I was going through some old notes from a writing conference I went to a year ago. But just as I began, I found myself stuck on this very simple question.
What would your life look like if you lived your dream full-time?
The obvious answers came to mind: being a self-employed writer... having a blog that people actually read....
(I appreciate you for making my dream come true, by the way.)
But then I had to stop. I mean, I've already done those things before. And although I enjoyed being my own boss back when I was a freelance writer, I still don't think I'd call that my dream. And I'm not a well-known blogger, but someone is reading this stuff, right?
So I sat quietly and tried to let myself really dream. Not the practical, realistic dream. Not the big dreams either. I just wanted to know what I was longing for.
And then a picture came to mind:
I was sitting at a table preparing a meal for guests. My home was an open door for friends to come in and out when they just needed a friend and some homemade food.
And that's it.
No job title or goal.
Just the time and intention to sit around a table with people who need love.
I know that's technically not a dream job. And that might sound really boring to you— it was a little surprising to me too, honestly.
But I'm starting to realize that when I really give my dreams the space to speak, they aren't these big and glamorous endeavors. And though I'd like recognition, achievement, and wealth, chasing after those things has inevitably brought about the most stress in my life.
So when I really let myself dream, I found a longing for something slower and smaller than what I expected.
I'm longing to welcome people into my heart and home.
Again, I know that's not a paying job. And it sounds kind of lame to want something so simple.
The world tells us to want more, to become better, to chase after big dreams —and then dream bigger once we reach them.
But maybe I never really wanted that to begin with.
So as I look at this simple, little dream of mine, a part of me is unnerved. Because if what I really want in life is easy enough for me to have today, here and now, then what have I been chasing after all these years?
It means that I don't need to "get there someday" because I'm already here: writing this blog post at my table with a bunch of empty chairs that I can fill with people who have stories to tell and need someone to listen.
Success is now just an invitation and a homemade meal away from reality.
Which means that I have enough. The life I live today is enough.
I didn't know that was allowed until now.
As I was going through the questions from that writing conference a year ago, I read another statement to ponder:
"Your sweet spot is where your deepest passion meets the world's greatest longing."
I'm a painter.
A part-time nanny.
And for most of my life, I thought success would look like earning recognition in at least one of those areas. Maybe you've felt that way, too.
So this little dream has got me thinking: what if we looked at success a little differently? If we looked a little more carefully at the little things that bring us joy today, and consider what the people around us need the most?
What if your life is already enough to be successful —and all your need is to say "yes" to your dream?
Have you taken the time to ask your heart what your dreams are? Big or small?
God plants dreams in us like seeds that grow and change from season to season. Sometimes we just need the courage to water these dreams, even when they start out as sweet, small, and simple desires of the heart.
Just don't be afraid to dream small, my friend.
Because there's nothing wrong with living a content life. There's nothing wrong with seeing yourself as if you were already enough.
Maybe that's the secret to living that dream you long for the most.
I so appreciate you being here! I wrote these words for you, and I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
P.S. —you can subscribe to The Slow Artisan here.
P.P.S. I wrote and illustrated a coloring book to help you slow down, dream with God, and find your artisan pace
—read more about that here.