Do you ever feel like your dreams get buried beneath a mountain of mundane? Your goals glide right off a cliff of daily duties? Sometimes it’s difficult to hang on to the enthusiasm. To persevere in the face of oceans of time spent apparently accomplishing nothing because you just need to do it again tomorrow.

DAVID replica, Florence

DAVID replica, Florence

Let me offer you some encouragement to rekindle your joy. Your resolve.

~ The “big dream” isn’t achieved until all the parts are connected.

~ The “big goal” isn’t reached in one giant jump, but in the accumulation of hours, days, months of small steps.

I imagine Michelangelo ate a lot of dust before David finally emerged from the marble.


Assumption of the Virgin by Titian

Assumption of the Virgin by Titian



I wonder if Titian ever tired of mixing pigments and dyes, or experimenting with additions of finely ground glass or metals to his paint. The magnificent David or impressive Assumption of the Virgin, masterpieces of the Renaissance, wouldn’t exist if the sculptor and painter just got tired of the repeated chiseling or swiping paint on panel.



Our family friends Bill & Lori Smith run a large, multi-faceted ministry in Papua New Guinea. Last week was Teen Camp which means Lori and a few women needed to “cook over 100 kilos of rice each day” for the 500 hungry teenagers and counselors. Over 220 pounds of rice! That’s an awful lot of boiling and stirring and pouring and scooping to do, and then repeat it 3 hours later. My mind reels.


Amazima Ministries, which reaches thousands in Uganda, recently posted:  “Yesterday we fed 1,351 children during our daily outreach in Masese, Uganda! “ Again a lot of work was done BEFORE the 1,351 children were fed.

AMAZIMAs Lunch table 1351 meals

But Katie Davis and her team choose not to see 1,351 bowls bought, and filled, and handed out. Instead they see: “1,351 faces, 1,351 names, 1,351 stories that God is writing, and we’re just grateful we get to play a small part.”

The big goals are accomplished by the accretion of small (often mundane too!) steps culminating in the outcome aimed for. And it’s easier to persist in pursuit of the goals if we keep our focus on the reason behind what we do, not on the daily ordinariness, the mind-numbing repetition.

And the REASONS?

            1. For the goal

            2. For the people

            3. For God Who asked us in the first place.

Today is a somber day of remembering that 30 years ago, 7 men and women “slipped the surly bonds of earth”* and perished in the Challenger explosion. Hardly a “big dream” like we’re talking about today. But hang on ~ it is relevant. The horrific explosion that destroyed that mighty rocket resulted from a defect in an O-ring. An O-ring!


A very small part compared to the huge rocket.

LEARNING TO WRITE crFor most of us the majority of days are of the mundane variety with the occasional fire-cracker, red-letter day thrown in. But masterpieces are mostly created that way.

How many hundreds of hours of feeding a baby, teaching him to hold a spoon, a pencil, a steering wheel before you see the wise, kind, loving man your son becomes?

All the small parts are important, exponentially so.

So if you feel your feet are jelly-stuck to the kitchen floor instead of soaring through the heights, if you feel buried beneath mounds of laundry or bills, can I hear your hearty cry:

“This matters! This is important. Hallelujah ~ God is weaving something                   great from this.” Because He is.

Hang your heart on this, friend. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

We will reap. That’s a promise. It’s just sometimes hard to wait for that “due season,” yes?

If you need more reminding, check out this video. Packs a powerful “Thank you, Mom” message. Will pour some needed balm on your tired soul. Perhaps even pour some cleansing tears.

What dream or goal feels buried to you? What is 1 thing you can do today to ease it toward fulfillment? 

*Quotation from “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., 1941, made familiar by President Ronald Reagan on January 28, 1986 as he spoke after the Challenger disaster.

Photo credit of David replica and Assumption of the Virgin ~ Wikipedia.

Walking Without Feet

CASTLE in Scottish highlands - Paula 2So how’s your year been? Are you ending it with satisfaction? Disappointment? Looking at my long to-do list for 2015, I think I haven’t checked off nearly enough. Big issues needed tackling. Big goals to accomplish. And despite thousands of tasks completed, big things remain. Honestly, I could be discouraged. You too?

Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs. Fortunately, he says, he was born to a good family ~ his mother was a nurse and knew what he needed. By 8 years old, though, he had compiled a massive list of things he’d never have or do, and faced suicidal thoughts.

Yet by age 23 he had graduated college, dabbled in real estate investing, and was a powerful motivational speaker who inspires his audience with wisdom and humor. At 33 he’s also an author and actor who enjoys painting and swimming. And he’s married and has two sons.

What changed? He said three things ~ perspective, vision, and choices. Especially pertinent as I look at my list for 2015 are these words about his dreams and vision for the future: “It’s coming as long as I keep moving forward … in baby steps.”

This man, who has no legs, speaks these words as he inches across a table to reach a telephone (which he flicks off the cradle and catches on his shoulder). I read that Nick keeps a pair of shoes in his closet because he believes in miracles!

Well, if this young man with no arms, no legs, can strut around on stage, encourage thousands to persevere in their dreams and reach their fullest potential, and hope for his miracle ~~ then I can buck up and, with a smile and good cheer, create a new list of goals that help build a foundation under my castle-in-the-air (or Scotland) dreams.

The focus word that God gave me for 2015 is CHOICE.  With gratitude I’m choosing to look beyond my tattered list, unmet goals, and creased dreams and keep moving forward. What’s hobbling you as you step into 2016?

Perhaps this quote will nudge us both to keep moving:

Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now.  ~Jonatan Mårtensson

See more about Nick Vujicic at Life Without Limbs or hear him speak by video here.