Living the Dream

I hope these words encourage you today, because when this realization washed over me, I was ecstatic. And just maybe together we can reframe the phrase “Living the Dream” with some more positive associations than the boredom and dissatisfaction those in the military have often used it to convey. 

Living the DreamIt seems this dream journey I’m on ebbs and flows like waves on the ocean. One day I’m riding the crest, celebrating a victory. The next, a giant wave takes me under and I find myself searching for the light. I’m never really sure if I’m making progress in the right direction, or just treading water. That happens a lot when we allow external metrics to determine our success.

But then, a couple of weeks ago as I walked and prayed, I was overcome with the idea that I am actually already living my dream.

Right. This. Minute.

No, I don’t have a flagship location for My Messy Desk or a published book yet. But I am glorifying God with my gifts and talents. I am gathering girls each week around My Messy Desk (both in real life and our virtual world here). We are crafting and praying and connecting. I am encouraging women to get in the Word. I am sharing what God teaches me and equipping other women to follow His lead.

And I almost missed it.

I’ve been so focused on growth I couldn’t see the fruit I was already producing. Don’t misunderstand. It’s not wrong to dream big or want more or to work to multiply your harvest. Unless it keeps you from enjoying what’s already ripe right in front of you. The fruit you produce today paves the way for tomorrow’s growth.

Consider a man who dreams of an operating a thousand acre orchard. Perhaps he can only afford to plant five apple trees to start out. If he neglects those because he is so concerned with acquiring more land to expand, his fruit might be sub par. And if his fruit is no good, people won’t purchase it or tell their friends about it. If customers aren’t lining up to buy the fruit from his first five apple trees it won’t matter if he adds ten or twenty or even a hundred more acres. He’ll just end up with a whole lot of rotten apples.

But if he focuses on making the apples from those first five trees the best apples in the state, customers will be clamoring for his fruit and sharing it with their relatives. His fruit will be in demand. As long as he continues to produce tasty fruit, people will be paying to pick their own Honeycrisps or Pink Ladies. Not only will that provide the profit to purchase additional acreage, but also the demand to keep selling more and more apples year after year.

It doesn’t matter if the man is has five trees or five thousand acres, he’s got to focus on today’s fruit before tomorrow’s expansion.

Focus on today’s fruit before tomorrow’s expansion. #Dreams #MASTERPIECE Click To Tweet

We need to do the same.

We may have big dreams, but we have to pay attention to the fruit we’re already producing, the lives we’re already impacting. Not only will this show our faithfulness and ability to be trusted with more (see Luke 16:10), but it will keep us encouraged and joyful along the way.

Are you living your dream or dreaming your life away?

If after prayerful consideration you decide your dreaming your life away, you might want to go back and apply a little discernment to your dream or maybe get busy Doing the Dream.

How can you nurture your dream today with the gifts and skills God has given you?

I'm Living the #Dream! How about you? Click To Tweet

Don’t miss the other great posts in this series:

Daring to Dream

Discovering the Dream

Dreaming with a Dose of Discernment

Doing the Dream

Dreaming Doesn’t Mean Discontent

When Drudgery Dulls Dreams

When Dreams are Delayed

Death of a Dream

Laying Down the Dream

(re)Designing the Dream

Defending the Dream

Dreaming Isn’t All Dandelions and Daffodils

When Dreams are Daunting

And coming Soon:

Dare to Dream Again

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For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His StoryWoman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.

30 thoughts on “Living the Dream

  1. Wow, this is great! I have to stop “looking for more acres” like that’s going to somehow fix what isn’t perfect. Thank you so much for this, Liz! In other news, I looked at your Workshops page and love what you’re doing! Praise God! 🙂

  2. Liz- this is a great reminder! The orchard comparison hit close to home living near some of the state’s best orchards.
    This will be a visual I can carry with me as I write.
    Happy Easter!

  3. It’s so easy to do this!We find ourselves running full out toward a goal, but forgetting to appreciate how far we’ve actually come. More and more God has been teaching me that is the process more than the destination that counts. I don’t want to miss the joy of his companionshipIn pursuing the dream. Your post is a reminder of this daily truth.

    1. Amen, Ginger! It is SO good to look back and see just how far He has already carried me! And to recognize His faithfulness along the journey! Blessings, friend!

  4. Great post, Liz! Five acres or five hundred or five thousand…it’s being faithful in the little things. I just read the parable of the talents this morning, and your post echoes those truths. Blessings to you!

  5. Since my word for the year is flourishing, I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about fruit and of course your words fell perfectly in line. I also admit to living a little extreme with the dream- gung ho one minute and radio silence the next. I am easily deterred especially when things don’t have the outcomes I imagine. But God is guiding me that I can’t control the outcomes- I just have to nurture and grow the fruit I have right in front of me – whether it’s a bumper crop or a modest amount. Thanks for helping me not miss the fine points of flourishing today Liz. ♥ You’re a girl after my own heart and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next! God Bless!

    1. Me, too, Heather! It is so discouraging when I don’t harvest the crop I dreamed of, but God is always faithful to show me the impact I am making and encourage me to keep being faithful in what He has called me to do. In the end, it isn’t the results, but my obedience that God calls me to. Blessings!

  6. My favorite line: I’ve been so focused on growth I couldn’t see the fruit I was already producing. Yes…I know that feeling well. So grateful for the reminder! You rock.

  7. Good insight, Liz. The dream is serving God where we are in this one day — and all the ‘one days’ add up to what God’s dream for us is. My dream for myself is ultimately whatever God’s dream is for my life. Love that He has dreams for our lives too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the dream series, Liz. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter. ((xoxo))

  8. Thanks for this encouragement. It is easy to be focussed so much on the future that we can neglect what’s happening now. It is good to stop from time to time and see our progress and the blessings we have.

    1. So true! If we never look back we’ll forget how far we’ve come! Maybe even forget what God has done to get us where we are! But remembering all that is what helps keep me moving forward! Blessings!

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