I am a plan maker, a goal setter, and a list lover. So writing my dreams down should be something I’ve done for years, right? Wrong! Something about dreaming big dreams and then committing them to paper – or digital memories, if that’s your thing – makes those dreams more substantial, more real. But this year, for the first time, I voiced on paper, and in conversation with my husband and friends, my dreams. Dreams I’ve had for years, but have never pursued because it was impractical or, in my mind, impossible. And scary – it was scary. And it still is. It’s scary to make even such a small commitment as voicing my dreams, but exciting too. I have big dreams – dreams of a ministry and a blog and writing a book and sharing my story through speaking and leaving the teaching job I no longer love. Scary dreams. But I also have a big God, into whose hands I am placing those dreams. And you know what – I’m OK if He closes doors on those dreams. BUT, until He closes those doors, I’m going to be busting through them with all the energy He gives.
I have found that I am most likely to dream during certain seasons of the year. For example, at New Year’s. Who doesn’t imagine at least tweaking their lives a little at the beginning of a new year when you have a fresh, new planner, with no smudges, crossed-out appointments, or missed birthdays? In fact, it was at New Year’s that I finally wrote down my big dreams. But that isn’t the only time I dream. I also dream at the beginning of each new school year. As a school teacher, that is only natural. But it’s also a slam-dunk for mothers of school-aged children, teens, and college students of all ages. A new school schedule, new teachers, new classes, new friends – why not have new dreams? Finally, I dream at the end of the school year. I reflect on how the year went, and dream of renewing my energy over the summer and starting the new school year better than I ended the present one (I usually can’t remember well enough how I started it! Ten months with elementary kiddos is a long time!).
But – and this is important – you don’t need a special day on the calendar to start dreaming on paper. Any new beginning is primed for dreams: starting a new job, getting pregnant or having a baby, getting married, sending your last baby off to kindergarten, moving, starting to homeschool, taking a continuing education class, or even starting a new Bible study. Endings are also rich territory for dreams: getting ‘let go’ from your job, the last child graduating from high school or college, ending a season of homeschooling, getting divorced, selling your dream house, or paying off your mortgage. What beginnings and endings are happening in your life right now that can get the dream-juices flowing?
To help you get started, I am making available to all email followers a goal-making booklet that I created when I first began to really dream – that is when I was willing to put my dreams down on paper and begin working towards seeing them come true. It is a just a tool – not a magic wand – so use it if it helps. But whatever you use, begin dreaming today – the next five years will go by anyway.