As a little girl, I loved the beach. Who am I kidding? As a full-fledged adult, I still love the beach! There's just something about the vastness of the ocean, the breeze coming off the water, the sun beaming down—it's one of my favorite places to find much needed rest and relaxation. When I stand on the shoreline and feel the sand under my toes, I can almost see myself as that little Florida girl who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty, her feet wet, and her face sun kissed from a day at the beach.
I used to spend hours on the shores of New Smyrna Beach with my knees in the water and my hands in the sand. Right away, I'd run to the shoreline and start gathering enough wet sand to build one of my famous drip castles. Not to brag, but I was kind of the drip-castle expert in my family. I had mastered the ratio of sand to water needed to create a sturdy castle, and my technique for building was experienced. I knew exactly how high to hold my hand over the shore, when to start dripping the wet sand down to see my castle take shape, and just how high the structure had to be in order to stand.
Those little drip castles were unique because they had staying power. They lasted a lot longer on the shoreline than others. Still, they were only made of sand. No matter how masterful an architect I was, the tide eventually would rise and wash them away. At the end of the day, my family would pack up our car and make the drive home to Orlando. If we were lucky, we'd get back before the sun fully set so my brothers and I could end the day in our other favorite place: the treehouse in our back yard. This wasn't just any old treehouse; this was a treehouse designed and built completely by my amazing dad. In my childhood mind, it was epic (still is, even as an adult). Of course, now I realize what made it so epic was that it was a gift to me and my brothers from our dad. He drew the plans, bought the supplies, and put in what I can only imagine to be many hours of blood, sweat, and tears making sure it was steady and sturdy for us to play.
To ensure its safety (and ours!), my dad started from the bottom and worked his way up. He built that treehouse on a foundation of concrete footings. That way, no matter the intensity of the storm or the power of the winds that might come through our Central Florida city, the treehouse was immovable. Never shaken, never uprooted, never torn down. Because of the foundation, that treehouse stood strong.
There's something true here for all of us—a question worth asking when it comes to purpose. Are you building a drip castle? A creation that will wash away under the weight of high tide? Or are you building a treehouse? A sturdy, unshakeable structure that can't be swayed by anything that comes its way? In other words, are you building your life on a strong foundation? When we build on sand, we can be sure high tide is coming. Because eventually, it always does.
The devastating news on the other end of the phone, the rejection letter from your dream college,
the challenging season of life with young kids,
the financial strain of inflation,
the missed promotion,
the struggle to parent teenagers,
the botched presentation at work,
the shocking transition from a career of work to being retired.
Whatever it is, something is eventually going to show up and threaten the sandy, weak foundation we've built on.
But when we're looking down at the ground from a treehouse built on concrete footings, we can have more confidence to face whatever comes our way. Even with life's winds and rains, we can know we'll stay standing because we're standing on a sturdy foundation.
See, the foundation we build on is the strength we live from. It doesn't matter how great of a life you've built for yourself. If you're not building it on a strong, steady foundation, the risk of being tossed around or uprooted is certain. That's why building on the right foundation is the first step. Before you make another decision, take a new risk, or move in another direction, you've got to know the strength of your foundation. Or, in our case, the strength of your purpose.
Ready to reduce stress and live out of intention? Get your copy of The Strength of Purpose: A Guide to Knowing and Living Your Reason for Being and the accompanying Handbook: The Strength of Purpose Handbook: A Guide for Crafting Purpose, Journaling Progress and Setting Goals To Live Your Reason for Being.
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