Hidden Dreams

I think we all have some untapped passions in us. There’s a side of us that we have that plays out from time to time, but we never see it until we go after something that almost falls into our laps.

If you had told me three years ago that thing would be women’s ministry at church I would have never believed you. But if you ask me to stop and consider it–how I love connecting women to each other, I love talking about real life and why our stories matter and how I care so deeply about the relationship between people and church–it starts to make more sense.

A little over a year ago, I jotted down some dreams for what women’s ministry could look like. In the middle of the night I wrote down all sorts of thoughts and ideas, never thinking it would amount to anything. I shoved that notebook back into a drawer and didn’t give it much thought. I didn’t think it was my thing or that I was the right person for the job. Months later I came across an opportunity that I had to bring up. I wanted to shake it and go on pretending it didn’t matter much to me, but it did.

I’m excited to tell you we are less than a week away from a women’s event that I’ve been helping plan at church. And oddly enough, a lot of it is in line with those hopes and dreams I wrote down ridiculously late that one night. There’s still a bit to do, but I’m eager to see how it might impact those that attend (if you’re reading this and local, please consider yourself invited)! While I might not have wanted to claim this part of me previously, I know now that it is a huge passion of mine. It may take a different form than others, but it is something I’m so glad I pursued.

 

IF Promo Video from Lifepointe Church.

I believe God gives us dreams and passions for a purpose. I’m still learning and discovering what mine are, but I know they are intended for use. So even though I didn’t realize this was something I would be involved in, I kept putting those different skills and loves into practice and tried to stay open to what that might mean down the line. Anyone else had a similar story? Found yourself in the midst of something you never would have imagined and then looked around and realized it all suddenly made sense?

 

31 Days: Finding Self | Moving Peaces

This post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

That Thing You Do

That Thing You Do

That Thing You Do | Moving Peaces

There’s a reason I don’t usually blog on Fridays. By the end of the week, the last thing I want is to be tied down to something I have to do or manage. No one needs chores on a Friday. I’d rather sit on the porch to watch the rain or finally catch up on some reading or just have a good long conversation with my husband.

But I thought you loved writing? Oh, I do.

The thing is, we have different priorities and different interests. Just because I love writing doesn’t mean I always want to do it. Sometimes I have to force myself into keeping up with the discipline but other times, it’s worth pursuing another facet of my life.

I think it’s easy to get caught up in thinking “this is my THING!” and therefore pour all of ourselves into it. There’s a time and a place for that…but it’s not all the time and all the places.

Having a “thing” we do, whether it’s running a business or writing a book or playing music or climbing the corporate ladder or chasing a dream is not bad. But when it becomes our only thing, other areas in our life suffers. I’ve met so many incredibly talented musicians and painters and start-up company owners and otherwise who are crazy successful in their respective fields. But past that one thing, maybe their relationships with others are severely strained–be it in their marriage, with their children or with former friends. Or they find themselves with incredible debt because they became so focused or infatuated with a dream that they neglected to realize its cost. Or their health and mental/spiritual/physical well-being were simply out of control. Life was too far off balance.

They felt justified because someone was saying, follow your dreams with all your heart. But they misunderstood and followed only one dream without stopping to consider the consequences that one dream would have on all of the other ones.

So if you find yourself buried too deep into one thing, stop for a minute. Take a breath and take a look around. Is this really where you want to be going? Where is this ultimately going?

I’m constantly having to check myself to see where I’m actually putting my time, energy and resources to see where it leads. Sometimes it seems to be in the right direction and other times, it’s clear that it is completely out of line with who I want to be.

 

31 Days: Finding Self | Moving PeacesThis post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October.
To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

Behind the Blogging

Sun's Behind a Rock

This is my blog post about blogging. It’s about dreams and big goals that are scary to exclaim to the world. Maybe I’ll fail or maybe I’ll succeed.

I’ve had several blogs dating all the way back to high school at this point. I also have a bad habit of starting a blog relating to some life event and then dropping off after I finished traveling or got married. This blog started when we first started working towards a cross-country move but after we moved and somewhat settled in, I knew it was time to hold onto it. Writing is second-nature to me, but I still have to sit down and actually do it. I have to will myself to find something to write about and have to consider writing to an audience not just to a diary. As I felt the lull in this blog, I instead implemented the Thursday Three posts to prompt something each week.

So just to make it all official, I wanted to inform you that my blog is different. It’s been a work in progress for a couple months now, and I’m still working on creating different categories and pages, subscriptions and eventually, a more custom design. But for now, I’m happy to have the freedom and flexibility to explore.

How did this come to be? Well, I hate to admit this but I’ve worked at a few different web/design/marketing agencies among some fairly talented web developers for years, but I was too scared to ask for help. There was a part of me that was too proud to ask, figuring it was such a small thing that I should be able to figure out on my own. The other part of me reasoned that they had better things to do in their free time and my little tiny blog was not worth bothering them about. Recently however, a friend (who happens to be a talented designer/developer) asked me about my blog and what I wanted to do with it. I told her about some of the limitations I was facing and she simply said, “I can do that.” I was so grateful to her for all of her help getting me set up and practically bouncing up and down when she told me. Just like that my world opened up, and I decided this was my opportunity to go for it. To truly go for it.

While I complained about some of my limitations in the past, they also made me feel safe. I didn’t feel like I had to keep up with blogging or really challenge myself to grow. I knew I could stay there, not try and it would never count as a failure. My small number of readers was fine because then I didn’t have to push to promote it or share it with the outside world. I felt comfortably sheltered in my bubble of friends who read it because that meant I didn’t have to completely face the reality of putting myself out there. But when it comes down to it, if I don’t commit to it, I’ll never really know what I am capable of as a writer or as a blogger.

As I (hope to) grow, there’s a few other things I’ve begun to consider. I want to find my voice and identity as a blogger, yet maintain the authenticity that comes from just jotting down the first things that come to mind from time to time. I want to be a bigger part of the blogging community by actually engaging with the many blogs I read on a regular basis. Likewise, I hope to engage more with my own readers and also further my reach through blogging. Maybe one day I’ll have ads or sponsored posts, not just to drive you crazy but to further push myself to discover and define my voice as a writer.

Last year at a conference, everyone in the audience was encouraged to write down a creative dream or goal. Personally and professionally, I was at a weird place but a true dream of mine still managed to seep out. My dream? “Writing on a large platform about life, pointing to God and healing hurt for others.”

So there it is. My goal is no longer the secret that it has been for the last year. I want what I write to matter–my lessons learned to help someone and my silly stories to encourage someone. I want to inspire and support someone. Here I am now, facing the world with my thoughts and ideas, struggles and candor. And I’m asking you to join me. To share it with others and to stick with me along the way.

Dreaming Dreams

The other night I got together with a friend. She recently relocated and is spending some time trying to figure out what’s next in life. There’s so many directions her life could go and it’s exciting. It’s also a mix of crazy and sometimes scary that there are so many possibilities, but it was great to hear she’s taking the time to sort it out.

Sometimes we’re encouraged to consider our dreams. To seek them out, to pursue them. I think it’s important to acknowledge and write them down and assess what you’re dreaming about. What’s also important though is to hear the dreams of the people around you. What are your co-workers aiming for? Where do your neighbors see themselves in five years? And what do your friends wish and hope and pray for?

I think knowing someone’s dreams and hopes and goals allows you to connect with them in entirely new ways. You begin to understand more of what makes them tick, why certain things can come as an excitement or disappointment. There’s hopes I know some of my friends have, but I don’t think I sit back often enough and just ask the question of what are you dreaming about? 

Earth Shattering

As I lay on the couch surrounded by tissues and cold remedies, watching yet another documentary on Netflix, I am guessing you are not jealous at all of my “adventures.” Oh yeah, let’s also remember to add the fact that I am currently searching for a job. Living the life.

Okay, so maybe my life isn’t awe-inspiring today. Despite a move without security, some bold decisions and my proximity to the mountains, here I am, struggling to breathe out of my nose. Impressive, huh? Maybe paying the bills and doing dishes is inevitable. So succumb to the mediocrity? No. But don’t be inhibited by it either.

I think sometimes we can let passion and excitement get away from us. We start dreaming of greatness and impact. The vision can seem so clear in our minds. It’s awesome, too. We need that vision, that drive, that passion. But when life throws something more mundane our way, we can get completely thrown off track. For some, that means not ever dealing with the chores and responsibilities of life in order to keep on towards the dream. For others, it amounts to being bogged down so much by the monotony that we lose sight of the dream. Both are terrible pitfalls.

We have to fight through both to achieve anything. And the word is fight. It can’t happen without insane effort and perseverance. I’m also of the belief that it can’t all happen at once and it can’t all happen (more on that later). There’s going to be lulls and there will be peaks. But I truly think that consistency makes all the difference. The continual push, the major and minor decisions. Keep pressing forward.

Dreams from the Past

Going through old emails yesterday, I ran across one written to a friend a little over two years ago telling her my hopes and dreams. At the time I think I wrote it mostly on a whim about the things that first came to mind. When I realized then how accurate it was, I forwarded it to the hubby and apparently sent it to myself as a reminder. Now, many of those still ring true. I can’t say that we’ll do all of these things, but it seems to fall in line with what I mentioned as heart stirs a few months ago. It reminds me how important it is to dream and inspires me to keep striving for these.

Live in another country for a year, visit South America, move out of the Midwest, be a good mom (LATER), be a great wife, visit the gum wall… among traveling the country and hitting up a few other places (list of places to visit/revisit in the next five years: Seattle, Boston, D.C.,… that’s all I can think of right now), run a successful freelance studio, play a show at a coffee shop (playing my songs), see the hubby finally pull his own band together, be foster parents, work at a non-profit I believe in and give God my whole heart.

(p.s. We leave for D.C. today…didn’t even realize I had put it on the list a few years ago)