Thursday, September 27, 2012

Small Starts to Big Dreams

Do you have any big dreams or projects that you would love to undertake if only you had the chance? Maybe you dream of writing a book, or taking up painting, or starting a ministry to street children. But then life gets in the way, and you’re so busy that you can barely get by doing the minimum. You never get around to taking steps towards your dream.

One dream I’ve had for the last two years is to start a women’s ministry group. My vision is a group of Christian women who meet to encourage each other and use their hobbies and interests to reach non-believers with God’s love. But starting a group like this seemed impossible since I’m already a wife, homeschooling mother, house keeper and church planter.
All or Nothing Thinking

Maybe the greatest barrier towards fulfilling our dreams is all or nothing thinking.  We think we have to launch out on a big dream with a big start, but then we never get around to it.

A few weeks ago I was feeling small. I asked, “God, will I ever be able to start the women’s ministry?” God reminded me about small starts. Starting small is a great idea when our dreams seem too big for us.

Small Start

I decided that instead of a full blown women’s group, I could start with a prayer meeting to bless and encourage the women in our small fellowship.  I could offer refreshments, prepare a short devotional, and then have a prayer time.  The first week, I invited two women, and the second week five came.

For our last meeting, several friends were out of town, and I was expecting again only two women, but God led me to prepare for two women with the same care that I would take to prepare for a crowd.  So I made a cake, prepared a brief OneThousand Gifts talk, and made four little accordion style cards for my friends to write down five things they were thankful for each day of the week.  I figured I’d have two cards left over. I felt dumb doing all that work for just two other women, but I had fun. 

As it turned out, I gave all four cards away because a third woman came and brought along a non-believing friend, who had a great time!  God blessed our meeting together, and the one He touched the most with the message of thankfulness was a newly arrived cross-cultural worker who could barely understand two words of my talk in Turkish .  (Just goes to show that God doesn’t need us to touch others.)

Next Steps

Our little group plans to meet twice monthly: once to encourage each other and once to reach out to mslm friends. Two of the other women are excited to share their talents, cooking, and scrapbooking, with non-believing friends.  So we’re starting small, but we’re taking steps towards a dream that months ago seemed unattainable.

Do you have any dreams that seem out of reach?  Do you ever think about small starts?


us5 said...

excellent encouragement, Olive Tree. thank you. it reminds me of Zech. 4:10 - 'Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin...' i think He's rejoicing to see you begin His work!

Choate Family said...

We often remind ourselves that the tortoise won the race! Slow and steady and faithful in the small things, and you are making an impact :-)

Denise said...

Very encouraging.

TJ said...

Great reminder of starting small. I am feeling that way with continuing langauge learning. I may not be able to take lessons right now but I can be intentional about maintaining what i know and learning a bit more here and there in a small way until I have time to take lessons.