Seeking Direction


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“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”

Proverbs 4:26

This week I have been “Pondering my path.” I have been dreaming; exploring my options for the future. What started out as a seemingly exciting adventure has quickly turned into a scary, uncertain road.

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever set out for what looked like a fun, exciting time, but quickly you realized that you were lost and needed some guidance?

My children and I went for a walk last week and I captured the above photo. Both my sons and I were captivated by the scene of open space and seemingly endless opportunity. As we surveyed the land, my children began to talk about how much fun it would be to set out walking and see where it took us. I can only imagine how far they would get before they turned around in search of the safety of home.

As I look at this picture, I think about my life and how many times I have thought the same thing.

I am a self-admitted dreamer. I have been since I was a child. I look out at life and I want to run off into the sunset and see where it takes me.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a nice, big house with a big front yard, a loving husband and children running around  calling me “Mommy.”

As a teenager in high-school I dreamed of going to college and getting my PhD in Psychology and becoming  “Dr. So-and-so.”

After I got married and my two oldest children were in school, I found myself lost, seeking direction. Please do not misunderstand me, I love being a wife and a mom, but with the decision to have children and not go to college came the reality that some of my dreams were going to look a little different from those I had as a child.

After some much-needed soul-searching and praying, I realized that God was working my dreams out in his own time. I had a nice home, I had a loving husband, and I had not one, not two, but three little children calling me “Mommy.”

When my youngest was about to start school I felt God calling me to volunteer at the Christian school my children attend. I can not begin to tell you the blessings that God has provided through that opportunity. I get to be with my own children each day while also ministering to many other children as well.

A few months ago, I felt God calling me to start this blog. I have always been told that I had the heart of a counselor, and to have the opportunity to help and encourage other people was something that I longed to do. I may not have a PhD behind my name, but I know I am where God has called me to be. I pray every day that I can be a blessing to those I come in contact with here.

My life right now feels like this vast open scene. My heart wants to take off running into the scenery, but I know I must trust God’s plan. This week I have realized that I need to wait for Him to lead. Yes,I will always be a dreamer. I still have dreams that I would like to pursue in the future, but I will not move until God tells me that it is time.

Just as my children would not make it very far venturing out into the great unknown by themselves, I too realize that without God leading, any dream I pursue, and any adventure I take will only leave me longing for home, for the comfort that can only come from being in the center of God’s will.

I believe that God is not finished with me yet. I believe that He still has great plans for my life. I want to listen for His voice, wait for His guidance, and to trust His results. I know that if I will do this, I will be successful in whatever it is that God has planned for my life.

Maybe you have found yourself in a similar place in life. Please, let me encourage you today:

If you have found yourself longing to run on ahead, I want to encourage you to wait on God. Do not stay behind when He tells you to move, but do not run ahead of the place He has called you to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us:

  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;

and lean not unto thine own understanding.  

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Trust God today, friend. He has great plans for your life.

God bless you.

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God-sized Dreams: A Work in Progress


 paint and brush

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

*I know I am a day late writing this post, but life threw us a curve ball this weekend and I have been nursing a sick little girl back to health all week. Praise God that she is on the mend after a severe UTI (urinary tract infection). It has been quite an ordeal for a five-year old to have to endure,but God was faithful and brought us through. Please continue to pray for her as she continues to heal. We still have one more hurdle to jump and then she should be good to go. Thank you to those who have been praying for her and our family.

I find it a little bitter-sweet writing this post this morning. I have very much enjoyed being a part of the God-sized dreams team for the past couple of months, and I have met some wonderful people in doing so. I love that we can get together as a group of believers. I pray that God will open the door for us to do it again in the very near future.

I am pleased to say that my God-sized dream is going very well. I give all the honor and praise to God for everything that has grown out of one little dream to encourage and share God’s word with others. Little did I know that a nudge from a friend to sit down and write what was swirling in my head would turn into something such as this. Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would be sitting here, just a few short months later, sharing what God has laid on my heart with hundreds of people. That part of this journey still leaves me speechless every time I talk about it.

If I had to pick something to be the hardest part of  pursuing such a dream, it would be the kind of situation that we just faced this weekend. I am a mom, and that in itself is a full-time job, but I also feel that I have a calling from God to work for Him.  From time to time I find myself stretched pretty thin and there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. Once again, my God is always faithful to meet my needs right where I am, and He gives me the strength to move forward.

I am amazed every day to see this dream grown into something bigger than I could have ever imagined. I get so much joy out of encouraging others, and I look forward to hearing from my readers as they respond to different things that touched their lives.

I still have a lot to learn. There are many things I still do not know about running a blog, or where to go from here. But, I do know one thing, my God is bigger than all my failures, short-comings, and down-falls. I trust that God will continue to allow me to learn all the things I need to know to successfully run a  blog.

I have many dreams for the future of EFED ( that is how I have decided to shorten the name of my blog. It is a little easier to type.) As I have already stated, I would love to see “Encouragement for Every Day” grow into something bigger. I have the dream of  having it as my own web site in the future. I would like to be able to offer a resources page, that hold books and such things that I recommend. I have been praying about adding a “donate” button to the page so that the website may continue to develop into something bigger. I am still in prayer about the opportunity to write a book. There are just so many things that my heart desires to do for the Lord.

I would ask that you continue to help me pray as I listen for God’s voice and His direction. I firmly believe in my heart that God has more planned for the future of EFED and I want to keep my heart and ears open to all the possibilities. I would ask you to help me pray that God would send the right people into my life that will help me to gain the skills that I lack to run a successful website.

I would like to say a personal “Thank you” to Holley Gerth and her team for giving me the opportunity to share my dreams along with her readers. As a toddler in the blogging world, I feel that this opportunity has given me a chance to get on my feet and grow. God bless you, Holley. I pray God will continue to bless your  ministry for Him.

I would also like to say, “Thank you” to everyone who has joined me as I have taken this journey to a God-sized dream. My heart rejoices in the company of fellow believers and dreamers. My heart finds joy in getting to share, encourage, and pray with you every day.

I have to say a big thank-you to my family for supporting me as I get on my feet. My husband has been such a blessing to me. He is such a great supporter and he has encouraged me, and stood beside me every step of the way.I am excited to see what God has in store for us in the future.

I also have to say a big thank you to my parents. They have been supporting me on this journey since before anyone even knew it existed. I am so grateful for Godly parents who took me to church, taught me about God,and showed me what it meant to serve Him no matter what the cost. I am amazed at how all those years ago, when we were ministering together as missionaries, that God was laying the foundation for this ministry today. I also want to say thank you to my aunt who edits all my blogs. She has been such a big help in encouraging me to write, teaching me how to say what I really mean, and catching all my misspellings and broken sentences before I put them out there for the world to see.

Now I want to take a minute to encourage you. If you are living a God-sized dream, keep it up! There is no better place to be than right in the center of God’s will for your life. If you have a God-sized dream, but have yet to pursue it, I urge you to continue to pray about it and step out in faith. I understand how scary it can be, but I can honestly say without reservation that if God is leading you, you can never go wrong. If you are reading this and you are looking for guidance, maybe you feel a little lost in this world of God-sized dreamers. I also urge you to pray. Seek God and His will for your life. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:7-8:

Ask, and it shall be given you;

seek, and ye shall find;

knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

 For every one that asketh receiveth;

and he that seeketh findeth;

and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

God has a great plan for your life. When you discover what that is, and you begin to take that journey, God will open doors that you could never even imagine were possible.

I pray that as you read this and continue throughout your day, that you will hide these verses in your heart. When you feel God tugging at your heart strings, when He whispers, “Come work for me”, I pray that you will answer His call.

God bless you today, friend!

God-sized dreams

God-sized Dreams: Encouraging Others


Dear God-sized Dreamer,

I wanted to write and encourage you today. Sometimes living out our dreams can be scary. I pray today as you read this that you will find some peace and encouragement to keep doing what you are called to do. I believe that God has big plans for your life and your journey. You just have to keep Him first and seek His will daily.dreamer

I have a favorite verse I want to share with you. It is Jeremiah 29:11 and it says this:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What a great and mighty God we serve. How much must He love you to declare His plans for you? He does not leave you to wonder, He tells you exactly what they are right here. He wants to help you succeed. He wants you to have hope. I believe that God smiles when He sees you working for Him. It pleases your Heavenly Father when He sees you going about the ministry that He has set before you.

The next two verses that follow are important as well. They read:

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God wants you to come to Him with your God-sized dream. He wants you to seek out His will and guidance. God promises that He will hear your prayers.

I pray these verses bring you hope and encouragement today. I pray that you will remember to call on God as you live out your dream. Put God first, ask Him for His guidance and blessing on your ministry, and then rest in the assurance that He already has big plans for you.

I know that God is going to use you to do great and mighty things for Him. I believe that you were created with a purpose, and that God wants to fulfill that purpose in you.

Dear friend, I pray for you today. I pray that any fear you may have, and any uncertainty you may feel will vanish away as you learn to depend on God for your strength.

Remember to always give God the glory for whatever is accomplished through you, for it is not your work that is being done, but God’s work made perfect through you.

When you find yourself tired and worn, I pray that you will think back to this letter and be encouraged. God is not yet finished with you. You are touching lives with the work you do.

Finally, I pray that you will not only thrive in your  ministry, but I also pray that you will enjoy the journey that God has set before you. There is joy in serving the Lord and I believe that He wants to show that to you. I look forward to watching you grow in the Lord.

Love in Christ,

Valarie ( A Fellow Dreamer)

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God-sized dreams: Doing What I Can


The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalm 23

                                                                                

Would you believe me if I said that sometimes I run out of things to say? If you were to ask my family and those who are the closest to me, they would probably laugh and say, “Never!”

I have told you before that I was blessed with the ability to talk a lot. It always seems I have something to say and can pretty much talk to anyone, but believe it or not, sometimes I sit down to write and I have nothing. As hard as I may try, my brain just lets out a big sigh and then, nothing.

I am sure we all have times like that. It does not matter what kind of ministry it is, we all have those times when we get tired, and need some “Me time.”

Me time

As a Mom and a Wife, I sometimes feel the need to just take a break and get away from the everyday things that seem to pull at every fiber of me. You know what? It is okay. Being a Mom and a Wife is a ministry in itself, and sometimes as ladies we get tired.

Men, this does not leave you out. I am sure that you too get tired. The job of a Father, Husband, and Provider can get heavy from time to time.

More than once since I answered this call to minister as a blogger and encourager have I found myself just needing to take a break and let my brain soak up some of what I am trying to share with you every day. Each time this happens I feel bad about it, like I am letting my readers and God down.

As I grow in the Lord I learn new things. Through prayer I have realized that even Jesus took time for Himself. There are times in the Bible that we read about Jesus getting off by Himself to pray and rest.

I am going to share a secret with you. It is okay. It is okay to take a break and to get away for a while and do something else. We all need a chance to regroup and to catch our breath.

 

There have been times when the kids were babies that my husband and I would look at each other and say, “We need to get away.” We would pack the kids up and just go out for the day. Something about breaking the routine and just getting out of the house for a while would make a world of difference.

 

No matter what “job” you do it is important to take care of yourself. You can not be what God wants and needs you to be if you are running yourself ragged all the time.  God has called you into a ministry for Him, and He wants you to be the best “You” that you can be.

 

As I read Holley Gerth’s blog this morning about God-sized dreams, this one comment really hit home with me:wpid-God-Sized-Button-1.jpg

 “Sometimes along the way to our dreams we just need a little time to play.

It helps us keep going and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.”

 

 

I want to encourage you today, no matter what your dreams are, no matter what ministry you find yourself doing, take the time to enjoy this journey you are on. God has put you here for a reason, He has a job for you to do, and you can only do your best when you are taking care of yourself.

I want to be the best I can be for God as I live out my God-sized dream. The next time I feel like I need a break, or a chance to breathe, I am going to take that time and not feel guilty about it. Because I want to be able to continue in this ministry and to encourage you, my readers, as we enjoy God’s word together.