A few weeks ago we started a series on pursuing our dreams. You can read the first installment here. In the second installment I mentioned we are going to use the phrase “ATTA GIRL”—and the letters that make it up—to give us a hand in pursuing our dreams. The first “A” stood for “Acknowledge Your Dream” (read more here).
As we move forward from acknowledging our dream, Our next step (and first “T”) is to “Talk It Over With God.” God is not shocked by your dream—or your child’s. He designed you both; he made you; he gave you certain desires and bents. He made me to hate body fluids and to love the look of words on paper.
Psalm 139, verses 13 through 16, says:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
God is the only one who knows how our dreams turn out, how they can be fulfilled. Therefore he’s the first person we should talk to about them.
Sometimes we just want to jump in and start doing. We want to be productive. We live in a society that worships busyness, productivity. In Lauren Winner’s memoir, Girl Meets God, she talks of this struggle to spend time with God, and I appreciate her honesty:
“I have a hard time praying. It feels, usually, like a waste of time. It feels unproductive; my time would be better spent writing a paragraph or reading a book . . . or baking a pie. Sometimes whole weeks elapse when I hardly bother to pray at all, because prayer is boring; because it feels silly (after all, you look like you’re just sitting there talking to the air, or to yourself, and maybe you are); but above all it is unproductive. As Jo once put it, ‘If you spend a day in prayer, you cannot, at the end of the day, point to a pile of toothpaste tubes you made and say, that is what I did today.’ Still, there are the weeks when I do pray, the weeks when I trust—or, at least, manage to act like I trust—that prayer does something, even if it is something I cannot see. Aquinas wrote, ‘Prayer is profitable because it makes us the familiars of God.’”
So take time to talk with God, even if it seems unproductive in our worker mentality. Pour out your heart before him. He’ll never laugh at you! Then when you’ve said it all, take some time to be silent before him. Listen for him to give you guidance; believe he wants to guide you. Look during the day for the things he brings your way to help you move toward the fulfillment of your dream.
When your children express a dream, teach them to pray about the idea. Say something like, “Well, that’s an interesting idea. What makes that seem so exciting to you? How has God specifically made you to be good at something like that?”
There’s no harm in helping them recognize the problems too: “What might make it difficult for you to marry a mermaid someday?”
But then lead you kids to pray: “You know, God has big dreams for you too. He created you to do very specific things for him. Why don’t we talk to God and ask him to show you more clearly if this might be one of them. If so, we’ll ask him to show us what you should do to be ready for that some day.”
God knows everything that’s in your heart, so don’t be afraid to talk to him about it. He crafted you. He gives you dreams that use your uniqueness and serve to expand his kingdom.
Ask God to show you your next step. He’s eagerly waiting.