BIG DREAM, but stuck in a holding pattern of fear/doubt/indecision?

When we have big dreams, given by a great big God, we need to practice living BOLDLY, expecting Him to act.  But even when you know exactly what the next steps are, what to do to get the momentum needed, sometimes it feels as though your feet are shod in cement shoes in quicksand.  It is no fun to feel stuck.

stuck ostrich

How do we break out of this holding pattern of fear, doubt and indecision?

Call/text/email/carrier pigeon a friend, coach or accountability partner.

Dreams without support rarely become reality. Amazing things happen every day. When those amazing things are shared with friends, fans, followers, the amazing is multiplied. When dreams and goals are shared, the excitement builds. When you have people who know your dream, you have a built in group of support to tap into when difficulties, setbacks, or stuck times happen.

Reach out to your group, your tribe, and let them help you get back on track! Make a list of “next steps” that you are intending to take, and then ask them to keep you accountable.

Write down every reason you are not qualified for your dream— and then after each reason, write BUT GOD.

For example:

I don’t know anyone in the music industry, and have no idea when, where, or how to find the women to create my dream ensemble. But God brought me here, knows my purpose for being here, and He will guide my steps.

I can’t seem to get motivated to take charge of my health. I know what I should do, but am having a terrible time actually putting those shoulds into action. But God knows me completely, and will help me when I truly seek Him.

See what I mean? I feel better already! 🙂

Make a list. Start checking things off.

When I am stuck, sometimes everything becomes overwhelming. Not just things related to my dream — but keeping the dishes clean, laundry done, etc.  Stuck in one area usually leads to being stuck in many areas.

Make a list, and cross things off. I add everything to the list — home tasks, work tasks, and tasks related to my dream. The list is huge (or it can be broken into sections if you need your tasks grouped), but there are things that you can accomplish right away — in the next ten minutes.

It may seem small, but the sense of accomplishment in completing small tasks can lead to continued success and motivation.

 

Don’t despise your small beginning.

Remember this:

“Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.”  Chris Guillebeau

There are countless adages and sayings that are overused and have become cliches – but they are all true. Anything that is worth doing is worth the hard work. Your dream is worth the fight. Your comfort zone is not where progress happens. Your couch, although comfortable, does not care whether you reach your goals. (That last one may not be a cliche — that just may be a Meredith original.)

Friends — we all start somewhere. It wouldn’t be much of a dream if it didn’t require some scary, bold faith! Let’s support each other as we tackle our next steps in making our dreams become reality! I would love to hear some of your “but God” statements — share them in the comments!

 

 

When BOLD means EXPECTING God to act

mountain and lighthouseLet’s think about our dreams — the things that we secretly (or not-so-secretly) aspire to be; the lives we hope to impact for His glory. Whether we dream of being a business person that is successful enough to be wildly generous, or if we dream of having a speaking ministry that helps to equip people to embrace His truth, and His presence more fully. Maybe we just dream of being able to fully invest in our children and family, homeschooling and raising up a generation on its knees.

When our dreams are aligned with God’s will, and God’s purpose for our lives, HE WILL ACT.

I am guilty of shrinking into the background and timidly offering up my prayers to Him. But this dream that I have to write and perform music that will inspire, heal, uplift and encourage others came from Him!  He is the one that gave me the dream. He planted the seeds in my childhood, slowly letting it grow, until I was ready to respond with bold faith to what He was calling me to do.

We claimed His promise many times last year as we prepared to move to Nashville. We would save, scrimping and pinching to build up the funds needed, only to have to empty the savings for needed car repairs or dental work for our son.  It happened so often that we were frequently proclaiming “Lord — YOU are calling us to make this CRAZY move. YOU have to provide the means for us to get there.”

And He did.

After we moved here, and I was waiting for the pay from my new job to kick in (more than a month after I had started), we lifted our situation up to Him, in confidence that He had brought us here for a reason, and that He had placed us in our jobs for specific purposes. He took care of us — and taught us many lessons about what we really need in this life.

The two most important things that I have learned since we moved here are:

God absolutely, positively provides for His children. He sees our needs, and meets every. single. one. If He hasn’t provided it, I don’t need it! 

and

Since we have no extra means to promote myself as an artist, or get studio time, or even hire babysitters and pay for parking at open mic nights, anything that happens on that front has to come from God. And it has. He has allowed amazing things to happen — from accidental co-writing sessions to an amazing retreat in the mountains. God says Yes.

God says Yes when He arranges those “coincidental” meetings that change everything, affirming our call to encourage, to speak life in to the hearts of the weary, and hurting.

God says Yes when He gives you the job, with the income, and then shows you the ways you can bless your neighbors, your church, and be a part of God’s vision in not just your own life, but in theirs as well.

God says Yes when He puts a thirst and desire to be with your children, and then provides the means for you to homeschool them.

So don’t shrink back, afraid to ask Him to bless, grow and build the dream that HE gave you.  Ask Him to grow your influence — one life, one group, one church, one city, one state at a time. Ask Him to give you the words to encourage, to inspire, and uplift.

And then, after you have asked, stand back — because BOLD FAITH expects God to move. BOLD FAITH sees the problem, the need, the hurt — the mountain — and tells it to move.

Matthew 17:20
“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Are you ready to start believing God BOLDLY, believing that He not only will act, but that He will do things that seem impossible? What can I join you in prayer for? What promises are you  proclaiming?

 

When BOLD means driving to the top of a mountain

There were twelve of us crowded into luxurious leather couches, leaning close to hear the wisdom, love and inspiration that oozed out of Christa Wells and Nicole Witt.  Both ladies are established songwriters and performers, and when they pair up in song, chill bumps are always included.

christanicole

In November, a single facebook post got the ball rolling on this magical “Songwriter’s Retreat.” The result was a mixture of lyricists, poets, singers and songwriters of an amazing age spread, gathered together to learn more about the craft.  With the unity of a common faith, the stage was set for true community, the linking of hearts and stories, tears and triumphs.

I drove back down the mountain a different person.

The new me realizes that this dream He planted in me is going to take some real work. Writing the songs is the easy part. (And it isn’t easy.) My word for the year, BOLDperfectly describes the current leg of my journey.

It will take BOLDNESS to BELIEVE that I am enough.

It will take BOLDNESS  to contact people in the industry to find out where to play, and it will take BOLDNESS to strike up conversations with other songwriters.

It will take BOLDNESS to co-write with strangers. And to let those strangers become friends.

It will take BOLDNESS to reach out, to promote myself as an artist, and to try to find the other two missing people for my dream.

It took boldness to send the email that allowed this amazing weekend to be part of my story.

christanicolemere

 

My heart is full, my dreams are front and center, and I am boldly evaluating and preparing, so that I am ready for the next step. Thank you, Christa and Nicole, for offering yourselves to us. We treasure the gift of your music, your voices, and your wisdom.