September 1, 2010
The Dream Book
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)
Heads bent together, they study what to me looks like a mess but to them looks like something beautiful. The table is littered with glue sticks, magazines, scraps of paper, and scissors. "Mom," my daughter informs me as she looks up, "We're making dream books." Her eyes shine with possibility. It is clear that she believes in the dreams she is pasting in her book.
Looking at her, I am reminded of my own little girl dreams, of a time that I saw life as bursting with potential: I simply had to believe hard enough to make those dreams turn into reality. Life had not taught me otherwise then.
I listen as they discuss what they are pasting into their dream books. "This," says my daughter's friend, "is my desk area. And this will be my husband's, right beside me," she says with satisfaction. I don't tell her that she might not be able to afford a house that is large enough for two desk areas. That her marriage may get to a point that her husband might not want to be right beside her.
"These are my twins," my daughter says, her face shining with enough pride that they could be her real children. "Their names are Hunter and Hannah." I don't tell her that her husband may not like the names Hunter and Hannah. That she may not be blessed with twins, with children at all. I don't cloud their dreams with the realities of adulthood. I turn my attention to the dinner that needs to be cooked, the pressing needs that seem to overtake what I once dreamed.
But in my heart, I feel God whisper, What are your dreams? Have you forgotten? Have you lost hope? You could take a lesson from your little girl. I am challenged to hang onto what I once believed about life—to not let setbacks and heartbreak scream louder than the echoes of my dreams. What kind of woman can I be if I have stopped believing that dreams can come true? What kind of home can I create if it's a place where dreams are discarded like the trash?
God has planted dreams in all of our hearts. He did not intend for our dreams to get trampled by our own busy feet. Just like my daughter and her friend catalogued their dreams, maybe it's time for you to take some inventory in your life. 2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (NIV). That includes your God-given dreams.
Do you remember your little girl dreams? What did they look like? Who did you dream of becoming? It's not too late to dream dreams, to envision a future that accepts reality, yet embraces potential. Just for today, allow yourself to remember your dreams. Smile, feel giddy, hope. Whether it's starting your own business, writing a book, having a great marriage, or running a marathon… whatever dreams stir your heart, don't push them aside today. Create your own dream book, even if the pictures are just painted on the canvas of your mind.
Dear Lord, I know You created me to shine for You. I know that You gave me unique talents and abilities, with dreams to match. Help me to remember my dreams and to trust You to fulfill them in Your timing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Marybeth's blog
The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen
Shaped with Purpose Workbook and accompanying CD by Renee Swope
What about your husband's dreams? Consider sharing this book with him Hero: Unleashing God's Power in a Man's Heart by Derwin Gray
Visit our Radio Show, Falling Forward, for more free encouragement!
If you had a dream book, what would it contain? What parts of your life would you keep? What parts would you like to add? Write about this in your journal and consider clipping a few magazine photos for some visual inspiration.
What is one little girl dream you had that you have already seen come true?
Have you taken time to celebrate that?
Psalm 62:5, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." (NIV)
Proverbs 23:18, "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." (NIV)
© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 01 September 2010.