Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

When You Are Afraid of the Dream ~ Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays} ~ A Guest Post


I had a dream. Any time I think or say those words I cannot help but think of the song from Rapunzel . . . sorry, if you've seen it, you're probably going to have it stuck in your head all day now!

I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying about dreams these past few months. What are my dreams? What are my desires and goals for myself, my family? Where do I want to be in 5, 10 years? And how does all of this line up with what GOD wants from me?

In the fall of 2012 I attended a conference for writers called Allume. It was my first step out into the world of going beyond the face of my blog, carrying the title of writer. I was frightened - of what others would think of me, of my nervous out-going-ness being too much, of not being able to speak my heart and end up speaking nothing but fluff. I took the breath though, and took the plunge. God had made this happen, he would handle the details!

I arrived late on the first night, just missing the start of dinner, but slipping into the dining room, scanning faces for my friend Rebecca who was saving me a seat at her table. She found me, and I found in her a friend I had been wanting to hug on for months. We joined our table of other Teach Them Diligently bloggers and started chatting. Part way through my salad and meal, Phil Vischer, whose company, What's in the Bible, was sponsoring the meal, was introduced. He started off with his Veggie Tales characters imitations, and had us all laughing in no time.

Within the next few minutes, he had totally and completely turned the tables as he began his testimony of his rise to and fall from fame. Within minutes, it was all I could do to choke back tears. Within minutes, God affirmed for me the very reason I was at this conference at all - to, with uplifted hands, empty myself of me, surrender my "dream blog", and allow myself to be filled with him. (Phil's convocation speech at Liberty University also tells his story, if you can, do watch it! You can also read the testimony in 3 parts here.)

During the remainder of our meal, Sarah Mae spoke to us from her heart, almost like she was telling us NOT to blog...but in many more words and a much deeper way, telling us to SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and the heart for our 1 - our families.

I didn't really know why I was there. I passed up opportunities for tickets, not wanting to push it with God. But he provided a ticket through Teach Them Diligently. I wasn't sure about flying at 34 weeks pregnant, but my amazing husband offered to drive me there and stay as well. Our kids got incredibly sick just before we left, but God provided for us to still go.

As I faithfully sought him, God was faithful to show me he wanted me there for a reason. To show me he wanted me, my heart, my blog, my focus - to pursue him, the 1, the only. As I, in faith, lifted my me-and-my-blog-filled hands to him, for him, to take and do with as he pleased, he answered.

Softly, quietly, through the words of Phil and Sarah Mae, and the power of his Holy Spirit.

I.Want.You.

Your heart, dear child, your hopes and your dreams. Your desires, ambitions, plans, endeavors. All of it. You can give it to me, or I can take it.

The question is, what is more important? ME, or your dream?

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book? {Psalm 56:8}


Fast forward a little more than 12 months later. I've struggled and strained, trying to find my way in this busyness and business of mothering and raising. Sacrificing my old "identity" as a children's church teacher/nursery worker, for a new one as a small group leader's wife.

Feeling like I should be doing more, but wondering how, with 4 little ones and school at home, and where? Feeling guilty for not being more involved in children's ministry, seeing as how I have contributed 4 to the program! But just because I can, does it mean I should?

An idea rises in the back of my mind, a possibility sparks light into my heart. Maybe, just maybe, this is the reason God has had me on this stretching, writing, mothering journey all along. Maybe, just maybe, this learning to surrender the dream by first seeking Him, struggling and falling, but moving forward in the sacrifice of self - maybe it was leading me to this place all along….

But who am I, and how am I qualified? I'm only a newbie mother / homeschooler / wife myself - with less than 10 years experience under my belt.

But whoever said that a mentor, encourager, life-breather, soul-barer had to be an "old" woman - nay, only "older" than the other. Older as in one who has more experience, or is more mature in an area where someone else is not. One who can and will encourage, challenge, mentor, pray for, help and lift up another.

As I prayed and fretted, fought pride and sought His will, God laid on my heart a group of women. Women to whom I could minister and be ministered to. I was afraid - unsure of how it would play out, if they would want to participate, how to keep encouraging them, stay connected, when and how often to meet, what we would discuss.

Then I knew it was time to move forward, to stop worrying, and live out the dream he had given me. It was humbling, frightening and exciting all at the same time.

I asked, they heard and gladly joined - and so began our "Mom's Night Out" book study. We weren't there just for fun, food and fellowship (though these elements are most definitely present). We were there to read together, be encouraged in our roles as mother, wife, friend, by women who walked those paths before us; to bear one another's burdens, encourage and pray through the struggles - but most importantly, to be the older woman to each other, and multiply the desire and dream in others.

We are being and training up mentors. And therein lies the dream.



Do you have a dream? Do you have something that you desire to see come about? Something you've prayed over, cried through, longed for, held on to?

He wants your dreams. Don't be afraid to surrender them to him. Wholly, completely. Without any strings attached. And watch what he will do.

I would encourage you, if you have ever longed for a mentor, to seek out a godly group or one woman who can be just that for you! It takes only the prayer and the asking for it to come about. I'd love to pray for you, please feel free to comment here or contact me at Servingfromhome.com





Lauren is a saved-by-grace, failing-forward, wife and graduated homeschool student turned homeschooling mom of 4, residing in Ontario, Canada.
She is passionate about teaching her children the truth of God's word through how He is teaching her, their school lessons and experiences as a family.

God has also granted her a heart for encouraging and loving on moms as we fight for our hearts and our families - to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God! You can follow more of her life at www.servingfromhome.com

A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here.


"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."

{Titus 2:3-5}

Top Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/95011179@N08/12662497905/">__MaRiNa__</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

1 comment:

  1. yes and amen to dreams worth dreaming, mentors that give us grace and direction that takes us there, and impacting other women for Christ.

    each of us needs a mentor. and each of us can be one, too.

    sweet weekend blessings ...

    ReplyDelete

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