Today, I'm going to post something a bit different. From time to time you'll read me thinking about my parents and what they did right. Often, if I ask them point blank for parenting advice, they kind of shrug and move the conversation on. This weekend my mom sent me an article that will run in the North Plate Grapevine, the local homeschool newsletter.
It's about a topic that I think is critical: teaching our kids to dream. This is something my mom and dad did very well. They RARELY pooh-poohed our dreams. When I decided I wanted to go to college at 16, they never said that was impossible. Instead, when I turned 16 and still wanted to do it, my mom marched me down to the local community college's counselor to see how we could make it happen. That guy didn't know what hit him :-) Crazy homeschoolers!
When I finaled for the Harry Truman scholarship my junior year, I ran into a blizzard driving from Lincoln to Denver. Called my parents absolutely hysterical because I knew if I did not get to the interview the next day, my chance at the scholarship -- and the rest of my life (grin) -- was over. Once my parents were assured my friend and I were still in one piece, they moved into plan mode. My Dad was going to drive to Grand Island (in the blizzard) and then drive us the six hours (in good weather) to Denver if that's what it took. Instead, they bought us two plane tickets on the very last flight out of Grand Island. It was snowing so hard, Jocelyn and I had our windows rolled down trying to stay on the road.
That's what my life growing up was like. So here's Mom's take on teaching our children to dream. And Mom and Dad...if I haven't said thanks lately, THANKS. I wouldn't be the woman I am without you two pouring into me.
By Jolene Catlett
I went to a Women’s Retreat last month. The speaker was very good and I was challenged in my own life on some issues.
One thing she shared was that her children did not know how to dream. This family never had extra money for anything-she never took her children into the toy area of Wal-Mart because they couldn’t get anything anyway. So when these children could basically ask for anything they wanted they had (or couldn’t verbalize) any dreams. How sad!
This got me to thinking about my own children-were they dreamers-did they have goals and aspirations? Did they reach beyond what they could see? Fortunately, my answer was YES!! Then I thought what as a mother did I do or not do to make this happen?
As many of you know, our oldest daughter, Cara, just had her first novel published. This has been very exciting for our whole family. We are her biggest cheerleaders and proof-readers!! But this dream didn’t happen overnight. She has been journaling since she was in 3rd grade. Who bought her those journals? She would write letters to everyone-including authors she was reading at the time. Who bought the stamps and helped with spelling? Having a book published didn’t happen overnight-it has been a dream for a long time.
My other children are dreamers too-Janna had dreams of going to a Christian Arts School and then on to Broadway. The Christian Performing Arts School happened, Broadway didn’t-because she choose marriage and family for this time in her life. But she was active in Community Playhouse and now ministers to many children weekly through music and dance. And God isn’t done helping her dream big things.
Josh wanted to be a NBA star. Someone took him to lots of practices and games and cheered and shot hoops with him. God even put Godly hoop-shooting men in his life when his Dad was in the Gulf War. At some point we had to tell him he had a couple things against him in his dream for the NBA-he was short and white. So he switched to soccer, in which he excelled, later was a coach and was able to touch many young people, and I don’t believe his days of coaching and dreaming are over.
Joel perhaps could be the next Steven Curtis Chapman-he tried it, made a CD (I have extra copies if anyone wants!). Entertainment didn’t work out at that time, but he is able with his voice and guitar to lead others to praise and worship our God. And he isn’t done dreaming.
I’m not a dreamer-I’m a realist. I don’t want to see my children or grandchildren hurt because they set goals so high they can’t be achieved-BUT we need to let our children dream and dream BIG.
I heard a mom say recently, she couldn’t stand to see her children disappointed, so she only let them try things she was sure they would excel in. I’m not sure this is wise.
There is a difference between dreaming and being discontent. We need to teach them to dream with God. God will give dreams and desires. What does God want for me? Where is God opening doors for me? God has a plan for my life-am I preparing myself for what he has for me? Our dreams will never be disappointments, if we dream with God.
And Tina Forkner has an interview up with me on her blog She Plants a Vineyard. Yep, you guessed it, another opportunity to win a copy of Canteen Dreams.