Tag Archives: God

‘Tis the Season

14 Sep

No, this is not a holiday post! Keep reading and you’ll see the reason for the title!

The past month or two, I have had so many new ideas and inspirations that I’ve been trying to keep up with in addition to working, caring for my girls, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, getting enough sleep, etc., that I find myself wondering where I’m going to find the time that I need to devote to all of these different areas. I know nobody else knows what I’m talking about, right?! Ha! I know we all wish we could scrounge up a little more time each day! I’m preaching to the choir!

Anyway, there is a chapter in the book What’s Submission Got to Do With It? by Cindy Easley that addresses how womens’ lives tend to consist of different stages. In this chapter, titled “The Power Broker,” Easley uses her interview with family advocate Janet Parshall, of Janet Parshall’s America, a nationally syndicated radio program. On page 102, Parshall states, “Women do lead lives different than men. We lead lives in seasons, and something is rich and precious and enduring in each one. In each season, God would inevitably teach me something that would be used in the following season. I don’t think God would have called me to a pro-family organization if I hadn’t had those years at home raising four kids. It would have been a hollow apologetic. I had to know the nitty-gritty of raising kids before I’d be allowed to work in public policy that would facilitate our raising kids.”

And on page 109, she also says:

Feminists say, ‘You can have it all.’ But they practice the sin of omission. You should say, ‘You can have it all-but you can’t have it all at the same time.’

I’ve been thinking about these two quotes often lately as I try to prioritize what I give my time to the best that I can. I’m trying to not get discouraged about the things I can’t get to quite yet and take things day-by-day. I know that God is teaching me things and planting seeds for his future plans for me. I love being a mother and a wife and these roles are the most important to me-they are my calling! Whatever I do needs to support these vocations. One more thing that Parshall noted in her interview with Easley regarded how she respected her husband and trusted the Lord regarding career plans and other decisions.

Everytime the path has made another turn, it has absolutely been in harmony and parallel to what God is calling [my husband] to do.

I really, really love this, because it makes me feel like what I’m doing now and the future goals that I have are even more meaningful because they are tied to Adam’s dreams and what we believe to be God’s will. When I know that what my husband and I are doing is compatible, it gives me more confidence and motivation to continue taking steps in faith!

Right now, I’m embracing the crazy/wonderful/tired-most-of-the-time/blink-and-you’ll-miss-it season of raising two young children and building dreams for our family!

What season are you in? If you’re married, how are your dreams compatible with your spouse’s?

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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!

Battling ‘Breaking Bad’

17 Aug

Okay, so Adam and I finally jumped on the Breaking Bad bandwagon and watched all the shows up to the current season.  While this show is entertaining and suspenseful, it is totally the opposite of my life in a lot of ways -obviously.  But the other day, I started thinking about how the lead character, Walter White, first started his slide down a very slippery slope to unethical, illegal, and selfish behavior and how it is probably similar to the way a lot of people start addictions and get into destructive and corrupt situations.  Initially, there is a rationalization of behavior and a justification that it’s only because of ‘blank’ or I need to do this because ‘blank,’ etc.    Next thing you know, this person’s addiction is at the center of his/her life and their self-control has been compromised. This person’s wants and selfish motives drive his/her behavior.  For Walter, his bleak cancer diagnosis prompted him to figure out a way to provide for his family since he thought that he would die within the next several month.  As he started down the path of cooking meth, his ego and his greed dominated his decision-making.

I read or heard somewhere a great quote that I’m probably going to butcher, but it was something to the effect of “everyday is a battle between thinking we’re God and letting God be God.”  So every choice we make, we are either going to give in to what we want or give up what we desire for God’s best purpose for our lives.  I’m sure most of us can’t relate to committing murder or selling vast amounts of methamphetamine or dealing with the Cartel, but we all face a daily battle to choose God’s will over our own and to have character and integrity even when no one is looking.  When we continuously seek God, our dreams will align with His plan for our life and we will be able to do the seemingly impossible.  Our desires will be fulfilled because they are also what God wants for us.  (“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4)

A few months ago, I read an awesome paragraph in the book More than Ordinary: Enjoying Life with God by Doug Sherman  that addresses this perfectly:

“The absolute perfection of God’s will means every step I take to follow His leadership is a monumental trade up.  Every decision, attitude, comment, response, and sacrifice I make to please Him is vastly better for me (and everyone around me) than if I am self-led.  In every situation I face today, following His leadership is not a little better but much better.  And the consequences of going my own direction are far worse than I usually imagine.”

For those of you who watch Breaking Bad, you know how disastrous the consequences of Walter’s actions have been for his those who care about him the most, not to mention his soul.  When we make ourselves gods, we become self-focused and close ourselves off from true joy and peace.  When we surrender to God, we place our trust in him that He wants the best for us and others.  “We know that all things work for good for those that love God, who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28.

Keep listening and believing!  Have a great weekend!

above image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Marking the Milestones

10 Aug

The spring and summer of 2012 has been full of anniversaries, milestones, and new adventures for a variety of different things in our family.  Here is the rundown:

1. It has been 10 years since my high school graduation and 7  years since I graduated college.

College Graduation Day 2005

2. It has been 10 years since Adam moved to Nashville.

3. Adam and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary!  

Our 1st Anniversary 2006

4. Our oldest daughter, “C,” turned three and is potty trained!

5. Our youngest daughter turned 1-year-old and finally sprouted a mouthful of teeth (after 13 months without any)!

6. It has been a little over a year since I started A Dreamer’s Wife.   Two weeks ago, I made a plan to devote more time to this blog.  My goal is to post each weekend and get more involved in the blogging community.  It has been fun adding more websites to my Google Reader and WordPress Reader – so many great bloggers to follow!  I also officially registered my domain name this week, so now it is adreamerswife.com!

7.  We started the journey of Adam’s career as an independent artist! 

8. I just stopped the bedtime feeding that I had been continuing for the past couple months with “little A.” One of the “girls” became a casualty to the teeth I mentioned in #5 and I decided it was finally time to put an end to this phase of mommy-hood.

9.  It has been three weeks since we discontinued cable – and I don’t mean downgraded to a lower package, I mean we don’t even have the basic channels.  (Boo to missing the Olympics!)  We do have a Netflix subscription right now, so I can’t be too dramatic about this!  It has definitely been a change, but I’ve been way more productive and focused.  I thought I was good at multitasking with the TV on, but maybe I wasn’t as good at it as I thought!  We’ll see how long this “no TV” lasts, though, because football season is about here and I don’t know if Adam will be able to cope.  (He’s already found a possible deal on a cable package…)

10. I recently started a Catholic ABC’s preschool program with “C.” Each Saturday morning we discuss the designated letter of the week, spend time singing songs, making a craft, and learning about the Bible.

“A” for Angel Craft

All of this is exciting stuff to acknowledge and celebrate.  It also causes me to think about making the most of whatever time I have left on this earth. In the past few months, I’ve become more passionate, fearless, and trusting in regards to God’s will, my talents, and my goals.  I feel that nothing is impossible.  I have no idea what the next 10 years (and beyond) holds, but I know that I’m going to be living with purpose each day!  I’m looking forward to my continued growth as a bold, joy-filled, and faith-filled individual!

What is everybody else out there celebrating?

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!

Perfect Timing

25 Jul

After my last blog post, my cousin Cynthia emailed me a passage from the book, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.  It fit in exactly with where I’m at in life right now and what I hope to be and do.   Ironically, this book was given to me by a friend (Thanks, Laurie!) about a year or so ago and is sitting on my shelf unread still… I think it’s about time to dust it off and get reading!  All in God’s timing, right?

Here it is:

“Whatever God has called your husband to be or do, He has also called you to support it and be a part of it, if in no other way than to pray, encourage, and help in whatever way possible.  For some women that means creating a good home, raising the children, being there for him, and offering prayer support.  Other women may take an active role by becoming a partner or helper.  In either case, God does not ask you to deny your own personhood in the process.  God has called you to something, too.  But it will fit in with whatever your husband’s calling is, it will not be in conflict with it.  God is not the author of confusion, strife, or unworkable situations.  He is a God of perfect timing.  There is a time for everything, the Bible says.  The timing to do what God has called each of you to do will work out perfectly, if it’s submitted to God.  
If your husband is already moving in the purpose for which God has called him, you can count on the enemy of his soul coming to cast doubt – especially if he hasn’t yet seen anything close to the finished picture or realized the success he had envisioned.  Your prayers can help cast away discouragement and keep if from taking hold.  It can help your husband to hear and cling to God’s revelation.  It can cause him to live his life on purpose.” 

I love this whole paragraph, but what really struck me were the last few sentences.  Adam is so jaded after failed projects that I think he’s a little hesitant.  He’s been trusting in me and God to start this new journey.  I know he’s excited about it, but I think he’s waiting for some more things to get going before he’ll feel like it’s real and what he’s supposed to do.  In the meantime, I’ll keep working, planning, praying and believing!

Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

above image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s Time to be Independent

7 Jul

The past few weeks have been exciting! Adam and I have decided to dedicate ourselves to pursuing his career as an independent artist. No more waiting for a big break or for the right person to come along to help propel Adam’s major record label dreams forward…

We both came to the realization that “independent” is the way to go around the same time. If you’ve read my last few posts (or kept up with this blog at all), you know that I’ve been spending a lot of time reading books and watching shows about using our talents and pursuing God’s will. For the past few years, I’ve had an itch to start some sort of business and about a month ago, the obvious idea hit me over the head to step up and help Adam pursue his music career in a hands-on way. I’ve always been supportive, but I left his “music stuff” up to him. I started to research websites, digital distribution of music, promotional advice blogs, etc., and realized that pursuing his career on our own was totally doable. Yes, it will take a lot of time and hard work, but I could see the steps and the opportunities and that was all I needed to get me started!

Adam, on the other hand, came to this conclusion after a long weekend of teching at one of the stages at CMA Fest in June. He had listened to about 40 different acts and realized that what is popular right now with commercial country music does not really match up with his values or what his music is about… He realized that he would never get to be true to himself with a major record label deal.

So…when I approached Adam about us teaming up to commit to going the independent route, it didn’t take him too long to jump on board.  I feel that God has given me a passion and purpose for this.  Even though I know next to nothing about the music business, I’m not afraid to jump in and I’ve already seen where God has given me some wisdom and insight that I haven’t had before.  I feel that my strengths of organizing, planning, researching, etc., will complement Adam.  There are a lot of things that I will be able to take off his plate so he won’t be so overwhelmed and feel like everything is on his shoulders.  He can mainly concentrate on making amazing music and connecting with friends and fans.

Right now, Adam is focusing on working out at the gym (yes, he did get a membership and a trainer) and recording his new songs! I am working on our promotion and distribution plan.  An official website is in the works, as well! I can’t wait to get Adam’s latest songs online for everyone to hear!  Many more updates to come!

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(The picture above shows some of the categories I have in my Marketing/PR plan binder – I feel so professional!)

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

Saying Yes Equals Success (Part I)

16 Jun

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will direct your paths.”  -Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m in the middle of reading some life-altering books right now and, no, I’m not exaggerating.  There’s no way that I can continue to be the same person after reading what these amazing authors have to share.  I have gained some special nuggets of wisdom to write about, but I have to break it down into more than one post because it will be an extremely lengthy one that no one will probably be up for tackling!

Back in November, I featured Katie Davis as that month’s featured Dreamer in the Spotlight.  I finally got around to reading her book, Kisses from Katie, and it is blowing me away!  For those of you who read that post, you may remember that she is the 22-year-old who is the mother to 13 Ugandan children.  Before I write anything else, let me just share an excerpt from her book that I just read yesterday.  (The whole book is worth highlighting, but this particular part jumped out at me.)

I was blessed.  It wasn’t because of anything I did; it was because I serve an unbelievably gracious God who will honor a willing and obedient heart.  My love for the people around me was not something I could muster up myself; it was God given, it came from the overflow of the love He had lavished on me.

I hadn’t come to Uganda with a degree in education; I wasn’t a nurse; and I certainly didn’t consider myself a missionary.  I had absolutely no idea what was involved in running a ministry and frankly did not possess the business knowledge or organizational skills required to do so.  I was in no way qualified, but I was available.

I have learned that something happens when one makes herself available to God:  He starts moving in ways no one could imagine.  God began doing things in me, around me, and through me as I offered myself to Him.  I began each day saying, “Okay, Lord, what would you have me do today?  Whom would you have me help today?”  And then I would allow Him to show me.  I would like to say that I had all kinds of great ideas about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.  I would like to say my ministry was born out of a carefully thought-out plan.  These things simply aren’t true, though.  I was walking through life one moment at a time, blown away by what God could do through me if I simply said yes.” -Kisses from Katie, page 43

Maybe after reading this, you are thinking, “I thought the title of this post is Saying Yes Equals Success and that doesn’t sound like the kind of success I want.”  It can definitely seem overwhelming and scary to think of what God may ask of us if we are open to it, but imagine all of the joy and love that would be missed out on if we continue to aim for the worldly view of success.  We have to keep in mind that God wants what is best for us.  He gave us our gifts and He wants us to use them to fit into His perfect plan.

I recently heard a great quote while watching a television show (Women of Grace) on EWTN the other day.  Two men were being interviewed about their book, Journeying on Holy Ground —Christian Strategies to Reach your Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Destinyand one of the authors, Billy Arcement, quoted Fredrick Buechner’s book, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC.  In it Buechner states, “…The place God calls you to is the place where deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  How powerful is that statement?  Wow!  Basically, when we can use our God-given talents (passion) to help others, we have found our purpose!  Isn’t that what we all want to find in life?  Don’t we all want to believe that our lives have meaning?  What’s awesome is that each one of us has a special role to play in His masterfully-woven plan!

That’s probably enough to digest for now.  Thanks for hanging with me!  I’ll talk about the second book that I’m currently reading in Part II – What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.  I’ll outline her five-step plan to discerning God’s voice.

above image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

May’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

30 May

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” -Luke 12:48 (NIV)

When many of us think about what we would do if we had a lot of money someday, starting a chartible foundation  may not be at the top of our list, but that is exactly what former San Antonio businessman Gordon Hartman did.  Hartman along with his wife, Maggie, started The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation to fund Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park that is catered to individuals with special needs.  Morgan’s Wonderland, which opened in 201o, was inspired by and named after the Hartmans’ daughter, Morgan, who has a cognitive disability.  Hartman wanted to develop a place where kids could play together without barriers.  The amusement park’s motto is, fittingly,”Where Everyone Can Play.”

Morgan’s Wonderland has also prompted other opportunities for the special-needs community.  In the fall of 2011, Monarch Academy, a specialized learning facility opened.  Hartman has also opened a soccer complex and started the San Antonio Scorpions soccer franchise in order to use profits to support Morgan’s Wonderland.  The Scorpions just debuted in the spring of this year, and according to the Morgan’s Wonderland website, “It’s the first team in pro sports history to be organized for the benefit of a non-profit dedicated to helping those with special needs.”

It’s definitely inspiring to see someone dream (and achieve) so big for the benefit of others in such a unique way!  Maybe everything really is bigger in Texas!

Thank you, Hartman Family, for motivating all of us to look closer at how we can use the gifts that God has given us to benefit others!

Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net