There are six cedar Adirondack chairs in a circle around our firepit. Since we first moved to the woods that is something I have always wanted. A circle of chairs that is ready and waiting for an impromptu gathering of roasting marshmallows, or to serve as a quiet place to read a book or share a cozy conversation. And not the plastic chairs, either. Wooden ones. Chairs that appear to have claimed their spot in the woods long before we ever arrived, and that will remain, along with their stories and memories, as part of the landscape long after we are gone.
There were so many things that took priority over those chairs, payments and projects and responsibilities, I was beginning to wonder if it would this little dream would ever happen.
About the same time that we moved to the woods, I attended a Vision Board workshop. We had to complete some worksheets that guided us through goals, dreams, and hopes for the years ahead. Then we were to find and attach words, pictures and photos that represented this vision for our future.
Mine was beautiful.
It had a lovely silhouette of a slender woman, shots taken of a bright and airy home in tones of grey and blue, lakes, mountains, friends gathered around a bonfire, and words cut out that said “SHARE YOUR STORY”. I wish I could show you a picture of it, but I don’t have it anymore.
At some point I ripped it to shreds in a fit a self-destruction. I don’t remember the events that lead up to it, but I distinctively recall tearing the entire thing into teeny, tiny pieces.
But today, today I found the worksheet I completed back then. It said this:
“I have found my ideal weight and am confident in my appearance.”
“I find ways to be creative every day.”
“I minister to women through my writing.”
Today, I can say that all three of those statements are true. At the time that I wrote them, at the time I carefully glued the images to the poster board, I had no idea what would come of them. I had no idea of the events and trials that would get in the way of these goals, and the rock bottom moment that convinced me to give them up. And I had no idea of the unexpected changes in my circumstances that, seeming like tragedies at the time, ultimately brought me to a place where I could see these goals gradually become reality.
So now, six cedar Adirondack chairs encircle our firepit. A nice woman listed all of them for sale at a price that just one should have sold for. She needed to sell them to meet a goal that she had set for herself. Ironically, she’s preparing to move to the area that we had moved away from. We all have different goals, different motivations, and different ways of getting there.
There’s a saying something like – if you want to see God laugh, just tell him your plans. We naively set goals and create dreams for our future. Sometimes nothing comes of them, sometimes we get there after a long, hard, unimaginable road. And sometimes we are simply given a gift. A gentle nod from our Father that says, I hear you, I see you, and I know.