The other day I overheard one of my friends ask someone, “What is your dream? And what does your dream life look like?”
As this conversation ensued, I drifted off into a thought world of my own. I started trying to think up all of these scenarios that would be ‘ideal’ to live in. I thought about how I am graduating college in a few short months. I began to draw up scenarios of what life should look like by then. And at these thoughts I found myself spinning in circles where my thoughts were filled with extreme lack and dissatisfaction regarding the present. I quickly wanted to jump ahead past the next three months so that I could finally “arrive”–whatever the heck that means.
Interrupting these bitter thoughts that my mind was rapidly producing–for a moment, I began to think about life right now: the quaint house I live in, my friendships, my family, my relationship with God, the landscape of the city I live in, the ministry I am apart of, the fact that my days are filled with random work of all sorts, the joy that I get from decompressing momentarily over coffee with a friend, the eager expectation I hold that each present moment could be better than the last.
As this thought filled my mind, I was covered head to toe with chills as I realized–“I am living my dream life.”
I love that my days are full of random tasks from homework, to laundry, to paying bills, to hostessing, to writing a blog post, to sending an email, to squeezing in a quick run before I start up my day.
I love that I have to be savvy with my finances and actually stick to a budget.
I love that I live in a small house with my best friends–and oddly, I love our daily war with spiders.
I love Sunday lunch after church with the greatest people in the world.
I love that I wake up with not enough sleep, but paradoxically go to bed energized.
I love the quick phone calls with family that are spread out sporadically through my day.
I love coming home after a long night at work to find my friends sitting around a bonfire in the backyard.
I love the challenges of this season that force me to lean on God when all I want is for everything just to be easy.
I write all of this out to remind myself (and perhaps someone reading this) to be present and enjoy this very moment. Possessing contentment is a continual fight. In moments where it seems like whatever is on the horizon is better than what you have now, it is challenging not to run off and chase after some idealistic thought of what life could be in the future. The fact of the matter is that you could have everything you “want” and more, but still find yourself feeling empty. A dream life is not found within perfect circumstances, but it is hidden within the attitude which your heart possesses.
Gratitude is the force that removes the divide between where you are and where you want to be. It is when peace is disturbed by thoughts of want and lack, that presently-tangible dreams and beauty become distant and untouchable. So long as your heart is filled with sweet contentment, you will find yourself living “the dream”.
“A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 [MSG]