Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The First Leap Of Faith

Leap year is a special time for me. :) My hope is, that as you read this, your perspective about your desires, dreams and designing your life is enlightened.

Four years ago, February 29, 2012, I left on a grand adventure to achieve a dream. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it was huge for me.

At the end of 2011 I was in a fight. I questioned if God wanted me to dream or do anything that I desired. At this point in time, I had been very diligent in following his directions as closely as possible and I fought the belief that I was just a servant and that my desires needed to be disregarded, didn't matter, there was no time, or he didn't care what my heart called for. So during this time I had a lot of really detailed conversations with him. I wrote for hours, talked to him out loud and really poured out my soul about wanting to live an awesome adventurous life full of travel, loving people, and excitement.

November 27th, 2011 journal entry: "I want to live the Life of faith, not just talk about it."

At the end of November I didn't know if it was possible, still didn't have anyone to go with me, didn't know how I'd make it happen, or what the plan was, but I booked the ticket to London England. A one way ticket, at that.

My leap of faith on leap year!  was so excited.

I prepared all the ways I knew was possible. (I have now learned that the things I was doing were not what it took to make a successful trip)

And, because of doing a million things to "prepare for my trip" and living on pure adrenaline, I found myself in a nervous break down 2 weeks before I left. (Who knew 3-4 hours of sleep a night  for 3 months could do that, right? -Sarcasm) So here I was, about to move across the world, by myself, for my first time ever, with no plan and nothing familiar, and I could barely function. My brain was fried, body was fried, but I left anyway. I had to dream and do it. 

So on leap year, February 29th, 2012 I took my leap of faith and left to explore Europe. It was definetly an adventure. ;)

I'm pretty sure I prayed more during that 2 month trip than I had in the last year. I was scoping out new territory and learning traveling skill sets yet I was handicapped by my exhausted mind and body. I needed help.

There were so many highlights and beautiful times on that trip, but also intense times of struggle. 

This trip exposed every weakness I had. Lack of planning, preparation, money management, time management, balance, huge lack of sleep and taking care of myself etc. 

I came back from this trip feeling betrayed and that God, especially, had betrayed me. 

I couldn't understand why it had been such a hard trip, when dreaming was suppose to be the most amazing thing, and something people intensely desired. I  remember feeling "Forget traveling the world, forget being a writer, forget wanting a family! Etc. If dreaming is this hard, I want nothing to do with it!!"

I did not understand why God had forsaken me and left me to crash and burn on "the trip of my dreams." And especially the first time I tried trusting him and dreaming!!! :/

Little did I know, he was preparing me for so much me:)

So over the next couple years I worked diligently to try and put my life back together. My passion had dampened, my identity destroyed, I was tired and angry. I was still faithful and believed, but I had a bone to pick with God for a good while. I knew I had to find some understanding on why this happened, and hopefully turn it into something for my benefit, not destruction.

I was weak and wounded, but I had to keep moving. There had to be more. So, with all my lovely weaknesses exposed, that's where I started…

I drilled routine and balance. I asked God lots of questions about what I needed, and what I needed to learn, and he told me. A lot of these skills came against/were opposite of some of the best parts of my personality: Going with the flow, and letting things slide off my back, letting the wind blow me, and enjoying that, were now replaced with focuses on structure, routine, strict budget, and higher standards. I was desperate to learn the skills I so desperately lacked in.

For example:  
- I figured out how much money I needed for the month and cut my income down to exactly that. This forced me to live on a strict budget and to use my resources wisely. ***I since have become more minalist minded.
- I found jobs to work from home. Oh my goodness. If you would like to learn discipline, time management, balance and routine, start working from home. Again, this forced me to know where every minute of my time was going. Bed time was a must, exercise helped me focus, certain work hours in the day, choosing not to get distracted, and setting boundaries with myself and others I lived with and loved. *** I since love and thrive on time management/structure and balance/peace are accomplished often. (Still have a long way to go!)

I mean, I dove head first into learning these things, in whatever way possible, rash or not!

This was a very difficult time for me, but after a couple years I started to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.

I was real reluctant to start dreaming and goal setting...

But since, I have dreamed again. :) 

To be honest, the first time I "dreamed again" was about getting married in May 2014. I trusted, had faith, exercised energy, planned, commited and moved forward.

Which then led to another beautiful thing… then another. Goals and dreams awoke again. Working in Alaska for the summer with my new husband at a wilderness lodge, planning trips for friends to come visit there, loving all the details and using strategy to make the trips awesome. Getting pregnant. Traveling through 5 countries in Europe and it was successful and fun. Finding the exact living arrangements we were looking for. Me personally, paying cash for the water birth of my little girl in a birth center. (Money management) These are just a couple special ones to me.

My dreaming is wiser, strategic and directed now.

Instead of starting 20 projects, I start one. I sleep, I work on balance, enjoy the moment and enjoy people. A daily work in progress, but the efforts are there.

My mind is still not back to same place as before my nervous break down, I am still fighting some doubts about dreaming from this experience, I am still building upon my passion, belief, and determination, but I wouldn't take back this experience for anything. This challenging experience has moulded me into more than I ever could have become without it!

With time I have learned that God does want me to dream. He does want me to go/work for the things in my heart that I most desire. That trip gave me an opportunity to be humbled and then be teachable to the skills needed to make my dreams and desires possible. With these new skills I can take an idea and create it, so it happens, and it happens well. Each time I step out to achieve something, I learn and gain more knowledge. I love that. For I know that future dreams will take more effort, skill and energy. I am happy I'm learning and will be prepared for when they come.

I now also believe that God is on my side to help my life be fun, exciting and adventurous. He is there to counsel, guide, and open/close doors for me.

I have learned that a lack of planning, a lack of preparation and a lack of skill does not make dreams come true, but it doesn't always have to be that way. ;)

I have learned that consistent peaceful action pays off.

Life has it's struggles, somedays more than others, but overall, I am happy and believe that it's possible to design my life and dream.

Dreamer Di

- Think of something you want, write down some ideas of how to make it happen.
- If you're not sure how to make it happen: Ask someone who has a track record of achieving goals and dreaming of how to map out a to do list.
- Then commit to your goal, and follow directions. :)

Words: Spanish dancer

Dressing up for the Feria, an event I had dreamed of experiencing since I was 5 years old. The entire town of Sevilla shuts down for an entire week to celebrate their culture. No work, no school, just celebrating! We happened to be there opening night! Everyone dresses up in traditional Spanish attire. The women wear a different flamenco dress everyday and the streets are lined with so much beauty. It was the most amazing experience. This was a gift to be there.

Paris France

Riding the buses in London England. Teddy came to join me at this point. :)

Bikes around Buckingham Palace.

Even did an at home concert for guests. Happened to be on my birthday too:)

Beauty of England :)

Lock bridge, Paris France

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