Tag Archives: God

The Cost of Dreaming

30 Jan

photo from soul meets body

So I was looking back over my wishes for 2012 and saw that I wrote, on this very blog, that I would live to cross 15 of the 25 remaining items off of The List this year. That’s 15 things in 12 months. Or, more accurately since I haven’t accomplished any this month, 15 things in 11 months. Holy crappers, people, that’s a lot of things to do!

As I look over my list, the thing that strikes me most is that crossing things off my list is going to cost me. Why didn’t that occur to me, in a real dollars and cents way, before now? A and I do just fine, thankyouverymuch, but most of our money isn’t liquid. As A likes to put it, we’re house-poor. Even more so with our water heater basically exploding last week. The more I work on crossing off the list, the more I realize that even having a list means accepting cost. It has a tangible monetary cost, but it also costs time, it costs effort, and I can see why people put off their dreams because, at the end of the day, dreaming is costly.

A few months ago I was at a lecture by Kathi Lipp where she talked to women about finding their dream. One of the things I remember her saying the most was (and I’m heavily paraphrasing here) that lots of women don’t know how find their dreams, and those who do let the excuses of time or money get in the way of pursuing their dreams. My 30 before 30 list is an excercise in dreaming, and there’s no way I’m going to get 15 things crossed off in the next year, let alone 25 in two, if I don’t plan for it. Make the time, set aside the money, and just balls-to-the-wall go for it, baby.

When A and I decided it was time to put aside excuses and have me start Christian counselling, we did it not knowing where the money was going to come from. All we knew was that we’d prayed for assistance, it hadn’t come, but that we’d waited long enough and it was time. After we took the leap and I started meeting with a counsellor, the financial help appeared. Our prayers were answered. But we had to take the leap first.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that was a special case. I don’t think God’s going to show up if I pray hard enough for the money to appear so A and I can learn to make sushi. My point it that dreaming takes planning, intention, and making a choice to go for it, come what may. So this month I’m starting a 30 Before 30 fund. I’m lucky enough to work at a job where I get reimbursed a bit for the endless amount of commuting I do. With A’s blessing I’m now going to save up my mileage and designate it my dream fund – a little bit above and beyond our normal income that I can put towards my dreams guilt-free. But if I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t let that stop me. I’d find another way to cut a corner: forego my Friday latte, reduce my cell phone’s data plan, nix Netflix, something. Because as nice as those little luxuries are, they’re nothing compared to seeing a dream become reality and being able to look back and say “yeah, I did that. I went for it.”

If you’re waiting on someone to hand you the golden ticket to  make all your dreams come true, I have three words for you: Get Over It. No one will care more about your dreams than you will. No one has the capacity to make them happen like you do. No one else will hunger to see them come to life, and darn the cost. Because it will cost you: effort, time, willpower, maybe even money, but as someone working through her own mini-bucket list I’m here to tell you that it’s worth every bit of it.

So that’s my pledge for this next chapter of my life: to go forward with no excuses. If I can’t afford it, I’ll save up or find a way to make it happen for less. If I don’t have time, well, we always make time for that which is most important to us, don’t we? If I don’t have the drive, I have a friends and a loving husband to help keep me accountable. I’ll be intentional, and make it happen.

Do you ever let outside forces stand in the way of your dreams?

Counting Blessings

25 Jan

We all have two families. One we were born into, and one made up of people God put in our path.

I am the big sister, the oldest grandchild. I do everything first. I’m first to be married, should be first to have a baby. The next generation is only a glimmer in my husband’s and my eyes – an unformed hope for the future – so far. But I have kids, lots and lots of kids that bless me by letting me into their lives.

There’s my niece, who draws pictures that show I’m more glamorous in her imagination than in real life, gives full-body hugs, and has a laugh that lights a room. My nephew, the surfer-blonde who is crazy talented and is learning to play by the rules so he can be free to do what he loves. The mad-scientist brothers who we are convinced will someday try for world domination. The two little boys who are obedient to a fault and know they unequivocally loved by their parents. And my high schoolers. The ones I have, the ones that have moved away. The ones whose hurts are larger than life. Whose dramas are epic, yet last only an instant. The ones who share my spontaneity and will drive with me to LA and back in a day to ride a roller coaster. The ones who are solid and secure in who they are, and the ones who try on a new identity daily. The ones I love, who force me to grow the more I care for and mentor them.

I have a huge family that I was blessed to be born into that I love. But I love my God-given family just as much, and thank Him for choosing me to be so blessed.

Friendship (And Other Concerns)

11 Jan

Have you ever had a moment where you’ve gotten a glimpse into a simple truth from a completely random source? A funny thing happened to me the other night. Not funny “ha ha,” but funny “huh.”

photo from alison tyne photography on etsy

A few of my girlfriends decided to form an impromptu virtual book club because we’d all been tweeting about how awesome The Hunger Games are. We were sitting around discussing the books, having a great time, and decided that the club needed to keep going. For that to happen we needed another book. We were all throwing out titles of books we’d read or heard were good, and Lady D. brought up a book she’d been thinking about reading: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. And something funny happened. As soon as we heard the title, every lady at that table said with one breath “oh my gosh, yes!” No, we weren’t saying we were into reading the book (though I have read it since then, and it is very funny), we all had the same reaction because at one time or another – probably more often than we care to admit – we’ve had that fear.

To be honest, I was completely shocked. I’d thought that was my fear. I looked around the room at all these beautiful women, women who I look up to, who have struggles and fears, sure, but who always seem to have it all together. Women who have fabulous tailored wardrobes and don’t struggle to find the right balance of accessories. Women who don’t call their friends after they’ve had too much wine to say how much they love them because they’re worried that no one cares. Women who look like the type of girl who could get a handful of friends together at a moment’s notice because everyone wants to hang out with her. And they all worried that everyone was hanging out without them, like I do? Shocked.

Not long ago I decided to get some wise counsel because I was feeling insecure. I realized that, after years of work and study, I’d learned to accept love from God and I learned that I was worthy of the love of my husband. But for some reason, I still felt like having friends was a fluke. Not all the time, but sometimes, I feel like an imposter who is living someone else’s life, and as soon as I do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing people are going to realize their mistake and won’t want to be my friend any longer. It’s a horrible insecurity for a 99% secure person to have, and I needed some help to get my mind to go somewhere positive when I started feeling insecure. My wise and wonderful therapist gave me some great advice, but nothing drove the stupidity of my insecurity home more acutely than seeing all these amazing women exclaim as one because they recognized themselves in a clever book title.

On New Life Live the other day, Dr. Henry Cloud told a caller with a question about excessive worry something along the lines of “you can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from nesting in your hair.” So simple, so Philippians 4: 6-8. It’s what I did when I was learning to love God, refused to entertain the persistently knocking thoughts that said I’m not good enough for Him to love me. It’s what I did when I learned to love A, brushed away the thoughts that clung like cobwebs, saying that I didn’t deserve the love he was offering. So here are thoughts that I will work on letting fly over my head, like a nasty sea-gull that I would never dream of holding on to long enough for it to build a nest:

If people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.

It’s A that people want to hang out with, I’m just the tag-along.

My friends are hanging out and I’m not invited. Do they not like me? Are we really friends? (This one is has been especially popular lately, thanks to twitter.)

People don’t get my humor and think I’m weird.

I’m too much sometimes, I need to be more like everyone else. (That one makes me laugh when I think about it, I love being uniquely me! But it still rears its ugly head sometimes…)

If I didn’t call/text/reach out to people no one would ever hang out with me.

No one really cares.

Fly away, crazy thoughts. You make no sense, you make me sad, and in the light of day you aren’t real. I won’t let you steal my joy. I am loved by many, and even if I wasn’t, I am loved by God. And that’s more than enough.

Do you ever let thoughts you know aren’t true get you down? There’s healing in sharing, my friends. Say it out loud, and know you’re not alone.

2012 – The Year of Living Intentionally

4 Jan

 

photo from goawaycomeback on tumblr

in·ten·tion – noun
1. the act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.
2. the end or object intended; purpose

For the past two years my blogging friend, Katie of Cakes Tea and Dreams, has inspired me with the idea of holding on to one little word for a year. This is the first year my blog has been in a position where I can publicly give voice to mine. I’m not big on new year’s resolutions, as I prefer to set goals and dream big on my birthday. But I appreciate the simplicity of giving a name to a year, of distilling all your hopes and wishes for the following 366 days into one little word. So this year my one little word is “Intention.”

This word is actually a declaration of all that I wish I’d accomplished in 2011. As I may have mentioned before, 2011 was a year where A and I looking down on ourselves from above, seperate and circling our own lives in a holding pattern. We had great plans for moving forward, for working on our marriage, our finances, our faith walks, but due to setbacks, business, and basically getting hit from all sides we did nothing. Nada. But hey, 2011 could have seen us ending up in so much worse shape than just being in stasis; given the relational alternatives stress can have on a marriage, I’ll take maintaining any day. But this year will be different. I will be different. I won’t be stuck in a holding pattern, I will be intentional.

Here is what I intend to work towards:

  • Pursuing the Lord’s heart like I did when I first loved Him
  • Moving into a season of greater spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband
  • Moving forward with the ministry God’s put in front of me
  • Making the most of the relationships I have, and taking time to nurture them
  • Tackling some of the harder things on The List, especially the ones that scare me
  • Having more people over for dinner, and not letting time/stress/money get in the way of my love of being a hostess
  • Finding ways beyond words to show people that I love them
  • Buying locally as much as possible
  • Finding fun, creative ways to get together with friends that don’t revolve around food
  • Reading challenging, empowering, quality books instead of solely feeding my brain a mental fast food diet of chick-lit
  • Putting my health first and making the time to exercise

That’s my word, that’s my plan, and hopefully that’s my 2012.

If you were to choose a word for 2012, what would it be? If you blog about it, drop me a line and let me know!

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