From Start Your Week with Steve, the weekly newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art —
“When we tell people what we do — I paint, Carolyn writes — the general response is, ‘Wow, that’s my dream job.’
“It is ours as well, and like any dream, it takes a lot of work to achieve, and maintain.
“One thing we’ve learned about following our dreams is that frequently, you will be out of step with the rest of the world, and the bigger your dream and the harder you work at it, the more people you encounter who shake their heads and say, ‘I don’t know guys. It looks pretty difficult to me.’
“They’re not off base, these people. They’re discouraging, but they’re not off base.
“But they’re also missing the point. Achieving a dream is never simple, along the lines of sailing around the world on a cruise ship. It’s more along the lines of what you see in the Shore Leave poster on this page — grabbing the rowboat, because that’s the only thing you’ve got, filling it with provisions, and starting out on the journey.
“You probably won’t find yourself out on the ocean in one of those things, but just the time on the river will be adventurous enough. You will be moving along and in the river of opportunity, growing stronger and more skilled each day, learning to function with what you have, and going places.
“Do you have a big dream, but a small rowboat? If that’s all you’ve got, then use it to the best of your ability. It may not take you to China, but it will take you someplace different from where you are now, and at the end of the day, when you beach the boats and rest for the night, you will be that much closer to your destination than you were this morning.”
Read more, and subscribe, at this week’s Start Your Week with Steve
Do you not make enough money to follow your dream? Think twice. It is possible to Live Happily on Less.
Find Steve’s artwork in the following formats at the following links:
- Original Paintings at Steve Henderson Fine Art
- Signed Limited Edition Prints at Steve Henderson Fine Art
- Inspirational Posters at Steve Henderson Fine Art
- Open Edition Licensed Prints at Great Big Canvas
- Open Edition Licensed Prints at Light in the Box
- Posters at Amazon.com, AllPosters.com, Art.com, and Sagebrush Licensed Fine Art
Manufacturers and retailers, license Steve’s art through Art Licensing.
I’ve been following your post for some time now and have often wanted to add a comment, but didn’t as I felt they weren’t worth reading. However, your challenge to find and follow my big dream has caused me to speak.
I would so love to follow my dream . . . but when your husband of 56 years has been a cripple for 12 years, it’s difficult to dream or hope of anything . . . Even a little relief from daily duties is an unattainable dream. I mentally create small vignettes where I do my art or write a few lines, but my days on our tree farm are so filled with extremely difficult chores (that only I can do), that my small dreams just wither . . . I am left wondering why bother.
But, I won’t give up dreaming . . . even though at my age it seems supremely impractical. Hope springs eternal they say, so I will also continue to desire and wish for that elusive dream.
Thanks for your warm-hearted words.
Jean: I am humbled by your words, your bravery, and your grace.
One of the gifts God has put into my life right now is the interaction, digitally, with many amazing people from many walks of life, like you. Some of them, He sets in front of my eyes and says, “Pray for this person.” And this I do for and with you. I do not say this lightly; your story moves me.
I live in wheat country, and if you’ve ever seen a wheat seed, you know that it doesn’t grow a stalk a wheat by sitting on the counter. It’s put into the ground, where it essentially dies as it puts all its energy into creating the wheat plant. So it is with dreams: all dreams die first. They change form. They grow into something different from what we plant.
Our own dream is in constant transformation, and it never looks like what I expect it will look like. Some days, it doesn’t look like anything at all, much less a wheat stalk. But each day I get up and ask God, “What do You want me to do today? I have no idea where to go next, and I am not strong enough, smart enough, or wise enough to do this on my own.” Every day leads us forward, often not in the direction I was anticipating; but over the accumulation of days, as I look back, I think — “I never thought I would have changed the way I did. I never would have thought that I would know this piece of information, or have met this particular person.”
Particularly in my case, I would never have applied the words “meek” or “humble” to my personality, but time and circumstances have brought me to the realization that I am very, very limited as a human being, and what strength I have derives from my relationship with God. It’s a relief knowing that I don’t have to be amazingly stunning. I just rely upon the Person who is.
I dream of writing. Steve dreams of painting. But trumping both those dreams for both of us is that we want to make a difference in the world around us, and we want to follow God closely in all that we do. Because Steve paints masterfully and I enjoy writing, we want to use these gifts to encourage others around us, but in order to do so, we have to let them rest in the hands of the Person who gave them to us in the first place. He knows best how to use them.
You have gifts which you are using now, but it may be hard to see. I do not know where you stand with God, but I do know that He stands beside you. He loves you, He delights in you, He weeps with you. (What Unconditional Love Looks Like) Please know first that you are already making a difference in people’s lives, and that your hard work on your tree farm, and the care of your husband, are beautiful things. I pray that you may have rest from the stress, and respite.
Know also that your strong desire to do what it is that you want to do, but feel frustrated in doing, is something to hand back to God, and ask Him how to use this desire. If you’re angry or irritated with Him, He’s fine with this, and He will walk you through the emotions. He doesn’t wait until we’re “just right” before He works with us; if He did, He’d never work with anyone.
I do not know where He will take you next, but I pray for you on the journey.
Thank you for reading me, and for commenting, and please don’t feel that anything you write isn’t worth reading. If you have an insight, a thought, a comment, or any form of observation sparked by something you have read in one of my articles, please share with me! — Carolyn
On 6/24/13, This Woman Writes (formerly Middle Aged Plague) by Carolyn Henders