Isn’t that so true? Honestly, I don’t know if it’s true because I haven’t lived my life with the dreams God’s given me in my heart of hearts. I definitely don’t say that in a ‘sad, woe is me way’. God’s given me exciting work to do as a teacher of middle school students with special needs and a Dean of Students at South Elgin High School! He blessed me, used me, changed me, challenged me and grew me in those 18 years. Being a mom to Nathan and Aaron has been the most amazing, important job God has or will ever give me to do. Blessing, blessing, blessing!
Now that I’m not able to work and my life has slowed down drastically, I started writing. One of my dreams is to write a book, so I will keep writing and see what God does. There’s a story in my heart that I want to share. I’m in the beginning stages of this dream, but I can’t say that it’s ‘grown holy’. Truthfully, I don’t even know what that would feel like. Maybe that was a bad quote to use (Sorry Adelaide- but I love your name). It was in my purple ‘Book of Beauty and Blessings’ and sounded good at first, but not so much anymore. I wrote too much about it to go back and delete it, so it will stay.
Another dream that’s been in my heart since I was a teenager is to do mission work in another country, and my heart is drawn to Spanish speaking people and South American countries. That is not in the cards for me physically right now, and may never be. My initial response is to say “and that’s okay”, but as I think about it tears swell in my eyes. God’s plans are the best plans and I’ve got more joy now than ever before by being ‘In what I’m in’, as I like to say. But I give myself space to still have some sadness for not being able to do things I love doing, like running, and that is okay. For goodness sake, I went to the grocery store this morning and could barely walk in the front door when I got home. Thankfully, Mike works from home and took care of that for me. Simple, easy things I used to do all the time are difficult. I had the choice to lay on the ground, pound my fists, cry and be angry, but I know better. God’s my Protector and Teacher and I’ve learned. So, I spent some time in the garden looking at new growth and snapping some pictures to capture a new season. Beauty and Blessing!
Yesterday during my Bible Study we did a service project instead of our normal routine, since the chapter from Celebration of Discipline was titled ‘Service’. It was absolutely precious! The organization is called ‘Loving Covers’ and they create blankets for children in other countries with the mission of “Sharing the Love of Jesus”. These are not run of the mill blankets; they are so creative, detailed, lovely, colorful and gorgeous! They take donated fabrics then volunteers go to work. Someone organizes the various materials into groups, people cut them into squares and arrange them into a design, take a picture, stack everything up and then someone makes the quilted blanket the way the designers envisioned it. They use the leftover fabric to make a backpack with a little pouch on the front and put a beanie animal into it for the child. I got to be part of the cutting and arranging of a blanket! Val Whetter founded the ‘Loving Covers’ ministry when she was challenged at the 2011 Leadership Summit by Bill Hybels to listen to God and make a difference through service for the next five years. She had a dream, put it into action and it is a holy ministry. (The quote worked after all!)
They need people who have a heart to serve alongside others. Everyone is welcome whether you have experience quilting or no experience at all. You’ll be surprised by the creativity you have within! Tomorrow, Saturday, April 6th from 9-12:30 they will be sewing blankets at Willow Creek Community Church from 9-12:30 in room B207. Bring your sewing machines, if you have one, and sew (if you don’t know how to do that, they will teach you).
Here is the FB link to ‘Loving Covers’: https://www.facebook.com/LovingCovers?ref=ts&fref=ts
They will also have a booth for all three weeks of Celebration of Hope at church and need help 30 minutes before and after every service so our church can see the process of making blankets! Please contact Val at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a picture I took yesterday of an amazing blanket (It’s not a good picture, but hopefully gives some vision.)
Our blessing today is from Psalm 9 (Italics added for emphasis):
vs. 1-2: “I will praise You, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of Your name, O Most High.”
vs. 7-10: ” The LORD reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.”
vs. 15-18:”The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The LORD is known by His acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.”
God uses us to serve the needy, lost, forgotten, and afflicted. It is up to us, we are His plan! What would your life look like in five years if you used your dreams and God’s calling to serve Him? Can you pray a prayer for service opportunities every day of Eastertide (until May 19th), pay attention to the small acts of service God shows you and do it? This is from a handout I got from ‘Loving Covers’, “Lord Jesus, I would so appreciate if today you would bring me someone whom I can be of service.” Think about how exciting life can be if we look for Beauty and Blessing throughout the entire day.”
Beauty & Blessings!