“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” ~ Karle Wilson Baker
What do you do when hard questions threaten to flood your God-sized dreams?
I wanted Father’s Day to start out extra special, so I decided to surprise Hubby with a new recipe.
Buttermilk waffles sounded like a sure win, so I ran to the store for a carton of buttermilk, with the hope of whipping some up before he sauntered down.
I didn’t read through the entire recipe before jumping in. After all, how hard could it be to make waffles?
It turned out this particular recipe had me jumping through a complicated 3-step process, that involved whipping up eggs whites, to fold them into some very lumpy batter.
I started hyperventilating as my waffle mix looked more like a breakfast-meringue gone wild.
Is it supposed to look like *this*?
How much folding can this thing take before it’s completely messed up?
As I hugged Hubby good morning with gooey-battered fingers, two boys underfoot getting hungrier by the minute, and visiting in-laws circling the kitchen, I wished I never even thought of the idea.
Sometimes, when we get into the realities of attempting our God-sized dreams, it can feel like a big mistake.
We question whether we’re doing “it” right.
We wonder why we thought things could be different — why we believed we could be different.
We wish we didn’t even start.
Don’t give up.
When we start asking the hard questions about ourselves and about God’s plans for us, we are right where God wants us.
God-sized dreams pull us into the unknown. It means we won’t be able to walk by sight anymore, but by faith.
The Harder Questions
See if you observe this phenomenon when attempting your God-sized dreams: the more you step out into a new direction God is leading you, the harder questions will start flying.
They will all circle around similar themes of numbers, results or influence. The world tells us success breeds success. If something produces good results, emulate it. If something produces an unfavorable outcome, avoid it.
This is the trap of hard questions. We can only go as far as we can.
This is also the opportunity for God-sized dreams. We can take the next step, because God is going ahead with us.
Par For The Course
Sometimes, I feel doubtful whether I have what it takes to make the next leg of my God-sized dream. I’ve learned this is par for the course of faith. It isn’t time for me to draw away. Instead, I tell myself to lean into Jesus.
At every intersection of hard questions, I hear Jesus’ voice speaking clearly, confidently and patiently:
* “Go in the strength you have.” Judges 6:14.
We usually question our abilities. God assures us His strength meets us in our weaknesses.
God spoke these words to Gideon, even when he questioned God and thought he was abandoned by Him (“If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened?”).
* “I will be with you.” Judges 6:16
We easily slip into minimizing our value. God chooses to make His home in us.
God assured Gideon of His faithful presence, even when Gideon started in on his But-Lord reasons (“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “How can I save Isarel? My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family.”).
I’m learning God doesn’t grow tired repeating His encouragement. Day after day. No matter how many times I keep asking, God lovingly answers them all the same.
I love you. Keep going, Bonnie.
All in all, I think those waffles took way too long to qualify for a future encore performance. Everyone was a good sport and gobbled up breakfast. To my surprise, they turned out golden brown and delicious.
Between you and me. I’ll leave the waffle cooking to Hubby.
Next year, I think I’ll try a new french toast recipe I saw the other day.
How is God encouraging you in your God-sized dreams?
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This month’s series is “Shots of Encouragement”. Yes, I’m thinking of you — the ones always lifting others and keeping others in mind. Let’s encourage each other as we fill each other’s cup.
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Today’s Topic 6/23:
The word “dream” seems to be the buzz these days. I’m curious what y’all think. Blog on this topic: My God-sized dreams.
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What is one area you’d like a refill of encouragement? (e.g. work, parenting, marriage, friendship, ministry, faith, health, finances, or ___? )
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I’ve never tried to make waffles so you’re a better woman than me just for the effort. I even gave up cooking pancakes once I discovered my husband was much better at it than me. ha.
It is hard to keep going when obstacles have a face-off with us. I’m pressing on towards a dream of a short-term overseas mission trip this summer, but I admit I’m scared. But if “courage is fear that has said its prayers,” then I’ll keep pressing on with courage because I have definitely spent a lot of time talking to God about it.
Thanks for the shot of encouragement, Bonnie. I always get that from you and appreciate it!
I think it’s a law, somewhere: Husbands make the best waffles. I don’t know what it is — my father did it, and I followed in the tradition.
Thanks for hosting, Bonnie. I love that description you have in “par for the course” — that’s us humans, for sure.
Thanks for exposing the wisdom of this world that God rejects. I was thinking about Peter this morning. Can you imagine if God said, “You know, Peter denied Jesus once already, so why would we want to trust him with sharing the Good News to everyone in Jerusalem?” When we’re dealing with God’s resources, he can make things happen, even after we’ve failed. I think that’s the lesson God has been teaching me over the past two-three years. We serve a God who resurrects.
Also, please tell me you’ll test out that French toast recipe BEFORE Father’s Day next year. We have a rule in our household: if we’re having anyone over for a meal, we only make something we’ve made before. 🙂
“Go in the strength you have.” Judges 6:14 What a simple and yet profound verse. How encouraging when it comes time to take the first step, or just one more.
Thanks Bonnie for Hard Questions are good for God Sized Dreams. I am in the middle of my God Sized Dream, and it often feels like I have created a monster, but I know that God is the One who gave it to me and has been pushing me along. I often feel alone and ill-equipped. I am going to tape Judges 6:14 “Go in the strength you have” and Judges 6:16 ” I will be with you” to my desk. Thanks again and I’m sure the waffles weren’t as bad as you thought.
[…] Thursday, my friend Bonnie at Faith Barista offers a topic for bloggers to think, post, and comment on. Today's topic is God Sized […]
Honestly, I don’t know what God sees in me. Feeling extremely unqualified for even the smallest of the dreams He has given me. But every time I consider sitting down in the middle of this “Where in the world am I?” road, He is there, tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me that He’s the One who dreamed it all up in the first place.
Dusting myself off…..again. Grateful that the dream belongs to Him.
I’m so thankful for this: “I’m learning God doesn’t grow tired repeating His encouragement.” What grace!
Thank you for your regular servings of encouragement, Bonnie.
‘Go in the strength you have’ and ‘I will be with you’ – what more could we want? This was really encouraging, Bonnie – so often we have ‘god-sized dreams’ which then seem unachievable – we dream big but forget that we need to take small, one-at-a-time steps. Great verses to remember!
As is true so many times in “the walk” it is a matter of perspective. Are we looking at the dream from God’s perspective and his resources and abilities or from our human perspective and our little cup of ability and memories of not being enough in the past. Ask the Lord to give us his eyes to see the dream as he sees it and to see ourselves through his love and encouragement.
Bonnie, thank you so much for your creative but very enlightening messages. I am “caught” right away, and do not stop reading when I read your messages. I want to thank the people who commented also. So helpful, encouraging, reassuring. I always feel like I am the only one who fails, either before I even start, or begin and not finish, or get discouraged that it is too hard. I feel SO SO unqualified to do anything much.
I also tried a new recipe for Father’s Day. I have not been employed for over 7 mths, so had no income. Since I have always baked, less now than I used to, I decided that was one thing I could do. I FORCED myself to see what ingredients I had on hand, and proceeded. Well, it took so much effort, I wanted to stop just when reading the recipe for pecan squares! But I wanted to have something to contribute for Father’s Day. I ended up started a recipe thinking I was cutting it in half, and wondered why it looked the way it did, looked back at my recipe and discovered I had not cut everything in half, so I went back and added what was missing. The results were not the greatest. He did not even want to taste them. I did and found them dry. I was disappointed. But the next day, I was making a plate for an elderly neighbor, and discovered that the pecan squares were much better after sitting overnight and were quite good. My neighbor was very happy with them, and so has been my stomach. Sometimes, we can’t impress everyone, but I tried and God knew my heart.
Such a great reminder, Bonnie. I actually wrote about a different analogy, but some of the same things you did here. Amazing we can be on the same wavelength, right? 🙂 Thanks so much.
This is such a timely post for me, Bonnie. Right now we’re stepping out into the complete unknown…well, into the “God is all we know” known. 🙂 I was just telling my husband last night that even though next month is a complete blank for our family, I am at peace because I know God is directing it all. We truly are having to lean not on our own understanding in this situation.
Glad to hear your waffles turned out good. I think the french toast sounds yummy, though. 🙂
The closer you are to the course He sets, the louder the voices will scream that you can’t possibly go that way…
yes, that is the time to leaner ever harder into Him
Mmm… waffles. Thanks honey!
Eric’s reply blesses ME!
Aw Bonnie I’m so encouraged by this. I have to admit I did laugh at the waffle scenario. I know it all too well…hee hee. Leaning on Jesus is so key. Thank you for pointing that out. Asking the hard questions and facing those scary “next steps” are at first unwelcome. Then, we grab hold of His hand and say, “Okay, Jesus, let’s do this!” and Wowee!!!
Hugs, waffles, french toast – I’m comin’ over to see ya for left overs…hee hee.
Thank you Bonnie! This was a topic that really got me thinking and pondering. I have asked for years “how do you dream?” I didn’t know how. And I think I am a bit closer to the answer now.
And I am so ever grateful that God doesn’t tire of giving us encouragement.
I’m so glad your waffles turned out well…..we had blueberry pancakes on Father’s Day! =) I personally love waffles, but hate to clean the waffle iron!
Thanks Bonnie! Another encouraging post 🙂 Something I’m learning, lately, too, is just how MUCH grace God pours out on us, especially when it comes to dreams He’s put on our hearts, or visions He has for us. God gave me a huge dream 2 years ago, but I’ve fallen short in so many ways. I’ve fallen under heavy burdens of shame, guilt, and condemnation, as a result, too… But so often, I realize, we set humanistic standards and expectations on ourselves & God’s dreams, and that’s where feelings of failure come in. Even if, perhaps, we have gone astray in some ways… we can look at how God dealt with Moses, David, Peter, and Thomas. They weren’t condemned — they were dealt with patience, love, grace, and purpose. Because God wanted something done, and they were just the people He wanted to do the job.
Something that really comforts me is what God says in Isaiah 55:11 — that the word that comes out of His mouth won’t return to Him until its completed the work it was sent to do. Our job isn’t to strive to be perfect, but only to pray, wait, watch, listen, and respond. God’s word will fulfill its purpose. If we by our actions couldn’t merit God’s love and Christ’s salvation, how could we by our actions frustrate God’s grace or His purposes? He’s bigger than us. 🙂
Thanks again Bonnie!!!
God has managed to keep me focused in my dreams. It’s not easy especially when I try to measure my success by the world’s standards.
I love it when God does this…why just last week… well, you just have to read my blog “I am a grouchy toddler at heart..” and I pray that you’ll be blessed!!
Thanks again Bonnie!
<3 love your heart!!
This. Right. Here. “I’m learning God doesn’t grow tired repeating His encouragement. Day after day.” Thank you, I needed this!
You know, that statement also challenges me in my interactions with other folks too. I lead a small group of High School boys, and as you know, boys make dumb decisions daily. Lol, I know because I was one of them. But God’s example is beautfiul in that He’s willing to push us forward, again and again…so I have to try and do the same. Thanks!
I want to stand up and shout about this post, Bonnie. I’m reading down, watching my life recently flash past, and thinking “thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!” All we can give is what we have. We can only ever live in proportion to our faith, and we’re dependent on God even for that!
I LOVE you, your heart, and your writing. You’re one of those people that I would SO love to sit down in a coffee shop with and talk for days. I guess this is as close as I can get here, right? 😉
[…] Thursday, my friend Bonnie at Faith Barista offers a topic for bloggers to think, post, and comment on. Today's topic is God Sized […]