Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Trust in God - Believe in Yourself - Dare to Dream!


This great motto has served me well for the past many years! I can't remember where I first heard that phrase all together but it just made sense to me and so I printed it out.  My research tells me it is possibly a quote from Robert Schuller. I have kept it near my desk at work and on my calendar at home. The more you see something and repeat it the more you think about all the possibilities associated with it. I guess you could say it is my mantra! 

Trust in God

I came from a fairly religious family, going to church every Sunday, praying regularly, and going to Catholic school as long as we could. I remember when we were little we would all kneel down by the furniture in the living room to pray the rosary. My Mom was the driving force and she still prays for us all daily. In fact when my kids are pondering an issue in their lives they have been known to ask Grandma for her powerful prayers! In my younger days after high school, however, you could say I was pretty rowdy trying to figure out my way in this world. Luckily the Good Lord "touched" me, fairly strongly I might add, and it made me realize at that point how Real and Important God was in my life. I guess deep down I could never really imagine my life without the constant knowledge that God is there for me. There have been times where I have questioned where he was - like when people say "God will not give you more than you can handle" yet some people seem to bear so much pain and disappointment, it doesn't seem fair. Can anyone relate? But in the long run, you know he is there and you have to Trust in God!

Trusting in God in this new journey we are on has been the ultimate acceptance of his Will! When we first started thinking about traveling and being workampers, it was just that, a dream. Then we decided to take it step by step and see if we could make it a reality. We lived on 5 acres and the thought of trying to downsize to a camper was a little overwhelming. We had tractors, mowers, and snow blowers to get rid of! Not that we minded getting rid of the snow blower, in fact that was a major motivator!  Also we would have to leave our families and the security of the jobs that we had both put a lot of time and effort into. We kept saying to each other - we will take the next step and if it works out, then we will continue toward our goal of workamping. And with each step it kept getting better and more clear that this was what we should be doing at this time in our lives. It is still very difficult leaving our family every time we see them, but there is always next time to look forward to! I can't tell you how many times since we have been on the road workamping that we have confirmed that this is God's plan for our lives - seeing all the beauty in this country and meeting amazing people, including those we have been privileged to help when we can. It is a great feeling!

Believe in Yourself

Now believing in myself is definitely something I have not always practiced and "believed." Growing up with 6 other siblings in a house that pinched lots of pennies, it was hard to get a good sense of who I was and where my life was going.  I didn't have a very high opinion of my self worth. I remember on one of my first dates with my now husband he asked me if I was any good at what I did, meaning my job as a secretary. I told him I didn't know... I think so.  Wow! He was really one of the first people to encourage me and give me confidence to continue pushing myself to do better.  It took a while but I finally had the confidence to keep progressing to pursue better and more challenging jobs. With almost every new job, when I realized all it entailed, I thought to myself - what was I thinking I can't do this! But with each job you learn new things and find new strengths and confidence and yes you can do it!

I had similar feelings when my kids were born. Doug will never forget coming home for lunch just a few days after we  had brought our brand new baby boy home from the hospital. I was sitting there holding him and just crying! He wasn't sure what was wrong so he quickly ate his sandwich and went back to work! Poor guy! I think I was just overwhelmed at the thought this new life was in my care and my responsibility! Can any one relate? But as a new Mom you learn pretty quickly to give those babies all your love, lots of prayers, and the best care possible. Fast forward 28 years later and we have 2 amazing sons!

Believing in ourselves as far as workamping came pretty easily. We both had great experiences in our "previous life" as far as our jobs and having taken care of our acreage. So we were pretty confident we could do the jobs that would be expected as workampers and we wanted some new experiences too, things that we would never have had the opportunity - or courage - to do in our previous life. Like working in a restaurant - Doug loves to cook so he really liked working in a kitchen and learning from a chef. And working for Amazon and seeing how that huge business runs the warehouse! Who knows what future experiences are coming our way!

Dare to Dream

As you can probably guess from my previous comments I really didn't do a whole lot of dreaming about where my life was going when I was younger, that kind of goes along with no self confidence. What could I do? I didn't have very big plans - get married, have kids, and work til I retire - what else? So that is just was I did and things went smoothly until we started dreaming of a new different life! Now don't get me wrong our life has not been all roses, living on our acreage and having good jobs.  No, there were 30 years of real life, raising kids, money problems, taking care of parents, and everything else that goes along with it. I must admit there were times I didn't think we were going to make it. But Trusting in God again kept me looking forward and enjoying where I was at that point in my life and trying to see all the possibilities out there. What if. . . .

When Doug and I started dreaming together of workamping look out! It really changed our lives when we both had this big lofty goal out there in front of us. We were working together one step at a time to see where this would take us. First we had to clean out our house of things that we didn't need - it was just stuff. So whether we went ahead with our dream or not this stuff  had to go. We also knew we had to have all of our bills paid so we didn't have any debt hanging over our head while we were trying to make a living on the road. Then we decided to sell the acreage, or at least put it up for sale and see what happens. Of course it sold within a week of listing it so we definitely took that as a sign from God to move forward! What is the worse that could happen if it didn't work out? We would come back home to South Dakota and get new jobs and a new home! We moved into an apartment for the next year downsizing even more and eventually bought our pick-up and camper. We didn't tell very many people about our plans because each time we did they looked at us like we were crazy! Can anyone relate? As our dreams became more a reality with each step we told more and more people and finally gave notice to leave our jobs. What a great day that was! We were still very scared and nervous but oh so excited about our new lives.  By then our families had pretty much accepted our dream of living in a camper and after some long, difficult goodbyes, we were on the road. All worked out so well we had no choice but to follow our dreams!

So this is my story.  What is your story and what are your dreams? Really anything is possible. It doesn't have to be workamping. It can be taking a great vacation, adopting a child, serving the poor, starting a business, or starting a blog! It may take some planning and some time but when you move toward those goals and dreams who knows what will happen! Or maybe in the process of planning you will stumble across an even better dream! Just having a dream gives us a reason to get up in the morning and continue putting one foot in front of the other. Other things do get in the way at times - health issues, money issues, family issues, or it seems like it takes forever to realize our dreams, but if you Trust in God, Believe in Yourself, you can Dare to Dream!  

I would love to hear your dreams if you dare to share them with us! Sometimes putting them out there in the world makes them more real and attainable! Can anyone relate? :)

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