Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Stay-at-Home Mom, Dreams, and Never Being Good Enough

I had dreams when I was younger. Big ones. Not the ones that pass through your imagination as you sleep. The ones that make you excited to be alive and think that one individual person can do anything if they set their mind to it. Things have changed since I have gotten older. I still have a sense that we can do much more than we settle for but my dreams seem to be on a hiatus.  I was reading Pioneer Woman the other day and something she said somewhat in passin resounded with me. She was referencing having taken over a dance studio years ago.
The only reason I decided take over the studio (which had only opened the year before) was not because it had been a dream of mine to run a ballet school. I lived 25 minutes from town, after all, and had three small children—oh, and a fourth on the way. I had no business having any dreams.
"I had no business having any dreams." That's part of what has squelched my dreaming. I have tried on several occasions to  continue on with some dreams I've had but between Phil's job being so demanding and changing constantly and the realization that raising the boys is my top priority right now, those get set aside. For me it would look more like.
I have two growing little boys and a wife to a Navy man, all who need all the love and support I can give. I have no business having any dreams.
Nowdays dreams seem to get in the way more than they inspire. There are so many other things that need to get done between laundry and homework and meals to prepare. Dreams are only a burden to my to-do list, our checkbook and my heart.
There is a possibility that all of this comes from a deep-rooted fear of mine (that I certainly don't believe is mine alone) that I could never possibly be good enough at anything I pursue. I will never be loving enough, patient enough, strong enough, fit enough, my cakes not straight enough, my house not clean enough, my pictures not clear or artistic enough, the boys' teeth not brushed enough... I could honestly go on all day. This fear is a constricting force that binds me every single day.
So what can be done, then? Do I give in and never try anything? Do I settle for being unloving, impatient, weak, flabby...?
My resolution is to write this idea from Paul on my heart and carry it with me throughout my life to remind myself that it is not about me and what I feel I can or cannot do.
I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
   My grace is enough; it's all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9ish)
Quit focusing on the handicap. Begin appreciating the gift. That's the plan, Nicole. Get to it!

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