What God has been doing spiritually and materially in my life is beyond description. And I wasn't expecting it at all! Not this way.
In one way, I was praying and seeking God for a new dream. I went to an amazing, refreshing conference where I just had the Spirit poured into me in a new way - much needed, actually. I was tired of the same ol', same ol'. I received the affirmation that I am where I am, doing what I'm doing, with the people I am with, all exactly in the will of God and for His purposes. My children are mine because I am the mother fit for them. My husband is mine because I am the perfect wife for him. I'm at the job I need to be in because my personality and my abilities are needed in my work place. I was released from the striving; from feeling like I was falling short of who I was supposed to be, or wasn't good enough, or didn't quite fit. Since this conference I have finally begun to feel like I fit just fine; mistakes, quarks, and all.
I opened myself up to receive a new dream from God - whatever it may be. Something to pursue. I had no idea what it would be, I just told God that whatever He wanted to bless me with I would follow. I entertained a few things of my own but didn't resolve to desire anything and leave my heart a blank state. And for a few months - ok maybe about one, I just walked in contentment.
I slowly began to realize that a big dream of mine is the fulfillment of my children's dreams. I started listening to my kids and seeing that for the longest, Anakin wants to do Karate and Brielle wants to do ballet. I came across by what appears to be coincidence a sample package for Karate - $20 for 2 classes and a white belt. Anakin loved it! More than that, he looked GOOD at it. We signed him up beginning in April as a start. 3 days a week, 1 hour per class, for the next 30 months. And he is RESOLVED. He told me as we were driving home that he wanted to learn Korean instead of Spanish. I'm hispanic, so it's not an option (LOL) but I asked him why. He said, "Because I want to master Tae Kwon Do, and then speak really good Korean, and go to Korea and teach Karate over there, and be able to tell people about God." If that is what his God given dream is (and I know it's subject to change as he ages), I'm all for it! I am not going to do anything to discourage him or deter him from dreaming.
Next step: Brielle. Still working on that.
But as we were all praying about the pursuit of new interests and the finances to back it up, I was invited to my friend's house to get a free facial with Mary Kay products. I totally needed a new face. I LOOKED older and more tired than I felt. With 3 kiddos in tow, I enjoyed a few hours and felt (and looked!) so much better! It's like my face came alive but also my faith! Sharing what God has been doing with each other, loving on each other, just revived me.
I understand that men totally don't need this, but we women do: We need affirmations to survive. From each other. That's why we compliment each other, even more so sincerely. And while we may not ASK for them, we need to receive them back. We need to hear (and know) that we are good friends, good people, and that our unique beauty contributes SOMETHING to our surroundings. If you don't believe me, just leave a woman to be overlooked and see what happens; whether in her home or in her job, she will start to whither like an UN-nurtured flower. Bitterness grows, negativity grows, and soon she becomes the person people DON'T want to be around. See how a kind word can turn a person around too. I'm not making this up - it's biblical!
And for reasons probably too big to understand, instead of referring my friends to Penelope I signed up to be a Mary Kay Consultant myself. This has not been without it's battle, of course. The enemy is full-force, but at least I know I'm doing something that bugs him! On top of a whole bunch of little issues, is my own voice of self-doubt and fear - rising it's ugly head, as strong as ever: I've failed at a business before. I'm shy. I don't wear a lot of make up on a regular basis anyways. Money is tight. And I have an excruciatingly difficult time initiating a conversation with someone I don't know.
This is all the more reason why it's something God is doing and not entirely my own. Because it will take God to help me, I can't do it by myself. I'll have to partner with Him to overcome myself. And I already see Him helping me in baby steps - little by little, not more than I can handle. For every lie of the devil there is a Bible verse to encourage me. This is a lesson I should've learned in Oklahoma but I was too immature then. All in God's timing though. "The pain it took for the rose to blossom was greater than the pain of staying budded forever." I have to grow through this because there are other dreams counting on this. Not very big dreams, but important none-the-less.
And I'm seeing Him do something every day to bring confirmation to this direction. Every day. It is edifying my faith.
I had a dream that we were in some sort of war. It was a battle that was actually taking place in the sky; we were on fighter jets and such. Men were flying, women were the guns. We were fighting side by side and for a moment it felt like I was in Paul's dream and not mine! Then our planes exploded and we fell - kind of floated - and landed in the ocean. Unharmed, I swam upward past all the beautiful sea life and surfaced. I saw many of us surfacing and it was a mob of us in open water. Then a huge wave surged, one I knew I had no way of going under or over (and I'm pretty familiar with ocean waves, I've been swimming off the coast of south Florida since I was 6!), and it kind of rolled us all. But it didn't drown us; it was as if we could breathe through the wave. It was fear-inspiring and yet I wasn't afraid for my life, as more and more waves pushed us and then in the horizon I could see land. And then as I'm in this vivid picture of the waves pushing us forward I realized I was dreaming and I asked God, "What is this?" I heard Him audibly respond in my dream, "It's the wave of My Holy Spirit; My mercy." And in the dream, even as I woke up, I was just praising God and saying, "Yes! Lord, bring it on!"
Over the past couple of days, I've been praying and reflecting on this dream, noticing more and more things:
#1 - I couldn't identify the enemy as a specific group of people. Just like you wouldn't tell which side I was on. It was a mob of teenagers and young adults in casual clothes and every day styles fighting against people suited in black and with face masks on. This wasn't a war against another country or even just fought in the US. I saw people on my side of so many different colors and ethnic backgrounds - I can remember their faces even today... oriental, black, indian... And I believe that God was showing me this is our spiritual war-fare, not against people but against the prince of the air. Every believer united, married couples fighting together, all of us doing our role! More so, there was no "star", no "super-hero", no one person more important or more qualified than the other. Praise God! Let His church cross denomination, race, and culture and rise up to fight!
#2 - The wave of God's mercy moved us all to safety, to land. God's Holy Spirit was directing us when we would not have any idea which direction to swim in. And it moved us in such a way that we could not out-swim it and do our own way. And there was such peace and joy in surrendering to the waves! And we ALL went. It looked to me like revival! I kept singing the phrase from "How He Loves Us",
drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
if His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have the time to maintain these regrets
when I think about the way...
That He loves us, oh how He loves us...
I wish I had a time-frame for this dream. I've never considered myself a prophet. But God has spoken to me in dreams, more so when I was a lot younger. It had been years before I had any fresh revelation from Him or any ... indication that He was in a relationship with me! I just praise Him. I seek His Word, I pray, and I find myself listening closely for cues or ... points that He wants to make in every part of my life right now.
I do not have a direct revelation as to how starting a Mary Kay business could be directly related with a personal revival in my walk with God. It somehow is a ministry. It definitely is something I have to hold God's hand through. But I am loving this! And my kids are loving the joy and the hope in me too.