Monday, January 13, 2014

Because sometimes dreaming again is really scary.

Do you dream? I mean, do you let your mind and heart wander and allow yourself to want something more, something different?

Or are you stuck?

I think I've been stuck. I used to be a dreamer, a goal setter, a do-er. But ever since going through divorce six years ago, dreaming felt like a luxury I couldn't afford. I mean, I just needed to survive. I needed to provide for my son, put food on the table, afford a place to live, and put gas in the car. Dream? Ha! You must be joking.

A part of me has been afraid of allowing myself to desire more than what I currently know. I have been scared of reverting back to my old ways of clearing my own path, asking God to bless my plans, and setting my sights on dreams that only served myself. And I think I've also felt defeated in some ways. Going through divorce is incredibly difficult. Mine was full of hatred and pain and fear of the future. It has been easier to accept defeat than risk more failure. 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, 
but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

Several months ago, I was having dinner with Jackson and I asked him about his dreams. I wrote them down in my journal. And then I thought, "What are my dreams? Is it okay to dream again?" I felt God prompting me to just acknowledge them and write them down. I was surprised at how great it felt. Just to admit that, yes, I would love to live in a pretty home on a safe street with lots of families for us to "play" with. How I would love to have impromptu coffee with a girlfriend from the down the street and hear the kids playing and running around the neighborhood. That I long to be able to travel more with Jackson, showing him places of history and exposing him to different cultures. It felt wonderful to admit that I long to earn a living through my calling. To imagine what it would be like to work in a job that used my gifts to encourage others and build the Kingdom. 

I wrote them down and tucked them away, knowing that they were a part of me. Instead of making a 5 step plan to realize those dreams, I asked God to lead me toward them. What I don't want to do is make the dreams my god. What I  mean by that is I don't want to put the achievement of those dreams/goals above the desire to rest in God, finding fulfillment and contentment in knowing Him. 

Can you relate?

So, fast forward a few months to January 1st. A new year. New Year's Resolution. One Word 365. Goals, dreams, intention. Phew. I normally scoff at New Year's Resolutions but this year I thought that setting some goals with our dreams in mind would be a great exercise for both Jackson and me. So, over dinner again, we talked about our dreams and asked ourselves to think of a few goals we could set that would lead us closer to those dreams. 

I've realized that dreams are important because they give us direction. And it's really good for our kids to watch us set goals and work toward them. We can dream with our kids! It doesn't have to be our dreams for them vs. our dreams for ourselves. 

Here are some of our goals for 2014:
Jackson-- Run a 10k. Move up to the next level in Parkour. Worship God more through prayer and music on his iPhone.

Me-- Clean up my credit report. Open IRA and start contributing each month. Complete 12 weeks of weight training and run a 10K. Prepare Jackson to reenter public school. Plan 2 fun activities per week. Join Toastmasters and treat my gig with Channelmom as a job. 

If you are a single mom, I want to encourage you to allow yourself to dream again and to share those dreams with your kids. Create a safe place in your home where dreams can be shared and hoped for, where God is trusted as the source of your dreams and desires. Because...



Adrienne said...

You're one of the best dreamers and DO-er's I know! I'm excited to see what's on the horizon! I'm cheering for you! xoxox

Dana Kellner said...

From the moment I first met you, it was clear you were a dreamer. Never, ever have I ever thought you wouldn't make those dreams a reality. Great post. :)

Erin Szczerba said...

Thanks girls! That is really sweet and encouraging to hear. xo!

Momuv7 said...

I too am a single mom with four of my seven children living with me here in a 2 bedroom apartment. After 27 years of marriage and 26 years of being a homemaker, I found myself divorced. I'm in a situation that, like most I suppose, that I had never planned on being in. It really threw me. During one of my low periods, my daughter said to me "Mom, write down your dreams. Write down how you want your life to be". And so I did. Being a visual person, I made a power point of all of the things that I wanted. I wrote down things that I believed that God had put in my heart, things that transcends my current condition. I really enjoyed doing it. My son suggested that maybe I could move into a condo. This made sense because a condo is more affordable and easier to maintain. But it didn't sit well with me. So I thought that if I am dreaming, I may as well dream about having a home again. And, while I'm at it, I'll dream up the finances to maintain it as well. The truth is, we all should dream and have a vision for our lives. It is what gives us hope. Without it, we become depressed and unrestrained (Proverbs 13:12). You are right. Dreaming after a divorce does sound like a luxury, but it is a luxury that we single moms can afford to do. Thanks Erin.

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