I was low yesterday- low, after a weekend of highs. Ever feel that way? Low for no good reason? Good things are happening around, but suddenly finding yourself in a pit of discouragement?
I just returned from a weekend spent with women who live for Jesus, and who also happen to blog for Jesus. Women who DREAM BIG with God. Inspiration flowed from amazing speakers like Ann Voskamp, Darren Rowse, Sally Clarkson, The Nester, The Simple Mom, and many more. It was a higher-than-high sort of weekend.
But in the midst of all that inspiration and my desires to “dream big” growing stronger by the day, I grapple with a very real challenge. A challenge that knocked me off my feet yesterday as I re-entered real life.
The challenge is to rest in the present; to DREAM BIG, but to live grounded in.the.now.
I want to “dream big” from a place of stillness and rest, not strife and stress. I want to be led by God into “greatness”, not force my way there by my own ideas and strategy.
Truth is, it’s just so easy to charge ahead of the One I was made to follow; driven by excitement, vision and passion. But in the midst of “big dreams” I hear the sweet call to come closer and live from a place of rest. The invitation to rely solely on the leading of a quiet voice; not on trends, pressures, timelines or even opportunities. It’s about knowing and following His voice- not voices of the moment. It’s about knowing Him- all else really is worthless.
As Ann Voskamp said her keynote address to our group: “it’s not about doing for God; it’s doing with God. After all, God didn’t give Abraham a map, but a relationship. It’s not about a guidebook, but knowing the Guide.”
Knowing the Guide in every season of life- into “big dreams” and in the midst of the mundane- knowing and being known by Him. The Unchanging Love who loves us at our best and at our worst, in our “big dreaming” and in our daily living.
I am challenged to hold my own plans loosely and walk ever more closely with the One who planned it all. My heart is lifted up as I look to Him, not to my agenda.
- Looking to Him over cereal bowls brimming with Cherrios.
- Looking to Him as I read “Frog and the Toad” for the 100th time.
- Looking to Him as a I steal an hour of nap time to scribble words that may become a book one day.
- Looking to Him as I lay bone tired in the bed at night, offering myself as a living sacrifice, reserved for Him alone.
I stand a bit wobbly today, but all the more convinced that the way we discover the “big dreams” we were made for, is by following closely the One who made us; the One who knows the plans He has for us.
“My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me” Psalm 63:8
We are best able to follow when our souls find their rest in Him; not in a search for “big dreams”. We find deep significance when we are quiet enough on the inside to be aware of Him in the moments of our days. Finding internal rest and eternal significance, even on our “non-productive” days of simple mommy-ness, or whatever your daily simple may be.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.” Psalm 62:5
“The impact God has for us doesn’t happen when we pursue impact. It happens when we pursue God.” Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales
So today, I pursue Him. Lifting my eyes to Him, choosing to be faithful in the secret, small things that no one sees, trusting Him to unfold His grace-laced plans for this girl.
“…Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly…” Matthew 6:4
How about you? Do you ever feel like your pursuit of impact swallows your pursuit of God? The tipsy-turvy of “ministry” or motherhood or community involvement or doing “great things for God” sometimes leaving you flat on your back?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about being with Him, and not just doing for Him? After all, that’s where the sweetest fruit grows, right, friends?