Alternate Title: How I Learned to Kinda Dig Those Stupid Inspirational Quotes
In this month of ‘dreaming’ we are urging you to step into your gifts and your passions. We are pressing you to get braver in your prayers and bolder in living out your everyday. But if you are like I was, this feels really overwhelming.
I can’t be another voice telling you to dream bigger when this was once a cutesy Pinspirational quote that I would roll my eyes at. Because it is a lot of pressure. In order to ‘dream’ there is a lot you need to know about yourself, there are a lot of resources you need to rely on, there are a lot of expectations you feel obligated to meet, there are lots of fears and hurdles and risks.
I will be the first to admit I have always chosen the safest route in life. I chose the safe career, made safe life goals and didn’t stray too far from my little fenced-off zone of safety and ease. Then I had a baby, then another, then another. I had given up my career to stay at home with toddlers and found myself struggling just to get my teeth brushed each day, let alone think about the dreams I had for my life. I felt so much pressure in sayings like, ‘be awesome today’, or ‘live on purpose’, or ‘dream bigger’ that I kept these sentiments filed under ‘Things to Possibly Consider Once I Start Sleeping Through the Night. . . . And Find the Floor Mop”.
Then something happened. I read about ‘minimalism’ book recommendation on Instagram. I immediately bought it on my kindle app, read it and started purging my home. As I purged the home, I realized I was also purging my life. I was filtering through all the things I had brought into my home and life. I was filtering through my own heart. As space was cleared, space was made to think about the things I wanted to keep in my life. I started to question and answer what was important to me.
This led to me learning about the Enneagram and then finding out my type. I know this isn’t a tool that everyone needs, but it was sure necessary for head-stuck-in-sand me to get some self-perception. This insight into my inner motives and cycle of responses made me more aware of how I was currently living and loving versus how I wanted to. I started to get more passionate about shaking myself out of complacency. I started to feel more awake. I started to take small steps in enjoying and investing in the way I wanted to live the life God had given me.
If this still sounds exhausting, I feel you, and I have two things to say. One, it has been easier as my kids have gotten older. Having small babies is so intensive that there isn’t room for much else. As my babies have become toddlers I have slowly found my footing in my day to day life and if you are a new mom, you will as well. And two, it didn’t look very pretty, Instagram does not make this level of filtering that would have made it appear like I was a #ladyboss in any sense of the word. It has been a sluggish, sometimes tearful, often haggard path I’ve been on. But I’ve felt that God has been gently pushing me out of my fenced-in zone, and he has been with me along the path he has set out for me. I wish I could say it was a clear path, but, as I’ve heard Jennie Allen describe it, it feels more like a path of stepping stones that only appear with each subsequent step.
There were, and still are, days that having and chasing dreams feels out of my reach. There are many mornings I wake up and the first thing I do is pray for the patience, the energy and the direction that only God can give me. I will forever be a spokesperson for a life made liveable by Coffee & Jesus.
Those inspirational sayings that I once felt were an insult to people who had regular lives to live have slowly become the soundtrack in my heart. With slow diligence, frozen dinners and lots of soul searching I’ve come to appreciate that, okay fine, they hold some truth, but don’t expect me to starfish pose on mountain peaks just yet (I’m a mom after all, that just seems irresponsible)
When the time is right to wander beyond that fenced-off zone of safety, God is waiting at the gate. If you are feeling overwhelmed, lost, unprepared and exhausted then you are in the right place. As we continue our month of ‘dreaming bigger’ it is our desire that your heart will be lined with hope at what is possible rather than anxiety over what seem insurmountable right now. We hope that you will find yourself slowly edging towards the gate.
On the evening of April 28th, we hope you will join us and our co-hosts at Elsie Road Magazine, for a webinar on dreaming. We will be talking about how to get started dreaming, what it looks like as a Christian, which dreams to follow and how to make things happen.
Stay tuned for information on registration. Follow us on Instagram!