Life

To the Dreamer

Dreamer

rob walsh

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?

Life

I Picked You, Remain In Me

“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

The Tomato.

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.

The Teacher.

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.

Holds 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. 

Life

Soul Detox: Its All In My Mind

The last time I wrote I left you with a challenge;  To examine your heart and body and fully reject what is interrupting the life you want to live.  Since I last wrote, I have lost 6 of the 15 pounds I have gained during my vacation.  The first 5 is always pretty easy,  but this is where the hard part begins.  On my diet I gave up what was easy for me.  I chose to not eat out and planned healthier meals at home.  Decrease my carb and sugar intake.  The normal diet things.  However  I have let my mind ruin my results.  

“Thought is the sculptor who can create the person

you want to be.” – Henry David Thoreau

My mind has controlled my success.  I lay in bed looking at the pile of workout clothes I laid out the night before.  I already made the plan in my mind that I would wake up early and go to the gym.  But as I lay in bed my mind begins its deceit.  “You can just walk Bella instead.”,  “Just go back to bed, you can just work around the house today.”  These thoughts do not seem bad, but they are twisting my good plan for myself.  The one that will help take off the 9 pounds I have let.

How many times does are own thoughts destroy and or impact the good things God has in store for us?

“For as [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.””  – Jeremiah 17: 9-10

“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life” – Proverbs 4:23

As a christian I am fully aware of the battle between flesh (earthy desires) and spirit (heavenly desires).  But I believe I have become lazy in my everyday thoughts.  What if the everyday little things I do impacts this “battle” the bible refers too.  What if  by not taking control of my everyday thoughts I am allowing the “flesh” to grow stronger, and inturn I  am allowing the enemy of my soul to have control over the little everyday things which can lead to big things?  What if one negative thought can plant a seed that impacts the very plan God has for me?

What if controlling my mind to do something small like working out, overtime impacts the big plans God has for me.

“One who is faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large  ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”  – Luke 16:10 

God, help me have control over the little.  My mind is weak and it impacts my heart.  I want the everyday little things to glorify you.  I want to be faithful in the little.  God I want to know your thoughts of me.  Help me this week gain control over my mind.  May this word bless me, but another to grow closer in you.  Amen. 

 

Soul Detox

Life

Body & Soul Detox

I just got back from my first cruise on the Carnival Breeze.  I went to three different countries; Grand Cayman Islands, Mexico, and Jamaica. Processed with VSCO with a5 preset Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever see an ocean so blue, vast, and never ending.  I snorkeled  with stingrays at Grand Cayman,  saw the diversity of Jamaica, and laid on the beach in Cozumel.  The excursions were wonderful!  The cruise itself had an amazing view, service, shows, activities, and food.  Overall I loved my first cruise experience all but the motion sickness and the 15 pounds I gained.  Ahh!  Yes, you heard me, 15 pounds!  Usually on vacation I am used to gaining a couple pounds give or take, but I have never gained this much so fast.  At 28, I find I gain weight quicker and it is getting harder and harder to lose.  It is time for some serious DETOX!

 

Detox by definition, is a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.  I need this, but not just a detox of my body, but in my soul.  I feel the older I get the harder it is to change unhealthy behaviors and or habits.  It is easier to feel stuck and stagnant with myself and the Godly relationship I crave.  I want to be better, healthier.  I want to detox my life.   I know I am not the only one that feels this way.  Everyone wants to be a better version of themselves.  No one wants to be over weight or feel stagnant in their relationships, or even feel stuck in unhealthy habits that you always want to change but never do.   I’m convinced that no one wants to feel trapped by an unhealthy lifestyle that has the potential to harm themselves and those they love most.  However like myself,  I can physically see that my body needs to change,  but what of my spiritual healthy?  I want this passionate and consistant relationship with God.  I want to please him, and I believe in him, but there is something amiss that I can’t put my finger on.  Maybe, I need to detox my body and soul.

 

Day 1: Cleaning Out  IMG_2386

  • Whats holding me back from reaching this pinnacle relationship with God?
  • Whats is hurting my personal relationships? 
  • What is holding me back from losing weight? 

Its hard that the answer to all of these is myself.  I am selfish, lazy, and I am filled with excuses.  We live in a culture that focuses on I, that we lose sight of Him.  “We become scarred and desensitized to whats right and wrong, good and evil, life-giving and life-draining, we lose sight of our first love.” (Groeschel, 2012, p.13).   Everything matters.  Everything we do, everywhere we go, Everything we say should reflect our love and commitment to Christ.  Everything matters, just like a physical diet.  What we put in our bodies reflects what comes out.  Everything we allow our minds to think and see and how we focus our time effects our heart and our lives.  Everything matters and impacts the growth we so desperately want.

Now what?

When I start a diet I have to rid myself and cleanse my body of harmful toxins that will effect my cravings.  I started my physical diet Monday.  I started clean eating.  I started clean myself of all the crap I’ve put into my body during that amazing vacation.  The same needs to be done with my soul.  I don’t like what Ive been putting into my mind, heart, and life and it has effected my relationship with my first love, and my second.  I want to be better.  I want a better relationship with God.  I want more.  The more I yearn for as always been God and can only be filled by God.

Only God can restore and detoxify our soul.  I most start with repentance.

 

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me

Amen.

-Psalm 51:2, 7, 10, 12

 

Don’t stop until you are who you want to be.

Love, Caitlyn

 

Soul Detox  The Challenge : Join me in reading

Soul Detox by Criag Groeschel

Life

Truth

All day people will tell you who they think you are. They have an image of you, labels that they will try to stick on you. But you have always been more than their words, and more than their labels. You have always been more than what even you think you are. The truth is you don’t even know the real potential God has for you, because you have set limitations from what people have said about you. Fact is, God is the only opinion you will ever need. He has created you and knows you more than you know yourself. You are His daughter and son and that is all you will ever need!!

“He found him in a desert land, and in the hvowling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,”

Deuteronomy 32:10-11

Life

I Am A Teacher In Oklahoma

Today is Day 8 of the teacher walkout in Oklahoma.  The easier part in all of this, would be to go back to school.  I work in Mustang, Oklahoma and everyday that we use after our built in snow days will have to be made up.  I receive salary pay that is spread out through 12 months so I can get paid during the summer when school is not in session.  I am only paid for the my contract hours worked and no more.
AB870DFD-8B2D-4A63-A36D-DFD9210A04DF.JPGI work two jobs and I also bake cakes on the side.  With all of this my Husband’s salary would still be considered our primary income.  Before I was married I lived with my mom, because I could not support a house and car payment with my teacher salary.  I tell you this to give you a sense of my life as an Oklahoma teacher.
Now on Day 8, Mustang has relinquished all of their snow days.  Today is marked as day that will have to be made up so I can get paid and our school can receive funding.  Today it would have been easier to just go back to school.  To go back into my classroom of 25 Kindergarteners, but I chose not to give up for something I stand for.  Yesterday like many days before I went to the capitol to rally for Education.  I stood with thousands of educators, students, supporters, and parents to rally in hope of  more funding for our schools.  The turnout and support has been overwhelming, but witnessing the lack of concern from the senate or the house diminished my hopes.  The house voted to not even hear the three bills up for education.  As they continue to “wait us out” there is no change.
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I am tired and disappointed.  As negative thoughts weigh heavy in my mind and that of many educators, somehow a spark of resiliency starts to kindle down deep.  Resilience is one of the many qualities of an Oklahoma teacher.  
God pressed on me this weekend, “I will never fall or fail you. If you know why you’re standing, you cannot fall.” 
I know why I stand,
I stand for the past.
I stand for the future.
I stand for the present.
I stand for the 25 Kindergarteners I have in my classroom.
I stand for the programs, supplies, technology that they don’t have.
I stand for the growing number of students that have been crammed into my classroom over the years.
I stand for my mom, a teacher of 22 years with a masters.  That had to teach 20 years to reach 40,000.
I stand for the years I watched her work.  A single mom of three;  She worked two to three jobs to support us.
My mom wanted a different career when she started, but she chose this career for us, for them.
I stand here as a teacher because of her passion for kids, because of the lives I saw her change.
I stand for my own future kids that I can’t afford to have on a teachers salary.
I stand here for God, He has placed a calling and passion for children.
I stand because I can’t imagine another profession.
I stand here for you, for teachers, who feel like they can’t stand.
I stand for the oppression that has crippled education in our state!!
I know why I stand,
Just try to move me.  My feet has been placed on the Rock.  It cannot be shaken.
If you know why you are standing you cannot fall!!
Identity · Life

Be Humble

I saw a quote from Daniel Radcliffe, He was being interviewed on Larry King about the final Harry Potter movie, and his role in these epic films:  “I always knew that anyone who was given this role would have the same fame.  It was never about me.  It was about this franchise.  I was simply a part of something bigger.” 

I thought of my part in God’s story.  Our part.  I thought of the fact that my restlessness with my role in God’s story has left me complacent.  Ive put more emphasis on my role than the bigger picture.  Within my own restless heart my words often start with, “My calling” or  “My dream.”  Yes,  I believe God is the dream maker and he stirs our hearts and calls us, but I believe sometimes we get so caught up in what our role is that we forget to chase the one thing that fulfills are very dreams and calling.  A complete shift in our mindset needs to take place before we will ever be fulfilled.  It has never been about me or you.  It is about God.  God is the only one that can tame our restless hearts.  The seeking for more can only be found in the ‘bigger picture’, God.  One thing I know without a doubt is my personal fulfillment is only found when I am involved in something bigger then myself, something for the good of others.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  – Proverbs 16:9 ESV

God, I pray for humility.  Help me humble myself to your will.  I can establish my own plan but your plans will all ways prevail.  Help me focus on the big picture and instead of trying to plan out my role.  God you are my  big plan.  Anyone that reads this I ask that you direct their paths and establish your plans in them. Help grow us into beautiful servants of your ministry.  Amen