On Dreams-Come-True & Everyday Stories




Today I am slogging through the trenches of the everyday here at Casa de Hot Summer & Sibling Rivalry. It is a far cry, my friends, a far cry from the dreamy two-and-a-half days I just spent at She Speaks, an event that I received as a 40th birthday gift from husband, friends, and family.

She Speaks is a conference for writers and speakers, a conference that I’ve dreamed of attending for years. This year was finally my year and I am here to tell you, it far surpassed my hopes and expectations. 

For two-and-a-half days I connected with other women whose hearts are shaped a bit like mine. 

I learned about writing compelling non-fiction messages and how to use stories in public speaking.

I took pages of notes and wept with gratitude and laughed ’til my belly ached. 

I pondered and dreamed and cheered on fellow writers pitching book proposals.

I raised my hands in worship and sensed God’s personal message to me through Michael O’Brien when he said, Never let your giftedness get in the way of your calling. Yes, I’m a wife and mom first.

I wore a name-tag and something other than my usual fare of running shorts and t-shirts.

I reconnected and roomed with one of my dearest college friends and made precious new friends, some of whom live on the opposite side of the country and some of whom live just 30 minutes away.


I felt God crystallizing my own message and I outlined it as fast as I could scribble. 

I had a complete stranger speak a “word” over me. 

I asked Michael Hyatt a question in a conference ballroom in front of hundreds of women and thought I might throw up into the microphone. And because he was seated two feet from me after his Q & A session was over, I asked him yet another question. {One may as well take full advantage.} He was gracious and wise. And God, in his mercy, allowed my jumpy innards to remain in place. 

In a word, it was amazing

I am more thankful than I can say, full of affirmation and inspiration but not urgency. And I think that if I’d gone to She Speaks before this year, I wouldn’t have been in a place to receive it in the way I did. 

Upon returning I have refereed more than a few sibling squabbles.

I’ve scraped Fruit Loops off my kitchen table. 

I’ve lost my temper.

I’ve not done laundry. 

I’ve miscommunicated with my husband.

I’ve shaken my head in embarrassed resignation that my driveway looks like this on any given day. {You think I’m joking.}




I’ve hurt deeply and wept freely for loved ones going through unspeakable pain.

I took my kids and three of their friends to a free summer movie, Disney Nature’s African Cats. Within 20 minutes, I had two girls bawling and my youngest asking, “So Mommy, why did you bring us to such a sad movie?” Innocent animals die, people. This is information I wish I’d known ahead of time.   #funoutingfail

And this is often how it goes, doesn’t it? 

We teeter from elation to depression. 

We get a taste of our dreams and rub shoulders with despair. 

We get it right one minute and have to repent the next.

We idolize the things of this world and also long for the perfect world that is to come.

And this is the stuff of life. And this is why I write. 

Because life is hard but God is good and we claim this even when we don’t feel this. 

Because we were created for the ideal but we have to grapple with the real and this is a desperately hard reconciling indeed.

Because for some of us, we can’t make sense of all that we experience until we put it into written words and in doing so, we help others make sense of all that they experience too. We write our stories, both the everyday ones and the epic ones and in doing so, we help others see that they too have stories and those stories are worth something

Our stories are often not the ones we would have chosen but they belong to us nonetheless and we can live them with courage

Whether today is a “living your dream” day or a “trudging through the trenches” day, it is all sacred. 

It is worth living. 

It is worth lamenting. 

It is worth celebrating.

It is worth surviving. 

It is your story. And it is His story too.

Comments

  1. says

    “But, Jesus, why can’t we stay on this mountain,” said Peter, James, and John . . . and your mother, and you, and countless others who have had those moments of soul-rest and soul-connecting and it feels so wonderful and so NOT what we know is waiting for us back where we go after the moments end. The reality is that we bring our changed souls back into the unchanged real, and through the writing or through the playing of keys or through the giving of cups of cold water, we live.

    You are loved, dear daughter . . . forever.

    MOM

    • says

      “Because life is hard and God is good and we claim this even when we don’t feel this.”
      “Because we were created for the ideal but we have to grapple with the real…”
      And this:
      “We bring our changed souls back into the unchanged real…”
      Yes. So beautiful and true. Thank you for writing this and sharing it.

  2. says

    Girl AMEN and AMEN! And I know your driveway looks like that on an given day! I’ve had to park on the street because of it. I love you and I’m glad you loved it. I, too, am coming off a night of watching my boys practice football and thinking they aren’t giving it their ALL and today nursing boo-boos and writing a blog post and thinking of you.
    Kisses and hugs….
    my sweet eternal friend!
    julie
    http://www.raisingthreeknightsandaprincess.com
    http://www.julieworthyphotography.com

  3. says

    Yes. To all of this. Really, this living in the tension makes for the best story even if it is hard as blue blazes. I can’t wait to see you’re message continue to take shape! It’s a beautiful one.

  4. says

    Yes. To all of this. Really, this living in the tension makes for the best story even if it is hard as blue blazes. I can’t wait to see you’re message continue to take shape! It’s a beautiful one.

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