Sometimes our dreams are staring us right in the face.
They’re so obvious that as my mother would have said, “If they were a snake they would have bitten you!”
For many years, I wondered what I could do that would impact my world. I didn’t want to end my life with nothing but the words on my tombstone. I wanted to leave a legacy…but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what that legacy could be.
It seemed a little crazy to me. Having those big-picture, “I want to change the world” thoughts made me wonder if I was just a little too big for my britches.Who did I think I was, anyway?
In the last several years, I’ve met some other crazy people. People who think like me. People who believe we have an obligation to leave this world a better place than when we found it. In fact, I’m married to one of those crazy people and together Steve and I have raised kids with that same out-of-control desire to Do.Something.Worthwhile.
Realizing that I wasn’t the only crazy dreamer in the world was nice, but it didn’t answer my question. What was my dream? What was the dream that could be used to help others? What was the dream that uniquely belonged to me?
Surprisingly, I began to find the answer to that question as we were cleaning out my parent’s home after their death. I found something in my mom’s bureau that made me laugh, (at first) and then, freed me to recognize, embrace, and now finally, begin to realize at least one of my dreams.
I read early. I was one of those geeky kids who lived to read and loved every second of it. By the time I was five, I was reading Louisa May Alcott, and C.S. Lewis, and Laura Ingalls Wilder… I was not your normal five year old!
Cartoons were repulsive. Give me literature and make it the good stuff!
At the ripe old age of five I also learned to write. I wrote stories about my cat, my fish, and our family.
Actually, I wrote about my kat, my feesh, and my famulee.
Phonics was my friend…
My mom kept all those stories. I never knew it, but she had a thick file totally filled with my childish writings. What a treasure! But it was the story she had placed on top that caught my attention and sent my heart soaring.
Under a crudely drawn picture of a typewriter I had written these words:
Wen I grow up I want to be a riter, cos riters rite things and peepls haf to reed them.
That was it! “When I grow up I want to be a writer because writers write things and people have to read them!”
That explained so many of the daydreams I had harbored about my big picture dreams. For years, I had thought in books! My mind tediously and laboriously turned every encounter, every situation into a story just waiting to be written.
As I had conversations with people, my mind was imagining the book that could come out of the conversation.
As I traveled, I wrote books in my mind about the traveling.
As I mothered, I wrote books in my mind about the children and our lives.
When I laid down to sleep at night…My brain raced with words and sentences and paragraphs and chapters!
For years I’d written Bible studies, and youth group melodramas, and plays, and skits. People had praised me for the writing, but it never occurred to me that my writing could be any more than what it already was… helpful, but nothing special.
Now suddenly it all made sense! My dream, my big-picture, my “I want to change the world” was all wrapped up in writing and communicating those thoughts that were racing through my head.
I wasn’t crazy! Those exhausting and exhilarating thoughts were there for a reason! Now I just needed to figure out how to use them to reach the world.
But that’s a blog for another day!
What dominate your thoughts? What excites you, exhilarates you, gets your creative juices flowing? Is it possible that you already have your big-picture dream, but you just haven’t seen it yet?