I’ve always loved this world. However, sometimes, if not properly expressed, our passions can get us into trouble. But, I think the thing I fear the most is to not live my life passionately for something…that I would just wonder through life without any real goals to impact the world around me…or even to live my life without any personally significant achievements. As a young girl, age 8, I had a list of achievements I wanted to reach in my lifetime. I remember I made the list all on my own and my age was listed as 100 and I had listed on that paper all that I wanted to accomplish and at what age…I handed it to my dad and he gently said to me…”Dawn, this is assuming you will live to be 100!” I sadly erased my age at the top of the page and put down 80, but left all my goals to accomplish the same, just closer together in age! Ok, I guess I was a series planner from the beginning! I’ve often thought about, as I have held all sorts of jobs/positions throughout my life, what my true passions are and how I wanted to use them. I realize now that God has made masterpieces of all of us and we are wonderfully complex creations! The truth is I can do all sorts of different jobs, but what am I truly passionate about? What will keep me coming to work with a smile on my face?
Some things I have learned about myself:
I love people.
I love solving problems
I am an analytical person.
I love to teach.
I love to make a difference in the world and in people’s lives.
I love to write.
I love putting different puzzle pieces together.
I love learning about God and ministering to other people to embolden the Truth’s of God’s Word into their hearts and minds.
I love learning.
I love encouraging others and being encouraged by others.
I love adventures.
I love seeing God’s power and presence in my life and the lives of those I love.
Jump forward to three passions God is continuing to put on my heart right now. TEACHING. RUNNING. SCHOOL.
I am teaching swim lessons to kids at the YMCA right now and loving it. I love seeing their enthusiasm and seeing them learn. I love teaching them a very important life skill and maybe even helping save their life someday or someone else’s by imparting water safety skills to them. I love believing that I am making a difference by investing in the next generation.
I am running and swimming my heart out right now and still feel like it’s not enough to prepare me for this marathon coming up in only ONE MONTH!!!
The Lord is putting a passion that has kind of been buried in the lost dreams section of my heart. I have felt called to serve my family day in and day out for 9 years now and as much as I have loved caring for them, I believe it is time to tap into those untouched dreams….that are waiting to be explored in my heart. This year, I sense is preparation for one and maybe two of those dreams to be discovered and employed! I have always loved English and teaching and have discovered an amazing company called Oxford Seminars that sends teachers all over the world to teach English. The company regularly sends families along with the teachers overseas and this is a major decision on the table in my family right now that is being covered in prayer.
I am thankful, by God’s grace, my kids are doing AMAZING. In school. At home. At their activities. I really am so in awe of how well they are doing.
I am thankful for God reaching deep down in my heart to pull out and dust off some dreams in my, well, honestly, broken heart that seems to feel a little too scared right now to dream…it has been checked into survival and anchor gear for about two years now.
I am reading a very timely book that is PERFECT for me right now. During the year of my unexpected separation and succeeding quick divorce, I read UNINVITED, by Lysa Terkeurst along with a “Love Worth Giving,”by Max Lucado and “Steadfast Love,” by Lauren Chandler. They were PERFECT for that year. Now, a year after an unexpected tragic turn of events…a situation I had absolutely no control over (despite how I tried), God puts a new book in my hands…Rescuing the Girl (She’s STILL THERE), by Chrystal Evans Hurst. It is all about how after casual drifts or tragic shifts in our lives make us lose track of the girls we once were…and we find ourselves OFF COURSE. How true for me! Her words echo my own, I couldn’t have said it better. It felt as if every dream I had ever dreamt came to an end this past year. “What next?” kept echoing in my mind over and over…I felt like I was frantically searching, trying to come up with a reasonable plan to provide for my family, as I was given two years . Two years of monetary support. It does seem sometimes that people have control over our lives, whether by influence or money…but I have learned that only God has real control! Thank God for that! I have prayerfully sought last year to finish my first semester of grad school, to substitute teach, and now to teach classes at the Y, while making certain my children were doing OK. They were my first calling.
Last year’s school pictures looked somber at best. I knew the kids felt sad, from what was happening, but also from words that were carelessly said to them that hurt so much…although their cute smiles could easily hide their sadness on the outside. Kids are so resilient. But, they also are so perceptive. I wanted so much for this year’s school pictures to reflect the hard work that God and I had done together to encourage them, build them up, and help them feel secure and hopeful for the future. Thank-you Jesus, this afternoon, I got their fall school pictures and all 3 are incredible..HUGE, BEAUTIFUL SMILES!! For me, they serve as a reminder…WE ARE DOING OK!!
Between activities and on the way here and there, we listen to sermons together. We read our bibles every night, I teach them and train them up in the way I sense the Lord leading me, they are engaged and thriving at school…I could not be more proud of them. Yet, each day I realize there is a foe out there and we are still on the battlefield. I try to stay alert and aware and help my children stay loved, secure, and ready to do what is right and good. Thank God they are receptive, thank God they are on board. I pray my heart out and thank God He has unrelenting mercy and grace over us.
All of this is a background to say…are we ready? Are we ready for me to go back to work full time next year? That’ll be my last year of support and a great year to transition into full time work while still having some income. One of my dreams for my kids was to take them overseas like I was when I was growing up and to have them go to international or private schools. It has been a dream I literally gave up on…until lately, a spark…a tiny one started flashing in my heart. I have found a means…but God must make the way! I know I have the talent, the ability, the passion….my kids are beyond themselves in excitement to go overseas as well, to perhaps Korea. I sense God telling me to take action. BUT, ROADBLOCKS always seem to pop up when life gets starts to look promising. As I said before, one of the things I love, is to see God’s power displayed in the lives of His children, according to His will.
Thy Will be Done. I am praying tonight that God make a WAY if this is HIS WAY. That He give me strength, power, favor, and perseverance to make a dream come true if it is indeed the dream He is planting on my heart right now. How exciting!
I love that my relationship with the Lord is never dry, never dull, always exciting…and you know, it is predictable too…I can always count on His Steadfast, UNFAILING Love.
PASSION. Jesus had it undeniably, unashamed. People called him and still call him all sorts of names. A Fanatic. Crazy. Delusional. But, you know what. The Bible says one day…every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that HE IS LORD. So, the same people who ignorantly say all kinds of false things about Jesus…will one day bow and declare Him as Lord and King. Now, that’s victory!! I love how Jesus is quite unaffected by what people say about Him. He heard it while on earth, He suffered at the hands of the worst, and He still hears all of what people think and say….but heaven and earth will someday pass away, however HIS WORD remains. Jesus remains. His Kingdom REMAINS.
So, whatever I do, whatever I say, let it be to be a part of His Kingdom that is unending. That will be my lasting legacy. To be a part of God’s work in Kingdom building. I hope that Oxford Seminars is a stepping stone to my work in taking a part in building God’s Kingdom. But, may God’s infinite Wisdom be my guide.