Flying and dreams coming true!

I got to fly a plane!

I got to fly a plane!

I’m in a great season of being saturated in love, acceptance, and championing. I waited a long time for this: 32 years. Now, I have the man of my dreams, Neel. Everything isn’t perfect, and the growth is whoa challenging and yikes maturing, but this time is so wonderful and precious. God gave me my perfect match – not a person who is perfect, but a person who is perfectly matched to me. I am in awe. One sweet glimpse of that is the flight we took in November. Neel surprised me with the opportunity to fly a plane as a birthday gift.

He took my higher, gave me new perspective, provided the adventure my heart craves. His actions were poignantly like the way God loves me: pure, sincere, with my dreams in mind.

Last night, my pastor, Bill Johnson, asserted that one must keep one’s hunger for God in balance with one’s thankfulness. When you become more hungry than thankful, dissatisfaction and eventually disillusionment establishes itself. When you are more thankful than hungry you move toward stagnation, because you are more oriented toward the past than the present and the future. This was so good for me – particularly the hunger over thankfulness part. I’ve been more hungry than thankful lately, wrestling with the deep dreams of my heart as I wait for alignment to come.

God has a better way than my turmoil. He has peace and momentum.

Mmmm… so, I am amping up my thankfulness. And, wow, I am really thankful for the experience of flying a plane.

Hopefully, that is inspiring, and gives fresh wind to your own journey between the already and the not yet. I release the spirit of upgrade to you through this blog post. May today move you forward profoundly.

Habits of a Dreamer

This is one of the most impacting lists I’ve ever read.

I still meditate on it and alter my habits based on it.

Enjoy!

Habits of a Dreamer

by Rich Oliver

  1. The secret of your future is established in your daily habits.
  2. Never complain about what you permit.
  3. What you make happen for others will start happening for you.
  4. When you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.
  5. Champions do things they hate to create something they love.
  6. You will only have significant success when something becomes an obsession.
  7. Champions make decisions to create a desired future. Losers makes decisions to make a desired present.
  8. When you let go of what is in your hand, God will let go of what is in His hand.

“A Bench,” a poem toward where I have not been

“A Bench,” a poem toward where I have not been

by Dawn Diane Richardson

 

 

chiseled somewhere, 

under covering from rain

a mold first

cement stirred

                        in time

and poured

 

“Delightful!” the Designer beamed. 

 

His hands 

sure

necklace of fingers

on neck of promise

                                         but beautiful

forming

from nothing

a voice

winking            at                hope

                                                           a paraglider in the night sky

                                                                                                        promises his compass

                                                                                                                                              stars his paths

the constellations

taking shape

 

she could only sit

on the bench

placid, but believing

wholeheartedly

in this memorial

 

this bench

a memorial

 

her thoughts’ perch

her dreams’ bookshelf

her heart’s pillow

a concrete bench

soft as baby Moses’

river-splashed skin

 

this bench

for fifteen years

a memorial

to the future

       to things He 

          now celebrates

she does not

              yet see

 

only glimpses

      outlines

prophetic words

       visions

 

She sits

on the bench

of her future’s

memorial

 

and smiles.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

the gift of a peace treaty

Eight years ago I was joyfully gliding down a hill in Massachusetts. I’d wrapped up another long day at my carrel in the basement of my seminary’s library and I was talking to God about what I would do after finishing seminary the following May. Then I heard Him say, “another Master’s degree.” I politely suggested God think of other options. He seemed determined. I asked, “In what?” He said, “Counseling.” I laughed. There beneath a lampost’s rays on light snow, I laughed out loud. I listed a couple other subjects. God gave His list, which wasn’t a list at all, only “Counseling.” “Okay,” I responded, “I’m not going to tell anyone about that, confirm it while I am in Turkey this summer.” True to Who He is, He did. I spent seven weeks in Turkey that summer, with about a dozen people, only two of whom I knew previously.

Day after day, different people would come up to me and ask me questions about psychology or an interpersonal dilemma. When there were disagreements on the team, I found myself tugged into them with the simple solicitation, “Could you help us?” In these interactions I also heard, “Oh, ask Dawn about that, she’s studying counseling” or “Talk to Dawn, she does mediation.”  I found myself squinting back, “I’m not studying counseling. Why did you think that?” The response was classically, “Oh, I don’t know why I thought that. I guess because your obviously good at it.” I was a bit annoyed at God for this persistent understanding, cloaked as misunderstanding. By the end of the trip I’d succumbed: I told God I’d do a Master’s degree in Counseling, even though I didn’t know why I was doing it. In May of 2005 I graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Religion and a Master’s in Counseling.

These days I know my innate design, topped with acquired skills, is, in part, to counsel leaders. Now it makes sense why, even in university, I found myself walking into heated arguments and then quickly recruited to mediate conversations. I was learning how to be a peacemaker. I was learning the power of reconciliation, the “repairing of the breach” Isaiah writes about in chapter 58:12. As I look forward in time to my journey back to the Middle East, and specifically to Iraq, I am really thankful God told me to get that degree. He’s so smart.

Well, fittingly, I was given a postcard this week of one of the world’s first peace treaties. A friend of mine recently returned from Iraq, Turkey, and Israel. While in Turkey she visited the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Ironically, I also visited the museum during my summer in Turkey in 2003. She brought back a postcard for me. The image is of the Kadesh Treaty from BC 1269. She said, “This is for you because you are a peacemaker.”

I think my eyes must have widened. Sometimes the thought of being a peacemaker in the Middle East is so immense, it’s like someone asking you to walk their dogs and then showing up at your house with 17 rottweilers. It’s a bit more than one might think feasible. It sometimes feels daunting, but the truth is, in all of this, I know quite clearly the vision God has put inside me; and in the words of Joan of Arc, “I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”

My favorite peacemaker, Jesus, once said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5)

Yes. I believe there’s a new unit of God’s dream team: radical peacemakers who will confidently go into any place, knowing the answers to the unrest, war, hatred, and fear are inside them. As Daniel served Nebuchadnezzar with some of the results being peace, these people will serve nations in such a HOPEFUL manner, peace will be the natural end. These leaders will be called sons and daughters of God because they illuminate the same restorative heart He has.

It will be beautiful, as nations light up with love – knowing who they are and who He designed them to be.

They will come into contact with the One who is Peace, the universe’s ultimate peace treaty.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”

(Ephesians 2:14)

I’m not only sharing this story to speak of peace, though I love it. I’m sharing this story to draw attention to the profound reality that God is preparing YOU for a specific purpose – maybe you are already in it, but it is growing; maybe you have no idea what it is, but your heart is magnetized to certain topics; and maybe you know what it is, but it seems far away. Take heart. You have a niche in the universe no one else can fill. God has a plan and a purpose for your life; and it’s infinitely more wonderful than anything you’ve imagined. It’s fun. It’s life-giving. It’s powerful.

Repeat after me, and the book “Dream Culture”:

God is good ALL the time. I have a purpose. Nothing is impossible. I am responsible for me. Greatness comes through serving.

(Dream Culture, p72)

Thanks for being YOU.

“She had forgotten the definition of the word ‘impossible.'”

While skimming through stores in the city of Mount Shasta with my precious sisters today, we uncovered a treasure trove of wonderfully magnificent phrases printed on notebooks and cards. Here is one of my favorites. My heart laughs with wonder and love, much like when I was given my first puppy on my seventh birthday. I walked downstairs and there she was in a box in the family room. And she left me a note on a bone-shaped piece of orange paper, “Happy Birthday, Dawn. xoxo, Dixie.” She had really great penmanship, especially for a dog.

She woke up and realized she had forgotten the definition of the word ‘impossible’.

She decided it must not have been that important.

* impossABILITY *

“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”

– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Spanish writer, author of the masterwork ‘El quijote’, 1547-1616)


“Love feels no burden,

thinks nothing of trouble,

attempts what is above its strength,

pleads no excuse of impossibility;

for it thinks all things lawful for itself,

and all things possible.”

– Thomas Kempis

My friend and Central Asia travel partner, Laura, assembled a DREAM BOOK consisting of the dreams of students at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, where I am currently finishing my second year. I suggest browsing our dreams here:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2167122

Be inspired. Write out your own dreams. Smash boxes. Dream the “impossible” dream. : )

Eden’s House

I am presently in a writing class at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Today we had ten minutes to “free write” based on a prompt. I wrote an anecdote from my childhood. My writing group adored it. So, I opted to post it here. May it awaken your imagination and your hope for Eden. Eden is a real picture of blissful union with God: chatting, walking in the breath of the day, nurturing creation, and co-reigning with Him. Jesus made the reality of Eden attainable to us. We can stroll in unbroken communion with our Creator and King. God longs for us to do so: to dream with Him, to create with Him, and to transform the world with Him. This partnership is the fruit of love. It will bring heaven and Eden to earth.

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Eden. It’s one of my favorite words. I love the sound of the long “e’s” – it seems to connote the very evergreen nature of that original garden of promise. Growing up, my backyard was quite Eden-esque. There were eight fruits that grew in our yard: apricots, grapefruit, oranges, apples, figs, plums, grapes, and, of course, the strawberry patch tucked next to the house. To my wide blue eyes, this made the place all-the-more fantastical, a veritable Wonderland of supply and self-sustenance. Adding possibility to possibility, there was also a two story playhouse which my dad and grandpa built for me.

That play house was my house in the sky, a spacesuit to my imagination, and my very own first home. There were cupboards, counters, a mini-kitchen, and stairs leading to a tiny upstairs bedroom with a wooden bed only a child could fit into. And then there was the balcony. The balcony came off of the bedroom. And it was so close to my parents’ own balcony which came from their bedroom; a seven year old’s legs could easily span the distance.  That distance was the gap between a reality my mom designated and a reality I designated. The one I designated was much more inventive.

And so, while my mom was usually occupied in the kitchen downstairs, I would make my escape from normalcy. I would pop downstairs to let my mom know I would be “reading.” Then I would read for 30 seconds in my bedroom, trying to substantiate my claim to be “reading”; and soon I would be quietly tip-toeing through my parents’ bedroom, out to their balcony, and from their balcony to my little playhouse balcony. From there anything might happen.

Sometimes I would stay in my playhouse, I’d curl up in the tiny bed just before a thunderstorm hit. My house, the chitty-chitty-bang-bang of houses, would instantly transform into a boat. I would rescue people from foreign lands and pull them to safety. At times, the bottom floor would begin to flood! In these moments I was left with no other option than to walk on the counter and even stand on top of the front door of the house as I pivoted that open door using my hands on the ceiling. (Good thing those hinges were strong.) Those were dangerous times. Being seven and knowing that the future of the whole world rests on whether you can get a green bowl of your last earthly provisions from the kitchen table without touching the floor, is very demanding (at first). Yet the thanks of entire people groups and animal families was always worth the risk.

Risk. I thrived on risk. I would create it perpetually: life and death scenarios, streams of hot lava, small children (and even babies) stranded on miniscule sinking islands. Nothing ever stopped me. When a fleck of hot lava burned my forearm, I pressed on. When a lightning bolt split my life raft in half, I kept going. When all the other humans and animals around me gave up hope, I hope-d still. That playhouse encased in Eden was my place of peace. There I established the reality. There I knew I was significant, able to save lives and transform the world. There, I created. Like God created physical somethings from nothings, I created somethings in my mind. Anything was possible. And I knew God was there with me, enjoying my creation and communing with me about our similarities. I was learning how to govern my own Eden. Next to the playhouse’s front door was a sidewalk, the sidewalk was marked with my handprints. “1983” and my hands. I was four years old when I sunk my powerful hands into the ready wet cement. I was learning how to leave my mark. And how to dream things into reality. I’m still learning. I still live in a world where the sidewalks are made of wet cement and the houses are expectant for my hope to give them purpose. I’m thankful I learned how to save lives so many years ago, standing on my playhouse’s front door, reigning over Eden.

This isn't my playhouse, but it is me and my sisters at Storyland.

My Blog’s 2010 Social Life

The technological marvel that is WordPress sent me an email with my blog stats for last year. It’s intriguing and I’m encouraged that many people drank of the golden nectar that sprouts in heaven and flowers in my life on earth. haha. Thanks for stopping by my little house in DigitalLand. There is always a throw blanket to wrap yourself in and a warm fire to heat and inspire your most exorbitantly extravagant dreams.

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 29 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 42 posts. There were 49 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 127mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 9th with 60 views. The most popular post that day was why it is important to raise the dead.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.live.com, and blogger.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bride-to-be paralyzed fingers collarbone, selling poetry on etsy, lovesick kim walker albums, love poems, and new jesus culture album.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

why it is important to raise the dead April 2010
3 comments

2

VICTORY – something I’m wildly excited about! August 2010

3

my ♥beat March 2009

4

I need a miracle! Isn’t that exciting? August 2010
2 comments

5

Deaf Ears Opened: an oldie but a goodie September 2010