I guess the young and foolish part of me always thought that making a dream become a reality was something fun and exciting. The truth is that this is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It is not really difficult like learning a new skill, or overcoming some obstacle. It is difficult to the point of being completely overwhelming. It is difficult to get up in the morning, because what used to mean padding downstairs in our pajamas to get coffee and breakfast now means so much more. It means getting everyone dressed, in mud boots, and tromping through the field to heat water for coffee and make breakfast while trying to also keep the baby occupied and the three year old from getting eaten by mosquitos or kicking the dog. Every simple task becomes a challenge. Laundry means pulling out our buckets, washing everything by hand, and getting it on the clothesline before it rains. If it is raining (like it is now), there is only one place to be. So we all attempt to get along while fighting cabin fever in our little 10×20 tent. There is no place to hide, or hang out, or be alone. Decisions about the land or the house building project seem impossible to make when you are trying to just simply survive. I am torn at night when I go to bed because I have this weird mixture of relief that I finally get to go to sleep, and mild horror at the thought of having to wake up again the next morning. Sometimes we lay in bed at night talking about how there is a large majority of people in the world that live like this every day, with no hope of anything different. It makes me feel somehow selfish to even be grumpy about my four weeks of hardship, but I am grumpy about it anyway.

We have been here four weeks. How can that be? It seems like it has been a lifetime since we drove away from our house. I thought we would have something built by now. I thought camping might be more fun. I thought we might have campfires in the evening and roast marshmallows and talk about our dreams. But dreams are just that….talk. Turning them into something tangible is so much less glamorous than most of us probably realize. Every day we spend hours trying to just get basic needs met, and the ‘down’ time that we have is spent working out details of the house plans, making phone calls to get things ordered, or make lists of things that need to happen for the project. There is ‘rest’ time, but no reprieve from the rain or sun or bugs or chores.

I guess I am glad that I didn’t know how hard it would be, because then I might not have done it. I am glad that God lets us dream. I think about the settlers moving West, leaving their families behind and heading into hostile, unfamiliar territory. They did it for a dream. A dream of a better life for their families. A dream of land and prosperity and opportunity. Sounds much more glamorous on paper. I am sure that it was beyond horrible at times. I am also sure that for most of them, they questioned daily whether they should have come or not. The dreamer in me, though, also believes that at the end of the day they were glad that they were there. I am trying to also be glad. I am trying to look past the hardship and see the glory. I am trying to look through the rain and see the deer feeding at the edge of the field. I am trying to keep dreaming……