Red Cross Motto

"The Greatest Tragedy is indifference"

Our Challenge

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What is my Deepest Dream?

In a continuation of yesterdays entry-What is my deepest dream?   For the last 24 hours I pondered this question, even though I knew the answer for me immediately.   I am curious about what stops many from realizing their dream?   What makes us give up that inner most longing, discarding it with the idea that it is foolish and that living in reality means giving up those secret longings?    Here are a few ideas:
  • fear
  • laziness
  • time
Fear can be a a fear of what others will think.  It could also be fear of failure, being wrong, giving up our security, displeasing God, and on and on.   I suggest you study your fears.  My daughter Katie just graduated college.  As she and I discuss her future I pick up on nagging doubts and fears she has.  My job as her mother is to push back on that, shine some logic on it.  Fear can be the enemy that destroys our joy and prevents us from becoming all that God intended us to be.  Question your fears, do they really make sense?  Even if your greatest fear happened, is it really so tragic after all?  Don't listen to fear!   Healthy fear, I believe isn't fear at all-it is just an inner knowing that you are not supposed to walk down that dark alley at night, listen to that!- It usually comes from the pit in your stomach, whereas fear usually originates in your mind.

Laziness is obvious.  Some of us struggle with this more than others.  The only advice I can give on that is what I tell my kids again-just move.  Just DO something.  Sitting on the couch, ensconced in your favorite novel or movie will NOT help you obtain your dream.  Facebook, internet browsing, and gossiping on the phone will steal your life away quicker than you think.  I have spoken to so many elderly women who say, "I always wanted to do that.." or  "I wish I would have listened to myself on this or that."  Of course I am not suggesting frivolous pursuits, but quality decisions that individuals knew they missed the boat, when God gave them an opportunity and they passed on it because it was just too hard.  They chose ease and comfort instead. Many live in regret for making that choice.   Motion fuels energy-it's a principal. 

Time/ well, we are pressed for time.  Time steals our dreams and that is why it is most important to constantly weigh how we spend our time, and prioritize our day, week, and month.  For example: if you dream of writing a book then take two hours per week to write.  You may have to fight for that and even give up a work-out, or a lunch, or a TV show but make it happen, it is your dream.  Take time to be quiet.  Pray, take a spiritual gifts test, seek council.  Take time!  God created you for a specific purpose and plan, don't you care to know what that is?  Busyness can rob us too.  Are you busy socializing with all kinds of people that are not invested in your personal welfare?  People that do not care about you, or the things that really matter to you?   I look at that as pouring out my best gift God has given me, and it being wasted.  Even Jesus cared about where he spent His time and with who.

In my pondering I am realizing it is basically very simple.  Fear, Laziness, and Time.  As a mother, this is what I try to do with our kids(not saying it is 100%!!)...

I try not to allow my kids to run from their fears, helping them face things they fear.  Swimming, going away to camp, new schools, making new friends, trying a new sport, going away to college are just a few things they faced.  A parent equips their child to know they can get through their fears with a few practical tools.  Kelli had a fear of the house burning down after watching a show on television.  We prayed about that fear, memorized a verse to help her, and I explained to her that the fear was irrational.  I had a difficult time leaving her in her room at night when she was crying but I knew she had to overcome it, and sleeping with us was not the way for her to do that!  I equipped her the best I knew how and trusted she would get through it, and she did.  

Laziness- Make your kids work.  This is the only antidote to laziness.  All kids are lazy-of course their are exceptions.  Chores and schedules are important to their character.  Making kids do things they hate is a good thing.  Every kid should clean toilets, do laundry, scrub floors, cut grass, pull weeds, and cook.

Time:  Help your kids learn how to manage their time.  School helps with this.  But there should be a schedule in the home.  We have six kids so last minute sleepovers and play-dates don't work very well for us, plus mom hates surprises.  A bed time, a chore time, a play time, and especially devotion time.   God is a God of order and peace.  So many American households are in complete chaos.  I see parents reacting to demands the children make, instead of the parents controlling the schedule, the kids control it.  Your kids will benefit much more from Saturday morning chores than they will from saturday morning soccer and friday night sleepovers.  I am not against sports-believe me, we have tons of that going on here.  But I have watched over the years what most benefitted my kids and it was these three things, courage, hard work, and self discipline.   I want them to realize their dreams-what God created them for.   If they are not accustomed to facing their fears, pushing through their laziness, and managing their time,  they will struggle with knowing what they were created to do.  Their life will become a series of decisions avoiding discomfort,  not reaching their full potential God created them for.   The temporary happiness of pleasure will fade and when they are elderly like the women I spoke of, they will have regret.   The parable of the talents is so sad to me.  God has given each of us talents- i do not want to be the third worker: wasting what God has given...

   26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
   28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

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