Children are natural dreamers. I love to listen to Nathan dream. He has the biggest and wildest dreams imaginable. Take for example Nathan’s wish for me this past Mother’s Day: “Momma, I wish I could give you a limousine with a chauffeur! Inside there would be a big screen TV for you to watch, and a hot tub. You could drive to work every day and back home again ... and anywhere else you wanted to go!” At the time I drove only about 1/8 of a mile to work, hardly enough time to turn on the big screen TV, much less enjoy the hot tub ... but what a wonderful dream, even if it was a little silly!
This morning on the way to school, this same child said, “I know what we should do with our extra money ... we need to build one of those rooms that you fill up with smoke and everyone goes in and sits down and sweats for a while because it makes you feel better. I think we need one of those, don’t you, Momma?!” I have to admit that building a sauna onto our house is an interesting thought ... not that I have any extra money to do that.
Nate has a list a mile long of things he wants to do when he grows up, which includes everything from inventing suction cups for hands and feet so that regular humans can scale walls like Spiderman to being an astronaut to cloning dinosaurs to being a famous artist. I love to hear him dream about the future, because he talks about it with a mixture of excitement and confidence in his voice.
Nathan is very, very good at dreaming.
Once upon a time I had dreams. Somewhere along the way, I lost them. I figured they weren’t good dreams to have and that even if they were good that I wasn’t worthy to dream them. I figured I was better off just hoping to live a rather insignificant existence, working and being a mom and a wife. Maybe I could teach Sunday School or have a shining moment as the teacher of the year, but bigger dreams were definitely meant for someone other than me.
I lost those dreams, but they didn’t disappear ... they just got misplaced, buried and forgotten.
I’ve moved an amazing number of times. I think at last count, I’ve lived in 15 homes since 1993. If I’m doing my math correctly, that would make 15 moves in 16 years. That’s a lot of packing boxes! I can tell you a lot about moving, but one of the most fascinating things about the moving process to me is that one can pack an item into a box and then totally be surprised to find it on the other end. There is this weird ability to forget you owned something. I’ve always loved unpacking best because it is like Christmas! I open a box and gush over the wonderful things I find inside ... things I am surprised to remember that I own.
God’s been unpacking my dreams lately. I’m surprised by some of the things I’m discovering that I set aside. I am dusting off those old hopes and wishes, looking at them with new eyes and seeing that they are worthy dreams.
Here are a few of the many dreams and hopes and wishes I’ve unpacked in the past year ...
*become a published author
*take a cake decorating class, and someday earn my living by decorating cakes for birthday parties, etc
*participate in short-term missions on a regular basis
*see the Northern Lights, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Great Wall of China and a myriad of other amazing sights around this incredible world
*adopt a child ... maybe a little African baby or perhaps an Eastern European child
It's been surprising to remember that once upon a time I head these dreams close to my heart.
God has even given me some new dreams and hopes for my future, such as the following:
*fall in love with an amazing man who loves God way more than me and pursues Christ with a passion ... but thinks I’m God’s greatest creation on earth and showers me with his affections (and maybe a bouquet of pink roses a couple of times a year, too)
*another opportunity to homeschool
*see my children grown up loving God passionately ... married to wonderful Christians and raising beautiful families. Somedays I can’t wait to be a grandma!
*earn Master’s degree
One definition of the verb hope is to look forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence. When we hope, we dream. And everyone has some sort of dream for their life, even if it is buried deep in the soul in a grave of insecurity and lack of confidence. I buried my dreams in that grave for many years. But God is the ultimate dream giver ... and even though all of these hopes and wishes for my future may never come true, it is a good and wonderful blessing to dream and hope for my future.
Then this is the third defining thing about me:
I used to believe that big dreams were meant for other people ... that I was unworthy to expect amazing things could happen to me.
Now I’m becoming a dreamer who is embracing the wonder of hoping for amazing opportunities given to me by a loving God. Part of that becoming a dreamer is learning to yield my hopess to God and entrust Him to bring about those that are within His will for my life. It also means remembering that He has some amazing plans for me, so I can look forward to the rest of my life with a sense of anticipation ... wondering what God will do next.
Still wondering why I’m here
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh, He’s up to something
And the farther on I go
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m, not here for nothing
He’s up to something
There is hope for me yet
Because God won’t forget
All the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see
He’s not finished with me yet
~Brandon Heath (Wait and See)