“Was just talking to God and I realize I get bored and lonely when not collaborating in some way. I have wonderful stuff I’m doing. I like my editing work. And I’m enjoying writing content for The Mom Mentor. So I’m thinking…do I just need to get over myself or is there something I’m missing that I’m made for? Just a minor question for a Tuesday…”
This was a text I sent to Kimberly Amici, one of the co-hosts on our Slices of Life podcast. I was relieved to hear that she also struggled with working alone. She had already been talking to another member of the Slices of Life team, Noelle Rhodes, about the same thing.Sometimes, while pursuing my God-sized dreams, I feel lonely and alone in my work.Click To Tweet
I think there are a number of reasons why this is so, some of which you just might identify with.
- We live in a digital world – So while the Slices of Life podcast, for example, is collaborative because it’s at least three people having a conversation about real faith, real life, real community – we can do the work of taping over Skype. The upside is we can be in our own homes in sweats with no makeup on. The downside is we are not really in the company of one another. We do catch up a little, pray, tape, and chat for a few more minutes every time we tape, but there’s just no substitute for being in a room together.
- Some of us just don’t like being alone so often – Most of my work as a writer and editor requires me to be quiet (obviously not the case when I’m life coaching). I’m also easily distracted. So I need to be by myself. I’m likely to get the most done most efficiently alone in my own home office. No music. No talking. Just me and my computer. But after days and days of that, I’ve got to get out. I’ve got to engage with other people. I am an extrovert and being alone can drain me after a while.
- Isolation can lead to “stinkin’ thinkin’” – When I’m alone for too long, I can start to feel discouraged. Is this really what I’m called to? My imagination can get the best of me. Comparison can creep in. In my boredom, I can start to look for ways to fill my loneliness – like eating things that aren’t good for me but feel like comfort, or going off on a social media bender for an hour…anybody?
- We can feel like we’re in a vacuum – I’m an idea person, many dreamers are! We just can’t help ourselves. An entrepreneurial spirit is often part of the makeup of a God-sized dreamer. So we have ideas…All. The. Time. And by talking to others we can figure out if the idea might be worth pursuing. We process verbally. Sometimes writing can help, but sometimes we just need to share ideas with an understanding or like-minded friend out loud.
Here are a few ideas:
- Meet regularly with a friend or two – Since Kimberly and Noelle were feeling similarly, the three of us are going to meet together in one of our homes on a regular basis. We’ll be intentional about our time with an agenda that includes collaborative talk time, a lunch break, independent work with headphones on, then we’ll end our time together with a little additional sharing.
- Consider a Meetup – You can join a Meetup group, start your own through Meetup, or gather a like-minded group regularly on your own, much like a book group. What’s Meetup? According to their About, “Getting together with real people in real life makes powerful things happen. Side hustles become careers, ideas become movements, and chance encounters become lifelong connections. Meetup brings people together to create thriving communities.” Groups of people are getting together to share writing, cooking, decluttering, and so much more through Meetup all over the world.
- Try Coworking – Yes…it’s a real thing. Ideal for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, these are flexible shared office spaces. There are at least two spaces I know of right in my own town. You can agree to meet with friends a few times a week. You can buy a Day Pass, Monthly Pass, even a Monthly Dedicated Desk that allows you to use this space with a desk reserved just for you every day if you wish.
As Holley Gerth says in You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream, “Sometimes we feel alone not because we need to be with others but because God wants to be with us…Sometimes the feeling that we are alone is actually an invitation to stop and recognize his presence with us.”
You’ll definitely want to discern the difference between when you’re called to be alone so God can meet you in the quiet…and when you’re feeling lonely and need to connect with others.
When you need to step out and be with others…go ahead and find a way to do it. I’m cheering you on!
Shared by Elise Daly Parker
When I saw the topic for this month I was excited to share with you some wise words that were spoken into my life this past weekend by Deb Brown of Faithwalk Ministries. We were honored to have her as one of the keynote speakers at the Defining Your Joy 2017 Women’s Retreat in Helen, GA. (Other speakers included Kim Hyland, Jenn Hand, Rachel Britz, and Ria Story.)
Deb’s message seemed to come at a perfect time for me as I was hosting my first ever retreat for my ministry and was scared to death things would not go as planned, even after months and months of planning.
As Deb took the stage she shared with us her own inspiring, personal story of growing up, living in fear from a very young age, and her transformational journey from the Queen of Fear to a work-in-progress, recovering-from-fear girl.
During her talk, Deb shared with us this verse that truly spoke to my heart.
The LORD is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hind’s feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility!
Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP)
She then reminded us that…
As Deb closed her talk, she gave us each two cards…the first, to write the thing in our life that is most holding us back in fear; the other, for our next brave step. Not the end result but simply that next, tiny, brave step.
As a beautiful song, we were each asked to come up front and drop our folded, fear card to the ground, surrendering it and each receiving a “Be Brave” necklace as a reminder to keep moving forward. Deb then did something so very powerful. She knelt down directly on top of that very pile of fears and prayed for us all.
My heart is full, and I still have chills thinking about this beautiful act of love.
We then moved outside to take a moment together to celebrate our next brave steps. Once outside we were greeted with pom-poms and flower confetti poppers (donated by one of our sweet attendees). One by one, we cheered in true, Defining Your Joy, fashion as we each shared our next brave step!
It was such a powerful moment of community and encouragement!
My Next Brave Step: In five days I will board a plane to spend ten days in the Holy Land doing humanitarian work with kids in the schools there, while the men in our group complete some construction service project for an organization called Seed of Hope.
I am so very excited as this has been a huge spiritual growth year for me. I am fearful of this trip but am also excited to finish the year serving in the same area where Jesus once did. I am going with an open heart and open hands, seeking for God to lead me where He wants me to serve.
I would like to invite each of you to this fear challenge!
Please share below…What is holding you back in fear? What is your next brave step?
I am praying for you ladies as you take your next brave step!
Business / Ministry Coach & Founder of Defining Your Joy
(Follow Deb Brown for #mondaymoments to receive weekly encouragement to be brave.)
Shared by: Natalie Joy
“God will put you in a community of dreamers: people who support the dream even if it takes a while for it to happen. He will surround you with a unique tribe of God-following, dream-chasing, stargazing, Promised Land dwellers.”
Havilah Cunnington, Eat Pray Hustle; Dream Chasing God’s Way.
I was speaking at a women’s conference in Colorado. We had stepped down from our position as Children’s Pastors almost a year prior at that point. We were trusting God for the impossible. We had a dream- a big dream. I remember not wanting to write part 3 of my talk until right before the women’s retreat because I didn’t want to share my story on dreams until I could wrap it up with a pretty bow- you know, the answered dream part.
But I waited…. And God didn’t answer our prayers…. yet. And I knew I needed to share our story of what it looks like when you’re in the middle, waiting on a dream. And to face the reality of not only what it looks like, but to address what if God says “no”, or “not yet”, or “not the way you’re thinking”.
And so I shared my heart of, “This is where we are.” And I still had so many unanswered questions. It had already been almost a year of waiting. At what point do we start doing something different? At what point do we ask God if we’ve made a mistake and let go? At what point do we move on? All I could tell the ladies is that we had a dream, and I had no idea what God was doing but that we were called to be obedient and that’s all we could do.
We had testimony time on Sunday morning. Towards the end, a woman got up. Her name was Tracy. She had won a beautiful hand-painted cross from a local artist, Sarah G. She stood up and told me the Lord wanted her to give it to me and that she knew it was going to hang in our Ranch someday. (It was our dream to have a camp ministry year-round, and we had already found our dream property to do it at. The only problem was that we had no idea how we would ever get it.) When Tracy stood up that morning and said I was supposed to have it and it was going to hang in my ranch someday, my own doubts began to be overshadowed by hope.
Someone believed in my dreams.
But it sat in my in-law’s house for a time, and then it hung on the rental house for a year and a half and I thought maybe we all missed it. At one point I wondered if the right thing to do would be to send it back because she gave it to me believing it was meant to be in our dream ranch and we still had no clue how that was ever going to happen. But every time I looked at that cross I remembered her words…. that she felt so clearly in her spirit that this cross was going to be hanging in our ranch someday.
I remember when my son started cross-country. There was a heavy-set young man that joined the team also. We will call him Fred. Just seeing this young man want to better himself was so inspiring.
It was a hot, summer August day, and the team was in their first week of practicing together. I got there early to pick up my son and waited in the parking lot. What I witnessed next is forever etched in my heart. The team had finished. Or, I guess I should say, most of them. Everyone but Fred. And after waiting a few minutes the entire team along with their coach decided to go find Fred and finish the run with him. Some time had passed, and then I saw them. Tears streamed down my face as I watched this team run alongside Fred- he was beet red; his entire body a puddle. I wondered what went through his mind as he struggled to finish.
Why am I doing this? This is too hard. I just want to quit.
But his new teammates wouldn’t let him stop. I heard them shout words of affirmation and encouragement as he struggled to complete the run.
“You’ve got this. You can do this. Don’t stop, you’re almost there!” These boys believed in him and wouldn’t let him give up.
Ya’ll, this should be us! Unfortunately, we have allowed jealousy and our own insecurities and comparisons to stop our cheering squad. We have bought into the lie that if we celebrate other people’s dreams, our dreams somehow become less. This just isn’t so. The Bible says in Romans 12:15a to rejoice with those who rejoice.
If there’s anything I’ve learned on my own writing and speaking journey, it’s that we can’t do this alone.
It doesn’t take away from our dreams, it only adds to the joy, as we all pursue those things that God has put on our hearts…together.
In Chase the Lion Mark Batterson says, “Like Jonathan we need an armor bearer to climb the cliff with us, like Moses we need an Aaron and Hur to hold up our arms, and like David we need mighty men to fight with us and for us.”
What are some practical ways we can show others we believe in their dreams?
Write a note, send a text, share an encouraging scripture, let them know you’re praying for them, show up at their special events, give them a shout-out on social media, and make sure to celebrate their victories!
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (The Message)
After many years of wondering and wandering, the Lord fulfilled our dream of having a ranch and doing camps year-round. And one of the first things I did was find that cross that Tracy gave me. I hung it up in the center of my cross wall as a reminder of not only what God had done, but also as a reminder of someone believing in my dreams.
Who can you find this week to show that you’re rooting for them? Pray and ask God to show you someone who is feeling discouraged and how you might speak life into their dream. Think of all the ways that you would love someone to encourage you in your dream, and then go out and do that for someone else.
And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24 (CSB)
Be a cheer-leader, dream-defender, light-shining, others-centered, hope-giver!
Shared by: Celeste Barnard
I became a full-time working mom last year…in real estate. I’ve become a sponge, soaking up every bit of knowledge I can.
It has been exciting, hard, and some days discouraging. This business is tough and so very far out of my comfort zone.
There have been moments I’ve said, I don’t want to do this anymore; it’s too hard…too much.
I’ve had this verse from James rolling around in my head, James 1:2-4: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right?!)
James reminds me each challenge is an opportunity to grow, develop, and persevere.
I won’t give up or give into fear…but you know, it would be super easy to do just that.
As I was thinking of what I would like to share with you today, I remembered how the past six months have tested my endurance. I’ve had days when other agents who began their realtoring (that’s a word in the Real Estate world 😉 ) the same time I did would get leads that actually led somewhere. I would force myself to be happy for them but inside, feel the sting of jealousy and wonder when it would be my turn.
And while it did eventually become my turn I thought, you know, I need to share what it takes to get disheartened and give up on your dreams and I think I’ve really narrowed it down…I came up with four practical ways.
What are my four ways?
1.Sit around and do nothing. I get it. Go ahead, give up. Give into the voice in your head that says, you’re not smart enough, talented enough…whatever the lie is, give into it. Let it win, the pull is strong, who cares anyways?! You tried, gave it your best and it wasn’t good enough. Wallow in your self-pity and let it overtake you.
And then, wipe the chocolate from your mouth, comb the rat-nest out of your hair and TRY AGAIN. Dreamers, winners, champions get knocked down so many times they have bruises on their hearts and knees. But, they get back up, brush the grit from their scrapes and do it again.
2. DO NOT PRAY. For heaven’s sake, if you want to get nowhere fast, decide praying is a waste of your time and energy. Believe those heart-felt cries and pleas are a vapor disappearing into thin air. I’m sure God has more important things to do than worry about your dreams.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
He looks on us with love and even singing! Pray…and then pray some more!
3. Always, always, always, compare yourself to others. I recently asked this question in our private FB group…What keeps you from fully living? A fellow dreamer said this: “Comparing my journey to others and then not worrying that I’m not ‘keeping up.’ I’m fully alive when I rest in who he created me to be and the unique path He has me on.”
Want an infallible way to kill a dream before it’s even begun? Go ahead and compare your talents, your personality, your ability, etc. to those around you. Let’s see how far you get. Then come back and sit before God and let Him silence the not enough’s. He wants to reassure you, affirm you, and bless you, so let Him!
4. Do life alone and stay isolated. If you know me at all, you know I’m an introvert. I don’t mind being alone most of the time, but sometimes I enjoy it too much and I forget there’s a big ol’ world out there with lots of people who care about me.
Isolation will lead you to feeling like you are the only one. The only one struggling and having problems. The only one doubting God’s goodness and promises. (The only with a crazy family and kids who behave like zoo animals.)
You are not the only one!
Right here in this space, we understand that dreaming is a group effort. It takes a tribe. No man is an island. We are your people, your fellow dreamers, out-of-the-box thinkers.
Together we are unstoppable.
Your turn: What would you add to this list? Join me in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Holley Gerth’s book, You’re Made for a God-sized Dream.
Shared by: Alecia Simersky
P.S. Interested in joining our PRIVATE Facebook group? Friend me on Facebook, and I will add you. 🙂
We put our house on the market about a month ago. After much prayer (and research) we knew it was time to begin a new chapter. We hadn’t planned to move, but having a child with special needs means plans often change. We’re moving to ensure our son gets the best education possible.
While our decision to move was based primarily on Jackson’s educational needs, I’m excited to see what God has in store for us as we pack up our home and move to my favorite college town.
As a mother, I want Jackson to find his place at his new school. I want him to thrive and become all God created him to be. I want him to make friends who see past his challenges to the amazing boy he is. And as I pray about the dreams I have for my son, I realize I have similar ones.
I want to find my place in a new community, too.
The truth is, finding and being part of a community isn’t easy for me.
Sure, I’m part of several Facebook groups and feel pretty connected online; but the real-life stuff leaves me full of insecurity and feeling pretty alone.
I’ve never been the girl surrounded by a big church family or lots of friends. I see other people who have community and I wonder why I don’t. This is something I’ve struggled with my entire life.
God, is something wrong with me?
I’m pretty sure I’ve asked Him that question a thousand times.
The other day during my prayer time I poured my heart out to God.
Lord, why does it seem like I’m without community? Why do I not have more “close” friendships?
There were tears and transparency and tender moments between a Father and daughter.
In the moments after I uttered that vulnerable prayer, the Holy Spirit impressed answers upon my heart.
I opened my journal and wrote as quickly as I could.
It’s because you depend on people instead of me. You seek from them only what I can give – true love, acceptance and worth. You would exchange an intimate relationship with me for more people who will never meet your greatest needs. So I limit the number of people in your life because I’m a jealous God who wants a relationship with you.
Tears stained the pages of my journal as I sat with the reality of the words I had written.
I didn’t feel judgment or shame.
I felt an overwhelming amount of love.
There was nothing wrong with me.
I felt wanted.
I felt known.
That day during my prayer time, God reminded me that my small community isn’t insignificant.
When I struggle with insecurities about my place within a community or the number of close friends I have, Jesus always brings my heart back to what friendship looked like for him.
He had twelve disciples, but only three were considered his really good friends.
And again in Mark 5:37, He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
That intimate moment with my Heavenly Father was a healing experience.
While I still yearn for community and struggle with insecurity at times, I’m reminded there’s nothing wrong with me, God is insanely jealous of my time and His idea of community isn’t always the same as mine.
As my family embarks on this new journey, I’ll trust God to bring just the right people into my life and into my son’s.
Shared By: Jennifer Jackson Linck
It was back in the days before I had time to myself. Back when bottles, diapers, preschoolers and four kids in seven years took up all the free time, and then some. Our friends affectionately called them “the blurry years.” Late nights, early mornings and busy, lots of busy. Days of dishes and laundry. A uniform comprised of clothing that wouldn’t hold tight to spit up, finger paint and dirt. If you had looked in on our slightly chaotic world I would have been the first to tell you, this was my dream.Well, one of them at least.
I never did find a way to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night, but I loved sticky fingers, wet kisses and rocking to the rhythm of sweet baby breaths. Baby socks, stroller walks and teaching ABC’s, all of it was a dream come true for me. A gift. Along with the best husband on the planet, the six of us were a community. Our church had closed, and we were drifting in a lifeboat wondering if we would find somewhere to dock. Sometimes there were neighbors, family and friends, but mostly just us. We were living out our dream. Encouraging, crying, laughing, praying and lending a hand.
Because sometimes our dreams only need a community of a few who will stand with us.
Often in those years, sometimes late at night, the best husband would remind me of the other dream. The one that was bigger than I was. The one I was pretty sure would never come true. It’s the kind of dream that sits in your spirit and refuses to be silenced. You know the kind? It’s the beautiful dream that follows along while we’re busy doing life. In the space between our arguments of “can’t” and “not enough” the God of the universe whispers
“Yes you can, I am enough”
But, this dream was going to need all the help it could get. Besides the steady voice of my husband and the patient voice of the God who gifted the dream in the first place, it was quiet. Crickets. With only two voices in my corner and a whole lot of self-doubt, I was having trouble believing I could be a writer.
I remember the day we set foot in that new church. Holding our little ones hands, we took a deep breath. Our small community was about to expand. The God of the universe was whispering “yes.” He was gifting us with a safe place to raise our children, a group of people who would become our friends. A company of people who would journey with us. He was asking us to dock our boat somewhere new and we trusted Him with our hesitations, hopes, and dreams. Because sometimes our dreams need a community of cheerleaders, who will stand with us, pray with us and fight for us.
There were cheerleaders in that place that are still part of my community. They stood with us, fought for us, loved us, and encouraged us to be who we were created to be. They offered hope, opportunity and editing! And I began to really write.
Because always, our dreams need a community big or small that can encourage, speak into our lives and teach us to do the same for others. The size and shape of the company around us has changed with the course of life and the call of our good God. Community looks different in various stages of life and that’s a good thing! In each one we listen, learn and continue to dream.
I have more time to myself these days. It’s still often chaotic, and crazy. But if by chance you looked in on our world and my little yellow writing room, I’d be the first to tell you this is my dream come true. A gift from our good, creative God who says
“Yes you can, I am enough”
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Thess.5:11
Shared by: Katharine Barrett
Being the only girl in our family of four children, I was raised to be strong, independent, and self-reliant. Living with three brothers, I learned quickly how to stand my own ground. In fact, one saying our father coined in our family was, “You gotta be tough.” So, I was.
My loving parents did everything they could to prepare and equip me to be able to take care of myself when I got out in the real world. That included changing my own flat tire, pumping my own gas, balancing my checkbook, and cooking, cleaning, and the like. They taught me to work hard, to stand up for what I believed in, and that nothing was impossible for me to achieve.
Maybe it was because of my independent spirit or my self-reliant attitude that for a long season in my life I believed I could handle most anything and everything on my own. I wasn’t one to ask for help, and I certainly didn’t want to appear like I needed any. Goodness no!
That changed the day my father died.
Life, as I knew it, came to a standstill. The pain of my heartache was excruciating, and I buckled under the weight of my grief. This was well beyond what I could handle, and it didn’t take me long to understand this was something I couldn’t bear on my own.
Friend, I pray you have not experienced such heartache and grief in your life. I pray you’ve never lost anyone so close and so dear to you. But, if you have, I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. I imagine you might be able to relate to and understand such brokenness and pain.
God, however, met me in ways I never could have expected. At times I could almost feel Him holding me in my heartbreak and pain. That verse is true about Him being close to the brokenhearted. He provided a handful of friends who came alongside to help carry me and my grief. God taught me it’s okay and acceptable to allow others to help, and it can be a blessing to ask for it.
We weren’t meant to travel this road of life alone.
We need each other.
Read with me Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
God didn’t design us to walk this road of life on our own. You and I are designed for community. We are fashioned to do life with those around us. To walk alongside each other, to lift, to bless, to serve, to infuse hope. To encourage one another in our God-sized dreams and to do life with each other.
We need each other.
We already know life is a precious gift. But, it becomes even more special when it’s shared with others. A life shared becomes more than it could ever be on its own.
But, what if you find yourself alone? What if you don’t feel you’re a part of a community, or you feel you don’t need one? What then? My best suggestion is to pray. Whatever situation you find yourself in regarding community, I encourage you talk with God about it. He has the answers no one else has, and if you’re desiring community, He has one just perfect for you.
A bond grew between me and those friends who traveled that road of grief alongside of me. They became the community I didn’t know I needed. A community placed in my life by God, Himself. A community that helped me dream again. And, a community I can’t imagine my life without.
Friend, we are made for community. We need each other.
Shared by: Julie Lefebure
Every year, for over 10 years now, we gather as a supportive, caring, listening, praying, laughing, loving community in our friend’s seaside home the last weekend in January. We call it the Wonderfully Not Normal Weekend. There are about 15 of us, give or take one or two who regrettably can’t make it because something, though very few things, take precedence over this unique and precious time together.
The goal is always to get there Friday evening for our first community meal. The menu plan is really no longer a plan at all. It just flows organically. Everyone brings their specialty, along with lots of snacks – nuts, fruit, granola bars, and of course, lots of chocolate!
And, while the conversation could easily flow organically too the whole weekend long, there is purpose in this weekend – to connect, to know one another, to hold a sacred space for one another, to pray for one another.
Because nowadays, time and space, full-time and part-time jobs and ministry separate us. The years of being home with our kids have mostly long passed.
When we first began this holy weekend we allowed time to drift along, with a few non-negotiables. We always gathered in the wide-open living room, the fire crackling in the big stone fireplace for most of our time together. And we listened to one another. Trials, triumphs, tragedies…all mixed up in one weekend.
One had a crisis with a child. Another’s marriage was on rocky ground. Still another had finally lost some weight. One just had her first daughter’s wedding…and then a grandchild. We recapped life together.
Now we’re more intentional with this sacred community time. Each of us is invited to share for 10 minutes about whatever they like or need, as the case may be, to talk about.
Then we, the listeners, get 5 minutes to affirm the designated speaker, ask a question for greater understanding, reflect back what we’ve heard. But we are not allowed to try to solve our speaker’s problem, or fix or advise. The point is to listen…to hear. Finally, the one who has just shared sits in a chair, and we gather round and lay hands on her and pray for 5 minutes. It’s a powerful prayer circle full of love, sometimes tears, even sobs, and lots of laughter and joy too.
Everyone gets her turn over the course of the weekend. And everyone returns year after year to hear, to love, to learn, to grow in community.
What do we do for one another as a band of community?
- We affirm – Listening so intently validates our worth as a sister and friend, our lives – lumpy, bumpy, and imperfect as they are, our struggles and our triumphs, it all matters.
- We care – The timing of this weekend is perfect – far away enough from the holidays but near enough that the New Year still feels new. We have an opportunity to reflect back on our year. Doesn’t each year deserve that? And then we start to dream, map out, envision the next year amongst people who we know care.
- We are present – In the middle of all the busyness of life, we stop. We set aside our plans, our thoughts, ourselves as we listen. We think, we feel, we are present for one another.
- We remember – A year can be a long time. As we listen and share, we are reminded of our dreams from the past. And sometimes we see progress we hadn’t seen before.
- We inspire – I have a dream to write a book. Truth be told, several books. And so, I’m sure like many of the God-sized Dreamers who show up here on this site, I collect my thoughts, ideas, notes all the time. This past January, when my dear friend shared, I was struck by how her words were in complete harmony with an idea I’ve been feverishly writing notes on. Coincidence? I think not! I am inspired and propelled to move forward.
Our dreams do not exist apart from us. They are in us, an extension of us, a piece of all that makes up each one of us. A dream shared, expressed, acknowledged, accounted for takes shape in community…and sometimes that’s actually where our dream comes true.
What’s your dream? Share it with us today so we can cheer you on!
Want more on girlfriend getaways and friendship? Check out this podcast…
Shared by Elise Daly Parker
There we were, sitting around the table at the farm eating lunch. My husband was away hanging out with the prayer community at Breakforth (it’s a huge equipping event in Canada). The kids and I had decided it would be fun to head to the farm for the weekend and chill. My son brought his best friend along and we were doing what we’d come there for…chillin’ at the table. A community of chillers!
My 10-year old started it all. She said something about using her math skills as a super-power and the tangent exploded and the Whiz-Nurds were born. We started throwing ideas around and pretty soon we had a whole cast of characters with amazing super powers and a setting and some plot lines. My kids were so excited they kept coming up with new ideas for the rest of the day. They wouldn’t let me leave it alone; I was required to write down all the ideas so we wouldn’t forget anything! My task, now, is to write it because they want to read our dream.
That evening, as I spoke with my husband about our crazy ideas, he added a few suggestions of his own that lent depth and purpose to our story line. We were a community of dreamers…all ages, genders and, at that moment, provinces.
Community, in this instance, was a flash in the pan blaze of ideas. It was inspiring and motivating and so very much fun! We weren’t following a set of ‘think-tank’ rules. We didn’t plan for it. It just happened and it was beautiful.
Not all forms of community look like that. I used to be a loner, feeling like I wasn’t part of anything. I took a chance going to a blogging conference once, stepping way out of my comfort zone, and this beautiful group of women caught me up in their net of friendship. Through the Allume community online I’ve met so many wonderful people.
My writing community is all over the place; my sweet group of writing ‘Deevahs’ lives in a huge circle around North America, but we are no less a community than if we lived next door to one another. Thank you, internet!
The God-sized Dream Team was, I believe, from all over the world! And out of that community came this brilliant idea and the dream has carried on and invited all of you, dear readers, to join in.
I derive great delight from the pockets of women I meet with regularly in real life. I need that sort of community as well, warm bodies that are nearby that I can hug and sip tea with across a kitchen table. They don’t have a set pattern either, I meet with quilters, women on similar journeys to mine, from the same church, from different churches, from my kids’ school…you get the picture.
Perhaps you’re feeling alone on an island, longing for the kind of connection that I’ve just described. May I encourage you, friend, to reach out beyond your comfort zone?
Take one step, one click. Perhaps the community you need for this season is right in front of you, waiting for you to join in. There are so many amazing groups to be found through the internet for whatever your interest is; look at your library, your favourite hobby store, your church bulletin board.
What journey are you on right now? Raising kids, pursuing a dream, needing to lose weight? Start a group of your own and ask others to join with you. Read a book together, take a class. Drink some warm and wonderful and just talk.
Dream a little of community. Then, make your dream come to life! Go fishing, find something that works for you and join in. Scripture tells us that two are better than one, and iron sharpens iron.
We need one another, you and I, so come on in! I’ll get the tea started.
Shared by: Lani Wiens
Photo courtesy of: startupstockphotos.com