Monthly Archives: September 2012

On Having Dreams and Making Them Happen

I’m sure this post breaks all the rules of what makes a good blog post that other people will read. I’m okay with that, however, as I am currently in a place where I simply want to journal my thoughts as I am in this place. Here is what you will not find in this post: tips, lists, pictures, and there is certainly no “pinnable” content. Just a raw look at what’s in this heart and head of mine as I pursue God’s dream for me.

I’ve not always been the best at dreaming. I have the capacity in my imagination to picture what might be if, but then I have my ever-rampant logical side analyzing all of the reasons it won’t work.

This is in large part why it takes me such a long time to accomplish things. I have passion, but then I get distracted with all of the responsibilities that take precedence in my mental checklist before pursuing something big. That, and I have my own form of ADD, I’m pretty sure…my ability to get distracted is a great one.

A few years ago, I began to realize the tragedy in not allowing myself to dream. Instead of playing the “what if” game the way I was used to, in which I listed all of the negative what-ifs that could possibly happen if I chose to take a risk, I began making attempts at trying something that I thought I couldn’t do.

The crazy thing is, I actually accomplished some of them. I’m not talking awe-inspiring, sign me up for your next motivational speaker kind of accomplishments, but for me, they were massive steps in the right direction.

The analyzing won’t seem to leave altogether, but it’s no longer my gut reaction for everything, and it’s led me down a path that is more vibrant and requires a level of creativity and confidence I never knew could exist within myself.

Oh, there have been some bad attempts at making a fashion statement as well as some dinner attempts that have left us little choice but to go out for dinner instead. My closet shelf contains dozens of supplies for projects I believed I could do but never have had the nerve to start. I have not become a charismatic personality that draws in crowds everywhere I go, and the doubts in my head still ring in my ear like pesky mosquitoes, but I’m gradually starting to understand the beauty of having dreams.

I’m attempting to make them happen as I swat at the mosquito-like excuses. I refuse to live life without dreaming up what could be if I really let God run with His dreams for me. What could He do if I stopped formulating the best plan of action and just followed His nudges to try this thing that before seemed like something only great people could do rather than simple little old me?

The encouragement of writer Jeff Goins has helped me jump over my first big hurdle. He consistently reiterates the importance of admitting my dreams out loud. So, here is one of my dreams, in print for the few, the proud, the readers of this blog to acknowledge. I’ve admitted it here before, but I have to keep repeating things like this for myself more than anyone else.

For me, the dream to write a book has been a part of my life since I was a girl with a blue spiral notebook out in my thinking place in the woods. I never really admitted it to many people for most of my life because I thought it would be impossible for someone like me to do something that extensive. I found other ways to compensate the passion. Conversation with friends, encouraging others who were actually accomplishing great things, teaching others that writing is actually a good thing. But me? Write? Ha! I’ll just leave that to the professionals, thank you very much.

Over the course of many dreams, God began giving me a vision for what I could actually write about. It was after I finally got to a place where I could not only dream it, but admit out loud that I wanted to try writing, that the outline of a book entered my head. I know it came from God. I’ve spent far too many hours of my life trying to write on my own, but it wouldn’t work until this very time when God said, “You’re starting to get a glimpse of the joys of dreaming.”

So I jotted down the ideas and grew overwhelmed as they grew with every word that I wrote. Now I’m actually feeling the initial excitement that perhaps I have the beginnings of something that more than 10 people would read and actually benefit from it. I feel confident in it because I know it’s not from me. It is God’s message, and He’s actually using a girl who has never been the best dreamer to fulfill something that will bring honor to Him.

If you’ve stuck with reading this long, can I ask you to pray for me? I’m still learning what it means to make a dream come true. I know that it requires a great deal of work, and I’ve already put in a lot of it, but there is still an insane amount of work to be done. And the really scary part is yet to come. I do not heart technical details and marketing. Yet they are looming, taunting me like those blood-thirsty mosquito excuses that have stopped me so many times before, but I do not want them to bite. I want to push through and bring glory to my God. He’s done great things in my heart through this process thus far, and I pray He will exceed my greatest dreams if I see this project through to the end.

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

When Life is Greater than Words

I love writing about our experiences, my thoughts, and all of the highs and lows that make our life what it is. There was a time when I would lament not posting everything as often as I think of something I want to write, but then I look at the what fills my days and I get over it quickly.

You see, while having the memories written down along with pictures at which we can smile for years to come is invaluable, actually living out life with my precious family is greater.

Having silly moments in the quiet evenings alone that Dash and I have more often these days make my heart sing.

My glasses stolen by a cute little boy who wrestles me amidst the giggles. In the background, a T-Rex in a dump truck is a common sight around the house these days. I remember the days when it was an Exersaucer and a Bumbo and believe more every day that these years of having a little boy are numbered and escaping from me faster than I want them to.

Going to the zoo on a gorgeous fall day with the two sweetest guys on the planet. How long the road has been to bring us to this beautiful season of life where Tanner has a job he loves that also allows us all to enjoy time to explore and laugh together.Soaking up evenings outside before it begins getting dark early. I recognize that yet another season is leaving as a new one approaches, and I wonder how each one looks so different as Dash grows up and enters new phases. I also smile as I consider how much different next fall will look when I have two children creating memories on the driveway.Reliving some of my favorite childhood memories by recreating them for Dash. As I prepared for a yard sale a couple of weeks ago, I took the saw horses I borrowed from my dad and made Dash a tent to play in. Countless are the hours my sister and I spent using these saw horses as the framework to house our pretend play. We would take my mom’s old flowered bed spread and stretch it over the saw horses to make a tent. Seeing my own little boy happily crawl into his own saw horse tent made me imagine what kinds of things he imagines as he plays, and I wonder…is it possible we both shared any of the same thoughts as children imagining our way through the days of childhood?

So while my written words are fewer as of late, my heart couldn’t be more full. I can’t find a way to say no when a little hand takes mine and says, “Mommy, please play with me.”

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Messing Up with Scripture Memory

God gave me a passion almost two years ago for memorizing scripture. I’ve been amazed at the level of encouragement it’s been to me. I’ve actually comprehended what intimacy with God looks like on a new level. It’s been life-changing.

But

I hit a dry spell recently. I’m not exactly sure why, but when it came time to pick my verse for August, no verse came to me. I couldn’t settle on one, then I’d forget to look for one, then I’d wonder why God hadn’t just shown me one like He’s done nearly every single month for the past two years. By the time August was coming to an end, I was ashamed of myself for having this hole in my little spiral notebook of memory verses.

I was determined to remedy my problem come September. But on September 1st, I still hadn’t been hit over the head with a verse I felt compelled to memorize. I started getting desperate, searching through my Bible for some nugget that would put me back on track with my commitment.

I repeated this search for five days straight, and as I awoke this morning, I prayed, “God! What am I supposed to do? Why can’t I find a verse?”

His response was simple and humbling as always.

Sometimes relationship with me not about finding the glimmering, awesome, or deep truths I possess.

In that response I started to understand what He wanted me to learn. This relationship with Him is about the long haul, just as my marriage relationship with my husband is. My husband and I have a good, strong marriage, but no matter how committed we are to each other, we still have ups and downs. There are times when we talk about important issues that are going on in our lives, and there are times when we sit in comfortable silence in each others’ presence.

We don’t have to constantly have awe-inspiring things to say to each other to have a great relationship. We do, on the other hand, have to continue to make efforts to communicate with each other and listen to the simple wisdom we have to offer just as much as the sensational words we occasionally utter.

So I set to work this morning, finding a simple truth from God’s Word that I could hide in my heart. It’s often the simple truths that turn out to be the most inspiring after all. I let go of my criteria and just found joy in looking through verses I had underlined in the past. The first one I came across was Proverbs 3:21-22.

“My son, do not lose sight of these – wisdom and discretion, and they will be life to your soul and adornment for you neck.”

Those are the Words that God gave me today in a simple, quiet fashion. I’m more in love with Him now for opening my eyes to a lesson far bigger than what I expected, even after I had neglected relishing His Words for a month. What a picture of a true love relationship!

Want to join me in memorizing scripture? Just leave a comment or send me an email to let me know! I have a Facebook group with several other women who have committed to memorizing a verse per month. It’s pretty awesome to scroll down and read each others’ verses and to just know that we have an encouraging place of accountability. We’d love to have more join us. You obviously don’t have to be perfect to join, as I’ve proven through my confession in this post. We all mess up, but even if you only memorize one verse, you never know how God will use it to work in your life. I hope to see more of you sign on! 🙂

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Focusing on Progress, Not the Mess

It doesn’t always take a completely convoluted series of events for God to remind us of His profound truths.

In this case, God spoke to me as I sorted onesies and pajamas to sell at a garage sale. Piles were accumulating in every room of the house, and at one point I looked up from the  storage tub through which I’d been sifting to survey the craziness that surrounded me. It was in that moment I started to hyperventilate a little.

“This will never end! What have I started?!?”

It was in that instant that God chose to speak to me. “Stop looking at the mess around you and focus on the progress you have made!”

I was struck by this profoundly simple concept. It was obvious, yet I’ve missed this idea  my whole life. What if I really tried focusing on the progress, refusing to dwell on the mess that it takes to reach my goals.

Instead, I’ve adopted eagle-like vision for the messes that make my life inconvenient or difficult.

  • Road construction
  • A crumb-covered table or toothpasted-coated sink
  • Tears on a child’s face after a melt-down
  • Conflicts in relationships
  • Weight still left to lose
  • Unorganized areas of my home

Living life requires daily messes.

But what if I chose to focus on the progress being made because of those messes?

  • A smoother drive to work or errands
  • A more independent child who can feed himself or brush her own teeth
  • A heart that is being touched because his mommy cares enough to train it
  • The richness of a life with relationships
  • Personal goals already met

Messes are necessary for improvement. I can know it as I walk into them, but once they become my way of life as I plod through to reach my desired destination, the messes begin to be all that I see. Piles promise to accumulate bitterness or defeat if I will only accept their invitation.

I am called to the greater thing, however. The finished product. The prize. This gift can only be found if I walk through the valley of messiness, tripping occasionally on some of the clutter that comes with it.

Why not choose to keep my focus off the filth and instead place it on the steps that I’ve made toward reaching the great thing I desire.

No, I can’t ignore the mess altogether. However, messes have a way of getting cleaned up as I work toward completing what needs to be done in order to accomplish what God has for me. Progress takes over and defeats the mess.

Progress requires a lot of work, as does cleaning up messes, but the distinct difference in each is my choice to maintain a positive perspective over a negative one.

Who wants to join me in adopting this philosophy as we live our lives? Don’t forget Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.