Thoughts on a thriving life.
I have a memory of a feeling. It’s the feeling of being stuck, drowning in mire of what is. Waking up in a life I thought I wanted and wondering why I felt death rather than joy. Forcing the feeling of happiness, but numbness obstructing my soul from feeling anything at all.
I look back at the snapshots of that life and it was beautiful from the outside, a happy couple, two beautiful and healthy boys, a comfortable home, and good family and friends. Life was full of good things but inside I felt lost in my own life.
And then that life was gone. The happy couple became individuals, the home was sold and yet, here I sit four years later on a rainy Saturday morning and the snapshot of my life profoundly different but joy dances in my heart and into the rhythms of my life.
Four and a half years ago, I woke-up to the truth that I can either let life happen to me or I can choose to live the life I’m created for, a life that is more then just surviving each day. God knew what He was doing when He made me. I am not an accident and nor are the gifts and talents He has given me. And neither are you.
This fall, I was given the challenge of writing down my impossible dream. First thought, “No way!” There is a reason the dreams hold the labeled “impossible!” To give voice to these dreams would mean I wanted them. Burried deep within me kept them safe and secret. If no one knew, then I could not fail.
I avoided the task like I do with everything else I don’t want to do. I stayed busy. I cleaned the bathroom. I baked. I went for runs. I did homework duty with passion, drove taxi between football and soccer practices and when I could no longer run away from it, I sat down late one night and started writing.
The first sentence was hard. The second one easier and then it started to flow out of me. I didn’t stop to read what I’d written and if the absurdity of what I was dreaming threatened my writing, I pushed through and kept writing. I laughed out loud at some of the ideas that came out and cried tears for others that felt absolutely impossible. And then I walked away from it.
A few days later, I met with a life coach I was working with. She asked if she could read my dream to me. Nervousness immediately filled my heart nevertheless a very hesitant yes came out of my mouth. As Melissa read my dream, tears streamed down my face as I heard the beautiful reality that was living inside me. And really as she read, that’s what it became, not a dream but a reality. When I wrote down what seemed impossible, when I gave voice to the dreams inside, I made the first step in knowing the next place to move in creating life from the core of who I am and not from the perfect picture I spent years hiding behind.
To dream is to dare to live life to the fullest. To give voice to the dreams is the first step in the possibility of impossible dreams.
Its been a few months since I first wrote my impossible dream. I am starting to see pieces of this new reality show up in my life and guess what…its absolutely beautiful.
We just returned home from a weekend of camping. For three beautiful days we were surrounded by beauty in the tall beautiful evergreen trees that shaded our campsite and in the people who surrounded us. It refreshed my soul in so many ways.
One sunny afternoon we headed to the lake for an afternoon of swimming. A dock off the swimming area offered a perfect place for leaping into the cool water. I watched as my oldest tentatively tested the waters. It started with a simple leap off the edge and quickly progressed into a full on run and jump into the water. He would bound out of the water with pure delight dancing all over his being and do it again and again and again.
Watching him reminded me of the importance of jumping. I am one who likes to be in control of my surroundings, to know what I'm supposed to do and what the outcome is going to be. Watching my son reminded me that its not so much how you jump but simply that you jump. Its okay to start small and as you test the waters, your small jumps can turn into giant leaps. But playing it safe and staying on the shore prevents us from the pure and absolute joy that comes when we jump in with both feet!
I'm choosing, once again, to break-up with fear.
Fear sneaks its way into my mind and heart in such innocent ways.
A small nudge here, a whisper over there and soon I stand petrified to walk any further.
I have a big decision to make.
Its a decision that I have been anticipating for awhile
but one that brings about a lot of change for me and for my two boys.
There are a lot of unknowns in this decision.
I will be choosing to let go of things that are comfortable and safe for an unfamiliar path.
As this decision becomes more of a reality,
I am coming face to face with the fear that is taking up residency in my heart.
Here's where fear really gets me.
I'm a rational thinker.
I think through decisions, way the risk, and asses the outcome.
I like the decisions where I can pretty much predict the result.
Often times this process produces very healthy decisions that
produce healthy outcomes for me and my family.
But not always. I was reminded this week of the quote,
"Courage does not follow rutted pathways."
I stumbled across this quote a few years ago and have often thought on its simple truth.
Living life wholeheartedly means embracing life with a courageous spirit.
It means living not in fear but embracing the bumps, ruts,
and sometimes dark shadows life brings our ways.
I have been challenged this week by the question...
"What would you choose if fear was not a part of the decision?"
If fear was out of the equation...
I'd jump in with both feet and experience it with all of my heart.
I would take the steps into the rutted and bumpy path rather than stay where its safe.
I would live the adventure with joy and I would rest in peace knowing I am right where I'm suppose to be, not dependent on myself but rather dependent upon the One who created me, knows the number of hairs on my head, and has promised me "beauty for ashes."
"I prayed to the Lord and He answered me,
freeing me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help
will be radiant with joy;
No shadow of shame will darken their faces."
So once again, I'm breaking up with fear. I've done it before and I'm sure I'll do it again.
As a woman, mom, friend, and lover of Jesus, it is my desire to live present and wholeheartedly in each moment of my life. Daily Rhythms is full of thoughts, encouragement, parenting information, and my personal journey in living wholehearted in the daily rhythms of life.