Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Grateful Dreamer

As I mentioned when I finally wrote about New Year's Resolutions, I generally have a problem with overly optimistic expectations. I think big. I dream bigger. And some part of me actually thinks I should be able to do it all. I will blame that on the feminist girl power culture and American individualism. Ugh.

Then there is the parable of the talents. If you are given a gift, you have a responsibility to use it for God's glory. Nobody will dispute that I am a natural leader and an organizer. I thrive when I am organizing events and leading teams of incredible people. My energy level is fed by such work. Just a few of the many things I would love to lead:
  • Start a dinner club (Rachel is to blame)
  • Start a mom's book club (like this)
  • Lead another Catholic homeschool conference (last year's wore me out)
  • Organize a Catholic homeschoolers podcast (not practical)
  • Organize a seminar for Catholic homeschoolers in Spanish (in the works)
  • Contribute to a blog about Catholic homeschool conferences
  • Compile a book of essays about Catholic homeschooling
  • Get involved in pro-life work again
  • Begin a Catholic homeschool co-op
Nevertheless, I want to change the world. One moment at a time.

So, when I created my super list of wonderful ideas, to give myself some positive goals for the year, I was optimistic that I could discern what things to tackle first and get started. I began with prayer and started planning (by purchasing Kelly's book!). Then, my boys got the flu, all three of them, and I sat on the couch for a whole week, with one of them (or two) feverish and draped across me. all. day. long. I could not make progress towards very many of my goals at all. Sad mama.

But as I sat still (so, so hard for me!), and felt more and more depressed while we canceled outings and trips to stay home and get well, I found myself pondering how I can dream big and still be content with my blessed life. The past several years my heart has been seeking gratefulness. Thanks to Ann Voskamp, who first gave me a concrete way to count my blessings, through the grace of God, I have been able to embrace each season and live more for the moment than before.

Sally Clarkson's new book Own Your Life is now challenging me to not only be content with now but to move forward with purpose in pursuit of God's calling on my life. To many of you this will certainly be obvious, but to me amidst the tissues and the Tylenol, stuck at home far away from home, this soul progression finally makes sense...

One can only accomplish tomorrow's dreams when she is recognizing the dreams God is making a reality today.

I am slowly learning to be a more grateful dreamer. Have you tried counting gifts? What are your dreams?