Thanks, Dana Doyle, for sharing it with me.
Growing up one of my favorite tv shows was Fame. My parents let me stay up late to watch each week because back then ballet was my life.
Every week I heard Lydia Grant say, “You’ve got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying … in sweat,” in the middle of the theme song.
At the time I dreamed of going to a performing arts high school and eventually dancing professionally. I wanted to be a professional ballerina. I wanted to be on Broadway. I wanted to be a Rockette.
I did get into our local performing arts high school, but decided to go to the local high school instead because I didn’t want to spend an hour on a bus getting there and back. Looking back that was a turning point – no pun intended.
Had I decided to go to the performing arts high school my life might have taken a different trajectory. Am I disappointed that my dreams of living and dancing in New York were never realized? No, not really.
There are many different dreams that I have had throughout my life that haven’t been realized, but, because only hindsight is 20/20, I realize that there were two major pieces to these dreams that were missing.
- The dreams I had are not the dreams that God had in mind for me. I was doing what I wanted to do and following my own lead without talking to God about my dreams at all. Had I taken the time to listen to Him I would have quickly realized that He had other things in mind for me.
- I was not willing to do my part – the hard, the real, the work – to make these dreams a reality. Dreams take work, even dreams that God places in our hearts.
As I continue to grow as a person and my relationship with God continues to develop and deepen, I realize that He has great things in mind for me. I am now in consultation with God in a way that I have never been before and different dreams are now in my heart. These are dreams I know that He placed there and I am beginning to dig in and do the work required to make these dreams a reality.
What lessons have you learned from dreams that were not realized?
To see more thoughts on God-sized dreams, head over to Faith Barista.
If you are visiting from Natural Parents Network, welcome! Thanks for stopping by!
The theme for Wordless Wednesday at Natural Parents Network is Finding or Creating Balance and I have this picture featured there:
When I first thought about the theme of balance I thought immediately of doing it all and multi-tasking, but it isn’t doing a million different things at once that create balance. The more we do, the less we accomplish and the less we appreciate each moment. When multi-tasking we are incapable of truly appreciating each moment because there are too many things vying for our attention.
This picture was taken at an end of the year performance at my son’s day care. I love that my son is completely wrapped up in the moment doing one of the things he loves to do most – dance. I love that he is completely oblivious to every thing and everyone else around him. The expression on his face says it all for me.
Balance is appreciating the moment and not paying attention to the million other things that we or other people think we should be doing.
All I have to do find balance is look at my son and my priorities are immediately re-aligned appropriately.
What is your definition of balance? How do you find balance in your life?
If you don’t have the time to go read the whole post, the gist of it is this: “Our bigger purpose can be found in the here and now, in the jobs we have, right under our noses. And when we find and live this purpose, it will provide the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life.” In other words, we don’t have to cure cancer or move thousands of miles away to a less fortunate part of the world to make a difference.
The question at the end of the post was: What is the bigger purpose for which you are working?
I don’t always comment on posts, but I felt compelled to comment on this post and want to share my comment with you here.
I have reached the pinnacle of my career at my current school. To advance any more I would have to take another position at a different school. I love my school and have no desire to leave. People don’t always understand and ask, “Why don’t you want to continue to advance your career?”
It isn’t about my career. It is about the students at my school. They need me as much as any other students in any other school.
It is also about my son. I am a single mom and while the title on my name tag says Assistant Principal, the title on my heart says Mama. My job is to raise him to be a contributing member of society and to help him make the world a better place.
I may not ever do anything amazing per the definition of other people, but I am helping lay the foundation for other people do amazing things one day.
What is the bigger picture for which you are working?
I wish that I could celebrate Father’s Day with a full heart and an intact family, but I can’t.
We actually celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday because this Sunday my son’s dad is with his parents and my son is with my parents. We celebrated with a family outing to the aquarium and lunch out at Hard Rock Cafe. I stood back and took lots of pictures of my son and his dad together and, as I always do when my son is with his dad, took a back seat to the action. It really was a wonderful day for them. I know that my son and his dad both enjoyed themselves and that my son’s dad really appreciated it.
I am glad we celebrated last Sunday because I don’t think my heart would be in it this Sunday because reality has once again struck.
In an effort to keep my son’s dad informed about things going on with him, I told him about an incident where my two year old got a hold something he wasn’t supposed to. I didn’t expect the reaction I got.
He berated me about my parenting decisions, told me multiple times that I am a bad mother and informed me that I am doing a terrible job raising our son.
He yelled. He cursed. He made obscene gestures. There was a lot of “I am his father and you will not…”
I didn’t react. I remained clam but made it clear that he could not control me.
When he realized that I would not acquiesce to his treatment of me, he told me that he was going to “call the law.” I told him to go ahead and I went to play Play-Doh with my son.
He did, in fact, get on the phone. He called his mother. I didn’t hear all that he said, but I did hear him tell her that he wanted me “thrown in jail or a mental institution or something.”
I was shaking so much that I could hardly keep the Play-Doh in my hands, but I remained calm and explained to my son that daddy was upset, but that everything would be just fine.
At one point I tried to interject as he was saying something, but he pointed his finger at me and said something nasty. I calmly told him not to behave that way in front of our son. He said, “Well, come to the garage and I will berate you out there.” I didn’t go, but thankfully he did.
I have no idea how the rest of the conversation with his mother went. He returned and had calmed down some, but it didn’t make the evening any better.
In a couple of weeks my son and I will be spending the week with his parents. He will be there as well. Before he left my house he said to me, “I don’t want to fuss while we are at my parents.” I reminded him that I was not the one who was fussing. He said, “Well, it is because of your bad decision.” I told him that was his opinion. He pointed at me and said, “You are doing a terrible job raising our son.” I said, “Thank you.” He said, “You’re welcome,” turned around and left.
I am still raw from the experience.
I keep reminding myself that he is trying to hurt me in the way that he knows he will hurt me most – through words. I have to say that he is succeeding – those words have hurt me.
I keep reminding myself that this is his way of “paying me back” for splitting up our family. I can only imagine how bad it would be if we were still married.
I know that he would never treat me like this if other people were around. He would be mortified if other people knew he behaved like this. That is what is tough about situations like this – the public persona is so different from the reality behind closed doors.
Things like this happen from time to time. My son’s dad is not a bad man. He struggles with his own stuff and I try to keep it all in perspective. Episodes such as this one have happened in the past and I know there will be episodes in the future. I just continue to try to take the high road, feel secure in myself and know that I am doing a great job as a mother and in life.
Holidays are not always what Hallmark makes them out to be. If this is a hard Father’s Day for you, know that you aren’t alone.
Sarah Markley wrote a great post this week - Can You Handle the NOW?, which was the inspiration for this post.
I didn’t write this post to throw my son’s father under the bus – he is a good man who sometimes behaves badly.
I didn’t write this as a “poor me” post. I am blessed beyond measure. I know that this is my reality and that God has put me on this path for a reason.
I wrote about this because this is real. Things like this and exponentially worse happen in homes all over America.
It seems that most people write about how great life is and don’t deal with the now, but the now is part of the story. The now is important. The now needs to be shared with others for two reasons – so that others don’t feel so alone or so that others become more thankful of their own situation – or maybe a little of both.
Interested in my answers to the following questions?
What is the age/gender of your child?
Where do you work?
What has been one of the greatest joys of motherhood?
What has been one of the greatest challenges of motherhood?
How has your perspective changed since becoming a mother?
What is the funniest thing you have heard your child say?
Finish the phrase, “I never thought I’d…”
What is one kid-related item that you can’t live without?
What is your favorite children’s book?
What is the most challenging transition you have faced as a mom so far?
Head over to MomColoredGlasses to find out.
It could happen at the park, in church, at the grocery store, at a play date. It has happened to me in all of these places and more. I am engaged in small talk with a woman I am just getting to know and she asks me, “What does your husband do?” This is when I take a deep breath and tell her, “I’m divorced.”
Please join me at MomColoredGlasses to read the rest.
When my son gets overly upset and I can’t do anything else to calm him down, I pick him up, hold him in my lap and rock him. After a few moments he calms down and I tell him, “I know, honey, you just needed some Mama time.”
He is now learning to self regulate a little more and when he starts getting overly upset, he will come to me and say, “Mama time.” I let him climb up in my lap and I hold him tight and rock him.
Yesterday he did just that – he got upset, came to find me and said, “Mama time.”
As I held my son I thought about how, in many ways, I am like a two year old. There are many times I am confused and don’t know what I want. There are many times that nothing at all makes me happy. There are many times that I can’t seem to calm myself down. There are many times that I would love to be able to throw a tantrum like a two year old.
I thought about how wonderful it would be to have someone waiting for me with open arms to comfort me, when it hit me. God is always waiting for me with open arms. He is just waiting for me to come to Him for comforting and for “Daddy time.”
Your father may not be with you anymore. You may not have a good relationship with your father, but Our Father is waiting for you to come to him and crawl in his lap so that you he can hold you and rock you and give you some “Daddy time.”
This post was inspired by the prompt – Share your thoughts on Father’s Day – at Faith Barista’s Jam with Me Thursday.
I am so glad that God is always one step ahead of me. I have no doubt that He is not only preparing me for situations that He knows are ahead of me, but He provides me wonderful resources that help me gain much needed perspective.
Yesterday I wrote that I thanked God for my blessings in disguise not knowing what those blessings were. I have no idea what prompted that thought and prayer in me, but I opened myself up to it and embraced it. I still don’t know what the blessing is, but the disguise has become clear this evening.
Dana Doyle wrote a wonderful post that I really needed this evening - Forgiveness is Freedom. She has a wonderful perspective on forgiveness and reminded me that “People only hurt because they have been hurt.” So true and a message that I especially needed tonight. Thanks, Dana!
God always provides exactly what we need.