Dreams and Sacrifices

“Sapphire thunder stains the emerald grass,

As magenta roses brush my face,

And lavender rain sketches the lake.”

That was the first piece of my writing I saw in print. Granted it was in a national junior high school publication…. not exactly the New York Times. But it was something. My seventh grade English teacher had just introduced me to the beautiful world of creative writing. When I think of her I think of the color pink and Godiva chocolate and passion. I have such fond memories of early morning writing with the Creative Writing Club in her classroom. She taught me that sometimes I wouldn’t know what kind of written treasure would appear on the paper unless I just kept writing. Just keep writing…even when that might literally mean writing “I’m just going to keep writing. Don’t stop writing.” At the time I didn’t know it, but I had found my talent. Talent, which I would later spend years thinking I didn’t have any of (in any variety whatsoever). Until one day, I decided that I would “just keep writing” simply because it was fun. And it was then that I found my little piece of home and warmth and familiarity. I liked the way I felt when I wrote, even if no one ever read it. So I just kept writing. Eventually I experienced the joy that comes from sharing a piece of yourself with the world. And I guess that’s how I ended up here.

Passion and talent and dreams are the exhilarations of life. The moments we feel alive and free and excited usually have at least one of those three at the foundation. But at the core of those dreams are sacrifices. At first glance, sacrifices and dreams seem to be polar opposite, but really they are complementary to one another. Maybe we chase our dreams and pour all of our passion into them, but what about our sacrifices? Chasing dreams is much more ideal, but in most cases it’s the sacrifices that push the dreams. The sacrifices are the filter for our dreams. My experience has been that usually the best things require the most difficulty. A dream is snuffed out if the sacrifices are too high a price or the dream too small. But when the dream is a precious, rare, valuable dream…the sacrifice is joyful. Sacrifice is a priceless step in the process of a dream, a passion, or a talent. I wrote recently about the realization that raising my kids from the deep-down part of my heart is my biggest dream. Raising them with passion and dreams and responsibility and Truth and Jesus and love and fun is the most intricate and stunning dream I’ll ever dream. I’ve found myself even whispering, “This is my dream, this is my best dream” during the chaotic moments with my three little bitty ones. I can’t ever let myself become distracted from the work in front of me. And although writing for a career is a dream of mine, and it feels so cathartic to spend an afternoon writing away…I won’t confuse my dreams with my sacrifices. My biggest dream requires my biggest sacrifices, which often means less showering, always means less free time, and sometimes will mean less writing.

I love my writing dreams, but even dreams need to act as sacrifices when a greater dream is at stake. I love this blog. I LOVE this blog. I’m literally elated about what the future holds here in this space. And I can promise you that in this season of life, that excitement will be overshadowed when necessary to change diapers or clean up spills or have dance parties with my kids. Nights will be spent with my best friend and posts will be delayed for the sake of a date night. I won’t master the top ten tips for wild blog success. I’ll hike my way through the dreams and the sacrifices, but I’m so confident that what you will get here will be sincere and honest and true.