Tuesday, March 10, 2009

IOW Tuesday - We Were Made for More (Tuesday's Together in The Word Post Below)

We were made for so much more than average. I did a word search for average in the KJV and the NIV, and the word simply isn't there. I did a word search for outstanding and found 5 uses where it described people. Even the word extraordinary was there once, describing the type of miracles God did through Paul. (
Acts 19:11)

Do you long for outstanding and extraordinary in your life? If not, you should! We should always let our hearts soar as high as our dreams and hopes allow. God longs for you to experience Him to His fullest, and He, my friend, is not down in the pit of average.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." ~ Isaiah 55:8-11 (NIV)

What dream do you have for your life? If someone had asked me this a few years ago I would have said, "Oh, I don't know. Just to grow old with my husband and be the best I can for him, my grandchildren and God."

Over the course of about two years, God has shown me that my life matters. I'm not just an average every-day woman. I am His beloved! He has hopes and dreams for me that I cannot fathom.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Since learning that He has plans for me, I have grown closer to Him in prayer, trying to discern where my plans end and His begin or how they meet in the middle. I've seen doors open and close, people come into my life and leave, and my prayers change from, "Lord, help me..." to "Lord, grow me...."

One of the biggest dreams I have had is to read the Bible through. He gave me strength for that journey and I didn't bog down in Judges like I usually do. I actually developed such a hunger and thirst for His Word that I read it through 3 times in a row. I still desire to read more every day and am tracking my progress here on my blog.

Another of my dreams has been that God would grow me into the kind of prayer warrior He wants me to be. I have a verse for the year that even speaks of His impressing this upon my heart.

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

He has sustained me in long periods of prayer and even taught me that the shortest prayers are as effective as the long ones.
Most of all, after hearing Brandon Heath's song, "Give Me Your Eyes", I made that my prayer and asked God to help me see people as He sees them, to love them with His love, and to fill me with compassion and prayer for His children. I have loved more and prayed more than I ever thought possible! I have moved from being "Just Laurie Ann" to a woman with a purpose. Lest you think that I think the sun comes up just to hear me crow, I have a verse to back me up on this.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV, Emphasis mine)
The Hebrew word for fearfully is yare'. It means:
1) to fear, revere, be afraid
a) (Qal)
1) to fear, be afraid
2) to stand in awe of, be awed
3) to fear, reverence, honour, respect
b) (Niphal)
1) to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared
2) to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe
3) to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe
c) (Piel) to make afraid, terrify
2) (TWOT) to shoot, pour
God has truly inspired awe in me for His creation. I grew up to fear, honor and respect the Lord and the works of His hand. I am just now learning the self-respect thing - my self-esteem has gone from near nil to much better, but I still have a long way to go.
The Hebrew word for wonderfully, another way God made us, is so exciting. Palah means:
1) to be distinct, marked out, be separated, be distinguished
a) (Niphal)
1) to be distinct, be separated, be distinguished
2) to be wonderful
b) (Hiphil) to make separate, set apart
God created us with a purpose and calls us wonderful. We are distinguished and separate individuals. Our dreams and gifts are not all the same.
He has not called me out to the mission fields of a third-world country or led me to adopt a family of 10. He knows my body is not equipped for that, though it could be if He chose to do so. He has not called me to lofty heights, where people see my acts of service to Him. I admire people He has called to do that and am so glad they are, because people do need God's love expressed to them that way. It's just not what He has called me to do.
What He has placed within me is a desire to teach and minister through my blog here and minister to and encourage the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. I love where He has placed me in blogging. He has put me in touch with some of the most magnificent women of faith, connecting our kindred hearts and leading me to friendships that have encouraged me and caused me to grow in Him. I am able to share my blog with friends in real life as well, and pray they are encouraged by what they read. I am prompted to try to walk my talk more carefully because of my blog. I can tell you that!
My dreams have soared high and continue to soar higher in Christ. To quote an old hymn, "Every day with Jesus, is sweeter than the day before, every day with Jesus, I love Him even more..." The more I love Him, the more I want to serve Him.
To be able to dream and dream big is for me to place my heart in His hands and say, "Lord, unsettle me. Shake me loose from the average and send me soaring on eagle's wings. Where ever You lead, I'll go." (Lysa TerKeurst inspired me to pray, "Lord, unsettle me.)
I'll let you in on a little secret. I have one fruit of the Spirit that I'm working on, and after I have given up what I need to give up, my dreams include publishing a book of devotions and pictures. Oh, I dare to dream, and dream big!
What's your dream? Let it soar. Beloved, we were made for more than just average. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Do you believe that? Do you believe God has a plan for your life? A purpose? And that those plans are meant to prosper you and not harm you?
Dream big. Trust in Him. Let your heart soar higher than you ever thought it could.
In "Other" Words Tuesdays is hosted by Deborah at Chocolate and Coffee today. Please be sure and visit her and other IOW Tuesday posts by clicking on the button below.



AnooCre8ion said...

Laurie-Ann,what an absolutely encouraging devotional. Just by reading this you caused something inside of me to stand up.

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

I refuse to be considered average or consider myself average.

I am glad I stopped by.


Michele Williams said...

Amen sister! Love this devotion! I have dreams like yours as well...I'll keep you in my prayers...

Beelieve You Can,
Psalm 18:29

Patty B. said...

Laurie Ann, you have inspired me! 6 months ago I was where you were 2 years ago. Empty nest, retired, praying for a purpose and a ministry. Now I'm prayin' "Lord, unsettle me". I love that!

Denise said...

This was very inspiring, I love you, and you are in my prayers.

The Real Me! said...

What would we do without our dreams? Even if they don't always come true it's definitely some to strive for!
You are wise my sweet friend! Still waiting for the book! LOL.
Big hugs.

Debbie said...

Laurie Ann, I want to encourage you to continue to pursue this dream. Your blog is an inspiration! You are truly talented and best of all, it's Christ in you, working through you. How awesome is that?

I'm so glad to read that Lysa TerKeurst provided some inspiration and encouragement to you. She also encouraged me to blog regularly. Last year, she was the keynote speaker at my church's women's conference. I was the hostess who picked her up at the airport and transported she and Holly to the events. What a joy!

I love that you are satisfied with the gift you've been given and that you are passionately pursuing that gift. May the Lord bless you abundantly as you sell out to Him and His purpose for your life.

Karen said...

We are made for more. We stop ourselves short of the goal line and wonder what happened. Thanks so much for sharing it was great.

saleslady371 said...

Hey, Laurie Ann:
Have you been reading my prayer journal? I also got Jer 29:11 in my prayer time this morning. What a confirmation. I felt a real passion in this devotion and am so glad for it this morning. I know the Lord wants us to dream big in Him. We've got work to do to bring glory to Him! I'm happy you shared your prayer requests. I'm agreeing with you for them. Have a wonderful day, dear sister!

MiPa said...

Beautifully said! Bless you for sharing.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Praying for that "fruit" you're working on, and I can't wait to see what God will do with your dream!

"Lord, unsettle me." I've been unsettled for quite some time, and though it is not the most comfortable place to be, it is certainly God's best place for me. Glad we get to walk the road together!

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

Hello, Laurie Ann! I enjoyed reading your post (I'm participating in this meme for the first time). Thanks for sharing your dreams and how the Lord is revealing His purposes for your life. It encouraged me today!

Esthermay said...

I love that you couldn't find the word average in God's Word. Says alot doesn't it!
. . . maybe because HE expects nothing less than a "soaring" Christian. If we're not soaring, are we truly saved????
Good post!

Lynda P. said...

What a good post! I've lost my mojo and can't seem to find it. I have no idea of what to dream so I find myself living the life of that movie "Groundhog Day." Your post inspires me to pray about my calling; it's not too late at 44 to have a purpose in life. It would be challenging to have that kind of challenge and passion.

I hope you are able to fulfill your dream of publishing your devotionals. I think you'd find a lot of readers if the amount of people who read your blog are any indication!

Anonymous said...

"I am His beloved"

Your post reminded of the book, Captivating, which I am reading. God does so much want us to be in love with Him!

Thank you for sharing today!