February 23, 2018
Living The Dream
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)
Friend to Friend
As I walked into the pink and purple bedroom to tuck in my little rosebud, she sat up in bed and began braiding her hair. She’d been waiting for me. News was bubbling in her heart that she simply had to share.
Through twists of hair, she began, “Mom! I know what I want to be when I grow up!”
“Well, tell me, Kennedy!” I replied, completely smitten with her 8-year-old enthusiasm.
“I want to be a beautritionist!” She gushed.
“A beautritionist?” I questioned, both amused and enamored.
“Yes, mom! I want to be a beautritionist!"
“That completely rocks, girlfriend! I’m so excited for you! Do you mean that you want to do hair and makeup and help ladies look beautiful?”
“Excellent!” I replied. “I think the word you meant to use was beautician, but I love the word you made up! The reason I love it is this: you combined two words, beautician and nutritionist. A beautician helps people to look beautiful on the outside by fixing hair and make up. A nutritionist helps people to be healthy and well on the inside. So, your new word is incredible because a beautritionist would help others to be healthy on the inside and beautiful on the outside! Yay! Fun! I want to be a beautritionist too, Kennedy!”
We giggled as I tucked her in – snug as a bug in a rug – and prayed for the Lord to help us be the women He created us to be… inside and outside.
Downstairs, as I wrote in my journal about the exchange, it occurred to me that Kennedy was really telling me that she has big dreams in her little heart. She wants to make a positive impact on others. To matter. To live days filled with beauty and significance. She wants a life that’s the motherload of greatness.
She wants what we all want.
An incredible life.
We want it all. Everything God has for us. But we feel trapped by messy, earthy things. By kids that talk back, jobs that drain us, schedules that leave us stressed, and marriages that are far less than what we had hoped for or expected. We’ve stopped believing that life is the stuff of little-girl-dreams because way too often life hurts us. Others fail us. We fail ourselves. We flounder. We disappoint. And let’s face it . . . our failures --our sins-- affect our peace and our people . . . and often keep us from the best things God has for us.
Reflecting on Kennedy’s fledgling desires, I’m forced to be real about the stuffed-down dreams in my own heart. I breathe deep. I’m sobered by the distance between where I am and where I long to be. I want to be a beautricianist too. I want to rise above average. I want to do more. Be more. Believe deeper. Love better. Worship wholeheartedly. Fly higher.
I find myself wondering how sitting in carpool lines, going to work, prepping healthy dinners that my family doesn’t necessarily appreciate, and hushing sibling squabbles will get me there. I want to be set free from all of these strivings that leave me sucking wind.
I want to live beyond ordinary. Don’t you?
Here’s the good news: God does too. He wants you and me to have a full, beautiful life—in Him, through Him, and for Him. Truly. The Bible tells us so. God offers us joy, but not the world’s joy; peace, but not the world’s peace; power, but not the world’s power; love, but not the world’s love. God’s plan is a good plan . . . for us, not against us . . . a plan that is filled with hope and a future. His is a plan that leads us directly to His presence in worship, and, ultimately, to a deep and intimate relationship with Him.
And just like God spoke vision and life to the weary prophet Jeremiah thousands of years ago, His Word speaks vision and life to us today, and every day, reminding us of the beauty available to all in Christ. A beauty that brings Him glory.
That’s the ALL God wants us to want.
All of Him.
The power and plan that God has for you is revealed in His Word:
In Christ, you are forgiven and made righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In Christ, you are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
In Christ, there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
In Christ, you are justified and have peace with God. (Romans 5:1)
In Christ, you are his workmanship - created to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
In Christ, you are chosen and made holy to proclaim his excellency. (1 Peter 2:9)
In Christ, you are a child of God. (John 1:12)
In Christ, you are a fruit bearer. (John 15:5)
In Christ, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 1:22)
In Christ, you are to be his witness to the world. (Acts 1:8)
In Christ, you are given a spirit of power, of love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
In Christ, you are equipped to live out his Word. (James 1:22)
In Christ, you can choose peace over anxiety. (Philippians 4:6)
In Christ, you can boldly approach God in prayer knowing He hears. (1 John 5:14-15)
In Christ, you can be content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether in plenty or in want – and do all things. (Philippians 4:12-14)
In Christ, you are an overcomer. (1 John 4:4)
This list goes on and on. The promises of the Bible can and should fuel all that the Lord has for us.
Hear me, friend: this isn’t some fluffy, rah-rah Christian pep rally. I know many of you are going through difficult and painful challenges. Life throws curve balls that can leave us gasping for breath on any given day, at any given moment. I’m right there with you in the ditches of reality. God’s ways do not always make sense. They don’t always feel good. At times they even sting fiercely, but one thing is always true: the great life He intends for us to live begins and ends with the Word. The Word made flesh: Jesus. And though we remain broken and impacted by an imperfect world, we can rise above and get through anything in the power and hope of God, for His glory.
So, answer this: are you ready to be a beautritionist? Ready to live the dream? His dream?
Everything God has for you is yours for the asking.
Are you asking?
Dear Lord, I really want to get this! Help me to trust Your ways even when I don’t understand them. Help me to believe that Your words of hope are for me, so that You can be glorified in my life. Help me to be radiant and well on both the inside and outside. I’m ready to live the dream.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Journal! Think about and write down your dreams/hopes. Do you even have any? How would your life look differently if you moved in the direction of becoming a beautricianist?
What could you do today to impact the life of a friend with beauty, wellness and hope? (Get on that!)
Finally, are you ready to live the dream? Determine in your heart, pray it through and then tell me all about it on my blog or my Facebook page. I really, really, really love hearing from you! If you don’t want to go into details, simply leave a comment saying, “I’m ready to live the dream!”
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It All.
You’re Invited: I WANT IT ALL Online Bible Study with Gwen Smith
This study will help you:
* Step into the renewal and rest that is best for your weary, stressed-out heart so that you won't be shaken by the swirling pace of this fast-moving world.
* Quiet feelings of loneliness, fear, and doubt by accepting the Biblical truth that even when you feel unseen, anxious, and afraid, God is present, peace-giving, and compassionate.
* Learn practical prayer points that will clear away heart clutter, calm concerns, and bolster believing.
Join us March 5 - April 9 as we study "I WANT IT ALL” with Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith. Sign up today for FREE: https://gwensmith.net/iwia2018
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.