Inspirational Quote: The Stars Above

“The sight of the stars always makes me dream.”

Vincent Van Gogh

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A New Song!

Lately, I had been getting bored with my IPod selection.  None of my songs were speaking to me and I remember thinking, I need something.  So, I turned on K-Love and there it was!

“You are more than the choices that you’ve made

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes

You are more than the problems you create

You’ve been remade”

You are More by Tenth Avenue North.  When I heard it again on K-Love the next day, I had to know the meaning behind the song.

So here’s the story :

http://tenthavenuenorth.com/journal/entry/you-are-more

It’s fascinating to me because it’s something I would ponder or wonder about.  But it never occurred to me. The argument has very strong points.  It’s amazing how subtle messages sneak into our psyche subconsciously that is not the truth but affects our attitude and beliefs–and can ultimately affect our walk with God.

I struggle with such negative thoughts and I need to be told over and over again:  You are more–even when you fail over and over again.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the humdrum of life and lose your purpose.  I need reminding constantly that God has more for me if I reach out and grab it.  He has more no matter my past or how much I screw up the present.

When I was a little girl, one of my dreams was to be a singer. Well, I can’t sing.  I also greatly desired to play an instrument and never had the opportunity as a child.  I’ve always been fascinated by music and love to listen to music that speaks to me in some way.  I’m drawn to it.  I guess in some way I wish I could write music but I’m lucky to know the difference between a quarter note and a half note.  In another life I’d like to write music.

God didn’t gift me in that way.  But I greatly admire those who are.

If you read this story, you’ll be as awestruck as I am.  How do these guys know so much at such a young age?  Again, I keep thinking of all I’ve missed out on.  But I’m doing my best to catch up!

In BSF today, our leader spoke of the importance of music that celebrates Him and who He is.  I couldn’t agree more.  Music can drag me out of the worst of moods.  Music can say things to me that no matter how many times I’ve read it or heard it spoken or told myself I don’t get it.  Because for whatever reason music is in my soul.  God is everywhere and He speaks through people, through His word, in Nature, in music, work, etc.  He uses whatever medium He has to to get our attention.  And for me it’s music.

God uses music to celebrate Him and who He is.  He can revel himself through music.  When God speaks through such music, it’s a powerful message and one I tend to listen to whole-heartedly.

I played this song over and over again as I drove around today.  “I’ve been remade.”  I keep thinking of me as the clay and God as the potter and when I fall apart, He remakes me.  I keep telling this to myself over and over again.  When I falter, God will remake me.  When I give in to the side of me I don’t like, God will remake me.  There is hope–because of Jesus and what God did for us.  Not from anything we can do.

There is hope.  And for me I find hope in many places (God, Bible, my work, my husband, my kids, people, etc). And today it’s this song.

End Note:  My IPod has been a gift from God.  It was given to me by my husband (another gift from God). It was invented/created by a human whose mind was a gift from God.  It serves His purposes.  Fascinating how everything ties together and all leads back to Him, isn’t it?

Great Men Have Dreamed Great Dreams,

and I have dreamed your Greatness.

This is a line out of the picture book, “Merlin and the Dragons,” by Jane Yolen.

It struck me because I am continually striving for and dreaming of greatness and always seem to fall short.

I’m having a really hard time editing my latest book.  I think it’s my best work yet but somehow finding the time is daunting.  I’m determined to finish it and am creating a time line to do so.

Still, I’m not encouraged.  I’ve been plagued by this moving dilemma (albeit we are months away).  My mind won’t focus.  I’m trying not to worry and put it all on God’s shoulders but am failing at that as well.  I’m struggling to exercise.  Accomplishing anything seems…overwhelming.

I’m worn down.  I’m disheartened.  I need to be filled up again but can’t seem to manage to do so.  I’m ambivalent.  I’m stuck in limbo.

I’d appreciate any prayers sent my way.

Going Back to Refutation…

I’m still kicking around the blog post by Nathan Bransford dealing with dreams and expectations.  Most people agreed with it.  Some were like me.

It angered me.  I do get offended when people say “temper your dreams”.  Ever.  People had better not say this to one of my kids or they will have to deal with Mama Bear.  This isn’t what Jesus said or did.  The point of life is to be more like Jesus.  He said go forth and prosper.  Find your God-given purpose.  God wants us to succeed and not settle in life.  Life is way too short to settle.

I want my dreams so bad it hurts sometimes.  I cry over it.  I anguish over it.  I pour every ouch of blood, sweat, and tears into my works and I do expect it to touch millions.  I expect that.  This is why I will succeed.

Ask any successful millionaire out there how high his expectations were and I’m sure you’d get out of this universe.  Steve Jobs?  Bill Gates?  Donald Trump?

Sure, I’m sure they didn’t know the path their dreams would take but that doesn’t matter.  All that matters is the end result.

Refutation

I was just on Nathan Bransford’s post and strongly disagreed with his premise that dreams can turn into unrealistic expectations, which can get out of control and you’ll never be satisfied in life.

My take is this:  Dreams are the cornerstones of this country.  It’s what America is founded on and what makes America great (think post-it notes and other inventions).  For me, dreams are what keeps me going and, yes, dreams are what get me through the tough times.  When you’re losing everything, when you’ve just left the bankruptcy attorney’s office, the dream of one day being a best-selling writer is really all you’ve got.  It’s the one thing that always remains constant in this inconstant world.  And yes I do have great expectations (thank you, Dickens).  If I didn’t expect to get published, why would I keep writing?  If I didn’t expect to make millions, why would I put in countless hours editing?  Or querying for that matter?

Dreams and expectations are one in the same.  Otherwise, you might as well crawl in a hole somewhere and give up on life.

So, keep dreaming and let it guide you.  Follow your God given purpose until you are called.  And never give up.  Dream big.  How else are you going to win big?  Don’t temper your expectations.  Expect a lot and you will be given a lot.

Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:7-8 :

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I also pray–A LOT.  I believe I will succeed because God is using me to spread powerful messages to young adults.  If you read further in this passage in Matthew  “…how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 7:11)

Keep striving, keep fighting, keep expecting, keep living, keep seeking, keep asking, keep praying.  One day, it will come.

Tennyson:  To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ever.

So, Mr. Bransford, don’t tell me not to dream, don’t tell me not to expect, and don’t warn me about what will happen if I do.  I may lose everything else in life and everything else may get taken away–but not this.  Not my mind.  Not my soul.  And not what comes from those.

Life is too transitory otherwise without dreams and expectations.  It’s what has gotten people through their days for centuries.  It’s what God has given us (free will and inward desire to make life better).  It’s the one thing I hold when everything else is slipping away–my faith, my God, and my dreams.

Lessons From Kids’ Books

I love kids’ books for the simple reason a lot have positive messages for children–and it turns out, the adults who read them to their children.

I just read “All the Way to Lhasa” by Barbara Helen Berger.  The simple moral is about how we all have our highest hope and our own journey.  May we all keep going like the boy and the yak who journeys steadily to Lhasa.  May all of us reach our shining goal.

I love this.  It’s a simple story (my 1st grader read it to me) yet one that I need to hear, especially as I’m being bogged down in moving and family drama.  It re-focuses my attention on my goal (being published) and the plodding that goes along with it.

Getting Back to Your Passion

It’s time to get back to my passion.  I once read in order to succeed at your dream you must devote 2 hours to it everyday.  I try to do that but right now I’m just not motivated to much in fact.  I’m finding it hard to eat, to cook, and to focus on my writing.  It’s hard to find the motivation when you can’t see the end game–and at this point I doubt if I ever will get published.

How do you get motivated when your work seems fruitless?