Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I wear many titles in this life. Christian. Daughter. Sister. Niece. Granddaughter. Wife. Mother. Foster Parent. Co-worker. Neighbor. Friend. The list could go on and on. And often, if I am not careful, I allow these titles to define me. They are little pieces, each one of them, of who I am. But there is another title that I wear, that I often try to keep hidden. It is a title that I keep, only for me to know. It is a title that I wear daily, but one that I often do not share with the world, for fear that they will find me silly or discontent with my lot, or even worse, both. It is the title of Dreamer. I am a dreamer. I always have been, for as far back as I can remember.

When I was much smaller, my dreaming would take place on the pages of written word. I would not just read about Ann of Avonlea, I would become her. I would easily get caught up in stories, stories of any kind, and I would wait with baited breath as I turned each page to find out what was going to happen next. When a story was over, I would always feel a deep sense of loss. An emotional let down. I had reached the conclusion, the final chapter had been read, and there was no more adventure to be had. But that was really no worry. I could always get another book and escape into the retreat of the pages once again. I could go on a different adventure. Dream about another life other than my own boring, mortal existence. In fiction, the adventures can go on forever. The dreams never really have to die.

But as I grew, suddenly, "book" dreams were no longer enough. I wanted real dreams. Living an exciting, dramatic, romantic life through fictional characters no longer satisfied the yearnings of my soul. I wanted my real life to be exciting, dramatic, and romantic. And so I kept dreaming. In side my head. In the quiet places of my heart, I let the dreams soar.

I dreamed of growing up and going to college, and making my own way in this world. College was a wonderful experience for me.

I dreamed of meeting my prince charming and falling in love. At just the right time, Boss entered my life.

From the time I was small, I dreamed of being a mother. I have three incredible blessings gifted to me as my own.

Suburban life stifled me. I dreamed of life in the country. Where I live, it is corn fields and barns, as far as the eye can see.

I never wanted an "ordinary" life, a normal eight to five job. I dreamed of doing something "different" with my time and my days. I work as a foster parent to troubled teenage girls. It doesn't get much different than that.

Are you seeing what I'm seeing, as I put all of my past dreams to paper? That I am living them out? Were they dreams? Or were they really prayers? Prayers that God has answered. Or were they both? Can my inner dreams, the deepest yearnings of my heart, really be prayers that I don't even know that I am praying daily to God? To the Creator who made me, loves me, and knows my hearts desires before the words can even form on my lips. So why is it still not enough? Why, after seeing all of these dreams realized, all of my prayers answered, do I still long for more? Why. This is the question that my soul wrestles with each day. Why is what I have never enough?

I think I am beginning to discover why.

When I started on my quest to discover my Creator at the first of this year, I did not know the real life adventure that I was about to embark on. I did not know what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I wasn't one hundred percent sure that I even believed that God existed. I wanted Him to be real. I desired Him to be real. And I certainly could not come up with a better explanation of how I came to be on this earth without Him. But I did not really believe in Him, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The scripture, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8), was never far from my mind those few, short months ago. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13), kept repeating itself over and over again like a broken record deep in my soul. So I decided to do it. To go on the adventure to find God. To move from being a dreamer, to a doer. I committed to diving into His scriptures and seeing what I could find. And you know what I found? Him. And the answer to my questions of why I was always still longing for more, even when I had what I thought that I wanted right in the palm of my hand. I always longed for more, because I was really longing for Him.

I have come to discover that when I hang my hat of significance on what title I wear, what things that I have, who I am associated with, while those things may fill me up for awhile, or maybe even for a season, eventually they will leave me lacking. They will never be enough. Because the truth is, I was not created to live for this world. You were not created to live for this world. We were created to worship God. Anything less than that will leave us sadly lacking. Always. Our lives were made for worship. How freeing is that thought!

Over the past few days I have been reading Ann Voskamps book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Read It! Hurry! It will change you!). Her words have changed me. Through her message, I have discovered that if my life was made for worship, nothing more, nothing less, then worship is what I must do. Right here, right now, in the every day. When I am packing lunches, it is worship. Sweeping floors? Changing diapers? Speaking kind words to Boss? Worship. Listening to others, making supper, bathing children? All worship. My life can be worship to God, no matter where I am, what I am doing, or what title I wear. If I am living my life for Him, giving all I have to Him, each moment of each day, that is worship. And that is what I was made for. That is where true happiness is found. Nothing else can ever satisfy.

In learning this, my load has been lifted! I am beginning to feel free to live life fully, for the very first time, right where He has placed me in this season. I don't have to be more, do more, or dream more. And the exciting part? When I empty myself of my own dreams, when I commit my entire life to worship, that is when God is free to fill me up with His own dreams for my life. And it just doesn't get much better than that.