Saturday, May 17, 2008

V and her Vision Board

My friend, we'll call her "V", keeps telling me to make a "vision board." She even bought me the materials: a white poster board. That's it. A plain white poster board. And on this poster board, my assignment is to cut pictures out of magazines and paste them onto the poster board, write words, what-EVer, she says, to remind you of your goals. But not just my goals, she says. My dreams. Then she says I am to put the vision board where I can see it every day so that every day I will have in plain sight what I'm going for, reaching for, dreaming of, hoping for. Even if it's crazy.

The reason, she says, is because you're more likely to actually DO those things if you see them in front of you. Literally.

I believe her. I think it's brilliant. I love the idea.

But I can't get myself to make the darn vision board.

Why is that? Why can't I put my dreams down on paper so they're out there for the whole world (really it would be seen by only me and the hubs but it feels like the whole world) to see? It's either that I don't have any dreams, or that I don't care about them, that I'm ashamed of them, or that I'm afraid to put them down on paper because that makes them real, concrete, perhaps laughable, and extremely vulnerable.

Well it's not because I don't have any.

It's definitely not because I don't care about them, because why would I go to Kentucky for 11 weeks if I didn't care about acting? Why would I make records and go on tour if I didn't care about singing? Why would I make a fool of myself in dance class if I didn't care about dancing?

It's not that I'm ashamed of them because... am I ashamed of them? Why would I be ashamed of them? I'm not hoping for shameful things. Why would I be ashamed of something that isn't shameful?

I could definitely be afraid of them.

Why are people ashamed of their dreams?

The best answer I can come up with is that we are ashamed of what it takes to accomplish the dreams. We are ashamed of what we think will be necessary behavior to accomplish our dreams. We think "going for it" is living for ourselves, rather than living for God. We think "going for it" means being self-centered and selfish. We think profession should be in our lives only to make money to support our families and buy things and store the rest away for rainy days and college funds and retirement.

We also think dreams mean really really big things, when they don't necessarily have to be. Although they might be.

The thing is, we have a choice as to how we pursue our hopes and dreams. I had a choice to wait for the perfect man to marry. My dream came true. I could have stopped trusting that God would provide, and I could have sold out and married someone I didn't love, or someone who didn't love me. We have the opportunity, for Christians the ability, to choose God every day. I have a choice to be selfish with my life whether I'm pursuing a dream or not. I have a choice to love God and love my neighbor every single day, whether or not I'm looking at a vision board. Striving for a desired profession isn't a sin, it's how I strive for that goal that determines holiness.

Yet for some reason the artist is told, if you're not "singing for God" you shouldn't sing. If you're not "writing songs for God" you shouldn't write. If you're not "making films for God" you shouldn't make films. Yet the accountant doesn't "punch numbers for God" and that's OK. The engineer doesn't "drill oil wells for God" and he's smiled upon. The dentist doesn't "fill cavities for God" and he's a hero.

So that's it, then. I won't make my vision board because I've been told that "singing for God" makes singing OK? If I put "Broadway" on my vision board, then I'm endangering my soul.

And putting "Broadway" on my vision board sure looks laughable. I mean, that looks pretty dumb. Who really believes they can be on Broadway.

Uh...that would be...the folks on Broadway.

And what happens if I don't make it to Broadway? Then everyone laughs at me.

Nope. They don't. They say, well - good going there, Fancy. It was a fun ride.

And the folks that do anything different, like the folks that secretly rejoice if I don't succeed, are jerks. Plain and simple.

And the folks that secretly hope I don't succeed now while I'm trying? Well,....that sucks. For me and for them. For me because I sure could use all the encouragement I can get. And for them because they're missing out on a fun ride. And for the record, making a living as an actor or a singer doesn't have to mean Broadway. But wow, it sure is a fantastic goal, right?

So I'm making that vision board. Right when I get back from Kentucky, I'm making it.


Amy said...

I love the idea of the vision board! I am so going to do this! I hope it helps me.

Bill Hensley said...

Yet for some reason the artist is told, if you're not "singing for God" you shouldn't sing. If you're not "writing songs for God" you shouldn't write. If you're not "making films for God" you shouldn't make films. Yet the accountant doesn't "punch numbers for God" and that's OK. The engineer doesn't "drill oil wells for God" and he's smiled upon. The dentist doesn't "fill cavities for God" and he's a hero.

Actually, I think singers should "sing for God". Accountants should "punch numbers for God" and engineers should "drill oil wells for God". I know what you're saying, that people sometimes think you should only sing songs about Jesus, and I agree with you that's not true. But Paul tells us "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (I Cor 10:31). A couple of other verses:

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col 3:23-24)

I think the idea "working as for the Lord" entails several things. The first is our purpose: to glorify God by acknowledging he is the source of all our talents and it is he whom we serve. The second is our attitude: one of humility and gratitude for his generosity and grace. The third is our approach: we never step on or step over others to accomplish our goals. We acknowledge that people are infinitely more important than things or achievements. We always strive to live by the Great Commandment in every aspect of our lives, including our careers.

But that's not all. Working as for the Lord also has implications for the content of what we do. It doesn't mean that engineers only build churches or singers only sing about Jesus. However, it does mean that the things we build or sing must not dishonor God or violate his commandments.

Following God is sometimes costly. There may be certain shows you just can't do without dishonoring God. I may not be able to get a certain promotion without dishonoring God. But the eternal benefits far outweigh the costs. "You will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Remember all that, and yes you can sing on Broadway. Go for it! Make your vision board and dream. Honor God by being the best singer, actor and dancer you can be!

Seth Ward said...

Excellent words Bill! Very encouraging!

Anonymous said...

FANCY PANTS!!!! You are wildly talented and I look forward to buying my ticket on Broadway to see you dance and sing. I think no matter what profession you choose, God wants us to do it with excellence; weather you're a hair dresser, missionary or actress. Ultimately, we are a vessel for Him to showcase His glory, love, kindness and excellence for the entire world to see.

King David was an artist- he danced and sang for the evil King Saul, he was an entertainer of his time and a politician ... yet a man after God's own heart. His own father didn't think he would ever amount to more than a sheep herder - he didn't even consider David when he lined up all his sons to hopefully have one anointed as God's chosen – he left Davis in the field but God’s plans for David were so much bigger.

I'm so excited that you are going to put together a vision board. What ever you focus on, you truly do gravitate towards; I can't think of anything better to focus on than the dreams that we have for our life, which God has so graciously planted in us. And as Joel says, if one dream dies…. So dream another!

Matthew 9:29 says 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you". Get rid of the negative naysayer’s that call them selves your friends …. mmmmm, I’m not too sure their anyone’s real friend. Garbage in, garbage out and that includes Christians – especially Christians who say their looking out for your best interest. I don’t even think they mean well. Get em out and surround yourself with friends and family cheer for you and believe in you. It’s so important – you become what you hang out with.

Dream BIG Fancy Pants – so big that it’s impossible for them to come true w/o God. Do the vision board, go on… do it ... HURRY!!


FancyPants said...

Amy, isn't it great! So glad you're going to do it! Best of luck.

Bill, thank you so much for that encouragement. And the verses are going on my vision board!

You're right in your first paragraph that I meant sing for the church or in the Christian subculture somehow. I think that expectation happens often because, God is often the direct object of our singing, whereas God is not really the direct object of filling a cavity. If God were the direct object of the dentist's work, the patient might have a very bad experience. =-)

By direct object I mean: where the action is immediately focused.

Also, you state: There may be certain shows you just can't do without dishonoring God.

I whole-heartedly agree with you, I will say that the line there is often gray. I know some don't believe in gray moral lines, but really, in this case it's gray. Mostly because an actor is not portraying himself, but a completely different person. So while there are things that I would never do, a character that I play might definitely do them.

Now, I believe there has to be strict boundaries that the Christian sets for himself. I will never do this for any reason, or this, or this. That's very important. Julia Roberts has never been nude on camera, at all. (I don't think.) There are definitely boundaries I have set for myself, and if that role came along and called for those things, I'd have to turn the role down. But there are certain things that actors will portray in a character that other Christians believe the actor should not be doing.

Cursing. (The appearance of) Drugs. Violence. To name a few. Romantic scenes...

I'm rambling. The point is that the scripted characters are making the choices, not the actors. The actor uses his own experiences and instinct to portray the correct emotion through the choice and action. The actors are telling the story. And the story is always the point. Or should be, anyways.

FancyPants said...


Ha ha! OK. Before I leave for Kentucky! =-)

FancyPants said...


I'm so blessed you're in my life. Love you and thank you.

This Southern Belle said...

I love the vision board idea, and I agree with V--before Kentucky! :)

katy said...

Fancy, your comment about the gray areas of acting is spot-on. And for me, the FEAR of making a board and then not achieving my goal is huge. Because then what you have is not a vision board but a failure board. So I totally see where you're coming from in not being able to make yourself do it...yet. But girl, you're on your way!! 11 weeks in KY is nothing to sneeze at. MAKE THE BOARD!! Maybe I will too.

FancyPants said...

TSB, before Kentucky!

Katy, c'mon. Do it, Katy! V says that if one dream dies God'll give you another one! What's so bad about failing? (This is a pep talk for me too, btw) If at first you don't succeed, try try again. And then if you still don't succeed, maybe God's got a different and better dream for you. And if we're following Him and doing things His way, then it can only be a good time. Not that we won't suffer...that's in the equation until Jesus comes again. As long as we don't worship anything but Him, why NOT let ourselves hope for what He's put in our hearts?

cool mum said...

I love this post! Cool Dad and I have been talking about this a lot. How to chase your dreams and pursue God and provide for your family at the same time...yikes. Excited to see where God takes you!

FancyPants said...

Cool M,

How to chase your dreams and pursue God and provide for your family at the same time...yikes.



That's what I'm learning, anyways. Yikes is right. And I don't even have a baby! =-) But God is good. I'm excited to see where God takes you guys, too. Our friend, V, has a one year old, and she just straps him in or on or whatever and goes! =-) I have such an admiration for mothers. I learn from them all the time, storing everything away for when I pop out a kid. Moms amaze me. You've got your hands full, I'm sure, and God hears your prayers and will provide you with all you need. Dream big!