My mom was a dreamer.
An incredible, crazy fun dreamer.
She loved to sew.
She had plans to be one of the best children’s fashion designers in the nation.
She came up with ideas that were way before her time and I am now seeing some of the designs she created on the clothing racks of various stores.
She was so talented.
She would create outfits out of unique patterns and colors and fabrics.
She went on this African kick once, and created jumpers, jackets and parachute pants out of Kente cloth, a fabric filled with vibrant colors and patterns from Africa.
My sister and I were her guinea pigs. Everything she made, we wore everywhere. The vibrant colors and patterns of Africa screamed loudly on my fair olive skin.
Third graders can be real jerks. I got called Kunta Kente from Roots. I begged my mom to buy clothing from the Gap.
She didn’t stop. She created more clothing, more designs, more dreams.
Her dreaming landed her a clothing contract with JC Penny’s. I don’t exactly remember the names of her clothing line, but it flourished in the stores. She couldn’t afford to hire someone to manufacture all the merchandise for her, so she spent all her time sewing hundreds of pieces of clothing.
She’d break to feed us, help us get ready for school, complete homework and get ready to bed.
We’d often fall asleep to the sounds of her sewing machine whirring in the background, the faint light of her sewing machine peaking under our bedroom door.
This went on for a year. She got more contracts, more stores, more sewing.
Then dreaming had to turn into surviving.
She was a single mother, with two very rambunctious, adventurous little girls. Sewing for stores in Georgia was going okay, but it was not enough money to take care of her family. She would have to leave Georgia and go to LA or New York to pursue her dream.
My mom was very focused on our education and feared we would not get the proper education we needed if we attended school in a big city and weren’t in a wealthy area. She had us living in an upperclass area of Marietta that she could barely afford, just so we could have access to better schools.
She did not want her dream to distort our future.
She picked up another desk job to make ends meet.
Soon the desk job and the struggle to raise two girls on a single salary took over the dream.
The dream became a hobby.
Then it faded into the background as eviction notices, overdue bills, and my cancer diagnosis loomed overhead.
My mother set aside her dream for us.
Occasionally she’d pick the sewing back up again and previous opportunities would arise and she’d pursue them. She’d get close, so close, but then the cares of the world would take over and the dream would be set aside again.
This pattern would happen over and over again, until she herself was diagnosed with cancer and died.
Watching my mom struggle with her dream made me afraid to pursue my own.
Yet, she always encouraged me.
“ You’re a writer, Sweetie, it’s what you’re meant to be. Don’t listen to what anyone says to discourage you; do what you love. God will always provide.”
So I tried to become a dreamer, too.
I created bucket lists.
I planned to travel the world.
I hoped for a family of my own some day.
I wanted to become a writer.
My writing dream followed me everywhere.
I too, put my dream on the back-burner. I pursued Recreation Therapy, Rehab Counseling, and then Recreation Therapy again. I now have a job I love.
It won’t leave.
God tells me that my writing is a gift.
But sometimes, I am afraid to use it.
God tells me:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be frightened and do not be dismayed. For the Lord thy God will be with you, wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9
This is my go-to verse when I am afraid.
Afraid of failure.
Afraid of success.
Afraid to dream.
God then tells me to write more. That if I do write for Him, He will bless it and bring success.
My only requirement is to trust Him and not be afraid to dream.
So I started to pursue my dream; I applied to Daughter of Delight last year to write devotionals and I got picked.
I was elated!
I could final put some time into pursuing my dream.
When it ended I looked for more work. I got a lot of rejections.
And writers block hit hard.
I got discouraged.
I stopped dreaming.
But God persisted.
“You’re a writer, Sweetpea. It’s what I called you to do. You must focus on your writing more.”
He then gave me a BIG promise along with that.
I got scared. I resisted a little.
But then I decided – YOLO.
So now I am dreaming again.
And it’s scary.
But it is starting to pay off.
To start my dream, I reached out to a few online ministries and I am now helping them out with their stories.
They are small roles, and not exactly writing, but I love it.
And on March 14th, I’ll have my first article published through Joy of It.
And there are more along the way.
It makes me want to keep dreaming.
No matter how much it scares you.
No matter how many bumps in the road.
Or rejections you get.
Or doubts you have.
Go for it.
God will bless it.