I always dreamed of growing up, marrying a wonderful man, and having a bunch of babies. I would have a pretty house and I would bake cookies often. Everything would be bliss (because of all the babies and cookies, no doubt).
I’m thankful for the dream. I’m thankful I had high hopes and high expectations and I’m very thankful that God said “yes” to so many of my dreams. He could have said “no.” He could have said, “I have something different for you that will be better than your dream.”
But here I am. I’m all grown up with a wonderful man and a bunch of babies. But whoa. Did you know babies don’t stay babies for long? They actually get bigger by the day, and before long, the babies turn into big kids and then, if you can believe it, they become teenagers and then adults. This doesn’t just happen to all those other “older moms.”
In my younger years, my dreams never really took me that far.
I never dreamed beyond a houseful of kids ages 7 and under. I never knew there would be life after Tonka trucks and wooden puzzles. I never thought about being my kids’ biggest cheerleader during high school and college sports or buying them man-sized jeans. I never considered that some day, these babies would grow up and discover talents and careers and their own senses of humor and a personal relationship with Jesus that challenges their “old mom” and helps her to grow.
I never knew that part of the dream would include heartbreak. I didn’t plan for times of sadness or disappointment. All the cookies in the world don’t fix what hurts. As it turns out, living the dream sometimes means crying through the reality, but pushing through together in faith.
And what I really never knew about the dream? One dream brings forth new dreams. As God continues to reveal His work in the lives of my sons and in my marriage, He’s given me new dreams. Dreams for the future and all of the good that is yet to come.
But what I’m most thankful to discover is that the best is not in the dream. It is in the now. The best of the best happens when I choose to love and enjoy and appreciate this moment, today.
The best of the best happens when I’m not dreaming about what is to come, but am instead gratefully loving today’s goodness. See, the place I keep finding myself to be in is the one that I never even knew to dream about in the first place. It’s in the moments…
- My adult son brings a pack of his college friends to our house, and I get to set out the food and be amazed at this new piece of life.
- I hear our grown-up boys reminiscing and laughing over “that time we were little and…”
- We are piled in the living room having our family prayer time and I hear the hearts of my boys as they talk to their Father.
- I see my boys serving others willingly or taking leadership or speaking kindly to someone.
This is the dream I didn’t even know to dream. I look at what I have (laundry piles included) and at where I am (often at the kitchen washing a sink full of dirty dishes) and I think, “This is what I would have dreamed about had I even known it was a dream to be dreamed.”
I didn’t know to dream this. But God knows perfectly well. He knows each of our needs and so often, He even provides for our desires. Sometimes He says, “no” but often He says, “Yes, and also…” because He has more to offer than we know to long for.
Some of Asa’s college soccer teammates around our kitchen table…
Hanging out with college students after dinner with about 4 gallons of ice cream…
Our living room filled on the eve of “National Pancake Day.” I made 12 batches of pancakes that night…
and a few more pounds of food just in case we ran out of pancakes…
I didn’t even dream about days like this. It never even crossed my mind. How amazing of God to give it to me anyway.
Dream big, my friends. But mostly, trust that God has good plans for your future, resting peacefully and joyfully in this moment, today. Focus on His Kingdom purpose for you. He’ll give you more than you’ll ever know to dream.