I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let my dreams die….okay, well maybe die is a bit of a harsh word. I stunted their growth. Over and over again. I’d allow them to be born and I’d nurture them for a while- at least while it was easy- and then life happened. Life happened. School and work happened. Busy days happened. Stress and sorrow happened. And before you know it, I’d push my dreams so far to the back of my heart that if they weren’t squashed under the weight of the world I carried, they’d surely die of cold and starvation.
I’ve neglected my dreams, too. (I’m a self-proclaimed terrible dream mama….) I’d dream up a dream to be something, do something, or change something, and really get the ball rolling by taking the steps forward…and I’m not talking about baby steps either! One time, I had a dream (and still do….) to do something worthwhile in ministry like be a writer, so I went to graduate school and got a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry (I’m so glad I did it…) and then I started a blog. I didn’t need one to do the other but I wanted to do whatever it took to make this thing work and to have a platform. However, over the years, the blog was neglected because there wasn’t any good content popping up in my head and my heart and there surely wasn’t enough time to tend to it. And the degree? Yeah, I still have it, although I feel ashamed to even say I’m not using it. I do use it. But, I’m still a 4th grade teacher….more on that in a minute.
So, when this thought came to me about my life dreams being like a baby, I knew right then that I needed to tell you about it. Y’all. This was eye-opening and ground-breaking in my life. Let me explain. If you’re a mama, you know. I’m not yet, but I have three younger sisters who were all babies once (hee, hee) and I know that a baby takes up all of your time, energy, and resources. They require a lot! And on top of that, you’ve got to tend to your baby eeeeevvvverrrryyydaaaaaaayyyyy….[everyday]. Am I right?
Your dream is a baby.
You’re going to have to birth it.
You’re going to have to feed it.
You’re going to have to spend some money on it.
You’re going to have to invest time, energy, and resources in it.
And sometimes your dream will leave you disappointed and feeling like a failure. But, dreaming big dreams and doing what it takes to achieve those dreams is exactly why God gifted YOU to the world. I believe that God placed you here for a very special purpose! I believe that you were born to dream up dreams and accomplish things with your unique set of gifts and talents.
When I was little, these little handheld keychain pets were super popular….they were called “Tomagatchi Pets”….pronounced tom-uh-got-chee. So weird, I know. I feel like they were ahead of their time, when it comes to being all “techy” and stuff. Here’s what mine looked like:
EXCEPT FOR ONE THING: Most of the time, my Tomagatchi pet wasn’t happily frolicking in the sunshine like the one you see pictured. IT WAS DYING OF POOP OVERLOAD. No joke. I killed the thing a hundred times. Then I’d revive it. Then neglect it and kill it again because I didn’t clean up its poop or I’d forget to feed it. It went with me everywhere I went and, in a sense, that was my pet, my baby….if you can wrap your mind around a digital, hand-held, keychain pet that poops a lot.
I told you that I’m a school teacher. A noble profession with a platform to impact a whole lot of lives. However, I’ve dreamed of being a writer and a speaker for a long, long time. I gave it up once when I felt that nothing around me was changing and I gave in to the lie that I’d be a public school teacher forever……😳. Before you give me all the looks and decide not to follow the blog….being a public school teacher is wonderful. It’s not a bad thing, but when my dream was something else, I began to wonder if I needed to let it die or squish it down into the cracks of my heart and move on with life, accepting my place and parking in that profession.
Have you ever felt like that?
I chose not to let it die, but I did a terrible job taking care of it. Listen, if God gives you a dream, it won’t die…and real, God-given dreams are dreams that you can’t half-heartedly go about caring for it either! They burn inside of us! We tuck it in and squish it down so that it doesn’t have a voice or really even a place in our lives, but I believe it’s still there. It might only be tiny seed planted in your heart, waiting to bloom, but you need to give it permission. Go ahead, dream!
And when you dream, start taking steps to nurture it and help it grow in your life. I’m serious. They don’t have to be big steps, but little by little, with love and a little faithfulness, begin to tend to those dreams. What is your dream? What can you do in 2018 to help your dreams grow?
Here’s how I’d start….
- Begin by bathing that dream in prayer. Go ahead! Ask God to bring it up out of you so that you can name it. (i.e. I want to be ________, or do _________, or change _________. Whatever it is, name it!)
- Begin to journal about it. Write it out. What is God showing you or teaching you?
- Get into your WORD. Read the Bible. How is God helping you grow through His Word?
- Begin to surround yourself with people who will help you nurture that dream. A great place to start is close friends or family, or even church. You want to be in a place with rich relationships so that your dream has fertile soil to grow in.
- Ask God to help you take small steps. What will you do? Call that friend. Start a blog. Obtain the business license. Go back to school. Schedule the appointment. Apply for the job. Invest the money. Whatever it is.
- AND THEN JUST DON’T STOP. Don’t give it up. Keep praying, keep asking, keep seeking, keep doing. And just like a baby, your dreams will grow and I believe you’ll look up one day and realize you’ve done a good thing.