This spring started with a whirlwind as my husband (the calm & steady rock of our family) mentioned to me that he was looking at a fixer upper house for us to buy. WHATTTTT??!! Who was this spontaneous stranger I was talking to??? Amongst the little baby stage we were just submerging from, I honestly had forgotten that fixing up a home together had been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember.
Fast forward to falling in love with two houses on the market, late night debates (we won’t call them fights ;)) one offer–which we quickly retracted and a couple of broken hearts. Slowly, over the course of realizing what a fixer-upper house would entail for our family and jobs at this time, was NOT the best decision for our family. Not a “never” but just a “it is wise to not embark on this journey yet” grown up sort of decision for us. So I put away the Pinterest boards and forced myself to stop checking listings every 2-3 hours and made myself stuff the dreams back into my back pockets for another time in our lives. This was a hard time for us, for my adventurous spirit. Let’s just say there was a lot of sulking.
And then, as if the stars aligned (or God knew just the whispers I needed to hear) I ran into the book Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. It melted my heart and shook my world in all of the good ways. I finished the book in 48 hours (which if you know me, this is quite an accomplishment.) I swear that book was just what I needed.
I came to realize that though it is 100% ok to dream and it is a beautiful thing to want to accomplish them, I also began to discover that in order to dream I had to choose the best dreams for me at this moment. With the busy of three littles, a growing business and a husband working in a ministry position, we wanted to be able to still give to all of these without losing us. Without losing what we felt was worth fighting for.
My dear friend mentioned to me that she had started a gratitude journal and after many obvious signs of my need to focus on the good, I went to the store and grabbed a journal out of the dollar bin (ironically it was titled “The Good Life”.) I began to write down the beauty I did have. I began to WORK on not thinking about the things I deeply wanted but just weren’t in the cards yet.
Erin Loechner, in her book, said that chasing slow is a chase. I am slowly learning that there is nothing wrong with fixer-uppers or fighting to follow big dreams. It just is about focusing on having the right heart. Choosing to stop and ask, why am I chasing this? What if what I actually really want is right here all along. And then the paint brushes and the new light fixtures just enhance the beautiful things I already have. We all have beautiful dreams right in front of us.
Some of my Beautiful Things:
little hands, screen doors, deep conversations with friends, royals games & good attitudes, hammock snuggles, sidewalk chalk, sunshine, lavender candles, porch lights, morning coffee, loud hip hop songs, great workouts, yummy food, porch time with the hubs & spontaneous puppy adopting.
I’ll be honest, I’m not great at it yet, but I have caught myself looking for things to write down and found a new happiness in chasing the small things.