Some of my sons dream of being a soccer professional or a football player. One wanted to be a garbage man. Another wanted to be a bladesmith crafting authentic reproduction swords. Military dreams, entrepreneurship dreams, maybe a drummer in a band.
My little guy, he dreams of being an artist. He came home the other day, bummed out about his dream. “Some kids in my class draw better than me. Maybe I need to pick something else to be.”
This little guy has been living his dream since he could walk. He creates story art all the time. He snags his dad to build furniture with leftover wood from home projects: wooden beds (think seven dwarf size), tables and little bench chairs. He lamented that he had outgrown them the other day.
Scissors and paper call him to come make art of them. And he does.
I have boxes of art, pictures he drew of me and dad full of I love yous. I found art on the door to my bedroom the other day. Have you ever felt like you lived in a factor? An art factory?
I walked into the garage a couple of weeks to discover a teepee made of slates from an unused bed.
My artist felt like giving up because someone drew better.
Maybe he would grow up and open an ice cream store, he said. Yes, an ice cream store with a wafer cone on top. It would have his favorite ice cream from The Marble Slab. Yes, maybe that is what he would do. I boarded that ice-cream truck dream! Who wouldn’t want to have a son who had an ice cream store!
But we also talked about the different kinds of artists: industrial artists, wood craftsmen, potters, cartoonists, architects, and so many more. Then we talked about how to increase his skill level. This summer we bought some great books on how to draw lots of things, but they cannot help if they are not opened.
He is at an interesting stage in his life right now. He is standing on the edge, trying to muster up the energy, the desire, the want to jump to the next level. Sometimes my boys go through a stage where they stagnate, burrow into laziness and discontent. He has been discontent lately, feeling like he is not smart enough or talented enough. The realization dreams require work, actual effort do not mean that you are not smart enough or talented enough. God gives giftings. Those giftings take you only so far. Work ethic is needed to reach the goal. He just did not want to work hard. Dreams, after all, just magically appear out of a heart’s desire, right?
Until this week, when the sleeping lion stirred from dreaming, waking up. He’s working hard now, reading, drawing, mathematics. Success, confidence, work ethic are blooming like a warm spring after a cold, dark winter.
In a few years, he is going to be in c ollege, standing on the edge of the nest beside me, trying to muster up the courage to jump and fly. I felt that way with my oldest. It was time to take that next jump. If he would not jump, I would have given a helpful push. I did not have to push – he jumped and soared.
Right now my little guy is ready to take the next step. He is trying to take his dreams to the next level. I can figuratively hold his hand and help him to that next level. I will savor that opportunity for a short time longer. In a few years, he will not need that hand. He will jump and soar, all on his own.
When he grows up, I want him to live his dreams, instilled in him by a mighty God. However, all dreams take hard work – and that takes choice. As a mom, it is so exciting to see the gifts and the dreams with the human resource character that God placed in him unfold. What tremendous relief to know that God knows all His needs – and does not keep solutions a secret, but lets me know what my little guy needs.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be”(Psalm 139: 14-16)
Years ago, when I was 6, I wanted to be a writer. It took hard work, determination in the face of adversity – and choice. I chose to pursue my dream. I will encourage each of my sons to pursue their dreams, too! Is it not amazing that God created our hearts, our toes, all those little blood vessels, finger nails, even, noise hair along with our souls, and then gave us the tone or our voices, individual laughter, and sneezes. And then he placed a dream in us that would lead us to what He created us to be – not a dream to torment and bring unhappiness, but one that brings joy! My God is utterly amazing – and I never realized just how utterly amazing until I had children.