Winsome Dreams

Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40

Joy is my word, the word I want to define my life this year and every year there after.  I’m leaning into to joy and am learning more about this state of being that is sometimes elusive.

I started the year memorizing Psalm 16 with a friend. It’s a Psalm that meets me  right where I am, starting with what my friend described as a primal cry for help.  “Keep me safe O God, for in you I take refuge.”  I repeat this often, willing myself back into the presence of God where, according to verse 11, there is joy.

You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

In February I registered for the Winsome Retreat  I had never heard of this retreat but a Facebook friend posted about it  and I jumped at the chance after reading this on the “about” page:

Why Winsome? Because we all want to be!
It literally means {JOY} some.
And who doesn’t want some joy?

We’re not talking about circumstantial, bubbly, fragile joy, but deep, strong, messy, right-here joy. In these circumstances, good or bad.

Joy that not only brings happiness on our good days but sustains us through our worst.

Join us this April for a weekend of discovering joy!

The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
~ Frederick Buechner

God has designed you with a unique purpose. He has placed His dreams in your heart. And there is no greater JOY than discovering that purpose, walking in these God-sized dreams, and bringing His love, truth, and justice to a waiting world.

Wow! …discovering that purpose, walking in these God-sized dreams and bringing His love, truth, and justice to a waiting world.

This is what I’ve been delving into the past couple of years. Purpose, dreams, justice, truth…which all lead to joy! I knew I had to go. The timing was perfect a week after Easter, a week after a 40 day fast from some things to feast on others (like God’s word) prepared my heart for this retreat.

And Winsome did not disappoint! I’ve been back a week now and I’m still on that after-retreat-high; pondering the messages shared, remembering the beautiful scenery, so very thankful for the new friends made.

God met me at this retreat. Things I’ve been pondering for months, maybe years  were given voice. Areas of desire that I buried were unearthed.

IMG_4978
We were spoiled with Winsome goodies.

At Winsome I met and heard women step out in faith and courage to tell their stories, their hard in the pit stories, and follow their dreams and were encouraging others to do the same.

Holley Gerth showed us how to find our God-sized dream, which she says is finding more of what God has for you, by finding the place where our service to others, our strengths and our skills intersect. This is very practical! I know many women that have naturally entered into their God given purpose the path has seemed so clear for them. While I’m sure I’m in God’s will and have some big areas where that’s obvious I’m entering a season where I need encouragement to follow my desires and believe God has more for me now.

I’ve read many books in the past year about finding purpose, taking risks and telling our stories (which has many benefits to ourselves and our hearers) that have tilled the soil of my soul so that this message of finding and following our God given dreams fell on fertile ground and gave me the validation I needed to think about giving dormant dreams wings.

Kim Hyland, the winsome women behind the retreat, in her final message answered the questions I had about following dreams. It was uncanny how she accurately described how I feel when entertaining desires of the heart.  I view it suspiciously, knowing my heart is selfish and greedy. I have either ignored or indulged by inklings. But the question I had been mulling is don’t I have the mind of Christ?

Why yes, yes I do. I am a Christian who has been made new:

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 15The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord

so as to instruct him?”d

But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2

Kim encouraged us by reminding us that our Father wants to meet us in our desire. He planted our desires there.  When we are seeking God we can trust His leading.

I think Amy at be-loved in blue jeans, though has put it best for me. I feel commissioned. Commissioned to go and tell.  Not sure exactly where the path will lead but I’ll step out and ask God to search my heart orchestrate the timing and give me the words.

Saturday night at Winsome there was an extended time of worship and prayer and I was reminded of Psalm 40. If you have time read through the whole Psalm slowly.

 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I’m on solid ground and I have desires, dreams, things I want to do, and people I want to serve. I’ve found the validation I need to go for it. I’m seeking God to determine what the next step is and asking for His provision and clear guidance as I draw near to Him.

Join me will you?  Find your dream! Here are some other blogs, books and resources to help you on your way:

http://www.amazon.com/Youre-Made-God-Sized-Dream-Opening/dp/080072061X

http://godsizeddreams.com/

winsomeretreat.com I think they’ll have the speakers sessions on line.

 

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[c]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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