I have had an interesting inundation of the same idea over the past few days. It has made me think through my philosophy dealing with dreaming big. I've always considered myself a realist. However, I also have a great appreciation and respect for God's sovereignty and destiny. I believe the human will, especially when in line with God's perfect will, can achieve the impossible.
My pondering was kicked off with a post by Todd Wilson titled "Wake Up! Your Kid is Not Going to be President!" over at Homeschool Mosaics. He addresses the powerful pressures that parents put on their children in pushing them toward "greatness."
I can't remember the second post that ruffled these same feathers, but it brushed the same subject. Do you encourage your children to dream or keep them "grounded in reality?" Are we being unfair in our expectation? Are we lying to them when we tell them that they can be or do anything they put their mind to?
Then, today, I treated my 10 year-old daughter to movie time with Mommy. We decided to go enjoy the Dreamwork's new release, "Turbo." (Rosalinda gave it 8 out of 10 stars.) It is a tale of a snail with a love for speed. I don't want to give away the good parts, and no I don't agree that the trailer gives away the whole movie, but it's a story about perseverance and will power. One of the main quotes of the movie is, "No dream is too big, and no dreamer too small."
Wow...ok, message received. I grew up with too many people trying to invest in me with hope of redeeming themselves. I remember my mom telling me one time that she was glad that I wasn't like my cousins and at least she knew I wouldn't be 17 and pregnant. I was supposed to help her achieve superiority over her brother and his family. (I ended up pregnant at 17 by the way). My dad is estranged from my older half-sister. I am considered his oldest and when I got pregnant his hopes of redemption were evident in his reaction to the news. I have always been an overachiever, often retreating to my education to escape my home life. I am a natural-born leader with many abilities and gifts. I don't share this to be boastful, but to help explain where my understanding comes from. I didn't realize how many oh-so-very-tall pedestals I was on until I became pregnant. I wasn't wild before or after the night that changed my life. I made one mistake that happened to have some very evident consequences. It was amazing how many eyes that used to shine at my achievements were darkened by my one mistake. Thankfully, God shielded me from a lot of it. I don't remember dealing with too much prejudice or nastiness, but there was a slight change in how people handled me until the next time I did something they thought was "great" and "redeemed" myself in their eyes.
That experience taught me a great lesson that had a significant impact on my parenting and prayer life alike. I realized how many people were trying to live through me and reflected on the pressures I placed on myself for their sake. Upon this revelation I began to pray daily that God would make me into the parent that I needed to be in order to send Rosalinda out into the world in the condition He desired. That damage wouldn't have to be undone or lessons learned late. That even if I had to embody everything I hated about the way my parents handled me, I would for the sake of her destiny.
With my appreciation for destiny, I guess it only makes sense that I believe in dreaming big. I believe in the impossible (the unconceived possibilities of God). God knew us before the foundations of the earth. He instilled and equipped us with desires and passions to move us toward our destiny. I believe that not only are we to dream as big as we can, but we should be prepared for God to do even more than we are capable of dreaming!
Ephesians 3.20 amplified
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of ) the [action of His] power that is at work in within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]-
I hope I'm not the only one, but I believe that no dream is too big, nor any dreamer too small as long as they are willing to work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3.23), AND allow God to take them down His path for His glory. Not their own and not for someone else who is looking for redemption through them. I hope Rosalinda isn't afraid of her desires and knows that if she truly wants to accomplish something, not only should she, but she is supported. Also, almost always, when she is disciplined, I explain that my job as her mom is to help guide her into being the best "her" she can be. Not preventing her from embarrassing me or disappointing me, but to become who God created her to be. That includes her dreams and pursuits.
What are your thoughts on encouraging your children to dream big? Do you believe in giving them a dose of "reality?"