Estimated reading time: 5 minutes:)
Hi lovely people! I’m coming to you from a couch that is not mine, but is very comfortable. I’m babysitting one of my favorite families tonight, and I just got the kids to bed.
I’ve had a crazy few weeks. There have been days I’ve had so much fun, I didn’t want the day to end. There have been days I feel like I can’t keep my head above water.
But for the first time all week, after I put the kids to bed, I finally got to sit and just be with Jesus.
You know, hanging out with kids ignites this fire in my heart.
I’m just hanging out with them, and I can be myself, and I just feel like this is where I’m meant to be.
I learn more about God when I hang out with kids than when I hang out with anyone else. I am humbled more, challenged more, tested more, forgiven more. I’m not saying adults are bad, I’m just saying kids rock and I think God made the kid stage of life very intentionally.
Kids let their words flow straight from their heart. And their hearts are so new, there’s still this shaft of light living inside of it. So they’ll say things like “I love you” without hesitation, consideration, or remorse. And I wish I could be a little more like that.
I want to be a mom. I think it might even be my new dream.
For so many years I wanted to be an author. I wanted the whole gig: the book signings, the conferences, encouraging other writers, the calls with my publisher, packing book orders.
Don’t get me wrong, those things still seem pretty dope to me.
But I think God is taking my dream of being a successful author and turning it a little more towards His heart.
And it’s not like being a successful author isn’t God-centered and for some reason being a mom is. In my ideal fantasy both would come true. But I guess as God changes my heart and pulls me closer, I want different things than I did before.
I have a wild imagination.
When a dream blossoms in my heart, I can see it clear as day.
After I put the kids to bed tonight, I sat outside their bedroom doors, leaning against the wall, waiting for them to fall asleep. And my dream played out like a movie in my mind:
I see myself dating this amazing man. Not perfect, but the right man. The future husband God wants for me.
We can worship together with a guitar and our voices at the end of a long hike in the wilderness. And we can talk about how amazing the gospel is during long car rides.
We would go to church together, and maybe witness to strangers or kids or homeless people together. It’s less scary when you aren’t alone.
I would bake him things, and maybe he would bring me flowers. And I’d keep the flowers in my room until they died, but I wouldn’t throw them away yet. I’d hang them up to dry, and dangle them from white string, so I could keep them forever.
And then maybe we’d get married. We could wash each other’s feet, or write each other letters, or worship during the ceremony. I don’t really care what flavor the cake would be or what my dress will look like. As long as both of us are more in love with Jesus than we are with each other.
Our house would be white. Or maybe green. Or maybe another color if the HOA is stupid.
I would make our house feel like a home. Like the only place you want to be at the end of a long day. And we could cuddle up on a couch (hopefully like the one I’m sitting on right now) and watch a funny show or something.
I would cook dinner and we could eat it outside if the weather was nice. And if the weather was nice, we could watch the sunset, too.
Then maybe we’d have kids. And our baby’s nursery would be so fun to design. Every day I could sing songs to that new little baby and we could pray as a family.
And maybe one baby would become two. Then three or four or five or six or however many God thinks is right. I don’t know.
As this fantasy was playing in my head, it drifted back to where I was sitting. Outside these kids’ bedroom doors, sitting by myself, waiting for them to fall asleep in the dark.
And I imagined my husband sitting beside me. We would listen for our kids while they fell asleep, smiling at how precious their little voices are. And I would rest my head on his shoulder and let myself breathe out. This is what family is. This is my dream.
So if you didn’t believe I have a vivid imagination before, I’m sure you do now. And I know it isn’t wrong to hope for good things to happen. But I have to be careful of this vivid imagination of mine.
It’s far too easy to let my dream become my God.
As I sat in the hall with Jesus, just talking with Him, I realized I believed: once all those things happened in my life I’d be full. Like this feeling of rest and fulfillment and joy would come on me. And everything would be okay.
But I realized: I was feeling that right now.
I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I’m not the successful author I want to be yet. I don’t have a family of my own, and I’m learning so many things in this season of not having everything my dream demands. And yet ~ sitting with Jesus, I felt so fulfilled.
That feeling of rest and fulfillment and joy? I was overwhelmed with it already. Right in that moment. And I was reminded: nothing can fill my heart like Jesus does.
I won’t be any more fulfilled if that day comes, when I can sit with my husband outside our kid’s bedroom doors waiting for them to fall asleep.
I am fulfilled now. Just sitting here, in a house that isn’t mine, listening for kids that aren’t mine, talking to a God that will always be mine.
And I whispered: “You’re my dream.”
Not being a mom. Not getting married. Not becoming a successful author.
Knowing Jesus more.
I wrote this poem once I came down the stairs. I’d been sitting there for so long, my back was all the way asleep and it wasn’t pleasant, let me tell you hahaha.
You turn every part of me upside down
and inside out.
You are everything my heart wants
but everything my heart can’t understand.
You make me new.”
As a child of God, hope isn’t for tomorrow. It’s for today.
As a child of God, my joy does not come from what could happen to tomorrow. It comes from what happened two thousand years ago.
As a child of God, I won’t “make it” in 10, 15, or 20 years. I’m already there.
So I just want to encourage you tonight. What’s your dream? Imagine it, let it play like a movie in your mind, let all the colors flood your eyes.
And then take that dream, fold it up nicely, and set it at the foot of the cross.
Who are you chasing?
If I’m not careful, I’ll chase whatever I think can get me to my dream the quickest. Sometimes it’s the final draft of a novel I’m writing. Sometimes it’s a guy I think could be my future husband.
But if there’s ever a moment I’m chasing something instead of chasing Christ, what have I made of my god?
Your dream is beautiful, I have no doubt. And there’s a reason God put that dream in your heart. But even still, fold it up and give it to God. He’ll take better care of it than you ever could.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:21