On Dreams and Seasons of Life

on dreams and seasons of life www.terilynneunderwood.com/blog

In January I started writing about chasing the God-sized dream in my heart.

Of course, it all started with me realizing I wasn’t even sure what that dream was and learning to listen so He could show me.  It hasn’t been an easy journey for me, this God-size dream chasing.  In fact, I’m sitting here six months later and realizing while I do see a little more clearly, I still am not certain where this path is leading.  I know He’s given me a heart and passion for encouraging women to live well, to embrace the abundant life He offers {John 10:10}.   Some of the ways I have been doing that include speaking, consulting, and writing.

But I’ve wrestled with this dream … uncertain how it plays out.  Hesitant about believing in its beauty at times, I’ve lived in the fear.  Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of not being good enough, and even a little bit of fear of success.  Over the past few months, I have revisited that faith history time and again.  I’ve needed reminding that God is faithful, that He speaks to me, that He has a plan for me, that He is the Giver of dreams.  Sometimes, I suppose we all need that.

Dreaming has reminded me of lessons already learned.

Lessons like, “Adding anything affects everything.” But dreaming has also reminded me how important it is to encourage others along the way, to remind them to give wings to their own dreams.  And dreaming has refocused me, been a sort of resetting of my heart, a renewal of my desire to be stayed on God.

This journey has reminded to find joy along the way, to love this season of life, to find contentment here and treasure what I have right now.  But this journey has also made me braver, helped me find the courage to tell fear what a loser it really is!

Along the way I’ve taken time to play, to thank some of those who have been encouragers of my dream, and to introduce you to organizations that began with a God-size dream planted in the heart of someone else.

We’re at the end of the official journey.  The God-sized Dream link ups end this week.  The prompts and challenges have shifted to encouragement and prayers.  In so many ways, I still feel like I’m at the beginning.  These past few months have been unsettling for me.  A shift in the seasons of my life happened and I was really unprepared.

I had no idea having a teenage daughter was going to be so hard.

I didn’t know this season was going to be one of staying close to home.  I had no idea the ways He was preparing me for what is coming, what has already come.  I thought this God-size dream thing was going to be the opening of a new season for me in ministry.  And it is … but not the way I thought.  {Isn’t that how it usually works?}

Instead of speaking at conferences for hundreds of women, the Lord is keeping me home to speak wisdom and grace and truth into the lives of women in my area … and the girl-woman in my home.  He’s opened doors for me to help other dreamers chase their dreams, allowed me to use social media coaching to give others clarity and focus.  I’m working with local businesses and organizations to use social media better.

I’m writing … which is weird because that’s what I thought I was giving up to chase the dream.  I’m writing about how hard it is to be a mom sometimes, about how important community is, about how we can be a part of freedom’s story, and I’m finding my voice.

This season of life is full … not the way I’d imagined or even the way I would have chosen.

Instead of a calendar full of speaking engagements and client meetings, my calendar is full of cheerleading practices and youth group activities.  I’m a little sad sometimes when I think about what I can’t do … but then I look at these faces in my home and I realize sometimes the dream we think is “the one” is really only one step along the way.

Thank you, Holley, for asking me to dream.  I’m so thankful to have had this experience and for all the friends I’ve made along the way.  What a gift it has been!

Tell me, what surprises has this season of life brought you?

{linking up one last time with the God-sized dreamers at Holley’s place}


image source: justinkendra

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  1. It’s sad to see the end of the Dream Team series come to an end, but I know the relationships made and the lessons learned will carry on. I’m not sure if any of us are where we wanted to be, but I know most of us are not where we started. The encouragement from the group is just what my heart needed to keep going. Bless you on your obedience…it’s not easy, but always worth it.
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  2. Teri Lynne, as I read your blog post, I was saying a big Amen! “I know He’s given me a heart and passion for encouraging women to live well, to embrace the abundant life He offers {John 10:10}.” As I read the previous statement, I thought how amazing that God has given so many of us the same dream. Oh, there are differences and little twists, such as as my dream to minister to those who have chronic illnesses: that dream started in September, 2010, and I am amazed at how many blog posts I have written and all the people I have become acquainted with in blogging. Prior to that, I didn’t read very many blogs, and almost none of the ones that were supposed to help people struggling with chronic illnesses continued on — at least, not the ones I found. I am probably writing too much for a comment, but your post moved me, all of it. I’m a grandma of ten, but once I had three children at home that needed me. When I read about you being home more, I could not help but think how quickly the time will pass and your nest will be empty. In some ways your life will grow, because you will move on to new ministries and eventually have grandchildren (I hope). Once when I was telling a friend how “guilty” I felt that I wasn’t able to do all the ministry activities she was doing, she said, “You are right where you are supposed to be. You have a ministry at home.” Thank the Lord for friends. My heart was at peace after that. God bless you. Have a wonderful summer.

  3. This season has brought so many blessings, many of them unexpected. I thought I was signing up for a group that would help give me a push toward actually publishing a book. But what God gave was so much more than that…community, encouragement, friends, a place in this great, big, sometimes-scary, bloggy-world. He took a dream I had (and still have) and turned it into several of them. And He taught me how to find beauty in a journey that’s not always easy…and He gave me heart-sisters to walk next to me on that journey. Honestly, I’m sad to see this season come to an end but thankful that the God-Sized dreaming doesn’t end with a date on a calendar. 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement you’ve been in the last months…I’m excited to see what God does in the lives of all of us! Blessings, friend! 🙂

    • Oh Mel! I am so thankful for all the amazing women and FRIENDS God has brought into my heart and life through the Dream Team. What a gift!! And you are such an encourager … looking forward to seeing what happens next in your life!

  4. Yes! I get this. So much. This has been my experience too. Not exactly of course – but I never saw my dream (speaking) going the way it has. I love what you said here, “I thought this God-size dream thing was going to be the opening of a new season for me in ministry. And it is … but not the way I thought. {Isn’t that how it usually works?}” Not the way I thought either. Not at all. And it makes me doubt and wonder, but what other choice do we have but obedience? I’ve tried it my own way for too long. I’ve made my way around this hill country long enough. Now I’m turning north. (Deut 2:3) : )

  5. I love seeing what God is doing. Even, your comments to Teri’s post thrill my soul. God has created such infinite variety; and yet, there is this thread that connects our hopes and our dreams, because we know Him. I suppose I have gotten used to the idea that I do not always know how things are going to turn out, except for what we have been told in His word. I feel like God is bringing my various dreams together, even the ones I haven’t talked about in my posts.

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