We love the idea of being someone who ‘Dreams Bigger Dreams’. Yet, we often connect it to a vibrant, single, career-driven woman who is ready to bust glass ceilings all while sticking to her impeccable fashion sense and upstanding values in the process. Suddenly this idea of dreaming bigger dreams has a spokesperson and we feel so far from that image that we are overwhelmed and underqualified in comparison.
All month we will be writing about ‘dreams’. We will be teaming up with our friends at Elsie Road Magazine to bring some great content your way. Whether you are five and think Spaceship Ballerina Princess is a legit job title; or fresh in a career you aren’t sure on; or gave up your career to become a mom; or suddenly have kids off to school and some extra moments to yourself; we can all be women who have dreams.
Maybe you can identify some silent dreams that have taken root in your heart. Maybe you are jaded by your broken dreams. Maybe you have no clue what your dreams are. The first step to dreaming is to make room for dreams in your life. If we are feeling overwhelmed, not confident, unqualified, or uninspired then we don’t allow ourselves to entertain the time and space for ‘dreams’, there is no room for them.
No matter what stage you are at in being ‘a women who dreams’, these steps will help you find some room to dream. . . .
Over a year ago we started purging our home. I was amazed at how removing the excess in the home led us to remove the excess in our life. This process had unearthed a lot of clutter that was in my emotional and physical space. Clutter I put there in an effort to be productive, and adult-ish, and ‘successful’. So often we race around glorifying productivity and busyness that we end up feeling burnt out and unfulfilled. For some of us, this is a form of striving, for some it is a form of distraction to keep us from being still with our lives. For all of us, this leaves no room to dream our own dreams.
If we are filling our lives up with one of everything, then we have an excess of things that are ‘ok’ and they prevent the ‘very good’ things from being nurtured and fruitful. Simplifying your home, your life, your schedule, your expectations will help you make physical and mental space in your life. When we decide to limit what we bring into our lives, we are forced to make decisions instead of saying yes to it all and being smothered by busyness and clutter.
Honour your season
We treat dreams like they are a luxury of time and when we feel like there isn’t time, we feel like dreaming is frivolous. As a new mom I struggled with being a mom martyr and would lament over my inability to make a hot meal, and do housework, and exercise, and have a social life, and sleep, and, and, and. I wasn’t living with any grace for what was doable and how I could act while doing it. I sure wasn’t thinking I had some magic free time to lay back and indulge in a dreaming session.
There will always be tough seasons of life. There will always be unrealistic expectations we cling to, especially through the tougher more sleep-deprived, time-consuming seasons of life. When we stop feeling like we are a victim to our season of life we can honour it for what it is and start each day with grace and a positive mindset. Our mindset is like a soil, it can be dry or it can be nourishing. If we look at our days ahead with hope, gratitude and possibility then we create a nourishing soil for our dreams to simply take root.
Rest in Him
We are called to work and we are called to rest. Let me repeat, rest is as important as work. We are called to stop, to just be still, to let things be silent. There are no iPhones, or podcasts on, or tv playing. There is just silent contemplation on God, letting his words sink in, and listening for his whispers. I’ll be the first to say this is hard for me, I always feel like there is just so much I could be doing with any fragments of spare time. But as I take the time to rest in God, he reminds me that there are lots of good things in this world, but only one perfect thing: a relationship with him. Any work I could do instead of resting in Him is my own striving. Rather than strive, I need to trust him that I will be purposeful and successful in all he calls me to do, as I am, instead of all I try to be.
Give yourself permission
Feeling like our days are a blur of reactive decisions, last minute meals, and half-written text messages can leave us with the notion that we aren’t ‘there’; like we can’t even keep toilet paper stocked, how can we be ‘woman who dreams’? Dreaming isn’t a place we get to. If you think of your ideal day, or the way you want to parent, or be a wife, or friend, or employee – you already have a dream. You have a vision, you just haven’t given yourself permission to pursue it. Write these things down, get to know what is in your heart, start to refine the vision for how you want your daily life to look, regardless of what season you are in. This isn’t a list of ‘all the ways you must start living tomorrow’. No, there is grace here. This is a vision, a lighthouse to help you navigate your heart posture and your daily decisions toward. As we feel like we are more proactive with our daily lives, we will feel empowered to let ourselves be dreamers.
Name your judgments
Some major roadblocks to dreaming are limiting yourself, judging yourself, and comparing yourself. As you spend time making room to dream, take stock of the limits and judgments you restrict yourself with. They will show themselves often, in subtle and in obvious ways, because they are a common cycle of thinking for you. As you work on putting your finger on the identity you believe about yourself you can hold it up against the truth: the identity you have in Christ.
What holds you back from dreaming? What are some ways you could make room to dream in your life?
As we spend this month sharing thoughts, posts and stories on DREAMING, we will be leading up to a collaborative online webinar hosted by A Little Light and Elsie Road Magazine. It will be held the evening of April 28th. Stay tuned for more details. . .