May 8, 2017

Listening To Dreams

I was recently thinking about dreams and how they are portrayed in reality.  The thought made me realize that where we are living out in Virginia has actually fulfilled quite a few dreams that I have had for my life:

A wrap around porch.

A beautiful farmhouse in the country.

A small town where children get picked up on their street by the school bus.

Time away from it all where we can just focus on our little family.

A child of my own.

A caring husband.

And yet in reality there have been times where I have felt the opposite:

Isolation.  Loneliness.  Stress.  Anxiety.  Busyness.

And I had to stop myself and remember that many of my dreams that I have had for years are being lived out right now.  They just aren't necessarily how I imagined it would be.

And so it got me thinking about dreams.  Why we have them and why they are important.

I realized that without any dreams this whole scenario of moving could be really sad and disappointing.  But it has been in realizing and acknowledging that some of my dreams are unfolding that help make this transition bearable...and maybe even joyful.

I feel like too often we are afraid to dream.  As if we are fearful that if we put it out there, we will only be disappointed if it doesn't happen.

A couple of years ago my husband and I wrote out some of our dreams.  No limits.  But they were realistic in the sense that they were things we truly wanted - like taking a trip to Paris versus winning the lottery.  We have some control over the opportunity to travel versus the luck of winning a bunch of money.

And while what we wrote on that list is not exact, I see our current life being portrayed in some of those things that we had hoped for.  It just has come packaged differently that we probably hoped or imagined.

So it got me thinking - maybe our dreams are put on our hearts for a reason.  Maybe God gave me these dreams as a gift.  He knew that this move would be hard but these gifts of dreams fulfilled were almost like a lifeline.  Something to get me through the day.  Something to find joy in the transition.

And I wondered how much harder things might have been if I didn't allow myself to dream a little.  Curious of the disservice we are doing to ourselves by being overwhelmed by our circumstances when we have small little nuggets of hope and joy right in front of us.

So I am going to keep on dreaming.  Not because I want it all.  But because I want to be true to my heart's desires.  I want to acknowledge how I am wired, what brings me happiness, and how I was designed to live.  

May 4, 2017

Spring At The Farmhouse

Spring has been popping up around our little farmhouse over the last month or so and I cannot help but try to catch every little leaf, bloom, and butterfly that I can find.  These photos, just taken a few weeks ago, are already changing right before my eyes.  If I am not fast enough to catch it I may just miss it! 

Spring has always been such a wonderful season to me and being in a different home and climate this year is such a treat to see what is popping up all around me.  Nature is pretty amazing.

I don't think I have shown pictures of the back of our house yet so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures to share the back of our tri-level home.  I have never really liked the look of these type of homes in real estate photos but I will have to say ours is fairly photogenic for a multi-level.  I think the landscaping and porch really help.  Still I wish builders would put molding around windows on the backside of homes!

No chickens yet but the trees around the coop are starting to grow leaves again.

Our first spring in Virginia and it has been treating us pretty well so far.  Our house is almost completely finished and my heart has had time to settle in to our new home - just in time for us to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather!

April 24, 2017

Setting A Pace

A friend of mine recently commented on how small of a town we live in and how it affected our pace of life.  It got me thinking about how living out in the country compares to living in the suburbs and how much of a difference I really noticed in our pace of life being in a different setting.

One of the main differences is that we don't just go out to run a quick errand.  We have a Dollar General about ten minutes away and while they have a lot they also don't have much.  Any trip into town is at least twenty five minutes.  So while we are not out and about as much, when we do go into town it is more of an event.  I try to get all my errands done or we are making a day of it.

I do not attend a gym right now but it has more to do with my attached nine month old than being willing to drive into town.  So I am doing my exercise outside and at home.

We do spend a lot of time outside - exercising, sitting on the porch, going on walks, and killing time when the baby is fussy.  But these are all things we did back in Sacramento as well.  It is just more quiet and woodsy here.

My husband has pretty much the same job just now in a different city with more responsibility.  He lives even closer to home but unfortunately is working even more than he did before.  This definitely is a large factor in how slow or simple life feels.

We attend a smaller church and I have found a moms group to join - but they both can be just as equally busy as our larger church we attended before.  Churches and organizations still need help, have plenty of groups and activities to join, making socializing easier but also still time consuming.

As I look at life now versus our home before, while things are different I am seeing that our pace of life isn't.  We had more social and family responsibilities in California but now we spend more time in the car going anywhere.  It seems like one thing that once filled our time has been replaced with something else. 

What I am finding is that no matter where we live, ultimately we are the ones who determine our pace.  While we haven't lived here long, I have come to realize that I get to choose the pace I want for our family.  Any type of fantasy I had about living in the country was actually more reflective of a vacation in the mountains. 

Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love living surrounded by woods and being able to take quiet walks on our dirt road.  But being surrounded by beauty isn't going to necessarily change all of my priorities.  Sure it is an encouraging reminder to enjoy what is around me but I see now that though I didn't have that back home, I tried to create it myself through gardening. 

The things I allow to cloud my mind (the buzz of social media and the internet) or what I put on my calendar (another commitment or event) are the things that make me feel most overwhelmed.  It is a choice I have to make daily on how hectic I allow life to be.  So if you have been dreaming of another life somewhere else - know that unless we change our priorities, a change of scenery isn't going to necessarily get us there. 

Instead how we shape our homes, our schedules, and our mindsets are more likely to change our pace than where we live.  If you are striving for a more slower paced and simplified life, it is not so much about where you live but how you choose to spend your days. 

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