Monday, January 24, 2011

Dreams & Soli Deo Gloria

Welcome, Soli Deo Gloria Sisters!  I'm so glad to see your faces and meet some new ones as well.  This is a place of encouragement and blessing, and it is my prayer that you always feel welcome here.  If you are new (anyone is welcome), please read here for the heart behind this meme and some general guidelines (the button is to your right).  I hope you are blessed on your page and leave blessings for others, as well.
Photo by Becky
Today's post may seem a bit disjointed.  Ever since I woke up this morning, I've felt a little...off.  For the life of me, I cannot pinpoint what is swirling in my heart.  I keep asking and analyzing and figuring, but I have no clarity.  I feel as if I am wrestling a little bit with myself.


I've been doing Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed for a week a half.  It's a study about David and Priscilla Shirer keeps asking about my calling.  And I have no real answer.  Me, the long-range planner who once had every inch of her life pre-planned, pre-packaged, and ready to deliver right on time, can no longer answer the question:  What do you feel called to do?

From the second grade until my first baby was born, I felt called to be an elementary school teacher.  Then, I felt called to teach teachers and so I taught at the college level.  Now I'm the assistant director of Christian Education at my church, and though I like it a lot and definitely use my knowledge from teacher-dom, I don't feel that it is my life-long calling.  I've thought about going back to school to become a counselor (for adults), but I think I'd rather just save my emotional capacity for my family and friends.  And, of course, I'm a mom, and that will always be a calling that I will treasure, but I know there is something else for me to do, too.

Ever since Christy wrote about daring to dream again, I've found myself to be in quite the quandary.  My fear is that if I let myself start dreaming, I'll start dreaming something outside of His plan.  I fear that I will become discontent with what I have and start living in the future, instead of the present.  I fear that pride will start creeping in and I'll get all territorial about my life again.  

I'm afraid of turning back into who I once was if I start dreaming again.  Has He brought me far enough from the bad habits and mindsets that I could quickly respond to His correction if I began to stray towards the shaky path?  Has He whittled away enough of my head-strong nature, the cloak of pride, the must-be-the-best-at-something-anything-kind of attitude?  Have I surrendered enough? Have I surrendered it all so that if I took my eyes off the five feet in front of me, I would only see and desire the things afar that He has planned?

Am I planted firmly enough to be able to fly?  To everything there is a season.  For everything there is a time.  Is it my time to dream?


For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn a way.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, NLT



24 comments :

  1. dreams. i always tell people to go for it! but when it comes to myself....caution. blessings to you as you tenderly uncover.

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  2. Oh Jenn...let Him show you. Don't agonize about it...He has brought you at exactly where you need to be in order to be what He wants you to be! Does this make sense?

    M.

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  3. I think the quote by John Eldredge says it all...You cannot out-dream God. It is impossible. I think when we start dreaming....He pushes us forward to those dreams He wants to fulfill. He opens and closes doors as needed. I think one thing we must do is go in eyes wide open and be willing to let the dream take shape between you and Him.

    On another note....I too have struggled with my calling... I am so scared to take steps yet I am tired of my every day existence in knowing I can do more...I want more.

    Praying for you my friend. <3

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  4. Jen, I had a question. I am interested in the Tuesday link you have and really enjoyed participating earlier. But I don't usually blog on Tuesday. Do you care if I were to link to some older post that I would like to share

    These are great questions you are asking here, by the way.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  5. Don't forget about your blog! This space is a calling, and think of the good you are doing through it. I started my blog after a taking a class that asked me that exact question, "What are you being called to do?" I felt God calling me to start my blog. It still feels a little weird to say that, but it is true. So I would say yes, dream. If God is calling you to do something, he certainly wants you to listen - and dreaming may be one way of hearing his voice. So think big, and pray about it. God will guide you.

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  6. Jen,

    I say listen to those little whipsers in your heart. What are they telling you to do? The little voices that you hear and dismiss. I used to think some of the things I wanted to do were just me acting selfish. Now I see that God put those desires there for a reason. He wants them for me just as much as I do!

    Do you think that maybe you know what it is you are suppossed to do, but just stepping out scares you and so you dismiss it?

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  7. I love this post, I just read Christy's post about dreaming. I have so many dreams, some so big I dare not utter them. One day in church during worship I was thinking of my dream, of where my art was going and God being to give me visions of paintings and he said to me what about my dream? I have to admit I never thought about God's dreams or his desire, because I've always had mine on my mind....

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  8. I too struggle with that question. I want to differentiate between my dreams, wishes and longings and are they what God has planned for me. Luckily we have His word to guide us when we feel like we are slipping (Psalm 19:11)

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  9. Any dream that is not sin is fair game. God has given us the capacity to dream and He's good enough and big enough to redirect our dreams according to His purposes. I think there's a lot of freedom in resting in God's sovereignty. Somewhere, I read an analogy about our lives as chess games. We have a lot of freedom to move anywhere on the board. Ultimately, God is a much better chess player than we are, and He controls the board. If we belong to Him, we can't make a move that catches Him by surprise or that He won't redirect according to His purposes for our lives and for His kingdom.

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  10. I agree with Amy...also this here Tuesday linkup and SDG...allowed to grow and continue could also open doors you yet know of?? just a thought.
    I hear what you words are saying...I struggle like this also:)
    just meeting you and all that followed I sure feel as if that it all has a purpose...
    BTW...I spelled stripped wrong and I can't fix it...oh well...lol!
    xo

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  11. Isn't it wonderful that Jesus speaks to us? I know that as something comes to your mind you will sense if it's the Lord or Jen. You can trust Hima and yourself in this. And when it seems bigger than what you imagined...that might just be our Lord...his thoughts are not ours and he always go way and above what we EVER imagined!

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  12. Great questions, Jen. Dealing with somewhat the same thing myself, as I have a possible "big" opportunity but the timing would not be good now.

    No post to link today (unless you want to read yesterday's funny story), but I do have a prayer request:

    My sister Martha has cancer, and we recently learned it has spread to several areas and is "Stage 4."

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  13. Jen, I'm so glad I came upon your blog..thanks to Maria. At 47 I can tell you that I've been on this particular journey..and it continues on. I used to feel so much like you describe...and now ten years later...I feel peace at all that God has called me to do. NO more striving, confusion, or anxiety...and no bright lights either. Tee-hee! What I do now is quieter, deeper, and better than I ever imagined. But God has his purposes for each of us. I don't know at all where he may have called your or what he will do, but you can be sure he has a wonderful plan and will use all the gifts he has given you. He doesn't give us gifts that will never be used. They are all for a purpose. He will lead you as you listen. All your readers are giving you such good input. I'm really enjoying the comments.

    Your post is wonderful..and your whole blog is such a 'breath of fresh air'! I will be coming back often. I so need this right now. :O) Thank you for the linky party and for starting this community. What a blessing!

    Donna @ Comin' Home

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  14. I have a new laptop and it's prohibiting me from leaving a comment here -- grrrrrrr! (I am on my old computer now doing this one...). Anyway, just wanted to say tha I believe God plants the seeds of dreams. Listen to Him, follow your heart. He will help you figure it all out! Love you!

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  15. Hope you don't mind...I'm testing to see if I can leave a comment here yet!

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  16. I'm hoping this link up stays up a little bit longer. Can't wait to link up, I just want to leave my post up for Jhen a little bit longer! :) Stopping by to grab your button.

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  17. Funny...I woke up thinking about the counseling thing. More on that when I run into you. Needless to say, I think my waking up thinking about it when you wrote this post today is, well, interesting.

    My other thought for now is: I think it takes trust to dream. And it takes trust to rest.

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  18. ah sister...

    you've been reading my 'calling'/ our 'calling' story...it's so jumbled and all changed from what I once thought and still not this 'ultimate' of overseas missionary...the ultimate is walking in His Spirit day by day and being His and moment to moment surrender...

    i can SO relate to the 'where you once were' and have you surrendered enough to dream and live here...the best i can say is, yes, but you will still be tempted to get ahead of God (i am) yet, the dreams are beautiful and He has made us to dream...

    and I love how many have linked up today! how wonderful!

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  19. I can very much relate to your post.
    I'm a mommy as well, but I hope there is something more God has in store for me.
    You see, I'm taking a break off from my degree right now to stay home and a lot of times that makes me feel like a no body.
    I really need to pray for discernment and wisdom in knowing where to go next. Sometimes I wonder if it's even his plan for me to finish my degree (elem. teacher as well.)
    You post reminded me i should really be praying about my future during this "break"
    thanks so much :)
    BTW you are mention in my most recent post! Be sure to take a look

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  20. Jen, I'm a huge fan of dreaming. Even if I am pretty sure they won't come true. Maybe I'm a daydreamer, not a dreamer. Anyway, I say keep dreaming with all your heart. :)

    Erin

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  21. Jen, Just seek and pray and ask for God's wisdom in discerning these dreams. He will guide you and those dreams will become realities if they are of Him. If not, they are something you would want to pursue anyway. Blessings to you my dear!

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  22. You know, I was in the same boat last year. I was so afraid to dream because I was so afraid that I would be overcome with prideful ambition and be unable to see God's plan for me.

    I gotta tell you, I think the enemy likes us there. I think he knows that when we don't dream, we won't be able to dream those God-sized dreams, the ones that totally terrify HIM. Deep in our hearts we know when a dream is honouring to God or just for our own glory. God gives us this beautiful capacity to look toward the future and hope for what He has in store for us - we need to learn to embrace that! (and I am totally speaking to myself here, too!)

    Who knows? Maybe that very thing you are afraid to dream of is the very thing He is just waiting to bless with you with!

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  23. Sweet Jen, let those dreams fly. You have such a beautiful heart, and rest assured God keeps a jealous watch over you! You are an amazing blessing already to soooooooo many, and I can't wait to see what dream God gives you, be it here, there, or wherever - you have a willing heart and He will use it!

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  24. Dear Jen,

    I so love your blog, and your heart and your love. Thank you for praying and encouraging, and sharing. I didn't get my links added in time here, but if other readers are interested, I wrote two posts, part 1 and 2, about going to the mattresses with God @: http://sweetwaterbluesky.blogspot.com

    I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you. You are gift. And so incredibly important to the body of Christ. My heart carries a piece of yours. Love and joy blessings!

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