Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Breathing Your Dreams

Once upon a time I had big dreams to become a speaker. I’d always been comfortable in small groups as a counselor and figured it wouldn’t be much different.

Wrong.

 My first engagement was to speak at a writers’ conference in Spokane. I still remember how I couldn’t breathe when my turn arrived. My windpipe locked up and I had to whisper my first words. My audience kindly waited until eventually I could be heard and passing out was no longer imminent.

But I did it even though it was nothing like I imagined.

When my husband lost his job, we committed to making it through the tough days ahead of us no matter what. Somehow. Even if we couldn’t breathe most of the time. Even if we couldn’t lift a foot out of bed most mornings. Even if we imagined the world caving in around us.

We made it even though it was nothing like we imagined.

My dreams today no longer include becoming a speaker even though I still have a speaker page on my blog. (I don’t know how to delete it!) My dreams are much smaller but more important. Like making a life surrounded by friends. Learning how to wake up and experience real joy instead of fear. Finding a place to call home.

Nothing like the dreams I imagined a woman my age would dream.

Maybe someday God will add speaking to my dreams again and give me the breath to do it. Until then, I’m breathing life.

What dreams has God breathed for you today?

34 comments:

Loree Huebner said...

I am in total agreement with you. I know because I've experienced fear. It wears on you. I chose JOY as my word for 2012. I want to feel the joy in the simple things again. What really matters is the people around us.

I do have dreams of my own, but over time, God has breathed perspective on them.

Lin Floyd said...

you are speaking through your blog. My dream was to organize a creative retreat somewhere cool nearby then yesterday came the opportunity to volunteer to be the coordinator for our Poetry in the Park at Zion National Park nearby-what an opportunity-so unexpected!

Elaine W. Miller said...

Hey, Terri, you speak through your blog. And, if you are a writer, which you are, you will be asked to speak. www.SpeakupConference.com changed my speaking life. I suggest you attend. They have 10 full scholarships for writers. Check it out. My life changed through this conference. I now LOVE speaking and do it with gusto.

Blessings to you as you seek God's will for you,

Elaine W. Miller
www.SplashesofSerenity.com

Keli Gwyn said...

Terri, I admire the fact that you accepted the invitation to speak and that, in spite of your anxiety, you delivered your workshop. As I recall, it was well received. I admire the faithfulness you and your hubby exhibited during those long years of unemployment. What a testimony you were to many. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for you next.

Joanne Sher said...

Your testimony never ceases to amaze me - along with your honesty. I SO appreciate it. Praying.

Carol Riggs said...

"Breathing life"--I love it!! Blessings to you as you breathe life and follow wherever God leads you. :) May we all do the same!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri, your faith in God never ceases to amaze me. You are really a brave woman. Every post of yours is from your heart and teaches us so many things without making you sound self-piteous or bitter.

Trust me, I feel your dreams will soon change for the better. Hugs.

Carmen said...

You're so real! It's hard to see what God wants to do in our lives, but once it happens, it fits! Speaking is sometimes a learned experience enriched by our tenacity. "Whatever we set our hands to will prosper." I've often thought about that verse and wondered what exactly that means. I want to be sure and set my hands to something God has orchestrated, rather than what I have decided to do. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air! Blessings to you!

Kara said...

I think God is constantly at work changing and shaping our dreams. Helping us to realize what is most important in our lives at the time, reminding us each moment is a gift. You are doing a wonderful job soaking in all those moments!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I love this, Terri. God gives us different dreams for different seasons. My dream today is passing my Fitness Instructor Certification exam tonight! :)

Melissa Marsh said...

To be a published novelist, the same one he instilled in me in the sixth grade. :-) He's also added some others - traveling to Italy and Europe, watching my daughter grow, to be a grandmother, to document my family history.

Linda O'Connell said...

Terri,
Just when we think we have it all figured out, we discover HE is in charge. Good things await you.

Susan said...

Hi Terri....So many times in life, things turn out SO DIFFERENT from what we envisioned. But most of the time it's to the good.

You've been through your "baptism by fire" and now you and your husband will reap the rewards!

What dreams has God breathed for me today? Hmmmmm. Well, I think expanding my freelance writing to different markets is one dream He's working on. Also, to continue with trying to lose weight (a lifelong battle).

Take care and have a terrific rest of the week! Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

My dreams center around growing closer to the Lord. I want to hear, "well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into thy rest."

In the process of drawing close to Him, I'll be able to impact the lives of those around me.

Retired English Teacher said...

God is developing your voice while He help to write your story. You never know when He will give you a new platform. In His Time...

Beth K. Vogt said...

I echo what others are saying: God is already using you to speak truth into others' lives -- me included.
And we listen as you breath life -- even if it's the painful truth -- and always, always, point us back to God.

Cheryl Wright said...

Babysitting my grandchildren. I've learned that God's dreams for us/me are more important in the grand scheme/gift of life.

Susan Roux said...

Your dreams sound just fine to me. I find myself thankful for all those things and as I get older am embracing their worth more and more.

As a painter, my dreams have evolved. I think I've grown an appreciation for my gift in a way that grand successes I dreamed of before aren't necessary to fulfill me. My small steps are perhaps more rewarding than the large steps I once dreamed of.

Have a good day, Terri!

Ginny said...

You know, Terri, my dreams are not necessarily God's plan for me. So, I have decided, through much prayer, to stop agonizing about my state in life. I still need Jesus to work His healing in me, and let go and let God do His work. I feel freer, and anticipate something will speak to me soon. Love this blog entry. My best to you.

Jessica Nelson said...

It's fairly easy to delete, but maybe God will still use it for you.
It's funny how we think we want something and then it's not what we wanted. A good lesson for me! Thanks. :-)

Stacy Henrie said...

Beautiful post! I love the image/idea of breathing our dreams.

Gina Conroy said...

I love this because I'm dreaming similar dreams...even posted about it today BEFORE I read this!

Lynda R Young said...

I NEVER dreamed of becoming a speaker and yet I've done it far too many times for my liking ;)
Despite this, God's plans are always the best plans.

Sally said...

Terri, hope things are going well in A. The rain we've been getting is welcome.

Karen Lange said...

I think sometimes we are meant to breathe just one day, one hour, one minute at a time. I'm glad He's seen you through this season, and continues to guide you.
Blessings,
Karen

Julie Gillies said...

Oh, I hear you, Terri! I'm not big on speaking either, and like you I've experienced the inability to breathe, think, or control my sweat glands. lol However,I typically speak 3 or 4 times a year. And it's never been my idea, but God's, and honestly I'm compelled to obey.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Cheryl Klarich said...

I agree with everyone- well said Terri!

You have a very clear and wonderful VOICE- we love it!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I so admire you for standing in the storms, even when you feel like giving up. God has so many sweet surprises up His sleeve for you, honey.

We like to plan our lives down to the minute, so we'll feel safe. God often asks us to risk our plans to follow His dreams,which are higher and more glorious than we can imagine.

I believe you'll have that dream home soon, honey.

Deb Shucka said...

So often your posts are exactly the thing my heart needs to hear, and this is no exception. Thank you for helping me feel not so alone, and for reminding me what's important.

Jennifer Shirk said...

My dreams today are nothing what my dreams were years ago. It's funny to see how I've changed too. :)

Just Be Real said...

Hi Tiffany. Thank you for sharing your lovely post. Right now the only thing I want to breathe in is more of God's presence. So that is my dream right now. Blessings to you.

Nancy said...

I love this Terri. That's pretty much what I'm trying to do. I get up and find some joy.

I had dreams of being a speaker, too. I wanted it so much. I did some speaking but nothing came of it.

I wanted to be a published novelist, but nothing came of it, in spite of many efforts.

I wanted to have a family and I do. They help me forget that I had other desires. God still has something exciting for me to do. I just don't know what yet.

You are so encouraging in your walk. I admire you so much.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Big ones, Terri. So big they could terrify me utterly, but I'm learning (very slowly) not to default to fear. For He gives us "the desires of our hearts," and He knows how to fulfill them.

Blessings, friend.

Betty said...

Terri, always good to have dreams but I am still learning to have faith that the Father knows which dream I can handle at any given time. I am a great dreamer and often miss at first that God usually lets me have my dream but sometimes it comes wrapped in the drama of life.

Loved your post The Ugly Truth Ain't Pretty...and God's Faithfulness...will be back for another visit. Blessings