Archives For dreams

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 3.55.39 PMThere’s only about 8” of space between our brains & our hearts, but it amazes me how these two regions can seem like they are on the opposite ends of the world.

Ever feel that way? Do you feel the constant struggle to listen to logic & reason versus listening to your heart, where dreams & passions are birthed?

If you asked, I’d say most days I live out of my heart. It may be due to the fact that logic seems like a foreign language to me: it does not come naturally, nor does it develop without practice & taking the risk of making mistakes. See? Even that seems illogical, doesn’t it?

Regardless of why, the truth is I tend to live out of my heart. I do things that don’t make much sense. No habla es logica. Cases in point.

*Moving away from my very comfortable life right out of high school, to attend Bible college 800 miles away because I believed that’s what I was called to do. Who cares if I don’t own a car? Or have a job? Or money? Or know how to boil water or sort laundry? for real.

*Applying for a job within that college’s publication department. By applying I mean sending my resume several times, calling over & over again prior to moving there, and stopping-in a few times a week only to hear the receptionist say, ‘not yet!’ Two months into the school year, I got a call for an interview and was hired on the spot. Nobody told me the logical/professional thing to do was to wait it out until they called me. It was one of the best jobs I ever had.

*Getting hitched at 19. So. Not. Logical. But when IS love ever logical, right?

*Agreeing to be the sponsorship coordinator for a Swaziland carepoint with Children’s HopeChest before I knew what I was getting myself (and husband) into. What? I can help bring hope & opportunity to orphaned kids? I am IN! Oh wait, we’re supposed to lead a team there in 3 months? Okay, sure! Why not?

*Even just recently, I agreed to lead our 4th team to Swaziland. I asked the Lord what He would have me do and I heard, “Will you do it for Me?” That was all it took. Logic was yelling at me saying, ‘What the #?$$? If there is ever a year NOT to go, its this year!’ But it was the still small voice of the Lord whispering to my heart the only question that really mattered, to which there was only one answer. Yes. And He’s working out the details beautifully! The trip is happening in just over a month. God is doing His thing (leading), and I’m doing mine (actively listening without fear of what will go wrong).

I have to say looking back, there were times in my life when I jumped heart first into things that I maybe should’ve more thoroughly considered…

 {this is the point where I tried to write a paragraph about how maybe I should be more brainy & how it would’ve saved me both headaches & heartaches. But I can’t. I just can’t!!!}

I wouldn’t trade pursuing dreams & passions for anything! Sure, its not been an easy road. Sure, I could do the conventional things. Oh wait, I can’t even list them here, because I really don’t know what they are! Ha! Where’s the adventure in convention? Where’s the room for faith & trust?

Be aware that our hearts can lead us astray, and our emotions entangle us.

This is not the kind of heart-living I’m talking about. I’m talking about a heart motivated by bringing glory to God, regardless of the personal risks of failure or safety, trusting His wisdom above our own.

And honestly, this kind of passion is usually birthed from seeing God take an awful mess and make something beautiful out of it, in spite of our best efforts to screw it up. I am a mess. Really, I am. I always have been. Ask my mother who spent so much of her time caring for a very sick child, making enough trips to the ER she should’ve had her own ambulance siren. Or, ask my husband. Actually, don’t. There are days when I wonder if he’s already made reservations for me at the looney bin, you know, just in case.

I don’t have it all together, but I have all I need. Living out of passion goes both ways – thorough the highs & the lows. The beautiful part? God is already there waiting on the mountain tops of victory down to the deep dark pits of failure, when all hope seems lost that I’ll get myself together.

His presence sustains, His presence assures, His presence takes the mess that we are and sews a beautiful tapestry that can miraculous be a source of comfort & encouragement to the world around us. What a mighty God we serve! Our role is simply for our trust to remain in Him, and let our hearts follow His lead. There’s no other place I’d rather be. How about you?

Iluminar! {Shine On!}

 

Africa.

I knew two things about it as a kid.

{And I use the word “knew” loosely!}

1. It was big &  had millions of hungry kids who never heard about God. (Remember me telling you how my dad would cry when we watched the “Feed the Children” infomercials?)

2. I should never go there. I mean, there is even a song written & performed by Scott Wesley Brown called Please Don’t Send Me To Africa! Here’s part of the song.

Please don’t send me to Africa

I don’t think I’ve got what it takes

I’m just a man, I’m not a Tarzan

Don’t like lions, gorillas or snakes

I’ll serve You here in suburbia

In my comfortable middle class life

But please don’t send me out into the bush

Where the natives are restless at night

……

I’ll see the money is gathered

I’ll see that the money is sent

I’ll wash and stack communion cups

I’ll tithe eleven percent!

I’ll volunteer for the nursery

I’ll go on the youth group retreat

I’ll usher, I’ll deacon, I’ll go door-to-door

Just let me keep warming this seat!

It was all done in good fun, but Africa was clearly a difficult place that only the flakes would dare go (that had no sense at all!)

Know what? I have no sense at all.

I even remember journaling something like, “Lord, I’ll be the crazy one to go to Africa if that’s where you want me.” I wanted so badly to serve God & do whatever He wanted. And “if Africa is the worst place on earth where they don’t know about God, well, I’ll go anyway!”

At age 13, I laid on my pink pillow, on my pink bed, in my pink room, and I begged God, “Lord, Here am I! Send me!” just like Isaiah the prophet. Of course I had NO IDEA what I was saying – only that I wanted to make a difference.

Know what? Until about a year ago, I did not remember this. I was reminded of my prayers when I read Tom Davis’ book, Red Letters, that opened my eyes to the TRUE Africa. Uh-oh! So God had taken me seriously all those years ago, “I’ll EVEN go to Africa, God!” Who knew!

He still hasn’t come through on the ‘don’t let me get fat’ prayer. 🙂

Here is the Africa I now long for. In less than three weeks, my prayers to go to the ends of the earth will be answered! And God orchestrated it all. I am humbled & so thankful.

“Africa is amazing. Africa is a million and one things. It is a land of contradictions, and a land of great controversy. Africa is more diverse than any other place on the planet. It has experienced the greatest combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill. It is plagued with individuals who are hurting, dirty, and dying. It is plagued with rich leaders. It is strong, joyful and resilient. Africa is filled to the brim with song, dance and soccer. It fills your lungs with life with every burnt breath. It fills your eyes with tears with every sight. The sun blazes, the rain pours. It has more sky than your eyes could possibly take in. Africa is humbling. Africa rips the heart out of your chest and buries it in the rich red soil, knowing that you will someday return, to see the growth. And there is no doubt it will grow. Africa is dangerous, welcoming, and addictive. It is prosperous. It is poor. It is all too overwhelming. Africa knows the value of friendship. Time is not money in Africa. And money goes a long way. Africa holds a mirror up to your soul – letting you see all your selfish desires, and not letting go, until you’re completely broken.” Unknown!!!

So Moms, don’t let go of the things God put in your heart long ago! Recall those innocent prayers of doing whatever, whenever God wanted. And listen to your kids’ desires & dreams – my parents never once told me I wouldn’t go to Africa. They let me dream until I moved onto my next big idea.

Of course, our children’s’ lives will take many turns, but I encourage you to stir up those innocent dreams in yourself & your children – even if it takes you half way around the world!

Nothing is too big for God – not even Africa!

SOS! Shine On Sisters!