Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Are We Waiting For?

While life seems to fly by, I still have big dreams that come to my mind each and every day; dreams that seem so close, but still too far to reach just yet. It is aggravating and yet exciting.  Most of my dreams are something that can be accomplished while still doing the ministry I am already privileged and blessed to be working.  Some of the dreams I hope to see come true are pretty big....meaning that I would think I'd need lots of folks to help me achieve them. Some of them are as simple as playing piano in my home everyday without interrupting neighbors who I can hear even when they sneeze/cough. ha!  Several times I have checked myself to see if some of these dreams that keep rising up inside me are dreams/aspirations that would be God honoring and things that would be of encouragement to others.  Most of those dreams/aspirations are still with me after a bit of soul searching. So the next question is: what's keeping them from becoming reality?

Many times I will make excuses why I am not pursuing these dreams I have purposefully kept disclosed from this blog post.  Mostly, my excuses are; "well, that dream is too expensive for me to pursue" or "I don't have the time or availability right now since I am a stay-at-home mom who works daily to train up my toddler" or "I am not gifted in several areas that are needed for me to accomplish this dream".  Some times these excuses are true and logical. However, I shouldn't give up trying all together just because of these circumstances.  Even though I may not currently have what I think is sufficient funding or sufficient talents for my dreams to come true, I need to remember I am a work in progress. I do believe God. I believe He has given me many aspirations and dreams to pursue for more than just the feeling of accomplishing them someday.  It is the journey....the process to achieving those dreams that I think God wants me to experience most of all.

OKAY, now I must say to all who might read this, women....what are we waiting for?  All of us have dreams and great goals we desire to see fulfilled in our lifetime. Many of us have placed them aside for another date (far away from today) when we're "talented enough", "educated enough", "wealthy enough", "organized enough", "sane enough", "available enough", "rested enough", and "confident enough".  I am not bringing this up to make you feel worse about your unfulfilled dreams. I am taking a moment to share the battle within me and I truly believe that many women out there feel and fight this same battle I do. So, really, what are we waiting for?

Life isn't going to stop for us. We must trust in something higher......Someone higher than ourselves in order for these dreams to be realized. This achievement of dreams can't wait til things "go our way". The world continues to turn, we get older.....more mature (I like that description better than "older") each day whether our dreams are achieved or not.  We must embrace the "now".  We must embrace the pursuit....when? Now. Even while we are still working too many part time jobs, while our kids are still at home, while our kids are looking into what colleges to attend or whether to join the military before college, while our husband is pursuing his own dreams, while our fiances are looking for the place to settle down with his new bride, while our current employment is giving promotions or cutting jobs.  THE TIME SHOULD BE NOW.

My husband and I work to minister to the college students of West Chester University in West Chester, PA.  We spend much of that time encouraging and challenging them to be the best they can be in the here and now.
Several years ago I spoke with some college gals, not necessarily gals that were frequently involved in our ministry, and we were having a great discussion on how they viewed their mom now that they were coming into their adult years.  It was interesting that many of them spoke about how their mom was so loving and kind and supportive of what they were doing in school. They spoke of how involved their moms were in their kids' school activities, church activities and extracurricular activities. However, one resounding thing those college gals said in their own words was they wished their moms didn't stop pursuing their own dreams while their daughters grew up in their shadow.

These college girls I spoke with told me how they wished they could have seen their moms pursue their dreams, deal with failure, show their daughters what it REALLY looks like to trust God no matter what happens. They spoke about how they wished their moms would not shy away from showing their daughters what it looks like to be more passionate about what God has given them to do/about honoring Christ with their whole lives than being the best, most attentive/helpful mom to their children. I hope that made sense.  These girls were so grateful for such loving mothers, but were frustrated that they didn't have much of a reference to what a godly woman does to pursue her OWN dreams and see them become reality. These college girls knew how to treat people with respect and mind their "p's and q's" in public because they had wonderful, loving moms. However, they didn't know how to deal with failure very well. I don't believe they struggled with these things ONLY because their mom's didn't show them how to pursue their goals and except failures that come along the way. I think that it contributed.  These college gals were not blaming their moms for their struggles either. They just stated how they wished they could see their moms truly passionate and excited about their faith to the point that even family activities took second place to knowing God better and trusting Him more fully.

As a mother of a toddler, I really want to strive to keep my pursuit of knowing God, of honoring Him above all else with my heart and my mind.  I want to be a lover of the Living God, a follower of Christ FIRST before my role of a wife, a mom, a young women's minister, a daughter, a grand-daughter, a musician, a friend, a sister, a cousin, an employee and a citizen.  I want my son to watch how my husband and I live.....I want to refuse to place something else or someone else as more important than my desire to know Christ more each day and seek to honor Him each day.  Of this goal I have just mentioned, my parents have given me a great example to follow. I choose to do the set a great example for my son in my word and deeds.

JOIN ME IN BECOMING A WOMAN OF THE TRUTH AND MAY WE  RISE UP AND HONOR GOD ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS. Let us worship the Living God with all our talents, with all our strengths, with all our thoughts, with all our words. Let us show our families the love of God by loving God deeply each day. In doing that the love of God will overflow out of our lives and bless others around us WAY more than we could ever bless them using our own strength, talents, gifts and ideas.

Let's look at a passage in the Bible real quick.  It is a passage of a sermon Jesus Christ gave to a crowd of folks who were following him around wanting to know what he thought about......well, everything. ha!  Here's a small portion of the sermon Jesus gave.  I am going to show it here in the paraphrased version.  You are welcome to go to and read it in the English Standard Version for a translation instead of a paraphrase if you would like. But this paraphrased version is written more in our own common language and it helps break the text down a little better for me.

Matthew 6:22-34 (The Message----a paraphrase version of the Bible)
  22-23"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
 24"You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.
25-26"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
 27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
 30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
 34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

My favorite part of this passage (at least for these days) is,
"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

Wow, that statement in the end of those paragraphs is awesome. As a little girl, my parents helped me memorize that verse (Matthew 6:33) in the King James Version of the Bible. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  And since the time that I have memorized that verse, I have seen the promise in this scripture come true......not just once, but multiple times. God's Word is faithful.  It is never old and out of date.  God's Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).