Little Houses; Big dreams…


The assignment:
Dream big. As BIG as you can. Don’t hold back…. If you could have AN-NY-THING you want, anything at all – the sky is the limit – what would it be? NO limitations. No second-guessing yourself. Just. Dream.

I was given this assignment as a teenager in high school…. While I didn’t necessarily know much yet, about what I really wanted out of life – I had a few ideas in mind. However – when it came to dreaming “BIG” – I knew there was one, really big item I wanted in my life at that time: I had thought that one day, I wanted to have a HUGE HOUSE. I envisioned my own dollhouse as I scribbled down the description…. Three levels, dozens of rooms and hidden passages, a castle-like tower, double-french doors… A deck off of the master bedroom, scalloped trim & a wrap-around porch. I went for it. I didn’t hold back.

The problem? Later I regretted what I had written. It was what came to mind at that moment. I mean, I had just had another fight with my sister about sharing our bathroom, our shower, our mirror to get ready in the morning, my hair dryer, a room, a ride to school, a ride home again, a ride to work, and – we worked together. Yeah – you might say it felt a little bit ‘crowded’. Our home growing up wasn’t ‘small’ – but it didn’t allow me any space just for me. I didn’t have my own room until I moved out. I was desperate – starving even – for my own personal space to just BE. I wanted to have my own rules in that space. I wanted to design those surrounds with nothing but me in mind. I needed solitude to thrive. I needed a place where I could go and not be interrupted. Where I could dream. I could design. I could create. I could sit still. I could listen to whatever music I wanted to – at whatever volume. I could arrange my belongings in a way that provided comfort and serenity – as opposed to arranging things out of practicality & necessity. I needed a place without distraction – where my mind could wander and I could wonder.

The reality was (and still remains) that I don’t need a big house. I just need space. A sanctuary. A location for my own private thoughts and my own sense of comfort. Time. Space. Quiet. My own breath. A place to reconnect with myself – and with God.


When I was a kiddo, my grandpa gave me an AMAAAAZING gift. He built the dollhouse you see in the photograph. [Yes – I still have it – taking up giant space in our home because of the giant place in my heart that it still holds! That – and I have 2 young girls to pass this down to now…]

The thing is – I had never even imagined I’d have something quite so grand to ‘decorate’ and make fully mine… It was this amazing tool for cultivating my creative tendencies, and creating my own quiet space – any which way I could dream it.

While playing ‘Barbies’ growing up – I wasn’t as interested in actually making the dolls interact with one another as I was about creating & designing their home, their wardrobes, their surrounds. What we didn’t have in reality – we’d create out of everything and nothing. Books became walls, doll blankets became beds, my younger brother’s toy trucks became their vehicles. I had a miniature camping set – that came with no ‘people’. Guess who used that for their camping adventures? Yep, Barbie & Miko, and sometimes Ken. (Hahaha…. Who out there remembers Miko?!)

Now – I had real walls, staircases, doors, windows, and individual rooms. I had furniture… beds, dressers, couches, fireplaces, grandfather clocks, plants, an oven, a refrigerator, and – I began collecting miniature cakes & desserts for the in-home bakery. (I was dreaming on behalf of my mama too!) THIS….. THIS was my escape from ‘reality’ – my quiet place of contemplation and imagination…. I could dream – and dream big. (Er, little?) It was an early form of meditation for me, for creative expression, and for uninterrupted contemplation and serenity. I was living vicariously through this big-little house.

I know grandpa recognized how much I treasured this dollhouse, but the real gift was the intangible and priceless ‘commodities’ it afforded me on a very personal and internal level. I wonder if he knew about all of that? Well, I believe that he does now.


While having a big house in reality may be beneficial for certain things – such as entertaining guests…. It’s not truly what I wanted. And although our home is moderate in size, it’s big on the important things – such as providing space for creative expansion, for bonding, memory-making, relaxing and simply BEING.


This all reminds me of what it is to live deliberately, making choices based on our feelings – our inherent desires – rather than the specific tangibles in life. While the tangibles are often part of our dreams – the real goal is not in acquiring the tangible – but those intangible feelings that the objects bring about.


I was reminded of this again recently when I watched a documentary called “I Am”, produced by Tom Shadyac. It’s available on Netflix – and I highly recommend it. MANY thanks to a super dear friend who recommended the vid – as it proves to be invaluable for my continued vitality-journey. I have a feeling it could benefit you too.


Your turn to dream ‘big’!
What soul-soothing, inherent desires are you reaching for?

Please share in the comments~

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