Tuesday, June 2, 2015


 I think there are two different types of people in this world. I think there are those that can dream and enjoy themselves...really get into their own story and fantasize about what they would like to have, the places they could go, the conversations they could have, the mountains they could climb and the the good they might do for the world. They can think "wouldn't this be nice" without even a speck of guilt, without any kind of lost hope that maybe...just maybe...what they are thinking is just a fantasy. It will never be reality. Even knowing that their thought is just a simple "thought" not an "action" doesn't change their joy. I think they take pleasure from thinking "what if" and they talk about their dreams unabashedly because they could care less if other people think they are crazy...because they know they are only dreaming. They know there are no strings attached - no hearts to disappoint, no banks to break, no disease to dissolve because in their dream...everything is fine if it doesn't come true. It's just a maybe.
 Then there are those that don't really dare to dream because they know that it isn't realistic. They know that there is no way in this round spinning world ,that what they are thinking (never saying) could come true in their life. They know that words without actions aren't really useful, so they don't talk about what they wish they could do...they hate to be useless. They keep the thought to themselves yet deep down inside they base their decisions in life on the hope that maybe, that far far away dream, might could actually come true if they played their cards right. They have an ideal and they place the rest of the world against that ideal - even themselves.  If their mind changes, or they start craving something else...a different life, a different color, a different thought process, a new flavor... they feel naive or inconsistent. They feel weak or at minimum very very dissapointed in themselves. They know they can't have it all, so they either content themselves with not enough or they live wanting to dream but not letting their minds go there.

 Which one are you?

I'll go first. I think I'm the second. Yah...pretty sure I'm the second one. Know how I know? When I hear other people talking about anything that seems crazy...far out there...like not in a million years will that ever happen - I'm very uncomfortable. They may be perfectly happy, pursuing it or not pursuing - but I think it's nuts.
 I think the world needs teams. My husband and I are a team. He dreams, and I keep us down to earth. Sometimes that makes me feel like he is the carefree awesome one and I'm the low life critical one that goes around with a giant needle and pops everyone's bubbles. The truth is - I'm a realist and that's okay. The truth also is - I lack a lot of faith and a lot of confidence.
 I could make a list of the things that I want in life and then I could very easily jot down next to each item why it won't work...why it's a long shot. For instance, riding a bike. I watch people ride bikes and I think about how confident they are. Just out in the world, pedaling away...not scared of falling or getting their pants caught in the chain, they aren't afraid of flying over the handle bars or crashing into a light pole - I want to be able to ride a bike. I haven't since I was 7 ... I dream about it sometimes but I don't do it. For me it isn't a possibility - I have no reasons why it's such a highly esteemed talent in my mind...I just don't think it's for me. I taught my daughter to ride her bike and I watch her, so carefree and confident zipping by people around the park...never smashing into a stranger or flying off the sidewalk - she can do it. Yet I can picture everything that would go wrong if I hopped on a bicycle.
 I could list obstacles one after another next to all of my dreams and at the end of my rather black tunnel run into a dark wall that has a very clear sign pointing in another direction. I don't ever really start down the tunnel, I just go in the other direction to avoid the sign.
My biggest dream is a doozey. I don't talk about it very much because quite frankly, I don't want to hear all of the reasons from other people why my dream isn't a dream and how I actually already have it - because I don't. I will know in my heart and in my soul when I have it.
I want a home.
  I'm not talking about a house, even though that would be nice. I want to be part of something very big. I want a place in this world where I am known and am useful and where I belong. I want familiar scents, familiar sounds...familiar people that are nice people. I want to have a place to go besides Target (no offense to Target - I love you guys.) I want a place to drive to when my family get's in the car and says "let's go on a drive."
 I turn 31 this year and I still haven't found that place. Growing up as an missionary kid has a lot of advantages, but it also has a great deal of disadvantages once you are no longer a missionary kid and you are a "displaced multicultured adult dropped into the Unites States".
 I have never felt like I belonged anywhere and to anyone - I can't remember a time where I knew "here I am, let me put my feet up and be me." When I came back to the United States of America I knew that I was different. I didn't have a favorite restaurant or bookstore or church or familiar park - everything that was familiar to me was far away in another country...and even in that country I was different. At college I was different, at work I was different, in young mom Bible studies I was different - now that I've been married for 11 years I'm still different. Even if I wanted to pretend like I fit in perfectly, having three kids with autism brings that dream crashing down - you just can't blend in folks...not with that reality.
 I'm still fighting to know that my dream someday will happen. Someday I will walk into my living room and feel relaxed knowing that I'm home. Someday I will walk into a grocery store and feel comfortable, know my way around - possibly be this thing called a "regular." Oh my stars how I want to be a "regular." Someday I will talk to someone and not feel like a stranger. Someday I will go on a hike and know the trail ... I will walk around the block and know my neighbor.
 That's my dream.
For now, while I wait, I take comfort knowing that I will always belong with the Father. He is my home. He knows my thoughts before I think them, my future before I live it. He knows the desires of my heart and He knows my gifts and strengths and my weaknesses. He knows that I want friends...but that I also need privacy. He knows that I want a garden and chickens and a rural life but that my church is in a big city and I really want to be used there. My husband says that "He can work it out." I can have both - even though I don't dare to dream it for myself.  I have to be confident that He will use my wandering heart and my culture craving self in a really amazing way someday. He will make it possible for me to dream and to be okay with it. He will show me that my homelessness hasn't been for naught.  He will show me that it's okay to grow and to change - that's not fickle. It's simply living.
 I found this quote :

“A strong woman knows who she is and the path she wishes to travel on.” 
― Lailah Gifty AkitaBeautiful Quotes

I disagree. A strong woman continually changes and grows and searches...but she knows that she is loved and perfectly designed by the Creator. She doesn't know where her life will take her, but she trusts and she is kind and good on the journey. Her path will take many twists and turns, but her walk is straight, her heart is pure, and her mind is clear.
Dream Big.


  1. Hmmm...I am neither of those. I dream, and think about what the future looks like, and the things I want for me, and for my family, but I don't usually go around sharing all the stuff, but I also don't not dream because I don't think it won't happen. I guess you could say I have realistic dreams :)

    I am the opposite of you in that I grew up firmly rooted to home, and knew my place in the world. My parents still live in my childhood home. I have always dreamed, and pretty much always followed through on my dreams, whether they are things I did work wise, or in my personal life. Yes, there are still things I dream about, and I can see them happening in the future because they are realistic and achievable. Does any of that make sense?

    I think that quote has some merit to it...I mean knowing who you are and where you want to go are important. It doesn't mean their isn't room for growth and change along the way, it just means you have a clear idea of who you are, who you are working to be, and where you are heading. Life, can, and will, take on a different course at times, goodness knows it has been that way for me, but knowing who I was, and having a rough idea of where I wanted to be, helped me through those rough times, and opened up the path ahead for new and different dreams.

    Goodness, lots of goodness in your post, and so much to say, but I will leave it there. Thank you for sharing. I do hope you find "home" one day, soon.

    1. I think you are right...there are other kind of dreamers. I guess I don't have much balance in this area which is why it it difficult for me to see that people can have a realistic dreams :) I envy people who have a childhood home - that's what I want to create for my kids.

  2. My husband is also the dreamer and I'm the realist. Although every drop in a million he'll have a dream come true simply because he tried unashamed, and I think he's making me a believer. :)

    And I think my thoughts on home almost run along the opposite end. Brian and I have moved a lot and every time I say, "Oh we won't settle down here.. This is nice, but it doesn't feel like where we'll always be." But I'm realizing I say that about every place, and deep down I don't really want to settle down and say, "This is it. This is where we'll be forever." because I've never lived anywhere longer than 3 years, and I just can't imagine what it will look and feel like.

    1. When I was your age I also had never lived anywhere longer then 4 years - and that was our little house in GA. I want to travel and see the world but I also want roots for my kids. I guess I'm ready to just be settled.

  3. God created each of us differently and I believe it's possible to live these both (dreamer and realist) in a balanced way. God gives us desires (dreams, if you will), but the key is to always give those dreams back to Him and not allow them to taint us with discontentment. But living in reality is also very important, because living in a world of fantasy makes it challenging to be thankful for the here and now.

    And then my own opinion of that quote about the strong woman. I'm not sure if the author is a Christian, but it can only make sense in a Christian context. A strong woman knows her identity is found in Jesus Christ (not her own good works or her own goals in life). A strong woman is actually the woman who sees herself as weak and helpless, but sees her God as all-powerful. The strong woman puts no stock in her own accomplishments (or lack thereof), but she sees her path to travel as the one laid out before her by God. This world is looking for self-accomplished, confident women. But God is looking for weak and humble women who will find their strength in Him!

  4. Alyssa,
    God created everything. He created all emotions. It is okay to feel angry and unsettled and mystified by what life has given you. From my own experience, it is the surrendering and giving up control that helps. I do not think that giving up control means giving up on your dreams. When you let go of the anger of what you don't have, you open the door to feeling good about new possibilities. I think about you a lot and your boys, I think you are incredible and brave and beautiful for embracing your life the way you have. But I often feel like you are too hard on yourself. God celebrates all of you, all of your feelings, good or bad. xo