Eight years and three kids into our marriage, my husband and I enjoyed a weekend away together. It was wonderful for all the right reasons, in all the right ways. During that alone time, our conversations turned toward our dreams for life. My husband talked excitedly about the different things God had for his life (our life), the things he hoped for, the ways we could get there. As he went on, I suddenly said, “Have you ever noticed that we always talk about your dreams and how to achieve them, but we never inspect mine?” It wasn’t an accusation. I wasn’t embittered. It was more a feeling of sudden wonder. A realization. We stared at each other, with head’s tilted in curious thought. My husband gently, if dutifully, asked, “What are your dreams?” With tears in my eyes I whispered, “I don’t have any.”
The truth was that I’d always had two dreams: to be a wife and a mom. I’m currently getting ready to celebrate my 15th anniversary and I have five pretty great children. My dreams came true!
Since I had achieved my dreams, it was easy and enjoyable to participate in my husband’s dreams. I was happy to listen to his plans and help him reach goals.
The problem was that I simply forgot to keep dreaming.
To be clear, it wasn’t that we had each held up our own dreams, weighed them, and then cast mine aside to focus on his. I was living my dream as I cared for my babies. That season of life was so full and so demanding that there often was time or energy or even the desire to think about what I’d like to do next. That conversation with my husband during out getaway was the first time I really considered NEXT.
After that conversation, I swung like a pendulum from “Poor me, no more dreams!” to “I’ve achieved my dreams and should just be content and grateful with that.” In the years following this sad realization, I landed somewhere in between those. I would find myself a little haunted by the thought of no more dreams but also a little scared to dream new ones. There is a quote from C. S. Lewis that gripped me,”You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
What do you do when you realize you forgot to keep dreaming?
You ask God go give you new dreams.
At least that’s what I did. And I’ll admit. I’m surprised by how he answered.
It started with an adult tap class. I had danced growing up but hadn’t laced up tap shoes in 17 years. Two of my daughters were dancing, and their studio offered an adult tap class. I decided to sign up. You might be wondering how a silly dance class could be the answer to my prayer. The thing is, there are two big parts to dreaming. First, there must be a passion. I certainly had a passion for dance, even after all those years. Second, a dream has to be at least a little beyond your own immediate capacity to achieve. The idea of jumping back into dance as a frumpy old mom, compelled to meet new people in class, and perform in a recital certainly felt beyond me!
It was a small step, but a huge one. It was a flap-heel toward new dreams.
I’ve continued to ask God for new dreams. Writing for Her View From Home has been another of His answers. Not only do I get to capture in print the joys and burdens and lessons of life, I’m allowed a platform to share it all with you. Other dreams tease me from the edges of my life, waiting for the right time, the right season to be fully embraced. It’s kind of exciting, this whole dreaming thing. I sure hope you give it a try.