Dear Kate & Annabeth,
One day, you will outgrow the magical days of twirling in tutus and spending countless hours in pretend play, drawing, swinging, adventuring, and dreaming. And in your adult realization of “what you want to be when you grow up,” you will realize, and maybe even yearn for, the true magic of unlimited time and creativity that childhood so freely offers. You may find yourselves working outside or inside your home, or both, on jobs that, while ultimately fulfilling, some days feel overwhelming and exhausting. You may at times feel like you’ve even lost a part of yourself, but know that she is there, deep inside, that creative little girl who loved to dance and draw. Don’t ever lose sight of your dreams, of the creative spark and special gifts that the Lord has given you, to bless the world for His glory. Ultimately, the world needs your unique contributions!
There will be seasons where you put your dreams and goals on the back burner, and rightfully so, for noble reasons such as serving your family or others, completing a degree, getting established in a new job, or scaling back to care for yourself during a health crisis. Simplicity is good, and “doing it all” is a slippery slope that leads to exhaustion and burnout; I know, because I’ve been there, but that’s another lesson for another day. Efficiency and productivity – the seeming buzzwords of our society – are good and well, but you aren’t a robot, and it’s ok to have dreams and goals outside of your “main jobs” tucked away in your back pocket for a passing season. Just don’t keep them there forever.
If you wait for the “right time” or to have “enough time” to chase after your dreams, then you’ll be waiting forever. I’ve learned that we must make time for the things that are important to us, and most things worth having are worth sacrificing for. A good example in my own life is this writing challenge – and some academic writing projects I’m trying to finish. There are a million reasons why I don’t “have time” to write – a crazy busy season in my job, taking care of you guys, church activities, some other family issues, keeping our house from becoming a disaster zone… and the list goes on. But the Lord has put a desire in my heart to write, so I’m going to set a timer and give it my best shot for the next 28 days. It’s not going to be perfect and carefully edited for hours, like my typical writing pattern, but it’s going to be done. I’m hoping at the end of that time, I will have passed the 21-day mark needed to establish a new habit in daily writing.
Writing is one dream I have, and there are many others! I want so badly to model for you how to give my all to being a mom and wife, while also working hard to develop and use my own God-given strengths and desires for His purposes. You will probably have totally different dreams, and that is great! You are both different people, from each other, and from me. Remember that dreams lead to intentions, intentions lead to goals, goals lead to actions, and consecutive actions form habits. Whatever your dreams are, write them down. Putting them in ink somehow makes them real. Then, break them into goals, and finally, carve out time. I promise that one day, when you look back on your life, you won’t regret going for it – even if you fail – as much as you’ll regret wishing that you would have.
To Dreaming and Doing,