Baby steps to Dreams.

Day 7. 

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My husband noted that he had driven my car 3 times this week and each time 100.7 was playing. No, not Heart FM. But Country 100.7.

Then, last night I found myself enjoying the CMA Awards! What’s happening to me eh?

Country has progressed from songs entitled ‘Drop kick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life’ and ‘Her teeth were stained but her heart was pure’ OK one more ‘How can I miss  you if you wont go away?

Last night I was a little won over as Foo Fighter Dave Grohl joined Zac Brown Band for their new song, Day for the Dead.

So what’s todays thought y’all?

My friend and I had a great exchange of dreaming together via iMessage last week.

*‘Lets open a craft shop, with a gallery, a little comfy sofa area where people can relax and read books, drink good coffee, a counseling/prayer room. Oh and also a small room where we can put donated clothes to give away. Everyone who walks in believes they are a work of art… or they believe it by the time they leave’

*‘Ah wouldn’t that be just great, a craft space too for people to come in and create their own works of art. We can have frames round the mirrors so they are really a work of art. Sounds like bliss, gorgeous coffee, lots of info, place where families can come…what a dream….’

*‘We should call the clothing room ‘wear love’.

*‘The clothing room should absolutely be called wear love….we can help dress people, we can have jewellery donated too’.

*’I can bake cakes for the cafe as well’

*‘Dreamy dreams’

We were dreaming, imagining, visualizing something that might possibly happen one day. Being on the same continent might help, until then, we take small steps to fulfill the dream. We begin to live it out where we are. Daily steps to a bigger dream.

Some of us need to backtrack though, and give ourselves permission to dream in the first place. You have to dream before your dreams can come true. Jon Acuff wrote ‘the best map in the world doesn’t matter if we don’t know where we are’.

Don’t let the lies of ‘you’re not qualified’ keep you from a place of dreaming. Have you noticed we don’t have a positive internal voice?

Our dog Sunny was on the alert during the night and Josiah woke this morning and said ‘the dogs barking sank into my dreams’  What a line! There are the negative external voices, those who say you’ll never do it, those who sink into your dreams.

‘The critics have made them impotent’ writes Hemingway, but the only way they will make you weak and effective is if you listen to them.

So, what does this mean for you, my diverse group of readers?

Jon Acuff wrote a book called Start telling us to Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters. Jon formed an online dreamers community around this book and the results were amazing. Thousands of us joined the experiment and received simple, step by step, instructions daily for 24 days on our set goal.

The success of the experiment was in the community of cheer leaders, pray-ers and encouragers all accountable to one another.

And you…

*Are you a carer? Your dream is to find some space for your own wellbeing. Today find out a realistic respite that you can access. This dream is reachable.

*A widower. You dream of travelling but feel it’s too late. It’s not. Today, go to the travel agent and pick up some brochures.

*A new Mom. You dream of feeling normal again. Today, put a date night in the planner. ‘What do you mean night, I’m in bed by 7’ Ok – lunch, breakfast – time for you.

*A ministry leader who dreams of setting up a homeless shelter. Today, write out your plan.

*You feel depressed. You dream of getting out of the house again one day, to go shopping even. Today, try and get out of bed, leave your room, play some music.

*You are facing the dragon of drugs. You dream of being clean and living a different life. Today, find one person who is clean, kind…one who prays. One person is all you need today. That one person will know other clean, kind, praying people who will love you. This is not an experiment, this draws you to destiny and brings you into a new community.

Be courageous, today is your day.

A promise for you:

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2Timothy 1:7

See you tomorrow,

Love, Michelle xoxo

NaBloPoMo November 2013

The Start Experiment.

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A mysterious adventure began today. Or should I say. Started.

But first…

We are into the groove of the 11 week school holidays. Groove, of course meaning – too much sugar, many children playing around my home and yard, wet beach towels strewn and laundry teetering Eiffel high.

In addition, teen 2 went on a mission trip to Heart Lake, nr Lac la Biche. The Heart Lake team were fantastic. Painting garbage cans to brighten up the community, tidying gardens, mowing school fields, house cleaning and putting on a carnival for the local kids. When your teen texts and writes ‘Mom I prayed with the Grandmother (Matriarch) of the reserve’ I feel a cartwheel coming on. (I am becoming my Mother)

I love that our teens can serve other communities in this way.

Oh and a little visit to West Edmonton Mall was a great way to end their trip.

We enjoyed a trip to Vancouver, minus teen 2 (twitch, twitch) where we celebrated Canada Day.

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Josiah and Daddy late night walk back to hotel.

The sun shone by day as fireworks exploded across the sky by night.

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On our way home, I saw my first moose on the Coquihalla – we also saw another unusual sight. A roller blader, going uphill on the Coq, alongside the monster trucks and moose.

Backtrack a couple of weeks, I had read a tweet from Jon Acuff (Stuff Christians Like, author of ‘Quitter’ and ‘Start’) He invited his half a million followers to join him on an adventure. The invitation was open for 24 hours. There would be 24 chosen, over a 24 day adventure. Ooooo mysterious adventure…I’ll apply. Because, having 4 kids home, visitors from UK, writing assignments and training for a half marathon doesn’t fill my time.

And as I travel the Coquihalla, with its unusal and beautiful scenery. I received this message.

‘The adventure is a go!

Join this secret Facebook group to get the details:

Jon”

Oh yes. I am the chosen one. I am that special little snowflake. Snowy joins both hands and circles them in front of her. ‘Oh yeah. Oh yeah’.

Turns out. There’s 2500 of us special snowflakes (from half a million…errr hello) and Jon Acuff is breaking us down into 24’s, of either location or chosen passion/dream area. Clever ‘cuff.

The idea: choose one risk, dream, passion and START it… that ‘thing’ you have been putting off. The dormant gifts. The secret idea. God given passion which has been doubted, extinguished, set aside.

Yes, the next 24 days. Starting today will breathe life over our chosen dreams, and the answer, once we have acknowledged, chosen and found it, is simple.

Community.

Because it appears we are all fearing, facing challenges, slaying dragons. And that is exactly where we stay if we attempt to do this alone. So along comes secret facebook group with its accountability, partnering and encouraging.

I find starting easy. I LOVE starting things. I have a lot of ideas, of creative flow, of God given inspiration.

I start, and then, enduring has to kick in, that rising again. Doing it.

As my written words seem like worthless whispers and fear flaps its ugly wings.                                                                                                                                              

Here was our (slightly edited) first message from Jon:

Welcome to the Start Experiment.

Do you know what fear, fears?

Fear fears community.

Fear always tries to isolate you and put you on an island as if you’re the only one on the planet bumping into challenges.

But how do you build community in a rapidly disconnecting culture?

That is the question the Start Experiment seeks to answer.

And it starts with an adventure.

You’re a pirate, which island are you going to strike out for?

What will you dare?

What will you risk?

What will you do?

This is an experiment, so expect it to be messy. A counselor told me once that the definition of narcissism is believing you’ll be amazing at something you’ve never done before.

I’ve never done this before and awesome will take a little while. Expect some awkward first.

I believe your risk and the reward it generates is going to be fantastic.

Average is easy because all you have to do is nothing.

It’s time to do something.

It’s time to go on an adventure. Jon.

So that’s me. I’m encouraged. I’m listening to my community scream ‘you can do it.’

Many of these guys they’re off the scale awesome. Energy and enthusiasm sky high. Achievers through the roof. There are those who WILL end trafficking in their chosen destination, there are those who will leave the job they hate, who will write their book, exercise daily, who will combine photography and ministry, who will laugh again, who will start a blog, who will lose weight. I especially like those who are honest enough to say. I don’t know how to dream, but I’m going to find out.

So, readers – community, stay in touch as I pass on the wisdom and stories from this challenge. My challenge involves a lot of writing with equals amounts of laughter.

And finally…today we went to Peachland where my 6 year old, Josiah cried until I ‘let Phil, let him’ jump off the 14ft high dive.

‘How did you feel Josiah’

‘I was a bit scared’, but Daddy shouted ‘Do it. So I did it’.

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Josiah the brave.

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No turning back for Bella. 

Today, what is your dream, goal, passion, waiting for resurrection, waiting for the breath of God. Are you in need of some words of life over it.  Allow this place to become your community and let’s START.

Love, Michelle xoxo