The World

Today’s topic wasn’t just random. I believe God planned it down to the littlest detail. Why? Because, in less than twenty-four hours, I will be on a plane to Honduras with a missions team from my church. This trip has been a long time coming. From the time I first expressed interest back in February, getting to go on this trip has been a God thing, pure and simple. There’s no way I would have been able to go on my own. Not from a one-income homeschooling family. But, God worked it out so I know it’s a part of His purpose for my life.

This will be my first time going abroad to do missions work, but I did spend a summer in Maryland when I was a college student. I also took a few one-week mission trips, but it’s the summer trip that has been in my thoughts in recent days. My partner and I worked in the inner-city doing whatever was needed, but mainly, we conducted Backyard Bible Clubs. In my mind’s eye, I see the faces of those children like it was yesterday. They were so excited we had come to where they lived. It was hard work. A lot of times, I was out of my comfort zone, but my youthful self dreamed of changing the world for Jesus. Many times, after that summer, I dreamed of becoming a career missionary.

But, real life intervened, and it’s now thirty-two years later. I wonder, where did that youthful enthusiasm and energy go? What happened to reaching the world for Christ? Oh, I did my best to change my own small corner of the world. I taught school. I married and had my own children. I became their teacher when they were young. I poured into my family. I wonder how much I really changed though. Advocates in the homeschooling community would say I changed a lot for my family, but what did I really do? I’m still working all that out.

We were practicing our faith when our sons were young. Then, we spent time out of the church in their middle years. I’ve written about this before. I became a cynic about the church and the community it’s supposed to offer because of all the bad I had seen. I longed for it still though because God had planted the desire in my heart. Cynicism and longing combined in my heart to make a potent soup.

As I’ve written though, my life has changed over the past six years. Love has come to the forefront, and I have a better understanding of what my faith means. I talk to God often, and He comforts me when the world lets me down. I even have a community that puts up with my weirdness, :-), and that is something, to be sure. I thank God for it every day.

Over the last few years, I’ve been thinking about and planning for what comes next after my children were done with high school. I’ve chronicled many of my thoughts and feelings in this blog. As you know, this is the year. My younger son will start college in the fall. God has been leading me down this writing path. I know that for sure. But, how and in what capacity, I don’t know. I also don’t know what I will do with the time I used to use for homeschooling. And except for my writing, I’m not sure of the path God is leading me on to serve Him. Thinking of that day in August when both of my children will be in college is a blur right now. I don’t know how my days will go or what will be in them.

I think it’s why God led me to this trip. A week away doing work for Him with no distractions, it’s what I need. God will meet me there. The uncertainty and blurriness will disappear, and my life will be changed!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

PS: I will complete this series on 100 Days to Brave when I return. See you on the flip side!

Dream Big

The day is finally here! I get to write a blog post with the title Dream Big. I’ve looked forward to this since I first saw the devotional title for today. I thought about what I would say all day yesterday as I wrote yesterday’s post, and I realized that God does want us to voice our dreams. He wants us to dream the dreams we don’t think are possible so He has a chance to work. He wants us to lean into Him as we work towards those dreams coming true, and maybe, just maybe, He might give us a bigger dream to bring uncountable blessings into our lives.

I mentioned one of my big dreams yesterday–my dream of becoming a published author. My dream of holding a book in my hands with my name on the cover and with my words contained in the pages. It was a dream I didn’t think possible just a few short years ago. The idea of sharing my words in public at all was enough to make me cringe. But, then, I started writing fan fiction and sharing it. I also started both of my blogs and met people online and in person from all over the world through them. There were people who thought my stories and my blog posts were good which amazed and astounded me. It gave me the confidence to think that people might actually want to read one of my original stories one day. So, I’m working on my craft every day, and my bravery is growing. I’m dreaming the dreams God is giving me and learning to lean into His grace and truth.

I have another big dream I want to share with you today. This is more recent than the first one, but not any less important. I wrote about it a few weeks ago. I felt God’s push to sign up for my church’s mission trip to Honduras this summer. Going there had been in the back of my heart since we first came to this church, but I thought it wasn’t possible because of finances, of course. I’ve let not having money intimidate me from doing a lot of things because, well, I didn’t think I was worthy enough to be blessed by God. I wanted to have the safety net in place before making the leap of faith. But, that’s not how God wants us to act, and I know it now. It’s why I took the step of faith to sign up for the trip. He wanted me to trust Him before I could see the net, and I did. And now, this dream of going to Honduras and meeting Jesus there has infused every part of my being. It’s part of this dreaming big that the author of the devotional spoke of this morning. She faced a similar daunting task as she stepped out in faith, and it turned into something where she received a tremendous blessing from God.

There have been plenty of times where I’ve limited myself because of fear and because of the lack of resources. God wants us to trust Him though–trust Him big and dream big. I want to be able to do that all of the time. So, as I finish this post, I want to leave you with a quote from the author of the devotional to encourage you and to encourage me as we go on this journey of bravery together.

“Dream big. Be brave enough to believe that as much as you could want, God could give to you.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

Praying God’s blessings for you all today!