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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Without A Dream....

I was perusing the job listings on Craigslist, looking, hoping for something that my husband could do that would let him come home every night, let us be a family again. While thankful he even has a job in these hard times, sleeping in the same bed only one night a week is getting really old, really fast. And when the weather turns, he'll be out of a job. So I'm constantly looking for something else.

I came across a job posting that went something like this: "Ranch Manager Position open. Commercial ranch looking for manager in eastern MT. Horses only operation. Along with monthly salary, provided will be: 5-bedroom, newer house, vehicle, benefits, utilities paid, and all the beef you can eat." I think I sat there, gazing at the screen, my mind wandering, for several minutes. I can't explain the feelings that came over me, overwhelming me. They were so strong, I involuntarily reached over and closed the website. Getting up from the computer in a daze, I couldn't seem to focus on anything for the next several hours. Something had been stirred in my heart that had long been silent. It was uncomfortable and disconcerting.

Later, after the kids went to bed, I opened the book I'm reading and read these words:
"It as become and informal tradition of ours around the turning of the years to do a little dreaming, allow desire to bubble up from our hearts...It's good for the heart to do some dreaming; it pulls you out of the rut, and lifts your eyes to the horizon. Hope follows, like children running to the song of the ice cream truck. Desire awakens hope, and hope is really good for the soul...Now, we don't know what the coming year holds. But we have found that if we don't dream about our lives then we are simply swept along by the torrent of demands, feeling like hostages rather than mature adults taking charge of our lives....So what is the mission of your marriage? What are the two of you called to do together? Can you name it? "We are in this together" is essential for the boy and girl in the fairy tales. Finding a shared mission as a couple is essential to a vibrant marriage....Our hearts are made to live a life that matters, a life of epic significance. Surviving the week so you can hit the food court at the mall on the weekend is not enough....In the same way that God has hidden adventures and surprises in the earth He gave us, God has also written dreams and desires deep in our hearts. Finding those dreams and desires, and sharing them as a couple, is one of the most romantic things you will ever experience."*

And I started to cry.

I realized that I, that we, had forgotten how to dream. That we'd become so hardened, so cynical, that dreaming seemed pointless. You see, we once were very young and had so many dreams and plans for our life together. We just knew that the world was open to us and God was for us and life was brimming with hope and joy and possibilities. Then life happened. We lost our home to a fire. We mortgaged our land to rebuild. The job market disappeared and we lost our home and property to foreclosure this year. Sky had to take a job trucking to pay the bills. The kids and I live all week without him while he sleeps on the side of the road in his truck. Our daughter was diagnosed with autism. Strain took root in our marriage, each of us falling into our own addictions and shame and anger. And the light and hope we once had for our lives slowly was choked out of our hearts. We put up walls to protect the gaping wounds of disappointment. No more dreams. We shoved our desires way down deep in hopes to quench the longing that reminded us that life isn't what it was supposed to be. If we allowed ourselves to think about "what if?" those thoughts only produced anger, despair, and resolve to forget about them.

But that one job posting awoke everything that had been sleeping and stirred our desires once again. It has always been a deep-rooted desire, even before we were married, to live and work on a ranch. To raise our kids with a love of the land. To use our hands and our hearts to be a part of something that was bigger than us. We were convinced that God had put those desires in our hearts for a reason. We almost realized the dream once. Then the bottom dropped out of all of our plans.

We talked about it this weekend as we drove through some of the prettiest country God ever made. How we've forgotten how to dream. How we can't seem to get past "why even bother?" How we are so afraid of wanting something because we are afraid of being disappointed. Again. It's easier to just go through the motions and live from paycheck to paycheck and forget that we ever had any dreams in the first place.

And yet....

I feel like I woke with a start and didn't even know I was sleeping. I'm tired of not dreaming. I used to be such a dreamer. So I'm letting these desires sit there. I've decided not to stuff them back into oblivion. They're uncomfortable, but they feed my starving soul. They hurt and prod at the wounded places in my heart, the lies that say "your life doesn't matter, God doesn't care, dreams are stupid, why hope for anything?". I'm not entirely sure what to do with them except let them be.

And since faith without acting on it is worthless, I replied to that job posting. And I made fliers that state "Hard-working, adventurous, loving family in search of full-time ranch work". My heart beats a little faster just looking at it sitting on my desk. But it's about to go up all over central Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. Who knows...maybe God has put us here with what we have for a reason after all. I'll tell you one thing...it's a lot easier to dream here. There's a whisper of promise in this place that has been soothing and wooing our souls since we moved here. Saying "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light". And I think we're beginning to listen. If that turns out to be the only reason we are here, then it is reason enough.

*From Love and War, by John and Stasi Eldredge.


  1. I knew that was an Eldredge book...
    Oh Darcy, there's so much I could say right now. I'll collect my thoughts and email you later. Hugs!

  2. Lol, yeah their books have a distinct "ring" to them. :)

  3. Good stuff, Darcy. Thanks for sharing your struggles and dreams... :)

  4. Darcy,

    I'm praying for you. I hope you know that's all I was ever saying on the forums (when people never understood me). I know life is tough. I know some time people have to take trucking jobs to pay bills. And I think people should taking trucking jobs when they need to pay bills.

    But I'm with you. Do so, but do so while still fighting for a deeper dream that you can fulfill together. (I've worked jobs I hated while still fighting through with any strength I could possibly find.) The Eldredges are right. We were made for adventure. I've never been more happy than I have in Thailand because this was my dream. I am taking classes (yeah, college, seriously) right now, and while I Hate my linguistics class, one thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE is the people. We're all in this together. All 25 of us came to Thailand with little money (most people without enough money to return, nor a visa more than a month), and we said, "I'll show up, step out on faith, and explore an adventure."

    If your dream is to live on a ranch, I will pray you and Sky find the work. Whatever your dream is, I am for! You are a huge encouragement to me because you get both pain and hurt, and yet still understand what its like to dream!

  5. Now I know why everything you say rings a bell with me. I think we might be living parallel lives right now. Thankyou for writing, and I will keep you in my prayers. Maybe I should be thankful we haven't had much to lose financially other than credit. Because if we did it would all be gone.

  6. This definitely struck a cord in my heart. I'm praying for you guys, Darcy - praying that you will fly on the dreams God plants in your heart. Blessings to you!

  7. You guys are awesome. :)

    Marlana, your idealism, courage, and passion have always inspired me. Don't stop preaching it, sister. :)

    S.K., parallel lives, huh? I think that's happening to many people during these times. But I'm so realizing the need to dream, to have a vision. God Himself said "Without a vision, My people perish." It's so true. Our souls shrink when we stuff our dreams and desires.

    Benjamin, Colette, Hillary, thank you. <3 I have no idea what God has in store for us. But I am reminded of the scripture that was on our wedding invites and program: "Trust in the Lord, do good, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight your selves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." The first step is HAVING desires in the first place. :)

  8. All of our lives we are told not to get our hopes up...but if we don't...what are hopes for?

  9. Hey Darcy,

    It sounds like you and your family have been through a lot. I will be keeping you all in prayer. Have you ever thought about Idaho? I have a friend who ranches with her husband in Sweet, Idaho. I know there is an empty house (with a killer kitchen) and more work than they can do. They ranch and farm. Let me know if you are at all interested and I can ask her if I can put you guys in touch with each other. You still have my email from last October....or you can ask Elysse.

    Autumn Roberts

  10. Hi Darcy!
    I love your blog and Im praying that everything works out and hope that you get that awesome sounding farm job!

    Take Care!

  11. I'm praying for you, Darcy! *hugs* This makes me think of the song "The River"... choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide. :)

  12. You amaze me. -micala