In 1994, my daughter, Ashley, graduated from college with a degree in child psychology. Upon graduation she began counseling middle school children, doing her best to help them improve their life. While it was mentally and emotionally rewarding, the financial benefits were not - and she found herself in the unenviable position of having to borrow money to have a reasonable lifestyle. While I was happy to help her out, after a couple of years, I was concerned that she was on a dead-end road.
I told her that the reason that I was in position to help her financially was that I had made some good business decisions and that these ventures were paying off. But, to continue to pay, these ventures were dependent upon my involvement on a day-to-day basis. If I wasn’t around for whatever reason, the flow of funds would dry up. I implored her to either go back to college and get a doctorate degree or consider coming to work for my company and learn the business.
In 1996, Ashley started working for me. She was doing a good job, but after a while, I could tell her heart wasn’t in it. After a father-daughter heart-to-heart talk, she agreed that she really wasn’t happy working for Campen Enterprises.
As her father, and biggest fan, I wanted her to be happy. I know that when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. So I asked her, “WHAT is it that you REALLY want to do? What is your passion in life?”
Without hesitation she said, “I want to be a mom.”
I could tell that she was truly speaking from her heart. And I excitedly responded , “That’s wonderful! I think you should be! You’d make a great mom!”
She quickly reminded me that she wasn’t married, and didn’t even have a boyfriend.
“What I’d really like is to be married to someone I love, have children and raise them in a family environment.” I told her I respected her goals and that she should keep her sights, her energy, and her thoughts fixed on that dream becoming a reality.
Since having a family wasn’t something she would start immediately, I asked, “In the meantime, what else really interests you?”
“I would like to go into modeling,” she said. And that she did. After a few successful modeling jobs, she decided to move to Miami to be more readily available to her agency. Although this was a really exciting time for her, I could always tell that having a family was in the forefront of her thoughts.
Then, in March of 2000, Ashley drove up to Gainesville to attend the Rotary Wild Game Feast. “Ashley,” I said, “you are looking quite ‘spiffy’ if I might say so!” She replied with a smile, “Yes, I know. I’m gonna meet my husband tonight, so I thought I’d dress accordingly!” I just smiled (I loved her optimism!).
As the evening unfolded, she met a handsome young man named Andy. And he was completely taken by her.
After 18 months of courtship, he asked me for her hand in marriage.
Today, they are the parents of a daughter, Maddy, and a son, Carson, both of whom I love very much. And, Ashley is a fantastic mom. Yes, I know, your mom/wife/daughter are fantastic mom’s - but my daughter is just amazing. Her patience, her wisdom, and her ability to turn what could be a bad situation into a good situation are all absolutely astounding. When I am with her and her family, I can see an aura of love and happiness surrounding her. It’s pure joy.
There is a lot to be said for verbalizing your dreams. When you ask for what you want, you set in motion the manifestation process. Asking is like opening the door to an airless chamber. Once you open this door, all of the air will naturally come rushing in.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. - Matthew 7:7”