Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eight Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Dreams

Dear Daughter,

I say many things to the boys regarding life and love but you, you have been so level headed and smart throughout the years, I have not said much. I have said "wait" and you did. I have said to be modest and you are.

The truth is that I have such a full heart and head, that it is difficult to find the words. When you love a child so much and you want better things and greater things for them, there is a phenomenon in which love and fear become entwined and a person can choose to shut their mouth, rather than risk saying the wrong things.

Here is me, opening my mouth, because life is too fragile to pass up a chance to say something.

We have always praised you for being sensible. You save your money, finish your school work, and your chores. You go to church and you are charitable. You love with actions and everyone likes you. You remind me of me, once upon a time, and I am proud of you.

Because you remind me of me, I wonder what is in your head. Do you do what you do to take the path of least resistance? When you were little, you brought everything you dreamed and hoped for to me. Then I got busy with three and more demanding, time consuming boys and you took your place as Mommy Number Two. It was never my intention for you to do my job. But then, I reasoned, you do seem to love your brothers. You read to them. You nurtured. You are good at it.

Now I wonder if you're too serious, too sensible. You have dreams, I know it. Do you clip your dreams' wings for fear of the impossible? You brother's head is always in the clouds and we have tried to bring him down to earth and make him realize what he needs to make his dreams come true is hard work. You are hard working, but do you dream?

You love art, don't you? When you were little we did clay together. We sewed together. My dreams would be designs in my head and I would make a little dress. You were such a good partner. I miss making art with you.

Art does not HAVE to be your dream. Nothing is set in stone. Art was not my dream when I was little. I had dreams of greater things and no one ever told me my dreams could be possible. No one told me I could be a doctor or a minister. I guess my dream's wings were broken. Of course I'm not sure I knew myself then. I was a creative person all along. I changed my dreams for more attainable things.

It's easy to be a wife and own a house and a dog. Then you realize that your dream needs to be bigger then that. A house and a marriage become something that need fixing. Your dog dies and your life is one endless sink full of dishes and at some point you just want to survive. This you have heard and this is why I have told you to wait. But what are you doing while you are waiting?

I want you to live so you can find out if your dreams are really what you want in life. I have lived a LOT in my 37 years and I do feel like I'm old enough to tell you a few things about dreams.

#1 Your dreams are really yours when you get to know yourself

I did not know myself when I told everyone I wanted to be a doctor. This career is something that requires attention to detail and the ability to retain a great deal of information. I do not retain information very well.

Just understanding your personality type is not enough.

#2 Your dreams are really yours when you have lived a little

When I told everyone I wanted to be a doctor, I did not know anything about the field of medicine. I imagined setting my own hours and working in charity clinics to do good for people. It was my compassion for mankind that influenced this dream. This compassion can be served out in other ways. I feel like the years I was in school, the only thing I was given the opportunity to be good at was, well school. In reality I wasn't very good at school.

When you live a little, you find out there are other things to be good at. I found out that being able to talk to people or balance a checkbook or manage a couple of teenagers is something some people are really good at and some people are not. When I was young, I did not know what I was good at. Once I got a couple of jobs and volunteered in different settings, I found things I was good at and things I was not. I also found out that I was good at doing some things that I did not like doing.

#3 Your man is not your dream, he is your partner

It is good and right to want to marry and serve your husband but every woman (even stay-at-home women) have things that they want to put themselves in to. Every happy, fulfilled woman has things that she puts herself into. Some women volunteer at a food pantry, at their church, or on a sport's team. Some women advocate for abused children or simply throw themselves into decorating their home. Some women put on lavish gatherings week after week. Some women sculpt and sew in a corner of their home.

Your husband will be the center of your attention for a few hours of the day but he will not be, cannot be your only dream.

#4 Your dream should line up with God's plan for you

God has simple outlines for life in his Word. You dream should line up with God's word or it is not from God. If it does not line up with God's Word, keep an open ear and an open heart. Good things will come if you let God change your heart.

#5 Your dream is probably bigger then what you think you can attain

Don't let the harshness of life crush your dreams. God has a way of pulling in the color to life. If you allow him to guide your journey, you will be amazed at what can happen. God may change your dreams and give you new ones but never allow a dream to die an untimely death. Let God put old dreams to rest and know new ones will come.

#6 You can raise healthy and relatively happy children and see your dreams come true

Don't buy into a warped world-view. Children do not kill dreams. They might delay your dreams for awhile. If God gives you children, he will still bless you with many good things and align your dreams and desires with what is good for your whole family.
#7 College is only ONE way to make dreams come true

There are some dreams that require knowledge and training. College is only ONE way to obtain a new skill set. You can learn and be educated in so many venues these days. Still, if you feel college is essential to reaching your goals, don't let obstacles keep you from attending. I will help you find a way in.

I don't ever want you to feel like you have to go because I want you to or because people say it's the NEXT thing to do. I wish someone had helped me get in the door but I don't want to PUSH you in the door because that is what I wanted.

#8 I always want to hear your dreams

Just because I'm busy doesn't mean I don't want to talk to you. Ive kept you close... on my hip for a long time. I miss you. When you get the time, talk to me... I want to hear what you are finding out about yourself. What are your plans? Continue to be level headed and sensible but dream a little too.

Love , Mom