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.

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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.