life. Make sure that what you do doesn’t cause harm to those around you, but at the same time have a ball! Risk if you want to risk. Dare if you want to dare. Be different. Swim upstream. Step out of the boat. Walk on the water of life. You’re in good company as you walk by faith. Yes walk by faith, not by sight.

Dream big dreams. Love much. Always take time for those closest to you. Work hard, but never be too busy to smell the roses. Walk along the beach. Feel the sand between your toes. Search for shells. Touch a starfish. Fish a while. Kick a ball. Ride a bike.

Fly a kite. Paint a picture. Sing a song. Dance a dance. Dig a garden. Whatever you do, never lose the excitement of a new discovery.

Never lose the childlike spirit within you.

While at the library last night, I found a book that was dealing with the exact subject I’m currently working on. I was so excited that I was like a child in a candy shop. I love to discover things. If there is anything I want to instill in you, it’s the love of books and the love of learning. Did you know that the two things that will make a profound difference in your lives are the books you read and the people with whom you associate? Choose winners and make them your friends. Read plenty of books about great men and women. Learn from them, and apply the principles you draw from their lives. There’s no reason for repeating mistakes that have been made by those before you.

The best mistakes to learn from are the ones others have made. You’ll still make your own mistakes, but by studying and associating with winners, you can reduce the odds.

Regarding friends, look for quality rather than quantity. The secret to making friends? Be friendly. Friends will come and go, but there will be a few close ones who will stick with you for a lifetime. To keep good friends, continue to invest in them on a regular basis. Be positive. Be available. Forgive and love on them continually.

Well, it’s getting late and I’ve got to go to bed. There’s so much that I want to share with you, but a bit at a time will do. Sleep well. My prayers are with you. May sweet dreams be yours tonight.

With much love…