A few months ago, as I was sitting at my computer with my coffee, I was thinking about all the dreams I’ve had to lay down over the years, especially after I became a mom. From big dreams to little dreams. There were so many.
I’ve had to lay them all aside to learn how to become a mom.
I have to tell you, I felt like I was the least prepared for what it took to be a mom.
When I was pregnant, I was in the middle of attending two different programs to prepare me for a career change. One of them was fashion design school at Parsons, and it truly felt like exactly what you see on the show Project Runway. I used every last second I had to complete projects on time. The other was nutrition school, which I was attending on weekends.
Sacrificing Dreams for Motherhood
The first sacrifice I remember making was dropping my dream to intern over the summer at a big fashion house because I was pregnant.
So many of my classmates were getting internships with places like Oscar de la Renta, 3.1 Phillip Lim, DooRi, and others. While I was grateful that I had had the opportunity to intern at DVF, I felt like that would be my last real experience in the fashion world.
In my last semester, since I was pregnant, I didn’t want to overwork myself and affect the health of my baby, so I reduced my class load by two less classes than what I would normally sign up for. It was hard. I really wanted to take them, but I made that sacrifice so that I could make sure I was able to get enough sleep for my baby.
Then, I graduated fashion school and had my baby the next month.
I entered a new stage of life. I had to suddenly learn how to become a mom.
There were so many things I had to learn. I didn’t have friends that I could really ask that had babies before me, even though I didn’t have my firstborn until I was 32.
Alone on this journey, I relied on books, online resources, and my newfound mother’s intuition.
I had dreams of building my own business. I thought I could build a business and take care of my baby.
I quickly learned that for me, it was impossible. My baby was glued to me every second. When I would walk her around in a stroller to try to put her to sleep after failing to nap her in her crib, she would wake up the moment I stopped walking and parked the stroller inside our apartment.
I was so wanting just one hour to myself!
When a miracle happened and she actually napped, I remember how I’d rush to finish the dishes so that I could find some time to work on my business, only to have her wake up the second I finished doing the dishes.
Life went on like this and all of my dreams felt like they were getting farther and farther from becoming reality, especially my dream to build my own clothing brand.
Time Passes Quickly Raising Children
I have 2 kids now, and my daughter is now 10. 10 years have gone by, and I’ve spent it pursuing the dreams on the periphery… not the things I cared about the most in my heart.
I realized how many dreams were shattered over the years… how many I’ve had to quit knowing that now was not the time, or pulling back on others because of finances rather than pushing forward towards growth.
There are Times and Seasons for Dreams
Now I can look back and realize all of those years were my training ground. I was not planted in the right soil or environment. (We recently moved from New York to Texas.) God works in times and seasons, and that wasn’t the season for my dreams to come to pass.
He’s now bringing to light all the dreams I’ve had to lay down and all the ones that broke my heart to let go of. God is now going to resurrect those dead dreams. As He is doing for me, He wants to do for you too.
What Are Your Dreams?
Do you have dreams that you’ve had that have been lying dormant within you? What are they? Do you still have a desire for them?
I believe God created these dreams and placed them in our hearts. He’s put us through a time of testing to make sure we put Him first before our dreams, but now as we’ve passed these tests, He is going to bring our dreams to pass. They were placed there as part of our purpose, and He wants us to fulfill these dreams. It brings Him as much joy as it does us to see them fulfilled.
So now, we begin this journey together to identify all of those dreams. Big or small, they are all important.
Our dreams require faith. Many of them may seem impossible, but remember, with God, nothing is impossible.
Identify and Write Down Your Dreams
The key here is to jot them down. All the little things you’ve wanted to do, to learn, to go visit, to see, to have, to be. This is not a place for editing. It is a true brain dump.
I’ve seen the power of simply identifying our dreams. I’ve had dreams come to pass unexpectedly at times I was not expecting. I’ve even had dreams come to pass that I forgot were my dreams!
My Dream of Studying Nutrition
For example, I suddenly had emails and pamphlets and messages coming to me about nutrition school one month. I had never thought about it before (or so I thought). I ended up enrolling in the program after seeing the nudge by God three times. Later, after I was flipping through old journals, I saw the name of that exact school I attended written as a someday goal 5 years prior. I had no idea.
I later discovered that had I not gone to that school at that exact time, I would have missed it. The school decided to convert their program to an online program after that. It was so blessed with the experience of an incredible in-person experience and know that it can’t be recreated online. I was so grateful that I was able to attend the last live class.
My Dream of Learning How to Cook Healthy Gourmet Food
The same happened years later when I received a nudge from Holy Spirit to attend culinary school. It was bizarre because I had never thought about culinary school, or thought I was even qualified to go. In fact, I was known in my family as the person that never cooks!
My entire family is always amazed if I cook anything at all. But, it was my dream to learn how to cook gourmet healthy food. I thought I’d have to wait until I retired to learn something that would take so much time, but that was not God’s plan.
During that stage of my life, I was really struggling to feed my daughter healthy food. I didn’t know how to cook much… only 2-3 dishes total. It was ridiculous. I had spent my entire life focusing on my career, so I was never in the kitchen. I needed help.
God’s answer to my desire to learn how to cook healthy gourmet food was to enroll me in the only healthy gourmet cooking school I knew of.
When I had come up with that “some day” dream of learning to cook healthy gourmet meals, I was living in Chicago at least 5 years prior. When this idea of attending culinary school suddenly came up on my radar, I was living in New York, where the culinary school was located!
Later, I also discovered I had written this desire in one of my journals years ago. I forgot that this school even school existed! I’m sure God planted some seeds earlier so that when the time came, I’d be receptive to the idea of going to culinary school.
Thank goodness I attended the program when I did rather than wait until I was 65 and retired. This school actually closed down and is now part of another bigger culinary school. Had I waited, the school with it’s mission of teaching health-supportive cooking wouldn’t have existed as a stand-alone school then.
God’s Timing and God’s Plan
This is how God works. God’s timing is always perfect. Things come from left field sometimes, but when it comes, pay attention. After seeking God in prayer for confirmation and receiving multiple confirmations to apply to this particular culinary school that focused on healthy cooking, I got accepted and enrolled.
I enjoyed every part of the program. I had an experience staging at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant in NYC (Eleven Madison) for a day, and was also able to intern at another big name restaurant to gain some kitchen experience.
I didn’t know what all of this was for, but I trusted that God had a plan for me in the future.
God Remembers Our Dreams Better Than We Do
We may forget what some of our dreams are. They are often buried deep inside as we are busy with our everyday lives.
But, God remembers all and He is faithful. And all of these dreams are there for a reason, and He wants to see them come to pass. We have to be faithful in stewarding these dreams. We may not understand the master plan God has for us, but each step is critical towards moving us towards the next.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.– Psalm 37:23
Let’s Make Your Dreams Come True
In this blog, I want to encourage you to make time to see those dreams God has placed in you to come to pass.
Each small dream is a stepping stone for another. Each little dream fulfilled leads to the big one getting fulfilled.
God has a purpose for you and a reason He gave you your specific talents, skills, desires, and dreams. For some, this purpose is bigger than you will be able to fathom.
For now, remove any limit or cap on what you think is possible, and write out the most outlandish dreams you have.
I am not talking about the ones that society wants you to fulfill, but the ones that are gnawing at you deep within your heart… the dreams no one knows about. The dreams that seem “out of left field,” or the dreams that have nothing to do with your past training. They are all valid.
Often times it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to us in these quiet whispers, laying on our hearts the next step of our journey.
Broken Hearts from Broken Dreams
Stifling our dreams can make us sick. Broken dreams lead to broken hearts and disappointment. When dreams are deferred too long, they can make the heart sick.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when desire fulfilled, is a tree of life.– Proverbs 13:12
I’ve personally experienced ill health due to dreams deferred, until I finally realized that self-sacrifice to the point of not being part of the equation ever is a recipe for chronic illness. Fulfilling dreams will fuel your energy, and being alive and vibrant is what God wants us to be on our journey.
God needs us to be healthy. Our family needs us to be healthy. And the best thing we can do for ourselves is to give to ourselves the things God has planned for us.
From Broken Dreams to Dreams Fulfilled
Dreams fulfilled will be the focus here on this blog.
We are dreamers. God is a dreamer. We will rise up and fulfill all the things God has placed us here to do, big or small. They are all very important.
My goal here is to help heal broken hearts by inspiring you to fulfill your dreams.
What are some of your dreams that you’ve had on the back burner? I’d love to hear in the comments below!