The Birth of “Life Lessons for my Daughter”: #1 On Failure

Hey parents – Do you remember the times when you’d sit by your grandparents’ side and they’d tell you all the stories of what it was like when they were kids, you know – walking 20 miles in the snow to go to school? I do.

I don’t always remember the lessons but I remember there being a space for them to give it. 

Times are different these days. Not every kid wants to listen to the wisdom of their elders. They’d rather play on their phones.

But it’s not just that. We are living through a pandemic called Covid-19 and interaction is limited, so being able to get wisdom from our grandparents and elders isn’t as easy! My daughter Ellie sees her grandmothers on FaceTime and her grandfathers aren’t alive!!  That brings me to my inspiration for this blog:

“Life Lessons for My Daughter”

This is part of the legacy I want to leave for her. It’s a resource for her to go to and find out what I learned.

Every one of us has gone through things that have taught us life lessons. It’s often not until we get to the other side of them that we realize we learned something. But it’s through these experiences, we grow in ways textbooks could never teach us.

As parents, it’s up to us to decide: Do we want to share our lessons so they don’t have to go through it? Or do we share so that if they go through it, they know they aren’t alone? Either way. It’s up to us to decide. 

That’s why I’ve decided to write this blog, because I believe there is something to be said for authenticity. No, my daughter doesn’t need to know every detail from my past. But she can surely benefit from lessons I’ve learned.

The mistakes I’ve made in life or the experiences I’ve gone through have taught me a lot, and when my daughter goes through them, I want her to be able to refer to wisdom from my experience. It doesn’t mean she’ll follow it. She may do the opposite! But my hope is it will give her some insight on how her mom may have handled it.

Each one of these I share will be on a different topic based on my life experience in some way tied in with some movie or book or something in a kids life that Ellie can look back on and remember what it was about or watch it again. 

You know your kids watch movies or shows and so many of them have lessons but do we really get to pull them out and teach them? How can they remember these lessons so they can take them out to the real world? Well that’s what I hope to do with these.

So here is the first installment. I hope you enjoy it. 

It will be based on the movie Zootopia and be in the form of a letter to my daughter. (You can definitely share it with yours if you’d like when you think they might be ready or need it!)

The lesson here is:

#1: “Why Your Failures Grow You”

Dear Ellie,

I don’t know when you will read this sweetheart. But I can tell you where you are at right now. You turned 19 months today. You’ve been walking and running for months now. But you still fall down sometimes. Yet every time you get back up again. I love to see it as your mommy!

A little while ago we watched the Disney movie, “Zootopia”, and I got an idea for this blog. You loved the theme song, “Try Everything” by Shakira and I loved the lyrics. Here it is in case you need a reminder:

So here’s the lesson I want to teach you:

As I write this, you are growing up into a culture that is consumed with something called “perfectionism”, where people think anything that isn’t perfect isn’t good enough. Weakness isn’t considered something good and failure isn’t something people want to think is beneficial. But here’s the thing. 

Failure is a good thing. Falling down is a good thing. It’s getting back up that makes all the difference. So just know that you will fail in life because you are human. But there is a wonderful thing about your failures. They GROW you. In fact, from them you will find out who you are and what you are made of.

Where it gets tricky is when you feel like a failure. Feeling like a failure can be not fun at all. It can be crippling. So you will have to be careful of making it an identity. So you need to know – your failures don’t define you. 

It’s what you do with them that does. Some people get stuck thinking, “I’m a failure,” because of the feeling of it. Don’t let your temporary feeling or thoughts about it keep you down. Let them motivate you to get back up when you are ready. 

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about playing a sport, running a race, failing a test in school or failing at something you’ve dreamed of doing…you will learn from it.

In the song, “Try Everything,” Shakira sings this in the beginning, 

“I messed up tonight

I lost another fight

Lost to myself, but I’ll just start again

I keep falling down

I keep on hitting the ground

But I always get up now to see what’s next

Birds don’t just fly

They fall down and get up

Nobody learns without getting it wrong

I won’t give up

No, I won’t give in till I reach the end

And then I’ll start again

No, I won’t leave

I want to try everything

I want to try even though I could fail”

Now if you remember the movie, you know the little bunny Judy Hopps goes to Zootopia to become a police officer. She comes from a small town where her parents encourage her to be complacent because then you never have to worry about trying and failing. 

But that’s not who she wants to be. She wants to take risks. She wants to try everything. She does just that by leaving her town and going to the Zootopia police academy where she falls down a lot. But she keeps getting back up. Even when she gets on to the police force in Zootopia, she ends up having a bad first day of work. She puts up this face for her parents over FaceTime that it’s great. But then she turns on some depressing music when she gets off the phone. The guys next door holler through the wall where one says, “Turn off that depressing music!” and the other ones says, “Leave her alone. She feels like a total failure.”

Like I said honey, you are going to have days where you will feel like a failure. But that’s just a feeling. It will pass; like they all do. When you are ready, just get back up and start again, like Shakira sings in the song.

Now, throughout the movie people tell Judy she isn’t qualified. You too will have people in your life who will send this message to you. Here’s what I want you to do when that happens:

First of all, it’s okay to feel the hurt of their words. But don’t let them keep you down. Don’t let the words of others define you or defeat you. Let them teach you about what it means to overcome. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you aren’t good enough. You definitely need to work hard to become who you want to be. You have to start at the bottom with nothing! But the beauty of that is in that space you get to have the space to fail and keep getting back up every time you do.

Sweetheart you can be anything you want. But you aren’t going to be able to be everything you want. So try things that you might like and find out whether they work or not. Like you grandfather always used to say, “Do what you don’t want to do in order to find out what you do want to do.” When you keep trying, you will find there will be different kinds of failures. There will be failures which tell you the road you’re on isn’t the best one. Then there will be failures that will tell you, you are on the right road. Just keep going and getting back up. 

It will be annoying, yes. But there is someone who will help guide you. I will be there some, yes and God will put people in your life to do the same. But the one who will help you the most? God. 

He is the one that is there in all your failures and roads that you go down whether they work or not. He is the one always there when you feel like a failure to remind you to get back up. He will always be there to comfort you and help you get on the right road. But you’ve got to be willing to turn to him. No, it won’t be the cool thing to do. But in the game of life, there is nothing more rewarding.

So when you get to this place –  go here: Scripture.

Let me just give you a few passages…

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NLT

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 NLT

You may not understand these now but I can tell you over time in life, you will realize just how powerful they are because when you feel like a failure, and you don’t believe you can grow? God will help you. So reach out. Build and nurture a relationship with Him if you haven’t and he will never leave you. There is nothing you could do to make him love you any less. He’s loved you and known you since before you were born. Every single failure he wants to use for good. 

So let Him reveal to you life lessons from the failures. Let him grow you. Know that if it failed, He just has another plan; a much bigger and better plan. Trust him. 

Here’s one more thing from the lyrics of this song. They go like this, 

“Look how far you’ve come

You filled your heart with love

Baby, you’ve done enough

Take a deep breath

Don’t beat yourself up

No need to run so fast

Sometimes we come last, but we did our best

I won’t give up

No, I won’t give in till I reach the end

And then I’ll start again

No, I won’t leave

I want to try everything

I want to try even though I could fail

I won’t give up

No, I won’t give in till I reach the end

Then I’ll start again”

As you continue on your life journey, you will often see how far you’ve come and that’s a beautiful thing. Then you will have times where you will have a tendency to beat yourself up. That’s okay. You are human. It’s another thing God can help you with when you do. You will also come last sometimes and that is absolutely okay. That’s life. Just keep doing your best and getting back up when you fail. Keep trusting God is with you in it and he will show you which way to go – if you let Him. 

Don’t give up honey. God’s got you and if you need a little reminder or a little something to get you out of a funk, just click on that song from the movie and dance it out!!! Mommy loves you honey. I hope this lesson helped you!! Love, your Mama


  1. Angela Wilson on February 15, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    I have a daughter also and am so blessed she turned out as awesome as she did. It sounds like your girl is pretty amazing too!

    • Meredith Terpeluk on February 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm

      Awesome!!! She is, can’t wait to see how she blossoms! Love her older sisters too!

  2. zortilo nrel on April 9, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Hello there, simply became alert to your weblog thru Google, and located that it is really informative. I’m gonna be careful for brussels. I will be grateful should you continue this in future. Numerous other folks will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    • Meredith Terpeluk on April 19, 2021 at 3:17 pm

      Well, thank you! I’m glad you appreciate it and you left a comment!

  3. zortilo nrel on April 13, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly since I was searching for thoughts on this issue last Sunday.

    • Meredith Terpeluk on April 19, 2021 at 3:08 pm

      Well, I’m glad you found it just when you were supposed to find it!

  4. zortilo nrel on October 31, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    I truly appreciate this post. I¦ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

  5. Overhead Door Spring Repair Stillwater on January 6, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Hi my family member! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all significant infos. I’d like to peer more posts like this .

  6. zomeno feridov on March 19, 2022 at 7:55 am

    Thanks for helping out, superb information.

  7. Europa Road on May 16, 2022 at 8:52 am

    I simply had to say thanks once more. I’m not certain the things that I might have used without these ideas contributed by you over my topic. Entirely was the distressing condition in my circumstances, however , being able to see your skilled style you dealt with it made me to leap over gladness. Now i am grateful for your assistance and in addition pray you really know what a powerful job your are providing training men and women via a web site. I am sure you have never met all of us.

  8. zorivareworilon on June 30, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    very nice put up, i certainly love this web site, carry on it

    • Meredith Terpeluk on July 6, 2022 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you!

  9. Europa Road on July 20, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    I believe this site holds some real superb information for everyone. “The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.” by Aristotle.

  10. what is the best cryptocurrency to invest in on September 12, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  11. what is the best cryptocurrency to invest in on September 13, 2022 at 12:37 am

    Just what I was looking for, appreciate it for putting up.

  12. catering menu tallahassee on October 13, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my website 🙂

Leave a Comment