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What's life without whimsy?

– Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we'd hoped, no matter how much we planned ahead and took all the right steps to get us to where we want to go. Of course, sometimes we do end up where we wanted to go and then we wish we hadn't. 

It's perfectly natural to have hopes and dreams, even unrealistic ones, and then pursue them, but I've learned that it's prudent to hold on to those desires loosely instead of with an iron grip. In hindsight, I can see the disasters and heartaches I've been spared because certain dreams didn't materialize. I can also see how, in their place, I've been surprised and delighted by blessings I never even thought to dream of! For example, I never ended up getting married—something I thought I wanted desperately—but the opportunity to set up an art studio and move my business (in four weeks!) is an unexpected development that satisfies the greatest desire in my heart: to create. You probably have your own examples.

I leave you with this Bible promise: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Ephesians 3:20-21, emphasis mine)

P.S. Here's a free colouring page (and my psychedelic digitally coloured version as a sample) for you to download, print and enjoy. I encourage you to read the "Shattered Dreams" story below first and then reflect on the key points while you colour this in. (Click on the black and white illustration to access the file.)


MOVIE / MUSIC: I was obsessed with the 1982 film Annie when I was 10 years old. I finally watched the 2014 remake last week and loved it! The soundtrack is great fun, too. And here's an interesting link to today's topic of dreams: In the track "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," Grace sings, "and if you haven't dreamed it yet, add it to your wishlist!"

Remember VeggieTales? If you're like me, you probably still remember the storylines and silly songs from this animated video series featuring talking, God-loving vegetables that was highly popular in the 80s and 90s. What you may not know is that, 18 years ago, this successful enterprise went into bankruptcy. The creator of the series, Phil Vischer—after years of great success and accolades in his field—said good-bye to his dream come true.

Ten years ago, I heard Vischer speak at a professional convention in Chicago, and then a few years ago I finally read his book Me, Myself & Bob. Vischer tells the story of how he watched his dream die. And this story doesn't have the fairytale ending where the hero gets his dream back. Nope. VeggieTales is now owned and operated by someone else. (Not to worry, though: Vischer got a different happy ending.)

I want to share with you the four lessons Vischer shared with us that evening. The first three relate more (but not exclusively) to creators, artists, and writers, but the last one applies to all of us...

  1. Bigger is not necessarily better. 
  2. If you're looking for what God has for you, look for a unique need that you can fill in a unique way.
  3. Listen to your audience.
  4. What are you holding on to? Let go of your ego. Let go of the outcomes.

Vischer said: "If God gives you a dream and it comes to life and then it dies, what does that mean? Maybe God wants to know what is more important to you: your dream or Him? Once He sees that, the dream may come back to life... but it may not. But that's okay because now you'll have God."
 
Anything we're not willing to let go of, even the identity we find in the work we do for God, is an idol.
 
What are you holding on to today?
 
Five more quotes from Phil:
 
✔ "If I don't know what God wants me to do, I need to put my nose in His Word."
 
✔ "The impact we have for God doesn't come when we pursue impact, but when we pursue God."
  
✔ "The most important thing is not the work we do for God; the most important thing is God."
 
✔ "If I give God lordship of my life, where I am in 5 years or 10 years is none of my business."

✔ "Stress is not a fruit of the Spirit!"

whimsy & wisdom from the world wide web

My cousin Nora, who was my closest childhood companion, is celebrating a milestone birthday this week (I will be discreet and not give away her age!) Please show her some love by checking out her organizing / styling website. She's offering her secret 5-step plan for getting organized for just $5.

I recently submitted my first feature story to a new magazine called Inspire and later received my copy of the premiere issue. It's packed with inspiring articles (as promised by the title). And guess what? You can get a free one-year subscription (valued at $49) for a limited time. 

While it's somewhat comforting to know I'm not the only one who has been struggling with disordered eating over the past year or so, I also know it's something I need to overcome... pronto! If you're in the same boat, here's some encouragement. 

MACARONIC

(adj.) characterized by a mixture of two languages

(We do this a lot in Montreal!)

Have more than you show, speak less than you know.

– William Shakespeare (King Lear)

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