A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

orgcoach.net

orgcoach.net

I’ve been thinking about how God has allowed me to see the biggest dream of my life come true–I wrote, edited, completed and published the book I had in my heart to do for 25 years. And I couldn’t have done it without my Mom, my husband and my writing group. The support of others in making a dream come true is crucial.

The quote used in my title is from the Disney movie, Cinderella. Her life was certainly one of abuse and unfulfilled dreams, yet she never stopped hoping. Her dream was to be free from her wicked step-mother’s abuse, but when it finally came true it was so much more than she ever hoped or imagined.

I’m reminded of this Scripture…(emphasis mine)

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every familyc in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

What dreams do you have? Have you shared your dream with those closest to you? Have you prayed about it and given your desires to God to do with as He will? I encourage you to take some time and submit all your dreams to the One who is able.

I must confess I have a new obsession.

It’s the TV show on HGTV, Fixer Upper. I’m sure you’ve probably enjoyed it longer that I have. You see, I didn’t really give them a chance–I formed a first impression opinion of Chip and Joanna that wasn’t true. It wasn’t until a good friend shared with me how amazing they are in incorporating their faith with their dreams that I discovered otherwise. I felt horrible for allowing a first impression to rob me of getting to know such an amazing couple.

I found her testimony on You Tube that is filled with encouragement to continue hoping for your dreams to come true. Listen in to what she has to say…

I love the fact that Chip played a huge part in seeing her dreams weren’t tossed aside. He not only used his words to encourage her, but he acted by giving her the space she needed to hear God speak.

If you have dreams you’ve forgotten or tossed aside. I encourage you to…

  • Take a second look in 2016.
  • Submit them to God.
  • Tell a couple of close friends and your spouse, if you’re married.
  • Seek out those you respect who have similar dreams.
  • Expect God to speak.

If your dream is from Him, it’s only a matter of time for it to happen. If your dream isn’t, then know that He something even better in store. The key is to not give up looking with expectancy at what God will do. He is faithful and has promised He will return–now that’s a hope we can cling to.

(Note: In case you haven’t perused my blog much, check out the Oklahoma Recipes tab at the top. I’ve added some recipes that go with my book, and I’ve included the page where the food is mentioned. I hope you’ll give them a try. Food makes ordinary moments a celebration.)

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96 Tears

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Most everyone who is 50+ is familiar with the song by the same name as this blog post. In fact, you’re most likely singing it now that I’ve mentioned it–you’re welcome! 🙂 But did you know that whatever circumstances signal our tears also cause those tears to look differently under a microscope? I recently read a fascinating article that not only described these differences in full detail, but also provided photographs of the different types of tears to highlight how different they look.

Take the photograph at the top of this post; they are basal tears–those shed as a reflex to pain or atmospheric irritants. They actually look like rain falling and forming a river, don’t they?

Here’s another one:

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Any idea what caused these types of tears? It is the tears of change–something I’ve been shedding quite a bit these days. Something Tom tries to understand, but often struggles to do so. The same changes have affected him, but he doesn’t cry nearly as much as I do. Which brings me to my next point…

Another fascinating aspect of this research is how different men and women are in regards to shedding tears. Of course, everyone knows the differences, but what you may not realize is why.

One substance being studied in connection with crying is the hormone prolactin, levels of which increase in women during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, as well as when we’re under stress. We average up to 60 percent more prolactin in our bodies than men. William Frey, Ph.D., biochemist and author of Crying: The Mystery of Tears, theorizes that prolactin lowers women’s emotional bar by stimulating the endocrine system, which makes us more prone to tears.

And we do cry more — on average, 64 times a year, compared with 17 times for men. We cry when we’re sad or frustrated or angry, whereas men cry at major losses, like death; when they get frustrated, they just get mad. Ask a man the last time he cried in front of someone else and chances are he’ll have a hard time remembering. A woman won’t.

But a funny thing happens as we reach midlife. Women cry less and get angry more — just as our levels of female hormones drop off, leaving a higher concentration of the male hormone testosterone. In men, a decline in testosterone makes for increased impact from their female hormones. And guess what? As guys get older, they get angry less — and cry more. (source: How Crying Works, by Alia Hoyt)

Isn’t that amazing? Of course this research bypasses the spiritual aspect of our tears, which we know is the most important part of who we are. God created us human, and every detail of our being glorifies Him–even our tears.

“You have kept count of my tossings,
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?” – Psalm 56:8 ESV

And the best of news is that He keeps track of every tear we’ve ever shed. Whatever you’re facing today, know that God has made your tears to help you through it. And they are not wasted tears. He counts them and marvels at them, writing them in His book. How often do we pour our hearts out to God in prayer for help in a desperate situation? Maybe you’re doing this quite regularly and are being tempted to think it’s of no account. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Our tears are accomplishing in us exactly what God wants them to accomplish. Give Him your concerns, your tears. Trust that He hears us when we pray.

I think of Mary Magdelene who took a vial of very expensive perfume and poured it out on Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her tears. What she was doing was an act of thanksgiving and surrender to the One who had loved her most. Do you see your tears as an act of surrender, a sacrifice of praise to Him who has ordained every step? I have recently, and it has made all the difference in the changes I’m facing. What were tears of grief… (Doesn’t this look like something broken?)

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

…have turned to tears of joy. (Doesn’t this look like a fireworks display?)

The Lord has done great things for us;
    we are glad.” Psalm 126:3 ESV

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Photo by Rose-Lynn Fisher

Celebrating Her 125th Birthday

Graphic Credit: www.sfu.ca

Graphic Credit: http://www.sfu.ca

It’s hard to believe that my grandmother, Grace Stella Kirwin Oswalt, would have been 125 if she were still alive today. That’s what happens when your mom is the youngest, and you’re the youngest. My grandmother was old enough to be my great-grandmother. But as God ordained it, I was her youngest grandchild.

I missed out on so much.

When I think of my own grandchildren, that I’m 54 years old and enjoying my soon-to-be seven grandchildren. It’s hard to believe how old my grandmother was when I was born. Actually she was 70. She live until 90, but I was not even 20 yet before she was buried and gone.

How I wish I had had more time to get to know her as an adult. But I didn’t.

This causes me to embrace the role of “Nana” even more seriously. Today my newest grandson, Vito Price Walter, was dedicated at our church. Tom and I were privileged to stand with him and our son and daughter-in-love. as our pastors prayed for him and for them, to be faithful and godly in their instruction, to commit to be the best they can be for God’s glory and Vito’s benefit.

Vito 2

It was a day God chose to bless not only my grandson, but also to honor my grandmother’s prayers. Vito is her great-great-grandson. One whom she never met, but one for whom she prayed. He is her descendant, and he will continue her legacy. How amazing it was on her birthday that we dedicated him back to the God who created him.

I love connecting the dots of God’s faithfulness.

He never fails to answer prayers, even when we aren’t alive to see the answers come. The Bible is full of such examples. Today God answered Grace’s prayers–he gave her another descendent to carry on her legacy. This is why I wore her ring–the one my grandfather gave her on their 50th wedding anniversary. As I laid my hands on him in dedication, I could help but think how pleased Big Mama would have been with this token of my love for her.

Vito

Sorry it’s blurry, but I was a bit emotional while taking this photo. 🙂

Who are you praying for today? Do you pray for those who are yet to be born?

Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. – Psalm 102:18

When I Leave The Room

Natalie Grant - Relentless Cover photo

Natalie Grant – Relentless Cover photo

I recently was shown the following video by Natalie Grant. It is specifically for mothers and how they love and care for their children. I have three children of my own, and this song depicts the heart of a mother as no other song I’ve ever heard. Listen, cry and share with all who need to be encouraged in their role as a mother or even for those who are daughters.

I miss my Mom, but I’m so grateful she placed my hands in Jesus’ hands when she was ready to go. What a hope I’ve been given and treasure.

Oklahoma Our Prayers Are With You

The past couple of days have been devastating for Oklahomans. I live in Florida and we face Hurricane season from June until November each year. But nothing can compare to those who live in Tornado Alley. Sure many towns are missed for years, but when one finally sets its course for your spot on the map…there is no place to hide. That is unless you have an underground storm shelter.

Today, Monday, May 20th, a huge storm crossed over parts of Oklahoma City. It hit two elementary schools, and one didn’t have an underground shelter. I am sad. Even though I’ve never lived in the OK state, I feel such a connection with the people, the land, the history, that this hurts so bad. It feels as if one of my own has died.

Would you join me in praying for the those whose lives have been tragically changed forever? It’s easy to grow used to seeing these types of storms on the television, but if WE were the ones devastated by this storm, we would never forget it, would we? God please be with those who have suffered loss. Comfort those who mourn. Heal those who are injured, and bring help where help is needed. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray!

Watch this amazing video of the tornado as it cuts a path across the fruited plain.

Making The National Day Of Prayer Personal.

Today is the National Day of Prayer. I’m planning to gather with other members of our church around lunchtime and pray for our nation, pray for our church, pray for our families, and anything else the Lord places on our hearts.

Prayer is a part of my life. I am blessed to have access to the Throne of God because of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. He came, lived a sinless life and died in my place, so I can say these three words without fear of condemnation: Dear Heavenly Father. What a gift! I pray I won’t neglect such a privilege.

Prayer is a part of my family history. My grandmother, Grace, was a praying woman. My Mom was also devoted to daily prayers to God for each member of our family. When she passed away in December I was quite aware of the absence of her daily care for me in this way. It was sad, but then it motivated me to take on this responsibility for the sake of my family. God is near. He loves for us to cry out to Him in our struggles. My grandmother saw much pain and suffering in her 90 years, yet the pain drew her closer to God–not away from Him. He was her comfort and strong tower.

This brings me to another great question to ask our aging family members…

Questions #23 – What part has prayer played in your life? Did your (grand)parents pray often, and if so what do you remember about them?