I've been reading a new book-it's all about asking for what you want. Now, I'm an Iowa girl. Born and raised in small town Iowa with a cornfield in the backyard, school next door and a baseball diamond up the hill. Iowans work hard, stick together, and follow the rules. Iowans are not "in your face", we are giving, we think of others first, we know where we come from and don't always dream big about the future. Now, I LOVE living in Iowa. I love the sunsets, the rows of corn, the gently rolling hills. I love the tulips that bloom every year all over my hometown. I love the natural beauty that surrounds me. I love the people. Good people, who really truly care about you and love you. I love being near to our extended families. I love raising my children in a safe place with excellent schools and a vibrant church.
But, this book, encouraging me to ask for what I want and expect that I will get it. Learning to not take NO for an answer. Learning to plan specifically for the future. I have so many thoughts, so many ideas, and such a rich life already. I was not taught to ask for what I want. We were grateful, thankful, and humble for all we had been given. And, yet I have found as I have embarked on this business and art career that everytime I truly had a vision for the next big step, God has been there handing it to me. I may have worked hard, I may of asked lots of questions and placed myself in new "out of my comfort space" situations, but the reality is-my dreams of a paper line-happened. My dreams of a book-happened-much sooner than I ever dreamed. My dreams of bringing my classroom teaching to a bigger audience-it's all happening before my eyes. It's happened because I dared to dream bigger than I thought possible. It's happened because I asked. I asked my family and friends to help me. I asked to show my portfolio to people I had never met before. I asked people their name and what their job was. Asking is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do. We think we need to be able to do it all by ourselves. But, that's not the way this world works. We were created to live and work in community.
I feel compelled to keep revising my plans and thoughts for the future. I've been wanting to put together a visual dream book. A plan with pictures-what I want my studio to look like, the house of my dreams, dreams for my family, the path for my artistic future...but you know that seems so bold to me. It would be asking-thinking outside the framework that I currently know to be my life. It might push me out of the familiar, the "way we've always done things" and if you know anything about Iowans they love to do things "the way we've always done things". I'm used to scrapbooking the past-where we went, what we did, what I felt about that event, but today I feel led to scrapbook with passion about my future. Where do I want to go? What will it look like when I get there? Recording the past helps me to reflect on my life and prioritize what is important to me-that's what I love about scrapbooking-it focuses me. But, this book, this "my future life" book, well...it might take me places I've never been, it might stretch me to new heights, it might challenge me to be exactly who God meant me to be-rather than concerning myself with who everyone else thinks I should be. Now, I really probably shouldn't have told you all about this book, but one motivator I have learned over the years is that if I tell someone I'm going to do something, it actually gets done. And, so I'm going to keep painting (working on a series of tulip paintings right now and finishing up final edits of the book), and I'm going to focus on my future-with pictures in a scrapbook. Wanna make one too? I promise to show some peeks at "My Future Life" book on the blog in the future, but I want to see your pages/book. If you email me, I will post some "My Future Life" pages right here on my blog. Like always you can send me any cool stuff at firstname.lastname@example.org.