I picked up a new book recently, “Let’s All Be Brave” by Annie Downs. The same week, my husband started reading “Chase the Lion” by our old pastor, Mark Batterson.
These books are great, encouraging us to go after “God-sized dreams,” admit to the world what we really want to do — and then pursue them with courage, passion and conviction.
But there’s a problem we both found — both of us. Our big dreams, at least right now, don’t seem to be all that big.
For him, a dream is to be cured of sometimes debilitating anxiety or have the confidence to speak in front of a room of people at work.
For me, I want to stop succumbing to random bouts of depression and drinking wine (or massive bowls of ice cream) at the end of a long day. I want to be a good mom (which I think I am) and a good wife and a good friend (the last two maybe could use some improvements…)
There are things in the back of my mind — like write a book, get published in Marie Claire, travel to Australia — but they are not on the forefront. The book has been a “dream” since I was a kid but I mean…I don’t have a clue what to write about. If I had a subject matter I felt like I could go after, I would but at this point, it sits lonely in a mind space for another day.
I don’t like to use having a baby as an excuse for not pursuing a dream. Busier women than me have built businesses, written books, traveled the world. I keep listening to all these podcasts aimed at entrepreneurs. I find them fascinating but I don’t have a dream of being one!
I guess what I’m trying to say is not everyone has the “big dream” in mind and wants to go after it right this second. Sometimes, we are just trying to survive in sanity, keep the house clean and be nice to each other.
Perhaps we will read more into these books and realize that these things too are in their own way, “God-sized” but I feel a bit like I’m letting myself down by not having a bigger dream.
To be honest, I had a dream or really getting my magazine (National Review) back on track from some things. Not to get into the weeds, but I felt I had the passion, some knowledge and willingness to learn to put us on the path for a successful future.
Then, I discovered, I don’t know nearly enough to orchestrate such a thing. I do my very best in my position and feel I’ve made a difference but the overwhelming nature of what needs to be done (once I realized how little I knew about things like ad sales, website development, etc.) has discouraged me. It was kind of my “big dream” that makes me wonder if it was the right one. (I also question if I want to pursue more lofty career goals, like someday be a President of Digital at a big company, but am not sure that’s the life I’m looking for.)
It’s not that I don’t want a God-sized dream, it’s that I’m struggling with how to find it. Mark says “Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.”
I suppose that is the book, the magazine, my job and a couple of other things I have in mind. Maybe these books, more than anything, were made to get my attention. Maybe God is trying to whisper my dream to me and I need to shut up and listen.
Or maybe the dream is to find the courage to say no to a vice, to believe that healing will come for that anxiety or depression. To trust that God will let me know if and when we will have another child.
Maybe it’s both. In any case, I guess I should read past the first chapter of the book — and in the meantime, be still and keep my ears open.