I've been a dreamer all my life. When I was a kid, I lived in my own little world of make believe. On occasion, I'd poke my head out of my little world, look around, see everything was going on fine and go back to my daydreams. When I was in sixth grade, I knew I wanted to be a writer.
I still have the long (very long and rambling) stories I wrote during that time. I would hole up in our den and write for hours. I think the term "bristling like a pine cone" was one memorable descriptive I used, so obviously quantity didn't necessarily mean quality. But I wrote. A lot.
Then I got older and life intruded, and those afternoons spent writing were put off to next weekend or when I had more time. I still dreamed, but it was more distant. I became hesitant to tell people I wanted to be a writer because what if I wasn't? What if I wasn't good enough? What if nobody ever published me? After all, I needed to make a living didn't I and being a "writer" wasn't too practical? So, the dream became something that would happen in the misty, indistinct distant someday.
It seemed every time I revisited my dream (usually when making New Year's resolutions), I would determine that this year would be different. I'd become a writer THIS year. But invariably life seemed to throw up road blocks and someday was a word I used more and more to myself. Someday - when the kids are older; someday - when I have more time. Someday - when I get more organized and together.
But as the song says, "Someday never comes."
Then there's this little issue I have with follow through. I'll let you in on my dirty little secret - by nature I'm lazy. I don't like doing hard things. I like to be comfortable, and pushing through my fears and insecurities and life's inconveniences was something I avoided doing.
I guess I thought I would wake up one day and my life would magically arrange itself for me to write. (you can stop laughing now).
My God-sized dream is to be a writer - a writer of books; a writer of Bible studies; a writer who makes a living by her pen; a writer who makes a positive impact on the world by encouraging others through the power of words. (the pen is, after all, mightier than the sword, which is good because I'm a bit more adept at wielding the pen.)
But the dream became a someday dream - you know, the kind of dream that you read about (ask me how many writing books I own) and think about and fantasize about. But you don't actually DO it because so the urgent takes over the important.
God has a funny way, though, of moving you along His path for you. A couple years ago, I started writing a couple weekly articles for our local paper. To say, it was an adjustment would be an understatement.
I didn't have an issue with the actual writing, but coming up with ideas and meeting deadlines week after week was tough for me. Remember that whole follow through thing? But I didn't have a choice. I HAD to come up with the ideas, interview the sources and write the articles every week whether I felt like it or it was inconvenient or life got busy.
I also had to deal with a pesky thing called details. I had to check and double check facts to be sure the articles were correct. (ask me how I know it's a bad idea NOT to do this a few times before hitting send to your editor).
There were days, when I guiltily felt I HATED this job. You know, the writing job I had said I always wanted? The thing was though, it made me follow through. I could no longer just think about writing something. I had to actually DO it.
I believe that job was a God-thing.
Why? Because in the process of churning out articles week after week, I met a lot of really great people who had a heart for God. I saw many people who had started with just a dream, had put feet on that dream and with God's help, had realized them. And I got to be part of the process. By putting pen to paper (or more accurately, fingers to keyboard), I sometimes got the huge blessing and privilege of being part of that person's dream becoming reality. It also taught me the fine art of self-discipline - of which I have always been sadly lacking.
Recently, I've been a bit restless though. I was ready to move on to the next step but wasn't exactly sure how to go about that. Saying you want to be a writer is sort of a generic type of dream. You have to pin down things like what kind of writer you want to be, what audience you want to reach, what specific goals you have and what small steps you'll take on a regular basis to reach them.
Enter Holley Gerth. I was reading (in)courage several months ago, and on a whim, I applied to be on her God-sized Dream Team, never dreaming (pardon the pun) that I would actually be chosen!
We started in December getting to know each other and talking about our dreams - fine tuning them and learning how to put feet on them - but officially kicked off on New Year's Day.
With her help, I came up with a life statement - something that had always been really hard for me to do. You can read my life statement and words for 2013 here. Reading her ebook, The Do What You Can Plan, I'm learning to do small things to move forward to realize my dream of being an honest-to-goodness writer that writes, not just dreams about it.
Instead of shying away or making excuses, God convicted me about the need to persevere (one of my words for 2013). He gave me the courage to push past my comfort zone and stop giving myself a pass just because it was hard. I realized that often God does call us to the hard thing and that's okay.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize I let it slip by without fully realizing all that God created me for. What a tragic waste that would be.
I've always loved having my head in the clouds, but now I know that walking with my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground doesn't have to be mutually exclusive.
I'll leave you with this great quote from Steve Furtick's book Greater. "God doesn't do greater things exclusively through great people. He does them through anyone who is willing to trust Him in greater ways."
~ Blessings, Bronte