When I was a little girl I had dreams. I wanted to be a ballerina, an archaeologist, a mother, any number of things. I dreamed of visiting Disney World and Australia and the pyramids. As I grew older, though, dreaming became more of a childhood memory fading to the back of my mind as life started to wear me down. The day to day grind pushed aside any grand thoughts for something more.
Even if I allowed myself to dream, it was simply that…a dream. There is a reason they are called dreams, right? Most of them don’t come to fruition. But, why? Are my dreams unattainable? Are they too ridiculous? I’ve discovered that my dreams for me, my family, our future don’t seem within reach because I have had no action plan to get there. I have always been very goal-oriented and have made plans for how to get something done. Most of the things, though, have been small like a goal to organize the storage room or to plan a nice vacation. But….what about my big dreams? What is keeping me from my big dreams?
I believe the answer to that is my own unbelief. I don’t think I can do it or I’m too lazy or the path seems too hard. One of my biggest personality flaws is I get ridiculously excited about some new idea, the excitement keeping me up at night and then I hit some road block and quit. I am a quitter by nature. That is so embarrassing to admit. They don’t make movies about quitters, those who face adversity and give up. That isn’t exactly heartwarming. I can specifically remember not making the softball team in high school. I had played on community teams for years and was generally one of the better players on the team, so I decided to try out for the high school team. I didn’t make it past the first cuts. The movie-worthy story line would be that I went back home and started practicing, dedicating my free time to bettering my skills and made the team the following year. But….the reality is that I gave up. I thought I must not be good enough. The truth was, I had the talent that could have been developed, but I didn’t have the heart. I wanted and still want everything to be easy. So, when I face a detour in my plan I quit. Isn’t that terrible? I hope I am not the only person who struggles in this area. As an adult I will come up with great ideas and my head is spinning with all the things I am going to accomplish and I lose the fire about as quickly as it was sparked. Why? I guess laziness is my biggest adversary. It is easier to be the status quo, to not aim for more. I like my comfort zone as much as I like my comfy clothes and enjoying my coffee while relaxing on the couch. The easy path is…well, easiest!
How do I change this character flaw of mine? It comes, first, with changing my unbelief. If I look at a dream and already have determined it is not possible, then it will never happen. Why even strive for it if I already think the possibility of reaching it is slim? I have to change my mindset and believe I can do it, that my family and I are worth it, that the Lord has bigger plans for me. As I try to be more Christ-like, being a quitter is not an option. When Jesus was facing death on the cross, He asked for another way, that if possible for the cup to pass from Him. But….He accepted God’s plan. He pushed through and didn’t quit just because the path was harder than what He desired.
As I fix my unbelief then I am ready for the next step….the action plan. If I have no plan for how to attain my dreams, then that is another obstacle stopping me dead in my tracks. When I make a specific plan and attach dates to it, then I have something to reach for that suddenly seems to be in the realm of possibility. So, that is what I am working on right now, making the plan. I know my dreams for my family and they are not to just accumulate more stuff. As I write down my path for getting us there, excitement is beginning to overtake me. Seeing it on paper makes it seem real and like something I can do. Will there be setbacks? Yes. Will I want to quit? Uh, yes. But….I am making a decision to push through. I will not quit. My children are looking for me to set the example. I have two sets of eyes watching me. If I want more for them, then I need to model a strong character of someone who does not give up just because it gets hard or doesn’t go according to the plan.
So, what about you? Do you have dreams? Or have you long given up dreaming as the stresses of life have pushed their way into your heart and mind? I urge you to take some time to revisit some of those old dreams and to ponder new ones. They may even make you laugh because they seem so crazy. That is ok. If it is easy to attain, then it isn’t really a dream. Dream big. Dream up what you want for yourself and your family. THEN….make a plan! How are you going to get there? When do you want to get there? And celebrate as you take each small step towards it. You can make a decision today to change your life. Look at the sparkle in your children’s eyes and remember your childhood dreams. Write them down, make a plan, and believe in yourself!
**My motivation for this post came from a video I watched by Jordan Schrandt. Thank you, Jordan, for your words!