3 ways to grow your dreams along with your kids

moms goals dreamsOnce upon a time, long, long ago, there lived a young mommy.

When she was just a little girl, God placed a tiny spark in her heart. As she grew, He fanned the flames.

One day, she fell in love. She got married and had beautiful children. The flame waxed and waned as she changed diapers, went to storytimes, made macaroni and cheese, watched Little League games and logged countless miles in her messy minivan.

At times, she thought the flame had burned out. Buried under piles of laundry and sinks-full of dirty dishes.

But then, suddenly, something would reignite the spark. And she could feel the flame begin to flicker once again.

She dreamed of the day when it would grow into a raging fire. The wait sometimes seemed endless. 

Over the years, she would pour her heart out in her journals:

As she waited, He taught her lessons. Guided her through hardships. Grew compassion, wisdom and empathy inside her heart. Used her children to grow her character.

He gave her a story to tell. 

And when the time was right, he poured gasoline on the spark. The fire built and grew, just like she always dreamed. 

Mamas, do you have a dream in your heart? Do you feel like you will never have the time or energy to pursue? This once-young mommy has been there. And I’m telling you there is hope! The wait may seem endless, but it is not futile.

One day the diapers will disappear and the minivan is traded in for a sporty coupe (I am still waiting for that!). During the wait, He’s giving you experiences, allowing difficulties and giving you the tools you need to run after your dream with abandon. And when the time is right, He will often move more boldly and miraculously than you ever thought possible.

So what can you do to keep the flame alive while you wait for your dream to come? Here’s three things that helped me:

1.) Learn. I went to writing conferences and workshops. I read books and magazines about publishing and blogging. At the time, I could put very little of that knowledge into practice. But when the time came, I was educated and ready to hit the ground running. As you have time, educate yourself about your dream. You’ll be ahead of the game when you have the time to pursue it.

2.) Temporarily Downsize Your Dream. When the kids were small, I couldn’t write a book. Or launch a speaking tour. But I could write a church newsletter. I could lead a Bible Study at my church. Those kind of small projects gave me experience and training and kept the dream alive during the waiting years.

3.) Relax. Accept and enjoy the season you are in at this moment. Enjoy your kids. Live in the moment. Your dream will keep. Your children won’t. Time with them is short and fleeting. Pursuing your dream at the wrong time will leave you exhausted and spinning your wheels. And it’s usually not good for you or your family. I know this from painful experience.

Dreams really do come true … and they are worth the wait. I promise. 

What can you do while you wait for the right time to pursue your dreams? 

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28 Comments

  • I’m glad I found you through Pinterest Savvy Rockstars. As a mom of 2 under 4 it’s nice to hear from other moms. I have my own resume writing business and that is my career passion. Raising my kids is my top priority and I’m finding balance in how to do both. I get to stay home with them and work in the evenings or nap time (fingers crossed). I love your list of 3. Everything is a season and has the right timing.

    Reply
    • Hi Jess!

      I’m so sorry … somehow I just saw this comment! That’s funny … when my kids were about that age, I wrote lots of resumes. It was a great way to make extra money, help people and still be there for my kids, my top priority. You are doing a good thing, mom. 🙂 I’ll come by and visit you, as well. So sorry again for the timing of my response!

      Reply
  • Love this! Don’t force your dreams to come true, wait on God’s timing, learn and grow during the wait and do what you can as you can. Awesome! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    I just wanted you gals to know that I have chosen to feature you today on my Luck O’ The Blogger link-up where you get to share your friends and how blessed you are to have them in your life! You gals are such a blessing and encouragement to me, and I wanted my corner of the blog-o-sphere to know it! 🙂 Thank you for all you do! I hope you will be able to join in on the fun there, but if you can’t I still wanted to know that I’m grateful for your friendship – it means a lot to me!

    Reply
      • {Melinda} Thank you so much for featuring us, Julie. Such a sweet surprise… we are so grateful that you found our blog and really value our friendship. You have so much wisdom and insight, Julie. 🙂

        Reply
        • You are so welcome! 🙂 I’m glad I am able to give back, hopefully at least as much as I get. 🙂 That’s what I live for! Have a great day!

          Reply
  • I think perception has a lot to do with it. I would view the “temporary downsizing” as a necessary step toward the big picture. That is how I like to look at things. However, I find that my professional dreams and my personal dreams have to be approached differently. I know we were discussing dreams like career wise, but there are dreams that deal with marrying and starting a family that can take over one’s mind who does not already have these things. I have a prayer box that is used for all things professional & personal for me and for loved ones. Hopefully, one day, all my dreams will come true. I loved this post.

    Reply
    • {Melinda} Great and insightful perspective, Joi. Love the idea of a prayer box! It’s a great reminder to continually turn over our dreams — both personal and professional — to God on a regular basis. Important for all of us no matter what stage we are in life. Thanks so much for sharing, Joi.

      Reply
  • This is wonderful, but it’s so hard to accept. You know that, right? I love that this is a repeated theme for your blog because I personally need to hear this message over and over and over. It’s so hard to remember that whole “it’s a season” thing.

    Reply
    • {Melinda} It is hard to accept, Susan! We hear this from moms over and over again … I think that is why we keep going back here. I think if we can see that there is hope for pursuing those dreams later, it makes us more content and joyful where we are now.

      Reply
  • This is wonderful, and I will certainly repost. When I was 26 years old, with two baby boys, the Lord planted a seed in my heart to teach women about the Lord, His Word, and HIs ways. I had two more babies, and the seed grew. I taught Bible Studies, attended conferences and read books. I ached to do so much more. For twenty years, in the classroom of experience, God, my husband, and circumstances kept telling me “no, not yet.”

    Now my children are grown, I am a grammy and God has begun to show me the way (His way) and open the doors for me to move forward. And, last spring, in the most miraculous way He let me know, “Now. It’s time. Go.”

    I see HIs reasons and better plan for holding onto the reins of my life until now: In my marriage, in the lives of my grown children with how God is working in and through them, and in me as a wiser, more Spirit-led and hopefully more humble woman who loves Jesus with all my heart.

    Thank you for writing this. I shared a couple similar posts in the earlier days of my blog. But, this one is excellent and very practical. God bless you!

    Reply
    • {Melinda} What a beautiful, encouraging comment, Cathy. That period of “no, not yet” can be so difficult. You think it will never end. A lot of wisdom in your words. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

      Reply
  • Wonderful words and wonderful advice. I’ve always said that you can have it all…just not all at the very same time. There is a time and a season for everything. You are so right to point out that there are constructive things you can do while you are waiting for other dreams to have their time. –Lisa

    Reply
    • {Melinda} Thank you, Lisa … I think having to do something in the wait that makes you feel like you’re moving forward is so important. As least, it was for me.

      Reply
  • Oh this is SO encouraging!! Especially during those younger years when a mom feels buried and captive of her days… I love learning more and more about you my friend! And I love to learn FROM you as well… 🙂

    Reply
    • {Melinda} Thank you so much for your sweet words, Chris. I enjoy getting to know you better. Wish we could just chat over a cup of coffee (well, I don’t drink coffee, but you know what I mean) at Paneras. 😉

      Reply
  • I really want to take writing classes and I blog to help with some of the wait. This was really good. I felt like you were speaking right to me since I’ve been struggling with what I’m doing lately (a lot of expenses have come up and I’m not working so I feel bad/guilty).

    Reply
    • {Melinda} You have a lot on your plate right now, AnnMarie. But you are a very talented woman and I know God will use the hardships and experiences you are going through right now to bless and encourage many women! You bless me right now with your writing and sweet spirit! 🙂

      Reply
  • I think you your article is perfect and inspiring and hope based!
    Having raised 5 children I often wondered if there was more to me than the title of so-and-sos mother and official finder & fixer and let’s-pretender and a great Old McDonald e-i-e-i-o singer.
    http://theunexpectedlife2010.blogspot.com/2010/02/inconvenient-sick.html

    I was however able to find time to read (be it in bits and pieces while nursing or during nap time-if I wasn’t out too)of things I enjoyed and “dreamed” about.

    I continued to learn in baby steps (literally sometimes) as often that is all the energy and brain power and memory retention I had.
    I was able to do some service work at church which did help as a sanity stabilizer.

    But I can not echo enough how important it is to enjoy your children while we have them at home and still under our care! Older and wiser people would say to me,”Enjoy your children because before you know it they will grow up.” And I used to think, “Yeah, when?!” Because everything was in 10 year spans. But now I get it and they were right!
    http://theunexpectedlife2010.blogspot.com/2010/05/eatwhen-pray-where-and-love-how.html

    It is easy to lose ourselves in the day-to-day routine and forget that the work we are doing as mothers is the MOST important work God has given us at that time. And I do not know a mother who has not had a chance to go to “life school” EVERYDAY (if we choose to)and learn something new about themselves (sometimes things we wish we didn’t see/learn)to help us realize who we REALLY are and how much faith God has in our abilities. So much so that He would send His children to US knowing EXACTLY what each family needs and trusting that we as mothers could provide it (with His help)!

    I wish I would have had this article back in my day. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • {Melinda} Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Reyna. Your perspective is so valuable for younger moms who are caught up in the “day-to-day” and have a hard time seeing beyond it. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

      Reply
  • Wow! Feeling like that’s my story up there! haha! I had those Dreams of becoming a singer! You know..the tour dates, the fame, the CASH!
    God lovingly directed my path. Before I even knew Him, He put my husband in my life (A man that followed Christ). I realized that what I wanted to do wouldn’t have glorified the God that I eventually found!

    I’m seeing God weaving something greater in my life; teaching me, shaping me.
    I had a secondary dream to write, but I didn’t know WHAT I wanted to write. He’s definitely showing me now!

    I still get the opportunity to sing…all to His glory!
    That dream of spreading the Gospel through song is still there. I think it always will be. It may never be a “world stage”, but its for every hearer, no matter the size of the stage!

    Reply
    • {Melinda} What a great comment. Yes, this dream as it’s unfolding doesn’t look like I thought it would look, which makes it an adventure! 🙂 Wish I could hear you sing, Kela!

      Reply
  • My dream is big and at the top. There are steps on a ladder that lead to my dream. I notice that God is opening doors for me to take those steps on at a time that will get me closer to my dream. So while I’m wait for my dream to come true, I will ask you mentioned, study and learn. While I haven’t downsized my dream, I think the smaller steps to get there lines up with point #2. And I will continue to pray about my dream asking God to guide me.

    This is such a great and timely post. It’s a check point for me to make sure I’m still on tract. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • {Melinda} It’s so hard when you have all this passion for something and you just know the time isn’t right. Sounds like you are taking some good, appropriate steps toward your goals, Hope. Glad this was encouraging for you!

      Reply

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i’m melinda

I PROVIDE WOMEN WITH RESOURCES FOR HEALING AND WHOLENESS

I’m a woman who was radically changed when the God I thought I knew since childhood opened my eyes to the overwhelming depth of His love for me. I love speaking, writing, and pointing women to the Father so they can experience for themselves the healing power of His incredible, captivating love.

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