Nightmares Are Often Wake-Up Calls
This is Post #4 in a Series. Here are links to the preceding posts:
- Including the Messiness When You Tell Your Life Story
- How I Transitioned from Lawyer to the Spirituality of Quilting
- How Do You Know When You’re Actually Ready?
I recently awoke with a startling dream, which God sent to pull me out of a situation in which I was killing myself with doing too much work that wasn’t aligned with my sacred calling and feeling far too responsible for results that aren’t up to me! Of course, that’s the bottom line—it’s not how the scenes appeared in the nightmare. But decoding and praying about a dream’s meaning is something I love, especially when the Holy Spirit so clearly helps me discern the message. (That’s part of what I’m sharing in my Dreams 101 e-course, which includes details about how this nightmare spoke to me so clearly.)
Right after working with the dream, I quickly composed this poem, which I posted on my Reap As You Sew Facebook page and in the Creatives Honoring Dreams members only group. It came to me in my morning Quiet Time and I took it as a potentially life-changing message.
Around the same time, one of my followers expressed an interest in hearing about how I made the transition from lawyer to entrepreneur, and I decided to share that story, beginning in the linked post (#2 in this series) and continuing in Knowing When You’re Ready (post #3 in this series). Initially, I knew that a change was in the air, but I had no clue how drastically my outlook would shift! Coupling my reflection on the attorney-to-entrepreneur process with recent sleep time messages from God, I came to understand that:
- I’ve been trying to be other than who I am naturally;
- I’m not cut out to be an entrepreneur;
- inauthenticity has been killing soulful parts of me;
- my soul yearns to serve more than to profit, to inspire more than to sell, to minister more than to market;
- and I need to relax and express myself creatively more than I’ve been doing.
Heeding the wake-up call, I reached the decision to retreat from marketing and to devote myself to serving in a spiritual capacity, particularly training and serving on a team to pray with people for healing through UNBOUND and the 5 Keys to Freedom in Christ. That’s a prayer ministry in which forgiveness is an essential, something I learned personally and experientially when forgiveness turned out to be pivotal in my life (the subject of the next post in this series; the link won’t work until October 18th).
When Intentions and Outcomes Don’t Line Up!
You see, I created the quilt on the cover and wrote Reap As You Sew at God’s urging . . . and not to make money! Trying to sell enough books to break even on my publishing costs has weighed me down for a couple of years, because I had 5,000 full-color glossy copies printed, correlating to the feeding of the 5,000 and trying to keep the cost per copy reasonable. My intention was to feed quilters who were hungry for the nourishment of quiltmaking as a spiritual pathway. Indeed, in the preface and conclusion that bookend the dozen stories of Spirit at work with these quilters, I wrote about my faith and forgiveness and freedom in Christ.
There’s some messiness in my story, like I wrote about last week. I never approached publishing a book with a viable business plan. I had high hopes, but I didn’t back those up with the actions necessary to become a successful entrepreneur—even failing to obediently execute all the marketing ideas I received in prayer, I regret to admit. I’d experienced quilting as a spiritual path, and I’d taught classes on it at my church. Writing the book and sharing it are the fulfillment of a dream (literally and figuratively), but promoting sales hasn’t been my forte or fun for me. Initially, there was a rush of excitement—sales, book signings, 5-star reviews, and fan mail—but when sales decreased, I also didn’t trust and have faith that our God-of-the-impossible (that is, the One for whom all things are possible) would keep opening doors for me. I’ve recently repented of that and invited God back into the distribution of the book to those for whom it was intended. But the truth is that I felt reticent if not inauthentic as a sales and marketing person, and that didn’t feel aligned because holy boldness and authenticity are two of my core values!
The Silver Linings
The book did, however, open the door for me to be bold about my faith in public, which was a transformational blessing. And it’s allowed other quilters who wish to be bold about their faith or the spirituality of their quilting to come out and let their lights shine also. I plan to continue to make the book available to serve that purpose, particularly through bulk sales, libraries, or donations to church and service groups that do outreach through quilts.
And it’s allowed other quilters who wish to be bold about their faith or the spirituality of their quilting to come out and let their lights shine also. Women who used to boldly proclaim that they were addicted to quilting—which implies that it’s unhealthy—started admitting that they quilt because it’s a great spiritual pathway for them! This is the essence of Spirit + Creativity, what I call Spiritivity! I plan to continue to make the book available to serve that purpose, particularly through bulk sales, libraries, or donations to church and service groups that do outreach through quilts.
Request for You to Nominate a Recipient for Spiritual Quilting Philanthropy
Would you also help me to get copies of Reap As You Sew to spiritual quilters who will help spread the word, and to charitable organizations that do outreach to serve others? I know there are quilt ministries and groups with compassion who could use the book to bless and encourage others to approach their creativity as a spiritual path in the likeness of the Great Creator! Please contact me or comment below to nominate any such groups so I can present them with my outreach offer.
You can see how nice the fit can be by looking at the tag lines of the two organizations that have taken me up on this offer so far:
- ArtellaLand . . . your map to creative self-discovery (serving creative entrepreneurs, making work feel like play, and providing ARTbundance™ training), and
- Enchanted Makeovers . . . the power of handmade, childlike faith, creativity, imagination, mental nutrition, hope, and unity (creating environments and programs that empower women and children living in shelters)
I’ve now clarified my intentions significantly, but the process continues daily!
My next blog post in this series will be “How Is God Calling You To Serve Joyfully?”