better dreams. . .

We tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be!” And as children, we dream of being an astronaut, a doctor, a teacher, the president, a star, Cinderella, all sorts of things. We play in our make-believe worlds where mommy’s and daddy’s are always happy and the children smart and well-behaved. We stand in front of mirrors singing in to the hairbrush/microphone while we imagine wild applause from the huge audience. We dream about traveling thru jungles or space or living in the old West. We invent the best thing, cure the worst disease, save the most lives in our dreams. And, we imagine meeting Mr. or Ms. Right and falling in love and living happily ever after in our wonderful & beautiful mansion.

And then we get older. The dreams are squelched a bit by reality. It takes HOW long to become a doctor? Close quarters cause my claustrophobia to rage, so an astronaut it out. We see families disintegrate before us over lack of money and disinterest. We’re told we’re ‘average’ at best, so get the stars out of your head. And, we still imagine meeting Mr. or Ms. Right and falling in love and living happily ever after in our large family home.

And then we are adults and reality is harsh. We no longer dream about what we will do with our lives. We just get up each day and get thru it. We have moments of greatness in our everyday lives, but wonder where the loudly applauding audience went. We compete with our co-workers, our peers, our friends to be better: a better employee, a better parent and spouse, a success. And, sometimes, we meet Mr. or Ms. Right or think we have to settle for Mr/Ms ThisWillDo and fall into debt trying to live up to what the world says we have to have. Some of us struggle to have children. Some of us struggle to stop having children. Most of us struggle with our lovely, not always happy, sometimes well-behaved little darlings and all their wants and dreams. And we wonder where are our dreams? Is this all there is?

Often we get caught up in the race to get there (wherever “there” is) and we forget where we are. There are dreams still to be had. We just have to look a little harder. It may mean letting go of some expectations we have put out there. You will never live the life of Cinderella with her Prince. But who wants to live a life in glass slippers? They aren’t comfortable at all. Maybe simple and everyday is much more interesting and livable. So what if you never get your name in lights or invent some great cure? Can you say you lived your life well? Did you do the best that you could do?

Don’t give up on dreams. Find those places that made your dream and go there. There are God-sized dreams waiting. We just have to be ready to find them. And, dare to dream again.

Dreaming

I don’t like to fail.  I don’t like to look silly.  As a result, I very rarely attempt anything unless I have a pretty good idea that I will do well at it.  I’ve been told I probably missed out on a lot of fun things, but I just saw no need to take a chance on failure.  As an adult, I find that I have a similar response to setting goals.  This year has been no different.   At work and in private, I’m being urged (and in some cases required) to set goals.  I. Hate. It.  Everything I read, seems to ask:  “What is your purpose?”  “What is your dream?” or “What is your goal?”  And every time, I draw a blank.  I just don’t know.  Is that bad? I put off any required goal setting  to the very last-minute.  I don’t want to fail, so I don’t want to document the possibility of failure.  Why take a chance? 

Several years ago, a friend asked me where I wanted to be in five years.  I was recently widowed and could honestly say that every goal or dream I had for the future was buried with my husband.  I had a hard time seeing into the next week, much less imagining the next five years.  In fact, the very idea of the future was just too painful at that time.  So, I stopped dreaming.  I stopped planning.  I just moved from one day to the next.  I guess I didn’t totally stop all planning.  I still had to manage  a household.  I had kids that needed support and guidance.  But, my goals were often day-to-day survival.  I’ve progressed to a little more long-term planning.  But sometimes, I think I’ve forgotten how to dream.

 A recent blog by Holley Gerth, has challenged me to find my God-sized dream.  I honestly don’t know what that dream  looks like in my life.  I’m asking to God to show me my dream, to give me the courage to actually dream.  Am I brave enough to dream again?  Am I willing to look silly in order to dream? Am I truly ready to expose my heart again to dreams and goals that  may result in pain along the way?  I think I am.  I hope I am.