When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to grow up and be a wife and mommy. And I also wanted to be a teacher. And a hairdresser. And a baker. And a writer.
I had visions of what this dream life would be like, even though I wasn’t sure how I could really “have it all”. After all, I always really, really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. But I also wanted to be a teacher or maybe I would do hair or have a bakery. Writing? Well, I just really enjoyed it. Maybe, I thought, I would write a children’s book someday.
I certainly never considered the hard work it would take to achieve each dream. As I dreamed of what my life would be like when I grew up, I always pictured the end result. The handsome, hard working daddy. The adorable, clean, well fed children. The spotless, organized home (surrounded by a picket fence and pretty flowers). The beautiful cakes and cookies seen from my bakery window. My perfectly managed classroom full of happy, smart students. Finished manuscripts sitting neatly in a stack beside my typewriter (yes, I’m old). And me. I would be the smiling, rested, relaxed grown up lady.
Fastforward to 2013.
I am 39 years old with a handsome, hard working husband.
I am a mom. I’ve got four amazing kids. All boys. Who knew?!
I am a teacher. My classroom is our kitchen table or our sofa.
I am a baker. My oven is often filled with breads, muffins, casseroles, cookies, and much more – all of which are scarfed up before anyone has much chance or desire to admire them.
I am a hairdresser. About once a month, we cycle through everyone from Dad to teenager to ten year old, then sweep up all the blond hairs that have fallen in the process.
How could I have ever imagined that living my dreams as a wife, a mom, a teacher, a baker, and a writer could be so amazing, fulfilling, rewarding, and enjoyable? I couldn’t know – until I began living the dream. I’m so thankful and joyful! Recognizing this is what makes me the smiling, rested, relaxed grown up lady.
But often, I am the tired, worn out, overwhelmed lady – trying to get a meal on the table, the writing deadline met, and the kids to stop arguing.
Dreaming big? We need to do it. God has given us all gifts – we need to dream and plan for how we can use them for His purposes!
As a child, I simply had…dreams. I now realize that living my dream means that I must be a very hard worker. I must be wise with my time, careful with my choices, and intentional about my relationships.
Clean houses, happy children, pretty baked goods, writing projects, healthy relationships – they don’t just happen. We can’t just dream them into reality. We can’t just desire something into existence.
We have to work hard. We have to persevere. We have to take leaps of faith. We have to make sacrifices. And we have to trust the Creator.
Will all of our dreams then come true? Likely not all of them. I’ve endured shattered dreams. It’s devastating. We have to trust the Creator on this one too.
Here’s what I’ve realized: God’s reality is much better than any of my dreams – even the dreams that have “come true”. He can use us to fulfill His purposes, to glorify Him, and to minister to others in ways we never could ever think or dream, or in ways that we can think or dream. And He always gives us everything we need to make it happen.
Now that’s a reality I’d like to hold onto.
Please share in the comments: Do you feel like you’re living many of your dreams? (Does it take a little more work than you initially figured it might?!) Have you been frustrated to see some of your dreams unfulfilled? How have you seen God work through those times?