Things Dreams Are Made Of

Biblical Narrative reveals that some of the greatest miracles happen on the other side of a long wait. ~ Lisa Harper

December has been a time of retrospection. As I decorated for Christmas I kept it semi-low key. When I began decorating my Christmas Eve dining table I opened the cupboard to my tablecloth collection and at the bottom of the stack was the one my mom crocheted for my first table. It seated four. I decided to use it as a memorial.

A memorial at Christmas? Yes, a perfect time to remember when friends and family have gathered around my table since I was 18. Back then I dreamed of one day having a big open space for guests to gather and not a small apartment where we all hunkered down nice and cozy.

Things happen in small incremental processes for most of us and we take for granted the things we used to dream about. As I laid that beautiful tablecloth on my table which now seats 10 I have to wonder how I got here?

I have made monumental mistakes in my life. Ones that cost me time, resources, and finances. Ones in which you can’t so easily recover. When I give my testimony to the women at TLC Bible study it is often humiliating until I get to the part about Jesus.

So often, people take full credit for their position in life but I know better. While I was given talents, I squandered them, recouped, squandered, and finally overcame. It was in the Romans 12:2 be transformed by the renewing of your mind scripture that I began to do different.

I humbly asked for help from those who were smarter than I was. I was always a hard worker so I applied that to mindset and kingdom concepts and application. I cannot tell you it was easy, those old thoughts float back up but I will tell you to keep moving forward. Things take time.

Wow, so it sounds like everything is perfect. Not at all! There is still so much work to be done. There are still areas where dust has settled and it’s time to get out the broom and mop and do the cleaning. There are junk drawers of the mind that need to be gone through and tossed out because maybe I was holding onto that mini ketchup pack in case of the apocalypse but it didn’t come and now it’s just a dark pile of goo that needs to go.

So a memorial of small beginnings, in the shape of a tablecloth, has lead me to see the blessings that surround me. To some it may be a small life but to me it is huge. It is not hard to do but it takes effort.

Pray! Pray for direction, pray for discernment, pray for knowledge and then apply it for wisdom.

Keep dreaming, keep the dream in front of you by putting it in writing.

The people who become successful are not afraid of failure so if you fail, get back up! It means you tried something and learned what didn’t work. It means you are pursuing something worthwhile.

Keep people in your life that motivate you and inspire your thinking. If you haven’t had a stimulating conversation you aren’t growing. It’s fun to laugh and cut up with friends but it’s much needed time to be with great thinkers who challenge your view.

Quit thinking you know it all. This mindset comes from not being challenged.

Winners focus, losers spray so stay committed.

Quit putting people down and work on yourself. Blaming others for your position is lazy and takes the pressure off you but leaves you nowhere to grow. Life is easier when you learn forgiveness and move on. People are not our problem, we are.

Then take the time to look around you! You have way more than you think. You didn’t get here on your own. There were a lot of people who helped you.

Volunteer! Give back to others. It give perspective, fights off depression and gives you an overall sense of well-being.

That tablecloth is what dreams are made of for me. What is for you? What do you have in your life that you can point to and say, that is the motivation that keeps you going?

Still A Player

NFL Network photo

There is a weird competition in the workplace of a church where the clamoring of helmets is for that coveted Senior Pastor position. If they could only catch a bird’s eye view of that world they might take a pass but like me, before I married a pastor, I didn’t know all it entailed either.

It is no surprise that Thanksgiving weekend the attendance tends to be lower. Typically the Senior Pastor passes the ball to a Youth Pastor or an Assistant Pastor and they preach. Sometimes the Pastor goes away for a long weekend or he takes a break from speaking. The memes and jokes on social media begin. Fortunately when the comment passed my way I smiled as competition isn’t within the team. I could see how people could get hurt or offended by the comments though.

My husband had a bucket list item come up Thanksgiving week. I stayed behind and hosted my family and friends and preached the weekend. I shook hands and prayed with the visitors and invited them back to hear our Senior Pastor.

The last couple of weeks we’ve watched Brock Purdy lead the San Francisco 49ers in two wins to clinch the NFC Championship. In his role as third string quarterback he got a chance at the ball to help his team make a win and advance to the playoffs. So we, as associates, get a chance at the sermon to make a win and advance the Kingdom of Heaven.

Let them say what they want to say. You aren’t in competition for anything. You are making advances for the Kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven needs you in your place at your appointed time. You are part of the team. Essential to the mission. You may be sidelined with an injury, you’re still essential. You may be on a mission, you’re still essential.

It is a great honor to be the one the Pastor calls on to preach when he is out of town. It is saying he trusts you, believes in you, and knows you can get the job done. You can! Keep pressing forward. Maybe you never get the pulpit. You are still important in your role. You are still making a difference. Despite the naysayers you are upholding the Kingdom and that is no small feat.

“Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.””
‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭20‬-‭22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What is all of this to you? Follow Jesus Anyway.