You had faith and still things didn’t go how you thought. Everything seems dim around you. Your hopes and promises seem so far away. Take heart sweet friend and breathe. Take in this day around you. Do you hear Him?
Look, I am doing a new thing.
We sit and try to control the day but His ways will always be better then anything we can imagine for ourselves. He is working even now in this sadness. Hold on to everything He has promised you and have peace. Lay back against Him and breathe, you are forever in His hands. Joy is coming!
I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9
Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 55: 8-9; Jeremiah 29:11
I have been reading Jennie Allen’s book, Restless for over a year now. I have studied and reread parts over and over again. This book has stirred desires and dreams that I have given up on or talked myself out of. Truly I love this author and speaker, she has been my mentor and she doesn’t even know me. Within this book there are two chapters called, Threads of Gifts and Threads of Suffering. The word “thread” stuck in my head. She just used it in the tittle but as I read and prayed all I kept focusing on was the word “thread”.
A thread can be made of cotton, nylon, or other fibers spun into long, thin strands and used for sewing. The words ultimately means “A long, thin line or piece of something.” As I began to read I saw an image in my mind that brought tears to my eyes…
Old hands, steady and sure, working diligently. As these hands worked they grasped each long thread with such care, weaving them in and out and until they were woven together. Each thread was long and unique. Each thread represented moments, gifts, dreams, pain, and suffering that was being woven together into a beautiful tapestry. As my eyes looked on the hands threading, I noticed the threads. Each thread held a story, a moment, some threads were dark and ugly and others glittered with such brilliance. On their own they were nothing, but woven together it became beautiful. Even the darkest threads that were filled with such pain brought out the shine of gifts and dreams highlighting them; making them shine in such an extraordinary way. Vibrant colors threaded together making something so beautiful…
God is not done. He is weaving something so beautiful. He will use every thread in your life and create something so extraordinary, greater then anything you can dream of.
Restless: Because You Were Made for Something More
The mention of your name brings me peace. Peace for my searching soul that is constantly thirsty. I look to the right or the left before I turn to You. My searching always ends at your feet. The deep need in my bones has always been You. You are the one thing that will satisfy. I am nothing. I am a nobody that cannot do anything of value without You. I am not enough. You take my insecurities, my shame, my disappointments, my inadequacies, my sin and take them on. You bear them and make them into my strengths. I am enough in You. You prove yourself to me time and time again. You are the proof of everything I am.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30
To the Dreamer,
I know you have a dream. A dream you don’t tell anyone. One that is hidden deep down that pulls and aches in your heart. It seems to big. The aching is getting weaker as you have settled for familiar time and time again. Fear and doubt of leaving something familiar whispers in…
I don’t have a dream.
I could never do that.
I don’t even know where to start.
I don’t have the money, the means.
Its up to God to make it happen.
Its not important.
Its too late.
Lies that keep your dream only a dream. Excuses pile up one after the other. Losses and what ifs play in your head. As you lose momentum and your sense of purpose. Years go by, and making a living turns into the mundane and your dreams seem to late. A feeling of hopelessness piles over your already deflated dream. STOP! AWAKE O’ Sleeper! God still has a plan and purpose for you. A purpose that only you can fill.
You do have a dream.
Your dream is unique and important.
Your dream is yours.
It is never to late to act on your dreams.
You say you don’t have a dream, but you do. God has placed a need around you and only your talents and gifts can fill that need. If there is a need there is a dream. Think back to when you were young what did you dream of doing? Don’t think just of an occupation, but what characteristics made you want to do that occupation? Or what if someone where to give you all the money you could ask for what would you do with it? What talents or things come naturally for you and how can you use them now?
You have a dream.
God used the ordinary and did the extraordinary. Sweet dreamer I dare you to dream again. God is the dream giver. He never leaves us. Never lets us down. I pray for your dream to find new life. To stir passion and hope that you think is gone.
The Challenge to the Dreamer
Write down your dream. Pray for your dream. Pray for God’s Dreams.
Now, what excuses and lies are keeping you from reaching your dream?
What step can you make today to reach your dream?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 ESV
I am not a sower. I know nothing about gardening. I feel like I blindly planted a tomato plant and it has taken most of the season for the plant to produce a couple of small green tomatoes. Now with fall underway I worry for my tomatoes. I worry for one in particular. This tomato was my first to grow. I watched this particular tomato very closely during the summer and no into fall. This tomato took its time. It started so small and then plumped up bigger each day. Now it fits in my hand and bends the vine to the ground with its weight. Everyday I check the vine and my beloved tomato. I check the weather for a coming frost. When do I pick them? Should I let them ripen on their own? Off the vine? However off the vine there is a chance it will never grow to its full potential.
I am a teacher. I know the talents God has placed on my life. I can take a lesson or story and adapted it to my audience. I can speak and hold their attention. I am teacher. I felt a calling for children and women. My heart breaks for the broken. I chose a safe profession that used my gifts. But the truth is I wanted to teach about Jesus. I wanted to encourage others. My profession has been fine. I have been fine. It has been enough to teach at church on the side of my profession that gets the majority of my time. However the season has shifted and I can feel the change in my spirit. The need for more and the weight of profession that isn’t my true calling. The weight of the conditions and circumstances have taken the joy out of being a teacher. Now conditions and circumstance impact my calling. My need to teach about Jesus is choked out by my profession. I don’t want to teach at church, because I am drained from my professtion and I just need to be fed from the week. I’m starving and in need of the Father every day. I love my kids, but my soul yearns for more.
In the dark of night, with stars as my light. I sit at my Fathers feet. “God I am your teacher. I don’t know what to do. I am not quitter, but I know that I am being called to something else I can’t see. I need you.” I go silent. I sit at His feet. I stop talking because I have prayed the same prayer many times. He knows me better than I know myself. Peace fills me. Because I know that He is closer now then in my victories. My eyes fall upon The Tomato vine. It is being choked by sweet potato vines. I haven’t looked at my tomatoes in about week. I bend down and take my beloved tomato into my hands. “This is you, my beloved.“
I look at the vine that was healthy enough, but for some reason my tomato hasn’t changed. It hasn’t made any growth for a month now.
I picked it. I took it from the vine.
The Father and The Sower.
The sower is eager.
The sower kneels down.
Takes the tomato in His hands.
It is so cold.
He picks it.
Takes both his hands and warms it.
He takes it in and begins to let it ripen.
You are mine.
I picked you. You are my beloved. Now matter your choice, you will be in my hands. I choose you and I have plans for you.
I love the Notes app from Apple. It stores my crazy ideas and thoughts. It saves things I want to remember or even holds many of my list of to dos. I have countless notes of great ideas. Ideas that I have never seen played out. Lists of creative ideas that are tied to another list of excuses of why I haven’t completed that list. Why?
Why keep all these ideas and goals if I never plan to do them? Or maybe thats all they were just an idea? What if the crazy ideas you think you wish you could do, were sparks of your potential! A peek of a passion that God sprinkled during a season in your life. What if each hidden Note you stored is a little taste of something God thinks you could do. A sprinkle of Dream Confetti from God above!
Our God is the greatest creator and visionary! He is the ultimate Dream weaver, and I can’t help but think that He is tied to many list on my Notes. You saved and created that certain note for a reason. That Note sparked something did down that made you dream and plan for something more.
I challenge you today to open your Notes app, your journal, that place you hid those “sprinkles” of ideas and complete one. Find one you could do today! The ones that seem to big or scary I ask that you pray over them. That you will take courage and believe in your potential! God takes ordinary things that nobody wants and makes beautiful and extraordinary things.
Go on… open that app.
I am emotional and I tend to take things to heart. My feelings get in the way of my potential. Knowing this should make things easier, but it doesn’t. My main goal entering this school year as a PreK Teacher and wife was simple; Be better than the day before. Eat better, Love better, Use my time better, Lead better. The better is hard when you don’t feel like it. It is only Labor Day and I already feel beaten by looming high expectations and no time. My Motivation for being better seises to exist. Three weeks into a new school year I already feel like I lost my inspiration. I already feel like I failed.
Feel. Right there is my problem. My emotions are impacting my motivation. Reading John C. Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, Helped me realize something about my personal motivation and how I keep it tied to my feelings. Motivation can’t be tied to emotions or it will never be consistent. Motivation is a lot like love and happiness. No one can force it upon you and it won’t magically happen. Motivation is just something you have to do, and once you start doing it you find that your more motivated to do it. In Maxwell’s book he states that Motivation is a by-product.
Ignore how you feel and just do what you believe will make difference. Because it is right; and soon, when you keep doing whats right, that old feeling of inspiration will find you and push you further towards your goal.
God, I pray that anyone that reads this will find motivation not based on emotions but based on doing what is right. Doing something that will make a difference. I pray you give them strength and control over their own emotions. Help them be better than the day before. Amen.
For More about Growth: Read John C. Maxwell Book