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Planning Your Dreams

~~ Jeremiah29:11 (NIV) ~~  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.




(Originally posted February 15, 2009 on SparkPeople.com.  Reposted as a guest post on "My Country Manse', May 15, 2013) 

Photo by Carley Cooper.  All rights reserved.
I was watching Oprah one day, (not a regular thing for me) and she had guests who were talking about a number of things that all had to do with improving yourself. One lady talked about a project that helped her put her dreams into reality, helped her with her self-esteem, and all around good improvement of her life.  This project was called a Vision Board.
 

I Want My Dreams to Become Reality!
A number of people talked about such things.  It's like putting the whole idea of affirmative thinking (which I heard about for the first time that day) into a physical project that you can see.  The idea behind the affirmative thinking is that you can 'make' good things happen just by picturing them in your mind as actually happening.  I had never heard of such things before, but it really intrigued me.  There's so much to learn and grasp when it comes to learning those things.  It's definitely not a natural instinct or 'common sense' as I've so often been told by others.  It's like everything else in life... it has to be leaned!

Anyway, this Vision Board, the lady had contained lots of pictures that she had cut from magazines.  Each little item or picture represented something in her life that was a dream, a wish, a goal of some sort.  She had pinned them all to a large poster board.  As her goals & dreams happened or changed she could change the pictures thereby always keeping it up to date. 


God Will Help You Make it Happen
I felt I just had to do this".  I got out a bunch of old magazines, and went through and cut out a lot of photos.  I also found some online and printed out.  Though, the problem is that I didn't have an extra cork-board like the lady on the show recommended.  I found a very nice cork-board at Winners with a beautiful frame around it.  The cost... $30.00.  Well... that doesn't sound like much to most people, but for me, trying to break my bad spending habits, this is a lot of money.  I figured I'd wait until "I could afford it".  So I placed my photos into a folder and set them aside.

One morning, I felt God talking to me so strongly about this Vision Board and the cork board.  I thought... "well, this is an investment in my health because it's something that is meant to help me improve myself".  When I saw the cork board at Winners last year they had only one on the shelf.  This morning when I felt God talking to me saying that I should finish this Vision Board I figured "the chances of them having another cork board like that one available is slim", but I'll go next door to the mall and if there's one there than I'll know for sure that it's God's way of saying "finish your Vision Board in the vision you see it as being completed".  Well... I went there and they had lots of cork boards... and it 2 different styles this time!

I got the board... I spent the afternoon completing the project and placed my photos of my dreams & goals all around it.  I pinned them on with some fancy thumb tacks and pins that came with the board.  I placed the word "God" at the center to represent God being the center of my life and the point at which everything comes from.  Closest to that I placed pictures and words that represent the most special and most important of my dreams.  Around that close to the frame I placed other pictures.  Each one having some special meaning and representation to me.  All of them being tied together in some way... everything from meeting Mr. Right, to traveling, to the type of relationship I need with Mr. Right when he comes along, to relationships & friendships that I'd like to fix, to dreams I've had, and SO much more.

God is in Charge
This project was another small step in so many I've taken that's all about trying to change my way of thinking, trying to change my bad habits, trying to change my life for the better by learning so many new things.  Eating well & losing weight is just one of those steps and goals to getting to a good life for me.  I've been reading so much about anything that involves improving myself whether it be about my weight, my health issues, my spirituality, my faith, everything!  With these tools I can change my life and get my life back on a good track finally… which I am doing. Every little good thing… is a big good thing… like the Vision Board.  Now I can look at it every day above my desk as I sit and I’ll never forget my visions, my dreams, and I’ll never forget that God is in charge and that I can’t give up faith.

Let’s Pray
 ~~ Dear God ~~  Wonderful, loving Father; so often I want to run with my own dreams and forget to include You.  Thank You for steering me back on track.  Please help Your dreams for my life become my dreams for my life.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

Now It’s Your Turn
Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer?  Please consider sharing in the comments section; even if the link you clicked to get here was on another site(If you’re on the homepage, click on the post headline, and scroll down to find the comments section.)

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Passing of the Seasons

~~ Psalm 139:7-8 (NIV) ~~  Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.




Lilacs in the Spring Time - Photo by Carley Cooper. All Rights Reserved
by Carley Cooper

Ever have one of those seasons in your life when you feel lost?  I mean it’s like you’re separated from God?  That’s where I am right now.  I’ve been there for a while.  I don’t like this feeling.  It’s very cold. 

Why Do I Feel This Way?
Maybe it’s all the changes that are happening in my life right now.  I’m moving soon... into a basement apartment... in the house where my parents will also live.  Is that too close for comfort?

My Bipolar Disorder is stable, and has been for the past couple of months.  It’s a new experience really, but that’s a blog all on its own.

I’ve also finished my book.  Well, there’s still editing and publishing, but I’ve come as far as I can on this project alone.  That’s what’s been keeping me so busy lately; why I haven’t published many posts on here in the last couple of months.

Is that my problem?  I’m feeling lost without my focus being on my book?  Maybe it’s something else.  What?  I’m not sure. 

The Seasons Will Pass
I remember telling Pastor once that all the sermons at our church seemed to be about me.  He said “that’s because you’re open to the Holy Spirit’s message.”  Now, I’m not feeling that so much.  Does that mean that I’m not so open anymore?  Is it normal to have seasons in your life like these?  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (NIV) says
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
God Knows Where You Are
Then, I read Psalm 139:7-10 (NIV)
Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
What I’ve come to realize is that God is never lost.  If I’m feeling separated from Him, then it’s me that’s lost.  So, yes, this too shall pass. 

Let’s Pray
 ~~ Dear God ~~ Wonderful, loving Father.  So often my attention is not focused on You, but instead on other things.  Thank You for never leaving me.  Thank You for the seasons in my life that teach me so much.  Please help me feel closer to You in everything that I say and do.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

Now It’s Your Turn
Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer?  Please consider sharing in the comments section; even if the link you clicked to get here was on another site(If you’re on the homepage, click on the post headline, and scroll down to find the comments section.)

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