dreaming in marriage

This matter has been on my heart lately.

On my about me page, I jest:

“Once upon a time I was going to be a journalist/international correspondent to France and spend my time traveling the world parler-ing Français.

Now I dream of making and freezing my own organic baby food.”

But I think I’ve done a disservice to our marriage to be so trite about the issue of my once glamorous dreams. I don’t think I made it clear that what stopped those dreams from being realized was not marriage. Never in a million gazillion years did DanO say ‘No’ to my foreign journalism endeavors.

I fully believe that if tomorrow I woke up and the Good Lord has made it clear to me that I need to be some how involved with journalism or France or some passion of my past, DanO (after praying for strength, I’m sure) would jump on board. We would discuss the details of it, and this is of course his family too so there would be many decisions made together, but my husband would not squash my dream because that is not what husbands do.

We support each other’s dreams, even as they evolve.

What you may not know is that DanO was once going to go to medical school to be a pediatrician. Full blown, paying-for-application-fees-out-of-our-brand-newly-married-pockets, going to medical school. But then he had a change of heart. A change of path. The application process wasn’t looking all that favorable, to be honest, but it gave DanO the chance to say that he was done with school, did not want more loans, and had decided otherwise for our family [read: Pearl and me]. He decided that even though he had a degree in Applied Health Science with a minor in Chemistry and Pre-Med qualifications, he was going to dramatically redirect his (our) course.

And I said ‘bring it on’.

It was perhaps a little hard for me, 3 months after thinking we would be in some city somewhere attending medical school, to chart course for the Cold White North to pursue careers in unknown fields. But this was his new dream and I was as behind it as I was years of organic chemistry and residency.

There are boundaries to this, of course, such as if DanO said that his dream is to spend lots of time with attractive women other than me (not that I’m calling myself attractive?), or quit his job and pursue being a balloon clown at Red Robin, we would likely have somethings to hash out before I got on board (if ever). But all unreasonableness aside, I am a cheerleader for my husband no matter what team (or sport) he is playing today.

I know he would do the same for me because I’ve done that too him. My passion lately? You’re reading it. I have been quite open about our family, our struggles (parental, marital, house-projectal), our very lives to the world wide web and he has not balked. When I feel like I should, I respect him by running content by him before publishing, but his response is usually a supportive “If you’re comfortable, go for it.”

As far as my unrealized dream of traveling the world?

I believe that Journalism passion of mine was real, and that it is likely why I landed at Wheaton College and met DanO in the first place. Perhaps our dreams are things that God uses to chart our course, whether or not we arrive at the destination we once pictured.

Is it considered a dream not realized if it is gone by the time it’s ready to be realized? What I mean is, if a little girl grows up saying “I want to have eight kids, just like Mommy,” but by the time she is of child bearing age and life stage, she only wants 3… is that a dream never realized? I believe God puts a passion in our hearts for a time – sometimes just until kindergarten, sometimes until we’re 84 – and we are to pursue those passions as long as the path allows. Marriage does not have to hinder that.

But sometimes, that time lasts up until marriage, making it look like the dream was sacrificed at the wedding altar. Perhaps that is true in some cases, I do not know. But I do know that it is not true of my situation and I believe it is not true in most. Perspectives change, dreams change – or they don’t! Either way, marriage is not a roadblock to glamorous dreams. If anything, it means that you can pursue those glamorous dreams with your best friend by your side.

11 Responses to “dreaming in marriage”

  1. MIL

    Very well said. It brought a tear to my eye because you are right on in your perspective. Love you lots.

  2. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    “Perhaps our dreams are things that God uses to chart our course, whether or not we arrive at the destination we once pictured.”

    This made me tear up. Brilliant insight.

  3. Heather of the EO

    YES YES and YES. We watched UP last night (my second time, so I didn’t cry as hard) but anyway, this post made me think of that movie. I LOVE IT. Sometimes we are busy filling our pages with adventures, thinking they aren’t even adventures, when they are. Yeah, I’m not making sense so I’ll just stop. But I love this post!

    And um…could you email me? Because I want to email you when you comment, but your email isn’t attached to your blogging profile and so your comment comes to my email, but then it says I can’t reply and it’s driving me crazy because yes, I want help with cupcake! How’s that for a ramble?

  4. Shelley

    Love this post. Agree wholeheartedly. Some dreams do change — that’s half the excitement in life is pursuing the dream/passion that God puts on your heart at that moment. In college I had all these glamorous architect dreams. Some of them were realized along the way, but those dreams faded as life changed and my new desires became spending valuable time with my husband and pouring my love and creativity into my children.

  5. Shelley

    By strangely as I pursued the loves of my life, God gave me new opportunities and dreams, that pair nicely with being a mom of two little boys. I’ve now become a children’s book artist. And love it. And I get to fit it in while my cuties are sleeping. That way I don’t miss a thing.

  6. Jenn

    Can I say, I LOVE this post. It is sooo refreshing. My husband wanted to be a Marine, in fact, he felt called to be a Marine. He attended a military school which facilitated some of the hardest years of our courtship. To this day, I speak of that school with disdain, and I think of his call into the Marines as a mistake. But as you have so beautifully pointed out, God can clearly use dreams to bring us to a different place than we thought we’d be. It was there that he able to influence two friends to salvation. It was there that God cultivated the confidence he needed to be an excellent leader. It was also there that he gained the opportunity to have the time of his life doing what lots of little boys always dream of…running around the woods playing war. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to rejoice with my husband about his time there and respect by not assuming his calling was a farce.

  7. Becca

    I am so thrilled I came upon your blog. I grew up with Dan at church. I am few years older than him. I will for sure vote for you! I am currently at work, working and all, right?! ;) But, I don’t have access to the site to vote. I’ll do so as soon when I get home. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this blog. You are a great writer! I have had so, so many dreams and passions growing up, but somehow, some way I ended up a special education teacher. Something I never in my entire life thought I would be. I wanted to be in the medical field of some sort, but God had other plans and I am totally o.k. with that. Life happens and things change. I am looking forward to keeping in touch with your family. It’s wonderful to know Dan is married to you and you two have a darling baby. Boy! Does time fly and I’m starting to feel real old, now. :)

  8. Lynzie

    I know this is an old post, but I’ve been going through a lot of them lately because, well, I find your family interesting.

    I like this post a lot, and if you ever want to “talk” to OBaby about this sort of thing, there is a really cool book for kids on this very subject. “Fanny’s Dreams” (I don’t remember who the author is). I translate for a children’s reading program for a library, and it was one that stuck with me. No one had ever told me something like that. I needed to hear it. For months after graduating from college I felt like a let-down because I haven’t accomplished the dreams I had originally set. The reality was that they had just changed.

    Who knew a children’s book (or a blog post) could actually affect the views of an adult?

  9. Lucy


    I stumbled on your blog through blogged…
    This is post is something I truly feel God wanted me to read.
    At this present moment I feel exactly like this “No one had ever told me something like that. I needed to hear it. For months after graduating from college I felt like a let-down because I haven’t accomplished the dreams I had originally set. The reality was that they had just changed.” – Thanks Lynzie!
    I have a better perspective now! I’m sticking around have added you to my blog list!
    Is it okay if I email you at some point?


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