I crawled out of bed early this morning. Not by choice, of course. My covers were warm, and after spending three nights on a rickety pull out couch in a hotel, I wanted to stay nestled on my cottony mattress forever.

Forever and ever.

But the seven year old had nightmares, and just as I drifted back to sleep the baby woke up demanding food, and it became apparent that more sleep was a luxury I would not be afforded.

So I made my way to the coffee pot, and now I sit here in front of my computer. It’s so quiet, and it’s still dark outside. It feels like the entire world is still. As much as I wanted a couple more hours of sleep, I must confess – this is my happy place.

This is the place where the Lord meets me – where He whispers peace in my always swirling heart.

This is the place when words wash over me, and sometimes they even flow out of me.

This is the place where I chase my goals – where I chip away at a dream just a little bit more.

There are a lot of stories out there of people who find success almost by accident. They were blogging for fun, or to get through a difficult time, and they were noticed and suddenly there was a book deal that they never asked for!

It seems like my Facebook feed has been filled with such stories lately, and they’re good stories. I like to read them. And yet…

There’s a part of me that wonders if maybe I’ve just wanted this too much. Maybe if I just quit wanting it so bad, then the publishing contracts would roll in. Because aren’t accidental success stories so fun to read?

“I didn’t want this. I wasn’t looking for it or pursuing it!” People say these things and I smile because I’m excited for them. But also, my heart cringes a little because I do want this. It’s why I’m working so hard.

This is why the quiet spaces are so important, because it’s here in the quiet when I’m reminded that the toil is a gift, and the wanting is okay.

“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:11-13

There is good to be found in the discipline of rising early to toil away at your goals and dreams. In the quiet dark, while the house is still, your hands move and your heart sings because this is your time. This is the gift.


Friends, the message is simply this: The time spent working and laboring, creeping your way toward a goal, is a good thing. You do not labor in vain, and the difficulty is a gift.

It’s okay to dream, and it’s okay to chase those dreams. Your story isn’t diminished by years of toil. Though it sounds romantic and poetic to somehow accidentally stumble into success, the truth is there is so much beauty in the toil.

Are you working toward a goal? Do you feel like you’re laboring in vain? I assure you, you’re not. It’s okay to want to see the fruition of your hard work. It’s okay to chase after your dream, whatever that may look like for you. It’s okay to want it.

It’s okay, because there’s goodness in the toil.

Your labor is a gift.

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