Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Choose

It's been almost a week since I've blogged.
It's been a busy week.
Busy, but relaxing.

Last Sunday through Wednesday was our churches annual missions conference. It was neat to hear from the missionaries we partner with in Senegal, West Africa. It would takes pages and pages for me to talk about all that's going on there and what the Lord is doing among the working professionals of that country; but I won't be doing that, sorry.

So after that craziness Thursday was our missions info meeting for the youth. I worked all day putting together the packets and the turnout was good. I'm excited to go and see who the Lord brings together for these trips. But I'm not blogging about that either.

The best part of the last week was attending the E-Women Conference in Orlando. See me here, sorry I was looking at my camera- bad idea. I got to travel over with a good friend and spend Friday night and all day Saturday listening to some extraordinary women share from their lives. The theme was "Discovering God's Dream". The Lord really touched my heart and challenged me.

Carol Kent was the last women to speak and she opened with a question similar to this,"Who here has felt like life is not what they dreamed it to be?"

I raised my hand.
See, it's what I've been struggling with lately.

Don't get me wrong I love my life, my husband, my children, my friends. It's just one day recently I realized that when I dreamed of my adult life it was not what it is now. Getting pregnant in high will do that to a girl. Choosing to stay at home and spend each day with my children did that to my dream. See, my original dream was something like this: I'd be an educated, professional.

I am pretty much the opposite of that dream.
But then again I'm not.

See, life's not what I dreamed but it is good. I love my life. I love my "different normal", my "new dream". While I didn't plan to stay at home and change diapers and clean up puke and spilled milk. I didn't plan on yearning to speak with an adult after days of nothing but toddlers. I certainly didn't plan on living in Florida.

Ya know what though, I didn't plan on loving a man so much that 5 minutes after he leaves for work I miss him like crazy. I didn't plan on incredible kids that challenge me and stretch me and love me. I didn't plan on such wonderful Christian friends who not only love me tangibly but spiritually as well. I didn't plan on loving my kids so much and having them as friends. I didn't plan on understanding God's love and grace and mercy to the point of being able to love people in my life who I have every reason to hate.

I am not living my dream, I'm living so much more.
I have so much more of God's dream for me to live.

Ya know I'm not sure what that dream is. I mean I have some ideas in my head but until tomorrow comes I won't know what it holds. Until I step by step, day by day, seek God and follow His leading I don't know what tomorrow holds.
I do however know this...

It's perfect.
Maybe not in my eyes but with God it can't go wrong.
It. can't. go. wrong.

See, I have dreams and sometimes they come true. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes when they go "wrong" I need to accept them, embrace them, go with them, grow with them.

If I had stuck to my original dream 15 years ago I would have missed out on this dream of a life I'm living. Perfect, no. Totally rockin'- YES!!

So to wrap this up, Carol challenged us to choose life in a different type of normal, to choose relinquishment and praise. Choose gratitude, vulnerability and purposeful action. When we chose these things in God it changes something inside.

I don't always choose these things, but I have and I know they work. When, over the past 15 years I've chosen to be grateful I've been happy with barely anything in the fridge and no gas in the car. When I've chosen vulnerability I've connected with my friends to the point of true sisterhood. When I've chosen praise the craziness of life melts away and I have peace. true peace.

So when my struggle comes back again I will remember the words of the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 29, verse 11 " I (God) know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

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