When You’re Not the Only One in Your Family with a Dream
by Gina Conroy
I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal goals, my children’s dreams, and what I want my family to look like. Unfortunately, all three are often in conflict with one another at different times.
I knew from a young age that I wanted to write, and I’ve never doubted the calling, though I’ve struggled often with finding the time to pursue my dreams. I started my first novel right after I got married, then I had my first son and writing took a back seat to the demands of mothering.
I didn’t know there were writing support groups like ACFW, and I didn’t have writing friends to encourage me. I didn’t know I could write and raise children like so many do now, though in a way I’m glad I didn’t know. It allowed me to focus on my children and hold on to my dreams, knowing that one day my chance would come. So I set aside my WIP for ten years or so, had three more babies and did occasional magazine work. But my heart wanted to return to fiction.
I thought when my fourth child was two that it was finally time to start working on my own dreams of being published. Little did I know was that at the very same time God was calling me to homeschool.
What ensued there after was this stressed out mom trying to learn how to homeschool, be a good mother and write. Unfortunately, I felt like a failure on all three fronts at one time or another, somehow getting off balance at different times until my priorities became so out of whack that I had to sacrifice my writing and dreams for a season. The grieving process was real and painful. But in that grief Writer…Interrupted was birthed, and I started to interview other moms who seemed to do it all.
I grew as a mom and writer.
The other day I read something from Mary M. Byers that resonated with me.
“When you say yes to something in your life, you automatically say no to something else.”
I wish I would’ve understood that sooner. Then maybe I wouldn’t have been so anxious to move on to the next stage of my life and career. Maybe I would’ve savored each moment just a little longer.
Now that my kids are older and have dreams of their own, I’m trying to balance theirs with mine. It’s a never ending learning curve as I adjust and evaluate just how much dream pursuit this family can handle. How much I can handle and do before I burn out.
Will there be some regrets and what ifs? Probably, but if I remember that when I’m saying NO to the pursuit of someone’s dream (including my own,) I just might be saying YES to something more important!
What are you saying YES to today? And what are you willing to wait for?
Gina Conroy is president and founder of Writer…Interrupted where she mentors busy writers. Knowing how difficult it is to raise a family as well as a career, she chronicles her triumphs and trials on Defying Gravity, hoping to encourage those on a similar path. She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. Gina loves to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter
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Mount Vernon archaeology intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. But when they discover an artifact at Mount Vernon is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?