I heard a speaker use a particular word in the form of a question recently
and it captured my attention.
It was a simple word that likely skipped right over the ears of many
and perhaps was all to familiar to others but it was very timely for me and I heard it.
".. endorsement..." And I wondered who endorses me?
Please hear me, I know who endorses me, defines me and created me. But an honest question: On this planet, who? And would one or two or three be.. enough? Community is important and the council of honest friends is very valuable but who am I looking to to endorse me? Endorsement gives validity to what you are doing. It gives a much firmer foundation to a project. If an organization wanted to build a dream but lacked the funding they would look to a lender to back them, endorse them. Shark Tank. They lend and of course they take in exchange. If you start a business or a non-profit there are laws governing that you have a group, a committee or board of leadership.
My husband and I started a non-profit organization called GOING BEYOND THE GAME and I was quite surprised by all of the processes. We have a board made of honest visionaries and tacticians and that is stabilizing and deeply valuable. Many around me do not see it. Perhaps because they only know what they see on the surface. As a deeply buried dream begins to emerge and it's purpose becomes less and less foggy and vague this word was quite timely. So buried in fact, that I had forgotten until a spot light was put on it in a darkened room of a few thousand people. Endorsement. "...there's a dream deep, deep inside of you... breathe on it..." and then "I endorse you. I see your dream. It's my dream that I've put in you." "I see it clearly. Trust me. I will bring it up and out and unfold it before you..." That is the single most valuable, pointed and precise endorsement that I need, right? It is still out of focus, fuzzy and a bit vague. Tiny bits and pieces are coming to bring shape to an unknown but I am keeping my ears and heart open to hear the rumble of the unfolding. And until then I will keep doing what I'm doing.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans..." And that is really what I want, all I want, only what I want. All the other what would look like 'dreams' are just fillers, temporary fluff and styrofoam to me. Too many ideas and such a short time. What is your dream? Are you walking that out? And to some of you who feel limited, too broken or a life too far gone I ask "Why not?" I think real dreams take our feet from the dirt of this life and launch us and many others along the way into high places. If your dream doesn't scare you it may not be big enough. It's a challenge to wrap up this post since it is such an unfinished topic so how about this: "To be continued" Deborah
only to discover that you really don't know so much at all?
I thought I had learned a few things about grace.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found.
Was blind but now I see.
The kind you ask for,
search for or at least put your heart or hands out for.
Last week, in the middle of the night
I found myself sitting in an emergency room
in great pain with many unanswered questions.
The diagnosis was undetermined.
The cause of the problem was a mystery.
The cat scan showed cause for very real concern.
My husband sat exhausted in the corner
slumped over in a chair.
As I returned to the room from my second cat scan
I could hear whispers "How serious is it, Doctor?"
Worry. Fear. Concern.
I felt cushioned, insulated from fears and worry.grace
As the team of medical staff looked over lab results
and discussed my prognosis I sat quietly, peaceful. grace
I usually pray about things. Everything and often.
I am a mom. I am a wife. I am human and in this world
there are always things to talk to God about.
But I didn't even do that. I just sat. Peaceful.grace
I thought "I'm ready. I'm ready to go"
But I have children, children that aren't grown yet.
And my husband... he'd have to find a new wife.
Ugh. So much hassle. ;)
So a thought slipped into my mind with such ease
like oxygen enters the lungs while in a deep sleep.
Effortlessly the thought came as I looked at my tired husband
"I don't have dying grace. I have living grace."grace
At first it was a silent thought that entered quietly and gently
into the corridors of my mind.
Then deciding that the thought deserved merit
I contemplated it a moment then gave it a soft megaphone.
"I don't have dying grace. I have living grace."
And I repeated it again for three reasons.
I needed to hear what I just said.
I wanted my husband to hear again what I just said and
it carried the watermark of hope, wisdom,
comfort and peace that surpassed mine.
(sending a text to a group of men who pray)
Several years ago my mother's health declined.
It was a time filled with challenges of all kinds.
There were days and moments filled with hope and determination
and days sprinkled with questions, disappointments and grief.
One perfect spring afternoon, the kind you'd see on a cartoon or Sesame Street, brilliant blue with white puffy clouds
Mom took flight into eternity.
I got to be by her side when she departed her shell of a body
and flew with a circle of birds upward.
I saw grace.
Grace to go.
And also helped an aunt take Grandma a few years ago across a cold windy parking lot from her nursing home to a dr. appointment to check on her lungs.
They suspected pneumonia.
As they tried to take her blood pressure on her frail little arm
the nurse could see that bone and skin alone
couldn't give a proper reading.
So the nurse paused and removed the cuff and then listened to her lungs and heart. She sweetly looked up at my aunt and then she was gone. She told me weeks before that she wanted to go home. She had grace to go.
As I sat in the ER another thought:
And an image of a little girl clinging to a huge iron anchor.
Trusting. Resting. Waiting. Clinging. Joyful.
My husband says it was the pain management but I know better.
I was so darn funny! I was cracking one liners all night/morning!
After seeing the second cat scan the doctor
asked in a concerned tone
"Tell me, where is your greatest pain?"
Swiftly answering with mouth off to the side
and one eyebrow raised I said quite matter of fact
"In the black shirt, sitting over there in the corner."
After deciding to admit me into the hospital
but to transfer me to the main campus
an ambulance service was called for transport.
When they arrived I walked out of the ER
and asked them if I could drive.
(post limo, pre arrival into 'med spa' suite)
When we arrived at the hospital and was being taken to my room
I was asked if I preferred
to be carried into the room or if I wanted to walk.
I said I could walk and as I got up to walk added
"Thanks for the limo ride guys!
I'd tip ya but I left my purse at home!"
I called the hospital my med spa.
(room service, really?)
Room service? They actually call it ROOM SERVICE!
Of course, I wasn't hungry but I had to eat something
so I could take my meds so I had a salmon fillet
and it was perfect.
Seriously, things have changed since I had my last baby!
A menu? Spa-cation.
No cooking or cleaning, no dog hair or dogs barking, ahhh...
At last all tucked in and ready to go to sleep at 5:40am.
Well, that's what I thought...
Wait. I'm in a hospital.
Time to take your vitals.
Hi we're from lab and we've come to take a gallon of blood.
Time to take your vitals.
Hi, we're from lab and we've come for another gallon.
Time to take your vitals.
Hi. I'm your surgeon...
Hi. I'm your surgeon's resident...
Time for vitals...
I asked if there was anyway I could sleep just a bit
since I had no sleep Sunday night.
The nurse compassionately smiled and said I'll be right back.
When she returned she carried a little spa kit:
ear plugs and a room darkening mask and graciously stated
"We will coordinate lab and vitals so you can rest this afternoon."
I have tests and more tests this week and next.
I will be found clinging to the Anchor
with gratefulness for His gifts of grace.
Trust really is the opposite of fear.
The image of the anchor and the little girl
was a picture of where I was at in my thoughts.
Trust brings peace providing space for being at rest
and having true joy, freedom from carrying a load of worry, fear...
"Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy loads