February 24, 2011

Jar of Hearts

I like to think. I need time to think or I go a little batty.

Good ideas or interesting thoughts flood my mind in the shower, or when I'm driving my kids to school, or when I'm blowdrying my hair. My best ideas, however, come at night as I'm trying to fall asleep. On good idea nights, I keep myself awake for hours trying to remember them or chasing little what-if rabbit trails. My best ideas come then, I think, because I am free from reality and unmoved by fear.

Then, in the morning, I chain myself to reality once again. I talk myself out of my great idea or my bold move. I list all the reasons why not and dash my own surely-they-are-silly dreams to shreds.

Then I go do the laundry. Always the laundry.

But last night, in the final moments of awake, I thought about God holding a Mason jar with my name on it. The jar is full of little puffy, polyester hearts, each heart representing things I hope for or wish to be.

Some of them remain from when I was little, scrunched at the bottom of the jar: thoughts of being an astronaut or Miss America.

Some of the hearts are big and bursting. They are the realized dreams: a husband, children, a full ministry, great life experiences. Better than I imagined.

Some I did not put in there myself, but He lovingly chose for me: the surprising gift of a child with special needs, a knowledge of loss, a life-altering change in ministry. He enlarged the scope of my dreams.

There are the unrealized hopes. The little hearts waiting in the jar, those I take out, handle, and rearrange at the top of the jar so He won't forget. What does He think about those, I wonder? 

Oh, I see, He whispers.
He points to one and says, Not yet, child. But I see him watching it carefully like fruit needing to ripen.

He reaches into the jar and takes out a heart, turning it over in His hand. It's a silly little heart that I gave Him long ago, around the same time I let Him have the jar. I'm surprised He remembered it and how much it meant to me. I thought it was destined for the bottom of the jar with the astronaut heart. Silly. Childish.

He places it in my hand. A God who sees. A Father who delights in giving good gifts to His children.

Remember? Now's the time. Don't be afraid. Go. Create. Pursue. 


It's going to be alot better than you imagined.


"He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think." Ephesians 3:20