The Gift of Hope

Dreams of Beauty

By JoAnne E Billison 

Beautiful scenery and breathtaking landscapes fill my mind with dreams of beauty. When my husband and I began looking for a home, I expected to find a house with a beautiful lush landscape. I wanted something spectacular surrounding my home. Dreams of BeautyWe found a great house, but it had one drawback…no landscaping. My dream of owning a breathtaking, gardened covered cottage expressing peace and tranquility was just that…a dream. My “bubble” burst when I walked around the property and found nothing but uneven ground, rocks, and plenty of dirt to play in. While this was good for my boys, it left me feeling depressed. I didn’t get the serenity I was looking for, but I did get a lot of grass, a few shrubs and 2 trees. The landscape missed the beautiful scenery I envisioned in my mind.

The invasion

Eventually the unavoidable happened, weeds invaded our yard. Clover, crabgrass and dandelions were everywhere! The invasionWhen I ventured outside, my legs paid the price. Treading through all the prickly stems became my painful reminder. During spring, the weeds grew so tall my kids could play hide and seek in them, so pulling and hoeing weeds became a yearly event. My dream of a beautiful landscape seemed so impossible that I felt like giving up, tossing in the towel and learning to live with the daunting task of making what I had look presentable, and nothing more.

Like me, do you often find your life far from your dreams? Even though we begin walking in the dream direction, difficulties from family, work, and a fast paced world, takes a toll on our hearts. Before we know it, we are wading through the weeds of life. Often we fall prey to our failing nerves and dare I say, give up on our dreams because we believe them unattainable.

I didn’t know where to begin working in my yard and I feared making things worse. I was so overwhelmed with the whole mess that I let it go for years. That, of course, made things a lot worse.

A new perspective

A new perspectiveMost people live with “weeds” in life. Some of our weeds come from personal heart wrenching issues like divorce. Others come from emotions like fear. Our fears of failure, persecution, or rejection can stop us in our tracks and keep us paralyzed.

When we remain focused on our problems in life, we weaken, become discouraged and suffer. To overcome this dilemma, we need to change our perspective. Instead of focusing on our problems, we must refocus on our new life in Christ (Heb 12:2). When our focus is on Christ, our problems no longer define us; rather they become simply a challenge in need of a solution…one that doesn’t have to be perfect.
Life changed for me when I realized I was facing a challenge that I couldn’t fix on my own. When I presented myself to God and asked for help, wisdom and comfort, I gained new strength to face the challenge before me. I suddenly had the courage to “do” something about my landscape issue.

In the next story you will hear how I moved from fear to creativity.

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Next ChapterThoughts to ponder:

Definition of Leadership:

Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart


When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world

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