Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Dreams I Carry Inside

Is there a dream you carry inside? That is the question asked by Bonnie of Faith Barista today.

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.

Beloved Brews Linkup

Blessings and love,

The Dreams I Carry InsideSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

17 comments:

Bernadine said...

Beautiful post, Debbie! This is just what I needed today.

Michele Morin said...

Blessed by your post, and happy to be your neighbor today the Faith Barista's link up. I especially enjoyed your bulleted list of blessing.

Janette Wright said...

Well I can't say enough about this post...it blessed my socks off. I laugh because I had just emailed you back and even said, I am going to go read your post, you alway inspire me! and then that is in your post. Life, so different and yet, God knew all along what He was doing. Great post.

Marsha Young said...

Debbie, Yes, you do encourage and inspire. We hear so much about "building a platform" these days. I think maybe God's platform is not the same as the one the world keeps talking about. But when we speak from His platform (or place) He can and will bless us and bless the outcomes. Hope your day is a good one. Thank you for this fine post. - Marsha

RCUBEs said...

I know you've been a nurse like me. I wanted to be an architect and anything related with drawing/arts but ended up to be a nurse. Now, many days, I often ponder of doing something else. I believe the Lord sends whoever He thinks will learn something as He scatters those who will obey in different areas of this world. But it's easy to get frustrated many times and often, it's hard to see what lies ahead but that's where trusting the Lord should come in because He does knows best. What doesn't make sense at the beginning often helps us realize much later that "Yeah! I get it..."

So, I'll say never tire doing what you love because you never know how many are encouraged and are inspired by the strength and love you reflect from His light. Even now as I'm typing, my heart hungers to do something else. But no matter what we end up doing (I'll call it His assignment), I pray for the Lord to always grant us His strength and guidance. What's awesome, whether we succeed or fail, I know there are many praying sisters like you who remind me that I'm not alone in this journey. Love and blessings to you sister and keep shining...For Him.

RCUBEs said...

BTW, I thought of you when I was watching "Fixer Upper" last night.LOL.

Jennifer@SmellingCoffee.com said...

Beautiful truths, Debbie! I love you & am one that you inspire with your life. :)
Jen

Sonja Goodson said...

Wow Debbie! This was so wonderful! What God has been building into your life is his BIGGER picture... we think it is going to happen the way we dream it, God knows better, and always has far more of HIS kind of 'more' in mind for us. You are such an inspiration to me. I'm so proud of you, and I know God is too. :)

Love you!

Debbie said...

This was a GREAT post Debbie, full of such wisdom and truth. Even though my dream was to get married and raise a family and it did come true, MANY other things and sections of my life were nothing as I saw them. I wanted to teach too and that never did happen. I was an aide for a while, but really not the same. God has used you in a mighty way in many lives, and at the end of the day that should be all of our dreams. To be used by God as He sees fit,. I wonder how much you have influenced the lives of those little ones you teach...WAY more then you will probably ever know. And their parents too. Enjoy your week-end!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

And inspire, you do! I am always encouraged by what you share and enjoy every visit!

NanaNor's said...

HI Debbie, I loved this post-so perfect for all of us. You and I have shared a similar dream of our hearts for many years now, I can't wait to see how the Lord answers it.
Sending love from Colorado.
Noreen

Consider It All Joy said...

This is a great post Debbie! I need to learn to dream again! Sending blessings, Cindy

Saleslady371 said...

Your list reflects a high calling, Debbie. I can see you achieving every bit of it as you are a woman who loves her God. The books sounds intriguing. Hope you write it. There would be no other like it since it would be your experiences first hand! Then you can market it and speak about it everywhere!!!!

Much love,
Mary

Lea said...

Oh, Debbie, I think of you so often and path that your life has taken and how you have adjusted so beautifully and allowed the Lord to use you. You are so inspiring and I'm sorry that so many miles separate us. I'd love to meet you and spend an afternoon sipping coffee and talking. Loved your list and your testimony! Blessings abundant!

Laura said...

Oh Debbie-
I know finding your blog this afternoon was a God thing.
Thank you for a beautiful post.
You have inspired me-just as you described in your writing.

And the title-
I will never forget that-
'the dreams I carry inside'.

Thank you,
from a new follower-
Laura
White Spray Paint

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I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA