The one word standing between you and your dreams.

By Erika Rizkallah

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:4-6

Years ago when I was thinking about my life plans and goals, this verse shone like the noonday sun on my dreams. After all, who doesn’t want God to give us the desires of our heart?

One word

Certainly not me, I want it all! I want the full life Jesus wants for me and I must say He’s done it. He has given me the desires I desired and even ones I didn’t know about. But first I noticed three things were required of me:

Delight – To delight means to take great pleasure in him. I first needed to get to a place of joy in him, to take great pleasure in his presence and in his word. I achieved that by devoting my life and spending quiet time with him each and every day.

Commit – Next, I determined to commit my way to him. This means I decided to make his cause my cause. I needed to obey his requirements and plan for my life – not choosing my own path, but seeking to know his will for me in Christ.


Trust – Trusting in someone we can’t see is difficult but our God is the living God. When we spend time in his word and prayer and then follow Christ’s lead, he hears and makes himself known to us. We obey and see him working everywhere. Trust then follows.

When I was in second grade my teacher introduced me to other worlds and cultures through studying two countries: Japan and Ghana. I loved my lessons and decided to be a world traveler so I could see places with my own eyes. Pippi Longstocking was my adventure hero and I wanted to be just like her.

The answer to my 7-year-old heart’s desire came much later, but now I do travel the world. I want to share my experiences with you through my writing. I want you to know that God is waiting for you to delight, commit and trust in him.

Sometimes there’s only one word standing between you and your dreams. That one word is . . .


Your turn: What desires are hiding in your heart? Do you believe he wants them for you as much as you do?


Dreams in the making …

Lately, I’ve been thinking about dreams. Not the kind of dreams we have when we go to sleep at night, but the kind of dreams residing in our hearts. Do you know what I mean? Those dreams that float in your mind like clouds and frustrate you because they seem out of reach?


The ones that won’t go away, despite your attempts to bring yourself back to earth?

It’s on my mind because somehow – in the glorious mess of life – I think I lost mine. Or maybe I’ve done such a great job at pushing them away, that they just tease me like a playground bully.

So much of our modern culture is centered on dream chasing.

Motivational coaches shout encouragement from pimped out platforms. The other day I heard a commercial for Joel Osteen’s new radio channel. In his spooky whispery voice he said, “If you want to see a miracle, be a miracle.”


Bruce AlmightyActually, that quote as also been attributed to Morgan Freeman in the movie Bruce Almighty and some random English teacher named Steve Juster. But still. What does it mean?

Or how about this one, “You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.” Joel Osteen

As a Christian, am I really supposed to be about making all my dreams come true? Or am I to glorify God through my relationship with Jesus? Is it my “fame” I’m seeking or His?

But then I wonder . . . what if these dreams aren’t solely mine. What if they’re God’s dreams for my life and it’s not a playground bully teasing me, but Him wooing me?

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 37:4 which says: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

God’s given me the desires of my heart over and over again – can I really ask for more? How do we tell the difference between the desires of our hearts (the ones he wants to give us) and the dreams of our own making?

Your turn: What’s your take on this? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

A Decade of Desire

I have been trying to get to Sedona, Arizona for ten years.

I’m not kidding.

When I got married twenty years ago, my husband and I decided to travel all 50 states together before we die. It’s harder than it seems and we go someplace every year – not always in the U.S. – but we try to hit at least one new state a year. The one place I’ve always wanted to see is Sedona. I can’t explain why. I’ve never been there, but it attracts me like a magnet to metal.

So a few weeks ago when my husband said, “Where do we go next?” I gave him the standard answer.


“Ok, book it.” (yeah, right).

So, I pretended to do research. Again. We went back and forth about dates and blah, blah, blah, I thought. Same ‘ol, same’ol.

But he surprised me and my patience paid off. With the exception of Palestine and Paris, I’ve never been so excited!

And when we landed in Phoenix and he didn’t feel well, I didn’t panic when the paramedics were called. Nope. I waited patiently while five paramedics/EMTs hooked him up to an EKG machine, right there in the middle of the terminal.  A couple of the cops made small talk and I could tell they were trying to assuage my fears. Instead, I peppered them with questions about Sedona.

And my kids took selfies.

Samih 2

I’m pretty sure, they thought we were a little too casual about the situation. But you have to understand, we’re used to stuff like this. Almost every year before or during a trip, we have to call the paramedics for him. We have an enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10)

Our dreams are his for the taking unless we stand firm, trust in God and believe that only He holds the key to life.

Pursuing my dream was worth it and I have so many stories to share with you. As soon I recover from my jet lag, I’m going to post photos of this incredible area so please stop by and visit again.

sedona 1

The gorgeous view from my room!

 The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: To do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8