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Letting Your Kids See You Dream

Letting Your Kids See You Dream

I had a lot of dreams as a kid. A lot.

Ignoring the dreams, skills and talents God has given us and causes us to live less than the fullness He has for our lives. Mamas, let’s learn to dream again, and discover why it matters to the Kingdom, and to our kids!

I wanted to be a princess, a prima ballerina, and a model. I dreamed of winning a gold medal for figure skating in the Winter Olympics and for gymnastics in the summer (never mind that I can’t skate and can barely do a somersault). I wanted to be married to an amazing guy, and I so badly wanted to be a mom. I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and to dance a jig in Ireland.

I’ve always had dreams—vast, varied, and big.

But as I grew, something happened. Some of those dreams came true—I married an incredible man, and became mom to three gorgeous kids. I saw the Eiffel Tower and danced that jig on Irish soil. Several times.

But the longer I journeyed into motherhood, the more my dreams faded into the background. Before I knew it, they had disappeared altogether. And I’m not entirely sure why.

I think because in the throes of early motherhood, there’s a natural distancing from self that has to happen. Motherhood is a gloriously refining experience. However, after awhile, it felt selfish to want things for myself. Especially big things. So it was easier not to dream at all than to pine for something that seemed impossible.

But a few years ago, through prayer, self-reflection, and conversations with lots of women wiser than I, I came to realize something.

Ignoring the dreams, skills and talents God has given me causes me to live less than the fullness He has for me—and my family.

I had spiraled into a twisted sort of pride and believed the lie that denying the abilities He has given me somehow makes me holier. When in reality, it dulls my own life and faith experience, and hinders me from ministering to others.

So, slowly, I began to dream again. At first, I wasn’t even sure what my dreams were. Gone were the childish visions of tiaras and ballet slippers. What it boiled down to was, I longed to matter. I wanted the things I did and say to bring value, life, and encouragement to those around me—both in my family and in the world. And I began to explore what things I was naturally good at, and what brought me joy. And I dreamed, and then took the first shaky steps towards realizing those dreams.

Paramount on the list was teaching where my kids are, and writing. The writing journey started over ten years ago. Before that, really. My whole life I’ve been scribbling stories, writing scripts, filling journal after journal. Eventually, I started my blog, was accepted to write here at The Better Mom, and pursued other writing avenues. Now, I write for several magazines and websites. But the big dream still loomed on the horizon.

At first, I kept these dreams very private. Between me, God, and my husband. But I sensed God nudging me to let my kids in on the journey. It was scary to think about! I mean, what if I failed?

But, oh how sweet it has been! They have comforted me after the heartbreak of losing what I thought was my dream job. After rejections and setbacks with my writing. They’ve celebrated with me in the triumphs, and prayed me through the discouragements.

When I was passed over for a position at their school that seemed absolutely tailor made for me, we could walk through the disappointment together. And the sweet, rich conversations we had about how God’s plans for us don’t always match what we think is best were better than any devotion or Sunday School lesson could have orchestrated.

Then. Oh, friend. When I was offered a different position at their school? You can bet the celebration was all the sweeter.

And when my dream came true and I signed a contract with a dream publisher, my kids and husband were screaming the loudest!

I experienced this with my own mom when she went back to school when I was in middle and high school. I’ll never forget the pride and awe that swelled in my chest as I watched her cross the stage to get her diploma. How she spent years balancing and juggling college coursework, a full-time job, being a pastor’s wife, and raising two kids. Seeing her joy, and struggles, in the process opened my eyes to her in a new way. I began to see her as a whole person. A woman. And it deepened my respect and appreciation for her.

Friends, let your kids see you dream. Whatever your dream is: to write a book. Welcome foster kids. Start a business. Start a ministry. Befriend the neighbor. Whatever your dream, let your kids be a part of it.

Let them see you use those gifts and talents God has given you. Show them what it looks like to be part of the Body of Christ, using your gifts to edify, build up, and point others to Him. Even if your dreams seem small, I assure you they’re not. Not in the eyes of your kids, and not in the eyes of your Father.

What are you dreaming, dear one?

Blessings,

Jen

P.S. Join me over on Instagram, and let’s dream together!

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