When I was a kid, I loved to daydream.
I can remember taking a book out into the yard and laying in the grass under my favorite tree, and after a while my eyes would hurt from squinting to read in the bright sun, so I would lay down my book and just let my mind wander. I could have laid like that all day, if not for the cursed South Carolina fire ants. They always drove me inside long before my daydreams had played themselves out.
In my childhood fantasies, there were visions of kitchens with curtains blowing in the breeze. There was apple pie in the oven, there were giggling children playing happily, there was a dining room table set to perfection, there were lovely trees, and lots of flowers, and a man who loved me, and who I adored.
And all those dreams have come true.
Well...sort of. The curtains are more likely blowing in the air conditioning than in the breeze, and I would really prefer they don't blow at all, because then DUST will start to blow off of them. There is occasionally apple pie in the over, but more often its frozen pizza or ready-to-bake cookies. The children do giggle and play happily, but usually only for short periods of time before the arguing or crying starts...and then the discipline starts, and the apple pie/frozen pizza burns. As far as the dining room table goes, it depends on how you look at it. We almost never eat in there, so that means its either always set to perfection (meaning empty) or it never is. (I'm in a glass half full mood today, so we'll go with always) There are trees in my yard, and they are lovely. There are lots of flowers. And there is a man who loves me. And I really do adore him, even on the days he has to work late, or snores loudly and wakes me up, or singlehandedly fills the laundry basket with clothes I have to wash, or forgets to check his shoes and tracks mud into the house.
Ah, the rosy daydreams of childhood. They had all the things my life has now, but with a lot less noise, and exhaustion, and chaos, and tears, and mildew, and dust.
Today I took five minutes to indulge in a good old fashioned daydream.
In this perfect moment of fantasy, there was a quiet lunch with girlfriends at a restaurant, followed by pedicures, then an afternoon giggling and talking with my sisters. My hair was perfectly styled, I didn't have a single blemish or wrinkle, no love handles or broken veins or stretch marks dared make an appearance, I had brushed my teeth, and I was wearing clean jeans. After the lovely afternoon, I came home and thanked the babysitter-but didn't have to pay her. My house was perfectly clean, thanks to my free babysitter, and my children were sitting at the table enjoying a lively, educational board game. All of their clothing items were on their bodies, and they were happy to see me. I cooked a wonderful supper without burning or slicing any of my fingers, and my husband arrived home on time to eat it.
(Insert unladylike and altogether unacceptable snort here) (now insert an eye roll) (and finally a raised brow which says "what have you been smoking?")
Daydreams don't ever come true exactly the way we dream them.
I also used to dream about being a famous singer. But, I am pretty sure my largest and most captive audience was a herd of cattle. (don't ask)
Then there's this other dream of mine. You know what I'm talking about. Its the one that we all have, that isn't really a daydream of fantastic perfection, but a serious wish, a secret longing. Its the one that you dare to hope will someday come true, and you don't say it out loud because maybe that will jinx it, or at the very least give voice to the terrifying, tiny little fluttering of desire in your heart. And with the voice comes the possibility of the fledgling wish being crushed.
I read A LOT, and almost every time I pick up a book, I stare at the name of the author for a second, and I wonder about them, and if they always wanted to write a book, and how long did it take them, and are they happy with their work?
Yes, I have always thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to be an author.
And I guess this secret isn't really a secret anymore, so I'll follow it with another anticlimactic sharing of another secret that is already known: I am becoming an author. (my friends would say, "no, you ARE an author" but to me its not really valid until I see the name on the book in my hands) I will have my very first book published before I turn 33 years old.
Its a dream come true.
And, at the same time, its terribly sad.
Because my book is about my sister, about her life and about her death.
And not a day goes by that I don't wish to have her back, and I would gladly daydream away this world that she is no longer in, even if it means I have to lose my dream of being an author.
Because having my dream of being an author come true...that only happens in the real world where she is no longer living...and that makes my heart HURT.
And I wonder why the Lord did it this way? Why did He give me the desire to be an author, knowing (because He knows ALL) that my dream come true would be wrapped up in the worst pain of my life? Why did He give Joy HER dream come true (to impact the world) by means of her death?
Why, Lord? Why this way?
But when we were babies, our parents dedicated us to the Lord. And when we were young, we gave our hearts to Him, and every night our Dad prayed over us that we would "Serve Him with our whole hearts for our whole lives."
We don't want our dreams on our terms...not really. We really want His dreams FOR us walked out THROUGH us, however that looks.
I really do choose His will, whatever it is, and so did Joy.
And my heart still hurts.
And our family is still sad.
But Joy's dreams came true.
And soon I will be an author.
The dreams never come true quite how we expect them to. But if they did we wouldn't have to rely so much on His spirit. We could dust off our hands and say "I did it."
But Joy didn't impact the world. God did...using her willingness to serve Him.
And I didn't write a book. God did. He just used my fingers, because every day I sat down and begged Him to write for me, to talk through me, because I couldn't do it.
HE is my dream come true.
And, by the way, my dining room table is still perfectly set, and my children are currently playing happily, and the daffodils are poking up their heads, and my husband loves me, and I adore him.
And I am taking today to ignore the fact that my hair is a mess, and my makeup is smeared, and the loft is a Lego minefield, and the bookshelves are dusty, and the laundry is backed up, and my love handles are not magically disappearing by the sheer force of my will, and the wrinkles deepen around my eyes every day...yep, ignoring it all.
Because today I got to take a first peek at what my book will look like when its actually a book.
I'm celebrating my dream, and Joy's dream, coming true.