Monday, April 1, 2013

Why It's Worth It

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,
 thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end."
Jeremiah 29:11
(KJV)

For years, I have had a dream.
It rises to the surface, then life takes over.
I start making excuses and fear of failure rises.
Time after time, I reluctantly put it back on the shelf...
where it collects dust and becomes obscure.
That is, until I feel another God-nudge...
to go and pick it back up.


The other day, I was praying.
The Potter was speaking back to me.
It was the sweetest conversation....
such precious communion.
I wasn't thinking about my long-held, often-put-off dream.
I wasn't asking Him to make it happen.
Actually, it was the farthest thing from my mind.
Until the Potter brought it up...out of the blue.

"Remember your dream to start a greeting card company?
I want you to do that.
I placed the dream there...in the first place, deep inside your heart, 
because it is what I want you to do.
I want you to pick up that dream....and do something about it."

My normal feelings of inadequacy washed over me.
"But, Lord, I don't know where to start.
I don't know what to do."
It is much easier to lean back into complacency...
to enjoy the comforts of what is familiar.

These are well-worn excuses that have worked for me for years.
Hence, my dusty dream.

I began to name off excuse after excuse.
"We don't have a decent printer to produce sellable-quality cards, Lord.
I don't know how to market them.
It takes a lot of time...and energy...to delve in and put my whole heart into writing,
etc., etc., etc."

For every one of my excuses, God had an answer.
A remedy.
A path to making this reality.

"This is not just a dream.
It is a part of your calling to write.
I want you to see that.
Understand it.
Let it sink in."

I have never, in all these years, understood that part.
When you realize your heart's dream is really God's calling,
everything changes.
You realize that Heaven is behind you,
all of God's supplies are at your disposal, 
and not moving forward is no longer a viable option.


I gave myself to God a long time ago.
It is the deepest desire and intention of my heart to do His will.
To follow Him completely.
To not hold any part back.
To live out the life that fulfills His dreams, not mine.
He has graciously allowed my greeting card ideas to be purchased by other companies,
and I am eternally grateful for every door He has opened.
But, somehow I feel like there is more...to this dream...of His for me.

If this is really God's will, 
I no longer have a choice.
To be idle.
To keep stalling.
To fabricate more excuses.
To be content with what has been accomplished.

If this is really God's will,
I need to get busy.
I need to shake off lethargy,
slothfulness,
apathy.
I need to get started.

Still afraid, I spoke.
"Lord, before I make a move,
I need to know.
I need to know beyond a doubt, 
if this is really, truly Your will.
Please show me."

"Remember the pile of papers on your desk?
On the bottom shelf?
Bursting out of the folder?"

I knew exactly what He meant.
Poetry that rhymes; prose that doesn't.
Card verse ideas.
Notes jotted down on napkins or whatever I could get my hands on...at the moment....
to hold onto until later, just so my memory could be jogged,
 and I wouldn't lose my train of thought ...
when I jotted down the idea.

Sometimes I feel like there are boxcars going in a million directions at once...
on my train of thought.
If I didn't have tidbits of paper to transfer them from my brain to someplace else,
I feel like there would be a huge collision,
boxcars would go flying,
and I would explode!

"I have already inspired you to write enough verses to fill many greeting cards.
You don't even have to write anything new...for a very long time.
The work is done.
It is complete and ready.
What good does it do others?
Lying on your shelf?
Collecting a thick layer of dust?
People need comfort.
They need My love.
They need to be ministered to.
Cards are wonderful tools to convey My words.
I gave you the words for the benefit of those who need encouragement.
Not for you to hoard and drop the ball.
They will never read them like this."

An old, nagging emotion started rearing its ugly head...
deep in my heart.
An old enemy...
one with whom I have fought many battles.
One who has left many scars to prove its mean-spirited wounds.
My old, hateful enemy appeared on the horizon
and inserted his hideous face right into my conversation with the Potter.

You might know him.
You may have even fought some rounds with him yourself.
His name is FEAR.
Ever heard of him?
Let me tell you, he is utterly terrifying.
He is intimidating.

But you know what I found out?
I'll let you in on my discovery.
He lies.
Big time.
All the time.
In fact, he doesn't even know how to tell the truth.
He has managed to be so convincing that he paralyzes people with his lies.
His victims are many.
He holds them captive,
keeps them from fulfilling God's will,
and leaves them shattered on a scrap heap with no hope.

Before he even had a chance to speak a word, 
I turned my face to the Potter.
And like the faithful God He is,
He annihilated that ugly monster...kicked him right out of the room.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  
I will strengthen thee; 
yea, I will help thee; 
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.
I have called you to write.
I have placed the gift within your hands.
Not to bury.
Not to hide.
Not to ignore.
I want you to expand Homespun Devotions to include greeting cards.
Cards that will spread My truth and bless readers with hope.
Launch out by faith.
Believe in My ability to make this happen.
Do what I am calling you to do."


He reminded me again that,
the way to discover your calling is by 
identifying what God has gifted you to do.
Your calling and your gifts will always match and work hand-in-hand.
One compliments the other.
It took me a long time to figure that out.
It is so satisfying and liberating to finally understand that.

Next to my love for God,
and my love of being Kevin's wife and Zachary's mama,
I absolutely love to write.
These are the things that fulfill me, give me peace, come almost as naturally to me as breathing.
These are the things I need to do....
am meant to do.

So,why is this dream worth pursuing, fighting for, 
and seeing through no matter what happens?

It is an easy answer...now that the Potter has let me in on the secret.
This dream of mine is worth it.
All of it.
The pursuit, the fight, and being seen all the way through.
It is worth it because....well, this is not just a dream....
it is not just what I want....
but it is God's will for me.

How wonderful when the two completely agree!

After I grasped what He was telling me,
I started taking steps...in the direction I know He is wanting me to go.
They are baby steps.
This may take a while.
But, the path is opening up.
It is like His light has shone on the path ahead of me,
and I know where He is going with this.

I have a lot to do.
First things first.
Mark Brodsky is going to create a new website for Homespun Devotions.
Check out his work at:
If you need a website, he is absolutely the person to get in touch with.
He does a great job, and he is very kind.
He is also very ill...please remember him and his wife, Linda, daily and fervently in your prayers.

Dreams aren't easy to make happen.
Getting all of my card verses together,
adding pictures and graphics,
compiling it all into actual cards,
getting them printed into the standard of quality of cards I envision
that can be written on, put in envelopes, & mailed to others
is not going to be easy.
Whew!  It exhausts me just thinking about it, to be honest.  :~)
But, God has spoken.
I have never been afraid of hard work.


And my complete trust is in the One Who made me...
Who gave me the idea....
Who planted the dream.
I envision the end result....
the expected end...that He has promised.
He sees the end from the beginning.
This is His vision.

I believe it is worth it.
I believe...
not at all in my own abilities, but completely and entirely in His.
He never asks us to do something without providing the tools for us to do it.
And He places help to assist us all along the way.

I'll keep you posted as things change and progress.
All in His time...and in His way.

He has done everything for me.
He died...gave His all...that I might enjoy life and be free from the chains of sin.

"Whatever it took, He did;
Whatever He asks, I will."
Author Unknown

Pleasing Him makes working towards the dream...
however hard it is....
whatever it takes....
completely worth the fight.

4 comments:

  1. Praying that you, like me, start moving forward. It's time we all quit being fearful and just do it!

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  2. Amen, sister! We need to step forward and go for it by faith in our awesome and amazing God! Thanks so much for stopping by today. I appreciate the prayers and encouragement! Have a blessed day in Him! :~)

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  3. Now, I understand why Psalm 37: 4-5 was so perfect at the time you read my post. Cheryl, I cannot wait to see your greeting cards, and I know what you are talking about: hearing God tell you it is time to do something in particular.

    I'm sorry I didn't get to your blog the first night it was up, but to be truthful -- I was too tired physically to make much sense of anything. Sometimes, I feel like I have written all I have to write, and then there is something more. My prayer is that someone is coming to know the Lord better, finding acceptance of their circumstances (getting through with the grieving and finding peace), or coming to a place where they want to follow Jesus. He has such comfort and peace to give in this fast paced, competitive, tragic world. I think I'm seeing too much darkness today. We had a neighbor that was on the floor since Saturday night, and I think that has me discombobulated.

    And I have to admit to loving writing. Don't you think God puts that creativity in our hearts and minds? After all, He's the great creator.

    I'm praying for you and cheering you on. Go Cheryl!

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  4. Thank you so much, Deborah! Once again, you have come by and encouraged me and lifted my spirits. It means SO much to know you are praying for me! I am so sorry you are feeling so tired and had to go through such a traumatic experience with your neighbor. Yes! I surely believe God puts that creativity into us! And He wants us to use it for His glory! Thank you for stopping by....I always love hearing from you and love reading your blog. God bless you, my friend!

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