Quitter

Yep.  I just read that book.  I read the first half on Matt’s iPad as he drove the first leg of our trip to Garmisch.  (For those who know us well, I know you’re aghast at that last sentence.  For one, Matt drove.  I assure you he had a blue Monster in hand to help him avoid falling asleep.  And another… I let him drive.  After the whole ‘driving myself everywhere for 15 months,’ not to mention him not driving anywhere for 15 months, it’s been kinda hard to let go of the reigns… er… steering wheel.  I know…  It’s been a couple of years, but I still struggle with that one).

We bought the book off of iTunes just before getting in the car.  Who needs bookstores?!? Especially book stores like the ones we have here where all the books are in German, anyway!??!  (And our AAFES bookstores have a limited selection.  Our library has an even more limited selection. The link I’m posting right here is to Dave Ramsey’s website where you can order the actual book or the eBook.)

If you check out the picture above you’ll see that the subtitle of the book is, “Closing the gap between your day job and your dream job.”  You may be wanting to ask me why I’m reading a book about quitting my day job when I HAVE NO day job.  No, I’m not wanting to quit being a SAHM or homeschooling.  I want my life and feel I am living my dream job.  But when my financial hero mentions a book enough times on air, I feel compelled to read it.  I also read, upon Dave Ramsey‘s recommendation, Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend and, let me assure you, EVERY HUMAN BEING should read that. When his recommendation regarding Boundaries was spot on, I decided to go for it and read this one.

Can I just say, I LOVE Jon Acuff’s voice.  I haven’t heard his actual, audible, voice, but have “heard” his writer’s voice.  He writes like I talk.  I can hear his thoughts as I read and they are relevant and contemporary.  Those are two pretty important words in today’s society.  Relevant.  Contemporary.  When a book’s voice possesses both of those qualities, it MUST be good.  And it was.

Matt has dreams.  I have dreams.  Of course we have the dreams of our childhood that we remember and smile and then think, “Oh heck no.”  It was cute that I wanted to grow up and run a day care center in a little building in my back yard.  Now that I OWN 4 kids and RUN a real live school/preschool for those kids, I have zero desire to run a day care.

Matt wanted to be a rock star.  He, like myself, has touches of his childhood dream in his real life as he plays guitar and leads worship every Sunday at ChapelNext.  But to live the “tour bus, drunk as a skunk, bar hopping” lifestyle, nope.  Not for him.

Those are fun to think about and pat our “young selves” on the head in an adoring way and think, “aren’t you just adorable?!?  I could just pinch those cheeks.”  But I’m specifically talking about the kinds of dreams we have that are realistic.  Big, but realistic. We both protect those dreams within our hearts in places we don’t often share with others.  They’re ours.  If they stay in or hearts and don’t share them, we avoid a few risks:

  1. The risk of being laughed at.
  2. The risk of failing at them.
  3. The risk of being told, “Someone already does that, and better than you ever could.”
  4. The risk of knowing for sure, upon failure, that we did not have what it takes.
  5. The risk of going broke while going for broke.

Safely tucked in our hearts they are not subject to ridicule or defeat.  So, when I finally did start to unpack my dreams, in the safety of our own marriage, I find it none too surprising that when the boys interrupted or Parker started crying at the start of every single sentence, that my dream felt attacked.  Imagine you had just read half of a book on living your dream.  The dream that was safely tucked away started to wake up.  You switch from the passenger’s side to the driver’s side (not while the vehicle is moving) because the effects of the Monster your husband consumed has worn off.  You have a bajillion words streaming through your mind and, as a woman, they must be released or your head and heart will explode within minutes.  The quiet car is the perfect, safe cocoon to unravel the dream with the only person on the planet you trust with your dream.  And then one son asks a question.  You pause midsentence for dad to answer the question. You restart your sentence just when someone complains that they can’t find their pencil. You restart your sentence over… and over… and over… until at last the stupid pencil has been found, all questions asked and answered, and FINALLY, you are going to be able to discuss the dream.  Then, the baby, who has been mostly silent during the drive, decides to scream.  Not a consistent scream, just a yell that says,”Hey, I’m here… quit ignoring me.”  He gets quiet.  You start your sentence.  The baby screams.  He gets quiet.  You start your sentence.  He screams.  And for the 15th time since the first question was asked you think, “Maybe I’m not supposed to talk about my dream,” and you stop talking altogether.  Close to tears you pack away what you had so hoped to talk about with your best friend.  Instead of thinking, “Well, this just wasn’t the moment to talk about it” you stuff it away back in its safe place where no questions or interruptions can damage it. You pack it away as if it were a delicate piece of crystal that could crumble into a million pieces at the slightest touch.  

Based on what I read in Quitter, dreams must be a lot tougher than that.  They must be strong enough to withstand super serious beatings before they’re ready to be lived.

I finished the rest of the book on the laptop while Matt was in Marriage Retreat sessions. I can never remember how to do a Screenshot so I always have to google it!  See the cover of the book in the image above?  Below it you’ll see the Wikipedia text on how to get a Screensot.  My dream hasn’t been unpacked again since we got here, 24 hours ago.  It’s in there, dozing.  Matt’s is in his heart, dozing.  We want to dream.

I would love for the Army to be a career for us.  It probably will be.  We really like most of it.  Actually, I love everything but deployments, and honestly, his deployment is what jumpstarted our “get out of debt” so I have nothing but positive things to say about it. God’s hand was on our family.  I know God has placed a calling on my life.  A calling on Matt’s life.  There are things we love to do that we would love to be able to do MORE of.

If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

If money were no object, what would you do?

What is your dream job?

How would you fill in the blanks…  “I’m a _______ , but I want to be a _______”
(Some examples could be, “I’m a teacher, but I want to be an artist.”  Or, to be more creative, “I’m a crocodile hunter, but I want to be a sommelier.”  The idea, not necessarily the examples, are taken from Chapter 2 of “Quitter.”  And admit it. You had to google “sommelier.”)

If you are currently in a place in your life where you know you’re safe but want to do something else, I highly recommend this book.  If you are happy with where you are, but want to support a friend, spouse, or another loved one who you know wants to live their dream, I highly recommend this book.  If you ARE living your dream, and everyone around you is also living their dream, I will call you a liar and then still recommend this book.  Jon Acuff’s writing is so fun that you will laugh out loud several times.  If you don’t then you are just still miffed that I called you a liar.  Sorry.  (Not really.)

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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2 Responses to Quitter

  1. Pam M. says:

    Okay….I would NEVER have picked this book to read but now I am yearning to read it.

    • Jennifer says:

      Wonderful book. The author said something in the book that changed my life. Though I don’t really have a desire to be a writer as far as career goes, I do want to do it badly enough to devote time to it. That means waking up early so that I’m able to still have time for my family. I wish I could remember how he said it but basically, “If you want your dream badly enough you’ll be happy to wake up early to make it come true.” Poorly paraphrased, I’m sure.

      That’s why my alarm goes off at 5:06 every weekday morning. QT first, then writing! Just because I love it.

      Check the book out. And I think Jamie would even enjoy reading it. Acuff is a fascinating writer.

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