Monday, July 22, 2013

This is What Dreams Are Made Of

Praise God for internet friends who hear your cries for help when you need blogging ideas on a Monday morning.

Only a few minutes ago I put on Twitter and Facebook that I needed blog topic ideas for today, and my friend Sarah promptly gave me one.

She is working on a new project, and she needs to ask someone what their dream is. So I guess I'm the one she's asking!

What is your dream?

When I was a kid, and you asked me this question, I probably would have told you that I wanted to be a writer. I was always making up stories and consuming any book I could get my hands on. I can't even begin to tell you how many journals I owned. It was well known in my school that I wanted to be an author. My "short" stories for class assignments were never very short, and I even wrote a little novel in 4th grade that my teacher let me put into the fine arts fair because she knew how hard I had been working on it. Being like Ann M. Martin (Babysitters Club) or one of the authors for the American Girl books would have been a dream come true.

When I got to jr. high and high school, my dream changed a bit. If you asked me what my dream was, I would have told you it was to be a big Broadway star. I had always loved theatre and performing, but when started to notice I was good at it, my dreams got bigger. I would listen to my music on my CD player and sing along, wishing I was a star. I had dreams of New York City and the stage floating around in my mind. 

Then I went onto college and studied to be in ministry. I remember late nights with my friends (many of whom also were going into various aspects of ministry) and we would imagine our perfect scenarios. Running a big church like Willow Creek in Chicago or Saddleback in LA. We would put together our "dream team," making ourselves the pastors, children's ministers, youth ministers, missions coordinators, arts directors, etc. We were going to go out there and change the world. 
Saddleback Church, 2009
Being asked this question now... it's harder to answer.

When people ask me what I want in life, I basically look like a deer in headlights. 

I know what I want... kind of. But it's hard to explain. My dreams aren't really concrete anymore. 

I would still love to publish a novel someday. But that's not my only dream anymore.

I've learned as I've gotten older that being a professional actress isn't for me, but I do know that theatre will always be important in my life and I want to keep growing as a performer and artist. 

I'm still in ministry and want to make a difference in the world, but I've also learned that the "mega church" route isn't where my heart is.

Something that I've learned the last few years, is that your dream doesn't have to equal your career goals. I don't have a 5 year plan, or a picture of what I want my life to look like when I'm 40. I don't have aspirations for fame or glory or to get on TV. My dreams now are more about who I want to be and what kind of people I want to be with.

When I imagine perfect days, I see laughing and talking with friends over a cup of coffee. Going on adventures to see new places and meet new people. Trying new things. Celebrating holidays with my family and listening to their stories. Sharing stories and truths about life, love, and faith with people outside of the safe walls of the church building. Building relationships with people where we get to the point where we don't have to try so hard.

Those are some of my dreams. They aren't concrete and you can't put them into a 5 year plan or make goals for them.

They just... happen. 

Yesterday in his sermon, our pastor was talking about Mary and Martha, and last week we talked about the good Samaritan. The same thing came up in both sermons.

It's not about what you do, it's about who you are. In the stories, people kept asking Jesus about what they should do. Jesus then taught them about being, and not doing.

So that's what my dream is. I want to focus on who I am and the person God wants me to be, instead of the things I'm doing.

Sorry... I couldn't resist the Lizzie McGuire reference.
What are your dreams?


  1. I am right there with you on this. With all the job interviews I've done recently, the only question I consistently struggle with is, "What is your five-year plan?" / "What is your ideal job?" which is funny because I've always been the person with the rest of my life planned out. But right now my priorities really are about how I spend the entirety of my time, including not spending so much time commuting and working that I don't get time with Mike or my friends. But that's hard to communicate in a job interview :)

  2. I have been having similar thoughts. For a long time, my "dream" did involve my career. Then that dream got dashed, now when thinking of replacing it all I can really think of the type of lifestyle I want to lead- and even that I can simplify to only wanting peace.

  3. First of all, I LOVE the Lizzie McGuire shout out!! Hehe. I totally agree that dreams are so much more concrete as a kid and get more complicated with adulthood. I feel like my dreams change day to day. As a kid, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. Now that teaching is my profession, it feels more like a job and less like a dream come true, lol.

  4. Sorry it's taken me three days to respond. Things have been crazy. Anywayyy...thank you. I now have Lizzie McGuire singing in my head and probably will for the rest of the day.

    I think your point about it being more about the kind of person you want to be and the kind of people you want to be around is an important one that a lot of people miss. I think sometimes people tend to think that if they find their dream job, then they'll be happy. They forget that while they may enjoy their JOB more, that doesn't mean they'll be happy or their life will be better. Even if your dream does involve a particular job or a job-like action (like publishing a book), you still need to work on yourself and your attitude just as much as you need to take practical steps toward achieving your "dream job."

    Lovely thoughts, lady. :)


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