The zoo field trip. It’s the highlight of 2nd grade and even though I’ve chaperoned it once before with my son, it all felt new again thanks to the giddy excitement of my daughter. With a car full of bubbly, chatty 7 year old girls, we made the one hour trip from school parking lot to zoo parking lot and quickly joined the rest of the class. We were divided into smaller groups and sent off to explore with plans to meet up again at a designated time.
I spent most of the day as the lone adult with a handful of girls but every so often we would cross paths with another group which gave me a chance to talk to someone who didn’t squeal at the sight of every single animal or ask me every two minutes how long it was until lunch.
As our day began to wind down and we worked our way back towards the entrance, I was relieved to finally get the chance to talk with one of my closest mom friends in the class. She seemed relieved too and I think we both realized that one of our favorite parts about field trips is actually getting to connect with the other parents.
We were able to chit-chat for a few minutes all the while having to stop to yell things like, “Hey, get down from there!” or “It’s probably not a good idea to try and squeeze your hand through the fence!” or “No! I don’t know what we’re having for dinner yet it’s only 1 o’clock for crying out loud!”. That last one was from my child in case you hadn’t guessed. 😉
As we walked and ran interference with our crew of kiddos, she asked me for updates on the happenings in my life and, as it so happened, I had just that week received the book deal offer from our publisher. I told her my news and she couldn’t have been more thrilled for me. We chatted about the details for a few minutes before she wistfully said, “How exciting to be in a place in life where you have these dreams coming true! I wish I was able to pursue some of my creative dreams right now.”
We didn’t have long to talk after that because it was time to load up the kids and head back to school but before we parted I told her, “Don’t forget that there are seasons to dreaming.”
And as I drove I couldn’t help but think about what my friend had said. And more than what she had said, what I had heard in her voice.
I heard longing.
I heard frustration.
I heard passion.
I heard a dream.
You see, this particular friend currently has her hands very full with three kids ages eight and under. And she wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But she has dreams. Creative dreams. Dreams that seem so very far away when she can barely eat lunch without someone needing something from her.
And I wished that we had had more time that day to talk. I wished that the kids weren’t becoming as wild as the animals we were visiting at the zoo and that we didn’t need to get back to the school. I wished that I could have explained a bit more about what I meant when I said that there are seasons to our dreams.
Because, I remember feeling the exact same way. I remember being home all day with little ones and wondering how on earth I got to the place where my proudest accomplishment of the day was locating the plug for the sippy cups.
I remember absolutely, unequivocally knowing that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and yet also knowing that there would come a day when I wasn’t needed quite as much. When I would have hours in my day to fill and when I would want to fill them with more than laundry and Netflix. When I would be reminded that even though I’m wife and a mom, I’m also ‘me’.
And it’s in that season, that the dream was planted. Like a tiny seed being covered with soil and hiding out in the dark.
Dreams, like our lives, have different stages but we often lose sight of that in our eagerness to see them come true. And we tend to place more importance on the final stage than we do on the beginning stage(s). Because the final stage is the culmination, the top of the mountain, the ‘come true’ moment.
But, there can be no ‘come true’ of your dream if you haven’t given it the proper nourishment. If you haven’t planted it under the soil and left it to soak in all of the nutrients. If you haven’t given it just the right amount of water and made sure that the weeds weren’t threatening to choke it. If you haven’t caved into your impatience and, in your eagerness to force it to be ready, plucked it from the safety of the garden too soon.
This process takes time. And just like a garden, there are some sprouts that break through the surface of the soil more quickly than others.
Friends, I’m still pinching myself that one of my lifelong dreams is coming true. But, I would not have been ready for this years ago. And the Lord knew that. He knew that this time, this exact season, was the right time.
And what prepared me for my ‘come true’ moment were the years of whispering prayers to Him that seemed so far-fetched that I didn’t dare say them out loud. The years of trying to trust that He knows me better than I know myself and that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Do you have a dream ? In what season of your dream do you find yourself?
I pray that you will be encouraged today to remember that the ‘come true’ moments don’t happen overnight. They are nurtured and longed for and challenged and prayed over and sometimes the dream we thought we planted gets grafted into a new dream.
Wherever you are in the journey, know that I get it. And it’s an honor to be apart of it with you and have you be apart of my dream too!
So glad you could meet me at the fence today,