Dream a Little Dream

In a post a few days ago, I said that I read something written by a friend and I really wanted to share it with you. Ryan is the mother of four children, 2 boys, 2 girls, and both of her daughters (Ellie Kate, 6 and Lucy, working on 5 months) have a disease called Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH). From their blog: "NKH is a rare and terrible disease, and is considered terminal. Most children who suffer from this disorder die within the first few months of life. Most suffer from severe brain damage, developmental delays, and a variety of other physical ailments." 
Her girls continue to beat the odds, though not without a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and vigilance. Ryan's faith amazes me. She deals with whatever comes their way with grace, even on her bad days. I grow from the example that she and her family set, and you will soon read why. You can follow them at: http://www.carepages.com/carepages/EllieKate. It's worth signing up for. Without further ado, here is Dream a Little Dream:
Valentine's Day: We are still exhausted from the thankfully short hospital stay this past weekend. Ellie has had to stay home from school and yesterday I ended up taking her in for blood work at the hospital. Conner had school. Phone calls were made to therapy, school, nurses, pharmacies, etc, etc, etc. I was a busy bee making sure each child had their Valentine's in order for school and that their box was ready. And of course we were watching Lucy's breathing very closely. All just a typical day. I'm sure many of you can relate.
Facing the typical day, I found something not-so typical: a precious Valentine's card. A beautiful card from the man that I love. He knows I love cards - always have. In fact, I keep them and I'm happy to say that I still have some from my childhood. Yesterday, Mike's card brought me to tears and because of it, I was an emotional mess for the rest of the day.
In this sweet card, Mike wrote, "I've never stopped dreaming big dreams for us". WOW. Big dreams sure do get lost in the daily throws of raising kids, don't they? And when so many of your dreams have been dashed, it's hard to even hope; to even dare to still dream. But, my husband does. He still dreams big for me, for him and for our life together.
The way we celebrate holidays does change as we get older, and so does the way that we dream. Reality sets in. We get jaded because of things we do or because of things others do to us. We live in a very broken world, and broken dreams are bound to happen to all of us - big dreams and small dreams.
Yesterday I was reminded that dreams still exist. I should still dream. There is nothing wrong with that and it is good for me to do. And, God changes our dreams. We may not understand why, but it's a good thing and is another way of us dying to ourselves.
As for me and Mike, our dreams have changed, like many of yours. Here's a list of what we used to dream about/for when we first got married:
1. Having Children 
2. Adopting children
3. Pursuing social justice in our community and throughout the world
4. Traveling to fun places each year
5. Building a house
6. Swimming with sharks (this one is Mike's)
7. Swimming with dolphins (this one is mine)
8. Taking art classes
9. Pursuing more public speaking opportunities(this would be me)
10. Taking mission trips as a couple

Now, this would be a list of our dreams:
1. Keeping our children alive and thriving; helping them enjoy life
2. Helping other families who have children with rare or terminal disorders
3. Taking Make-A-Wish trips with each of our girls
4. Building a house which is handicap-accessible for our girls
5. Making sure our boys feel equally important and seeking opportunities to make them feel special
6. One day taking a trip just as a couple
7. Making sure our entire family is one day buried together (plots next to each other)
8. Lavishly loving the physically and mentally "unlovable"

So, you can see our list is shorter. It has changed. There are things on there that I would NEVER, ever have thought would be; things I NEVER, ever thought we would face. They are dreams, but ones that are sober and important. I want to let myself dream FUN dreams again. HAPPY dreams. Carefree dreams. And I don't want to feel guilty about that.
In all of this babble about Valentine's Day, about the sweet card from my Husband, etc, I hope you are encouraged to still dream. No matter what life has brought your way. No matter what God has allowed or caused. No matter what people have done to you or what you have done to yourself . . . you can still dream and hope.
I'm so thankful for my Helpmate that dreams big for us even when I don't have the energy. I'm thankful for the things that God has brought us through and for the ways He has changed our dreams, because truly, TRULY those changes make us more like Him. We may not understand that, but it is true.
Dreaming Some Dreams Today!
I needed this reminder to keep dreaming, and I will try to make a conscious effort to not only let my dreams resurface, but not let them get bogged down in the monotony of life again. Isn't it amazing how quickly some dreams can be forgotten - and how difficult it is to find a way to revive them.


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