Monday, April 29, 2013

Dear Dreamer

This week, Holley Gerth’s God-sized dream team is encouraging each other in our dreams. I hope you will also be encouraged to dream big and keep dreaming.

Dear Dreamer,

Yes, you. We may know each other well, or maybe we haven’t met, but we have something in common.

We dream.

God-sized Dream = A desire in your heart for more of what God has for you.
~ Holley Gerth

We dream audacious God-sized dreams—dreams God plants in our hearts.

God-sized dream…
A dream God plants in our heart…one that seems impossible—and would be…if it were left up to us to fulfill.

He plans these dreams, but doesn’t ask us to make them happen. He asks us to trust Him and to be obedient to Him.

This dream is for us to do together…you and me.
~ Love, God

Will you do that?

Will you wait for His lead and step outside of your comfort zone?

He won’t leave you alone. Really, He won’t. He will lead you, guide you, walk beside you, and follow you with His protection.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT

He wants you to know—to deep-down-inside know—how much He loves you. And this dream that He’s given you…it’s for you to spend time with Him, to know Him better.

If you’re doubting, let me tell you…our God wants to spend time with you. One-on-one time—with you alone.

Do you have more than one dream? That happens with dreamers like us. Let God lead, and He will sort them out.

Don’t compare your dream to someone else’s. God created your dream for you…custom-made, hand-crafted, especially for you. Our dreams may be similar, but each one is as different as our fingerprints.

Are you feeling right now like you don’t have a dream? Don’t worry. God will reveal His dream for you…when the time is right.

In His time.

And when He says it’s time, God will capture your heart, and He won’t let go. He will overwhelm you with His fullness, and you won’t ever want to forget.

I know. I’m a dreamer like you.

When you think it’s impossible…

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.’”
Matthew 19:26

The dreams God plants in our hearts may be impossible when we take them into our own hands, but when we wait on Him and follow His lead, there is no such thing as an impossible dream.

What are you dreaming today?

Keep following God in those dreams…because only He can plant and resurrect dreams we never thought were possible.

In Christ,
Laura 


Friday, April 26, 2013

Friends

I’m joining Lisa-Jo and so many others today for Five MinuteFriday. Lisa-Jo offers a word prompt and we write, unedited, for…you got it…5 minutes.

Today’s word is Friend…

I’m not one to make friends easily, and small-talk is not my thing. But God provides what we need in all kinds of ways.

When I registered for the Jumping Tandem Retreat last October, I didn’t know anyone to request as a roommate, so I had no idea who I’d end up with. It was a rather nerve-racking thought. But I felt God saying, Trust Me. So, I did.

I determined not to worry about it, and unlike other situations, I really didn’t worry about this one.

God had a plan. A plan for two women to meet that weekend. One from Georgia. The other from Iowa. Two strangers at 2:00, but two friends by 3:00.

Unbelievable…but not really.

You see, God loves to work in what we call the unbelievable.

When God’s involved, He says, Oh, you can believe it!

When we parted on Sunday, less than 48 hours later, there were tears. Tears of joy for new friendships, and tears of being overwhelmed by God’s love and goodness.

God said, Trust Me.

And we did. He brought two rockin’ roommates together—two women who never met, but felt like we’d known each other for years.

And I just have to tell Him again—Thank you God!

Laura and Jessica at the Jumping Tandem Retreat
In Christ,
Laura

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Giving Yourself Permission

God-sized Dream = A desire in your heart for more of what God has for you.

This week, Holley Gerth’s God-sized dream team is taking some time to play. To do something energizing…something enjoyable…whatever that might be.

Have you ever felt like you needed permission to do that? To let go of all that’s waiting to be done, and just enjoy something?

I don’t know if it’s a mom-thing, or a female-thing…or maybe both, in which case, it’s a double-whammy…but I need permission. Not from someone else—but from myself.

Last weekend, I gave myself permission to fully embrace my weekend at the Jumping Tandem Retreat in Ashland, Nebraska.

Permission to not worry about my family at home. (Okay, I’ll admit I needed some reminders on this one.)

Permission to relax and let everything else go.

Permission to stop making the mental task-lists, and let God pour into me.

And He did. In unbelievable and indescribable ways. Ways I don’t ever want to forget.

I gave myself permission to let go of myself and let Him be.

And maybe that’s it right there…I let go of myself.

Why is that so hard?

Maybe because as moms, we’re often the glue holding it all together. And when the glue goes away for the weekend, the logical conclusion is everything will fall apart.

But nothing fell apart last weekend. And I couldn’t be happier.

Because there is stronger glue than me—and He never fails.

God keeps me together and fills me with what I need.

And sometimes, it’s okay to let everything wait for a while…to rest and be reenergized in Him.

To let God be Who He is and believe Him when He says, “I’ve got this.”

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Do you need to give yourself permission today? Don’t worry, God’s got this.

In Christ,
Laura 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Giver of God-sized Dreams

A beautiful Nebraska morning!
I’m at Jumping Tandem – The Retreat this weekend. :)

What started as a God-sized dream for Deidra Riggs is here—a community of God-sized dreamers together in one place, at one time…making new friends, learning from, and encouraging each other, and, of course, dreaming of the plans God might have for us.

The plans He has for us. Not the plans we make for ourselves.

God is the giver of these dreams.

And He is Who we’re focusing on this weekend…

Because God is the best part of any dream.

In Christ,
Laura 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Energizing Fear


I’ve been thinking about fear again.

How is it that we can go from being excited and confident in our God-sized dreams to doing nothing…putting no action into pursuing what God placed in our hearts?

I think it’s fear.

Fear…disguised as being too busy, worn out, and overwhelmed.

Fear…acting as a deterrent, whispering Just forget it.

Fear…saying not now, maybe later…but later keeps getting pushed out even further.

Fear is sneaky because before you know it, it’s right there, getting in the way of what God has planned.

Fear hangs out right next to whatever it is you’re most called to do. That means the closer you get to your calling, the louder fear sounds.
 – Holley Gerth, You’re Made for a God-sized Dream

Fear. It comes from the enemy. And the enemy is up to no good.

He will try to set us back, and even work overtime to stop us.

But you know what?

Fear loses its power when we realize who’s behind it.

What if we looked at fear differently?

Instead of letting it paralyze us, what if we use fear to energize us?

Knowing the devil works harder when we grow closer to God is confirmation that we’re doing the right thing. So, instead of backing off when we feel fear creeping in, we need to lean into God even closer and keep moving forward…in His strength.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

In Christ,
Laura 



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wearing My 40’s Proudly

This week is my birthday. :)

I’ve always loved my birthday. (Even if there were a couple of years when moving into the next decade was a little hard to swallow.)

I wonder if on our birthdays God reminisces about the day He first thought of each of us…the way He wanted to create us, the gifts and skills He would bless us with, and the plans He made for us.

I’m over at 5 Minutes for Faith today talking about birthdays and growing older. I hope you’ll join me there to read my post. And if you would, leave a comment. I’d love to know you stopped by.

In Christ,
Laura 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Know Whose I Am


Every week, Holley Gerth’s God-sized Dream Team gets together to encourage each other. I invite you to join us. After all, even if you’re not in the process of pursuing a God-sized dream, we all need some encouragement in life, don’t we?

Holley’s question for us this week…
Why is your dream worth pursuing, fighting for and seeing through no matter what happens?

I recently had to get my driver’s license renewed. In the state of Iowa, you receive a temporary license and wait for the new one to be mailed to you in approximately 21 days. This was my first time renewing my license since this became the procedure, and I didn’t know what to expect.

As I tried to decide what day I had hours to spend at the DMV, I started to feel a little panicked at the thought of turning in my license and leaving with only a temporary. I can’t even remember the last time I didn’t have a picture ID. I needed my picture ID!

Thoughts raced through my mind…

What if I get pulled over when I drive to Nebraska later this month?

How do I renew my library card without my picture ID?!

What if I need to buy pseudoephedrine from the pharmacy in the next 21 days!?!

Somehow, I was getting my identity mixed up with having, or not having, a picture ID. But that’s silly, I told myself, it’s just an ID. I know who I am and where my identity is—in Christ.

And then I wondered, is this how it feels for someone who doesn’t know her identity in Christ?

I may worry and start to panic when life isn’t going well and everything is about to change, but I know Whose I am—and He doesn’t change.

So, to answer Holley’s question…
Why is my dream of encouraging women in their walk with Christ worth pursuing and fighting for?

Because I know what He’s done in my life—the comfort He gives, the stability He provides, the love and grace He washes over me—and I don’t want to keep it a secret.

I want to be a witness for Jesus.

I want other women to see and feel God’s work in their lives—to know without a doubt that her identity is in the One who never changes.

As it turns out, (don’t laugh) the temporary ID has a black and white picture on it. So, it’s all good. Well, except maybe for the picture itself. But no worries! I get to do it all over again in 5 years. {smile}

In Christ,
Laura