Category Archives: Listening to God


Millenium Force Coaster at Cedar Point Park

Millenium Force Coaster at Cedar Point Park

noun – the provision or enjoyment of entertainment

As a student pastor’s wife, I was often called upon to answer life’s perplexing questions with confidence. If you are like me, you spend most of those conversations in a desperate inner prayer to God while simultaneously doling out life-altering advice.

A college student approached me one day with life-path questions. She was facing challenging questions: What will I be when I grow up? How do I get there? She’d been given two doors to walk through and both were good options.

In that instant I sent up a fervent mental prayer, and God gave me an answer that inspired this young lady. She later showed me where my quote was written down in her “Journal of Favorite Quotes”. But as I read my own quote, God redirected his guidance right back at me and reminded me that with Him, life’s choices are often like visiting an amusement park.

Basically, it’s the idea that when we go after our heart’s dreams — while consistently seeking God — He gives us a ticket to His Amusement Park. Ticket in hand, we walk through the gates with great hopes and inkling of trepidation, coupled with bubbling excitement. Unfortunately, after passing through the gates we often stand idly and contemplate. We look up to God and say, “Okay, which ride?”

We peer over longingly at our favorite roller coaster. With metal rails glistening in the brilliant sun, its peaks disappear among the wispy clouds of morning. The coaster promises adventure mixed with a little terror, some heart-pounding thrills, and a squeal of glee at its end.

Our hearts begin to play tug-of-war. “Is this really what God wants, or is this only my desires taking over?”  If we stand there too long, we can convince ourselves to do what is “expected”, the thing that is responsible and safe. Our desire to ride the roller coaster isn’t after all what God wants.  It’s dangerous (or at least it could be) and no one really thinks you can ride it anyway. Maybe we should just ride the carousel and call it a day. It’s relaxing and everyone likes to ride the carousel.  It’s safe and consistent.

So is our choice when following God’s dreams for us.

I’m a huge fan of amusement parks. There’s usually at least one ride that anyone can enjoy. I find that there are certain rides that I adore riding over and over. The fact is this: when we pursue God for our life’s purpose (our deeply rooted dreams that He gave us), He allows us to enter the park and begin choosing which rides to take. One is not necessarily better than the other, but one fills our hearts more than the other.

That roller coaster ( or The Tower of Terror at Disney MGM in my case) thrills my heart beyond imagination. I could ride if over and over again. It brings me joy — and terror, but it’s my favorite. It’s the ride on which I want to spend my life on — figuratively. Are there other rides that I could jump on? Sure, but that one ride – my life’s dream – is the one that I want to take.

So instead of standing just inside the gate wondering which ride to take, I run to the Tower of Terror, pay my dues by enduring the long line (because any dream is gonna take a lot of time and a ton of hard work), and then I ride.

That’s the beauty of dreaming with God. When you ramble through his amusement park, you choose which ride to take — which dream you will let God make a reality in your life. One ride is not better than the other, it’s just seeking God enough to know which one will make you the most joyful. And it’s not just a personal happiness, it’s a joy which strengthens you day by day because you are walking in God’s plan for your life.



images-50noun – a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal

It’s February 8th, do you know where your New Year’s Resolutions are?  I do, they’re nowhere because I chose several years ago to let that guilt go!  Instead, I choose to let God define my new year by giving me a focus word.  Several years ago He asked me to brave. Last year he simply asked me trust, and this year He’s pointed me to the same word over and over…DREAM.

It’s a little weird to be thinking about dreams as a 40-something-year-old. I mean dreams are those the things that you have when you are in elementary school (becoming the owner of an ice cream truck), or maybe in junior high (getting a Porsche for your 16th birthday) or high school/college where you actually try to have dreams that are achievable: doctor, teacher, wife, mother, rocket scientist. But God keeps saying “Dream!”  over and over again to me.

Here in Sucúa, there are stores with shelves lined with dust-covered hopes. Anyone can walk the aisles looking for a Crock Pot, or maybe a coffee-maker, or a blender.  You can find one but they are a little dated. The box is faded and covered with grit from the streets. It’s there ready to be used, but it’s been sitting for quite a long time. It’s the same with dreams God gives us.  Sometimes they’ve been on the shelf for a long time, but every time we visit that store, we see them, and the impulse to buy overtakes us. Yet, we leave the store letting that “needed” thing gather more dust.

In your heart right now, there’s a dream stirring in you. It could be small. It could be almost too grand to imagine, but it will not let you go. The how’s of achieving this dream is unfathomable. Honestly, there’s no way you could even work it out in your mind. But that voice floats up from deep within, blending your discontent with your desires and God says,   He “can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message).

That constant reminder of the dream is the Spirit working gently within us. For me, this year, I’m learning to listen to that voice and “purchase” that much needed thing – my dream(s). That means many different things for me: learning to be more disciplined, letting go of people’s expectations and opinions, stepping off into the unknown, and believing in myself and my God more than ever.

C.S. Lewis said, “You’re never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” So this year I’m 18 again and composing my “life quote” for the yearbook when Michael W. Smith voiced my thoughts perfectly as I left the high school world in search of my dreams: God “steers the heart in the pursuit of a dream.”  Hello 2013: Let the pursuit begin!