I sometimes have dreams that are so vivid, I think my dream actually happened in real life.
Like the time I dreamed my friend’s (very kind and patient) husband was physically abusing her. The dream felt so real and vibrant, that after weeks of worrying myself sick, I finally called her and asked her about it.
She’s fine, he wasn’t hurting her. It was all good.
Then there was the time my brother told me that he and his wife were going to adopt a little girl from China. She was ssoooo cute, and since I have a huge heart for adoption, I was super excited!
But, months later, I still couldn’t figure out why nobody was talking about my brother’s adoption process.
I finally asked my brother about it and found out the entire thing was just a dream!
More recently, I dreamed very vividly that God gifted me ten minutes with one of my brown-eyed-beauties as a baby again.
I spent those ten minutes holding her tight. She looked up at me with her adorable baby cheeks and her nearly-navy infant baby eyes (I did not know until I became a mother that a baby’s eyes can change color after birth!).
In my dream, with her snuggled up close and content on me, my heart ached. Because even in my sleep I knew, deep in my soul, something my mind could not comprehend when she was tiny:
It goes by heart-wrenchingly fast.
I don’t want to beg my kids to stay little. I try not to mourn them getting older.
Several of my friends have lost their precious baby girls. Watching mine grow is a blessing I don’t want to take for granted.
But every once in a while, I feel the pang of the rapid passage of time.
I often feel that if I could get a do-over for the little years, I’d be a different mom.
Better. More relaxed. More consistent with immediate discipline and training in the toddler years.
Less worry over every tiny detail. More trust in my own instincts and a deeper faith in God.
And more inward peace about knowing that what I was doing at home, with my little ones, was enough.
Many other things are important, yes, but if we continually chase after unneeded temporary gains to the point of neglecting the nurturing of our children’s souls, was it worth it?
I can’t get a do-over with my babies.
You won’t get a do-over in life, either.
What we do have is today.
We can spend our time clinging to the past – hopes, dreams, regrets. Longings for different circumstances.
Or we can use what we’ve learned to help us make the most of the time and circumstances we do have.
Yes, it’s easy to become so wrapped up in regrets or bitterness that we forget to use what we’ve learned to help us move forward.
It’s easy to focus so much on checking items off the to-do list that we forget the real value is in souls, not tasks.
But if we can keep in mind that life is about souls getting to heaven, wouldn’t our perspective change? Wouldn’t we love people better, give them grace more often, and be swifter to address heart issues instead of an outward action when struggles manifest themselves in worrisome ways?
If we continually kept our eyes on Jesus, wouldn’t our love be purer?
As we go into the new year, let’s freshen our perspective. Instead of adding items to a resolution list, maybe we need to drop a few unnecessary tasks so we can be more fully present for the people we love the most.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV
Happy New Year!