Do you have dreams? Not necessarily the kind we have while we’re sleeping, but dreams of doing something different, being something different, taking your life in a whole different direction.
For a long time, I forgot how to dream. My first husband had trouble finding a job when we first got married, and he went back to school to get credentials that would help him in that regard. Because my education was such that I would almost always be the bigger breadwinner (I was an attorney, he got his paralegal certificate), I pursued employment moves based on how much they paid and what benefits they offered. I didn’t have a career path, I wasn’t pursuing a dream of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was trying to do the most I could for the family, because it felt like that was what I had to do. It was my responsibility, and somewhere along the way, any dreams I might have had just fell by the wayside. I never even noticed their absence (which might be even sadder than the fact that they were gone).
I went through a divorce after my older son was born, which put me in the position of sole income for the two of us, and that pushed me to focus even more on monetary rewards from jobs. Curiously, though, the two positions I’ve held since the one I had have led to pay cuts, and as Thing One got older, he became more vocal about wishing I could pick him up from school every day, asking why I couldn’t take spring break/summers off, and generally expressing a desire for my schedule to allow for more time with him. With each comment, my heart broke a little more, but what could I do? We had to eat, and I needed a job so we could have decent health insurance, right?
Fast forward a bunch of years. I now have two kids that I love more than anything, and I’m still schlepping away in the 8-to-5 work world. Brian and I got married in 2008, so we were a two-income family again, but expenses increased when Thing Two was born, so it wasn’t like those two incomes now had us flush with cash. I still wasn’t chasing a dream, I was just trying to find a job I liked most days and that paid enough to make ends meet. (And when I lost a job unexpectedly in 2011, I was just looking for a job, any job!)
Thing One didn’t get less open about his wish that I’d have more time at home ad he got older, and now Thing Two is old enough to express thoughts along those same lines. I still wasn’t seeing any way to make that happen, nothing I could do from home that would bring in the income we needed to take care of obligations, much less get ahead. I had no dreams, just responsibilities to meet, and it tore me up wanting to be there more for my kids, but not seeing any way to make that happen.
Then a couple of months ago, something prompted me to check back into the possibility of becoming a registered piano technician, something I’d considered (but never done anything about) several years ago. I took the leap of faith and enrolled myself in a reputable self-study program, but still wasn’t sure what (if anything) would come of it.
Enter Holley Gerth. Holley is the author of You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream, and I kept seeing references to the book in blogs I followed. I thought maybe I should check it out, see what this God-sized dream thing was all about. I visited Holley’s blog and found that there’s a group of women committed to encouraging each other in their pursuit of their God-sized dreams – you know, those dreams that we feel like God puts in our hearts, but we don’t see how they can possibly really work out.
So I had to start thinking on what my God-sized dream might be. (I don’t have the book yet – I think I need to invest in that and do a little reading.) Finding a career path that would give me more flexibility to be there for my kids? Possibly. I surely don’t know how that would work out – according to my human math, it doesn’t. Becoming a piano technician? Maybe. I have the study materials, and I’m beginning to work through them. And in just the little bit I’ve done, it’s pretty exciting stuff. Maybe this is my God-sized dream to pursue. I’ll have to pray hard and study hard and trust God to lead me where He wants me to go!