The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark. ~Michelangelo
At this time of the year, everybody talks about making New Years’ resolutions. Here are some you might hear or even make yourself. Lose weight. Eat healthier foods. Exercise more. Read through the Bible. Finally write that book you’ve always wanted to write. Go back to school. Spend more time with your family. Do a kindness every day. So many good things we can resolve. But what about dreaming? What about thinking about what we want to happen in the year ahead? Do we aim too low with our goals?
Years ago when I was just a kid who didn’t know any better, I aimed high. I played on my aunt’s old Underwood typewriter and dreamed of being a writer. I had no idea how to go about making that happen. I just knew I wanted to write down stories. I wanted to see those stories in print. And I had the amazing dream that somebody might someday pay me money for my words. Me, a farm girl who had never met the first writer. Me, a girl who had chores like stacking wood on the back porch for our wood stove and feeding the chickens. Me, a girl who only had a very few books she could call her very own. (I love libraries.) What were the odds that girl would ever figure out how to write a story, much less a book? Slim to none. Yet, there’s that shelf of books with my name on the fronts under that old typewriter. Having that happen once was a big dream for me. Having it happen over and over again was a very big dream.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
In October I went to a writers’ retreat where we were all encouraged to dream big. What did I want to accomplish in my writing life in the year to come? What did I want to do in my personal or spiritual life in the months ahead? Was I afraid to challenge myself with big dreams? What big dreams could I dream? I think I had a hard time coming up with what the leaders of the retreat considered “big” dreams because my published books were already big dreams coming true for me. But I could dream more books. I could dream more readers. I could dream about bestseller lists or award ceremonies or maybe movies made from my books. Those could be my big dreams, and I do dream about some of those things. I do want more people to read my books because I love sharing my stories. But at the end of the day, I can’t get away from the truth that I’m already living my big dream of writing stories and having them out there for readers, and that somebody is paying for my words. Simply, without a doubt, amazing!
I’ll keep challenging myself to keep dreaming. I’ll challenge myself to make each new book better in some way than the last! I’ll dream of tomorrow’s book and aim high. And I’ll try never to forget how blessed I am to be living that long ago dream.
God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How about you? Are you dreaming big for 2013? I hope so. Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget – you are in my dreams!