Monday, September 6, 2010

Growing Dreams

I’ve been living life in basic survival mode for a long time now. Life easily becomes about making it through the day. At times, taking care of a chronic illness and attending to family needs and expectations causes my cup to be quite full. That is when I am reminded to take life as a book and read at my own leisure as well, that balance is good, and so is time to explore a few dreams left living.

In this book of life, there are some chapters that I am a bit afraid to live and can only do it through Grace. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve set goals and dreams and watched them burn. I’m thankful that God always has my best interest in mind, that all from his hand is good. Though, considering new goals takes courage and at this point, a realistic consideration of abilities. Since the new year, I have felt a nudge, this gentle push to move me into action. Some thing more the than monotonous pass go and do not collect two hundred dollars as in a monopoly game.

So, I have prayed and listened and I’ve listened some more. I’ve mostly watched where God has already planted my own two feet the past few years. And I’ve spent a little time wondering where the next stroke on the canvas of my life will lead. I know now that it will not be even remotely what I had planned. I am taken back that God is again faithful to make his vision my own.

God has spoken to me through people, and through his scriptures and also significantly through the reading of Oswald Chamber’s writings this year. I’ve been reminded that God often can use the weak and I like what Chambers has to say:

“What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is to depend on him and on his power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish-his purpose is the process itself......It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.”

I like that quote as it has played a role in getting me ‘unstuck’. I now feel I can set a goal and not be all consumed with whether or not I will be able to complete it. I haven’t told many people as possibly some times in a life book, we fear the words themselves, finally written or even whispered a loud, may cause one to miscarry the growing dream. But I have to share it now, as my time and priorities will all need adjusting and I will not be nearly as visible around the internet as I have been. This blog may go quiet again for a long while until I adjust.

This week I am starting back to home educating my daughters, but am also beginning a two year Spiritual Formation and Direction Program for myself. As life would have it, I’ve paused and leaned long on this leading. I’ve had several affirm my simple desire to use it to continue befriending and companioning the chronically ill and hurting people that come into my life, and gain a little more experience to do so. I am only committing to one semester at a time and will determine the practicum and completion, depending on my own health. I think I will enjoy it a day at a time this way. God has been faithful to steady me and remind me that any eventual outcome or none at all is just fine. It’s the moments, the days and the experience that counts.

At times I even feel a bit selfish in all of this, as I have enjoyed preparing for this: planning, purchasing and beginning to read the books with the excitement of a little child. Even more so, is that I have grown to love relating to others who are ill. They are fun, creative and courageous people, which makes no sense for people in pain, but I’ve found it true and as it turns out, loving is good for our souls. My loving and giving in the smallest of ways helps me. It’s really as simple as that. I want to be a friend, a companion, that equally encourages another’s life and spiritual journey and I’m done running from this seed of a thought that was planted in me long, long ago which I feared.

God comforts me through Oswald Chambers words, “His training is for now, not later. His purpose is in this moment, not way down the road in the future.” So, I am fixing my eyes on God, rather than if I can meet the ultimate goal. I will attempt to be mindful to live each day, and we will all learn together side by side- each moment, in attempt to be obedient to our Guide. I will give this a try. There, I said it and wrote it.

See I am doing a new thing.
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
And streams in the wasteland.
Isa 43:19


Renee said...

Oh, Jan Lyn....I am so happy for you. I can hear in your words a sense of peace in this...affirmation that this is where God has lead you. I enjoy reading Oswald Chambers devotionals myself. I have been struggling with "getting well enough to help others" and find the more I strive to get well, the less I live my life right now in the present. Your reflections are very insightful so I hope that when the time is right and you feel you have the energy to do so, you will share some of them with your readers....You remain in my thoughts and prayer Jan Lyn.....I appreciate your cyber friendship.

Ganeida said...

I too am selfishly hoping you keep us posted on your journey & I am terribly excited for you. Nothing is ever wasted with God ~ not even a chronic illness. Enjoy your course! ♥

Heather said...

My dearest friend, what wonderful news! I will be holding you in the Light :)))))

Jan Lyn said...

Thanks so much for all of your support. It's a stretch for me (especially with my eyes) but I am looking forward to it.
I will definately keep you posted and remain in touch-I just am uncertain about blogging until I get used to the work load.

Ganeida: So true, nothing is ever wasted with God, Even in my mistakes I have found the good, a lesson learned, or a mystery that while I might never know the answer, I can learn to trust further.

Renee: That OC really keeps me going. This is my third read of it through the years, the newer edition this time. He amazes me with his deep, meaty messages in such short devotions. I am blessed by your blog and perserverence in your chronic illnesses and think that you are already being used mightly by God. :) Truly.

Heather: It does my heart good to "see" you here. I think of you often and send my love across the pond to you, girl. xox