Are you ready to dream again?
The first sign that you are on the road to success is that you begin to dream again. You are no longer blind to the opportunities in front of you to build a better life.
Dreaming requires hope. Hope requires healing. Healing from your broken heart. So if you are ready to dream again- congratulations on making it this far!
Create the life you want
Before you begin working on your dreams, first identify what your dreams are for your family. It is one thing to know what you DON’T want; it is another thing to know what you DO want.
Take time to reflect
Take time to think about the things you want most. You might be surprised that most of them aren’t actually things. Your deepest desires will most likely be connected to relationships and personal satisfaction. As I thought about my dreams; more than anything else, I wanted peace, strength, and stability in my family.
There were also other things I wanted; a reliable vehicle, insurance for my vehicle, a home I owned, a new pair of shoes for my boys (they went more than 5 years without a pair of brand new shoes). I knew that items were not going to cause all of my dreams to come true. But I definitely had some on my Dream List. As I really thought about it, I realized things I wanted were directly connected to the dreams I had of being a strong and secure family.
Somethings to include on your dream board:
- A home
- Children’s needs met
- Reliable transportation
Effects of a dream board
A remarkable thing began to happen after creating a dream board – my family began to dream again. Ron, the boys and I were all sharing our dreams together during prison visits Brandon and Blake would always want to make them happen right away. “Mommy, Look! That house looks like a good one for us.” They would exclaim as I drove home after a visit of dreaming.
They had no doubt that we could make all of our dreams come true. Our boys’ imagination inspired Ron and me to put together a plan to make sure we did not disappoint them by not trying. If we tried and failed, we would be OK. But NOT trying was not an option.
The first thing we did was to write out what we wanted for our family. Funny how prison makes you realize the most important things in life. Before prison, we would have said the thing we wanted most was fortune. But now, the number one thing on our list was not money, fame, or things—it was a good reputation.
Family Dream Board
An easy way to spark dreaming in your family is to create a Family Dream Board together. You can do this by drawing during a prison visit, or you can do it at home and take a picture of it and send it to Dad. If you do it at home, you can use pictures from magazines instead of drawing. Just find pictures that represent what you want, cut them out, paste them on a piece of cardboard and then hang it somewhere everyone will see it. It is also a great idea for each member of the family to make their own Dream Board.
The first Family Dream Board we did was in a prison visiting room.
Our boys were 4 and 5 ½ years old. As we talked about what we were working toward, they began to draw pictures of our dreams.
A big house with lots of windows, 2 bathrooms (one for the boys and one for Mommy), a yard with a swing set, a big car that didn’t break down on the way to see Daddy, all 4 of us together in the house or the car. Picture after picture!
Ron and I soon joined them in drawing the life we dreamed of for our family. We began to dream again I hung the pictures on my refrigerator and in my bedroom. Those pictures became a reminder of what I was working so hard to achieve. I needed to be reminded because I got tired. You will get tired, too. When you are tired, it is easy to forget the WHY in your life. Unless, of course, the WHY is staring you in the face every day. Then you don’t quit when you are tired, you quit when you are done.
Dreaming is Contagious
From our early picture drawing in the prison visits to our more formal dream board, we never stopped dreaming once we started. Dreaming is contagious. It drowns out bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. When you are dreaming again, the ideas for your future get louder and louder. Healing begins to take root where brokenness used to be. Before you know it, things are changing in your life.
Dreaming and setting goals inspires us to keep living, growing, and learning. As we work toward making our dreams come true, we are building the foundation for our family legacy.
You set the tone. Don’t let it be one of mediocrity. Build a culture that challenges your family to become better together. As you work to overcome all of the challenges you face, your family will become stronger, and stronger, and stronger.
I am rooting for you!