As I stood in the shower this morning (just one of the many places God chooses to prompt me with a word) I pondered about how I can really impact people for God.
It all started when I had a few hours spare to myself. Yes, you heard me- time to myself! My kind hearted Mum had clearly picked up on my snappy attitude caused by a lack of sleep 3 nights in a row and took it upon herself to take Ava out for a few hours to give me a break- she’s not sleeping through anymore. Aaaaaahhhhh!
And so I found myself alone in their house with my laptop but no book. I had time to myself and was adamant to use it wisely. So, I scrambled round, desperately searching for a book in the house and to my delight, came across Lysa Terkeursts- The Best Yes book.
Now this was a predicament in itself. I’m shocking at making decisions as my husband will testify. But I had no time to waste. These few hours were precious- did I read or write? Two of my favourite past times. I’ll also admit that I knew my bike was in their garage. It was a beautiful crisp, blue skied, sun shining autumn morning and I hadn’t been out on my bike for ages. I also knew that my swimming costume and goggles were in my bag and there was a pool just 10 minutes drive away- all of which are things I love to do!
So, I had a decision to make. I rationalised that, due to my lack of sleep and sheer evident exhaustion, doing any form of exercise (though I do love it) was probably not the best idea- or in the words of Lysa Terkeurst- not, The Best Yes. So I ruled out both.
Now I was left once again with my laptop and this book I hadn’t read before. I figured I could do both if I managed my time well enough. Which, without bragging- I’ve become pretty good at since birthing a human being! I still have momentary flashbacks of how I even did that! Guys- you’ve got to have some respect for your women for birthing a mini human!
So I figured I would read first, then squeeze a quick shower in, and then write.
I’m only three chapters in, but what an amazingly funny, practical and inspiring book so far. I can relate to every line up to now, as it would appear that Lysa shared the same dreams I have of becoming a writer. Not only that, but I share the same reality of procrastinating that dream, ultimately collecting excuses for reasons why it will only ever be a dream on my list- which seem to always precede with – because, I have no time, or its not the right time. Sound familiar?
Read the book for yourselves, but in those first few chapters she really challenged me to think about choosing my ‘best yes’ for God. She highlighted that some scriptures could be misinterpreted into thinking that having an ambition or dream of any sort could be classed as being selfish (Phil 2:3-7)
She goes on to explain:
‘It isn’t about selfish ambitions or vain concetes. Its giving voice to what otherwise just stays a quiet whisper locked inside. It’s about letting out that cry of passion God entrusted to you. It’s about letting it all the way out so as to touch others, help others and bless others.’
That last sentence really spoke to me. What would be a selfish thing to do, would be to place the clear gifts God has given you to use, on the back burner of life and once hoped for dreams -never actually fulfilling any at all.
One of the next points she makes really resonated with me to my core. She wrote a list of dreams we might possibly have in our secret dream box. One of which was to write a book. I nodded incessantly. This was me! A dream that I’ve always doubted would ever come to fruition. You know when those dreams or resolutions you make at new year, still end up at the top of next years list? Writing a book, although a relatively recent dream, always made that same list.
But to challenge me even further, she said this.
‘Write a book…so that I might bless whom?’
The list continued, some of which you might relate to:
To complete my degree…so that I might bless whom?
Turn my photography hobby into a business…so that I might bless whom?
Start a church class…so that I might bless whom?
And so on.
Try it with your own dream. It’s a good exercise.
Bare with me. I’m getting there.
So as I stood in the shower, I questioned myself. I’m just a Mum God (how ironic that I’ve written about this very topic before and yet have to remind myself daily to live it out.) If I write a book, who can I bless other than Mums? And not even all Mums, I’m only a new Mum- and only a Mum of one baby and one in heaven. Notice how we often put ourselves down when a dream is bursting within us.
My ‘I’m only’ pity party had started before anyone had even arrived, and it was the dullest party ever.
Then the penny dropped.
Remember when you became a Mum? You wanted to tell everyone who would listen. Remember when you believed in me? You wanted to tell everyone who would listen.
Oh I remembered that day well. Experiencing Jesus for the first time. I had verbal dioreah! I practically skipped all the way to work and couldn’t contain my excitement and sheer joy.
The same when I became pregnant.
Just imagine each person from the many miracles we read of in the bible. Those who were healed, forgiven, brought back to life. Imagine their sheer excitement at wanting to tell others? How much more equipped were they to bless others because of their experiences?
But God probed further.
Remember everything you’ve been through. You are a Mum, yes. But you are healed, restored, redeemed and forgiven. You are a child of God. You are gifted, you are able, you are strong, you are courageous. You can reach so many more than merely Mums. You can reach families, young girls longing for love. Those battling the chains of an eating disorder and struggling with embracing their unique identity. Couples seeking hope for a restored marriage. Families suffering the loss of a baby in the womb. Encouraging others to use their gifts…
Write a book…so that I might bless whom?
That might seem unachievable, but even if it’s just a sentence that sticks within the depths of someone’s heart. Even if it’s just a chapter that someone can resonate with. Even if it’s just a season overcome with God that comforts others in their season. Writing a book and fulfilling that dream is (I believe) not selfish by any means- but totally worth it, placing my self- last, in order to put others first.
I wonder what your dreams and visions are?
Firstly, I encourage you to write them down, because I believe something powerful happens when pen hits paper. When something is recorded, its taken out of your mind and visible for you to see, making it a very possible reality.
Take Gods word, the bible, for instance. It’s a good job his words didn’t stay logged and stored in the minds of those he gave to. It was written down; recorded, for all to read- because when something is written down it is powerful. Your circumstances may change, but His word doesn’t. His word never fails.
Your circumstances may change. The dreams you’ve written down may now seem unachievable due to unexpected seasons- but those words, that dream, still remains the same. It’s still your goal, something for you to aim for – to set your sights on and something that I believe CAN come to fruition. There’s still one important question to consider though, which leads me into my next point.
Secondly, ask yourself the same question Lysa Terkeurst posed- so that I might bless whom? I believe this will help you to identify your motives and whether they include God and blessing others- or not. Perhaps ask God to reveal who you can bless- you might find your dream quickly unravels once you realise how, and who you can be a blessing to.
Thirdly, avoid focusing on who you are now. Remember where you were but focus on where God has brought you to. Think of what you’ve been through and how you’ve grown in those times. All key points, I feel, in establishing the answer to that all important question…so that I might bless whom?
“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20 LB)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV