Dreaming Small

 

Am I the only one who sometimes wonders if I’m dreaming too small? After all, the world tells me to DREAM BIG, so how can I live up to my full potential if I don’t? I mean, there’s a great big world out there just waiting for everything I have to offer! I need to expand my horizons! Take the leap! God’s vision for my life is LARGE, not small! Go big or go home!!

Sigh.

I usually just dream of the next time I’ll be able to stay home alone with my own thoughts. I am not energized by a packed to-do list, and Type A people can exhaust me pretty quickly when there’s a project we’re working on together.

So what am I supposed to do? There’s a world out there that needs Jesus!

I don’t really believe I’m dreaming small. I believe I’m just being intentional. Relational. Slowing down enough to connect. Truly, I don’t consider it out of the realm of my calling to listen to just one person. Touch the heart of one person. Help change the course of one person’s life. Make one person think about things differently. Show one person they do have hope – Jesus.

Some have been created to minister to the masses. Some have been created to minister to individual hearts one, or a few, at a time. To crave a deeper connection. To listen and hear and respond to someone reaching out who may feel invisible or unnoticed and who simply needs to be heard and validated. To walk alongside. Be a friend. A mentor. To have the necessary time to teach one heart a new way to see things.

Embrace your uniqueness and your God-given identity. We’re all necessary in God’s Kingdom to do His Kingdom work and show others the way to hope.

I’ll pray for you as you work to do the big and brave things you are called to do. Please pray for me as I reach out to make connection with maybe just one.

 

God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.

Whatever Happened to Paula Brazzell of My Hands To Serve?

 

Well, hello there! It appears I have been absent for about 6 months now, but here I am again giving it another go. We’ve had a bit of excitement in 2017.

Today’s post will simply be a quick run-through to get you caught up. But I’ll work hard to make it an interesting one.

To try and vindicate myself for going quiet for a few months, I will let you know that around the time of my last post in January, one of my 2 part-time jobs picked up and my workload increased. And then, in March, the bottom kind of fell out around here. But things are settling back down and it is good to be sitting at my laptop this morning. I have FocusWriter open with a clean white virtual sheet to type on and the world is my oyster. I’m not 100% sure what that means. But I also have coffee and yogurt, my home office window directly in front of me for viewing God’s magnificent creation, and I’m so ready to write.

Pushing back to March to begin.

For a long time, my husband had been having the signs, but we had largely been ignoring them because they would always dissipate when he would come in the house, sit down and rest. However, around 4 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, they could no longer be ignored. He woke me up and said he needed to go to the emergency room. His chest was hurting bad.

The bare bones version, leaving out detailed information I originally typed in dozens of Facebook posts and many family/friends text conversations, is that we spent 2 weeks mostly in an out-of-town hospital due to my husband being prepped for stents but then, plot twist, the doc deciding he needed triple-bypass surgery instead, and then a 24-hour bout with a-fib, and then a good week of intensive hands-on recuperation at home. Then I went back to my jobs and played catch-up for several weeks while also nursing my husband as he did his best to cooperate with all the many doctors’ and home health instructions. I am happy to say, after several weeks, life has fallen back into a groove and my husband is back to work also and doing very well.

If you have read my previous blog posts and are aware that I tend to struggle with anxiety during high-stress moments, or even low-stress moments, or even no-stress moments at times, I am happy to report that, aside from some anxious days at the beginning, and a few during his recuperation, I have mostly been strong and able to rest as I know many have been praying for us. God’s good and gracious hands have held us up throughout the whole process.

I will bare a little part of my soul here and say that much of my anxiety in any situation usually comes as a result of financial fears. And I will tell you, there are financial fears when you’re looking at a high insurance deductible, missed work with no paid time off, test after test after test in 2 different hospitals, 2 meals every day purchased in the hospital cafeteria, open-heart surgery, and a 2-week hospital stay. But God was, and always is, faithful and provided for us in some unexpected, but very humbly appreciated, ways. And I am confident He will continue to do so as we continue to pay out our bill over the next hundred years or so.

As if all that wasn’t enough, it came right smack-dab in the middle of another bit of stress regarding our modes of transportation. We have 3 vehicles – his, mine, and an old farm truck. At the point in time of the hospital situation, the farm truck was our only trustworthy vehicle. Let me rephrase that for impact. A 1993 farm truck was our only reliable ride to get us from Point A to Point B during the time we were driving back and forth to a hospital 2 hours away, first for surgery, then for follow-up visits. It rained off and on during those days so we had to pray that the windshield wipers would come on and do their job, and God in His mercy, provided, although we had a few good laughs about how they worked. They seemed to have a mind of their own. But I could see to drive when I needed to, so we just thanked the Lord and kept moving forward.

But it was not a new situation. We had had vehicle distresses for a few months, yes months, before the turn of events in March. With both of us needing to be at our different jobs, it had been a hassle for sure. And don’t get me started on the expenses incurred over all those months because, you know, anxiety. But we were determined that the last thing we needed was another monthly car payment, so we were doing our best to resist that option.

To try and keep a very long story from getting too far out of hand, I am happy to report that Doug’s car is now working again, even after an unfortunate event I had with a pothole on the drive home from our mechanic friend’s house, where he had just repaired it for what we thought was the final time, that sent me into an emotional crying jag that eventually worked a good bit of pent-up stress out of my system. So that was good. After my husband had recuperated well enough, he crawled under the car, did a little bit of this and a little bit of that, visited with our mechanic friend and the local parts store, and now the only thing that appears to be wrong with it at this time is, get this, the windshield wipers. What is it with us and windshield wipers?

And then there’s my vehicle situation. My poor little car still sits at our mechanic friend’s house where we have no idea if it is worth trying to get running again or not. We have put a lot into it already, but mess upon mess keeps descending upon it. So decisions, decisions.

But God…

In true “God fashion,” we have been blessed with another vehicle that runs so smooth and nice and, get this, has no signs of dying a painful and expensive death anytime soon. And by blessed, I mean blessed. I will leave it at that. But just so you understand, we’ve been blessed.

To recap:

We presently have working vehicles to get us where we need to go without having to work out shared ride schedules or bug other family members for a lift. And the farm truck still works, too. And while I know we need rain, we just presently pray it holds off during my husband’s morning and afternoon commutes.

We are both back at our jobs, hubby is healthy, I am all caught up with my work backlog, and at a semi-comfortable place with my home to-do list, and I’m sitting here today in my quiet house writing a blog post because I can.

So with all that negativity out of the way, and all restored that the locusts tried mercilessly, and unsuccessfully, to destroy over the past few months (see Joel 2:25), I have some exciting news to share also.

I’m a new first-time grandma.

Whaaaaaaatt? (You have to high-pitch this in your head to hear it the way I’m typing it.)

Yes, as of May 25, 2017, I am a grandma. Our son is a father. It is blessing upon blessing upon blessing. Upon blessing.

Her name is Phoebe and she is beautiful. One of the 4 most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen. If I had seen her mama as a baby, she would be one of the 5 most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen. She looks just like her mama. And did I mention she’s beautiful?

I get to babysit her periodically. And hold her, and hug her, and kiss her, and talk to her, and pray for her, and feed her, and burp her, and change her little drawers, and it all puts me in a very happy place. What a blessing new babies are. They are my favorite. And presently, Phoebe is my very favorite of all.

I AM SO BLESSED!!!!

As I went searching for the word “blessing” in my Bible app just now, I came across this verse – “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Isaiah 44:3

!!!

Well, now, doesn’t that just sum up my whole post?? I am not normally one to pull single verses out of context and rest a personal agenda on them as that can get dangerous or, at the very least, misinterpret the message being delivered within the context. However, I can’t help but believe God, at times, allows us to read verses like this one and then just sits and hugs us with them for a while.

I think I’m being hugged right now.

I seldom know how I’m going to end a post when I first start it. Most of the time, I am not even sure of everything I’m going to say within the body of it. I just start off with an idea, bleed and sweat and cry for a few hours, and hopefully finish in an upright position. The good news is, at this point in my writing career (term used as a bit of humor here), I have nowhere to go but up.

But I think God ended this one for me on a beautiful note and with a hug like only He can deliver.

AND I AM SURELY BLESSED.

 

God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.