Life

When God Makes All Your Dreams Come True

I am so tired. 

And I've felt so uninspired lately. 

Writing, for me, is currently like when you haven't seen or really spoken much to your best friend in like a month. You don't overly worry about the space because you're so comfortable with it, you know the next time you meet up, it'll be as if no time had passed anyway. 

But that's how I've felt about writing. I've missed it. A lot. But, yet, sometimes there's just nothing to write about. Sometimes life gives you a lot of the same, and you're tired of regurgitating the same four topics all of the time. 

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I had one of my semi-famous "In the Shower" lightbulb moments. I don't know why I do my best thinking in the bathroom. It's not like I don't still have a slew of groupies following me there each time, eager to observe how a human 33-year-old female uses the facilities. 

My old "Chicken Soup For the Teenage Soul Journal" had somehow made it's way to the coffee table in our wood stove room. Who else had some "Chicken Soup" literature hanging around in their home in the nineties? If you did, you were just one of the millions who jumped on that train when it went chugging along for a few years. 

I dared open that old book, and when I did, I not only got some good laughs, but I shed a few tears and felt my cheeks become warm, as I bared my sixteen year old soul to these pages. 

Several things stood out to me: 

1) My thought life was a solid pile of crap back then, too! Nearly eighteen years of hard work has gone into that since then. Fabulous. 

2) My handwriting was semi-atrocious. Okay, maybe not really, but it wasn't cool like it is now. 

3) I wrote down my dreams and I only had three:

 

 Marry Mike.

Become a mother of five. (Yes, creepy).  

And teach.  

 

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Simple dreams. Nothing crazy. 

 

And I gasped a bit when I realized these three little dreams that were dreamed up one afternoon after school, I'm assuming, actually came true.

 

And then my heart fell.  

 

I realized: dreams coming true don't equal happiness.  

 

I know this because I'm not happy. Whether I have a legit medical issue that keeps its heavy boot on my longing to be happy, or if it's all me, I'm not. Either way, I'm just not. 

 

I jiggled my head back and forth slightly, as if performing that exercise would somehow shake me back into reality.  

 

Hours later, while in the shower, God spoke to me. He may as well had just spoke audibly because it was pretty clear what the lesson was here.  

 

He said, "I gave you your dreams, everything you wanted, and more. And I know you're not happy. Because you should've been just wanting me, instead, all along."  

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Bam.  

 

Yeah. Exactly. 

 

Sometimes God gives us everything we want, only to make us realize that He is all we really needed.  

 

And so, dream writing may not be in my future anymore. Sure, it's not wrong to desire things and yearn to be better and have experiences that make us go "wow", but maybe the only dream worth writing down is simply this: To Understand God.  

 

To understand someone, we've gotta see their whole heart. The only way this is possible is if we actively sit at the feet of the one we seek to desperately understand. 

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To take in their words, their expressions, what makes them feel purpose, to really seek to understand them inside and out.  

 

But we're too busy to do that.  

 

And that dream takes the focus off of me. What I want.  

 

So we have this ability to stop dreaming up the crumbs of life, and to really find the courage to seek this Kingdom, this Creator first. 

 

And then...all these things will be added... 

 

And maybe we'll all be the happiest ones.  

And because He is our only dream, all of the other dreams will come true.  

 

So maybe you're feeling like I've been.  

Maybe you've realized God has given you your dreams, and yet, you feel like your dreamcatcher is empty. 

 

Share below. I love hearing from you.  

 

💗,Ae

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Life (Before the "Shake Up")

Draw a line with me. 

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Where would you put your line? 

 

We all have a line in our lives. A line that separates the life we lived before and after a "Shake Up" moment. 

 

A "Shake Up" moment is that moment in your history where time tends to slow down and speed up all at once. It's a moment that changes everything. A moment that we either relish in or recoil from. 

 

Most "Shake Up" moments aren't positive.  

 

I could probably name some of these defining moments in those who are closest to me.  

 

For my husband, his "Shake Up" moment was collapsing twice in a period of nine months, without warning, in 2014/2015. 

 

I can guess my parents moments quite accurately. They've had more than one each.  

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For me, there's life before anxiety/panic and life after. 

 

I won't lie to you, I still find myself trying to pull myself back to that "Shake Up" moment with a giant eraser. My attempts to remove it from my life are futile, at best. It's just there. This big red, fat reminder that I used to be "x,y,z" and now I can't even sit comfortably at a restaurant for twenty minutes without nearly jumping out of my skin.  

 

Where do you find yourself right now? If your "Shake Up" moment was positive, well, I guess you don't think much about going back. Instead, you're rapidly running thru life towards the next "Shake Up" moment. Next time, life may not be so friendly. 

 

If you're like me, you may find that you have a heightened sensitivity to what life was before the "Shake Up". Tangible reminders of life before are hard to take in. Photos, videos, trinkets, and mental treasures seem like they were from another life, another galaxy, even. 

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But do we really, deep down, want to go back?!

 

Maybe.  

 

Maybe so.  

 

And maybe not.  

 

But we do.  As long as we could take the beauty we've acquired on this side of the "Shake Up" with us.

 

I don't know. I wish I really knew what I really wanted.  

 

I want the past to be the present, with the current present to stay present. I want them blended like a smoothie. With extra mango. 

 

Its hard. It's hard to not let the "Shake Up" moments define us. Because, they certainly leave their mark on our lives.

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How do you deal with your "Shake Up" moment(s)? Do you find it hard to keep moving forward? Do you look back too often and long for what used to be? Share with me below! 

 

 

Dear Joey, (A Post Script)

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Dear Joey,  

 

Today is the day you left this world, one year ago.  

 

I've thought of you all day long, as have countless others who still follow your story. Because, people are still following your story. And while your story was supposed to end last March 4th as you drew in your last breath, it's still being written one year later. 

 

And thats how it should be. 

 

We should live our lives so tremendously effectively that the Writer of our lives keeps writing for us after we've gone. 

 

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He seems to have many more chapters to fill for you. Chapters that will continue to inspire and motivate others to savor the goodness of these lives we live.  

 

I still struggle, Joey. I struggle a lot still with fear and anxiety and existing instead of living. But, I've come a long way since I first wrote you. In fact, I'm on hour seven of a road trip I was scared to take five days ago.  

 

Almost home.  

 

I finished my book that you inspired. I've made harder goals, more meaningful goals, and remembered to enjoy doing the tiny little things that you reminded me to start enjoying. 

 

I started smiling a bit while making dinner, and those requests for more water or singing at night don't feel like fingernails on a chalkboard anymore. 

 

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I've found myself on the floor tickling and laughing more than I used to. Remembering a time when my own parents would do the same.  

 

I tried your eggshell gardening trick and it worked for a few weeks. Those sprouts made me think of you and gave me hope for a color-changing thumb.  

 

I carry you with me, Joey. Every day. Every not-so-pretty mothering moment, I think about how you just did your best to breathe in the sour with the sweet. In fact, I'd like to believe that you thought it was all sweet.  

 

It's where I want to be.  

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An example to others that embracing it all makes the perfect freshly-squeezed lemonade people crave on a warm summer day. 

 

Irresistibly, irresistible. Unquenchable life.  

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More eager to meet you than ever before,  

Alicia