All the possibilities in life… need a plan —> or they won’t happen.
It’s easy to let “real life” meander – or dash – or fast forward, and find your dreams sinking into the muck of “wish I coulda” because time has passed too fast, and too far. Maybe it’s laziness, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s something else – but the days, weeks and years can pass without us even noticing.
How many of us look back and say,
“I wish…” “I wonder”… “If only”…
And realize time has moved – and it is too late.
(At least for some things.)
Some of us will never dance the lead in Swan Lake, or know the intense concentration needed in a twelve-hour neurosurgery, or the chaos and joy from adopting siblings from Russia, or the physical exhaustion and exhilaration from hiking to Machu Pichu at 8000 feet above sea level.
But there will be other dreams. Other plans. Other goals.
Shake off your fear – address the comfort that isn’t serving you!
When are you going to put a plan together to make sure those dreams, plans and goals won’t disappear also?
All the possibilities…
What kinds of possibilities could you plan for?
There are lots of areas in your life where you have dreams, right? (If you can’t imagine anything, try to reminisce and reflect a little – here’s a short eBook to help you, and it’s free!)
Maybe it’s a vacation, maybe it’s a home, maybe it’s the joy of seeing your babies smile, or waving as they go off to college. Here are some areas to consider:
health & wellness
Where do you start?
In which area do you begin your plan?
Begin everything in Prayer.
Consider these verses:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
“To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.”
Ask. Seek. Knock.
Making a plan to pursue a dream is important –
but always start by going to the Creator of Heaven and Earth and first inquire of Him .
Encouraging your spouse in prayer.
Pray with your husband or wife – lift up your dreams, your desires, your ideas…
Prayer is an action – it’s like going up in a hot-air balloon together – lifting up your spouse.
Ask the One who knows the future – and has plans for you!
Begin Your Possibilities & Plans in Prayer
Have you considered that prayer is a part of setting goals?
In which areas will you begin to pray? Maybe your spouse is already praying about an area… do you know? Encouragement doesn’t happen in a vacuum – maybe your spouse needs something to encourage you about – pray together to understand which direction the Lord wants you to take.
Leave a comment!
Leave a comment – and be entered to win a book that’ll walk you through a retreat to talk about setting goals. It’s a 48-Hour Relationship Retreat book by Amanda Adams-Barney and Richard Barney. In each of the posts about goalsetting, if you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win. At the end of February I’ll use Random.org to choose a winner and the Barneys will send that winner a signed copy of their book.
(And who said it was supposed to be fair, anyway? That’s just a new-age myth. Give it up.)
God writes our story, and sometimes we’d like to change the details, but in the end, I’m sure He has the best, most awesome story for each of us. The best. I’m sure. I’ll bet my eternal life on that one.
Things don’t always work out the way we’d like.
(I was going to use the word “sucks”, but my father told me a lady doesn’t use that word. So I won’t.)
Things don’t always work out the way we’d like and it’s disappointing.
How do you encourage your spouse even through disappointment?
First, take stock of where you are.
Yes, you’re (both) disappointed – grieved – angry – frustrated – tired – frightened – disheartened – overwhelmed – confused – sad… It’s OK to feel all those emotions.
Most times it’s not really anyone’s fault, it’s just part of the story.
Most times it’s not a tragedy, just a disappointment.
Most times it’s only for a time.
Start from where you are – and look forward.
There is always hope. It might not be the hope you wanted. It might not be the hope you envisioned. It might not be the hope you counted on. It might not be the hope you prayed for. It might not be the hope you…
There is always hope.
Reassess. Redirect. Revise.
Stand firm on the foundation of your faith in God.
Share stories of how God has shown His power and faithfulness in your history together. Give thanks. Force your thoughts away from the current disappointment and rest on His promises. Be determined. Be stubborn. Dig in. Dig deep. Praise Him.
Love your spouse with no conditions. With no prerequisites.
Your love for each other does not need to be affected by this disappointment. In fact, disappointment can make your love shine with a light so bright it eclipses this moment of your story. (Do not let the evil one tell you lies.)
Pray alone. Pray together. Pray with others. Ask others to pray for you and with you. Pray without ceasing. Pour it all out in prayer, and then praise God.
Do something together. Maybe it’s necessary to take action because of the disappointment. Agree on a direction and make a plan. If you can’t agree, seek counsel. Then make a plan. And do something to move forward.
However, if self-focused action isn’t going to move you past your disappointment, then the action you need to take – together – is to serve. Serve together. Help someone else. Be a team and use the gifts God has put into you both to be a blessing.
This, too, shall pass.
Robert read me a quote this morning from Max Lucado,
“You can tell a lot about a person by the way he dies.”
Yeah. We’re only on this earth for a short while. We’re all headed toward eternity.
Every. One. Of. Us.
Christ died for all of us. He had disappointments. He was let down, betrayed, and walking through five days He experienced everything from Hosanna to Hatred. And I’m going to imagine He knew we would all be b-i-g disappointments for Him at times. But that didn’t stop Him from finishing His story well.
Encourage your spouse through this time of disappointment – and finish your story, well.
I wrote the above post within the hour of receiving devastating news. It just flowed from my heart through my fingers onto the page… Little did we know how very faithful God would be.
This post – and our “news” happened on Good Friday. Yes. That Day. Where all those who followed Christ were struck with despair because it appeared that He was gone – and His purpose was cut off.
However, just like those women gathered around the tomb – three days later, everything was made clear – all the angst and sorrow and despair was turned to joy… for them… and for us.
God was faithful. He solved our devastation in a way that was truly His. He took over. He provided. Literally. Someone walked up to our door and provided a way out…. Someday I’ll write the whole story.
It’s two years after this event of moving from despair to joy happened… I’m still in awe. And those who know our full story can’t explain it – there is no logical answer.
you could start small – just clasp hands and give thanks for your spouse
you could pray for your spouse’s physical health, career, role as a parent and/or grandparent, your shared intimate life, relationship with friends, attitude, mental health, fears, reputation, temptations, purpose, choices, priorities, self-image, integrity, trials…
Pray. Without ceasing.
You could take action to bless your spouse…
You know what I’m talking about…
What have you been avoiding doing that you know your spouse would appreciate?
It might not be a big thing. (or it could be)
What can you do –
where can you make a difference by taking action –
Our son and daughter-in-love have adopted a puppy. And by default, so have Robert and I.
Our son has a business, and this dog is going to be his business’ mascot. (Once it learns to do its business outside!) Until that point, the puppy visits us in our home when Alex needs to be in the studio.
Rob and I work from home.
We’re kinda comfortable in our routine – he’s in his office at one end of our little cottage in the woods, and I work in the sunroom at the other end of the house. Now and again we pass in the hallway,
and share a cuppa tea and a bite between meals.
Comfortable, right? This puppy has provided everything except comfort!
But it has been an adventure around the Ferguson house lately. Have you ever gone to a dog park? Yah – that was an adventure… this puppy can hold her own with a full-grown pit bull. (sigh)
So – this juxtaposition between comfort and adventure has made me realize…
Comfort is not Conducive to Adventure
Having the puppy in our daytime lives has made it clear that comfort and adventure cannot be put in the same sentence. And as wonderful as comfort in marriage can be – it’s not as fun as an adventure. Every couple’s definition of adventure is going to be different.
Some couples are nomads – living out of suitcases and touring the world. (I wrote a post about 3 couples who live this way – click HERE to read it! And there’s a family of 6 who have been doing this for years.)