Dream Barn

Does your heart pound a little faster? Have you been kept awake at night wondering what your life would look like if this were realized? Is it a topic that you can’t stop talking about or brainstorming?

To Accomplish Great Things we must...

Is it a heart’s desire that just doesn’t go away?

Is sounds to me like you might have a big dream stirring in you, but maybe you can’t even give voice to it quite yet.

If you follow me on instagram (jenschmidt_beautyandbedlam), you have seen just a vague glimpse of a big, fun, crazy dream that I’ve slowly started started giving birth to over the last few years. It’s the first time I’ve mentioned it on here and even typing the words has my tummy doing all sorts of fluttering things.

I think that’s what big dreams are all about, aren’t they?

To set ourselves free to take a dip outside our comfort zone? To dream about all the ways that God might take this and use it for His glory?

I’ve written here time and time again about my heart for hospitality. There’s nothing I love more than to welcome people into our home and hear their story, but sometimes, my dreams for our gathering are limited by my surroundings.

And then I started thinking about all the weddings that our extended family has right around the corner. Within the next five years, there’s the potential to be 6+ weddings, followed by another six in the next 10 years.  There would be nothing better than having a dream wedding on our homestead, but thinking through the cost of putting down temporary flooring and renting tents, tables and seating for 250, well, reality sets in.

Or does it?

I’ve spent the last few years gathering pictures, creating a vision board, pinning pictures and just privately dreaming about what the addition of a “Barn, Event Center, Gathering place, Retreat center, crafting/cooking class location” would look like on our land.

The more I dream, the more excited I become and the more ways I brainstorms ideas on how to merge my passions and gifts, along side my desire to use this as a place for ministry.

To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

Dreams never become reality unless actionable steps are taken.

Often we hijack our own dream with all the doubt we place before us. When I began dreaming about starting the Becoming Conference, I just took the first step. If I had spent months mulling over the time, work and reasons it might fail, the first year would never have happened. If you had told me that 600 women would sign up immediately, when we didn’t even have a clue what we were doing, I would have run. I am so glad that I didn’t. This August will be our 4th year and that dream turned reality is a blast (come join us – we still have tickets).

See this amazing venue at The Knot

It’s the same with dreaming about building this Party Barn. (I haven’t really quite come up with a great name yet. :))

I am dreaming big, and I believe that this can happen, but I am now breaking it down into actionable steps to take this from a dream to a reality. This will be an investment. The investment of time and creativity I have, but the investment of financial resources, I must plan for starting now. I am also getting very creative in how to make this happen with out going into consumer debt. I’m brainstorming bartering services etc. While we still have a small mortgage, that is the only outstanding debt we have.

In reality, this dream is only possible because of steps my husband and I have taken over the last decade. Our commitment to debt free living and following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps have made this dream something I can pro-actively work towards. If we were laden with debt, this dream would be put on the back burner while we paid that off first.

One of the surprise gifts we received in terms of our savings came through our children’s college fund. With five kids, you can imagine that paying for their schooling tops the list of funds we allocate. Our family agreement is that we will pay for half of their college, but they have to pay half.  I’m going to do a future post on paying for college since we will have four of our children in college within five years.  ( That post is now up here.) One immediate recommendation? Even if your child is five and you feel you don’t have the budget to save, they will brainstorm ways to make that money grow.

Our gift came as a result of the 2014 signing day. Our #2 son received a full college football scholarship worth $250K. Even though we would never have sent him to a school that cost that much, it still frees up a sizable chunk of our change thanks to his hard work. We are taking a portion of the money we would have paid into his college tuition and investing that for my big, fun dream.

My goal is to have our first event within two years. That event may only be a fun picnic under a barn skeleton, but my father has instilled in me that nothing becomes dynamic until it becomes specific. Our first desire it to purchase some additional land behind our house. If there’s one thing that my husband is a huge believer in is that you can never go wrong with owning more land. Even if my big crazy dream doesn’t actualize, the land is a firm investment.

Over the next year, I am going to take you along with me on my Big, Crazy Dream.

I’m going to share the creative ways I am saving money to make this happen, as well as the extra jobs I’m taking on to make additional cash plus, I’ll let you know some of the design decisions. Now I just have to get one of my fun design friends to help me plan the barn layout with varying phases to build as money allows.

It’s going to be a roller coaster I am sure, but I promise a lot of eye candy as I dream big and share some of my inspiration pictures.

So do you have a dream that’s been stirring in the back of your mind? Does it take extra finances to make it happen?

Is there a dream you’ve been saving for this year? I’d love to dream big with you. What is it?