Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sometimes our dreams can change. That makes sense, doesn't it? After all, the life I lived at age 20 is very different than the life I'm living at age 42. I have different opinions and thoughts and feelings because of the experiences I have had over the years. My dreams before marriage and children were very much about me, how I could make my mark on the world. I never could quite figure out what it was exactly that I wanted to do with my life, although I knew there were a few options. I had always been told by my teachers that I was a good writer, especially with fiction. Then I realized I had a knack with kids, so I decided to study Early Childhood Education in college. I kept failing Math, so I ended up dropping out of school and entered the workforce, first as a daycare teacher, then as a group home counselor. I really liked that job, until I became a mother. Then my priorities and dreams started to change. I would literally cry every time I had to leave my son and go to work. It felt so unnatural to be away from him. I would tell myself that it was ridiculous to feel this way. I was a modern woman, right? I could have it all...career, marriage, kids...all on my own terms. But I felt overwhelmed and empty. I felt like I was doing something wrong, really wrong. When I found out that I was expecting twin girls (by now my oldest son was 4), I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to be a full time stay-at-home mom. My husband was very supportive of this and actually wanted that himself, so I left my job. That was in 1999. I have been a stay-at-home mom ever since, also homeschooling my children. Looking back at the dreams I used to have, it seems as if they were for a completely different person. I guess they are. I still get the occasional fantasy about being a world famous novelist or having my own daycare center or wonder what it would be like to get back into group home work again. But not only is that no longer my dream for myself, I sense it is not God's dream for me either. By being home full time and homeschooling my kids, I have been able to educate and nurture them in a way I wouldn't be able to otherwise. My oldest son has Asberger's Syndrome. When he was diagnosed, the psychologist we worked with said that he probably wouldn't have learned nearly as much if he had been in a traditional school setting. I may never draw a salary, but I do work. In addition to caring for my family in a full time capacity as a homemaker and homeschooling, I am also involved in a few of the ministries of my church. I am helping my husband expand our older teen group and I have just taken on the duties as the church librarian. The desires of my youth have been replaced by the dreams my heavenly Father seems to have for me, and they fill me in ways I never would have imagined before. Instead of feeling useless as a housewife, I now feel empowered as my husband's helpmeet. Instead of feeling like I should rack my brain trying to figure out how to bring money into the house to supplement my husband's income, I am learning to become a good steward of what the Lord provides for us. It seems that at this particular time in my life, God wants my focus to be on Him, my family, and our ministries. Maybe someday He will have something else He'd like to add to that, but I am confident in what He wants for me right now. If I never publish a story or a book, if I never earn another penny, it doesn't matter. Right now I am living God's will for my life, in obedience to Him. My life is full of possibilities. Yes, I will always be a bit of a dreamer, but my dreams these days are radically different from what they used to be. I want to serve my God the way He wants me to serve Him. I want to be open to His leading and fulfill His purpose, not my own. I still have my selfish moments and times that I get the "I'm-only-a- housewife-and-nothing-but-a drain-on-my-husband-and-society" blues, but then God always does something that shows me I'm doing something right...a spontaneous hug....sharing a song or a joke....an unexpected call from my husband just to say "I love you"...and the feeling of peace and contentment that the greatest of all my dreams has come true.