We load boxes into the moving van when the phone rings on the floor of the empty living room. It’s a call from the Office of the Registrar letting H know definitively, “yes you are accepted into our master’s program here at our seminary.” We look at each other and laugh.
Because the drive from Phoenix to Southeastern Tennessee travels long and we aren’t planning to do it for fun.
Maybe it was an assumption, the packing up before the official call but we knew we heard from God. Heard him say seminary through the voice of our pastor and then all the details, they just fell into place.
And the breeze of change whispered sweet in the ears, lay seeds in the womb for new birth, long before the pastor spoke those words. In the honeymoon suite, we stretch out over chocolate and champagne, talk about becoming jobless in the upside down economy, just before we took the wedding vows.
The unfortunate timing, God’s providence to clear the path leading to new doors we hadn’t found yet.
On that morning, when the pastor said he thought H had a call on his life for vocational ministry (right after he graduated with an architectural degree) that seed exploded and bloomed simultaneous. Words that made us pause in the car afterward, wipe joy tears.
Isn’t this what happens when the spirit confirms what the mind can’t comprehend, what the mouth can’t string together in words, what the heart knows but can’t fit in to the hole the world creates? A volcanic convergence of the heavens meeting pavement, tears bubbling over in the revelation.
This meeting of the worlds, it is so much better than what I try to create on my own.
We sell a car to a friend, pack up wedding gifts, and follow destiny – with just enough money in pockets for first and last month’s rent, in a place we had never seen before.
And to some family members this irrational decision seems foolish.
I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. As the scriptures say, “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” ~I Corinthians 1:18-19
Today, as I read about Joseph during Lent, I think about the dreams God gave him that seemed lofty and irrational to his family. How God used him to become one of the most powerful men in Egypt, save the lives of countless.
Do you have dreams that seem irrational, don’t make sense to those around you? Like Joseph perhaps? Meditate on these words of Paul and ask God to rekindle what was His, give you the faith to walk into it and discard the rest.
Counting gifts today, three a day for 1000 in 2012. What are some of things you are thanking Him for today?
- For a walk in Brookgreen Gardens with my camera before the rain comes.
- Budding trees and bulbs in February, beauty that inspires new life.
- A day to shop for the birthday girl because sweet sixteen is a milestone.
- Two asking how to hear from God this week, a sacred echo.
- The way He speaks to a friend in a new season, the privilege of praying and watching with her.
- How “foolish” dreams bring fulfillment.
- Faith of a husband who continually encourages dreams beyond circumstance.
- The sound of dripping rain in the early morning, because the ground is parched.
Linking with Playdates with God, Just Write, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, Multitudes on Monday, House Upon the Rock, Miscellany Monday, Faith Jam.
“when the spirit confirms what the mind can’t comprehend, what the mouth can’t string together in words, what the heart knows but can’t fit in to the hole the world creates?” The Spirit continues to confirm; I hear a sacred echo through you today. A pastor (possibly the same one that spoke those words regarding H) once spoke words over me in a lay minister dedication. Those words are moving, inner-core-like churning threatening the smooth surfaces (or is it the hardened crust?) of my life.
Thanking God today for:
a phone call, “just to talk”, from my college daughter
college daughter’s eyesight improving
time alone with 2nd daughter doing what she loves-shopping
the priviledge and joy of hearing my husband teach hope-giving truth
for the sweet animals in my life-dog, cat, dog
glorious and warm days in February
Friends who listen to and hear God
Oh, I like that moving and stirring up what was said in the past. Maybe it is a new season for you Lu. How exciting! And it was a different pastor that spoke to us, before I knew you. Love you list of thanks, it shows how much God loves you. How is answering the petitions of your heart. So glad to know it is warm in Kansas :)! Love you lots.
oh yes…this, “when the spirit confirms what the mind can’t comprehend,” Thank you for a beautiful picture of this thought in action. One hard to describe, but harder to ignore. Your words are always inspiring, Shelly. I mean that. Thank you.
It can be hard to put into words how the spirit speaks and gives revelation. So glad it painted a picture that resonates. Always good to hear from you on Monday morning Tara. Hope you had a good weekend.
Thank you for sharing Paul’s words here, Shelly. I am walking in a season now where I’m wondering if I’m crazy for believing like I do. But if I hold firmly to the truth of the Gospel, I can stay the course through Jesus’ wisdom, not my own.
Lisa, I hope He gives you clarity and courage to stay the course of conviction. I often say, being a Christ follower is like swimming upstream. It often looks counter to the norm of culture.
Thought provoking words and beautiful photography to accompany!
Thanks Kathy! Was glad to find your blog too this morning.
“Isn’t this what happens when the spirit confirms what the mind can’t comprehend, what the mouth can’t string together in words, what the heart knows but can’t fit in to the hole the world creates? A volcanic convergence of the heavens meeting pavement, tears bubbling over in the revelation.”
This speaks so PERFECTLY to a season of life we are in, I can hardly stand it. Thank you for being so kind as to share such truth words.
Megan, what a gift that this resonated with you. Love it when that happens. So glad your visit today was providential. Yes!
By the way, I love the photo at the top- “Visionaries”. Can I copy it to my pics? If I share it I would credit you 🙂
Oh my, yes you can copy it! And I’m not concerned about the credit. It’s all God’s anyway.
Long ago I heard someone say Christian faith is like climbing up a tree, going out on a limb, sawing off the limb, and watching the tree fall down. I had to do that (figuratively!) and yes, it happens! “The wisdom of God is foolishness with men” — and sometimes you just know how He’s leading. God bless!
I haven’t heard that analogy, interesting metaphor. Thanks for visiting Sylvia.
I so needed this Shelly. We were newlyweds when Mike and I moved miles away from everything and everyone we knew to Idaho where I had never been but how quickly I forget about how God has blessed us here. Lately Mike and I have been dreaming things that others around have not understood so I lost trust in my husband and God for a little bit about these dreams. Thank you for this great reminder that I can have dreams and just need to have faith in God’s plan for me and my family.
Oh Cimarron, you have no idea how much it means to me that you left this comment. Being a Christ follower often finds us in the lonely place of being misunderstood, not following the crowd. And in my experience, if I will just wait,instead of rushing to the judgements of others, I see the fruit of God fulfilling dreams. Hold on to faith my friend, He is with you.
“Foolish dreams bringing fulfillment”.
I can think of so many times in my life when I have found this to be true.
Me too Amy, me too. And I am still thinking about your numbers post. That was amazing.
“When the Spirit confirms what the mind cannot comprehend”…yes! That line alone began speaking to my heart!
I find myself repeating this often when I coach people. It is so true isn’t it?
This was a beautiful post with such thought provoking words to my heart. Loved the photos as well. Just beautiful.
Thank you Tammy, appreciate your kind words of encouragement.
beauty that inspires new life- spring has a way of doing that. the rainy season here does the same thing! so grateful for rain on parched ground. blessings to you from Uganda!
I have been to Rwanda during the rainy season and know how you feel. Love it there so much. And the season of spring is hope revived for me. Kelly, its nice to hear from you.
How I needed to hear this one today, Shelly. Very timely. Anna Huntington would have loved that shot! I visited Brookgreen Gardens once…what an absolutely lovely place. A good place for dreaming…
So glad it was timely for you. And just the thought of you being here and knowing what it is like at Brookgreen, that is awesome. I had so much fun yesterday and my husband decided not to go with me just because he knew how blessed I would be to be on my own with my camera. How is that for loving your wife? I am writing about another crazy God experience tomorrow.
Laura – I hear your voice when I read your words. Miss you. 🙂
Loved this post and your list : )
Heart stirring as always, my friend! Your words beautifully and eloquently share your thoughts and experiences.
I love how HE confirms HIS way:)))
Thanks Stefanie, was just thinking about you today and your turning off the comments. Hope life is easing up a bit and you able to breathe. Thanks so much for stopping by here, I always enjoy our conversations.
I always enjoy your way with words and especially appreciated this post. Yes to foolish dreams! Great list!
I think we all have foolish dreams, don’t you? Not foolish to Him.
You capture beauty on the page. Oh, how you’ve blessed me with the phrase “foolish dreams.” Yes, those seem to be the ones God keeps fanning into flame. Foolish and beautiful and far beyond myself. Just where I love to find Him. It’s so nice to meet you today. Thanks for sharing your list and your heart. (I agree sweet 16 is SPECIAL!)
Alicia, it is lovely to meet you. I thoroughly enjoyed your post last week about the plant and your daughter. It stuck with me but I couldn’t leave a comment. Those darn captcha’s weren’t working. Amen to the foolish, beautiful and far beyond myself dreams. Those are the best ones aren’t they?
……..probably counted among those family members who thought those plans of long ago somewhat irrational….sorry. It is so easy now to look back and then look forward to see now what God’s plan for you WAS and IS as you create these beautiful words to share with many. LOVED your photos again today. I am thankful that I can “hear” your voice as I read your thoughts. Love to you.
Aww, thanks Paula. We looked crazy back then didn’t we? So glad you can hear my voice. Those words are what every writer hopes to hear. Love you too.
I’ve got some foolish dreams, alright. Thanks for this encouragement today.
I bet you do and I will be watching stand by to see them unfold.
I don’t know about foolish dreams but when I think(daydream) about something for too long then I wonder if it is foolish. After taking a trip to India last summer, both my husband and i “wonder” if this might a direction God is leading us. It is a normal process I imagine to feel something, think something and then to look for signs. It seems that my eyes wide open dreaming takes up a fair amount of my time. I had to give myself a talk and tell myself that it was something to commit, and then get on with the rest of life. Waiting certainly involves much praying for those dreams.
Thanks for the words Shelly.
I know what you mean Celeste. Overthinking sucks the life out of things. Acceptance with expectancy on the other hand, cultivates freedom. Look forward to seeing how your dreams unfold.
Thanks for the words today. I find myself ‘poo-pooing’ Emily’s dreams sometimes and I have to remember that my mom told me that my desire to be a stay home wife and mom was a dream and unrealistic but I KNEW in my heart of hearts that this is the life I was called to…..for so many reasons. I find I get caught between the voice of faith and the voice of reason when it comes to my daughter’s future and I need to stand back, kneel down and just give her over to the ONE who cares more than I do…………………….and can lead and provide for her in ways I cannot.
Ouch, you are so right Lisa. We have to watch this with our children. That we don’t thwart His plans by being over protective and controlling. Good words here my friend. Thank you.
my dream was “crazy” too- my dad finally admitted a few years ago he may have jumped the gun on that one 🙂 So love hearing this story – I am in ministry as well, although no one pays me – lol but I know that God has something special for my special husband – I’m just waiting and keeping my mouth shut (which is – in and of itself- a flat out miracle)!
Kelli, I am right there with you – waiting and trying to keep my mouth shut. Something I have learned over years of marriage. When to speak and when to listen and always to pray (and after 22 years, I still don’t get it right). I hope that you see the fruit of what you hope for in His time.
Enjoy the rain and please send some of it to us in Phoenix. 🙂
I love how you trust God in everything.
I had dreams but had given up on some of them. Only God knew and brought several to fruition when I least expected it.
Blessings and love,
Not everything Debbie, I am fallen like everyone else and growing in grace daily. Give my homeplace a hug, miss Phoenix but am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.
For one thing, I’m thanking God for the beauty in your words and images, dear Shelly!
Oh, and the dreams… I’m thankful for spiritual vision, and for those dreams HE gives to remind me of who I am in Him.
Oh Debra, you make me smile. And me too, so thankful for the dreams and vision, to see it when all feels silent and foggy. So good to hear from you.
Thank you for sharing this with us today. It seems that the Lord is continually showing me these things of late.
Love the photos and thoughts. I completely agree that there are times when following God’s call might seem foolhearty to others. But, I’ve learned that He rewards those who follow. Thanks for sharing via the 40 Days of Seeking Him meme.
So glad to meet you through the 40 Days of Seeking Him. I can’t even imagine where my husband and I might be right now had we not stepped out to do the things that seemed irrational to others. Our lives have not been void of trials and difficulties, but so fulfilling.