Monday, February 28, 2011


Visions...ever had one? Me either. At least not the angel floating in my room, or miraculously foretold healing of a loved one kind of visions. Not visions I can see with my eyes. The sort of visions I have are the kind I think most of us have...the daydreams, hopes, goals, aspirations, ideas, passions, wishes, etc., that are held for something.

I've been thinking about visions lately, ever since reading this quote on Lysa TerKeurst's blog last week. She recited a quote from her pastor, and I am reciting it again; in fact, I have been reciting it over and over and over in my mind and heart since reading it. It is one of those quotes that I wish were scripture, so I could go underline it in my Bible and commit it to memory, and claim it as a promise for myself. But, since it is not scripture, I am left to ponder it with the Lord and ask Him to show me the truth within it. I do hope that quoting it again here is not plagiarism. I am banking on it being a "borrowing of good wisdom".

If the size of the vision for your life isn't intimidating to you, chances are it's insulting to God.

Hello, my name is Shelly Story, and I am a visionary. I admit it, I have visions, hopes, and dreams for just about everything. As a child, I spent more time on the playground daydreaming than I did playing. As a youth, I spent more time reading than doing anything else. As a highschooler, I spent more time wishing things were different--wishing that I was different--than I did anything else. As a college student, I spent more time trying to create that new self, a new reality of me, than I did embracing who I truly was. And now as a full-grown adult...a wife, mother, and daughter of the King...I have left behind the daydreaming, reading, wishing, and striving selves, and settled on a unique and nutty compilation of all of them all.

I exhaust myself sometimes.

But the truth of the matter is this: as a visionary (that's a euphemism for daydreamer), I often struggle to be still, to be settled. That is not to say that I am unhappy, because I most certainly am not; it is more to say that I am forever tormented by the thought of more. Do more. Be more courageous. Lead more. Evangelize more. Sleep less and accomplish more. Allow God more access to your heart. Think more. Love more. Pray more. Serve more.

Make more impact for the Kingdom.

And while I work my tail off, sometimes I am exhilarated by the length of the "To Do" list. I soar on the wings of accomplishment, praying feverishly while I tick off one item after another, accomplishing everything from dishes to laundry to organizing a Bible study to blogging to grocery shopping to paying the bills to leading a retreat, and on and on and on. And then there are times while I work my tail off, that I am exhausted by the sheer magnitude of it all, and want the world to go away so I can just do nothing. To crawl into bed in the middle of the day and let someone else do it all.

Most of the time, in all honesty, I am somewhere in the middle, striving continually to find balance and pleasure in all the tasks, trusting that God is leading me and that I am following. That is where I have been lately. Living as a bouncy ball, darting back and forth between being fully empowered for service to any and all, and being completely deflated by the effort, wishing full-blown apathy upon myself.

The only force getting me by is Christ. He knows I am not a sit still kind of gal. He knows that no matter harried I feel sometimes, deep down inside I desire nothing else than serving Him. He knows exactly how much I can handle, exactly how far I can be pushed, exactly where my true breaking point is, and exactly what sort of impact I can have on His Kingdom.

So, back to that quote. Yes, I am intimidated by the size of the vision I have for my life, and the size of the life God gave me. I am intimidated by raising 6 children well. I am intimidated by Asperger's and ADD and ADHD and hormones and puberty and tantrums and whining. I am intimidated by blogging and the fear of saying some thing stupid. I am intimidated by keeping the house clean when the snow melts and the kids start tracking in mud. I am intimidated by that desire in me to always say "yes" to one more thing. And I am intimidated by the dream I have that as my kids grow, I will be used even more by God, and that maybe He'd even allow me to do more writing or start speaking.

I said it. I want to do more. No matter how hard I try to shake it, no matter how crazy it all sounds around a life on a farm with 6 kids, no matter what people think of me, no matter how hard I've been praying, I still want to do more. And I'm scared.

I just don't want to get it wrong, to race ahead of God, to try to put my ideas into His will, or to fail. So nearly every day I pray that God will lead me toward only that which He wants me to do, and if today the only place He leads me is back to the sink to wash more dishes, then I'll do the dishes.

Just once I'd like Him to lead me to that nap in the sunshine.

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