What's New

When dreams come true?
Yes, I know many of you are staring at the computer screen, eyes bulging, jaw dropped. If you had a mirror, you’d see pure shock gazing back at you.

What do you mean when dreams come true? Isn’t that fairytale nonsense? You know, the stories they tell little kids and expect them to grow out of someday?

Well, in a way, yes. And no.

Dreams are complicated. I’d say they are like seeds. Some blossom, others lie shrouded in the hard, cold earth forever. Why? I’d say it has to do with who planted them.

The biblical story of Joseph and his dreams means a lot to me. Through it, I’ve learned that dreams do come true. The path to that destiny involves great suffering, unfairness, and cruelty many times, but, eventually, the dream comes to pass. Why?

Because it was planted by God Himself.

Really, that’s the key. Let’s face it – some dreams are not from God. Sometimes we need to die to self or whatever the case may be. But I’m talking about the real dreams – the ones that came from the Giver of all good things.

I know so many people who are giving up on their God-planted dreams. Death, divorce, heartache, loneliness, sickness, betrayal… Whatever the reason behind it, giving up on the dream God placed in our hearts is easy to do. I know from experience. Things look rough for weeks, months, sometimes even years. The visions we cherished seem so far away, so out of our grasp.

Many times we find ourselves wondering if the dream was from God at all.

Yet, every time I’ve ever found myself floundering and wondering what happened, God has brought me back to a special remembrance. A remembrance that all things start and end with Him. A remembrance that, based on His infallible Word, that dream I’ve given up hope on came from Him.

And any dream or vision from above will endure.

So don’t give up hope. If you believe with all your heart that the special thing tugging at your heart came from God’s Word, be assured that He has it under control. Sometimes He postpones the granting of that special dream or (on occasion) asks us to give it back to Him. But, almost always, it comes true.

I know from experience. And, if God did it for me, He’ll do it for you.

But, as it is written, Eye hath not see, no ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him-1 Corinthians 2:9    

Author image

About the Author :

Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog or Facebook to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing.

Many times there are moments when we have heard it said, "I am ready for love, I am ready for a relationship, I want intimacy, I just want to be held," and so on. We often say it ourselves without really understanding what this entails. I think sometimes we want what these things represent because they feel good but not the truth of what they really are. 

I believe that love, intimacy, relationship, and affection, are all a part of God; we get tired of not getting what we want because we are engaging in these things and relationships without Christ at the heart or center of them. We get so exhausted and want to give up on life at times because we desire a relationship that we did not get to have. We put forth all this effort without the sight, wisdom, and knowledge of the one who is love; God.

Sometimes we work so hard creating or growing something that is not honest and lacks substance to produce wholesome fruit. 

Have we really gotten to know and understand what being in a relationship is really about? How can we know unless we have labored in love? Are we willing to see that love relationship through?

In thinking of this, I had to ask myself, what does it mean to labor? It means physical or mental exertion, especially when it is difficult or exhausting. Have you worked, toiled, strived painstakingly, and proceeded with great effort? 

An intimate relationship produces the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22‬ New Living Translation).

All of these things are a part of what it means to be in an intimate relationship. These are just one small part of what it means to worship God and be in an intimate relationship with Him.

So then we have to go back and ask ourselves again, "Do I really want to be in an intimate relationship?" "Am I really ready to labor in love?" "Do I really desire to be held?" If we are willing to do these things without God, then we are reaching towards a feeling and not what these things really are; we can really get hurt to the core if we are operating this way. 

We are missing out and depriving ourselves of an honestly authentic relationship for a counterfeit version of love. Anything that offers us a better way other than Christ, who is love, is deceptive. 

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love," (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭7-8‬ New Living Translation).

We waste a lot of time dissecting, disassembling, pulling apart, diving, into and researching any and everything but God. We do not always take the time to know and understand what it means to love Christ; to labor in that love relationship. We want what is easy but it is not lasting. John chapter four tells of the woman at the well who had spent most of her life partaking in the drinks of life and they continually left her thirsty; but God offers her something else deeper and that is eternal life.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life,” (‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭13-14‬ New Living Translation).

If you are as thirsty for love and intimacy as you say you are, then you should let the Lord quench your unending thirst. What He gives is everlasting. 

Author image

About the Author :

Francine E. Ott is truly thankful to have a relationship with God and is seeking Him daily for guidance and any opportunities to walk closer with Him in truth and love. Francine is a choreographer/dancer, teacher, and soon to be counselor who has a heart to see God's transforming power, renew, restore, and heal the minds, souls, and bodies of people's lives.

Whole Spotlight is a section where we like to highlight amazing women of God that have impacting their community, the web, and the world around them.

Honestly, I did the happy dance when Lauren agreed to the interview, because she is an unashamed firecracker for God, and well she is just adorable.

Her ministry Thefulltimegirl Blog is actually one of the very first blogs I began reading. Her transparency, boldness, and realness were so refreshing to see.

She loves Jesus, and there is no doubt about it. Check out our interview below to see.

WM: Can you share with our readers a little bit about your upbringing?

Lauren: "I was brought up in a Christian home, went to church every time the doors were open, sometimes more, went to a Christian school, and a Christian college. I worked several normal jobs,  but I was always in a Christian environment, and protected from the world. I am so very thankful for that."

WM: How did you come to know Jesus personally?

Lauren: I came to know Jesus at an early age. I was 7, and I was on my way home from church and I told my mom that I was afraid that I was going to hell, and she prayed with me. I don't think I fully understood what salvation really meant until I was older, when I fully surrendered my life to God." 

WM: Can you share with us a little about how it was growing up as a “Preacher's Kid?”

Lauren: "Well, when people ask that, I always say I don't know anything else. That is my normal. It was hard and wonderful and blessed. There are many things I could say about living in the "fishbowl." But I grew up with many people who loved God and who loved me. I never worried about my family doing the right thing, and for that I am so blessed."

WM: What would you say are the biggest misconceptions people have of Preacher's Daughters?

Lauren: "I think it affected me a lot more when I was younger, but I think many people expect a lot more from the Pastor's family. When I would mess up, people would say, "….and your the pastor's daughter," and I just wanted to scream, but I'm just a normal kid! We are just normal people, and people mess up and make mistakes, and people get grace from God, and people move on and change, and people are just people. No one is perfect. Not even the pastor's kids." 

WM: Tell us about The Fulltime Girl Blog, and it's mission?
Lauren: "Thefulltimegirl came about because I was searching for a ministry. I was at a point in my life where I really wanted more. More of God and more of a real part in the kingdom. I wanted a ministry of my own that I could pour myself into. I begged God night after night to use me. Of course He was willing, He just had to make me ready. After exploring several options, including moving to China! I decided to use my voice to encourage others here at home. I wrote my first blog post in February 2012 hoping to encourage or challenge just ONE person… and the rest is history. 

My focus is primarily toward young girls although I do have several posts for men and posts that are for both men and women. I’m not sure what makes my writing style different. I think it is because I try to be as real as possible. Every post I write, I sit down and write in one sitting. I just type until everything in my heart about that topic is out in words. Every word is from my heart, and I want people to know that what I say I mean with everything that I am. My main goal would be to reach young women with the message that Jesus is really everything you need – for singleness, for beauty, for self-esteem, for wisdom in life. He is it, and if they truly fall in love with Jesus and follow after Him with all their heart, they will truly find everything they are searching for."

WM: Just like Whole Magazine, your audience is mostly single women between the ages of 18-34. What advice do you have for the young women struggling with remaining content during their season of singleness?

Lauren: "I think I have a lot of single readers, yes, because I can relate very well to them. I was kind of the girl who was saying the things they all were to afraid to say or didn't know how to put into words, and I think it is a comfort to all of us to know that we aren't alone in our feelings, in our hope in God, in our believing there is a love story that God is writing for us. It is just nice to be able to have other people that understand." 

WM: What does a real, genuine woman of God look like to you?

Lauren: "A real woman of God to me is someone who lives in this world, but has her mind on eternity. She sees the things that other people don't because she sees through the filter of God's word and God's ways. I always say that being a Christian doesn't change what you deal with, it changes how you deal with it. Of course we will all face worry, and heartache, and pain, and joy, and happiness, but what we do with what we are given is what makes all the difference. Everyone's story is different and can be so beautiful if we let God move every piece how he would. I think a genuine woman of God sees that not only her story, but everyone's around her too, are all part of the bigger story that is all about God, and uses every opportunity to point people to him."

WM: Can you share with us some of your favorite Bible verses, and why?

Lauren: "My chapter is Psalm 18, but my favorite verse is Psalm 18:30, "As for God His way is Perfect…" Because, well, they are. God's ways are all given to us in the Bible. They can be tested and tried and they will all be found perfect just as it says. When you put your whole trust in the Lord, and your whole life in his hands, and do what he says to do, and don't do what he says not to do, then your life is gonna be the best it can possibly be….. no matter what happens." 

WM: You are on fire for Jesus, and it shows. What advice do you have to the young women out there wanting to have that same fire to share Jesus with others, but are still afraid ?

Lauren: ""Fire" for God comes from God. Anything that we do for him is because of him. If we are truly saved, all of God is at our fingertips, and the reason that most Christians are not on fire for God is because they don't know God. They don't respect God, and they don't fear God. If you want to be on fire for God, open up your Bible and read about who He is. Then, get on your knees and pray for God to put a fire inside of you. It's not something someone is born with or something that is just stumbled upon. It is asked for and given, and received and tested, and becomes a way of life." 

WM: Your FTG Blog bio reads: to encourage and inspire her generation and the next to be courageously and fully abandoned to their Savior. What does it mean to be fully abandoned to our Savior and how can we get to that place? 

Lauren: "Surrender is a daily chore. Write it down. Every morning you wake up and surrender your plans and your day and your hours and minutes to Jesus, because that is all we are given right now. Today. Don't waste it living for yourself when God has promised infinite joy and blessings. Live for God. Fix your mind on Him and his word, and actually live it out. The Christian life is just trusting God every day to be good and right and faithful in every situation, good or bad, and then finding him to be better than we imagined. It is not about what any one person does for him. It is about what He is doing through us all every day." 

WM: It is obvious you into everything "girly." You are stranded on an island and you can only keep 3 things from your make-up bag or closet. What would it be?

Lauren: "That's hard! There are so many things I would be incapable of doing on a stranded island (laughing). Number one would be Chap-stick, because I always have to have it on my lips. A face moisturizer, (anti wrinkle), because preventing wrinkles is the only way to get rid of wrinkles, and you can never start too early. Then pretty much any outfit by Free People, and I'm ready to go... When's my flight?"

Thank you so much, for chatting with us. We love you and your blog! How can our readers connect with you?

Lauren: "Thank you so much for letting me share my heart with your readers. I love Whole Magazine! You can read my blog at thefulltimegirl.com, find thefulltimegirl on Facebook, and follow me on twitter and instagram."

Visit Lauren's Blog Thefulltimegirl.

Author image

About the Author :

Carmen Miller is happily married mother of 5 and wife to Jarrad. As Founder of Whole Magazine and Be Made Whole Ministries (Coming Fall 2014), Carmen's heart's passion is to see broken women made whole through the power of Jesus Christ.

I'm the type that flies by the seat of her pants. I have never been a planner, I can not remember a time in my life where I have felt organized or as if I had my "ducks in a row." When you're on your own, it's not too big of a deal. You are the only one that you're truly responsible for as a single gal and if you want to decorate your floor with your mixture of clean and dirty clothes and choose to pretend that you don't have a closet or chest of drawers that is your thing. But as a married woman, and a mom, it's just not practical.
I've found myself spinning about in life lately. It's as if the daily happenings are a tornado that I am stuck in the middle of. I take it with me everywhere I go, and I leave each place dizzier than the last. At first, I thought I could handle it, after all, it's the way I've done life for as long as I can remember. But now that I've been carrying on like this for a while, I see the real problems that are arising.

On the surface, it looks to me like a messy house, a hectic schedule, a lack of routine and too little time. Delve a little deeper into the realm and see that the truth is it's confusion, laziness and the desire to please everyone.

Not long ago, I stepped out of the role as a full-time working mom and into the role of full-time mom, part-time worker. I felt in my heart that I needed to stop saying yes to everyone else all the time and start saying yes to my family instead. It was life changing. I knew that God was calling me to this and I stepped in obedience. I did just what my track record would suggest...I went at it full forced to start with, feeling incredibly fulfilled and proud of every sink of dishes I would wash (dishes are my nemesis) and every meal I prepared and cooked for my sweet husband and child. And then the novelty wore off. Instead of spending the time while my daughter napped tidying up the house and getting things prepared for dinner, I plopped myself down on the couch and cuddled up to Netflix.

These days it's not much different, though there's a lot more hurrying to get somewhere rather than staying at home. I am absolutely thankful for so many of the opportunities that I have and the provisions that God has orchestrated. But I know that my priorities have gotten out of wack. Maybe you've been feeling the same way lately, not necessarily due to the same circumstances, but just out of plain busy-ness and lack of preparation.

It's time to start being intentional. Intentional: done on purpose; deliberate.

It's so simple. I've heard the word so many times, and lately it seems that I've heard it more and more in conversations with others. I just never took the time to really listen to what God was showing me.

We have to be intentional with the way we spend our days, every minute, every second, because the moments are fleeting. Getting organized and having a game plan for the way you intend to spend your day is a must. I've always thought that it was pointless to make plans because God is in control, and while He is, I think that it's foolish to think that He doesn't desire for us to have some sort of expectations. Now I'm not saying start planning out every detail of every day, but don't just go into it all lazy and think that Facebook won't eat up every bit of half of your day. I'm talking to myself here. But I'm hoping it's helping someone else too.

While our days are numbered, and The Lord has a plan, we also need to set goals for what we hope for our future to look like. And it doesn't matter if you're young or old, you can still have a dream.

Don't just bump along each day waiting for something to change. Make the change, and watch as God perfects it.

Author image

About the Author :

Emilee is a Christ following wife and mother who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is a former hair stylist who is committed to being used by God in whatever way He sees fit.
“I shouldn’t feel that way. That’s bad. Stop it. Stop thinking about that. That’s not how a Christian should be.”

Those were the dominate thoughts of my 19-year old self when facing things in my life that I was struggling with and didn’t know how to handle.

At times I would feel jealous of a friend. Or I would be prideful about something I had achieved. Other times, I would be angry and not know how to process it.  And in my own mind, those thoughts and feelings were wrong, so I needed to stop thinking this way or stop feeling that way.

I was driving back to my college dorm one night, and I was berating myself for what I was feeling, when I heard the Lord say something that forever changed me.

"But you do feel that way. Tell Me about that.”

That invitation from the Lord began to unlock an understanding of God that I had never had before.

See, I always knew that God wanted my heart.  But what I didn’t understand was that when He says He wants our hearts, He doesn’t just want what we deem as the “good parts”.  He wants it all the good, the bad and the ugly; the hurt, the broken and the mean.

I knew that the sin, the negative feelings, the wrong motives that I was thinking about or feeling were not pleasing to the Lord, so I tried to shove them down and just not think about them.  Push aside the negative that I knew shouldn’t be there.

 But that was my human, broken way of handling those things.  I could push them down all I wanted to – but that wasn’t actually dealing with the problem.  And believe me – those undealt-with thoughts and feelings ALWAYS resurfaced again.

If we look in the book of Psalms, we find that David lived a life of confession.  The man after God’s own heart withheld NOTHING of his own heart from the Lord. In fact, I am amazed at some of the things that David prayed!

In Psalm 109, David is crying out to God. He has been falsely accused by his enemies and has been lied about repeatedly. David has tried to love them, but they have returned evil for his good.

David had had enough. Here is what he prays next about his enemies: 

“Set a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer become sin.
Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; let them seek their bread also from their desolate places.
Let the creditor seize all that he has, and let strangers plunder his labor.
Let there be none to extend mercy to him, nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children.
Let his posterity be cut off, and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.”  (Psalm 109:6-13)

Did you know that this passage was in the Bible? I didn’t! And I was amazed at the honesty that God used David to model for us.

David wanted his enemies to be punished for what they had done to him. But instead of pushing away how he felt, David poured out very evil, angry, bitter thing that he wanted for his enemies before God.

He told God the truth of how he REALLY felt.

And this was the same invitation God was extending to me that night.

I had tried for SO long to change my own thoughts or suppress my own feelings. And for all of that striving, I was accomplishing little because I was trying to change myself with my own strength. 

Could there be a different way?

So I began a journey of confession before God. I let it ALL out.  Every angry, bad thing that I had been withholding. I named every person I was mad at and what they had done to me. I poured out my anger over my own personal injustice. I cried over my broken heart. I admitted the pride and ugliness that was rampant. All the things I had been withholding for so long came rushing out. The dam broke and it poured forth. It was the ugly cry, friends. 

But can I tell you – that confession was the starting place of a miracle God began to work in my heart. In the process of confession, the Holy Spirit began to point out and change my thoughts and feelings.

He uncovered long-buried hurt.
He dealt with wrong motives.
He released me from bitterness.
He taught me how to forgive.

On my own, my efforts to deal with these points of struggle in my life had only brought me confusion and pain.

But the Spirit’s gentle work in my heart began to birth His fruit in my life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  Galatians 5:22-23

There’s a reason these traits are called “the fruits of the Spirit” and not “the fruits of Jen” – I cannot make myself patient or kind or...anything.

But submitting to His work, through confession, allows Him to begin to work these traits in me...and make me more like Jesus.

Friends, are you trying to deal with your hurt on your own?  Trying to push away the anger or bad feelings?  Bring them to your Father today!!  Not only does He WANT to hear what is burdening your heart – He wants to set you FREE!

Confess the truth of how you are REALLY feeling in your heart to God. You will see the Spirit begin to work His fruit in your life!  I am praying and believing for freedom and healing for us all!

Author image

About the Author :

Jen Lord is a passionate follower of Jesus, who has learned about the deep and abiding love and faithfulness of God through miscarriage, death, unemployment and conflict. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Craig, since 1996 and has two daughters, Meagan (13) and Kelsey (11). Jen is also the pastor of Care Ministries at The Sanctuary Church in Canyon Country, CA. The Lord family shares what God is doing in them in their blog, lordwillingfamily.blogspot.com.
Whole Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger.