Being A Mom AND Following Your God-Given Dreams
I imagine my face glows when I talk about my latest writing projects. I’ve always loved reading and creating stories. During my childhood summers when my friends were at the lake, I was in the library. Looking back, I can see hints of the dreams God placed deep inside. But the contentment I feel when I use my talents and follow my dreams is uncommon to many.
One afternoon I saw a wistful look in my friend, Stacey’s, eyes as she squeezed a few minutes out of her busy day to talk with me over a glass of tea.
“I wish I had something of my own,” this mother of three small boys confessed. “Some type of special purpose I knew was from God.”
As Stacey spoke, I squinted and looked closely. Yes, under that baby food stained t-shirt she did have something of her own. Stacey’s heart was filled with dreams lying dormant, waiting to be awakened.
Sometimes we, like Stacey, don’t know our dreams are there. We feel incomplete but don’t understand why. Other times the fulfillment of our dreams is stunted by outside factors—not enough time, not enough energy, and too many duties filling up our days—especially with kids.
But most of all we just need permission. Permission to slow down. Permission to discover our deepest purpose. And permission to follow God-breathed dreams even when we still have kids at home. I’ve written books and articles while raising kids, and although there are times I feel guilty for not being able to watch a movie with them, or we have pizza for dinner…again, I’m a mom most of the time. We sit around the table at dinner. I take time with each child each day. We serve together, we laugh together. And once I started following God’s dreams for me, I’ve also been an example to my children of what following God-dreams looks like.
So what are God’s dreams for you? Here is a good question to ask: “If I could be doing anything for God’s kingdom what would it be?”
A second question is as equally important, “What is God asking me to do NOW in this season that I’m in?
Once we have given ourselves permission to dream, the next step is granting ourselves freedom to follow through. This acronym can help:
Find time to spend with God. Ask Him to show you how to make the most of your potential.
Research the area you want to pursue. For example if you desire to develop your talent in art, discover what’s available at your local community college, or call art supply shops for information about classes.
Expect to make adjustments to your schedule. Focusing on God’s calling for your life will not be easy. Make a list of your daily responsibilities and decide which are important and which ones are simply time consumers. Also, decide which duties follow the path God has called you to. Sometimes even good things are not the right things. You may teach Sunday School and run a food ministry, but perhaps that leaves you unable to follow a deeper desire which is to work with the elderly.
Enjoy the process of striving toward your dream. Oswald Chambers says, “We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not…What we call the process, God calls the end.”
Develop relationships with others who share the same talents and goals. Be available for encouragement and prayer.
Openly communicate your dreams to your family, and ask them to do the same. Brainstorm ways to help each other reach toward God’s best. While you are working toward the dreams God has given you, help your husband and children do the same.
Make daily appointments with God to ensure you are on the right track. Many of us have the tendency to take our dreams and run toward a direction God never intended. God will never ask you to follow Him in a direction that will harm your family. It’s easy to get excited about your calling, but remember that as you take care of those in your home, God will be watering your dreams and breathing life into them in ways you can’t see.
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I totally agree that moms can be both a mom and fulfill their dreams. But I see a lot of moms fulfilling their dreams first and motherhood second. I think a lot of moms need to find contentment in being a mom first. I’ve found I’m the happiest when I’m fulfilling my first calling to ministry – raising my kids – and then I’m free to pursue other activities. 2 great books about this are The Mission of Motherhood and The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clark.
I agree Tiffany! Our children are God’s greatest dreams for us as moms.
I am a married stay at home mom with five kids ages 28,18,12,10, and a 7 year old with autism. My 28 year old doesnt live at home anymore. I would love to be able to fufill my God given dream. Please pray for me that I will be able to and still keep my responsibilities to my family.
Dear Lord, please be with Netta. She cares so much for her family, and I know that brings a smile to Your face!! I pray now, Lord, that if You have a dream that You desire for her please make that clear. Show her Your desire for her in this season of parenting. Bring faith where it is needed and contentment where it is needed.
Thank you for your prayers.
Thanks for sharing this! It truly spoke to my heart!
You’re welcome Rachel!
Enjoyed this post! I definitely think that being a mom is numero uno as far as calling, b/c if you aren’t there for your kids, you’re neglecting the primary responsibility God has given you. There are definitely seasons of life in which we can follow those dreams. I remember when I had three kids under the age of three, and I wanted to write a book SO badly. My grandma wisely told me, “Maybe now’s not the time. Wait a little bit.” And she was so right. Now that my kids are more independent, I can make that time to write (generally at nights when they’re asleep!). I don’t feel that I’m sacrificing THEIR time to follow MY dreams.
I agree Heather. God’s gifts of children are our greatest ministry. God will BLESS the right season!! So proud of you!
Thank God for this sight where mothers like me can go to be uplifted,challenged,motivated and have our faith increased especially when things just dont seem to be going well. I thank God for leading me here and I thank God for all of the mothers who write these posts and comments. They really do help me.
I’m so glad that you’re blessed Netta! It’s a joy for us, too!
What a great article. Finding balance, joy and purpose as a mom is so hard at times. I’ve lived a full life as a single person, but now that I’m married and have 2 young children, it is always a challenge to balance serving my wonderful family and pursuing my God given interests and talents. Recently, I’ve found fullfilment doing something I enjoy- helping women out of poverty and sharing their stories through a fair trade home-based business started by a group of Christian moms. It’s good to talk about these things and encourage one another to pursue their calling. Thank you for sharing this article, Tricia.
I love that you found a great calling while also caring for your kids!
Thank you so much for this article. I have been struggling with this a lot lately. I grew up figure skating. It was more to me than just skating. I enjoyed the way I felt on the ice but I also enjoyed being around other skaters and encouraging them. My mom had a long battle with cancer and eventually succumbed to her illness. Skating was my way of coping with this. My mom rolled coins so I could continue skating. Over the years, I have had lulls in skating but it always seemed to come back into my life. I had such a recent lull when I had my two boys. I was skating regularly and coaching when I had children. I quit to raise my boys. Now my boys are 7 and 10 and God (I believe it is God) has opened doors that I thought were closed forever for me to start skating again. I love working with children, especially special ed children. The local Y is interested in me starting a skating program from scratch. I am very excited and I find so much joy from skating and teaching. But I feel guilty like I should still be completely focused on my family. Thank you for reminding me that it is ok to have dreams and hopes and use our talents.
I love that! It’ll be a wonderful thing for your children to see you pursuing your God-given dreams!
I love your message and I wholeheartedly agree that we need to fulfill our dreams by using our God-given talents. It’s never to late for mothers to follow their dreams.