I probably enjoy reading the posts more than anyone else. They remind me so much of what the Lord has given to me and all the blessings I have.
One thing I know about life is this: it's hard for everyone. But it's also great for everyone, or can be, if you trust God and let Him plan it out for you.
I had a really good conversation with my uncle the other day about faith and blessings. He really opened my eyes a little more when he quoted this scripture: Alma 22:16: the Lord blesses us according to our faithfulness and belief, when we ask for the things we need and desire.
At first I think it's a bit hard to believe that the Lord will give us grand blessings which we desire. After all, we don't really need a million dollars, or a big house, or extensive worldly success. And I really don't think those things are things we should pray for or set our hearts upon.
BUT, I do believe that the Lord needs faithful, strong people, who do good with what they have and set an example for others. And sometimes, those^ "worldy" things are things He does bless us with, if it's His will. I don't have a million dollars or a big house or extensive worldly success. What I have been given is the incredible gift of travel, and of seeing lots of different places and meeting amazing people and trying incredible things. I humbly acknowledge that what I get to do is something that many people only dream about.
While this lifestyle doesn't come without it's own set of challenges (and you might not believe me, but really, it actually is very hard and stressful), I know deep in my heart that it is what the Lord wants me to do. I am so grateful that of all the lives He could have given me, He chose to give me this one. He is my best friend. He is my best travel partner. He is the person I talk to and hang out with and rely on and trust in all things. Or am trying to trust in all things.
When I was a little girl, if you had taken me aside and whispered to me some of what lie ahead for me in my life, I would never have believed you.
Back then I thought differently. I wanted to be a bus driver, an elementary school teacher, a librarian. I dreamed of living a life tucked into Montana hills with family and neighbors and community associates as my closest friends.
Now my life and greatest loves are spread across four continents.
My closest friends live in five different countries.
I reside almost 10,000 miles away from my family.
This story does not in any way match the things I dreamed of back then.
But it reflects a perfect vision of my dreams now.
|photo cred: www.fotopedia.com|
I am grateful to be living my dreams. What that looks like day-to-day isn't always magical beach sunsets and travel dust. What that normally looks like is a 5:30 am alarm clock with a ten minute snooze. It looks like getting up before the sun and doing a "it's freezing cold and I can't stand it" dance while trying to get dressed in the dark. It's leaving the house by 6:40 am to take a twenty-minute bus ride + 25 minute walk to work for five hours. It's going straight from an intellectually-demanding job to an intellectually-demanding PhD program for another six hours before going straight to the church to teach young girls or attend meetings. It's an aching back and sore feet and looking tired and not-cute most of the time.
It's a lot of time on the bus, and a lot of anxious hopes that things work out despite all my failings.
It's also temple trips and Friday night-market visits with angelic friends. It's making bagels and playing with my friend's sweet baby girl. It's rejoicing in long-distance Skype calls or Google-hangouts with my incredible family and faraway friends. It's visiting members of my ward, teaching institute classes, sharing the Gospel--my greatest joy--with others, and doing Yoga. It's falling asleep on my knees at night before I make it into bed.
Living the dream is often uncomfortable. Living the dream is not sweat- or tears- or stress- or disappointment-free. It's hard. It's sometimes lonely. But I wouldn't trade it. I'm doing what I want to be doing, on my way to becoming who I want to become. That's my dream, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to live it.
Life is a great reason to rejoice.