I was around 8 or 9 years old walking through a small town K-mart when I saw the most beautiful chubby baby with huge dark eyes and tight dark curly hair. I leaned into my mother and said, “I hope my babies look like that!” She replied, “then you will need to adopt.”
I am sure my mom doesn’t even remember her flippant comment – but it was my beginning. I began to dream that my family would look different – full of color and diversity.
I thought about a station wagon chuck full of joyful children. Somehow my imagination could picture it like a clown car – a stream of happy kiddos piling out with no end to how many could fit. Unrealistic I know, but come on….I love kids.
Many moons later….here we are. Our family does look different and when we arrive places it may seem like the circus is in town, but the fruition of my dream is not exactly what I anticipated.
Let me start by saying I love being a mom. My life is better because of it – but I have to fight the common belief. Dreams coming true doesn’t equal a perfect easy life.
What if God has placed a dream and passion in my heart, but it is hard work to live out? Does that mean it was the wrong dream to have? Is an easy life really the “dream” most hope for rather than a life sold out to the calling of Jesus?
There are days that I want to stay on the couch with my book rather than stepping in and lovingly correcting my children who are in the midst of a knock out drag out fight. There are days that I want my family to blend in at the store rather than looking different and drawing attention. I don’t jump up and down with joy as I wade into deep waters of questions surrounding a birth-mommy. Yesterday, when one of the children (who shall remain nameless) was pitching a tantrum AGAIN, I wanted to crawl in my bed and pull the covers over my head and hum a little tune and escape to my own little world.
This family I dreamed up….it is hard work.
The reality of my dream in many ways is oh so much better. As I am typing this Roo and Little Monkey are painting creations for my frig. Soccer Dude and Little Man are putting together the train set; they are all such great friends. I am blessed. That isn’t even counting the early morning snuggles, the smashed flowers I hold in my pocket, or the small hand that wants to hold mine as I walk. Oh the things I would miss if I swapped the life God planned for me and replaced it with the pursuit of comfort and ease. That is what I need to focus on.
I don’t want to be like the Israelites who were pursuing the promised land, but wandered for years due to grumbling and unbelief. Little Monkey asked me why the Israelites didn’t learn their lesson and kept making the same mistakes over and over again. Her question made me ponder. Did they really think walking out into freedom would mean a life of ease? I am sure they dreamt for years about the Deliverer, but did they imagine the hard, hot path through the desert that they would be led too?
What I have learned – blessings and fulfilled dreams only come through some hard work and sorrow.
That truth kept in focus changes my attitude as I live out this journey with Jesus.