i have this dream…

Dreams.

I would definitely consider myself a dreamer.  I like to think about things. I like to dream about things that will probably never happen.  I like to just sit in the fantasy of “what if”.

We have a small stream on our property that empties into a little pond.  The pond is only 8 feet deep, but it’s waters are dark and murky and still.  As I would sit in my living room and look over at the pond on a cool fall day, I would see something different.

Lazy River poolsFBimage from Kuykendall – Lazy Rivers

 A lazy river. You know, the kind that are in fancy waterparks?  With people on big inner-tubes just relaxing and going round and round, moved lazily along by the jets in the water.  The river would be small, but it would empty into a perfectly round pool (that was the former pond), similar to the image above.

I know in my heart of hearts that we will never be putting a lazy river on our property.  We live in Minnesota.  We are not millionaires.  And lazy rivers are pretty darn impractical for many reasons.

It’s safe to say that I have no hope of that BIG HUGE CRAZY idea becoming a reality.

But I still love to dream about it.

audrey-backyard

 

I am reminded of how much God wants to give me the desires of my heart, but so thankful that He already knows what I need.

Maybe He already knows that many memories will be made on the long winding trails by adventurous little kids with endless imaginations and courage. That clubs will be formed and pacts made and discoveries of nests and bugs and new flowers will create far more lasting reflections than concrete and chlorine.

I love that He can see beyond worldly (and sometimes selfish) desires.  That He doesn’t provide something simply because I ask.  That all things, good and bad, will be used to strengthen our relationship and bond.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

He created me.  He knows me better than I know myself.  And He knows exactly what will truly fulfill me.

I have another dream.  And that is that someday the desires of my heart will be in line with God’s will.

Now that is a worthy dream.

 

Sharing Faith the Duck Dynasty Way

I am a new convert to Duck Dynasty.

Duck Dynasty

I really like the show… its funny, its interesting, and all the people on it seem real. Like, really real.

But my favorite thing about it is the story behind the people.

They love the Lord and they testify His name.

They go on national television is proclaim the way of Jesus of Galilee.  They share the true message of the Gospel.

And I cant help but think its totally awesome.

Have you seen Duck Dynasty?  What do you think of the unabashed proclamation of God’s holy word?

(check out some funny Duck Dynasty quotes here!  They are also on facebook in case you want to follow along)

 

What is Love?

God answered the question for us over and over again.  I have heard it a million times, but have I really listened?  I just wanted to share a little trick a friend taught…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  New International Version (NIV)

Love is Patient...

(picture origin unknown)

Now, replace the word LOVE with your name.

Amanda is patient, Amanda is kind. Amanda does not envy,  does not boast,  is not proud.   Amanda does not dishonor others,  is not self-seeking,  is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.   Amanda does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I dont know about you, but that humbles me and inspires me simultaneously.  I cant say with honesty that I am any of those things.

God calls us to be love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Faith Hope Love
While Valentines Day is commonly called a man-made holiday, I do appreciate the idea that we are given an opportunity to show love to others.

Even if we dont spend one cent, just try and be love to others today.  Replace your name in 1 Corinthians, then model it.  You could be giving someone a priceless gift.

I know that is what I am going to focus on, as well as trying to be an example for my kids!

May your day be blessed and full of faith, hope, and love.

 

Rejection and Forgiveness

I came across this quote recently and couldn’t help but take notice.

Inspirational Quote

 

“When you forgive, you heal your own anger and hurt and are able to let love lead again.  Its like spring cleaning for your heart.”

-Marco Schimoff

I sorta dismissed it because I generally disagree with the concept of “healing thyself”.  But dismissing it right away wasnt right.  Because dont we need to let God in so He can do the work He needs to?  Dont we need to make the choice to forgive before forgiveness can begin its healing properties?

Recently the value of this quote shed some light.

I have been struggling with rejection.  Worldly rejection.  Familial rejection.  Just… rejection.  And I just happen to be that person that lets things fester.

The other day I woke up and it was wonderful.  I worked out, had great devotional time, started the kids homeschooling… everything was going well.

Quite by accident, I found out that some friends had decided to exclude me from a new project.

Now, I have no idea why they made this choice.  It could have been because they had too many people with the same name as me.  Or because it was Wednesday.  Or because they needed a change.  Or because they truly didnt think about me and knowingly reject me.

But in my mind, it was completely intentional rejection.  How could they do this and not include me?  It had to be intentional.  They made a conscious choice to exclude me.

I was devastated and it proceeded to ruin my entire day.  I just couldnt let it go.

In bed that night, the situation kept running through my head.  Since there was no logical way to reason out the situation, I decided that my only option was to reject them back.  Without them knowing why, I was no longer going to support them and their choices.  If they didnt want me as a part of their project, then that choice was going to ultimately remove me from their lives.

I could almost feel the bitterness growing.  My choice to react and reject based on a situation that I had no clear facts on had planted a seed of resentment in my heart.  It grew when I fed it.  It grew when I didnt.  It was quickly growing beyond my control.

The only remedy to this kind of bitterness is forgiveness.  The absolutely only way that I would be able to get my heart back would be to forgive them.

To forgive them.  To make the choice to let go of any hurt I had perceived they caused me.

I had to pray, “Lord, you know my heartache in this.  But I trust you.  I know that sometimes you put people in my life to teach me just like you remove them to teach me.  Lord, help me to truly forgive these precious ladies and to simply love them.  Remove my judgement.  Remove my bitterness.  No matter what they may say or do, help me to love them as You love them.”

Prayer

In all honestly, prayers such as that are not life long in their healing.  Since I still do not know the reasoning behind my friends actions, I still have occasional doubt and insecurity when I interact with them.  But now, instead of feeding into bitterness, I know where to direct those un-godly feelings.  And remember to look to Him for my value.  To trust Him that when I am in His will, He has me exactly where I need to be.

Funny things is that they will never know the heart struggle that their actions inspired.

But I am thankful for their actions non the less, because through them, I am learning to lean more on God.

Faith and Favortism

With only four weeks left of my James: Mercy Triumphs study by Beth Moore, I am feeling quite bittersweet.

I love that I have learned so much about James and myself, but I just dont want it to end.

Beth said this quote at the very beginning of study and she could not have been more spot on!

As I am learning more and more about James and about the words that he shared in the Bible, I am indeed changing.

In session four Beth touched on the subject of social media.

She suggests reading James 2:3 (NASB)

“and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”

She talked about “followers”.  As in twitter.  Or Pinterest.  Or Instagram.  She asked that we examine the literal translation of the verse in Greek:

“while you say to the poor man: ‘Stand there,’ or ‘Sit here under my footstool.”

This next part is sketchy for me because it was just on the video so I didnt catch every detail. (so if there is any historical inaccuracy, it is mine)  She talked about ancient times where people would go before Kings to be granted favor.  Often times the people would lay before the King with their face on the ground.  The King might place his foot on their head until he was ready to hear from them.  When he would literally lift up his foot, that is when he was ready to listen.

That example really got me to thinking about followers.  About how twitter works.  When I get the notification that someone is following me and I do not follow them back, is that similar to me metaphorically holding them down under my foot?

Am I selectively granting permission to people just to hear what I have to say?

Ok, so I now that is hard to follow.  I am hoping and praying that Beth would do a whole study on the Bible and social media because obviously I am not good explaining it.

But.  She made me realize something about myself.

I do show favorites in social media.

I have been thinking a LOT about how I interact with people.  Its been weighing very heavy on me and I am making changes.

I want to talk a lot more about how much studying James has affected how I use social media.  I want to share how its changing how I view people, and hopefully, how they view me.

But first I think I need to study James a bit more!

In the meantime I have a question.

Have you ever considered social media in a Biblical perspective?  I would love to know how people view this… as I have been thinking about it daily!