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Chasing Dreams

Chasing Dreams Family

It Was An Eclipse Of Trips And A Life Lesson On Time

August 23, 2017

I called it the Eclipse of Trips, because we never actually intended to chase the Great American Total Eclipse. It was never a part of the plan, back three months ago when we decided to list our home for sale and hit the road in a travel trailer for two months. It is a trip we have always dreamt of, taking our family on an extended road trip to the Pacific Northwest, where my husband spent three years as a young boy, and where he took me to on our honeymoon.

We were shocked when our realtor gave us a number on a home. We knew the Colorado market was thriving, but this was truly a gift from God, an opportunity to move closer to our church—but only after we took advantage of another opportunity—our dream trip.

Never before have we not been tied down by a mortgage or a job, as my husband left his work and transitioned to self employment earlier this year. We knew we couldn’t pass this opportunity up. We would leave early July. Only that date came and went, and we remained nowhere near the ocean. Our house contract fell through two days before the sale, and my heart sunk with the thought that our trip might not happen.

But then the Colorado housing market came through for us again (And God, of course), and we were under contract within a few days. We set a new date for our departure—August 16. It was the soonest we could leave. Ironically, it fell within the same few days of what the country was calling “The largest migration in our nation’s history”. While we packed up our life, bought a travel trailer, and set our eyes to the ocean—over a million others were hitting the road also, with the same destination in mind, to catch the Solar Eclipse of a lifetime. An Eclipse of Trips, indeed.

Timing is a funny thing, isn’t it? It constantly leaves me in a curious state, as to why things happen at certain times. Why delays and detours in plans and setbacks occur. Some, I’m sure, are happen chance. Others, I’m convinced, hold a very important job in our life story. Even if we never learn what that job was. I trust delays and changes of plan often hold a purpose.

For two days we traveled before pulling into our resting place—an organic farm owned by dear friends of ours. After a blur of days and so much change—selling our home, moving into a 100-square foot space with our three children, our car breaking down in the fast lane of the highway somewhere in the middle of Idaho, and too many meals on the road, we were ready to rest and visit for a day. And it was sweet. But time was ticking and people were hitting the road. We had to, also, if we wanted any chance of getting ahead of the countless Eclipse Seekers,

We were excited to be on our last long stretch of driving for a while, and even more excited to run into very little traffic as we made our approach upon the Pacific. After fifteen hundred miles of sage brush and stocky pine, we finally came upon moss-covered trees reaching high to the heavens. The ones my husband grew up playing beneath, and the ones we have longed to introduce our children to. Four days after leaving home, we pulled up to the shore of the Pacific just in time for sunset.

If this trip has taught me one thing already in the first week, it is to not waste angst on concerns of timing. Preparing for our journey, my worries stemmed from the unknowns of how time would work out the details of our trip, or if it would. I think I do this a lot in life. I think a lot of us do. We seek to control time, when ultimately it is out of our hands, and that’s ok. Because it is in the hands of the Author of time, and He cares deeply about the details of our stories, and the desires of our hearts. He created time, and us to fill it.

The truth is, wherever we found ourselves on August 21st, whether set up in our trailer next to the Pacific, or in a Walmart parking lot, the sun would be shining. And then covered. And then brilliant again. We would make it to the ocean. And we would experience it all together. I began this trip seeing the Total Eclipse as a bit of a nuisance–a snag in our plans that we had been making for months–dreaming of for years. And yet, as we stood as a family upon a hill top next o the Pacific ocean, and watched the moon float completely over the sun for a few miraculous moments–it was one of the most stunning experiences of my life. In fact, it froze time for me, for one minute and forty-five seconds, this grand display of perfect timing by the Maker of the heavens.

936Pennies Chasing Dreams Motherhood

Can My Dreams And My Motherhood Exist In Harmony Together?

July 22, 2017

From as early as I can remember, there was a dream tucked within my heart to be a mother. I think many of us share that dream. After my husband and I slipped bands of gold over each others’ fingers, and spoke hand-written vows to seal our love in promise, it did not take long for me to begin imagining the two of us becoming the three of us. My husband tried to hold this big change off for as long as he could. He adopted me a puppy. I think he thought this would satisfy my maternal stirrings for a while. I don’t think it worked for as long as he planned.

Before long, he felt ready too. And come our second wedding anniversary, we would celebrate with our tiny newborn boy. I was a mama, and it was every bit a dream come true.

I know that so many of you hold similar stories; the euphoric step into mamahood and how it completely overtakes you with a new depth of love you never thought possible. A lifelong dream come true.

Perhaps if we share in that same experience, you may be able to relate to another also. Those newborn bundles of dream-come-true learn to crawl and walk and talk–and this dream, although still dreamy, lacks a bit of luster among the day-to-day routines.

Motherhood begins to feel not enough. It feels lacking. But we dare not speak it, because isn’t this what we always dreamed of?

Mamas, I think we have been looking at this from the wrong, guilt-ridden perspective. Maybe it’s not that motherhood is not enough, but rather that it was never meant to be the whole picture of our dream. Maybe our motherhood is exactly what it was meant to be, and it can coexist with the other God-given dreams on our hearts. You know the ones. Those inklings and ideas that raise your pulse and increase your heartbeat with excitement. But we set these dreams on the back burner because, “It’s not the right time.” The dreams feel as though they are clashing with our current season of motherhood.

Yes, it’s true that in some cases, the timing is not right. But I think that we are writing these dreams off far too early. We are saying No, not now, too quickly. I believe that too many of our dreams are sitting on the back burner, sizzling away and evaporating before we ever gave them a chance.

I remember one of my first thoughts after I began to consider writing a book. I sat at my desk, contemplating this dream, and I felt that strong gut-deep friction. “This is awful timing.” I thought to myself. At the time we had a three-year-old, a one-year-old, and I was newly pregnant with our third son. “When will I ever have time to write a book?” I asked myself. And an even more weighty question tugging at my heart: “What if this dream takes away from my children?” What would my dream cost them? It felt ridiculous, to sacrifice time with my children in order to write a book with the message of making the most of the time we have with our children.

But God kept on pressing. And He kept aligning the smallest of details to affirm this dream in my heart.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

His timing is always perfect, right?

Three years later, with the book being published this coming February, I hate to imagine a life in where I would have said no to this dream. If I would have bought in to those doubts that this dream could never coexist with my current season of motherhood, then I would never have had this chance to see God work in miraculous ways, ways far above anything I ever could have done on my own. The Author of time–He made the time for me to chase this dream. And He makes the time for your dreams, too.

If we say no, not now, then we may never realize the beauty born when God brings together our dream of motherhood with the other God-given dreams on our hearts. When He convinces us to chase these dreams, then He can use the journey to usher us deeper into our motherhood than ever before.

Fellow mamas, God created us to be dreamers. We are crafted in His image, the image of the greatest Dreamer. We are His grandest dream, but not His only one. His dreams hold the majesty of mountains, the depths of oceans, the awe of a newborn’s cry, and the narrative of the greatest Rescue Plan ever. And He invites us–His favorite dream– to come along in the journey of these dreams; to be a part of the greatest story ever told.

We can do the same. We can chase the God-given dreams on our hearts while inviting our children right into the journey. They can be present and witness to their Mama working hard and showing up every day to chase her dreams.

And then, one day soon, they’ll take what they’ve seen and run brave after their own dreams.