Recycled Dreams

This is a dream box.


It’s self-stated purpose (or the purpose given it by its makers) is to hold your dreams forward in the world. I opened it today. The tiny stickie note slept unfaded, though the dream has long since faded. It was a dream I acted on in 2014.

Today I wrote a new little note with a new dream and it’s big. It’s ludicrous from where I sit this day. And then I recall this scripture:

Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 1 Chronicles 4:10

I’m not Jabez. But I am seeking. More responsibility, for that is what enlarging one’s border means. He asked in a specific way and so am I. Not for a physical border but a career border.

I work toward my dream and toward my God. They do not have to be opposing works. There is no magic in the dream box. There is only clarity. A one-and-a-half-inch circle in which to breathe the dream of my heart. Clear concision is necessary.

The old stickie note went in the recycling. It was a real dream and I strove toward it, reaching it in degrees. But it is not THE dream. It was too small. Too concise. It outlived its usefulness.

Maybe it won’t take me five years to look in the box again.

The Reinvention of Me: Dreaming

I am a dreamer. In elementary school, I dreamed of building a helicopter house. I dreamed of being a great singer like Crystal Gayle. (I know, right?!) I dreamed of telling stories. I dreamed of me and my siblings and our families all living in little houses on a piece of land with our parents.

In junior high, I dreamed of surviving. I dreamed of falling in love. I dreamed of being a lawyer.

In high school, I dreamed of getting out of school, out of my hometown. I still dreamed of love. I kept dreaming of lawyering, of art, of books, of any and everything dramatic.

I kept dreaming and I worked toward many of those dreams.

I finished college. I married a funny, wondrous guy. I graduated law school. I had a baby. I graduated from a masters program. I had two more babies. I worked as corporate counsel. I spent one year as an administrative judge. I published a picture book that I both authored and illustrated. I self-published a novel.

On the surface, it would seem that a dreaming life bade very well for me. In the midst of all that dreaming and all that doing, I was hollowed out by anxiety and depression. I doubted everything. I feared everything. I made lists and checked off items without committing to anything fully. I never wanted to know the limits of my potential, because that terrified me.

Now I’m dreaming in new dimensions. In colors I didn’t know existed. For things I would have once believed fictional in the extreme.

I’m not dreaming of scraping by, of checking off bucket list items, or of anything terribly dramatic. Instead, my sights are set on those things that are difficult to define. True artist. Engaged mother. Productive provider. Christ-like servant. Loyal friend and family member. Constant wife. Resilient human.

It’s not the titles that have changed so much but the quality of those characteristics. I’m not dreaming of resume-ish accomplishments but of life in all its messy glory.

Accepting myself as I am set me free to dream things I thought impossible, things others might not ever know or notice.

I want depth and height, breadth and distance. I dream.