January 1, 2011

When God dreams for you

On my desk is a dream board that I made at the beginning of 2009. On it, I pasted pictures of the many things I wished for, and wanted to accomplish, during the year.  I keep it where I can see it everyday, and I often say a little prayer when I glance at it in-between work.

I thought of making a dream board for the first time that year because I had been reading about how some people were able to accomplish the goals they set out to do because of the power of visualization through dream boards.  I had all sorts of  goals and dreams pasted on my dream board - things like:  to be able to write... have a silent retreat... fulfill certain commitments... travel... exercise... eat healthy... sing more... get more sleep - things I've always wanted to do but never seem to have the time and resources for...

At the end of 2009 I went over my dream board and found that out of 14 specific goals and dreams for the year, I was able to check off only two.  So since there were still twelve items left on my list, I didn't make a new dream board for 2010 and just kept the old one on "carry-over" status.

Now that another year is about to begin, I took a long look again at my dream board.  Two things came to fruition this year -- but oddly enough, they got fulfilled in a way I did not expect or ask for!

When I said I wanted to be able to write -- I meant I wanted to do creative writing like short stories, essays, and - rather ambitiously - a novel.  Throw in writing my memoirs, too.

I also said I wanted to be able to sing more.  And with that I meant having more time to do videoke singing for relaxation!

But this year, I was inspired to begin blogging about my hometown. I started going around town, discovering/rediscovering the many things that make it special, and then sharing my discoveries in a blog. And the initial motivation of doing it just for the sake of rediscovery and finding hope again in the midst of seeming hopelessness, has become more of a passion, an advocacy to foster interest and pride in my hometown's rich heritage. So it's not at all the kind of writing I had in mind, but there's writing involved as well.

Then this year I also became more involved in our Music Ministry.  I began to feel so inspired singing for the Lord, and welcomed every opportunity to do so.  I never used to be as interested and enthusiastic, but now I am, to the point of considering singing for the Lord as a calling.  And so, even if this wasn't the kind of singing I wanted to be able to do more of, it is singing, with even greater meaning.

Which brings me to my most important realization this past year: 
I may have dreams of my own.  But so does God.  He has dreams of His own for me.

The wonderful thing about God when He dreams for you is that He enkindles in you the passion to follow those dreams.  He makes you so inspired and "ganado" (enthusiastic) to do it.  And He lets things flow in such a way that you are able to do it.  He'll throw the resources at your feet at all the proper intervals and you just need to pick them up and go.

It doesn't mean that there won't be obstacles or that He'll give you all 24 hours of every day to do it. He'll still let all the other stuff in your life happen -- the day job, the business, the family and social obligations, etc., those things that tax your patience and sap your strength and sometimes make you wish life were a little bit different.  But He'll make sure that you at least have the time, energy and resources you'll need to squeeze in His dreams. More importantly, He'll give you the inspiration and the passion for it. After all, it was His dream for you.  You didn't ask for it.

I certainly didn't ask to be inspired to advocate for my hometown by blogging.  I wanted to write short stories and essays, remember? And I didn't ask to love to sing for the Lord so much that now, when we're singing at Mass I feel such joy.  All I wanted when 2009 began was more time to do videoke to relax!  But God is mysterious - and fascinating.  Sometimes He answers your wishes and dreams in ways you least expect.

The most we can do is suggest -- which I realize is what my dream board is all about, really.  In effect I'm telling Him - Lord, these are my wishes and dreams.  And if they're the same things He wants for you, great..!  He will give them exactly as you wanted them.  But if they're not what He had in mind for you, it's still great.. because He'll give you something even better!!

There are still many unanswered wishes on my dream board.  Like, I still haven't gone on my much-longed-for silent retreat and I still struggle with my unhealthy junk-food and late-night habits. But the fulfillment I get from following where His fire takes me, more than makes up for any unfulfilled personal desires.  Because He inspires me, I get to wake up in the morning, excited and brimming with ideas.  I get to go to bed at night, content.  Or sometimes still excited. 

So now that I'm experiencing the fascinating way that God works in our lives, I'm leaving it all up to Him.  From hereon I think I'll let Him do all the dreaming for me.

After all, nobody can dream bigger and better for us than He can....and believe me, He will... sometimes in ways we never imagined..!


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