My favorite coffee mug was broken this morning by our expert resident dishwasher-unloader.
My coffee mug.
My favorite coffee mug.
This is the second mug of mine that has been broken.
Earl's all remain in tack.
(I'm beginning to become suspicious . . . )
As I was back in our bedroom bemoaning my loss
(It was my favorite color, it just felt right in my tiny, petite hands . . . sigh . . . )
my husband made light of this tragedy by using the phrase "Shattered Dreams".
I rolled my eyes, and said something like,
"You just don't understand"
(I actually often do this, but then we both burst out laughing, 'cause it's so NOT true!).
But then, I began to think back to last night and to a conversation I had with a dear friend who sat opposite me at our dining room table explaining how she never thought she'd be where she was now and how this present reality didn't fit with her "dreams".
I started thinking.
How do we find ourselves facing "shattered dreams"?
As Christians, how are we to respond to the fact that life often doesn't turn out how we had planned or hoped?
I think the answer lies partly in where our hope lies.
Is our hope in what our family "looks" like and our experiences
or rather in the fact that God is honored and glorified . .. however the means?
Specifically, when we as mothers look at our homes and children and husbands, we can be very critical of ourselves because of the standard that is often presented.
We often think that our homes need to look a certain way, or our husbands need to lead in a particular style, or our children need to behave a certain way and be involved in certain things and the list goes on and on.
But who defines this "certain way"?
How do we learn it?
It's often "taught" to us women even before we get married.
We have dreams of what it will be like to be married and be a mom.
My husband and I will be like "this".
My children will be like "this".
My home will be like "this".
Dreams are good and right and healthy.
And they are meant to motivate us to higher ground.
But something more needs to happen.
I was impressed with a young girl in our church who got married at 19. Her very wise fiance, encouraged her to look around at the homes/families/moms she admired and to ask them questions. Which she did!
Now, this woman has been married about 5 years and has two children.
And life is very different than how she imagined.
Just ask her.
But she hasn't lost her joy.
(Ok, sometimes when she has only gotten 2 hours of sleep at night, the joy's a little bit harder to find . . . but hey!)
She was prepared.
'Cause not only did she look at other homes and say, "That's what I want in my future",
but she asked those people, "How did you accomplish that?" and then actually listened.
I think sometimes we feel that because we have been created women,
that we will naturally know all there is to know about being a wife and mother.
But if that is the case, then why did Paul instruct Timothy to instruct the older women to teach the younger women to be keepers at home and to love their own husbands and children? There are some practical issues that must be passed along and taught.
I am so eternally grateful for the women who were placed in my life who welcomed me into their homes when I was a young single gal and who let me watch their families and "listen" to their marriages and see the reality of a home during the busy seasons of life. I also saw the potential for using the home as ministry to others.
And that has been what has fueled my dreams . . .
"Lord, let my marriage honor You.
Let my children see You in me and be drawn to You through Your kindness to them.
And Lord, please let our home be comfortable for us as a family, yet also a haven to those who may pass through and need some calm from out of the storms of life and a place to just rest."
That has been my motivation.
That has been my dream.
It brings freedom for my husband when that is my dream.
It brings freedom to my children when that is my dream.
And I am amazed to see the Lord bringing my dreams to life!
Now mind you, it all has looked different along the way at times . . .
but the dream hasn't changed
because it's founded solidly on the glory of God in His people.
And that's a dream that will never shatter!