Another hectic morning? I was so tired of rushing! As my daughter Noel and I hurried through the school hallway on our way to her fifth-grade classroom, she reached out and grabbed my hand.
"Mom, I want to speak French when I grow up. I want to visit the Eiffel Tower."
I was too frazzled to really pay attention, so Noel jerked my hand again. "Mom, did you hear me?" Suddenly I felt a tender nudging from the Holy Spirit: "This is an important moment. Go with her on this."
Kneeling beside my daughter, I looked into her eyes. "Sweetie, if that?s your dream, then talk to Jesus about it. He always hears us. You?ll have to do your part by studying hard. Then, let?s see where your dream takes you."
I?ll never forget Noel?s infectious smile and twinkling eyes as she hugged me. But once I got back to my car, panic set in. "Lord," I prayed, "how is Noel?s dream ever going to become reality? I?m on welfare! I can?t afford to send her to France. I might not even be able to send her to college. How can I guide her future when I don?t even know where I?m going?"
I battled my anxiety all the way to work. But as I pulled into the parking lot, the Holy Spirit nudged me again with a reminder from God: "?For I know the plans I have for you,? declares the Lord, ?plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future?" (Jer.:29:11).
How do we nurture our children?s dreams and help them follow God?s plans for their lives? For me, the first step was to know my children uniquely and individually. I made an effort to learn their personality bents, their interests and their yearnings. That meant listening, really listening, even when I was tired or distracted.1