What is a dream for a mom? A vacation on a deserted island being served umbrella drinks poolside while drenched in the glorious sun? Umm yes, but that’s more of a fantasy. Sorry.
I’m talking dreams here. You know, those passions, business ideas, and talents we desperately want to put to use. We all have a dream deep inside waiting to come out. The dream of who we were “destined” to be before the demands of life and motherhood came knocking at the door.
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of creating a clothing line, starting a design business, launching a nonprofit that’ll serve your community, writing a book, or starting a blog like this one.
These are real dreams and are tied to our gifts, talents, and our desire to make a difference in people’s lives. My dream has always been to become an author. I used to write mini-books on stapled pieces of notebook paper when I was a kid! Cute huh?
It took me MANY years before I finally found the courage to put my writing out there. I’m talking adulthood. I was too afraid to be vulnerable.
I’m so glad I finally found the courage to let it all out!
I’m now working as a full-time writer. I write for this blog as well as for the companies I’m hired to create content for. How did I do it?
I first got clear on my vision, did my research to find out what I needed to do to reach my goals, and surrendered those plans to God as I learn to trust Him along the way.
Get Clear on Your Vision
The first thing to do before anything else is to firmly grasp your dream. The more you understand it the better. There’s a phrase people love today and that’s Follow Your Bliss. It’s not a bad phrase, it’s just not complete.
Following our bliss means we’re seeking only what we want and what makes us happy. And while that’s also not bad, we should be mindful to consider that we’re part of a bigger plan. One that not only causes us to be fulfilled but also uses us to deliver fulfillment, in some way, to others.
So starting with our passion and what brings us joy is a great place to start. We just need to understand how our passion connects with others outside of ourselves. True Purpose is never selfish. It always connects with others.
Writing it down is not just a good idea – it’s biblical. The Bible tells us to write the vision and make it plain. Basically, get your ideas on paper, and don’t be tempted to make them super deep. Keep it simple!
Focus on what you want to accomplish, who you aim to serve, and why you want to do it. If you have those three points established – you’re well on your way!
Take Out the Trash
Sometimes, we need to do some work to remove all the self-limiting beliefs and other garbage that keeps us from living our dreams. In fact, I needed a dump truck to take out all my mind-garbage!
Cleaning out the clutter in your mind and heart may be easier or harder depending on where you are. Even if you have your dream all mapped out, you can still find yourself standing in front of your vision terrified.
If that’s you, I say – BE BRAVE. If your dream looks nice, simple, doable, and very manageable – IT’S NOT YOUR DREAM. Or at least, it’s a very watered-down version of your dream.
I’m going to lean in for a second, so get ready. Our dreams were never designed for us to fulfill on our own. They were never meant to be easy or simple. They don’t live in a box with a pillow and a comfy blanket to curl up in when we get uncomfortable.
Our dreams (our purpose) were designed to be BIGGER than us, WIDER than our own abilities, and will reach FARTHER than our own influence can take us… if we’re willing to make our dream a partnership with the Creator of the universe. He’s pretty qualified, I promise.
The phrase “fear not” occurs 63 times in the Bible. And the promise, “I am with you” is given 35 times. God boldly and lovingly tells us over and over not to be afraid because He’s right there with us.
Why do we need to be told not to be afraid? Because the dreams and visions, the real dreams and visions, that we were given are too big for us to completely understand and carry out on our own. If your dream scares you – good. It’s supposed to!
Protect & Feed Your Dream
Once you get your vision clear and remove the trash that’s in the way, you must protect and feed your dream. You can keep your vision before your eyes in many ways.
One way is to create a detailed vision board. Most people use vision boards to “bring in” the stuff they want like the house, cars, and lifestyle they desire. This is where the belief that the universe is returning to them what they desire and focus on the most.
This principle is true in the sense that we will bring in whatever we focus on the most. What we bring into our heart is then pumped through our spirit. Those thoughts, ideas, and visions (because we’re focusing diligently on them) become the words we speak and eventually the actions we take.
Whatever we focus on the most – hopes and dreams or problems and stresses – will eventually become our reality. The psychological term for this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There’s nothing wrong with creating a vision board of the lifestyle we want, but it would be more
productive to start with your dream first because “it” will lead you to the lifestyle you desire. It’s
not a good idea to look first for the fruit without first planting the seed.
Our purpose creates a harvest for a lifetime. Wanting the harvest from a crop you didn’t plant will cause you to spend your life chasing down more fruit.
Another way to protect your dream is to journal every day. There are so many benefits to journaling daily. I personally find that writing to no one but myself is cathartic and helpful in guiding my thoughts into a productive place.
When I’m overwhelmed or I start hearing that familiar, “this is impossible” tune playing on repeat in my head, writing it out allows me to see my situation from another perspective. I end up refreshed and inspired after writing it out and have a new plan to move forward.
Carve Out Your Own Space
You just got the run-down on protecting the dream inside of you. That’s all because dreams are vital to your enjoyment and fulfillment in this life. Unfortunately, moms going after their dreams can be a hot-button issue.
And in many ways, it should be because, as moms, we have more to be concerned about than ourselves and our own desires. Once we’re blessed with children, the priorities change. And first should ALWAYS come first. That means your marriage too!
This is where the struggle begins, for us dreamers. We’ve been given this beautiful family to love and take care of, and we have this dream inside that’s begging to get out also. So what do we do? Take care of our family or pursue our dreams? My slow answer is this – BOTH.
Your family doesn’t go away and they will always need to come first. And as a mom, you must be sensitive to the current season you’re in, and make adjustments for that. If you decide to put your dream on pause for a season – THAT’S OK! You must follow your heart, and not try to do it ALL at the same time.
But when the time is right, you will need to carve out your own space. Rarely, will 8 hours a day of free time just fall in your lap. Whether you may stay home full time with your baby and small children, work full time outside the home, or work at home as a freelancer for income; you’re short on time. But it’s possible.
When I started this blog, I made the sacrifice to get up every morning at 4:00 am and work for 2 hours before I had to get my older kids up for school. Then when my baby would nap, I’d fit it in there too.
Have Faith in the Process
Even if you invest one hour a day in your dream – you’re so much further than those who invest zero! Don’t believe the lie that you can’t do big things with little time. Jesus multiplied the little boy’s small lunch to feed thousands. How much more can he multiply your sacrifice of time!
It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. And I’m not leading you down a path where your children must learn to fend for themselves while mommy “finds herself.” This is a process where you must sacrifice – not them.
I firmly believe, though, that you and your entire family deserve to have a mom who loves everything she does and doesn’t put herself and her dreams on the back burner. Waiting until your kids are grown and out of your house before you learn who you are is dangerous and no different than waiting until your kids are out of the house before you date your husband.
You’ll be staring across the dinner table trying to connect with a stranger. The same is true for you. Getting to know yourself and honoring your dreams and your purpose is necessary for your growth and fulfillment as a person and a mother. And the more you grow the better wife and mother you’ll be.
What’s your dream? Share in the comments below what you’re excited to commit to today!