Hello everyone! It has been tooooo long. I have not posted mostly because, to be entirely honest, things have simply not gone to plan.
This post is about that.
This blog's subtitle, "Girl + Trailer + Ridiculous Optimism," sounded great at the beginning of the project. I still like the phrase, but it has certainly caused me to realize some nitty-gritty kinds of things about this tiny house project, and (surprise, surprise!) about life in general.
Particularly pertaining to the way with which we use the word "optimism."
Google's dictionary defines optimism as, "hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something." I've realized the tragedy is that this word, used without context of what we are hoping in, can lead us to create pretty irrational belief systems. We encourage each other to "Stay optimistic!" and compliment people for their optimism, while subtly implying that they are virtuous for believing something good will happen, simply because they believe or want it to. We maintain that by doing so they are going to go further and achieve things that they would otherwise not be able to if they were plagued by the dreaded, should we even say the word...pessimism.
Okay, don't get me wrong, there is definitely something to be said for believing that you can and should do great things, because that is the truth: you were made for it.
Did you just read that...?
Yes, I am totally implying that optimism of substance REQUIRES you to have a belief that you were made for the purpose of accomplishing great things on this Earth.
Every time I think about my project, this blog, or "optimism" as a concept it leads me directly to Jesus. Every. Single. Time.
The truth is that I am very optimistic about my tiny house project. However, at the end of the day I could, run out of money, loos motivation, or even worse, my finished tiny house could roll off a cliff and be crushed into a thousand-trillion splinters...and I would be SO bummed. But my optimism doesn't die there. That is because optimism's value is dependent upon the power of what or who we put our hope in.
"Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it."
Commit yourself, your plans and hopes to Jesus and He will show you the way to go, and give you the desires of your heart that delights in Him. To me this sounds a lot like optimism- but an optimism that is grounded in reality rather than who knows what. It seems that today the word optimism has been used to replace the word "faith."
But unlike the word "faith," "optimism" doesn't require any context. This is something I refuse to be okay with, because our lives are too big a deal. Too precious, too meaningful. Let's take back the word "optimism" to mean something
At the end of the day, without something, or someone to put our hope in, and therefore our trust in, then our well-wishes and hopeful thoughts are pretty empty. What happens when despite all of our optimism, things don't go our way, and our plans fail us? Our blank check we call "optimism" is revealed as empty as we always kinda knew, deep-down, it was.
In contrast, when we put our hope in Jesus, we find that He is dependable, unshifting, and that He desires and fights for goodness to prevail in our lives, which allows us to be true optimists.
"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him...Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures."
The truth is that life is real hard. Period. In my limited experience it has almost never gone the way I envisioned or hoped. But in spite of my experience, I am still optimistic, because I have found His promises to be true; God has worked in my life in ways I could have never hoped or imagined. He desires to give us good gifts (though not always the exact ones we have in mind).
Jesus desires to give us good gifts.
I would go as far as to say that is true optimism; or rather, optimism of substance.
So, what does this have to do with tiny houses?
Everything! According to my project timeline that I posted earlier, I would have my framing done by umm... YESTERDAY! Have I finished? NO! Have I even began framing? DOUBLE-NO! Do I even have a trailer to begin framing onto...? nope, nope, NOPE.
I have the pleasure of purchasing my trailer through a local tiny house builder, and while I am OH-SO-GRATEFUL for their willingness to work with me and totally help me out, the process of ordering a trailer has taken weeks and almost months longer than I anticipated and hoped. In truth, I have no idea when I will have a trailer, and therefore, not a clue as to when I will be able to start building.
However, even if all my plans go up in flames and I never build a tiny house,
I remain optimistic.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
"we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)
Jesus is faithful to lead us when we trust Him to do so. He never sets us up to fail, only to grow. So, despite all my go-get-em tendencies, I am waiting. Trusting. And then waiting some more.
I will be sure to let you know how that goes!
Thanks for reading!