Following your dreams

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

At a women's retreat this past weekend, I was asked what my childhood dreams had been. With a huge smile on my face I admitted to dreaming of being the next Wimbledon tennis champion or a journalist/writer, in that order. They were heartfelt dreams that I thought for sure would come to pass one day!

Fast forward a few of those dreams has since past (obviously the tennis one), but the writing one still dwells within me. Notice the word dwells. Beyond this blog and my writing course, I haven't done much with my dream. It's not that I don't want to be a writer, I do! It's just that there is a part of me that doubts that this writing dream will ever really come to pass and fear that it will find the same fate as my tennis dream...cast into the sea and past it's prime.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams". I know that fear is a major factor for my dream dwelling, rather than my dream following. I know that if God has placed this dream within me, at the right time He will bring it to pass. Until then, I need to believe that it will happen and actively wait for that time. God has confirmed things to me through His Word, but since I'm sometimes hard of hearing and hard of learning He has also used a popular TV show to teach me a thing or two about dream following.

Maybe you're familiar with the show, America's Next Top Model? We started watching it recently when my teenage daughter informed me that she wants to be a model (a blog post for a later time I'm sure). The basic plot of this reality show is the same as Survivor, but without the jungle and the starvation (well, maybe not). There are challenges, cat fights, and photo shoots. At the end of each episode some unfortunate beauty gets the boot. But before Tyra Banks bids the loser-of-the-week farewell, she offers them a word of encouragement about following their dreams despite their current misfortune. It's those last 2 minutes of the show that God has spoken to the fears of my heart about my own dreams.

Here are some of those lessons:
* Have confidence in who you are and in your dream
* Never give up following your dream
* Transparency will get you further than you can imagine
* Don't hide the desire of your dreams
* You have it, you just have to break through

Funny how those few phrases have touched the depths of my fears because I know that Tyra wasn't just talking to those girls, God was using her to talk to me too! If I will just listen to His Word, His wisdom, and His encouragement, no matter what strange venue it comes through, like those girls I can reach my dream as well.

But I know that I'm not the only one out there with dreams. What about you dear friend? Is there a dream dwelling in you that you need to start pursuing? I pray that you will go confidently in your dreams, that you will heed God's Word and encouragement, and that you will actively wait for Him to make it a reality.

Hoping all your dreams will come true,

Where's Liana?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I know I should probably rethink this whole blog thing since I don't blog as frequently as I should, but I have been a busy girl. Rather than having you look for me in a search and find book, like Where's Waldo?, I thought I would just show and tell you exactly where I've been for the past month!

Clint's parents came to visit at the end of March (yes, my last post was about then!), and we had a wonderful time showing them around Germany and France. Our most enjoyable trip was the few days we spent in Normandy, France exploring the World War II D-Day events. Two of our most memorable highlights of the tour were Omaha beach and the U.S. Cemetery, the one seen in the movie "Saving Private Ryan". The next day we went to an interesting fortress called Mount Saint Micheal (pronounced "Michelle"). This is an architectural beauty and captivating to see because it is basically an island of its own. Before they built a bridge, the only way to reach Mt. Saint Micheal was when it was low tide. Once high tide arrived there was no access to or from it!

I think that the most touching thing I learned from this trip was looking at the grave markers of those who gave their lives for my freedom. Freedom always comes at a cost, whether it it is for your country or your soul.

Six days after Clint's parents left, we headed out for our Spring Break vacation. Of course, it was at the beach! We went to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which was WONDERFUL!! We had a great time snorkeling, swimming, lounging, quad-riding in the desert and exploring the Sinai peninsula. Below are pictures of our family during a break from the bike rides, in which we drank Bedouin tea and posed for photos; and me, after trekking through the night by camel to reach the top of Mt. Sinai by sunrise...

It was truly an amazing adventure, walking the same paths that the Israelites may have walked after they crossed the Red Sea and journeying to the top of the mountain to seek God, just as Moses did so long ago. I never cease to be humbled and amazed at the opportunities God provides me, especially ones where I get to see the Bible come alive!

After we arrived back to Germany, and WARM weather, it was study time for me! I had one week to "cram" for my written driving exam. By the grace of God, I passed! Now it's off to driving practice again...if only I looked like I did the first time I had driving practice!

It has been an exhilarating few weeks, filled with joy, awe, and fatigue. After I recuperated from it all, God decided to run me through the grinding mill spiritually. It hasn't been a fun few days, but God is doing a work in me that I know I need. I hope to share some of that with you when the time is right.

For now, I am committed to being better with my blog and my posting. My goal is to reach 100 posts in the next few weeks before leaving back to the States for summer holiday. I really want to achieve this goal and hope you'll help keep me accountable. Thanks for sticking with me, even during my long absences. I love sharing with you and can't wait until we meet again on my next post! Until then, be blessed.