Natalie Ogbourne

I made a discovery this morning, the kind of morning that takes place in the middle of the night. The wind from the snow storm woke me up and because it is pointless to live with snow if I am not going to enjoy it, I got up, happy just to be awake while the snow fell. Because it was the middle of the night, I had plenty of time to read and I stumbled onto these words written by an unnamed guest writer on Jon Acuff’s blog:

Dreams are almost always shaped over time – which is why, if you’re trying to figure out your dream, you should start by looking back at things you’ve loved doing in the past.

A quick look back revealed that I am already living my dreams. At least, I am living some of them. I loved dollies, barbies, and babies. I loved acting and singing. I loved reading and writing. I loved my room. My life today overflows with these past loves: three exuberant children, the opportunity to assist with the direction of a play, more singing than I ever did in high school, regular writing and reading, and a whole house filled with rooms.

How is it that I didn’t think of any of this when my husband and I were talking about dreams?

Perhaps because the living out of dreams is not the effortless endeavor that I imagine. Even dreams take time and make contributions to the to-do list. Families need food and clean clothes and transportation to dental appointments. Plays involve details and decisions. Worship teams need music and copyright reporting. Starting a blog has required me to learn something new nearly every day. Reading gets leftover time, time that I should be sleeping. Homes have room after room in need of dusting and vacuuming.

Maybe I need to let my to-do list off the hook. A little. It didn’t eat all of my dreams. It has just kept me busy enough that I haven’t paid close enough attention to my life, so the battle between me and it wages on.

Many of these past loves stretch me in some way nearly daily. The past year and a half I had dubbed the age of old dog, new tricks. I’m looking for a better name, one that reminds me that I’m already living the dream, because that’s what I saw when I looked back.

What do you see when you look back?