God Sized Dream Follower

Have you ever had those moments in your life that are so God ordained there is no denying it as a God ordained moment. Maybe you don’t even recognize the full extent of His power and purpose over the moment for months or years after the moment happened.

I had a God ordained moment when I met a boy at age 16; a boy that God had planned to be my husband, a boy that saved me from the certainty of a lifestyle that I was headed for. A lifestyle that would have lead me down the path of college parties, drinking, premarital sex, and the host of negative outcomes that all of that brings-each one taking me further from the Truth and Love of Jesus. Everyday I recognize the blessing that Jesse is in my life, how through him God forever changed my path.

My other God ordained moment would be Him bringing my photography dream to life. I remember walking the isles of Best Buy praying “Lord, do I buy this camera, is it possible? Oh, is it possible that my dream could be on the brink of happening?” I bought the camera that day, I worked to create a successful business that I poured my heart and soul into. A business that I longed for. A business that taught me how to work hard, taught me the importance of prioritizing my work and to-do list and showed me what I risk losing when you don’t have the balance of family first, a business that taught me marketing, and other business skills. I also longed for my own studio, a space to display my artwork that I had created with the talents that God had provided. I longed for a place to welcome families, to cuddle newborns and create images of them that would last a lifetime. God blessed me with every aspect of this dream-even the end of it.

The time had come to say good bye to this dream, I was ready, yet sad it was over. I have celebrated the time it has created for me to pursue my family and for me to transition into another dream. A dream that has been alive longer then even owning my own business. The dream of ministry, to serve and help others grow in their relationships with Christ.

This  brings me to another God moment that began to happen before the business closed. A women’s ministry and youth ministry opportunity. These were both moments that seem to have been for such a short time that it would create the question: “What purpose where they for?” Especially since in the secret places of my heart, I view these as such failures on my part. I’ve begun to think about the time spent in these ministries and see that these dreams were short, yet the growing opportunities for me have been huge. They were opportunities of learning to work close with a team of people for the same goal, how to connect to people so they could learn to go deeper with Him, how to create excitement and passion for the Lord. Opportunities to practice having thicker skin, I’m still working of that lesson. You know the one, that not everything is personal and confrontation isn’t always bad. Please tell me someone else is struggling through that lesson!

These dreams that have come to an end have caused me to reflect on the purpose of our dreams and the work, prayer, tears and sweat that go into making them grow. Dreams that you have birthed, out of nothing into a living breathing something. I recently began to say to the Lord “WHY, why did I work so hard only to walk away?” He laid the answer on my spirit so powerfully that it took my breath away.

That He provided each of these dreams and allowed them to be lived out so HE could reveal to me that HE was in the business of dreams, in the business of making dreams happen. Taking God sized dreams and allowing us to be apart of them. 

See all of these questions come because I have a God sized dream that I’ve had since the summer of 2005. This dream began while at a women’s conference, at a time of my life that I was living selfishly and not focused on the Lord. But as that weekend happened and I watched the speaker, something within my very being whispered “I want that.” A dream that hasn’t diminished, only grown more with each passing year and with each step I take running after God. I have come under attack, viewing especially these God ordained ministry opportunities as failures, as examples of why would you want to pursue this dream because that will only fail too. Whispers that have tried to cover my dream, whispers from the enemy saying “you aren’t worthy, you have nothing to say, no one wants to hear from you.”

Well guess what, the enemy is right, I’m not worthy; but My God is. I have nothing to say; but My God does. No one wants to hear me; but they will want to hear from The Creator. 

God has blessed with me two friends that I’ve come to realize are rare gifts, and that the three of us together are exceptionally rare and will be powerful for the Lord. They too have similar dreams as mine. See, this dream is to be a christian women’s conference planner, public speaker and writer all for the glory of God. Wow, that was tougher to type then I thought it would be. There is something impactful about putting this down where all the world can now hold me accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised if you are reading this thinking that is pretty crazy! But that’s the thing about God dreams, He takes something the world says is crazy, heck even I said it was crazy. I’m the girl that was so shy that I hardly talked to my classmates in school, that hated public speaking, that didn’t go to the state music contest my senior year because too many people would be watching me. God’s response of this crazy dream is, through Me all things are possible, you were created for a purpose, I am with you through all things, I’ve transformed you into a new creation.

So the three of us together are dream followers not just dreamers. We have been given a vision, a God sized dream that we can’t contain anymore. A dream that might make us look crazy, but a dream that if we hold it within us any longer we may burst. A dream that we take one step at a time because the Lord has appointed us as moms and wives first. A dream that will be covered in prayer so won’t you join us in praying for it? A dream that will be directed by the dream provider and not ourselves.Joshua 1:9

I write this today to not only keep myself accountable because I’ve allowed myself over the years to become distracted from my true dream, thank goodness the Lord brings learning and growth through our rabbit trails. But I write this to other God sized dreamers, the future missionary, the future mom who adopts teenage boys, the future business owner, the future christian music artist, the future author. Listen to the whisper because there are lots of dreamers but few who are dream followers. Be brave, be courageous, be bold, because the Lord is in the business of God sized dreams and he is waiting for us to join Him.

What’s your God Sized Dream?

Look for me linked up at: www.simplifiedlife.net, www.w2wministries.org

Holy Grounds

Everyone needs a sense of purpose, a sense of direction in their life, well mine seems to be misplaced, or so it seems. Today I realized I seem to be going through life without a solid defined direction. I was thinking why do I seem to be feeling as if there is no intentional route I’m taking? I was thinking how after I closed the photography business, I did that in order to have more time for my family and for the youth ministry,I felt a sense of loss, sense of no longer being defined as a photographer. Then when last month I put down the youth ministry I had this sense of loss again, a sense of no longer being defined as a youth leader, a sense of not being needed by anyone. So I have been floating without a sense of purpose.

Then today while in the shower and I’m pondering these great reflections, let me add here that my shower is holy ground I have been spoken to and felt more alive with the spirit of the Lord around me there than even in church. So I’m in the holy grounds of my shower pondering this sense of empty, drifting when I’m reminded of this event I was at 2-3 years ago I was seeking the Lords confirmation of his intention to place me in ministry. Yet I felt his call was to just love my family well, my response was well I’m already doing that I want to serve you bigger Lord. So I continued pretending that His plan was to use me in a bigger way, then the fall of 2013 came and I decided that in order for Him to use me in a big way I better make some room so I closed the business. I did focus more on my family at this time and dived into the youth ministry of my church, after all my sense of purpose comes from my doing. I have to do, do, do, I’m definitely a Martha.  So this Martha did what was in front of her, serving and growing this ministry that was in front of her. Loving my family still, seeking the Lord for the ministry’s direction but fully focused on what to “do” for this ministry. Then 4 months ago God started to remove my grasp on this ministry, this ministry that defined me, that fulfilled this part of me. He caused such a strong stirring in me I could no longer be apart of this church. He grabbed my shoulders and turned me away, I didn’t understand how this was the plan, He was going to us ME. How could this happen and continue without me?

Today in the holy grounds of my shower I’ve began to understand, He had to strip me bare in order to be a Mary to show me that I don’t have to do, only be. I need to BE a godly wife, I need to BE a godly mom and most importantly I need to BE a godly Winter that sits at the feet of Jesus. My friend over coffee last week said would you have left your church and ministry if this huge stirring hadn’t happened? I said no way, that this church was my family, my best friends, we didn’t just attend we were involved all the way, Jesse plays guitar every service, we served the youth together, our kids have grown up there. Never would we have left, she said then maybe that’s why this drastic change took place because God had to get your attention and move you out.  For a week that has swirled in my brain, of ok that makes sense, but why, why would He need to take me out of this ministry, why wouldn’t he want to use me bigger?

Today it was answered, I was reminded of that event when I was shown the direction I needed to move and I didn’t like the answer. I wanted to do, I just didn’t understand the concept of Mary. The idea of sitting at Jesus’s feet, the idea of being Jesus here on earth to my family only. I have always been a big or go home kind of person so to me I want to live out Jesus bigger, serve Jesus bigger, yet today after nearly two and half years of being allowed to move in that direction the Lord said enough and I finally heard him. I heard just BE, don’t do, don’t look for a to-do list, don’t overlook the gift in front of you, just be with me [Jesus], just be with your family.

This seems so difficult and challenging to me, but through Jesus I can be Mary. Today I seek to only be. I will be with Jesus and I will be with my family. Even when it doesn’t seem like it could be enough, I will remind myself of the heartache of not following what the Lord asks of me. Yes good came out of those two and half years, because God always brings goodness, but what could have come out of obeying and being satisfied by the Mary mentality. Are you Martha or Mary-is God calling you to be more like Mary too?

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The Honor of Gods Call

When I think of my call by God I remember lots of agony, of is this his call, what should it look like, do I hear him or me, am I making the right choice of moving from my spot I’m stuck in? I think at least I have tended to over analyze His call  (I would guess I’m not alone!) God calls each of us uniquely at different times in our lives, not just once but over and over. He calls us to move forward, to stay and grow with only Him, to move on and let go.

God has been calling His people to do things we may not want to do, things we think are too hard for us to accomplish or begin. That is the test of our faith it brings endurance and strength to our relationship with the Lord.

He called Esther a Jewish orphan to a time as this to become a queen, convince a king to change his mind, and save a race of people.

He called David to defeat a giant with only a stone, to become a king when he was the youngest, the runt of the litter even.

He called Saul to become Paul a missionary, a complete 180 from how he started his life.

He called the disciples to leave careers and family to follow Jesus.

He called Jesus to the cross,

He [Jesus] took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will done, not mine.” {Matthew 37-42}

This shows us Jesus begging for another option, another path to take, other than the road to the cross. Yet he knew that the Lord’s will was the plan.

He calls us to follow him with all of our being, to chase after his plans for our lives, to seek him daily not just in the big or hard stuff.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”

This is a passage of scripture that is oh so familiar, it was written by Jeremiah from the Lord to those that had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon-this is a message of encouragement that if we seek him wholeheartedly we will find him and he will reveal those plans.

My greatest desire is to be obedient in my journey with the Lord. There is a situation in my life currently that is beyond difficult. A situation that by me moving on and releasing it to Him alone to fix and repair will paint me to be the problem in some peoples eyes. I have to trust God’s plan and purpose for me, the situation and all those that it affects. One of my greatest struggles is to remember that it isn’t others views of me but the Lord’s view of me that defines who I am. He has been with me through every step of this journey, from the tug to serve to the responsibility of impacting others journeys with Him, to the secrets and changes, the tears of anguish of the next step, to the final release of moving on.

God’s will will be accomplished we can choose to be a help or a hindrance. My choice is to move aside and make it not about what I want but what is best and what will allow room for Him to move. My faith is built upon His rock, my trust anchored in Him so, I know in the depths of my being that His call in this situation to let go and move on will bring a peace and healing. Now that I have obeyed instead of trying to stay and do what I want, to serve as I define.

Love and Blessings

W