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….
Welcome to a new year…2018. Wow. It’s here and we’re officially 6 days in to the rest of our lives. I felt like it was only necessary to officially welcome you to the year since this is the very first blog post of 2018. So fancy.
If you haven’t already discovered, the blog has had a face lift. It was time. New year. New name. New blog. I guess when you neglect it for 6 or 7 months at a time, it ages. I don’t know about you but I feel like 2018 didn’t even knock, it let itself come right on in unannounced! I’m telling you- 2018 snuck in to the party and kicked 2017 out the back door.
I always think about the new year and the resolutions that I make and break…every. single. time. I don’t really make resolutions anymore. They’re now more like dreams and goals that I think through. In some ways, my feet hit the ground running. January 1st came and I was all in for being a better writer/blogger, finally taking control of the clutter in my house, and being better in ministry. However, other things took some time to wrap my mind [and heart] around. Things like living a healthier lifestyle (aka losing weight), having a better attitude about work, and spending less time procrastinating and more time doing. I’m sure you can see why those things didn’t make the top 3 list of reasons why I’m excited about 2018. They’re noble, yes. But, I’ve resolved to being better at them and time after time….I’ve failed.
This year, I did something a little different. I sat down with a couple of my best friends and together, we worked through a dream guide. Sounds mystical, but it isn’t! Promise! We used one from Jennie Allen, the author of a couple of Bible studies we’ve done with the girls. It helped me reflect on what happened in 2017 and dream about what 2018 could hold. It even stepped on my toes a little! All in all, I finished with not a list of resolutions that I knew would be broken, but a list of dreams and things to pray about for the new year. I believe that praying and dreaming is the best way to begin.
So, I loved the dream guide so much that I recreated a version just for you! I chose to call it a dream diary simply because it felt more like writing in a diary and honestly sharing my heart on the matter rather than a guide that took me through steps. Nevertheless, I want you to have it. Simply subscribe to the blog and you’ll get an email within minutes with your free dream diary for 2018.
Gather up a few of your girlfriends or your spouse and dream together. We divided up into different rooms, listened to worship music, and gave an honest look at where we want to go in 2018. Then, we came back together and talked about it. We can hold each other accountable to dream those dreams and take those steps forward in 2018.
So, if you’re like me and you need to begin…again, let this be the first step! Let’s put our best foot forward in 2018 and make those dreams become a reality! I’m praying for you, friends.