Don't give up

We all have something that we want in life. Maybe it’s a dream, maybe it’s a lifestyle or an education, or a job, it could be a hundred different things.

In my experience, the thing that we want never seems to be easy to obtain. It takes work. It takes work to make that dream happen and it takes work to maintain it.

I have found though that when you work for it and you stand in the midst of experiencing your dream, it’s worth it. All the hours, the sacrifices, the struggles, all the work is worth it, and fuels you to keep working at it.

In my family, Paul and I both have dreams and we love pursuing them, and supporting each other in dreaming and doing what we can to make them come true. (Unavoidable life experiences happen, but when it is within your control to push forward, we do.) It takes a lot of work to make two dreamers content with life. Staying still when needed and pushing forward when able to do so. I would have said last year that it takes works to make our family happen in a healthy way. Now in our new year of dietary restrictions, school schedules, and living a dozen hours from family, it takes a LOT of work to make our life and dreams happen in a relatively healthy way.

Last year when I would prepare to be gone and speak for the weekend, I would do hours of writing prep, I would select my wardrobe, I would arrange for travel, I would pack my merchandise, I would make sure Paul had diapers, one meal already prepared, and groceries bought so he could just spend time with the kiddos. That was basically my checklist and it took me two days to make my dream come true.

I have found in our busy season that it takes me all week to prepare to leave for a weekend away. We have food items that are at certain specialty stores, so in one week it’s a stop at four different places to feed my family. On top of grocery shopping, I prepare all the meals ahead of time for my kids and then prepare snacks and small items for me to bring along so that I too can eat and not be a burden on my hosts. With adding good ole down home cooking, there is also our school schedule. We are not in activities yet, so we aren’t running around in the evenings, but school does mean packing the other kids up twice a day to take and pick up Big from school. It takes time. But it also means when I am gone, I need to arrange someone else to do the driving, and make sure there are notes to teachers, and directions for drivers, etc. The list goes on.

If we want to see our kids, that means being extra prepared so that you can prepare a little each day, play with the kids a little each day, pack a little each day, cook a little each day.

It would be a lot easier to stay home.

But staying home doesn’t make my dream come true. Doesn’t make what I believe God has gifted me with happen. Not working for it will never make my dream a reality.

It takes work to make dreams come true. It takes work to have intentional family time, to prepare devotions, to arrange your schedule to have quality time with your spouse, with your kids, and the Lord to remain healthy and balanced. It takes work when all that is said and done to say, now I push forward on making my dream happen. Now I get myself back in my kitchen to prepare food for my family so I can be gone. Now I get off the couch and workout so my body doesn’t fall apart and I feel better. After all that is said and done, now I write. Now I read. Now I paint. Now I play my instrument.

Now I make my dream happen.

After I used EVERY dish, I’m not kidding, every dish in my kitchen this past week to prepare all eight meals for the weekend for us while we were gone, I thought to myself, this is crazy. This is a lot of work. Why are doing this?

Then I watched my husband take the stage in front of 800 people. I love watching him play. He’s alive when he plays. He is at his best when he plays. He is connected to his soul more then ever when plays. I experience how different our family time is when we are away from home. The games my kids and I play together, and the fun we have because we get to come with dad once in awhile. And it’s worth it.

The work to make your dreams come true are worth it. Don’t give up. Keep pushing forward. Find the balance. Learn when to say no, but don’t give up. No one applauds the daily dirty work to make your life happen. Its what you do if you believe in your dream enough. The daily work isn’t to be praised by others, its for your own growth, your own depth of character to appreciate when the dream happens.

Don't give up.

In never giving up, most of what makes it so much work is putting God and family first. It’s making sure you still see your kids, you still laugh with your spouse, you still sit and read together at night. That you find time to snuggle and play. Those aren’t the sacrifices you make to have dreams come true. Make sure those things still happen cause you’ll never get those moments back. Fight hard to find the balance and never give up.

Side note: I know there are short cuts to not preparing every meal. We have LarBars for meals, we eat all fresh fruit and veggies for snacks, we eat scrambled eggs for dinner, or veggies and hummus. I cut my corners, but mostly we also value health, and want to make sure we never cut corners when it comes to feeding and training our kids about food.