Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Have a Dream

Do you have a dream?

Think about that for just a minute...

Maybe your dream is to finish school or get married. Maybe your dream to is have children or advance in your career. Maybe your dream is to take a trip to Europe or start your own business. Maybe your dream is have your own home or get your kids through college.

Whatever that dream may be, do you think it will ever come true? Do you sometimes feel like life is taking you in the opposite direction from your dream and you find yourself father away from it's reality than maybe a year or two ago?

I have a special dream that I think about every single day. My dream is always in the forefront of my mind. At times, the eager pursuit of my dream causes me to make certain decisions, spend my time a certain way, and even connect with particular people on a very regular basis.

Often, I become frustrated and think my dream will never come to fruition. I sense the urge to just throw up my hands up and shout at the top of my lungs, "Oh, just forget it! This is all just a big waste of my time!!"

I was feeling that way this morning.

Something recently happened to me that seemed to push my dream further away. It was like I had approached an unexpected dead end along my path that completely took me by surprise. It has left me feeling discouraged, frustrated, and foolish for even having this dream in the first place. "What am I doing? There's no way my dream will actually come true!"

While I was having my pity party this morning, I decided to sit down with a nice hot cup of coffee and read a devotion from one of my all time favorite books, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. And this is what I read:

"Wait with Me for a while. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment. Do not worry about what other people think of you. The work I am doing in you is hidden at first. But eventually blossoms will burst forth, and abundant fruit will be borne. Stay on the path of Life with Me. Trust Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace."

I don't know about you but this is SUCH an encouragement to me!

The hard road I travel in pursuit of my dream may be hidden from others but it's never hidden from God. The decisions I've made, the time I've invested, the prayers I've prayed, the money I've spent, all to pursue my dream will one day produce an abundant harvest with loads of blossoms! It may not look exactly like I had originally planned or envisioned for myself but it will be what's best for me. As long as my eyes are focused on Him, then His perfect dream for me will be fulfilled.

Lets stay on the path. Let's keep pursuing God while we pursue or dreams and watch what He can do through us. Let's never give up and continue to trust Him every single step of the way. Let's keep going when things get tough or when we feel our path is headed in the opposite direction.

I'm in this for the long haul! What about you? Are you with me? I can't wait to see what God's going to do. And when He does it, lets give Him all the glory!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Demon that Swallows People Whole

This morning I received an email from my brother telling me that Uncle George only has a few weeks to live. He was diagnosed with Melanoma last year and the doctors say it has already spread to his lungs and lymph nodes. He has also developed some type of Leukemia which is associated with prolonged exposure to benzene, a product he used to clean clocks for many years.

My Uncle owned a clock shop in Munich Germany where he would sell and fix all sorts of clocks - from pocket watches to grandfather clocks. I have one sitting in my foyer that he gave us years ago. My grandfather originally owned the shop and when he died, Uncle George kept it going.

His dream was to one day sell the clock shop, move to the United States and retire in Florida. He did exactly that about four years ago. He also got married to a wonderful woman, Susan, whom our family has grown to love so deeply. Life seemed wonderful...until the demon arrived.

Can I just say I HATE CANCER! Is that o.k. to be so blunt? It's like a demon that has swallowed up whole so many people that I love. My dad has struggled with Lukemia for almost three years now. Just last week my sweet friend had to shave off all of her hair because it was falling out in clumps from the chemo treatments she is undergoing. A nine year old boy who lives in our community gets daily visits from hospice and cries to his mommy because he's in so much pain and is afraid to die.

I've had friends and loved ones loose their hair, their breasts, their dignity, their ability to have babies, their mental capacity, their very lives because of this demon we call "Cancer".

Where is the hope in all this? For me, my hope is in the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. I may not understand why cancer attacks one person and not another. I may not know if cancer will one day swallow whole my children, husband, or even myself. I don't understand why cancer is becoming more and more prevalent hope is in the Lord.

The bible tells us in John 16:33 "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world."

Now, Jesus doesn't say we may have trouble or that we could have trouble. He says we WILL have trouble. Yet He doesn't leave us there, in a pit of despair. He tells us to "take heart!" (notice the exclamation point?) "I have overcome the world". Although cancer is big in our world today and seems to be everywhere you turn, it's certainly not bigger than Jesus! This is where my hope comes from.

Do you have a friend or loved one who is struggling or even dying of cancer right now? Maybe you're the one struggling with cancer? Please leave a comment and let me know so I can be praying for you or your loved one. It would be such a privilege and honor to do so.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Folly Beach and The Mailbox

Our family is at the beach right now, relaxing in the sun and celebrating our last week of Summer.

I can't believe how fast this Summer break has flown by. I've really enjoyed sleeping a little later each morning, not having to pack lunches or check homework, staying up late with the kids to watch movies with popcorn, and just having everyone chilling at home during the day. Brody and Carson have been so low maintenance this Summer. They've stayed busy just playing with friends in the neighborhood and not having to be entertained every single minute of the day. We're all dreading August 25th when they go back to school again.

Being at the beach is the perfect time to read "The Mailbox" which is written by my friend, Marybeth Whalen. This nonfiction book is centered around a real landmark on the coast of North Carolina. It's filled with love, romance, betrayal, faith and contemparary issues that affect every woman. I don't consider myself a fast read but I started yesterday afternoon and I'm almost finished.

Well, I'm going to put my swimsuit on and head out to the beach! With my cute little beach bag in one hand and my copy of "The Mailbox" in the other, I'm looking forward to another relaxing day with my family. Surf's up and the waves are calling!