- Alison Shepard
Mondays with Millie: Do you have a dream?
"Asleep in the garden, Millie dreamed of her fate.
She could hardly believe in something so great."
Do you have a dream? I think all of us have dreams and desires and goals. But sometimes life can make you weary and it's hard to find those dreams. Sometimes those dreams get buried in some hidden corner of our hearts. And sometimes, we just have a hard time seeing how our dream could ever come to pass. That was the case for Millie the Monarch caterpillar. She really wanted to fly. But she felt chained to the ground. The day that she met her mentor, a beautiful Monarch butterfly, Millie was challenged to believe that her dream could actually come true. She didn't understand at the time how it could be possible. She didn't have wings. But her mentor gave her some wise advice, and said, "Millie, my dear, just trust and you'll see. The One who has made you put inside you the key."
I believe each of us has been given a unique key in order to fulfill our destiny. Like Millie, what is often needed is simply trust that the One who has made us has put everything we need inside of us. But we might need to do a little excavation, a little archaeology and digging around in order to discover what we're capable of. On a practical level, that might look like investing in yourself in some way. If we can dare to dream a little and take a chance on hope, and stretch out a little past our comfort zones, we will quite often be moving several steps closer to fulfilling what we're put on earth to do. Millie's story represents that courage to dream and to take steps towards the unknown, even if it makes you nervous.
Back in 2016, I had a dream that felt impossible. I wanted to go to school and learn classical drawing at a school in Barcelona, Spain. I had no money to do this. And I had a husband, and house with a mortgage and 2 cats. What would become of them if or when I could even afford something like this? I remember talking with a mentor of mine about this dream. He encouraged me that sometimes these things have a way of working out. And he joked around about how we were 'art nerds'. So with that challenge in mind, even though I had no idea how it would happen, I began to dream. Shortly after that, I was driving with my husband, and a car moved in front of us with the licence plate "ART NERD"!!! I couldn't believe it! It was more than a coincidence and I took it as a sign from God to just try and believe. It felt totally crazy at the time because that month we were struggling so bad, that I wasn't sure how we'd pay our mortgage. But I thought, what are the chances that I would see that license plate with ART NERD on it right after my mentor had mentioned it?! So I chose to believe. Well, it's a long story, but over the next several months, I kept taking steps of faith and I kept receiving signs. And at almost the last minute, I received everything I needed to make my dream a reality, even down the details of having the friend who rented our house take care of our cats! Our mortgage was covered and my husband was able to be with me for the journey! God did supernatural miracles of last minute art sales, and tugged on the hearts of some wonderful friends who invested in me to pursue the dream.
Maybe your dream isn't that outlandish, and doesn't involve going to school in a foreign country. Maybe your dream is to lose weight or be debt free. Maybe you just want to have a regular date night with your spouse. Or maybe you've always wanted to speak Spanish or play the piano or learn to paint. Here's my challenge to you: what small step can you take today to move closer to that dream? What small step can you take each day to move a little closer to that dream? Your beginning steps may seem small, but they are most certainly not insignificant. In the words of Zechariah:
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin . . ." (Zechariah 4:6)
When you take a small step towards your dream, GOD is rejoicing to see you begin this journey!
If you or your little would like to learn a musical instrument or learn to paint or draw, check out some of the classes we have to offer at ETB Music and Fine Arts Center. It just might be that small step towards investing in your dreams!
And if you and your little ones are looking for something fun and encouraging to do together, join me for one of these Millie Story Time Art events! We will have a great time together!
"Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness." 2 Peter 1:3