In a child’s mind, he/she can become a super hero with just the donning of a cape and a mask. Dreaming is natural to a child. Nothing is out of reach. Faith is unquestionable. Believing in the supernatural, believing anything is possible is the way their mind processes. If they can imagine it, it can happen! Work is not seen as a hardship but rather an honor. They want to ‘be’ like their heroes! And their 1st heroes are their parents. They will develop the attitude we portray to them about work. They WORK hard in their play kitchens fixing dinner, or can break a sweat and then burst into tears if the lego tower they WORKed so hard to construct is toppled over by a careless playmate.
At three years old Josiah would pack up his little tykes bubble push mower each summer week day to HELP Randy mow yards so that he could supplement our coach’s income. Josiah would follow behind him every step from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bethany loved pulling weeds in our garden. Hannah would cook and clean. Chores eventually became unenjoyable, but they started off as a blessing. Either way we promoted work as something required by every member of our family. Work enabled others to be a responsible member of our family and society. Are we raising children that can grow into responsible members of society or just daydreamers? Is dreaming wrong? How does dreaming and working coexist?
In the Bible, David had a dream. He wanted to build God a beautiful temple. This was a dream in David’s heart, the Word does not say it came from God but from David. But God agreed. However, because of some wrong decisions, David was told by God that he could work and gather the resources and the artisans but that David’s son Solomon would be the builder of the temple of God. What a great picture of legacy and dreams! If either can be accomplished in our own lifetime we are not dreaming big enough. Also the fact that even through our mistakes, our children can build on our lives. Dreams are beautiful, they give us a taste and hope for the future. Faith provide us the building blocks for our dreams but unless we are willing to haul the bricks, make the mortar, stack the bricks, our dreams will never live – not in our lifetime or in the during the lives of our children. Both David who collected the supplies and Solomon who built the temple had to work, organize, deal with difficulties, persevere; they had to sweat! Dreams, faith and work cannot be separated! Dreams are the hope, the future. Work are the daily decisions and the sweat to see dreams live. Faith is the bond that ties dreams and work together, the supernatural to the natural. By faith we are able to see dreams live by hard work.
One of the greatest gifts that Randy gave our kids was his example of working hard. He enjoyed work. He saw the importance of people to be productive. Identity, especially for men come from being productive. When we would go somewhere or visit someone, Randy set a culture that we would always try to leave the place better than when we came. As assistant coaches and pastors, he was determined to build another man’s house, to see another man’s dream come to fruition so that some day God would find him faithful and give him a house or dream of his own. He loved to work and work hard, to sweat. He has always lived with an intensity of whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your heart. As a result our kids learned to work. At first working was a joy of ‘being like dad’, then it just became an expected part of being in our family and a discipline. Again it goes back to identity. We work hard, that’s who we are.
We moved multiple times and I did not know how long we would be there, so I was determined that whether we were in the home for two weeks or two years it would be our home. For the 1st two weeks in each of the many many homes, all the kids would paint, hammer, pack, unpack, re-construct, landscape. It didn’t matter their age or lack of age, they painted and hammered right along side Randy and me. Our kids nicknamed these two weeks, as the ‘two weeks from hell!’ Sometimes work or learning to work can be hell but all our kids can remodel a home! Josiah & Brandi), Bethany (& Boone) are supplementing their income by flipping houses. Now they are thankful for those numerous, ‘two weeks from hell!’
Our kids each dreamed to play sports. I used to be so frustrated at how hard it seemed they had to work at being good, while others would not sacrifice, would not stay hours longer after the official practice to practice by themselves yet still get equal or similar playing time. Mamma Bear’s claws were often hard to hide. Then, God’s perspective came, sports are fleeting, but the ability to set goals and work (sweat) to see those goals and dreams live is a heart trait that will serve them into eternity and I now am seeing the fruit of this characteristic.
I remember the day that Hannah as a three year old came running into the house shouting with glee, “Mom, Mom! Look I have water on my nose like Bethany and Josiah!” She was more than excited that she too had actually worked so hard that she broke a sweat! (Kinda’ sad it took her to three to really sweat! Thus, her nickname, “Princess Hankie.”) There is something about working and sweating that really does bring a feeling of productivity or accomplishment. Sweating rids the body of impurities. I believe it is not just good for our physical body but for our soul! Work is a gift.
Dreaming alone has become a dangerous lifestyle for many of the younger generation. Maybe it is an over-reaction to work-a-holic parents. I don’t know. But dreaming alone, will produce smoke in the wind. Unless we teach our children to take systematic steps to see their dreams materialize, frustration and laziness will be the defining identity of these children. The problem is those systematic steps require sweat, unpleasantries, sacrifice, unexciting daily routines. As parents we have denied and protected our children from work, disappointment, the need to persevere, to feel unpleasantries. If one of our kids want to go on a mission trip, they may have to get another part time job — maybe even McDonald’s, or they may not get to do all the social events other friends are doing. The question is, ‘Is seeing their dreams live worth the sacrifice?’ IF it is not worth the sacrifice of sweat, discipline and prayer, then their dreams will only be smoke; no substance, wishful thinking. Their life will be spent chasing vapors, resulting in an unproductive, lazy, life. They will not have the opportunity to hear ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ from God. God’s love doesn’t change, but these children’s (young adults’) effectiveness in the Kingdom is minimized and possibly never even touched.
Our two older kids went to Texas Tech to obtain their degree. We believed our kids needed to start and finish a university degree. There is something that happens to a person when they are faithful to attend classes they hate, do the work for which they don’t have any use, meet deadlines, and deal with the bureaucracy of institutions, all the while working at least 20 hours a week, paying bills, trying to juggle a social life, staying steady with God and doing their best. Josiah and Bethany graduated Magna Cum Laude. Josiah dreamed to do his student teaching abroad. This was not available at Texas Tech at the time. He worked and petitioned the administration, organized both sides allowing him to student teach in Poland. This was ground breaking for Texas Tech. Bethany married, taking on the responsibility of having a husband, remodeling a home, and working during her university years, yet still graduated one of the top of her class.
Hannah’s dream did not include attending Texas Tech. She wanted to leave Lubbock. This was not in the Boyd household budget. While our kids worked, obtained scholarships, Randy and I were determined to pay and give our kids the gift of education debt free. So Hannah’s dream had to fit in the confines of the purposes in our parental hearts. It was a family value. We had learned enough from the other two kids and God, not to box God or our kids into a system. So Randy and Hannah went to visit Christ for the Nations with the thought that after graduating from CFNI’s two year program, she would finish her degree at Dallas Baptist University which accepted transfer hours from CFNI. We were going to cross the DBU money question when we came to it. As Hannah stepped onto the DBU campus she felt that God dropped the dream in her heart to attend there all four years! Definitely, this was NOT in our budget. Randy told her we would see what God would do and that Hannah had to pray and work her booty off if this dream would ever live. Through a series of miracles, literally, she received enough scholarships and a BE ON TIME LOAN that would act as a scholarship if she finished in four years with above 3.5 GPA each semester. The BE ON TIME LOAN was literally awarded to her during the final hour. We were about to pull the plug on DBU. But through unexpected and unaware contacts from the past, God showed Himself always on time!
Hannah will graduate this May, Magna Cum Laude from DBU which is considered one of the top elementary education universities in the nation! Her degree requires above 135 hours, so she averaged 18 hours per semester, while working upwards of 20 hours per week. She has worked at churches, nannying, in the cashiers office at DBU, and multiple other odd jobs. She has been involved in an on-campus sorority as well as church and keeping a social life.
Many times I cried to God because I felt our kids had to work so hard. Sometimes I would feel guilty. Each of them have had to deal with more than their share of stress. Each are aware of finances. Each has a drive to do their best. The overwhelming instability of our family finances, moving, events; just the fluidity of our life in general often plagued my mind and made me question if our kids would be scarred. But through it all, I would say that each of our kids by the grace of God can carry a large amount of responsibility. Each of them know how to dream, believe, and work to see those dreams live. Each of them understand sacrifice and delayed gratification.
As a family we have traveled the world. We have gone and participated in things that most don’t. I am thankful to God that by the combination of Randy’s systematic goals and my simple faith, stirred by the Holy Spirit, He has produced in our kids a grace to live life well. Amazingly, somehow our kids amongst all the chaos and uncertainty of our lives are turning out to be successful people. When the kids were little, Randy read that God was with Joseph that he was a successful man. Randy and I have prayed that over our kids. That they are not just dreamers, or workers or are super spiritual but that God would be with them in such a way that they are able to be successful men and women, living life well. In today’s world that is a miracle, a supernatural work of God! There is no formula, just a constant dependency on God. He alone holds our kids hearts!
Hannah – “This is my dream. This is why I want to teach. I want to love kids that just need some love.” Hannah is a World Changer and carrier of the Love of God. She has dreamed, she has had faith and she has worked hard. Her dream is coming to life! Well done, Hannah
Originally posted February 25, 2017