Have you heard the saying, “Somebody pinch me so I know I’m not dreaming”? That is exactly how I felt.
My husband and I had a long time dream and were about to make it happen. The time for saying, “One day we’d like to” had come to an end.
Too many times we have let opportunities pass us by. This time we weren’t going to look back in regret, wondering what it would have been like.
Plans were set in motion and initial preparations were started. We told others about our plans. It surprised us to hear how many people wanted to do the same. Not only were we going after our dream, we would also be living that of many others as well.
We packed up Vanessa, our 1996 travel van and headed across Canada.
Intentionally, we kept our schedule flexible. We had a rough idea of timing for some areas and commitments for specific dates in others. For the most part, we were free to go where the wind, or whim, took us.
Nine weeks and over 16,000 km on the road in a camper van was certainly the adventure of a lifetime for us. We witnessed firsthand the diverse beauty of our country. We were inspired by people we met. We overcame challenges and shared frustrations and laughter.
I learned to be content in a small space. I enjoyed not knowing what we might see during the day or where we would stop for the night. Having our food and accommodation with us gave us incredible flexibility. I am convinced this trip helped me to embrace a spontaneity that had been hidden for far too long. That in itself was a gift.
Now instead of saying, “One day” we have amazing memories of pursuing our dream and turning it into a dream come true.
The exercise instructor added some new challenges to our water aerobics class. We had to keep our feet off of the bottom of the pool while moving them in a cross-country ski motion. In order to keep afloat, our arms were busy sculling at the same time.
When we were allowed to touch the bottom again the instructor told us to come up kicking. There was to be no pause. We went directly from fighting to keep our heads above water to kicking our legs up high.
After the class (I was too busy trying to breathe during it!) I thought about the come up kicking statement.
There have been times when the bottom seems to have dropped out of my life and I’ve had to fight hard to keep from going under. It takes everything I have just to stay afloat.
Eventually, I am able to put my feet on solid ground. The natural inclination is to rest. Far more beneficial is to come up kicking. It isn’t easy but the head start I gain will give me a much better chance of reaching my goal.
Past experience has taught me that what I achieve is directly proportionate to the effort I am willing to put in. In other words, how committed am I to what I say I want?
“I want to see those abs tucked in and your bellies flat,” yelled the exercise instructor. “I’d like to see that too,” I thought.
Then the realization dawned. Wanting something is not enough to make it happen. It’s only when I work towards my goal that I start to see results.
This is true for more than exercise. My goals and dreams will not magically be reached just because that’s what I want. It takes commitment and hard work to achieve them. The sense of satisfaction is sweet when I experience the fruits of my labours.
I have found that since I’ve committed my life to God he has improved it beyond measure. If my plans are not in line with his, no amount of work will bring the achievement I hope for. When I am in his will for my life, he guides me every step of the way. I trust him enough to step out in confidence and do the work necessary. Then I watch in amazement to see what he accomplishes through my obedience.
The LORD’s eyes scan the whole world to find those whose hearts are committed to him and to strengthen them. (2 Chronicles 16:9 GWT)
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message)