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This sign was sitting in the front of the gift shop over a year ago, and it really caught my fancy.

A sign! One that says, basically, so, you’re looking for a sign from God, eh? Well, here it is! Clever.

I wanted to buy it, but couldn’t justify the price. 

A few months later, it was in the middle of the shop with other random bric-a-brac. I picked it up again, but put it back down.

Finally last month, it was on clearance. This time, the price was right, so I took it home. (Just to clarify, I paid for it first! A kleptomaniac, I’m not.)

It has a light-hearted message, to be sure, but the words on the sign really resonated with me.

You see, every so often, I find myself waiting for a nudge from God and end up in a holding pattern.

Like the time I wrote a short story some time back, but didn’t submit it to any markets because it wasn’t my usual genre. It was science fiction, and I figured the editors would take one look at it, exclaim, “novice!” and toss it into the slush pile.

Finally, over the summer, I took the advice of this silent, wooden sign and took a shot. I submitted my story to Analog, a science fiction magazine. Chances are, it may well end up in the slush pile. Even so, it’s higher on the evolutionary scale of getting the piece published than it would be gathering dust on my computer (virtually speaking, that is.)

That sign is a silent sentinel, saying: Don’t wait any longer to walk toward your dreams.

You don’t need an engraved invitation from God. 

I believe that the minute you take a step toward that goal in your soul, you’ll find that God shows up on the path and walks with you.

Of course, in truth, he was there all along. You’re the one who finally took that leap of faith and met him halfway.

But if you’re like me and you need a sign, there it is, good people. It’s no burning bush… just a friendly nudge in the right direction.

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I’ve long felt that my ministry is to encourage others to pursue their dreams.  Life has led me to people on that path and I’ve felt privileged to be able to cheer them on.

A friend sent me a card thanking me for encouraging her to pursue her dream of writing for faith-based outlets.  She’s doing it, and finding soul-enriching and wallet-filling gigs.  A computer repairman told me his dream was to have his own business – I gave him the ole Ruth Rockne speech and told him to go for it.  He sent me a grateful email the other day to let me know that he had taken the plunge and started his own consulting firm.

These things should put me in a positive frame of mind, but somehow it left me feeling… I don’t know, left behind.  As if I’ve poured my energies into other peoples’ dreams, but feel like no one’s cheering me on.

Considering all the deadlines I needed to check off my list today, I started the day with prayer.  I asked God for a sign that I’m on the right track.  What is my true calling?  How should I use my gifts?  Where will I find the zhoozh, the mojo, the oomph to keep going?

Then I opened my email this morning.  I got a very clear nudge from above that I’m on the right track.  A great blog I subscribe to, “faith sweat & tears,” sent this prayer prompt:  “Are you an encourager? Find an opportunity today to lift up someone’s spirits.”

Some days I’m thick as brick, but the message got through:  keep lifting people up.  Oddly enough, I felt lifted up by that realization.  You know what, people?  You can do it. And now I know like I know:  so can I.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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