Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
While staying in hotels when traveling for business last year, Doug began noticing items, which he thought would be a great asset to our home. One in particular was the outdoor sofa and chairs that awaited guests after a long days work or travel. Frequently, he would plop down on one, kick up his feet and face time me at the end of the day, showing me the courtyard and all the amenities that created an oasis in the middle of the dormitory of rooms. Around the same time, Doug began recalling one of his landscape dreams; adding a patio off our existing deck in order to make our backyard more comfortable for our family and friends. As he day dreamed….talking about his vision, I listened & occasionally give my 2 cents worth (but in the back of my mind, I thought it probably would never happen…..).
When Doug’s birthday rolled around, God proved me wrong by providing brick pavers at half price through a friend who wanted to get rid of their patio! Another friend helped me and our girls load those heavy suckers onto his trailer and hide them until the day of the surprise. After Doug’s shock and awe we began the planning phase of the dream, but the first, second….fifth drafts didn’t quite work for the topography of our yard. Finally, though, with some new vision and creativity, we completed the project…5 months later than expected. Then came phase 2; furniture. Doug day dreamed about a sofa and chairs… and I listened, giving my 3 cents worth this time (but again, in the back of my mind, I thought it probably would never happen…..) so I suggested that since we had 6 people in our family, and only table seating for 4 we should use our existing chairs and build a table to accommodate 8. Plus, I cautioned him…we had already gone over budget on building his patio- so we shouldn’t spend any more money than was absolutely necessary. He agreed- and a month later the project was finally done (at least, I thought it was…).
About a month ago I noticed Doug bringing our broken Adirondack chairs from the front to the back yard to sit in the evenings. Why? When we had seating for 8 around the patio table and seating for 4 more on the deck?!? “Well,” he said, “they just aren’t comfortable.” I agreed- but didn’t think much more about it. Until last weekend……
We were chatting during lunch (at our kitchen table that seats 10- can you tell that I have a thing for tables?!?) when my mind began racing through all the times I would see Doug melt into the cushy furniture at the hotels he stayed in, looking contented and relaxed, or how he would gush over the outdoor furniture section every time we walked into home improvement stores. Then it hit me like a ton of brick pavers: I had killed his dream!!!
Immediately, I looked across the table at my husband and said something that is completely out of character for me: “let’s go to Lowes!”
“Huh?!?” he muttered.
“I killed your dream- I’m so sorry.” I was just trying to be practical…but I totally ignored what you wanted. I’m soooo sorry. Let’s go to Lowe’s and look at their outdoor sofa and chairs!”
If you could have seen my husbands face you would have looked upon a 4 year old little boy on Christmas morning who got that Red Ryder Bb gun he’d hoped for.
Unfortunately, when we got to Lowe’s, the options were scarce, since it was the end of the summer season. Sadly, I watched as Doug’s exuberance turned to disappointment. “Well,” he said “we’ll just have to keep looking…..” But for some reason, I felt compelled to go down the aisles one more time. Wouldn’t ya know it…there, hidden right in front of me was a box I hadn’t seen before. When Doug flagged an employee down to check the inventory we discovered they had one full set left; a love seat, coffee table, and 2 chairs- with cushions and throw pillows INCLUDED! It was also not a coincidence that it was less expensive than the floor models, we liked the design more than the ones on display, AND it fit our current backyard project budget!
After Doug finished assembling the furniture we placed them on the back deck and plopped down. For the next few hours we sat contented and relaxed as we talked about the lesson we’d learned: we had not honestly communicated all of our expectations to each other. After our “aha” moments & apologies, I realized that even though I had totally screwed up and killed Doug’s dream, God still knew it- and in His perfect timing, He supplied the space, the money & the exact furniture to fulfill it…..and He included table seating for 8 too!
Our God is so good.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God…
“(Dream killers) look you in the eye and offer a dozen reasons why your dreams won’t work. In fact, the more they talk, the more you begin to hear your own voice echo their thoughts.
Truth is, wherever you find dreamers, you find dream killers. The church is filled with them. They grew up with you, live in your house, and sometimes they….are you. Maybe you’re a victim of a dream killer and regret having listened to them.
At the same time, I realize the life-giving power of dream fanners. They refresh you, and you feel drawn to them like moths to a flame.”
Dream Big, but BEWARE of DREAM KILLERS