Learning Joy In Rejection

giraffesdancing

I’ve told the story before about a giraffe named Gerald who dreams of being a dancer with the other animals in the jungle.  Gerald has the desire but his ability to dance like the others isn’t quite up to par.  His knees are crooked and his legs are thin.  All the other animals mock him when he approaches the jungle dance floor.  His swagger  (as they say in jungle-eeze) isn’t zig-zaging like the others.

Gerald took lessons, studied the moves, more grooves, and eventually developed his own style. One day, on jr.audition day, Gerald showed up prepared to zig and zag in a confident direction.  After many hours on the dirt floor, he perfected a secret move all his own and still wasn’t chosen.

As he lumbered off in a dejected fashion, the lonely lanky spotted giraffe felt rejection from his “wanna-be’s”.  Downcast, he met up with his cricket friend who chirped “Gerald, you just need a different song.” Gerald’s heart lightened a little as he took the cricket’s advice.  He retreated to his own little jungle corner to let his heart dance free.

Soon, Gerald was prancing and sashaying once again.

Suddenly, a crowd gathered in amazement and recognized Gerald could dance after all.  All he needed was his own little space be brave and bold, freedom to unleash his rhythm by the light of the moon.

It might seem strange to you to tell you I think about Gerald often.  I know how this kind of rejection feels.  What the story doesn’t tell you is Gerald had a lot of doubt going into dancing.  So much doubt he wanted to give up.  He wanted to do anything else instead of dancing.  Gerald also had a big heart to teach others to dance but he couldn’t lead out because he felt unqualified.

The story didn’t mention how Gerald was faithful to his craft.  There were lots of practices he only watched from the outlying and surrounding undergrowth as the other animals gracefully swayed.  Gerald watched in wonder at their magical skill.  He longed to be included and seen by them.  But shamefully, self-doubt kept coming against him.  Opposition came in the jeers and taunts of his so-called friends.  Provocation came from his inner critic.  He was discouraged and just wanted to give up.

Why does this story move me so much?  It has a happy ending like most children books do and Gerald found the courage to recover a dream.  For me, it also speaks of how we should never give up uncovering who God created us to be.  If you are honest with yourself, wouldn’t you admit you want to belong somehow?

The search for purpose sometimes leads a person to unexpected places.  Michael Hyatt says to do “what makes you cry” in life.  What I’ve found so far is dreams are full of hard work and lots of practice.  There’s lots of pieces to making a dream work.  There’s even more work to get someone to notice your dance in a jungle full of excellent dancers.

So why should we try?  If Micheal Hyatt were here now I would ask him, “What’s the point?”  It doesn’t matter if you are a musician or not, please watch Victor Wooten’s talk. His lessons about life, success, creativity, learning, passion, permission and smiling are profound.

In using my creative confidence, I still have some lessons to learn.  Like Gerald, my dance doesn’t look like others, but mine is a worthy and weighty move .  I have also learned to not lean on feelings but to dance anyway.  Taking action on an idea requires applied practice and a dedication to stay the course.  Dancing takes courage, skill, and ability.  It takes guts to put your best foot forward.  It’s risky, hard and you may lose.  But… you will never know discovery unless you try.  It’s never to late to be what you might have been.

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.

Speaking metaphorically, life is a dance.  We all have a unique design made by a God without rival.  And when an incomparable God has placed His uniqueness within, it’s our best response to practice and sing in the octave He gave you.  There’s no two dancers the same, each are unique in every way.  And finally, God just loves it I show up for practice, even with my deficiencies.

So where are you in this dancer’s world?

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Living a life of stillness in this busy world

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Friends, let’s be honest on this day, today.  My  heart is heavy with stuff.  Yeah, I try to put it all together out there for others to see, flawless and whole.  But that’s not me.  I’ve been honest with myself and have taken a long look at what my life what it is about.  In this busy life we call ours, it’s really becoming a management of one urgent crisis or another.

My shoulders are heavy and tired and weak.

“Lord, I lift my burdens to You alone and I lay them down at your feet.  Will you give me some simplicity today?”  I prayed those words the other day.  I simply put it all out there for God to hear.  Liberation came in just in the confessing and I realized that I was trying to do things on my own.

Immediately, I was convicted of some false insecurities that continue to rise up (in my soul and spirit) and drag, weigh, and bear down upon my mind.  My problems, my cares, my duties, my hopes, my dreams were anchored in my own efforts.  “Wait…I thought to myself…I have freedom in those areas.”  Or at least I thought I did.

In the confessing, I realized I was trying to create a comfortable life for myself and my feelings.  On top of that, I also realized that I was covering my life with right “to-do’s” or tasks and such but I was forgetting about the one important thing needed.  Can we just be honest today?  Aren’t there those days we all face, where it takes this kind of realization to see where you need to grow in your simplicity of managing life?

What I heard back from God, (yes, I know it was His voice) was “Will you just walk with Me?”.  

There were a lot of tears involved in the process.  Then I remembered a season in my life that I used to cry often everyday and all day.  My life was full of regret of a list of things that I never accomplished.  My next thought became one of rejoicing because of a major shift and many changes that have occured in the recent years of  my life.  I don’t live a life of regret-filled days anymore.

I rejoiced in the fact that those days of regret are over and now I can choose to adopt the pace of God, my Father, in the life of my today.  If I could let you into my brain for a moment, there’s a stillness that needs to happen inside of your thoughts that causes you to choose your best life in considerations of what you have around you, the blessings in life instead of the regrets of life.  (I am realizing this lifestyle goes deeper than your task list or the things you think about any morning like…”I’m behind on so many things!” kind of thinking.)

Now I’m getting stuck in the multiple list of thoughts that come rising up in a woman’s mind especially when she feels behind, unfulfilled and a list of unmet needs are left open in her life.  Okay, now back to the choosing.

There has to be season that as you are emptying your life of what it isn’t, and there is a choice to rejoice in what it is.  In the choosing to accept the rejoicing, the living, the owning your life, the doing of life, you must celebrate with what you have, and begin believing that anything is possible with God in the middle of it all.

There I said it, not simply said, because life isn’t like that.  At all.  It’s complicated, full of tensions, stresses, and problems.  But when we confess that we can’t do life without God, then that’s when the miracles start happening.  In that way of thinking, you have to admit there is more than what God has intended FOR you and designed you for and you MUST surrender the controls over to HIM.  He knows what is best and right and good FOR you.  He knows how big your tiny shoulders are.  He knows your capacity for loads and He hasn’t forgotten your to-do list.  He put the passions inside of you to accomplish what He has designed you for.

He hasn’t forgotten where He has put those things.  Have you forgotten where your strength comes from?  I did.  I honestly thought…”okay God, I can do this (believing that I had to do what He has called me to do on my own.)  That’s not right honestly, because I need God to accomplish what HE has put inside of me to do and what HE wants to purpose in my life.

Simply said, I need Jesus every hour of the day to live.  Honestly, this IS the life I am in (and I don’t know how it is with you).  I need Him to carry me, to help me choose what I need to be doing, to carry out what He wants me to do, and most days I am overwhelmed simply by His goodness in my life.  I am complicated, full of tensions, and stresses just like you.  Challenges come and go, but I can’t live or exist as His much loved child without Him.

These are the things that are on my mind today.  What’s on yours?

 

Three tiny wisdoms I didn’t learn in High School

We all need a little direction in our lives

I’ve been thinking about graduates given the month we are in.  In my church we celebrated new beginnings and student’s accomplishments and the youth minister said something that was so profound.  It made me think about what I would have said had I the opportunity.  It’s good to think about these things before speaking.

Sometimes my mouth gets me into trouble.  Like the other day I asked a widow of 12+ years how her husband was.  Ooops!  Does this ever happen to you too?  Yeah, it’s just that way isn’t it?  We speak before thinking.

So on the back row of church, I was thinking about what I would have said to students looking at so many new beginnings.  I came up with three ideas I can encourage you with.  If you are facing any kind of new thing or uncomfortable thing or exciting journey, here’s what you need to know.

1.  Don’t take any wooden nickels.  The world is full of fakers and you are about to meet many of them.  My warning to you is to know what you believe in these moments.  You will need the real God to help you through this next phase of education.  Simply said, your beliefs will be tested, so know what you believe and why.  Your faith will be challenged.  A strong foundation of faith will travel with you into the journey ahead of you.  You can’t rely on your parent’s faith, nor someone else’s beliefs.  Faith is just that, a personal journey and a perfecting process.  In the many ways God works in us for our perfecting of faith He never fakes us out or changes.  His word is true and real and authentic.  Fears come disguised in so many lies these days and there are many people who love to tell you about God, but honestly, it’s better to go to God Himself and ask that intimacy of Him directly.  He will always talk straight with you and keep you going the right direction.  I don’t care where you are today, we all still need direction.  Trust the process of learning about God and your faith in this next phase but get to know God on a deeper level.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

2.  Drop your ego at the door.  You’ve graduated, you’ve gotten some honors, you are at the top of your class.  That’s great, but this next phase isn’t about you.  Oh you thought it was?  Heh…heh…nope!  Your awesomeness has been noted but it’s really just evidence of the works of your hands.  It shows you are good at something.  That’s great, now that you know what you can do, now you will learn your limitations.  This is where responsibility kicks in, accountability, and life will meet you in each nook, corner, and cranny to do the right things, every time.  No more skating by on your good looks.  You’ve got some skills, now you get to use them or fine tune them to make a difference in this world.  What you have inside of you is God’s gifts to you, what you do with what God has given you is your gift back to God.  Use them wisely and you can do more than you think you can.  If you don’t have it figured out, it’s okay, you don’t have to know all the answers.  But knowing the Answer is doing the work that matters.  Once you see that God is with you and directing you He will take you the rest of the way to discover the gifts He has placed inside of you.  Commit those gifts to Him and let Him educate you and promote you for His purposes.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.   Ephesians 2:10

3.  Nothing in this world is free.  What people can tell you is that you are awesome, but what only God knows is the steps between where you are right now and awesome.  I want you to know that you are going to be okay but you are going to sacrifice something.  Your future looks uncertain, scary, uncomfortable, exciting, interesting, intense and different.  Every day is like that in the real world.  There will be twists and turns in this daily walk that will throw you for a loop.  You will have to work hard, sweat often, and love much.  But you must know Who has your journey planned for you and you will need your “why”.

Jeremiah 29:11 “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 hope and a future.”  

This verse is the most used scripture this time of year.  Yes, the Lord has plans for us.  But prospering doesn’t mean walking on the easy street of life.  Life is our schoolroom and many lessons often look like failed tests or mistakes to us.  But in the Lord’s eyes they are tests of our obedience in His classroom of prosperity.  He created us to need each other, He created us to live in unity with like minded people, He created us to love everyone.  He created us to reflect His image to a dark world and shine the Light of Jesus Christ.

When I think about how the Lord prospers our faith, it always involves Him perfecting what He has started.  He is our beginning and end, so why wouldn’t He care about our lives and what happens to His creations?  He does, in such a personal way!  God is with us every step of the journey, and He never leaves us out here to handle life by ourselves.  Often I have to back to my “why” to remind me of what to do next.

The Lord knows what He’s put inside of you.  And He hasn’t forgotten where He put those gifts or where you right now either.  He sees you!  When it’s time for you to give the gift back to God, then surrender all that you are with honor and love.  God made us from His deep love for us, so it is with everything we are and do, that we should give what and who we are back to God in the same manner, love and honor.

I wish I would have known then what I know now.  My mother used to say, “If wishes were fishes the sea would be full.” I’ve learned learned wisdom by being on the front row of God’s classroom, in my own personal journey of life itself.  Don’t waste your life!  And if you do?  God gives second chances and He doesn’t waste anything!

So what was the profound advice given by our youth minister?  She said,  “Keep in touch!”  Advice well received.  We should always talk to God before, through and during the process.  He is the only one who will keep you straight, upright, and fully equipped for the steps ahead.  He started your process, He’s in this to win this.  And there is only one thing in this life that is free and for the taking…God’s grace, which is more than enough for everyday you have left.

Philippians 1:6 “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Why watching the nightly news keeps my dreams in check

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9

The look on my husbands face was priceless.  It was a look of confusion as if what I had just proclaimed had been said in another language.  In an effort to make sense of my thoughts, I often run the one million ideas by him to bring some sanity to what feels insane in my membrane.

“I’m so frustrated today.”  I blurted out loud and proudly.

As if my own frustration would bring justice to my fuming past him as he rested in his recliner.  I had an agenda for today that wasn’t checking off my “to-do” list fast enough.  Honestly, the lists are long and unending.

When I declared my frustration in my non-accomplishments, I realized I spend a lot of time talking about the things I want to do but then get distracted in the “not-actually-doing” them or I run away from the work in the completing of projects.

Until today, I watched the nightly news.

I don’t have one of those empty “boxes” in my mind like you guys do.  Think of the brain divided in about 10 (at least) compartments.  Now multiply that times 1000.  That’s me, my brain, my thought processes, my to-do lists and the way I am wired mentally.  Now add 100 emoticons to each box for all of the above.  I have a lot of spinning plates in the air like one of those spinner-guys who travel with the circus.

There are no empty spins here people, there are no empty boxes, there isn’t a list that doesn’t have at least five things on it.  This isn’t a multiple choice question where I can just focus on one answer.  It’s “all of the above.”  Can I get a witness ladies?

So back to today, I was frustrated in that I wanted to accomplish so much today.  All I could see were messes in my writing room, on my desk, in my kitchen, in my closet, in my journal, in my prayers, in my emotions, in my “to-do” list, in my personal planner planning the “Best Year Ever”.  So far, today didn’t have the look of being successful or completely accomplishing one thing.

So I declared it a pajama day.  Then I changed clothes to painfully do some Pilates.  Then I washed my sheets on my bed.  One task done.

Next, I started to write something today.  Jeff Goins writes every day with ease, Jon Acuff posted about fears today, I need to be posting everyday to call myself a full time writer.  Oh yeah about that book project?  I had a messy pile of papers on the corner of my desk that were calling for some much needed sorting and organizing too.  And then there is that chapter three that’s weighing heavy on my heart.  I can’t eeek out those words just yet.

Next, I started hanging clothes and folding underwear.  Then I put them away.  It was time for a snack.  Ever think about how many calories you burn while just thinking about exercise?  Not as many as you would like…

Next, I made an SOS phone call to my mentor friend and writer-encourager buddy to catch up.  She helps me get over my self-imposed separation anxiety.  I needed to connect with someone who “gets me” and my way of thinking.  I also needed someone to validate my frustration of all those plates I was trying to keep up on my billion tiny spinning dowel sticks.  (Those really exist!)

Next, it’s time to make the bed, I just heard the dryer buzz telling me so.  Then I get hungry.  Broccoli time!  (Turns out steamed broccoli is kind of delicious!) and I still have piles of mess everywhere.  Then my phone starts blowing up with texts over something happened last week.  Then I open another emotional box to put more lists into.  Oh and did I tell you this morning I spent an entire hour taking a test online about what my emotional IQ was?

Yeah, I spent an hour doing nothing but finding out that I have emotions.

Guess what?  I have emotions!  The results don’t lie because I scored high!  Now the trick is to use them properly.  Which leads me to talking about how I have been praying through Galatians 5:22-23 to learn the fruit of the Spirit, today was a lesson on self-control.  Then my friend suggested another prayer idea.

“Let God order your day.”  Oh yeah, I learned that once while running.  So when did I drop the baton on that reminder?  Seriously.

Then I watched the nightly news and saw the heartbreaking news about Christians being martyred for their faith.  I thought about how we are all one breath away from meeting Jesus, if you know Him as Savior, and then I thought about all my spinning plates.  All of a sudden, I heard the sound of crashing.

The sound of the Spirit’s voice came in like a swoosh and cleared my agenda.  Lists for the busy things we tend to focus on only distract us.  Cancer steals our joy and steals our hope.  Chronic illnesses suck the life right out of our sails.  Smiles are erased with the pain and suffering of others.  Happiness becomes harder and harder to achieve.

But yet I have hope when I watch the nightly news.  God never promised easy, but He promised His presence, His goodness, and He promised to never leave us alone.  So when I see the messes, the messiness, the merciless acts of others, it’s all I can do to bend a knee to plead for those who are hurting in SO many ways that I may never know.

My dreams don’t even make the agenda now at this point.  I’m not sure but some days I tend to take on the world and it’s entire wealth of heavy problems.  Surely I’m not the only one who has a 1000 mental boxes that are overflowing and overwhelmed with tasks that need to be accomplished.  What I know and believe though is that God’s power comes to earth to shape our faith in the days like this and weeks we all have had.  It’s my calling to beg the mercy of Heaven, if just for one more day so that someone might know God more and more today.

If you need to get a reality check on what’s important or maybe just one glorious thing you need to accomplish today to make yourself feel good about your day, just turn on the nightly news and look outside yourself to see how the world around us is a hurting world, and how hurt people are still hurting people.

That did it for me.  Dreams box?  It’s been checked.  There’s no tidiness there.  That’s okay to let one day slip by when feeling a little underwhelmed.  Give yourself permission to just eek out a frustration or two.  When it comes to accomplishments, it’s God’s will at work that conforms with my agenda as my heart transforms to His spoken Word.

Why I can’t give up

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I was supposed to write rainbows and fancy swirls.  When I set off to own this, it worked perfectly in my mind.

As easy as the words flowed through my journal.

My fear of being someone who wasn’t heard in words was real and massive.  I grappled but now you finally convinced me that the world needs my story.  Thank you for believing in this cause, I’m so grateful.

From the heart flows the life in which God gives.

Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

I thought this would be different in some odd sense of the word.

When I dreamed of it all, I became paralyzed.  Nothing made sense and I struggled in words that used to flow so freely.

Who doesn’t need help in overcoming barriers that your heart has settled on?  I needed a leg up on some time that would help me over the obstacles.  I need time to learn, to heal, and to peel back another heart layer.

“The story we are telling the world isn’t half as endearing as the one that lives inside of us.”  ~ Donald Miller.

I need more time.

I hate that I have more time and yet can’t assimilate my thoughts into words.  I only need to be still and continue.  There is always time for the things that you want to do.

Instead of writing about this or that idea of writing I should be penning chapter 3.

Instead of just dreaming about doing the dream I just need to let my mind show up and do.

Instead of talking about it constantly, I just need to do what I am talking about.

My life depends on it.  My heart as already aspired to go there, I just need to give permission to it.

The other day, one of my mentors asked if I only had two hours a day, what would I do?

I knew the answer.

If you only you had two hours a week?

If you only you had 30 days to live?

If only I had something to say.

If only, I had the words to wrap around my heart.

If only, I had the words to capture all my thoughts.

If only, then….

Then, I could scale this wall of words.

Then, I could let the words flow out

Then, I could…rest my heart on what I know.

Then, I can share well in words and thoughts.

Then, I must help myself to accomplish what I must do.

I’ve come to far to give up now.

So what now?

Quit Facebook.  Period.

Train for the race.

Have deep discipline.

Delete the distracting apps from my phone.

Watch television only on the weekend.

Turn off notifications and internet access while I create.

Protect my time.

Concentrate on developing the art of words.

Trust God.

Speak my inside voice.

Write compelling words.

Show up every day.

Leap the procrastination barrier.

Draft the impossible.

Create art and resist the enemy.

Stay confident and remain.

Believe still.

Drop perfectionism and stop comparing.

Continue to persevere.

Finish well with excellence.

Commit to the art no matter what.

Do the hustle.

Be authentic.

Grow in the good.

Push forward.

Hope bigger.

If you had only two hours a day, what thing could you not give up?

Never give up.

When you are waiting on God to fill in the blank spaces of dreams

God is teaching me freedom in seeking His dream for me.  Yup, I just put that out there.  God dreams for us too.

This is a beautiful telling of how God can create freedom in your dreams too.  You see, God has plans for you.  Big plans, grand plans, and plans to do amazing things through you as well in as in you.  You were designed with a purpose.  Some of you know well your purpose driven life course.  Some of you are still trying figure out what you are made of, some of you have no clue what what God is planning for you, and some of you are just confounded with a vision that God has laid before you.

If you fit in any of these categories, please feel free to lift your right hand in agreement right now.

I’ve been there too.  There are days that I have given up on thinking that God is working on my behalf in the first place. Then I quickly lose faith in my lack of evidence of seeing His plan in place.  Then I quickly lose a grip on His promises.  Next, I quickly lose sight of who He is.  Then I soon lose.  Period.

And there you have it, I’m bound by fear and doubt that God has even thought of me, ever.  Now will you raise your hand if you have been to this place?

I’m just being real here.  In just a few words, in just a few thoughts, in just a few doubts we quickly spiral to a lonely child who has been smitten with doubt over what she believes God is up to and what His words say to us.

In a matter of moments, we quickly give up when don’t see our prayers activated towards our dreams.  News flash:  God is not in the business of instant dreams come true.  That would be too easy for us, and then we would become self-reliant and prideful, arrogant and full of ourselves and claim that we made our dreams become a reality.

Being self-sufficient is a place I never want to be.  Does anyone besides me see that we need freedom from doubt and the lies that bind us about trusting in God for His greater good on our behalf?

I liken God’s plans a little like a fallen purple angel food cake freshly baked in high altitude.  Let me explain.  Every year as a child we got to choose our own birthday cake flavor to make the day so much more about all our favorites.  My cake of choice is always and still is a white angel food cake with rainbow colored sprinkles baked inside.  I remember celebrating many birthdays with that kind of cake and just the smell of it cooking in the oven brings back so many celebratory moments.

One year my daughter, who lives in Denver, wanted to make me a birthday cake.  She knew just what cake to buy at the store.  She went expecting to find the cake of choice but only found a plain angel food cake mix.  “That’s ok,” she thought.  She had some rainbow sprinkles at home that she could use.  I trusted the results of cake to her hands.

When it was time for the cake to come out of the oven, it was purple, not white.  It was fallen, like a anvil had smashed the “meat” of the cake batter like cement instead of a fluffy, puffy, white marshmallow-melt-in-your-mouth texture.  Basically it didn’t bake out like she expected it to nor did the cake look like it was supposed to.

Needless to say it wasn’t Pinterest perfect.

She was so disappointed in the looks of the cake, she vowed to start over to make it right again.  She wanted to go to the store to get a whole new batch of birthday batter.  I reassured her that it was ok, and that it probably tasted great.  And that  even though the cake didn’t turn out like it was supposed to, it would still be great for the purpose she had baked it for.  I gave her assurance that it was okay to serve the cake like it was.  We gathered around the table and gave thanks for birthdays and then sliced the purple flat-as-pancake-angel food cake for a birthday treat.

Guess what?  Even though it didn’t look like what we expected, it tasted as delicious as we remembered it.

So it is with God’s plans for us.  They never come in a manner like we think or design, don’t come soon enough, nor do we feel equipped or prepared enough.  I’ve never anticipated the “big enough” factor either.  It’s a ideal my heart grapples with all the time.  Have you lost some hope in thinking you will even be in line for His plans?

I’ve been there too.  I once believed that because I didn’t see God’s plans for me, that he was running out of dreams for me.

I gulped hard the doubt instead of having faith in God who planted a dream inside of me.

Don’t define God’s infinite plan for you.  Let God define His definitive plans for you.

God is always working good in your behalf.  He never forgets the passions or the design he has put inside of you.  Read that again and raise your hand in “Amen”.  When we let doubt steam-roll over our hope, and it feels like all the faith inside of us has fallen flat, that we’ll never see our dreams become a reality, you have taken your hands off of His grand plan of trust and embraced doubt.  Pick yourself up right now, and dust off those crummy lies that God hasn’t designed you with a divine purpose.

God’s future for us is so big that we can’t pin our hopes on doubt, but keep our hands on hope that leads our hearts to trust God, the Plan-Giver.  Seek with a hope-filled heart, not a doubt ridden soul.

Get ready to celebrate small victories along the way!  Don’t discount small beginnings.  You only need a little faith to begin again and bring a believing hope alive.

What lies have you swallowed about God’s plans for your life?

(Photo credit:  Cindee Snider Re)

How to dream like a child

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Any dreamer knows that dreaming is important. It’s like giving your heart a permission slip to explore the “what if’s”. For me dreaming has become an important tool in letting go of the small.

Maybe you have found yourself in a similar situation, you dream, you keep your eyes on the prize or the goal. You become obsessed in thinking about the end results but you compare the process of making your dream a reality according to someone else’s dream.

Your dream isn’t yours until you own your dream.

Let me explain it like this. I’m spending some time with my little four-year-old grandson Avery. He likes firetrucks. He has lots of books about firetrucks and has many toy firetrucks to play with. He wants to be a fireman when he grows up. He has a dream of being a helper in the community. He even took a tour of his local fire station for a birthday excursion.

It was so cute, he and his little friends exploring a big shiny red truck with it’s super loud alarm horns. The firemen there were kind and explained the process of training and rigorous upkeep to maintain their job as a fireman. You have to be able to lift and carry 100 lbs. That seems a little daunting to me, but it didn’t phase Avery.

After he visited the Fire Station #29 he was even more enthralled with becoming a fireman. Now, he’s only four and didn’t have the adult comprehension of what that occupational goal has in store for him. He has still no idea of the process of getting to his life time achievement. Right now he’s a dreamer with a goal to be a helper and wants to drive a large red vechicle.

It’s completely understandable that our dreams quickly escalate beyond us. Life overwhelms us into thinking it’s hard to grasp a hold of how big a dream really is. Last year I found myself in a situation that I almost gave up on writing full time because I grappled with fear and doubt about how I would ever achieve such a lofty calling.

Lofty indeed, but only in my mind. That was before I owned my dream. Since that day, I realized my cure was in the process and then it was all made simple in my mind. That’s the way dreams work. They lure us in with our creative imagination and then like to help us wander about. We love to explore the what if’s and why nots. I am sometimes not practicle in my dreams, and that’s by my own admission.

I know this about dreaming. The cure for our souls is often found in dreaming. And once you own your dream you can wrap your heart around something that seems bigger than yourself.

A dream worth having has to be owned and aligned with the way you are programmed on the inside. Your dream can’t be compared to others, and the process of getting there will look different. For me, it’s probably not going to look all shiny, red and flashy like a fire truck. But my dream is going to help people.

God has given vision to my dream of writing a book about losing 132 lbs. Now it’s imperative, now more than ever, to own my story. My part in this is to tell of His glory through my cure, in how this larger than life dream is shaping up.

I’ll be honest with you. There are many days that it seems daunting. All the more reason to that I must own the importance of why I am doing this in the first place. To encourage you, to inspire you, to motivate you, to lead you to a place where you can accomplish your dreams too and because God told me to do this.

We are a continuing story of God’s grace that is becoming us as believers in Christ. My heart loves to explore the boundaries with God by my side. And when I do that I revert to dreaming like a four-year-old. Dreaming Avery’s way seems a bit more simple and less worrisome.

The picture you see above is Avery owning his dream. He knows that firetrucks are red, black, gray, and white with silver fixtures. He knows what it’s supposed to look like. But he dreams of his own dream one day that maybe perhaps he would like to drive a yellow firetruck. What would be wrong with that?

Own your dream little one. Own it and see where God leads you in that process. So what are you dreaming for this year?

Nothing is wrong with dreaming. It’s a like a breath of fresh air to the soul. By not putting boundaries around your dreams it expands the border around what God can do in your dreams.

I like that kind of expansion. I like holding hands with God’s limitless possibilities. I like hanging my heart on the work of the Holy Spirit to bring this book to life with peace and order. I like walking the long sandy beaches in my dreams and wondering while letting my heart wander.

It’s not that I am setting my self up for a disappointment, I’m just paying attention to the One who goes before me and helping in this curing process of dreaming.

I’m letting God own my dreams too and simply trusting like a child.

I would love to believe in your dreams too! Tell me…what you are you are dreaming for? Let God speak some life into them by sharing.

What mountain climbers do

I talk about dreaming a lot.  If you were honest with yourself, you would admit that you do it too. We like to escape to those places where we can escape from our current thinking. We all need a place for our hearts to wander.

Something I’ve put towards my dreams are the words in prayer about dreams. I activate those prayers about dreams by putting energy into them. Any dream worth doing takes work. Any dream worth having takes prayer. Every dream takes action.

All dreams deserve a start. We need to pray more don’t we? We need to activate our desires of our heart with more prayer.

The price of a dream can be costly and it will cost you something. The vision of a goal requires work. To become something in life you have to have an idea, a drive, with an end result to focus on, plus a willing spirit to put the work into accomplishing your goals.

No one loses 132 lbs of weight overnight. Nor do you gain big successes by dreaming.

Goals should be set to improve yourself, and dreams play a big part in improving your quality of life. We can’t escape ourselves unless we are willing to change ourselves to get to the next dream, the next goal, the next place in life.

Dreaming can connect the dots of your past with a hope-filled future.

What do dreamers do? We start. We start dancing to the inner design that we know and love about ourselves. We change to put in the work, we move to the beat of our creative selves. We set our goals to progress towards a dream. We roll up our sleeves.

What do mountain climbers do?  They plan, they train, they climb, they practice, they practice climbing.

Dreaming and mountain climbers have a lot in common.  We sweat.

It’s a growing cycle, hard and sometimes arduous, a lot of energy goes into climbing in your dreams.  There is a great gain in the efforts put towards the dirve that lies inside. Dreaming requires a discovery of what you are made of.  I love digging into and finding out how things work, what makes things tick.

Climbing is moving forward in confidence by what you determined your mind to achieve.

I love to dream. It keeps my heart gullible. Not in the sense that I believe everything that I read or hear, but resulting in a teachable spirit, a washable will, a willing drive, and giving a flexible hope.

It keeps me pliable and trainable, like an Olympic gymnast. It keeps me growing and searching, it keeps me humble and reverent, it keeps me looking for the sunrise and the sunsets. It keeps me sane.

It keeps me in wandering and in wonder and awe of my Creator.

Don’t we all want to just live out our days in peace?  There’s great worth in living in peace instead of conflict. To gain more love instead of starting more wars. There is a great price to learning, gaining, and giving.

Dreamers know they will never arrive, but oh the fun is in the trying.  There will always be the next summit to overcome.  We do accomplish goals. There is a lot of teaching that comes with dreaming and a lot of dreaming needs teaching. I often call this a trying process, but it’s really a refining process. We are created to do many things but when it comes to dreaming we have to set our eyes on the one prize that makes our hearts sing.

So what is your dream today?

As you look to your goals for the new year, what can you do to make 2015 different? Perhaps you need to change directions. Maybe you need to start again. Maybe you need to give yourself permission to dream.

Perhaps you need to pray more. Perhaps you need to activate a dream.

Perhaps you just need to tweak your dream to feed it life and love, helping it alive and active. Maybe you need to put faith to your dream and leap. I activated my dreams, fueled them with more more prayer and laid them before God who turned them around for me. His permission to dream has given activation to my dreams.

Maybe you need to gear up and start.  Find out what I have in common with a giraffe.

I’m learning to give my dreams to God who put them there. As one who creates, I want to ask my Creator what it is that He wants me to do. You know what He said?  “Follow Me.”

To do what God wants you to do in this life, you have to ask God where He wants you to go.

Notice I said God with a capital “g”. There are so many little “g” or godlike dreams that only fool you into following them.  I don’t have any time to follow the god of pride or false, shallow hopes that will lead me astray.

It’s not about what you are leaving behind but about Who you are following.

A prayer I’ve always found that God answers “yes” to is the one where I need directions on.

This will soon be a site of memories. God has birthed a new stirring in me that has been a long time coming. It’s not that I want to leave you behind though, I want to take you with me. It would mean a lot to have company in this new free place that God has uncovered. I’ll explain as we go, but since time is short just follow this blog.  It will indeed be a journey worth gearing up for.

And then you need to challenge yourself to dream.

Oh…how our hearts love to discover, and how we seek to learn more about what makes us tick, what pricks our hearts and what sticks to our insides. It’s not always about the end result but about the journey. There’s a process in-between, changes that dreaming brings, and the new horizons we see when we are led by love and joy.  There’s always a summit to reach with our Good Shepherd as our Guide.

Gear up!  Gather your patience, stamina, drive, mental fortitude and strong will-power into your dream lexicon and let’s go!

I’m fed up with the world’s buffet. I’m ready to scoot myself up to the table of God’s blessings and feast. Feast with me…you’re invited to the grown up table too!

Happy New Year blessings! What are you dreaming for?