What Do I Want? and the WIP Wednesday Link-Up

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Rainbow Guard

If you’ve been with me from the beginning, then you know a focus of mine this year has been on prayer: to be more intentional in my prayer time as well as to grow in an understanding of prayer. I wrote a series on what I’ve learned thus far back in May. Most of my learning was gleaned from a prayer retreat my husband and I attended. At the retreat, our senior pastor recommended The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (affiliate link). I’m just now getting around to reading it.

I’m literally only in Chapter 3 (1 & 2 were short!), and he’s already got me thinking! Here’s what has me stopped right now:

First, Mark establishes “the goal” as this: “You’ve got to define the promises God wants you to stake claim to, the miracles God wants you to believe for, and the dreams God wants you to pursue. Then you need to keep circling until God gives you what He wants and He wills.” After reading that, I thought “Yes! Amen! That’s it!!” Then, in the very next sentence this:

“Most of us don’t get what we want simply because we don’t know what we want.”

Mark goes on to talk about folks that have no idea what they want, but that’s not my issue. My problem is that I want so many things. I often think that if I could live my life over and over again, I would make different choices every time and be happy with them all. I’ve wanted to run an awesome preschool, teach, counsel, run a private counseling practice, be a wife, stay-at-home mom, write, blog, travel, and so many other things. Sometimes I get lost in all the ideas and dreams and forget what it is I really want.

At the same time, I think there is also a deeper meaning. Everyone obviously wants what is best for themselves. In that sense, I don’t always know what that is–but God does.

God knows what I want when I don’t even know what I want. <–Click to Tweet!

I know that I can discern in general principles and direct commands what is best for me through a study of the Bible, but sometimes we are left to choose between two good or value neutral options. When we don’t know what we want in those situations, God does.

I feel like Mark is issuing a two-fold task here:

  1. Sit down and articulate in writing what it is that you *think* you want–genuinely and honestly. It’s okay to want things.
  2. Take time to study God’s Word and figure out what God’s best for you is. Then pray diligently for God to align your will with His–right down to the specifics when you have to choose between two good options.
What do you want? Share your dreams and goals in the comments!

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Work In Progress Wednesday

 It’s time for the WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday Link-Up! 

This week’s featured post: Tyanne over at Lamp on a Stand shared her personal testimony! I love reading how people came to know the Lord. (Plus don’t you just love her name!?)

What is God doing in your life? Link up a post below or let’s chat in the comments! Please make sure you link back to newlifesteward.com! This helps promote the community and allows everyone’s posts to be shared. :) If you aren’t sure how to do that, e-mail me! I’ll be glad to help!

Link Up Rules:

  • Please link to the post’s permalink so that it will go directly to the post you want us to read.
  • In the “Name” space, put the title of your post.
  • Limit 3 Links per week.
  • Please take time to visit the blogger before you and encourage them in their comments.
  • Use Hashtag #WIPwed when you tweet about your post!
  • One Post will be featured each week from the previous week’s Linky!
  • Please link back to newlifesteward.com so your readers know where to find us! (Grab the button on the sidebar!)




If you are reading this via e-mail or Reader, click over to participate!

This post is linked with thanks to:

Works for Me Wednesday
iFellowship
Women in the Word Wednesday
Living Well Wednesday
Unwrapping His Promises

God Bumps and God-Incidences
Whatever Wednesday

Photo Credit: Linh Ngan

Comments

  1. This speaks to me: “You’ve got to define the promises God wants you to stake claim to, the
    miracles God wants you to believe for, and the dreams God wants you to
    pursue. Then you need to keep circling until God gives you what He wants
    and He wills.” Awesome! I’m seeking to understand God’s nature more and more, and that’s how I’m beginning my series:)

  2. I have to know what I want? Ugh. That I definitely struggle with! I have so many ideas, that I have no idea how many lives I would need to fulfill it all! Thanks for sharing dear friend, and for linking up! Blessings!

  3. Laurie Collett says:

    We have not because we ask not, or because we ask amiss! My prayer is always to be in the center of God’s will, which is the greatest blessing imaginable in this life. Thanks for the great post, beautiful photo, & hosting the linkup, & God bless,
    Laurie

    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

  4. Most of the time I know what I think I want…but I’m thankful He doesn’t always give it to me…because He knows what I need.

    I have the surface level wants– for health and safety and growth and change in very specific areas.
    And then the true deeper level wants (that more closely line up with what I truly need)– to know God deeply in a real way, to live for Him in a way that brings Him glory, to be a faithful-prayerful-parent, to be a kind-respectful-loving wife, to be a servant-hearted-friend….

    Often it take the things I don’t want before those deeper level desires are fulfilled. If that makes any sense at all? :)

    • It does make sense. I like the distinction between surface level wants and those deeper things. So often I’m satisfied with just the surface things. It’s risky to want to go deeper.

  5. Remember I said I love to sit back and see how God weaves lives together? Mark Batterson is my pastor and we’ve just returned to National Community Church here in DC after worshiping with them from afar these last two years in Germany. The Circle Maker was one of the texts my husband and I used for our two-day planning retreat January 1st and 2nd this year. I am laughing and smiling and singing to God to discover you and I are in community together and this is on your heart. Enjoy the wild ride God will take you on through this book and I look forward to hearing some of the things He has you write down. Yay!!! Thanks so much for the link-up. You’re awesome to be new to blogging and already have this opportunity available!

  6. I often feel the same way – there’s SO much I want, so many things I want to do to improve the lives of children…but how can I open a home for pregnant teens and hold babies in an orphanage in China at the same time?? All while running a bed and breakfast with a cute little place to eatery attached, lol. Maybe the 10 kids I’d love to have and/or adopt can help me out. LOL.

    I really love The Circle Maker. I’m still reading it, I have been for some time. I’m usually a quick reader, I’m not sure why it’s taking me so long. I feel like we prayed circles around our miracle baby when I got pregnant, even though we didn’t realize that’s what we were doing. This year we’re praying circles of healing for our daughter with RAD.

  7. renee@joyfulmombaude.com says:

    When we moved and I had to unpack my entire life of about 45ish years (that is all I will commit too ;-) I wrote about it–I found that as I went through each box it was a different part of my life. Some boxes I liked more than others. It was a very hard task to open up boxes of demons and then deal with them. I still have boxes! I’m still working through beginning again. My new life, in a new place, but giving all over to Him. To do His will not mine. I have embraced the opportunity that my husband and I have now. Things are better than they ever have been. Next hurdle is middle school.

    • Trusting is hard but worth it! He definitely knows our wants and needs better than we do.

      I do not envy you on the middle school hurdle. Although I know I will have to endure it one day!

  8. Gisela Dieter says:

    Thank you for the post…thinking about what I want could be all-consuming and sometimes frustrating for me since I want so many things…but it is a necessary exercise. I love the two-step approach that you provided guided by Mark’s writing. To sit down and write my goals/wants/desires and to match them up with Scripture to try to figure out and discern if they align with the will of God is a brilliant way to proceed when confronted with our wishlist…Thanks again and blessings to you always. Thank you for the link up too!

  9. Oh, what a timely post for me! I was reflecting yesterday (my bday) on what I want from this year, which I do every year. And as I look back on my years past, I see how my wants are conforming more to His will…which is really what I want.

    This year I wrote down: I want to be pliable.

  10. Not knowing what we want – SO TRUE! I’m asking Him to give me the desires of HIS heart and to show me how to be satisfied with that.

    Thanks for the convicting thoughts, Mary Beth!

  11. StefanieYoungBrown says:

    This book is in my stack of must reads. I just started “Wrecked” by Jeff Goins, but plan to read “The Circle Maker” immediately after. Thank you for this timely post, my friend!
    Have a blessed Wednesday…

  12. This post really resonated with me! My husband and I both read The Circle Maker during our Sabbatical/Time Off this summer – and we were both deeply impacted by it. Prayer is something that I am asking God to take me deeper in, and He is leading me to invite others to join along with me as I focus on prayer on my blog starting the first week of September, on Wednesday of each week. There is so much to learn and grow in, and I am asking God to teach me more … Loved reading your thoughts – and I am right with you in what you wrote! And thanks for this linkup!

  13. I read the Circle Maker on vacation and wrote two posts about it myself two weeks ago called When You Aren’t Ready to Answer. That same sentence haunted me and led me down a glorious road of discovery through prayer. I enjoyed your thoughts here as well.

  14. “pray diligently for God to align your will with His”

    That is the key to successful prayer right there! Often we need what we don’t want…

  15. I can definitely relate with wanting SO MANY THINGS. Unfortunately that often leads to me saying yes to too many service opportunities and finding I’ve overcommitted myself! You have great advice here, and I have been thinking a lot lately about slowing down the way I’m making decisions like this. Thank you for posting this! I relate to you so much. Thank you for sharing my post from last week, too! I am honored and humbled to hear it is touching lives. Blessings!

    • I think slowing down making those decisions is so important! Often we say yes without even thinking about the practical how tos and requirements. I’m glad to have you featured here! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you!

  16. Michele-Lyn says:

    I have the Circle Maker. I haven’t had a chance to begin reading it, but after reading this, I just might think I’ll need to put the others aside and pick it up. My pray is that my desires be refined by His for me, as I delight in Him. Yes, He promises this — that He will give me the desires of my heart.

    Such wisdom in this post, my friend…

  17. Christina@toshowthemjesus.com says:

    One thing I’ve been praying about lately is that I would walk by faith and trust Him no matter what is going on around me. I like the suggestion to write down what you want and then see if it lines up with what he wants. Great post!

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