Maybe you’re wondering how I can just take off like this on these kayak adventures? What about time away from family? What about my responsibilities?
That’s a great question!
Keep reading to find out what the one thing is that made it possible for me to chase my dream.
Also check out the FREE resources below to help you build a strong family and live life more abundantly.
This is post 12 of 13 in the First Kayaking Adventures Series: The View from My Kayak.
Hey Friend, welcome! In this series I share how I overcame obstacles and ventured out on my first few kayak excursions. There were victories, mishaps, danger, glorious moments as well as some great life lessons learned along the way. In the end I climbed the mountain of doubt and uncertainty and gained confidence and achievement. I hope to inspire you to go after your own dreams with courage and creativity to make them happen. Life is too short to only wish for the life you long for. Instead, pick up that dream, dust it off, and start living it.
If you haven’t had a chance to read my previous posts in this series, check them out! See the end of this post for a navigation guide to all posts in this series.
Hey Friend, this First Kayaking Adventure Series has been all about me taking off to chase my dreams when I first started kayaking. I dropped everything at times to take off in my kayak. I saw some beautiful places, learned amazing life lessons, and loved the time away to think, dream, and fill my soul.
But chasing dreams comes with a price. A price others had to pay.
I hear all the time in mainstream media that we as women deserve to take time off from our families to reach for our dreams. We’re entitled to pursue outside interests and self-development. We work hard and have earned some “me” time.
Nah. I’ve come to realize I don’t deserve it. I haven’t earned it. I’m not entitled to it.
Pursuing my dream felt a little selfish.
Driving to and from our great kayaking adventure at Sand Hollow State Park, my friend Des and I had lots of time to think and talk.
Some of our conversation was about how hard it was to leave our families. Even though we were so excited to get to go on our 2-Day kayaking adventure, our mother-hearts kept a pulse on our families back home.
We knew which kids would be lonely without us there to tuck them in bed at night.
We knew who had a lesson or a class to get to, who needed to be picked up at a certain time, and the effort our husbands would be making to juggle kids here and there and get them fed and to bed while we were gone having a blast away from home.
We dropped all that responsibility in our husband’s laps to go. Our kids would miss us. It was hard to leave the people we love to do something just for us. It felt a bit selfish and the guilt crept in.
So, what is to be done?
Should I still go on these kayaking adventures? Should I leave my family like I’d been doing and take off to do this thing I love? Should I still pursue this dream?
The answer is YES.
A resounding yes.
But not because I earned it, deserve it or am entitled to it.
But because of SACRIFICE.
We are a lot like this little flower. To bloom and grow we need a steady support beneath us.
That’s what families are for us. Sometimes we’re the flower. Sometimes we’re the steady log.
In healthy, happy families we all sacrifice for each other.
The sacrifices we make for each other:
- empower growth
- provide support
- allow us to be nurtured
- enable us to reach our dreams
- propel us to become who we need to be
If not for the sacrifices in families none of us would be successful or happy.
The key is that we stay balanced and make a constant effort to not be taking more than giving.
How I Sacrifice for My Family
For example, let’s start with me, the Mom. Almost everything I do everyday is a sacrifice of my time and energy for my family. I bet you can relate!
When I’d rather sleep in a little longer I’m up early to make my husband breakfast because I love him and don’t want him to be hungry at work. Or I’m doing laundry so he has what he needs for his business trips. I try to take care of him and meet his needs.
When I’m yearning to get into the mountains, or visit an art gallery, or take off in my kayak….or when creativity calls me to my painting canvas, or words ache to be poured into the writing project I have on the back burner, or when the latest great book I’m reading pulls at my attention, I put it away.
Instead as a Mom I:
- make breakfast, lunch, dinner, clean up, repeat….every day
- wash dishes, vacuum and sweep, do laundry, clean bathrooms
- manage disagreements, chore charts, and complaints
- listen to the worries, heartaches, joys of my children
- give hugs, read stories, wipe away tears
- play math games, edit kid’s research papers, and prepare homeschool lessons
- watch the latest Parcour or gymnastics skill that my kids have mastered and cheer them on
- orchestrate the schedules of my active kids and all their social and educational opportunities
- etc. etc. etc….
We all know the work we do as mothers. And that doesn’t include the work I do outside my home for our community and church.
I sacrifice a lot for the ones I love.
Surely I deserve a break. I’m entitled to taking off when I want to, to fill myself up, right? I’ve earned it.
No, I don’t see it that way.
Because I’m not the only one sacrificing here.
How My Family Sacrifices For Me
My husband sacrifices for me and my children. He works HARD in his career. His concentrated time and energy is spent building a career that supports me and my children.
When he isn’t working at the office he is working at home to keep our yard up, guide our family spiritually, and build abiding and joyful relationships with me and each of our kids.
Because of his sacrifice:
- we have food to eat
- we have a comfortable home to live in
- we have money to buy clothes, shoes, lessons, entertainment
- we get go on family vacations
- I am able to live my dream of being a stay-at-home mom and full-time homemaker
- we are provided for all our needs and most of our wants
- we are protected and kept safe
- We feel secure in his love and loyalty
And this doesn’t include all he does in our community and church for others.
He sacrifices so much for those he loves.
My children sacrifice for me and our family. There are times I’m just too tired and my children miss something they really wanted to do. Or they clean the kitchen instead of going off to play when they could have. It may be as simple as giving me the biggest piece of cake when they had the chance to take it themselves.
They stop mid-run to play with their friends to give me hug and say “I love you”. They run errands for me to the neighbors. They stop what they’re doing to set the table or cut up vegetables for dinner.
I remember when we went to Jenny Lake near Jackson Hole one summer. I REALLY wanted to kayak. It had been over a year since we’d kayaked last. We even had the boats on our Sequoia! But there was only time enough to hike or kayak. Everyone else wanted to hike. I’d never kayaked alone before and didn’t really want to. My sweet daughter sacrificed hiking with the rest of the family to kayak with me! And we had a blast.
That meant a lot to me. Because of her sacrifice I was able to do something I really wanted to do.
How We All Benefit From Sacrifice
So, we all sacrifice. We all benefit at the expense of each other. That is the beauty of families and sacrifice. We don’t do the things we do for each other grudgingly or keep a tally. We do them for each other out of LOVE and GRATITUDE.
Like the flower I found growing on a fallen log in Jenny Lake, sometimes we are supporting one another’s growth and bloom, sometimes we are the one being supported and encouraged to blossom.
Because I love my husband and am grateful for him, I gladly sacrifice for him. I do what I can to help him accomplish his goals, to make his life easier, to bring him joy and peace.
Because I love my children and am grateful for them, I joyfully sacrifice for them. I do what I can to help them reach their dreams, take care of them, and guide them towards success and joy.
Because my husband and children love me and are grateful for me, they sacrifice for me. That includes the sacrifice of having me gone at times to go KAYAKING. And the times I’m painting, or writing, or reading, or whatever I’m doing for self-development that makes me unavailable to help, listen to, or be there for them.
I can let the guilt fall away as I understand the nature of loving sacrifice in families and that it’s OK for my family to sacrifice for me too. Instead of guilt I feel LOVE and GRATITUDE.
So, I’ll say it again.
I don’t deserve to take time for myself to go on kayaking adventures. I can’t take off on a whim because I earned it with all my hard work. I’m not entitled to take a break from my family responsibilities to chase my dreams.
I’m able to go because of the willing sacrifice of my family. And sacrifice is what families do for each other.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Can you relate to taking turns serving and being served in families?
Leave a comment at the end of this post and let us know.
I’d love for you to share your story here! What you have to say may be just the thing someone else needs to be inspired today.
Read the rest of the articles in this series:
- Pick Up that Dream, Dust it Off, and Start Living It! My Story of Choosing to Live My Dream.
- First Solo Kayak Trip: 3 Steps to Start Living Your Dream
- Close Call to Catastrophe and What I Learned When Things Went Wrong .
- Payson Lakes in the Fall: Finding Places of Connection and Wholeness
- 3 Life Lessons I Learned Paddling Provo River Alone for the First Time
- Paddling Utah Lake: Getting Un-Stuck in Life
- Kayaking the Great Salt Lake: Paddling through a Sea of Clouds
- I Blame Them for this Crazy Obsession
- Chasing the Sun to Sand Hollow Day 1: Why Sand Hollow is One of the Best Kayak Destinations in Utah
- Getting Past Panic at Sand Hollow Reservoir
- Chasing the Sun to Sand Hollow Day 2: The Joy of Being Surprised by the Unexpected
- The One Thing That Makes it Possible to PursueYour Dreams
- Life Seasons: Six Things You Can Do Right Now When Your Dream Feels Out of Reach
Learn more about beautiful sacrifice in families here.
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