There is purpose for your life; you are not here by accident. I believe this to be true, and today I’m talking about the two perspectives I’ve been wrestling with related to this topic and how we decipher our God-shaped dreams. The first is that He uses our gifts and talents for our good, for the good of others, and for His Kingdom. The second is that He uses us in spite of our weakness, failure, or even our blatant rejection of His calling upon our lives. So, which is it, strengths or weaknesses?
Author and coach Julie Watson reminds us that God calls us into places where we feel incompetent or are just too full of fear to move forward (think of Moses). But He meets us in our “gaps,” and He grows us when we say “yes” despite our objections to the challenges we face. Julie reveals the surprising truth about the training, education, or preparation needed to pursue your dream. Finally, she asks a poignant question that helps us think about what we really want for our life and our dream.
Ashley Hales teaches us the importance of pressing in to the greater story of the gospel because of its impact on our lives and relationships; she also reminds us of our identity in Christ. You’ll discover the value of instituting small disciplines in your life like finding a verse to meditate on or a way to move your body each day; and she talks about why she wrote her first book, Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much (IVP), even though she never planned to write a book.
In this solo episode, I’m talking about where we can find our value and worth because we are daughters of the King. You’ll hear more of my story about how I rested my value on something that was ultimately going to fail me. I share the best response I ever got from a Christian man who knew he couldn’t bear the weight of my identity on his back. And I talk a bit about what’s going on my world right now that has revealed to me that I am struggling, again, to remember that my security is in Christ.
In this episode, Cari Jenkins teaches about our identity in Christ with gentleness and conviction. She reminds us that He sees us and knows what we need. You'll learn that listening to the Spirit and trusting His lead, might result in something completely different than what you planned or hoped for. She confides in us about her recent heart-wrenching decision to have a hysterectomy (as a single woman who has never had children) and the ways the Father revealed and revised her vision for motherhood.
This week, April Matt reveals the value of asking good questions and listening well as you consider your dream because you might uncover something you never considered. You’ll hear why your dream is worth pursuing, even when it gets hard, you have bad days, or you feel like quitting. Finally, April teaches us the importance of partnering with people who have the skills you lack and who can help you see when you’re working from your own strength instead of resting in the Lord’s.
In this solo episode, I’m talking about identity, specifically our identity in Christ as daughters of the Most High King. You’ll hear how I struggled early on as a Christian to even understand what this means and how to live it out. In attempting to understand what it means to find our identity in Christ, I also share what it’s not, meaning you’re going to hear a bit about my messy life before Jesus (um, yes, it’s still messy AFTER Jesus but just in a different way now!) This is important because when we understand who we are in Christ, it informs how we move towards our God-shaped dreams.
In this episode, Holly Christine Hayes shares the difficult truth about pursuing a God-shaped dream – that it’s hard and it may require everything of you. She teaches us the importance of examining your season of life, considering the realities of your dream, and what you might do instead if this isn’t the time to step out. You’ll discover the value of surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and the importance of staying watered and rooted if you’re going to step into a God-shaped dream.
In this episode, Krista Hengesh of Live Salted talks about the faith required to step into what God has called you to, especially when you don’t know what the results will be. We discuss the spiritual warfare you’ll face when walking in His will and seeking to make Him more famous. We remind you that you are a daughter of the King and that when you trust Him with your dream, your life, your everything, your dependence on Him will naturally need to increase and thus will grow your intimacy with Him.
Happy New Year and welcome back to Season Five of The Devoted Dreamers Podcast. This episode is a quick update on what you can expect from the podcast for the remainder of this season, including a new publishing schedule, monthly themes, solo episodes, and the Dream Letter, which is launching later this month. Be sure to subscribe to get yours!
Next week I’ll be back with another interview, this time it’s my conversation with Krista Hengesh of Live Salted ministry.
In this episode, you’ll learn some real-life tips to find time for your dream, even as a busy mom/entrepreneur/wife, etc. You will be inspired to believe in the value of your dream not only for the dream itself but also for the ways it will draw you closer to the Father as you take risks, leave your comfort zone and do scary things to pursue it. We talk about letting go of mom-guilt and discovering the benefits to your kids as you take time for the dream God has placed on your heart.
In this episode, Amy Wright, creator of The Big Family Home blog, talks about the shame she has battled in her dream to write and encourage other moms. Our conversation is a reminder that God doesn’t want us to live in shame or guilt. She and I commiserate on how easily we fall into the belief that everyone else is “doing this better than me.” This episode is a reminder that you are not the only one struggling and that whatever the struggle, whether in motherhood or your dream, it doesn’t define you.
In this week’s episode, I confess my most recent blunder related to the podcast – in real time – and use my mistake to share some reflections on the journey God has used in my life to uncover my God-shaped dream. It isn’t a formula; our dreams don’t really work like that. My hope in sharing these steps is that you’ll find yourself somewhere on this continuum and gain some insight about what you might need next in the journey toward your God-shaped dream.
In this episode, wellness and style coach Jane Springer reminds us that God often uses the difficulties He allows in our lives to serve as inspiration for our dreams. In Jane’s case, it was her own health struggles that inspired her to help other women with theirs. In hearing her story, you’ll discover the value of paying attention to your own instincts, trusting God’s timing and waiting on Him to show you what’s next instead of stepping out because you’ve grown impatient with the wait.
In this episode, Rebekah Twinem shares what she’s learned in starting an online clothing resale shop near Boulder, Colorado—that our dreams are not too frivolous. She teaches us the impact of our shopping dollars on other people and the environment, and in her gentle, soft-spoken way, she shares the calling to consider and not just consume. We’re also reminded of God’s great love for us and how He will use our dreams to deepen our connection with Him, regardless of our failure or success.
In this episode, Jessica Reinhart shares her journey to encourage others toward authentic community. She talks about her favorite personality profile tool, The Elements Assessment, and reminds us of the value in knowing ourselves and others. You’ll be inspired to uncover new ways to build community whether in pursuit of your dream or among your neighbors. She also teaches us how to search out people to work alongside us in our dreams and what to look for as we seek the right fit in these relationships.
In this episode, Jenni Eastin assures us that God is in control and that we can trust and surrender our dreams to Him. She shares two intimate, real-life stories that are constant reminders of these truths and motivation to share the hope she’s found with others. Along this journey, she’s discovered tools that help her fight back against the voices that urge her to quit. If you’ve ever tried to run away from your dream, may this interview provide perspective and even help you get started.
Julie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships–especially marriages. She is a speaker and wife coach who loves sharing her passion for prayer and how to cultivate a thriving marriage. This conversation with Julie resulted from her reaching out to encourage me last week. I was struggling to feel courageous as I worked on my fear of failure episode, and God used her to speak truth to me. At the same time, she volunteered to just “jump in” the next time I needed a last-minute interview.
In this week’s episode we’re talking about fear of failure, which feels ironic because even as I’m speaking on this topic, I’m wrestling with this fear. Sure, I wanted to do this solo episode. In fact, the first 10 minutes or so felt inspired. I was on a roll. But then life happened, I had to hit pause, and a few days passed. When I sat down to wrap it up, anxiety crept in, and I wrestled over and over in my mind with what I wanted to say and whether I could provide any value to this topic.
In this episode, graphic designer Megan Sjuts of Building 07 teaches us her favorite strategy for combating the ugly feelings that come with comparing yourself to others. You’ll hear how she discovered graphic design (and it wasn’t because she went looking for it as a career) and why not knowing the path in advance doesn’t make it wrong. She also shares the lessons learned from a difficult conversation she had early on with one of her first clients. These will be vital to anyone who is starting a business or dealing with client communications.