Take Time to Dream - A Letter from Elise

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Dear Sister, 

What is your deepest desire? Take a moment to close your eyes and remember when you experienced a moment of freedom, of pure bliss, that flash in time when everything felt aligned with your whole being. You were created to live in that moment. 

Now, we all know that we don’t live our lives in a state of complete abundance and freedom at every moment of everyday. But I can tell you that one of the keys to knowing and living in Christ’s abundant love is practicing the art of dreaming. 

When I was small, I was really good at dreaming. I would spend my summer hours pouring myself into rich stories, letting the day go by without so much as moving from my reading perch. I would play pretend with my siblings (sometimes much to their chagrin) and craft extensive scenarios where we were travelers in far off places conquering evil. 

But somewhere along the way, my thoughts became preoccupied with more practical notions. I began college, started dating my soon-to-be husband and put aside my dreams of creativity.

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I loved my classes in Philosophy and Theology and eventually decided to attend graduate school for a Masters of Theological Studies.

I loved my time at the John Paul II Institute, but as spring blossomed, a growing feeling in the pit of my stomach told me that something wasn’t quite right.  After two months of discernment, I switched graduate schools and went on to earn a degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins. I’m now blessed enough to be running my own marketing agency. I can honestly tell you I’m living my dreams, ones that I didn’t even know lived within me. 

You see, during my season of questioning, praying and transition three years ago, I realized that there is a difference between “good enough” and “greatness”.  My theological studies were good, they served their purpose, but I was being called to a vocation in life that stretched me into greatness, outside of my comfort zone. 

Sometimes, our imaginations and minds can be so small. Although things might not be perfect, they are “good enough”.  But sister, I beg you, don’t settle for “good enough”. Our Lord didn’t sacrifice His life for “good enough”. He sacrificed His life so that you can live in abundance and hope. He died (Page 3) so that you may live a life beyond your wildest dreams. 

Pope Francis said that, “Each child has a place in God’s heart from all eternity; once he or she is conceived, the Creator’s eternal dream comes true.” If our God dreams, sister, then so must you. 

No matter your state in life, know that you are called to your own unique version of greatness and abundance. Take time to dream again. Awaken the space inside your heart that longs for a life lived fully alive. Abide in His love, knowing that you are His precious dream and dreamer. I can assure you that as you chase your dreams, Christ is right beside you, His heart bursting for joy and cheering you on. 

xo, Elise Crawford

Get to know Elise

Elise Crawford Gallagher is a 26-year-old Entrepreneur, Founder and Creative Director at Ringlet, a digital marketing agency that serves women entrepreneurs and business owners. 

What do the first two hours of your day look like?

Elise Crawford Portrait The Catholic Woman

My best days begin with 15 minutes of meditation, reading the Church’s daily readings and reciting a few affirmations.  I’ve really tired recently to not look at my email or social media until I’ve completed my morning routine. Although I often fail, having boundaries between work and rest has helped me feel a bit more sane. 

Describe your favorite part of your current occupation.

My favorite part of being CEO and Creative Director at Ringlet is the moment when a client sees the results of working with us and improving their marketing. Whether that means they see their social media platforms growing or their product sales double, it’s amazing to feel like I’m a part of another woman’s success. 

Describe one fear or personal challenge that keeps you up at night. 

My fear is that I don’t love enough; that I get way too caught up in work and my own head that I miss crucial opportunities to love my family and friends. 

Tell us about the first time you experienced a strong sense of belonging in the Catholic Church.

The first time I experienced a strong sense of belonging in the Catholic Church was my sophomore year at The Catholic University of America. It was there that I learned what community really means. I became a Resident Minister and had the honor of ministering to other CUA students in my dorm through events and mentoring.

Tell us about a woman you look up to.

Oh gosh, there are way too many to choose from! I would love to be BFF’s with Saint Gianna Molla. I wish I were a student of St. Edith Stein’s. I’m fascinated by the life of St. Hildegard Von Bingen. Presently, I look up to my mom, the strongest woman I know and my younger sister who inspires me to be the best version of myself every single day. 

Favorite literary character (from a book, movie, TV series). Go!

My favorite literary character is Kristin Lavransdatter. I read the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset two years ago and I absolutely fell in love with and was incredibly moved by the story. Sigrid walks the reader through Kristin’s entire life from childhood to death and I have to say, there were many tears shed when I closed the last page of the final book.

The Catholic Woman

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