the Blue House on the Corner of Washington and Division

Several months ago I spent a couple of days in my college town.  I drove around her streets.  I went to all my favorite places.  I saw a few friends.  I even stopped for a few minutes in front of my dream house.

I used to love that house.  It's the second house on the right of the corner of Washington and Division in Springfield, Missouri.  It still has it's huge, mature trees and the wrap around porch.  It's a two story house probably built around 1920.  It's beautiful.  Ten years has changed my house.  It's not quite the same.

I used to love the color of the house.  It was a periwinkle blue--really more blue than purple--with white trim.  The gutters and shutters were also white and each window had a white flower box bursting with yellows and blues and purples.  I had dreamed of sitting hours and hours on the oversize white chairs that lived on the porch.  I planned on adding some white hydrangea bushes to the front.  (That was before I knew of peonies.  If I had known of peonies, hydrangea's would have never been an option.)

In my mind, I saw my children growing up there, walking to school and riding their tricycles up the little paved side walk.  I saw this house in all the seasons...both of life and of nature and I wanted to be a part of it all.  Right there, just like that, with the house frozen in time and me growing old with my family living in the embrace of it's walls.

I dreamed of living in that beautiful blue house on the corner of Washington and Division in Springfield, Missouri.  Even now, sitting here writing, I feel it's pull.  Only problem is, the house isn't blue anymore.  It's green.

It's not kelly green or hunter green.  It's more like a sea foam green only darker.  The shutters are still white and so is the trim, but the chairs are gone from the places that used to hold them.  The flower boxes have been removed.  And it's just not the same.

In some ways, that makes me a little sad...that the house isn't the exact same.  It looks different and I'm sure there is a different family that lives there now, so of course it's different.

I don't have a right to, but in some ways I mourn for that blue house with the window boxes.  I mourn the lack of little children spending hours playing on that wrap around porch.  I mourn beautiful orange leaves of fall.  I mourn for the raised vegetable garden beds just around the back of the house.  (To be clear, I have no idea if there ever were raised vegetable garden beds.  I assume that there were or are because that's what I would do.)

Yes, my delusion was grand.  But it was
beautiful while it lasted.

We all have dreams.  We all make plans and expect them to occur exactly how we visualized them.  But in reality that very rarely happens.  And really that's ok.  If our dreams are not actualized the way we imagined them, that's ok.

Tweet: We all have dreams. But in reality they very rarely happens. And really that's ok. @danettedillon

And sure, we'll grieve their loss.  We'll always want that reality imagined in our mind.  But while reaching our dreams and goals is important it's the journey to our dreams and goals that makes us who we are supposed to be.

It's the struggle,
the fight,
the push...
It's the passion that changes us.

Tweet: "It's the journey to our dreams that makes us who we are supposed to be. It's the struggle, the fight, the push." @danettedillon

It molds us.  It makes us strong.  It makes us want to win.  The struggle should make us want to be better--at least a better form of ourself--so that we can be and do what God created us to do.  The struggle makes us brave because we have to be brave.  We have to take risks to see our dreams come true.  We have to be brave to see the impossible become reality.  We have to be brave enough to trust that God has a plan and will see us through to the end.  We have to be brave to give up control and trust God to give us what we need when we need it.

I'm reminded of a quote from Amy F. Downs book Let's All Be Brave.  (By the way, DaySpring's books are all 25% off.  I'm going to purchase some.  You can to here.)  She writes,
"Courage looks different for each of us.  If we want to see God glorified all over the world, we need to be brave enough to see courage in its different forms.  And we need to do the thing [God is asking you to do].  I can't see into your life to tell you what that thing is today--but I know enough to understand that the brave decisions you make at fifteen affect the brave choices you make at twenty-five--and they are different from the brave moments you face at thirty-five and fifty-five.  To see yourself the way God see you is the first step in being brave."
Looking back on my college experience I can easily see that the choices I made have defined my life.  And, at this moment, I'm fine with it.  Tomorrow may be different, but today, I'm fine with it.

I'm fine that I may never own or live in that blue house with little children playing in the yard.  Is that what I want?  No.  But I'm choosing the road of the Brave.  I'm choosing the path of trust.  I'm resolved to be more than I am, to do more with God than I could ever do on my own, and to live a life of complete trust.

And maybe, just maybe, I will live in that blue house with children playing in the front yard.  They may be foster kids or they may be adopted or may be they are even my grandchildren.  But maybe, just maybe I'll paint that green house blue again.  I'll fill those window boxes full or yellow and purple.  Maybe I will fall into those huge white chairs and drink in the rain as it slips down off the roof.  Maybe...but that can only ever happen if I live on the path of the Brave now.

What about you?  Are there any dreams that you feel are dead but you desperately long for them to live again?  How are you living brave now?

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