Does Your Soul Know It Well?

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This week I have been working on a project. An assignment. A hard one! I’m enrolled in a 5-day course that will help me with my big dream. Each day has a lesson and one assignment. Seems simple enough. Except it took me to the very end of day 3 to be happy with my day 1 assignment.

I had been given great feedback and probing questions from the instructor. I sent my rough draft (I had maybe 6 or 7 rough drafts) to my mom, who is a writer. My husband looked it over and helped me dig through word choices and their meaning and theological significance. I felt like I was going nowhere. And here’s the kicker: I was only writing four sentences. Four!!! That’s it. It was so hard to me to get everything I wanted to say, to explain it so clearly, to be true and faithful to my calling and faith into four little sentences.

At the end of day two, I really started to question myself. Was this really what God is calling me to do? If I can’t write four little sentences, how am I going to complete my book or speak truth into others. Maybe I should stop now. No one would really miss what I bring to the table. There are so many others doing what I want to do. Really Lord? Me?

All lies!

You see, I do believe God created me for this. For many things, but especially for this. God has known this since the beginning, and if I really stop, breathe and thing about it, I know it too.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

I believe that you were created on purpose. No matter your circumstances. God knew you and created you on purpose and for a purpose. There is nothing in you; your desires, your faults, your challenges, your dreams; nothing is hidden from God. We are products of God’s handiwork. I believe there are God ordained dreams in our souls and as we walk our path, those dreams come into fruition. But that doesn’t mean there will be challenges or struggles or days when we want to give up.

My soul did not know it well. I forgot, even if just for a day. I made it about me and not about Him. I questioned, and wavered, and was ready to give up. But I didn’t.

When you find yourself in a place where your soul does not know it well, how can you bring yourself back? How can you remember? For me, I needed to go to bed and sleep. I needed to focus on gratitude and prayer. I needed to read from the Bible. And then I needed to stop second guessing myself and get back to work! God made me for this! What amazing, awesome, inspiring thing did God make you for?

Big Dreams & Crying Over a Picture Book

Untitled design (19)I believe in big dreams. I believe God gives us these big dreams for a reason. I also believe that no one has the right to tell you that your dreams are too big. No one. Not even yourself.

Our family dreams. We encourage our children to dream. Then we make solid plans and create steps to make those dreams become reality. A little while ago, I wrote about a time when my oldest daughter was told her dream was just a wish that would not come true. (You can read it here.) Her big, bold, beautiful dream. But her dream wasn’t crushed. My strong girl stood up for her dream and said it was a reality that was coming true! (A side note to you mommas: You’re kiddos are listening, so keep pouring God’s truth into them!!!) I was so proud of her boldness, and conviction and unwavering faith.

Fast forward to my weekend at RISE in Los Angeles. Day one we talked about our past. Day two we talked about our future. Our bold dreams. Steps on how to get there and to keep growing and how to not give up on your dreams. How to actually achieve a goal. And then Rachel Hollis sat in a chair, and pulled out a children’s book she reads to her children.

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And. I. Lost. It.

I was crying on page one of this book, because all I could think of was my beautiful children and their beautiful dreams, and the people who tell them their dreams are not possible. The story was about Rosie Revere, but could have just as easily been about my children.

Rosie 2Rosie Revere was an engineer who had big dreams and loved to turn trash into treasure. She was always creating and inventing, but she kept her creations hidden. She kept them hidden, because at one point in her creative life, she was laughed at. Her invention, her dream was laughed at.

 

“I love it,” Fred hooted. “Oh, I truly I do.”But Rosie Revere know that could not be ture. She stuck the cheese hat on the back of her shelf and after that day kept her dreams to herself.

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She stopped making inventions until on day, her Great-Great-Aunt Rose came to visit. Great-Great-Aunt-Rose had big dreams herself and shared them with Rosie. Her biggest dream that she hadn’t accomplished in her life was to fly.

Rosie couldn’t sleep that night because she wanted to help her aunt fly. She was an engineer and she was going to figure it out. She worked very hard, not knowing if her invention would work. The next morning she got into her bold invention to give it a try, but sadly it crashed to the ground.

Then Rosie heard that familiar laugher. The one that made her put her dreams away. Once again, Rosie told herself that she would never be a great engineer. (Cue more tears!) She turned to see that it was her Great-Great-Aunt Rose, who pulled her into a tight hug and said:

“You did it! Hooray! It’s the perfect first try! This great flop is over. It’s time for the next!”

Young Rosie was baffled, embarrassed, perplexed. “I failed,” said dear Rosie. “It’s just made of trash. Didn’t you see it? The cheese-copter crashed.”

“Yes!” said her great aunt. “It crashed. That is true. But first it did just what it needed to do. Before it crashed, Rosie . . . before that . . . it flew!”

Great-Great-Aunt Rose knew that sometimes our dreams and inventions won’t work the first time. We will face failure and rejection and some days it will feel like you are swimming upstream in a storm. But as Great-Great-Aunt Rose tells Rosie:

“The only true failure can come if you quit.”

Rose Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts is a book you need to get today. Order it from Amazon or pick it up at Target. And read it to you children, no matter how young or how old they are. Tell them that their dreams are important, and real, and beautiful . . . and possible!

God places these bold and beautiful dreams in our souls for a reason. He wants you to live them. Breathe into them. Bring them to life. Then surround yourself with a community, a tribe, that will support you and pray for you and pick you up when you hit a roadbump. Because like Great-Great-Aunt Rose said, “The only true failure can come if you quit.”

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“Rosie Revere Engineer”

by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts

Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York

 

Also be sure to check out these other books:

“Iggy Peck Architect” and “Ada Twist, Scientist”

A Small Patch of Sun

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Do you see that tiny patch of sunshine? That’s where I’m sitting. On the floor, with the warm sun on my back. Paw Patrol is on the television and I’m digging into Psalm 34.

It’s been a hard week. One of those “Really? All of this in one week?” kind of weeks. I’ve had to say hard, grown-up words to my children. Words they should be too young to hear, but society challenges me, no – forces me to speak them. To have conversations with them. To speak truth over them.

It’s also going to snow this weekend. The weather is very trivial compared to everything else this week, but I have been cold since October and I’m ready to be warm again. This is why I’m sitting on the floor in the sunshine. Maybe I can soak in enough to make it to next Wednesday, when the sun will reappear.

Psalm 34 says:

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.” v.4-5

and

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help.” v.15

This is the simple truth that I need this week. God sees me. In those hard conversations and situations, where I feel completely lost, God sees me. He knows right where I am. He is always with me. This sweet, sweet promise is one I hold on to tight. Even more so in weeks likes this one.

Maybe you are in a hard season. Or a hard week. Or a hard moment. God sees you.

Maybe you’ve had to have hard conversations. With a spouse. With children. With a co-worker. With a friend. God sees you.

Maybe you are still stuck in winter and are praying for spring. God sees you.

Even with our situations seem dark, and make God harder to see, his sovereignty, his power, will hold you and sustain you. No matter how loud your day is. God hears you.

Look past the dark. Look through the noise. Walk toward His presence. His love. His promises.

Go and sit in that small, warm patch of sunshine, and soak it in!