“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K. Rowling,
“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Because every good self-reflection should begin with some Harry Potter and Thoreau…and Hillsong worship music in the background as you write.
It’s amazing where you find yourself in this adventure called life.
One day you just wake up and say, how did I get here?
And, where did I go wrong along the way?
That happened to me this summer.
But to get to the end, it is best to start at the beginning.
I’ve been fairly truthful with what a struggle it has been to be Baby K’s mommy. He turned three this spring, and I had one of those wake -up -and -question -everything moments. Who am I? How did I get here? Where did my joy go?
I used to love being a parent. When I had Baby A, my heart was filled with so much joy and hope and excitement and patience. I loved every moment of being a mom! And my heart was filled with dreams of having more children, lots more children. Maybe 6 children. Klayton and I both come from larger families (Klayton from 9 and me from 5), and with me teaching preschool kids have always been a central part of our lives.
I always thought that I would have a couple of kids and then stop working. My life would be filled with many tiny faces that would look like mine or Klayton’s, and would consist of school drop off and laundry and playing and excitement.
This was my dream, to have a large family, and dreams come true, right?
Well, not for everyone.
After Kreade was born life became such a struggle. He was SO hard, for SO long. And I was SO mentally affected.
And along the way and after several difficult events it became clear that when it came to tiny little faces, we would only be producing two.
But when I woke up this spring and questioned everything, I realized several things.
I realized that I was grieving.
It may sound weird to say that you can grieve a dream. But that is the only way I can find to describe how I feel.
It’s hard to let go of something that you have always wanted, always imagined, and always planned on.
There is such a sense of loss in knowing that you thought things would be one way, yet life has shown you that they need to be another. And your entire perspective on life has to change. You feel so guilty for knowing that you just can’t do it…that even if you tried, you know so deep down in your heart that it’s just not meant to be…and you’re not good enough, able enough, strong enough to be that person. But you should be – women are meant to be moms, so why can’t you just suck it up and have another kid?
And the little voices sometimes won’t leave me alone.
They attack me and shout at me until I think that I won’t ever be good enough…
But somehow, in these moments, my heart awakens and reminds my soul that His ways are not ours…and I know, this is what is meant to be.
But in the midst of grieving this dream, and surviving Baby K I realize that I also lost my joy.
I lost myself somewhere amidst the cries and sleepless nights, the years of trying to be everything that one little body needed…and failing.
I forgot what it was like to simply be…a mom.
Our journey with selling one house and building another has been somewhat symbolic for me. I dreaded having to live in our tiny 24ft camper while the house is being built.
But, it’s funny where this adventure leads you and what you meet along the way.
And what I thought would fill my life with hardship and more struggle has actually brought both healing and re-discovery.
I’ve met simplicity.
I’ve met time.
I’ve met experience.
I’ve met the person who I once was, and who I want to be again.
And somehow, this simple little life of working and living in our camper has reminded me of who I used to be.
I enjoyed being a parent.
I enjoyed life.
I had hope.
So this move is my fresh start. It’s where I find myself again, and will continue to grow into the person who I want to be.
And while I still know I am meant to only produce two tiny faces, I am hopeful for the future.
Because even if I only have two myself, God can grow our family in other ways.
And besides, I have 120 tiny faces to love on at work.
And even if I only have two, I can still love being a mom…even if it wasn’t the mom I once dreamed of.
So in the midst of this simple summer, I am remembering how joyful it is to just be with my children…to explore the world around us, to investigate nature and all it has to offer, to read and to play…and sometimes, just to cuddle and sing songs until Baby K falls asleep and then snuggle up under the covers with a flashlight and read “big kid” books with baby A.
And of course Dumbledore is right…in dwelling on my dream I forgot to live.
But thanks be to God who can restore both hope and joy, and resurrect me to be who He created me to be.
By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
In your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
Note…Instrumental in my self-discovery this summer has been a book that my friend recommended for me…Simplicity Parenting. I’m only halfway through but I can already say, it is highly worth the read.