As the ebb and flow of the tide go, so it is often times day in and day out in the monotony of my routine, only without the beauty of waves. However, recently, by choosing to see God in the little moments, the monotony can become excitement and opportunity. Viewing it that way can be challenging at times (ok, pretty much every day, it's a challenge I have to face to win). A classic example would be the part of my job where I "get" to polish silverware, plates, and glasses for private catering events. This has always been my least favorite part of my job. (Please realize that I am not complaining about my job...stay with me and you'll understand) That is monotonous! However, when I stop to use those moments as prayer times, it changes the monotony of the moment. Every plate becomes a person's request which has been unknowingly whispered to me through their conversation of their bad day or struggle in life; every rolled silverware becomes a heartfelt chat with God about my kids and Michael; every bowl and mug become a request before my Savior of what He wants me to become, and what I dream of; and Every glass becomes a mirror of His promises to to me....all this when I allow it. When I allow God to use those moments to become precious conversation between me and Him, the monotony changes into the beauty of waves on the ocean tide, and God spills over with His promises.
It seems every where I've turned lately, there has been conversation about "dreams." Several blogs which I follow have been discussing the pursuit of dreams. A book I am reading is talking about fervently praying about dreams. It is becoming more and more difficult to ignore the topic. I've tried to push it down inside me; I've tried to ignore what I feel pressing inside me, ready to burst. I have tried to run the dreams out through the patter of my feet in morning runs. But the dreams burn in me. I'm not totally sure what God wants me to do with them, or even what it all means....but I am asking for Him to show me through this year. I have always been a dreamer, to be honest. When I was a young girl, I dreamt of having a horse ranch out west. As I became a teenager, I dreamt of going into a Spanish speaking country and working with handicapped kids. As I turned into an adult, the dreams ranged widely-from teaching English to spanish speaking people to having kids. It was always my dream to be married and have kids, and God has blessed me with that one. I will probably never own a ranch in the west...but perhaps one day I will get to vacation to one! I did get the opportunity when I lived in Florida to teach my spanish speaking neighbors English. New dreams are being birthed in my soul. In the book I am reading, there is a paragraph that reads:
Nothing honors God more than a big dream that is way beyond our ability to accomplish. Why? BEcause there is no way we can take credit for it. And nothing is better for our spiritual development than a big dream because it keeps us on our knees in raw dependance on God. Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn't just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God; it's a mechanism whereby God accomplished great things in us.
-The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.
I have a close friend pursuing publishing an E book this year; I have another friend attempting to get her degree; I have another friend getting married; and the list goes on of the dreams that are being shared all around me. It's my choice, to some degree, whether I sit on these new dreams within me, or whether I pursue them. Dreaming takes me to prayer. Prayer boosts my faith. It takes faith to see a dream come through. I have had dreams in the past which were my own dreams, and not ones which I sought God out on....and of course, those never work out. I have dreamed about going back to school for years...and each time in the last 2 years I have pursued it, God closes the door. Was it my dream and not God's plan???? Jeremiah 29:11 says, "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 and hope and a future." Perhaps it wasn't in my best interest to go to school.... and God knew that. It certainly has caused me to really evaluate His plan. That takes me back to the monotony of daily routines. If I'm totally honest with you all (which causes me to pause, knowing that some readers are daily customers of mine.) I would say that sometimes my job feels monotonous and like all I do is make coffee and I'm not making a difference in the world. That being said, I know it is clearly where God has placed me for this time in life...and those monotonous moments , through prayer lately of my dreams and prayer for those all around me there in my "world" during my 8 hour day, have become beautiful moments from God, which I am beginning to cherish. Sometimes, when I'm not conversating, I even pray for the person for whom I'm making a drink. That's not me...that's God working in me and through me. I do not know His plan for me....but that's ok, because He does. And I am beginning to pray harder about my dreams. As I pray, He is slowly changing me, as the ebb and flow of the tide slowly changes the sandy shore. He has something big for me...but I am not sure just what that is yet or how it will unfold, but He is growing my faith in the process. As my favorite verse says in Isaiah 40:31, "Those (When I )who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they (I) will rise on wings like eagles and soar...." Being patient is not always my strength, but it is a quality of God's so I will lean on Him as I pray. Proverbs 16:3, 6 say: "Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed; We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Taking time to give Him my dreams and allowing Him to guide the steps is not always simple...as I stated in a previous post, I tend to get excited and the cart gets ahead of the horse. But there is more reward in allowing Him to guide, than there is in my just making my own map.
I realize I am not sharing my dreams out loud here...I guess there is a fear of the vulnerability in that. Vulnerability didn't use to scare me, but I pause more often now in that to make sure I am being vulnerable in the most appropriate ways.As I am taking time to diligently (my word for the year) pray about these things, there will be future posts about my dreams, if you are so willing to stay tuned. I will share one dream today, though it's not the one burning deepest in me, but it is budding a little more each day....I want to write more, and I want my writing to have an impact. I love to do it. I'm not sure how my dream unfolds in this manner....I don't foresee it as a book, but then again, the Lord determines my steps. I want my writing to have an impact somehow. Perhaps it's through more followers of my blog? Perhaps it'll be through an article? God has allowed an opportunity which only He could have provided. As I began at the beginning of January really praying about things, Cedarville University (to where the scholarship goes that is organized in memory of my mom) asked if they could do an article on the 5K, my mom, the scholarship. I cannot even tell you how much that excited me. The writer was fantastic, and I enjoyed sharing with her and meeting with her and seeing her excitement in writing. That, I believe, sparked a new excitement in me for what writing can achieve. I feel privileged that she contacted me for that, and that was a total God directed step. I committed the 5K and to Him and look at what opportunity He provided. I could not have done that. The magazine will tell so many more people than I ever could have. Thus budding my desire to write more, and to have an impact like Carol (the author of the article).
I have shared many things here, almost like crashing waves instead of a gentle tide, and the thoughts are continuing to jumble through my mind. As God makes them more clear, I will continue to diligently pursue and follow Him in them, one day , one step even, at a time.