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I was never really a very consistent journal writer, meaning I wasn’t one of those Christians that everyday wrote my thoughts and prayers to God in a journal. I think, I contemplate scripture and I pray, but somehow it seemed like too public of a process to actually write those things down. Every once in a while, I write in a special journal I keep for each of the kids, but that is different.

So, imagine my shock when God tells me, the non-writer, to write a book. And the even bigger shock is He made it seem like it was MY idea. I was complaining one day with a colleague about how there were no resources available to train volunteers on conducting community service from a biblical standpoint – plenty of books for the uninitiated and other training resources written for professionals, but no workbook-style materials. Her response was “why don’t you write something then.” I thought that a hilarious idea at the time and I clearly remember laughing. Kind of like Sarah laughed when the angel told her she would have a baby at age 80. What a ridiculous idea! Can you say, “open mouth, insert foot?”

Then as the idea began percolating somewhere in the inner neurons on my mind, I grew to actually WANT to do this thing called “writing a book.” Good thing I had no clue what I was really getting myself into at the time.

I have since decided that writing is sort of like a rogue virus that gets into your mind and takes over thought processes. I now think in 140-character bits, write blogs while I’m drying my hair and come up with chapter expansions in the car rider pick-up line at my kids’ school on 95F degree days. I’ve taken to using scrap pieces of paper, old receipts and now lately, new apps on my phone to jot down thoughts for future writing. And God has dropped into my spirit the focus for the next season of time: helping the church get outside its doors and be community for people, in service but also in the workplace. And guess what, it involves more books, well I still prefer to call them “resources”.

Am I the only one who writes this way? Are all writers plagued by this tendency? I can see now why there is that old stereotype of the eccentric writer, ignoring all personal needs (including the shower) to get the latest book idea done, slaving away at the old-school typewriter under the light of the incandescent bulb. Sorry, but I can’t go there. My kids would be horrified by the clickety-clack, plus who would drive them to piano and baseball? I’m just going to have to figure out a way to be a technologically savvy, culturally relevant, counter-cultural, forward thinking, assumption-challenging, God-following writer whose kids want to be seen with her in public.  And let God get the last laugh.

In honor of the Every Nation Dream 2011 conference, I wanted to write a blog about dreams fulfilled and in process.

When I was a little girl I was very influenced by watching the Middle East peace negotiations between then US President Carter, Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat and Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin.  I had dreams back then for my life that included serving others in foreign lands.  I literally dreamt that I would be bringing peace into that troubled region!  At that time, my only idea of how that would happen was through the US Foreign Service.  How wrong I was!

Today, I now see at least the beginnings of God’s plans for my life.  While I had the general ideas right – serving others, foreign travel, bringing peace – I never could’ve imagined how God would direct my steps.  Now, I dedicate my life to helping others serve their communities and to seeing the gospel of peace preached throughout the world.  This is a fulfillment of my dream!

What dreams has God put in your heart that are not yet fulfilled?  Is He preparing you now for those or are you walking in them already?  At whatever stage of the journey you are in, be encouraged that God has not left you alone, nor has He forgotten your dream.  He tells us in a very familiar verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12,

“’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 a hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

In fact, your dream is more important to Him than it even is to you, for He is the one who created it and set it into motion.  You fulfilling the dreams in your heart is critical to the advancement of the kingdom of God.  Everyone has a job to do in God’s Kingdom.  We are all foot soldiers with a mission.  With what part of the kingdom mission are you supposed to be involved?  When you figure that out and start fulfilling that role, you will see your dreams come to their fulfillment, simply because you got into God’s mission.  And maybe it will look like what you imagine – but I think it will be much better because God has a bigger imagination than we do!

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