I look at the photo above with the white picket fence, blooming flowers and serene background. It's lovely. As a teenager, this was my dream. I wanted to get married, have children and live in a house with a white picket fence. And of course ...to live happily ever after.
But I've learned many lessons through the years. The place where I live may change. My bank account balance may change.
But what's more important is my character.
- Who am I when no one is looking?
- Who am I when I get knocked down?
- Who am I when life doesn't go as I planned?
In 2007, Lysa TerKeurst was the keynote speaker at my church's annual women's conference. I had the pleasure of picking her up at the airport and driving her around for the weekend. We had the opportunity to talk privately about life challenges.
Lysa wrote something down for me and I always keep it close by. I didn't realize at the time how prophetic it would be for me.
I thought God's dream for me was to become a public speaker. I trained for it. I attended seminars to learn and grow. I started writing a book. I spoke at a few events.
But now it is eight years later. I'm not in the place I dreamed of being at this point in my life. I'm working full time in a profession so different from my previous nursing career. I'm not living in the house with the white picket fence.
But then I realize that God did plant a dream in my heart. It is slowly being realized in ways I never anticipated.
I want to inspire others.
It doesn't matter where I live or what my job is. Right now I teach a class of preschoolers. I get to speak to them every day. And they are a captive audience. I may have to use a variety of techniques to keep their attention. But the kid in me comes out when I'm with the children. I hope to inspire them as I teach them about bucket filling. After winning a giveaway on Meaningful Mama's blog, I've been teaching them about being kind, sharing with others and how to fill their mom and dad's imaginary bucket.
I've gone through some major life changes. But one thing has never changed.
I know God loves me and is with me through it all. I've learned to trust Him in the good times and in the not so good times. He has a plan and a purpose for my life. And I want to live out that purpose in the every day fields of life.
I can fulfill the dream inside me by inspiring others:
- Through my posts on my blog Heart Choices
- Being an attentive listener
- Using the gifts God has given to me
- Giving God the glory in all things
- Living a life of thankfulness
- Making the most of every teaching moment with the children
- Sharing the love of Christ with others
- Writing my book about lessons I learned from the dying
- Through my photography
- Being faithful in my promises to others
- Trusting God even during troubling times
- By praying faithfully in all things
Yes, there is a dream I carry inside me. But I need to take time to listen to God's leading and not get so busy, busy, busy.
"We so often assume we know the Holy Spirit without listening and plow forward in our serving without taking the time to tune in to His guidance."
~ Kara Tippetts from The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard
So I make the choice to pray, read my Bible and listen to the Spirit's prompting.
I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista for Beloved Brews Thursdays.
Blessings and love,