Every year around this time I begin to reflect on the choices I've made and how those choices impacted my life, as well as those closest to me, spiritually, mentally, and physically. Every year I feel like a failure. I didn't invest in relationships like I wanted, I didn't plan adventurous date nights with my husband like I wanted, I didn't commit to a healthy lifestyle like I wanted, and the list continues. So, I take the "I didn'ts" and add them to the next year's goals in hopes that I make wiser and better choices this year throwing away the title of Miss Failed Again once and for all.
December 2014 I found out I was pregnant with our first child. The growing list of goals from previous years combined was immediately tossed and only one goal was set for 2015 - keep this baby safe.
I imagined a little red-headed boy with rolls like the michilan man wearing stripped onesies and a mini clip-on bow tie. My mind was a Ferris wheel filled with thoughts of trucks, Legos, and the color blue. When reality shifted that we were expecting a girl, I secretly cried. What am I supposed to do with a girl! Their worlds are filled with glitter and pink everything. I wanted my chubby red-headed boy.
I forced myself to take a trip to Target to get an idea of how I would dress this girl I was having. I found a pair of leopard chucks with pink sparky shoelaces. I can do this, I convinced myself. I found a little splash of pink with a fierce statement. I can do this. Then the realization came. I was already placing such an importance on her appearance before she was even born! I created an illusion that little girls are made a certain way and because of that I didn't want a girl, I wanted a boy.
Gently, God showed me, "This girl that I formed in your womb is beautifully and wonderfully made. I have a place for her in this world with an undeniable plan. She will do great things, but she will also launch the dreams stirring in your heart, the dreams you are too afraid to birth. She is your change. Your job is to raise her to be kind and know Me, not dress her with perfectly placed bows and shower her with many dolls. You are to protect her, love her, cherish her, and teach her. I love you, and I love her."
Pow. Right in the gut.
I've believed a lot of things about myself - mostly lies - and created excuse after excuse from those lies. I'm not enough, I can't do this, I will be judged. Hidden between regret and a number of insecurities, there is a dream. What would you discover if you gave yourself permission to dream? Make a list of things and feelings holding you back, then scratch those and allow yourself to dream a little. Maybe in your mind it's the impossible.
My blue-eyed spunky Russian-American is my dream launcher. Her birth represents possibility. Her kicks brought life to my soul renewing my desires and purpose. Every move and jab she made released sparks of what was to come. Every hiccup triggered my heart of why I've been blessed to take care of her and why God created her, my daughter, to be part of my life. Taking care of this little girl also meant taking care of myself and allowing myself to dream and work a little harder and wiser.
In this next year, I challenge you to find your dream launcher and allow yourself to feel and work through the process. 2016 is the year of intentionality and growth, the year when your dreams are birthed. Launching a dream is messy, beautiful, and imperfect. Honestly, it's also terrifying. But as I lay my sweet Haven Belle in her crib for the night, we lock eyes and her presence says,
"Dream big, Mama."