A couple of months ago, after reading a post by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), I decided to create a dream board. I was excited about having all of my long term goals and hopes in one place. Something to help me stay focused on where I wanted to my life to go. This is what it looks like today:
You can see its all coming together...I have pictured quite a future for myself.
The problem is, I've been totally stuck. I loved the idea of creating the board, but when it came to having specific ideas to put on the board I drew a blank. When I was younger it was easy. I knew I wanted to get my college degree, find a good husband, and be a mom. Once I had kids I would be a stay-at-home mom, volunteer at the school and create a nice home. Years later, when my kids were grown, I imagined teaching at a preschool and volunteering, maybe finding time to write. I did not anticipate working full time when my girls were small, running a business, and then ending up divorced. Since then it's a daily battle to keep my head above water. There just isn't a lot of time to ponder dreams and goals. My day starts at 4:30 AM and I collapse around 10:00 PM. But, like it or not, I have to find the time because change is coming...yet again. In one year Kristen will be graduating from high school, I'll be selling the home I love, figuring out where to live and what kind of long term career path to create for myself. And, I'll admit it, I'm scared. The easy thing to do is to NOT think about it. Except, of course, at 3:00 AM when my eyes flip open and it's all that fills my head.
A couple of weeks ago I was preparing a lesson for the young women I teach at church. It had to do with prayer and building a stronger relationship with the Lord. In my reference materials I was supposed to read a few chapters in Ether (Book of Mormon). Now if you have read the Book of Mormon you may be familiar with the story of Jared and his brother and their journey to a new land. You may find that you always focus on the end, when the brother of Jared, under direction from Heavenly Father, builds barges for his family and friends to sail across the sea; but what caught my attention was the middle part of the story. You see, Jared, his brother, their family and friends are commanded by the Lord to leave their village. They pack up their belongings, gather seeds, honeybees, and their animals and begin to travel across the country following the divine directions they are being given. After a long journey they arrive at a beautiful beach where no one has been before. They must have been exhausted. I can't imagine traveling with all of those animals, the kids, the bees...how do you travel with bees? Anyway, they come to this beautiful beach and they settle in. They settle in for 4 long years. I don't blame them. The beach is pretty much my favorite place. It must have been so peaceful. There was probably lots of food, nice areas for the animals...I bet the bees even stuck around. It became easy and comfortable. After 4 years, however, God had enough. He came to the brother of Jared and chastised him for not turning to Him for guidance any more. God had already told him about the ultimate destination. A land of great promise and blessings, one far greater than even this beautiful beach. After 3 hours, the brother of Jared repented and began again to seek direction from above.
Now my life these past 4 years has not been easy, but I have found comfort in the routine. Enough comfort that sometimes I forget who is really in charge and also forget that I should always be progressing, not just enduring. While there is comfort in this routine, there is also more room for fear and doubt to creep in when I am mindlessly going through each day.
Although the upcoming changes scare me, I have a renewed faith that the Lord is guiding my path. I just need to stay focused on Him. (And I do have a year to prepare.) There is more in store for me than this current beach. Things that may bring me more peace, fulfillment, and happiness. So now I have at least one thing on my dream board.
I'll figure out the rest as I move myself off the beach. ;)