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What have you always dreamed of doing? Like, when you were a little girl, playing make believe–envisioning what you would be–what was that thing?
For me, I was usually playing house with my babies or making a classroom out of my bedroom. I lined baby dolls and stuffed animals up around the room, and using my aunt’s old teacher books, I taught my heart out.
What did that look like for you?
Maybe you always wanted to be a career woman. Perhaps you always wanted to be at home with your kids. Or maybe you wanted a combination of the two.
While I liked the idea of being a teacher, which I am, my dream was always to be married to a wonderful man–tall, dark, and handsome of course–with a few kids. We’d live in a little house with a white picket fence. I’d be there for my kids when they got home from school and be sure they had a nice afternoon snack. And my husband would adore me.
Honestly, I am quite certain that dream came from the fact that my parents were divorced, and while my mom did remarry, there were times she was single. She simply couldn’t be home with us all the time. I remember my neighborhood friends who did have someone home when they got off the bus, and I longed for that.
Living my dream
What’s amazing is that after some years, the Lord has given me the desires of my heart and is letting me live my dream! But I’m not always thankful, not even close to always. It’s not fun sometimes. In fact, sometimes it’s pretty awful, and I want to be somewhere else, doing something else.
I realize how ungrateful that sounds because God is allowing me to live my childhood dream. I do have a wonderful man–tall, dark, and handsome even, and I do have a few–okay, several–kids. We live in a snug little house minus the picket fence. I am home with them for every snack. And the best part is my husband does adore me.
Truth bomb: it’s not all peachy. I do not always love it. And I’m not always smiling.
When living your dream is harder than you ever imagined
Somehow we think that our dream will be easy and glorious and completely rewarding and fulfilling. While it is rewarding and fulfilling, there’s not much about a stinky diaper that’s glorious. Teaching five different ages is anything but easy. There are days I feel like I could literally pull my hair out by the roots! Quite honestly, there have been times I hated my life.
All of a sudden one day, it hit me. I WAS living my dream. I was doing the very thing I had asked God to let me do from the time I was a little girl. When I realized that, I was ashamed, but so deeply thankful.
My warped perception of the stay at home mom
Before I actually was a stay at home mom, I thought that stay at home moms dropped their kids off at school, went home for some beauty rest then was off to the salon or the mall. I saw moms who always had perfect make-up and hair even at 7:30 in the morning when they dropped their kids off at school. I just knew that when I became a stay at home mom, this would be me with my perfect hair and nails and perfectly coordinated outfits.
Except, when I came home to be with my kids, we could barely make ends meet some weeks (I was serious about that beans and rice deal, girls). So, I couldn’t afford to do any of that. I was shopping at the consignment store, and hated most of my clothes. My dream didn’t look at all like I thought it would with me humming merrily as I went about my daily business of bread making and dish washing and butt wiping.
Being a mom, though rewarding, is the hardest job in the world. But I realized that day: this is exactly what I begged God for and dreamed of all those years ago.
A dream is just that–a dream. It doesn’t often consider the downsides or obstacles or daily struggles that are sure to come. Our society thrives on entertainment that makes big of dreams but often leaves out the reality. It paints pictures of happily ever afters and easy lives and perfect marriages.
No wonder we feel overwhelmed, beaten down, and forsaken when our living our dreams is anything but glamorous.
Are you living your dream?
Whether you are a stay at home mom of a couple of kids or quite few kids, or you are a working mom pouring yourself into your job then coming home to do the same for several more hours, living your dream can be hard.
No matter where you are, you have a dream. Are you living it? Have you done like me and taken for granted the wonderful blessing of doing exactly what you love?
I am thankful that I am living my dream. Sometimes I still forget and need to be reminded. Yes, I still struggle making it all work and flow together, and I have me a good old fashioned hissy fit sometimes. Daily, I need to be reminded to be thankful that I’m living my dream no matter how un-glamorous it may be. I still have to pray and beg for grace because it’s not always pretty, and I still need to be reminded to keep my focus on what matters.
If you are living your dream, yet you find yourself hating it, seek the Lord. He can give you a love for it. It won’t happen over night, but He will most definitely change your heart. If you aren’t yet living your dream, also seek the Lord. He knows your heart, and if you let Him, He’ll align it to His.