A Girl Can Dream {2.7.18}

Several years ago (about six I think), my daughter called and asked me to pray about something. She had a dream on her heart. It was a dream with a goal, that she would be home more with her family. This dream involved a shared passion/hobby both of us have. I was certainly all onboard with her idea because I could see myself in the middle of it with her. But, more than that, she was seeking God FIRST – I had to honor that! I knew that what seemed impossible from our perspectives for many reasons, was entirely possible with God if it was within His will for her life. So, we began praying and God began working. dare to dream

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

As the years progressed though, it became apparent that the details of the dream she originally had in mind was not going to materialize. Then upon further reflection, knew that the original idea would not produce the goal she sought. So, we kept praying and watching.

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

God gave her creative ideas, wisdom, contacts, etc. He closed one door but opened so many more that we knew He was intimately involved. She kept on going where He led, learning as she went along. She has had many successes through her obedience to God’s call and direction rather than doggedly going down the original path she had envisioned. Yesterday was another one of those successes. It made me think of God’s Word and specifically, how He gives us skills when we need them, words when we need to speak them, and direction when we feel lost. I was remembering the words in Exodus where God was directing the Israelites to build the tabernacle. It says that He gave them the skills they needed to create what He designed. He has done the same for my daughter and we are so thankful.

Exodus 35:35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers.”

A dear friend recently shared how God had answered her prayer. She had been praying for a financial need. She knew God was able and trusted Him to provide. She didn’t know how but knew that He could send money in the mail to her if He so chose.

1 Timothy 5:5 “The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.”

However, like she shared, God didn’t give her money, he gave her a job. But, it wasn’t just any job. It was a job doing things she enjoys! How like God to orchestrate things in our lives that we have no idea of and then putting them before us as a gift of love. Did God answer her financial need? He sure did. And, in the process she is meeting new people and sharing the good news. She was blessed and is now blessing others. Sometimes God gives us our hearts desire even when we haven’t thought to ask him for it. psalm 37.4

Why do I share these two stories? Because they both began and continued being bathed in prayer. If we are going to delight ourselves in the Lord, we must know Him, speak with Him, listen to His Word. Prayer is our part of the conversation; God’s Word is his part (along with wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit). Both of these women sought God’s will, not their own. They shared their desires of course, along with their needs but they ultimately trusted God with the outcome. God always delivers – just what we NEED, and just WHEN we need it.

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

So, my friends. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Our God is able!

Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Desires of the Heart {2.3.17}

Recently a teenager asked me this question: “What did you want to be when you grew up”? I didn’t have to think twice. My answer: “A wife and mother with a large family.” I think he was surprised by my answer, as many others might be as well. But, I never was career minded. I never had a desire to climb a corporate ladder or be famous. I didn’t even desire college. Somehow I just knew as a teenager that I wanted to be a wife and mother, the best I could. I had some good role models in my family. Of course, getting a baby sister at age 13 may have influenced my decision. I did work out of the home though for over 40 years and still fill in from time to time at my last job. I am thankful that God led me to that job which lasted 18 years and was what I considered perfect for me. How that all came about is another story for another day but God always wants to lead us. Sometimes we are just hesitant to follow (speaking to myself here).

Back to the story at hand…After I was asked that question this scripture came to mind, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) I have been thinking about that ever since. I didn’t “know” God or have faith in Jesus until my children were in double digit ages, unfortunately for them and me (I could have made much better choices). So I didn’t come across this scripture until many years later. I have thought about it often since becoming a Christian but until recently didn’t put all the pieces of my life together (hindsight is 20/20 they say).

As I have been looking back, I realize that God did give me the desires of my heart. Even before I knew Him, He had a plan for me. Of course, my choices got in the way many times but He was always there – waiting for me. I am so thankful that my eyes were finally opened and I was able to see my need for a savior. WOW – life changing. Joyful in the midst of trials (who would have thought that possible?). My desire for a large family had one view (mine). God’s view was quite different. As I pondered this I realized that my family has been and continues to be much, much larger than I imagined.

psalm-37-4The thing is, I always wanted a large family. But, in my mind I had a picture of what that would look like. Lots of kids, all loving each other (never fighting of course); great family gatherings (which we have had), all making positive choices in life (don’t we wish), etc. Funny how life doesn’t turn out like we imagine. I do have a large family by today’s standards. But like every other family, there are struggles. We are told in scripture to expect trouble. We sometimes make bad choices which bring consequences. There is sin in the world and we are all affected by it in one way or another. It’s a constant battle. But, the hard times help us grow and appreciate the good times.

Over the years we have had other children live with us for short periods of time. We’ve had our own children come home now and then for various reasons. We’ve had grandchildren live with us off and on over the years. In the past few years we’ve hosted foster children in our home. Some have come for days and some for weeks but we have had the blessing of touching many young lives with the love of God.

So…I guess all this to say – take a look at your life. Maybe God has given you the desires of your heart and you just haven’t realized it because it doesn’t look like you imagined. Remember, His ways are higher and what He can do in and through you is far greater than what you can imagine or do on your own because… our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9) but He has a good plan for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Do you have the desires of your heart? If not, maybe the first part of this scripture is missing.