Kids don’t have trouble dreaming big. They don’t automatically get those little mean and doubtful head gremlins arguing with them about the ridiculousness of being a Power Ranger, president of the United States, or millionaire Youtube star. They fully believe it is possible. Then as we age, something happens. We start realizing that big dreams aren’t statistically likely to happen, that the norm in society isn’t to be “great”, but that you are supposed to stick with the norm… go to school, get a job, work, retire. We start thinking only a special few are meant to be president or Youtube stars, and that Power Rangers don’t really exist anyway. The limiting beliefs enter at some point in everyone.
As adults, I think so many of us have dreams of something that excites us, that we feel passionate about, or the life we picture living. I’ve always been a daydreamer, so you better believe when I’m racking up the mileage on my mini van running kids from one practice to the next, I’m daydreaming about something big and exciting. It’s just in my nature. On the contrary, I think others have unknowingly turned off their ability to dream big, understanding it’s a waste of time or feeling as if dreaming big might undermine how grateful they are for their current life.
Here are my thoughts and my experiences. Many of the those passionate dreams we envision and long for are purposes God has put on our hearts. God speaks to us in many ways, and I strongly feel many of the intuitive thoughts and dreams we struggle to get out of our heads is Him.
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” -Proverbs 20:5
One example of many. I’ve had a passion for vacations and beaches ever since I was a child, when my family would pack 3 families into a 1-2 bedroom tiny home we could probably barely afford along the Jersey shore for a week of fun and memories. I’ve dreamt of owning beach houses and providing that place for others to make those types of memories my entire life. I believe when you are on the sandy shore, hearing the waves and seeing the vastness of the waters, it’s hard not to feel God’s presence. I always felt sad when I found out not everyone has experienced the ocean.
This is 100% a dream that I should have laughed at, pushed away, and realized was not even close to happening. With minimal savings, a mortgage, 2 car payments, and 4 children… it was an impossibility! Yet, it was one of those dreams that kept coming back. I’d have real estate listings sent to me daily, just for fun, imagining what it would be like to decorate with a beachy decor, sit out on the deck listening to the waves, and hearing the stories and memories from other families vacationing there.
I won’t go into all the details on how it unfolded, but I will tell you I’m currently typing this from the balcony of our family’s second tier beach house as I hear the waves crashing, still in complete awe that this dream came true and feeling overly grateful and blessed. I will tell you it wouldn’t have happened if I had told myself it was a silly dream that wasn’t going to be financially possible until I got my kids through college and retired, and even then probably still not possible. It wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t verbalize my dream to my mom and sister, who surprisingly agreed to go into business together as vacation rental owners. It wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t crazily jump in a van with 4 of our youngest children, drive 14 hours to a beach 2 out of the 3 of us had never been, and looked at 7 different houses, still not 100% sure where all the finances would come from. It wouldn’t have happened if we ignored the goosebumps and intuitive feeling we all got when we walked into 1 particular house. I wouldn’t be sitting here if we listened to society’s norm and the little doubts that said you don’t put an offer on a house the first time you see it, the first time you visit a city, when you know nothing about owning vacation property, and you NEVER go into business with your family. It shouldn’t have happened when we struggled over and over to get the lenders figured out, were told it wasn’t going to happen, and struggled to find insurance for under $10,000 a year. All of those should have deterred us. They would have deterred most people.
Yet we had a dream. We had a feeling. We prayed, we allowed God to lead our journey, and we knew there are always going to be forces that inevitably work against our dreams and purposes that most people take as a sign it isn’t meant to be. We take those as a sign to keep praying, find new paths around the obstacles, and use as a growth and learning experience.
The business has far exceeded what we expected. Our house is constantly booked with families making memories. Our house is a place our family makes memories. The house was a sanctuary for me to come be with God when I felt broken. I could never imagine doing business with better people than my own family.
Who knows what God has planned for this house in the future. Who knows His final purpose for putting beach houses on my heart, for putting this blog into my head, for telling me to begin a book that I’m attempting to find a few cracks of time here and there to complete. When God told me to quit my job to pursue my home business, I didn’t know the ultimate plan. We don’t always need to know. Often I think He lights up a few steps of our journey at a time, allowing us to see part of the path and requiring faith to trust He will continue to light it up if we obey.
Was this house meant for a bonding experience for my family? Was it meant for the changes and connections other families needed that we don’t even realize are happening each week? Will it be a future retreat when I open a course, following the publishing of my future book and workbook, teaching others how to hear God’s voice and spend a weekend of quiet and listening time on the beach while we tap into that deeper connection? (See, I told you I like to dream).
We don’t always need to know the end result and purpose. However, I can only imagine if we all tapped into those tugs in our souls and dreams that we are so quick to push away… and instead allowed ourselves to continue to dream, create a vision, and pray for God to guide you us in the next steps. I can only imagine the purposes He sees in each of us and attempts to quietly show us and guide us if we learn to allow it.
“God can do anything, you know- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” -Ephesians 3:20 MSG