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: Worth the Risk


*I can not write about living my God-sized dream this morning without taking a moment to say a prayer for the people in Oklahoma who are living out their worst nightmare. As you go about your day, today, please keep them in your prayers*

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 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Any dream that you dare to dream comes with its own amount of risk.

 

I find comfort in the promise that God will be with us. God has plans for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11) The question is this: Will we accept the challenge, and take  the risk?

I have just recently set out on the  journey to my God-sized dream and already there have been risks and setbacks.  There have also been many successes and blessings from God. I believe that anyone who is living a God-sized dream will experience successes and failures.We are called to be faithful to continue even through the failures.

When I answered the call to this ministry there were many questions to which I did not have the answer. I can still remember the day I brought this to my husband. I can only imagine how I must have sounded as I tried to explain what God had placed on my heart. I would love to be able to tell you that I had it all planned out, and that I was able to bring him a pretty wrapped package of exactly what my dream looked like and exactly how it would turn out, however, this was not the case. When I approached my husband with the call that I felt God had given to me, the only answer I had for him was, “God has called me to write.” I want to remind you that when I told him this I did not have a computer and the only internet access I had available was on my cellphone. Even with all the questions, my husband was very supportive and he has been cheering me on from the very beginning.

Since that day, God has blessed us in so many ways. A dream that started out with more questions than answers has grown into a journey with endless possibilities. There are still questions yet to be answered and roads yet to be taken, but I am excited to see where God is taking us.

I can not say that I have come across anyone who disagrees with what I am doing.  I have been blessed with a wonderful group of family and friends that are very supportive.  I was very careful in the beginning of this journey to surround myself with people whom I trusted, and in whom I was sure I would find the support I needed to get started. I can not thank them enough for all of the support and encouragement.

The riskiest part of this Journey, for me, has been the lack of knowledge in writing and setting up a blog. Again, God has blessed me with people who have been able to encourage me and help me in these areas. I still have many things to learn, but I am an eager learner and I look forward to the things that God has planned for me. I  have also had to learn how to keep myself emotionally and spiritually fed so that I may continue to encourage others, and God has been faithful in His promise to never leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:8) Every time I go to God in need of renewal, He brings peace to my heart, and He renews my spirit.

I look forward to taking the rest of this journey with each of you. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and support me with your prayers. I pray that this ministry will continue to bless lives and encourage hearts.

Whether you are just getting started or have been living your God-sized dream for years, I encourage you to stick with it. It will be worth the risk.  If God has called you to do a job, He will continue to bless you with the things you need. I pray that we will continue to remember to encourage each other and hold each other up in prayer. We each may have different callings and cover many different topics, but we all have the same common goal: to minister for God’s glory, and to lead people to Him.

God bless you as you continue on the journey to your God-sized dream. I pray that God will bless and empower you to do what He has called you to do.

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God-sized Dreams: Spread the Love


encourage 

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 

not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,

but encouraging one another,

and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25

As I was looking at Scriptures to share this morning, I realized just how many there are on encouraging each other and lifting up each other. I believe that it is no coincidence that there are so many of them. God knows as humans that we need to be encouraged, we need to be lifted up by fellow believers.

I wanted to take a moment this morning and spread the love a little. I want to encourage your heart to keep doing what God has called you to do even when you get tired and discouraged.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reads:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

We can accomplish many things through God when we stand together as believers and God-sized dreamers. We may all have different dreams, but we should all have the same goal. That goal should be to bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. When we stand together with that common goal we can not be defeated. I thank God every day that I am blessed to be part of such a great group of fellow dreamers. You all are a blessing to my heart.

Colossians 3:16 tells us to:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,

teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,

singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

We all have things that we can learn from each other.As believers and dreamers we all bring different gifts to the table. I am encouraged every day as I read the words of others. As I see what God is doing in their lives a new spark is started in my heart to continue on the journey that God has set for me. I pray each day that I can be an encouragement to those that read what God has placed on my heart.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver

Proverbs 25:11

dream

Today I wanted to encourage you to keep pressing toward the mark. You may not have reached it yet, but do not let that get you down. Enjoy the journey that God has set before you.
I feel that I have been called to encourage others, and as I live my God-sized dream each day I pray that God will continue to open new doors for me to do just that. I pray that He will show me new ways every day to share God’s love with others and to encourage them to live out their dreams through Him.

I do not yet know where my journey is taking me , but I sure am glad that He has blessed me with a great group of friends with which to share the trip.

God bless you today as you live out your 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.