Two bloggers I follow recently wrote of their separate searches to get back to what was really important in their lives, and what their passions were. They had gotten off track, had drifted away, and made compromises and excuses along the way and were not following their original passions.
Each blogger’s experience was unique and they each wrote about their experiences very well. Both have continued to blog about how well (or not) they are changing things so their original passions are more at the forefront of their lives and priorities.
I applaud their efforts and desires. The big difference between them and me? They are not Christians. It got me thinking of my own original passions. Do you know – not one of them has been fulfilled. Not one of them has come to pass.
A dream, a passion I have had for as long as I can remember, was to be a philanthropist. I have never had enough money to do that, though I have given where and when I could.
Another deep-help passion of mine has been to train and raise service dogs. I have never owned a dog. Until the past 7 years, I never lived in a place where I could even have a dog. I am now married to a man who prefers cats — he doesn’t want a dog.
One other long-held dream of mine was to become a camerawoman. Maybe not on movies at exotic locations; maybe just a TV show. But I was always very interested in doing that job. That, too, I have never done.
I dedicated many years of my life to raising my son. After he was killed I did fulfill a long-term dream of mine and worked toward my B.A. degree. It took me 7 1/2 years, but I paid for it myself while working full time and graduated suma cum laude. I have pursued and gotten jobs I wanted. I have traveled and I have hobbies, some of which I am pretty good at.
I encourage and applaud anyone who pursues a dream or passion. Even one they have to take up after perhaps leaving it behind for a long time. I have talked to God about my dreams and passions. And I am convinced that though I may never know why, I can rest assured that God’s plan for my life was best for me and there were reasons why I never became a philanthropist, dog trainer, or camerawoman. God was with me every step of the way through all the things I have done and learned and the interests and hobbies and passions I have pursued during my life.
I am content with what I have and the goals I have reached. God is good — all the time. His plan is best for me. What about you?
My husband and I recently had our one year wedding anniversary. We had been together as a couple for 3 years prior to getting married, so there were not a whole lot of surprises for either of us once we were sharing an apartment together. Some things I’ve learned about my wonderful husband this past year:
- He is quickly mollified and happy when I acknowledge when he is right about something. “You’re right” has probably stopped more arguments between us than anything else.
- Being disabled and not working, he has developed a different time sense than I have, who has a full time busy job. Something this works in our favor, and sometimes not.
- He likes to stretch himself. He likes to cook something he’s never cooked before. He likes to try new cooking gadgets. He likes to learn new things. He likes to listen to new viewpoints.
- He is not afraid to test himself and push himself physically, despite his disabilities.
Some things I think my husband has learned about me:
- I’m far from perfect, and sometimes I get cranky or impatient or forgetful (or, heaven forbid, all three).
- When I have the time and resources, I blossom when I can do creative things.
- My faith is as integral to me as my circulatory system, hair color, and skin color.
- I love to laugh at silly things and clever things.
We are just as in love now as when we got married. We work very well together, we compliment each other in personalities, we respect each other, and we try every day to make the other person’s life better and more comfortable. I thank God that we are together.
Last year I finally got down my New Living Translation One Year Bible and read through it. I’ve been reading through the whole Bible since I became a born-again Christian, over 30 years ago. It has never taken me a year to read through the whole thing — my usual time is a year and a half. I have never pressured myself to read through the whole Bible in a year — as long as I am reading it every day than that is the most important thing to me.
But I wanted to read my Bible in a different way, so I took down my One Year Bible that I had purchased years ago. I have enjoyed it very much! Reading the same thing in a new translation has opened scripture to me in new and fresh ways. Reading a bit of Old and New Testaments, as well as a little of Psalms and Proverbs every day was different and interesting to me.
But as the year went on I began to miss “my” Bible more and more. The one with the leather cover and my initials in it. The one with all the papers stuck in it. The one with highlights and margin notes and notes from my Study Bible and notes from sermons. I missed the feel of the pages and knowing just exactly where verses and chapters fell on the page.
So now I am done with my One Year Bible and I am back reading in “my” Bible. Oh, how I have missed the feel of your cover and the sound of your pages turning! Read your Bible every day. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get through the whole thing. Just read it every day.
I still get excited about Christmas. I still get that little five-year-old feeling in my stomach that says, “Christmas is 4 days away!!!!”
I usually start thinking about Christmas – the cards I will buy, who I will send them to, the gifts I will give people – in July. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. I have a big family, and in order to be able to afford gifts for them and for my friends, I have to start buying in July.
I have always associated Joy and Peace with Christmas. They are so entwined that I couldn’t separate them if I tried. The joy of the shepherds. The peace that Jesus brought. I always gravitate towards cards with Joy on them, or a dove (peace).
This year, with all that has been going on in the world and in the US, it is a struggle to find and keep joy and peace. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of it. So much conflict! Sadness! Violence! Poverty! I have to remind myself of the reason we celebrate Christmas, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. And why He did it. Why He left his home to be with us.
So, despite what is going on in the world, I hold onto God’s peace, and God’s joy. I try to share it with others. I try to keep it in my heart and my actions. I wish you joy and peace. On Christmas, and each day of the year.
When you are singing a worship chorus or hymn in church, or in a group, or just by yourself, do you ever think to yourself, “We won’t be singing THAT in heaven!” No? Is that just me that does that?
I try not to be “so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good”, but I do think about my final home. People who adopt pets talk about bringing them to their “forever home”. My husband and I just adopted two cats, so I have recent experience with that phrase. This earth is not my home. I do my best while I am here, but I am looking forward to my forever home – to be with God in heaven, to see Jesus face to face, to see my mansion, to watch and listen to the angels and heavenly creatures worshiping God. So many things to look forward to!
I am sure there will be singing in heaven. That’s not in the Bible – that is just me talking. So whenever I sing a worship chorus or hear a hymn, I can’t help thinking, “Yup – that will be one we can sing in heaven”. Or, “I love this song, but I’m looking forward to the day when we won’t be singing it anymore”.
I started to make a list of hymns we would sing in heaven, but actually the list of hymns we won’t sing is easier to compile. How many can you guess without looking? How many do you think are on my list – the hymns we won’t sing once we get to heaven? 10? 20? 30? I chose from a list I found, and I didn’t pick every one – just the most popular and/or ones I have sung or heard. So how many do you think? Go ahead – Google it and take a guess. I’ll wait.
[Humming and tapping my foot]
Back? Ready? Scroll down and take a look at my list. Did you get the same ones?
Abide With Me
Are You Washed In The Blood?
Be Thou My Vision
Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
Count Your Blessings
Day By Day
Faith Of Our Fathers
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
He Hideth My Soul
He Is Coming Again
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
I Love To Tell The Story
I Need thee Every Hour
I’ll Fly Away
In The Garden
In The Sweet By And By
It Is Well
Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
Jesus Paid It All
Just As I Am
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
Lord I’m Coming Home
Nearer My God, To Thee
Now We Thank All Our God
Old Time Religion
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
Peace, Perfect Peace
Precious Lord Take My Hand
Rock Of Ages
Safe In The Arms Of Jesus
Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
Standing On The Promises
Take My Life And Let It Be
The Old Rugged Cross
There Is A Fountain
There Is Power In The Blood
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Trust And Obey
Victory In Jesus
What A Day That Will Be
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
When We All Get To Heaven
This list (which, as I said, is not exhaustive) has 47 hymns on it that, while marvelous and truly wonderful to sing, we will never sing again once we are in heaven!
And just for fun – here is a list of hymns I think we will sing in heaven. Just according to me – there is no Biblical backing for this list or my thinking we will sing in heaven.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Alas And Did My Savior Bleed
Before The Throne Of God Above
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Fairest Lord Jesus
Holy, Holy, Holy
How Great Thou Art
Love Lifted Me
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing
O Worship The King
For many years I’ve told people I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Through my 30’s and into my 40’s and 50’s I would say this. And it was true.
I had plans when I was a teenager. Dreams. My very first dream was to be a philanthropist. Yup – I wanted to give money away. I still think that would be the best, the coolest, the most awesome job in the whole entire world. Sadly, God did not bless me with lots of money to give away. So instead of many very large scale give-aways, I’ve been doing very small scale give-aways as I am able.
Other dreams included being a cameraman (woman), a helicopter pilot, a writer, an artist, and training therapy dogs. And yet – I’ve never done any of those things. Dabbled, yes. A little here and there, yes. But I have made my living in much different ways since I was 17 years old.
You hear and/or read all the time (well, I do) about people who chucked everything to follow their dream at (fill in the blank of an age, usually over 50). Or they retired, and finally fulfilled their dream to (fill in the blank, usually a college education). And I say – good for them! Kudos! Well done!
But I feel no need to do that for myself. I don’t feel loss that I am not a great photographer or writer or artist. I don’t regret that I’ve never owned a dog or have only ridden once in a helicopter. No, I am content and satisfied with how God has lead me in my journey. He has always known best, and I have been happy to let Him guide me and lead me along the path of His will.
What dreams do you have?
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately praying about 1) my future, 2) how I can bring people to Christ, and 3) how God wants to use the gifts and talents He gave me for his Glory.
I’ve been asking God if I should go back to teaching Sunday School or assisting in Children’s Ministries. The church I attend now has a strong leader and seems to have enough teachers. I have not gotten the impression that they need children’s workers, even though I know from past experience any children’s ministry always needs people.
What I keep getting back from God, it seems to me, is that I am to wait. Right now, I believe God is telling me, my job for Him is to concentrate on being a wife to my husband. Since that is something I love to do, I am happy to continue doing it.
I don’t remember where it is but somewhere in the Old Testament (Leviticus?) it talks about some guidelines for when men were to be part of the army. One of the exceptions listed is if a man is newly married. The guideline is for him to take that first year off and be a husband – enjoy that time together, build the relationship, and no doubt make a baby. Then he can go off to war.
I feel like that is me at this point. I am to take this first year off. Concentrate on being a wife and build our relationship. (There will be no babies, no. We are both too old for that and neither of us wants a baby. )
I don’t know what will happen after next January. I don’t know if God wants me back in Children’s Ministries. Or, if there is something else for me. In the meantime, I am continuing to pray, and to listen for God’s direction.