The Impossible Dream

Mother Goose is pondering the “impossible” today. I have a bloggish friend who frequently reminds his readers that if they aren’t reaching for the impossible, they are probably not reaching high enough. He deals in life balance issues: work, health, spiritual, organization and how we think of ourselves.

You may say, “Mother Goose, there is so much that is impossible for me. How can I set an impossible goal and then achieve it?” It sounds like an irony or maybe even an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

The community of humankind has been achieving the impossible ever since the dawn of Creation. Once upon a time, sailing around the world and flying in an airplane was impossible. Walking on the moon used to be impossible. Climbing Mt. Everest was impossible. Finding the beautiful ship Titanic on the bottom of the vast Atlantic Ocean was impossible. You know what I mean, right?

But if we carefully redefine “impossible” as an activity, a habit, a goal, an experience or an objective which UP UNTIL THIS TIME in MY life has been impossible,, then we are opening up the window of opportunity and letting all the fresh air of hope blow into our lives.

Mother Goose has been pondering the “impossible” events in her own life — of course, they are too numerous to even count! Birthing and raising a large flock of goslings, writing an almost daily blog with a growing viewership, finishing a 5K marathon, speaking in front of groups of Marine families about Blue Star Banners, overcoming the challenges of a chronic neurological disorder, and finding forgiveness from our loving heavenly Father. These things all seemed impossible at some point in my life.

And then the question: What’s next, Mother Goose?

Here’s a short list of my next impossible dreams:

Visit my Compassion sponsored child in Madurai, India.
Write a book.
Run another marathon.
Obtain a paying gig as a military family/veteran family advocate.

I hope that by writing down these dreams and putting them in a public arena, I don’t minimize their impossibility. It’s also my hope that you, dear reader, will also consider your own impossible dreams. Maybe they are as potentially achievable and attainable as the impossible dreams of Mother Goose.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

[“The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” is a popular song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. It was written for the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha. It is the main song from the musical and became its most popular hit.]

Monday Reflection of Mother Goose

With the beginning of the school year upon us, Mother Goose hearkens back to days gone by. Often she contemplates the history of her children, their plans, her dreams for them and where they are today. Mother Goose just LOVES doing compare and contrast studies, even on her offspring.

I bring to you today, a document that Mother Goose has kept posted on the refrigerator or washing machine for the past ten years. I created it ten years ago in order to imagine where all of my goslings will be in the “next ten years”. The time has come to compare and contrast — plans, dreams and reality.

Crumpled plans…

When I made the chart, oldest daughter Jessi was in high school and the baby, AnnaRose, was not yet a year old. I listed out the grades that each of the kids would be in for that year and for the next nine years to come. This became a very handy tool when somebody would ask me, “Mother Goose, what grade will I be in when Adam and Erik are in 8th grade?” or “Mom, when Jessi is in college, where will I be?”

Everything went according to the plan until the school year 2005-2006 when Jessi didn’t go to college. Well, she went to college for a little while. We drove her to upstate New York and left her at a Bible College, but that didn’t work out. She soon returned on a train after spending the semester in the Dean’s office…

So then she was not in college until 2008, but I didn’t bother to change the chart because it was so charming to see how it was all working out.

Then the plans for Adam and Erik were all fine until the year 2010 – 2011 when they should have been Juniors in college. They decided to work for awhile and then they joined the U.S. Navy. And by then their older sister WAS in college, but not working. Fortunately the younger siblings have all stayed on track so far. They have been going to their correct grades and following the plans of their Mother Goose.

It seems that the children follow the plan very well until they reach the end of high school! And then they begin to make changes to reflect on their own hopes and dreams. Imagine that!

At some point, the offspring of Mother Goose become independent thinkers. For that, I am most grateful. I reach my wing around and pat myself on the back for raising these children to think for themselves. I am singing for joy, and honking in merriment that this bit of family history has been preserved for the generations to come.

Do you see the far right column where it says that the three older goslings would be working? Yes, they are working out just fine. Jessi is working and applying to a Masters Degree program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erik and Adam are working for Uncle Sam as “nukes” in the greatest Navy in the world.

Here’s a proverb that seems to apply today:

“In her heart a goose plans the course of her goslings, but the Lord determines their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (paraphrased…)

Love, Mother Goose

Crossing the Finish Line

Faithful reader, what are your dreams, your hopes, your goals, your aspirations? What is the desire of your heart? Do you hold a secret wish in your soul?

You’re a blogger with a book stuck inside of you. Some people I know want to lose a few pounds — others would like to quit smoking or lay off the bottle for awhile. Other friends want to be physically fit. Some people have financial troubles and would like to implement spending and savings plans in order to better budget their expenses and income.

Maybe there’s that broken relationship that must be restored before you can have peace.

Or maybe just like Mother Goose, you just want to prove to yourself that you can do something IMPOSSIBLE! Do you know how impossible this race was for me? Impossibly impossible. Incredulously impossible. Eternally impossible. Infinitely impossible. As impossible as it gets.

I’m not athletic. Sometimes I ride my bike in a recreational sort of way. But two weeks ago, after a training session for this race, I sat at the kitchen table cooling down from my flappy exertions. Mr. Mother Goose looked at me and exclaimed, “Ha! You look like an athlete!” I guess I had a colorful face with beads of perspiration drops running down into my feathers, hair tied up in a knot, breathing a little bit more than usual. Just like an athlete…

Quietly I said to myself, “Maybe I AM an athlete..”

Maybe you don’t look like it yet, but maybe pretty soon, your dreams and wishes for yourself are going to come leaking out of you and you’ll start to look like the YOU inside. And that leakage will fuel more and more of your achievements until you cross that FINISH line with your hands in the air and a ridiculously big smile on your face.

Friend, maybe you ARE an athlete! Maybe you ARE a non-smoker, or a recovered alcoholic or whatever! Maybe you ARE a wise financial planner! Maybe your fences are mended and your bridges are unburned because you care enough about those relationships to do what it takes to nourish them and fix and forgive.

For too many years, Mother Goose listened to the creepy voices in her head. You know those voices, don’t you? The creepers who say, “No, of course, it’ll never happen. You’ll never do it. You’re not good enough. You’re not brave enough. You’re too young, you’re too old, you’re too fat, you’re too far gone. You’re just a goose, and it just doesn’t matter.” Everybody hears them, the creepy voices…

Mother Goose heard the voice of a neurologist twelve years ago saying, “Well, I wouldn’t want you to go out and commit suicide or anything, but the results of the spinal tap procedure show very definitely that you have multiple sclerosis.”

With as much fervor and flutter as I could gather, I answered him, “No. I have to go home and make dinner for my family.”

I walked out of his office and never looked back. I never took his advice to get on an interferon medication (daily shots of steroids to reduce the risk of future MS flare ups). I believed that God would help me with whatever came along, and He has been faithful to that promise.

Yes, some people do need to take medication. Some people are seriously ill, and they can’t help it. Some people have a viable excuse. Maybe you’ve had some failure in the past, and don’t want to risk the pain anymore. Maybe you’ve fallen and you can’t get up! And I know that some people don’t have enough faith to believe in themselves, let alone a powerful and loving God.

But what about you?

Look in the mirror today, and say to yourself, “You’re beautiful! Let’s do this thing!”

If Mother Goose can cross the Finish Line, anyone can. ANYONE CAN.

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June 2023