Tag Archives: Dreamer

Faith and Dancing (October’s Dreamer in the Spotlight)

26 Oct

This month’s featured dreamer is someone who I have recently met via the blogging world – professional dancer, Cecilia Rodriguez Schwartz!  After I read more about her faith and journey as a dancer, I knew she would be a perfect person to spotlight on A Dreamer’s Wife.  (Plus, she’s a Notre Dame fan and grew up in the mid-west!)

Cecilia Rodriguez Schwartz (Isn’t this photo absolutely beautiful?!)

On her website, Dance Immaculata, Cecilia shares “thoughts and insights of a Catholic Dancer and a Dancing Catholic.”  She further elaborates on this in her “About” page.

Not only am I a dancer, I am also Catholic. For years, I had the misconception, as many do, that dance and traditional Catholicism were at odds with each other. The delicate issue of whether or not dance as an expression is acceptable in this hyper-sexualized culture has often nagged my conscience. I kept the two aspects of my life separate until I realized that while dance is a part of my life, Catholicism is my life. My Catholic faith and dance have been co-existing for years; I just didn’t realize it.

Cecilia also has a personal blog, She Laughs at the Days to Come.  On this site, as evidenced by the title, she highlights Proverbs 31:25 and writes about having strength, giving up control, and trusting God.  Be sure to check out what she has to say!  Below is a teaser!

Learning to laugh at the days to come has stretched me beyond what I thought possible.  It requires a lot from me.  I have to give up control of the future and submit to God’s plan.  I have to surrender my dreams and wishes, trusting and hoping that God’s will for my life is more that I could ever imagine.  I have to live in the present moment clinging to the promises of God (Psalm 37).

I had the opportunity to ask Cecilia some questions and she was gracious enough to take the time to answer despite having a rather eventful past couple of weeks!  One of those significant events included getting engaged!  (You can read more about her relationship on her personal blog.)  Here is what she had to say about her journey:

So here’s the deal about me and my dream: I’m living it.  My dream was (and is) to become the best dancer I can be, to dance professionally, and to share the depth and beauty of Mexico through it’s artistic traditional dances.  There isn’t a huge demand for professional Mexican dancers, and I didn’t realize it was even an option for me until three years ago.  

I was living in Michigan at the time and was doing research to learn how apply professionalism and structure to the small dance group I was a part of.  I found a dance company in New York City and began corresponding with the director.  A dear friend of mine invited me to accompany her and her husband on a trip to New York so I could do more research and possibly meet with the director.  When there, I was invited to attend a rehearsal.  I was incredibly nervous, but I loved every minute!  It was intense and challenging beyond anything I had ever done before.  On my way home I emailed the director to find out what was required to join the company.  He told me that I was welcome to come to rehearsals and train with them.  This of course meant I would have to move to New York. 

I prayed about the decision for months.  Moving meant I would leave everything: my great job, my family, my friends, my home, my nice little life, everything!  Granted I had close friends in New York and New Jersey, but it was still a difficult decision.  I begged God to tell me what He wanted me to do.  Instead He asked me what I wanted to do.  “I want to dance” was my obvious answer. “Then dance!” He replied. “Go, pursue your dream!  This is what I want for you too.”  

I have to admit I was surprised.  I had forgotten that sacrifice didn’t necessarily mean I had to deny myself what I loved (dance) to do God’s will.  Following my dream has involved a lot of sacrifice, but I know without a doubt that this is God’s will for me.  It isn’t easy and it isn’t always glamorous, but it is blessed!  

Right now, I am preparing for the dance company’s annual show.  I am continuing to pursue my dream by taking other dance classes (ballet, modern) outside of the company rehearsals.  I don’t know that I have an “end goal” per say, but every day I get to go to the dance studio is a dream come true. 

Thank you, Cecilia, for taking the time to share more about yourself and your passion!  I’m sure many readers will be inspired by your trust and willingness to follow God’s will and go after your dreams!

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August’s Dreamers in the Spotlight

24 Aug

I’m so excited to share this month’s featured dreamers! These two twenty-something sisters exemplify what this blog is about – praying for God’s guidance, dreaming big, and taking steps to follow His will and make a difference.

Catherine Pelicano, Managing Editor

Abby Pelicano, Creative Director

Abby and Catherine Pelicano are the founders of Dignitas Magazine. As stated on DignitasMagazine.com, this publication is about “embracing the dignity & beauty of Christ-centered womanhood.” Dignitas is a breath of fresh air amidst a sea of glossies that perpetuate the shallow and erroneous message that putting emphasis on our looks and exposing our bodies will lead to happiness and feeling valued. Dignitas Magazine is currently available to read for free on-line.  The first issue of Dignitas debuted in the spring of this year and the Summer 2012 issue was just posted a few weeks ago!  I had the opportunity to ask Abby and Catherine some questions about their journey and they were gracious enough to take the time to answer!

1. Catherine, you mentioned that you became interested in “human dignity and Christ-centered womanhood after attending a youth conference…”  What seed(s) did God plant in your heart that led to developing this magazine?
At that conference I was exposed to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body for the first time. What I took away from it was the understanding that men and women were created not only to complement each other, but also to bring something unique to the world. It made me think a lot about what it means to glorify God through my femininity. Another theme of the conference was becoming a part of the pro-life movement. We had a lot of discussions about the dignity of the human person and ended the conference by praying at an abortion clinic. It was a very powerful experience. These topics really struck me, and over the next few years I kept reading and writing about them. Little did I know it would become the foundation for Dignitas!
2. Abby, you share that you have a “passion for spreading the truth about the dignity of the human person…” When did you realize this passion and what seeds did God plant in your heart to pursue this mission?
It began when I started reading a book called “Captivating” by Stasi and John Eldredge. It reminded that I had inherent dignity and beauty because I was made in the image and likeness of God and I was captivated by those thoughts. Catherine and I both read the book and wanted to share this message by encouraging women to live up to our dignity in how they dress, behave, think and interact with others. I knew we had to pursue that desire when I was in a hair salon one afternoon waiting for my haircut and I absentmindedly reached for a magazine next to me, as women do. I stopped short when I saw the provocative images and headlines. None of it meshed with the dignified and inherently valuable image of women that I had been captivated by… these images and headlines were telling me that I was lacking in just about every respect. I needed this revealing “outfit”, this makeup, this weight, this provocative walk, this ability to “snag any guy I want”. There was nothing lasting, nothing encouraging, nothing healthy and wholesome and I knew that that had to change. I knew women (myself included!) needed to be presented with a positive, fun, modern, wholesome, Christian, encouraging and true alternative to secular media. It was clear from that moment on that God had a project for me to pursue, and it was to create Dignitas Magazine.
3. What was the most challenging obstacle you both faced when developing Dignitas Magazine?  How did you overcome it?
Abby: The vastness of the task itself was very intimidating! We knew we wanted it to be done well and look entirely professional so it would be taken seriously and could really compete with secular publications. Organizing all of our thoughts [for] the entire magazine from beginning to end was very time consuming and spiritually demanding.
Catherine: Pulling each issue together has been extremely challenging. Dignitas is a “labor of love” for both Abby and I right now—we’re doing all the planning, editing, design, promotional work, etc. in our spare time, and there never seems to be quite enough to get it all done. But at the same time we’ve been blessed with tons of help and support from family and friends who have volunteered their time and talents to help us get Dignitas off the ground.
4. What goals do you have for Dignitas Magazine as it continues to grow?
Catherine: Our initial dream was to get Dignitas in print. Time will tell how feasible that will be. For right now we’re just keeping our nose to the grind and staying open to whatever path God points us down.
5. What advice would you give to others about following God’s will and making a difference in the world?  Do either of you have a favorite verse or inspirational quote?
Abby: Bl. John Paul II’s words immediately come to mind: “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!”. He has such wonderful plans for us if we open our minds and hearts to His will and if we pursue His call with courage and conviction.
Catherine: There’s a quote from St. John Neumann that’s inspired me during this whole project: “Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission has a work.” We’ve all been created for a special purpose, and God has/ will give us everything we need to fulfill that vocation. Finding that vocation doesn’t have to be dramatic and difficult. It starts by simply looking at the natural talents and interests you’ve been given and finding creative ways to put them to work for God.
~

Thank you, Catherine and Abby, for your courage to take steps in faith and create something that will truly impact many women’s lives!  I look forward to seeing what God has in store for Dignitas Magazine!

July’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

31 Jul

“His Eye is Upon Us” by LeRone Wilson

I ran across an article a couple months ago, titled, “Listening to God Pays off for Struggling Artist,” and tucked it away for a future post.  I forgot about it, but fortunately ran across it recently and thought that I would feature this professional artist, LeRone Wilson, as this month’s Dreamer in the Spotlight before I forget again!

LeRone Wilson is a family man whose artwork is inspired by God and the Bible.  He signs all of his work, “In His Name.”  In the same article mentioned above, he comments, “It’s through Him I get my concepts and titles and through Scripture,” he says. “This work belongs to Him because He alone gave it to me.”

It’s a pretty neat story, so please read it if you have a couple minutes!

Saying Yes Equals Success (Part II)/June’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

27 Jun

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

If you read my previous post, you may have been re-energized to look for ways God can use you or you may have thought, “I’m not Mother Theresa; I’m no saint.  I have a lot of work to do before I can do something great for God.”  We will never be perfect, but even in our brokenness and imperfection, God can use us to share His love and reach others.  There are so many opportunities each day that we may be missing to experience joy, peace, and true fulfillment.  I, personally, am really trying to focus on small impressions that God may be placing on my heart to act on for His good on a day-to-day basis.  I know that I have repeatedly overlooked or ignored them, not realizing that even a small action could be a significant moment for myself and/or another person.

Another thought that may have come up while reading my last post is, “How do I know what God wants me to do?”  As I mentioned earlier this month, I have been reading an inspiring and insightful book called, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst.  This particular woman has a lot of wisdom and trust and is not afraid to take risks.  Click here to read her five questions to discern God’s voice.

I had never read any of Lysa’s books until I was recently invited to be a part of a book club that focuses on developing a deeper faith and strengthening a personal relationship with Jesus.  The members of the group voted on What Happens When Women Say Yes to God to read first and it seems that each one of us is getting a lot out of it!

Lysa has written several best-selling books and is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  In addition, she and her husband  adopted two boys from Liberia, which prompted many others to adopt children from that country, as well.  To read more about Lysa’s journey and what she does, check out her website bio.

Lysa, thanks for being such an inspiring woman and encouraging all of us to seek God’s will and lead an adventurous life!

Lysa TerKeurst

April’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

23 Apr

When I ran across a featured article on-line last week, I got goosebumps over how much faith this month’s featured dreamer, Curtis Masters, possesses.  Please read how one plumber in Texas is truly putting his career and his family’s well-being in God’s hands.  (There is also a short video clip at the bottom of this article. )

I love how he mentions that God “planted” this idea in him before finally agreeing to follow this path.  I think God is often planting seeds in our hearts and minds for the future.  His timing is perfect! 

Thank you for your faith and good works, Mr. Masters.  You are definitely an inspiration to all of us to have more trust and believe that God wants what is best for us!

Photo courtesy of thepathtraveler/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

October’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

6 Oct

This month’s post is probably going to be a little different from any other one that I will ever write for this series.  The person that I have chosen has no idea that I have a blog and that I would ever choose to write about her.  I can’t use her real name because of privacy rights, so I will refer to her as Fran.

I met Fran earlier this week at the community mental health agency where I work.  Fran shared with me how she is desperately wanting to move out of the apartment complex where she currently resides due to people threatening her life.  Fran said that she reported a neighbor who was beating his  three-year-old son.  She is not getting much help from the landlords, either, and is afraid she may be evicted.  I am not sure of any other incidents that may have occurred leading up to this point, but Fran was clearly in distress about her circumstances.  In addition to this major stress in her life, Fran is dealing with custody and child support issues regarding her daughter.  She is currently unemployed and has suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past.  Needless to say, this woman has been through a lot.  It definitely made me thankful for all the wonderful people in my life, the roof over my head, and my job.

While talking with her, Fran brought up her trust in God.  She mentioned that despite all of the negative things she has experienced in the past several years, she has “such peace.”  She stated that she knows that God is having her go through these things for a purpose and that this is just the beginning.  Fran wants to be able to help people through similar situations.  She recently has already taken the step to talk in front of state politicians  about holding judges accountable for their actions.  Fran told me that she once had to spend 15 days in jail because a judge overlooked that she had paid her child support on time.

I don’t know the decisions, reasons, circumstances, etc., regarding what has happened in Fran’s life.  I don’t know if things have happened due to poor choices that she has made or not.  I do know, though, that this woman is hurting, but despite her pain she continues to rely on God and have faith in His plan for her life.  I let her know that her trust was inspiring and that God would reward her faithfulness.

While driving home from work that day, I wondered if she had anyone to pray for her.  Fran could use some support and love right now.  I’d like to ask you to pause for a moment and join me in the following prayer:

Lord,

Please be with Fran during this difficult time and continue to wrap her in your peace.  Send your angels to protect and lead her.  We ask that you bring someone into her life who can offer support and guidance.  Give her the strength and wisdom she needs to follow your will.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and offering a prayer for Fran.  She is already helping others by sharing her unwavering faith in God’s plan.

 

 

Photo courtesy of luigi diamanti via freedigitalphotos.net

August’s Dreamer in the Spotlight!

7 Aug

Abby Head (Cake Decorator/Entrepreneur)

I am so excited to start this new series and introduce you to my first featured dreamer (and friend), Abby Head!   A few weeks ago, we discussed her personal journey and here is what she had to share about her goals, obstacles, and inspirations…

Abby’s Dream: “To open my own upscale cafe and bakery!”

Steps She’s Taking to Achieve Her Dream: Abby currently works at a local bakery in The Gulch district of Nashville.  She also teaches cooking classes to children.  In January of this year, Abby started her own blog, Creative Crumbs, after a friend’s suggestion.  Her website features free-lance cakes that she bakes and decorates for customers, family, and friends.  Abby updates her blog every Sunday with the latest tasty and beautifully decorated pieces of artwork that she has created!

"Christian Louboutin Shoe Cake" created by Abby Head

In addition to her amazing cakes, Abby also offers her own catering services.

Favorite “God Moment” Along Her Journey: A friend encouraged her to apply for a cake decorating position at a local bakery.  Abby had no cake decorating experience at the time, but decided to respond to the job ad on Craig’s List anyway.  The owner contacted her and asked her to come in for an impromptu interview.  He told her, “If you’re willing to learn, we’re willing to teach you!”  She has been at this bakery for the past three years.

Most Rewarding Experience:  Abby says that her creations are “little successes” and “constant affirmation.”  She finds “joy in making someone’s day more special.”

"Grammy Cake" by Abby Head

Most Challenging Obstacle:  “How far to trust God to tell you where to go and when do you take the first step?”

How She Finds Inspiration:  Abby likes the song “Blessings” by Laura Story.  She states that it is a “realistic” view of seeking God’s will.  Here are the lyrics:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.

All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we’d have faith to believe.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;
We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home.
It’s not our home.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;
Are Your mercies in disguise?

"Coke Bottle Cake" created by Abby Head

I’d like to thank Abby for letting me share her career goals and trust in God’s plan!  If you live in the Nashville area and would like for Abby to create a cake and/or provide catering for your next event, please go to her website, Creative Crumbs, or email her at creativecrumbsnashville@gmail.com!