Can you believe it? We are over half way done with the book. We have just 3 more chapters to go after this week.
How are you coming with your God-sized dreams? Have you made your strategies? Are you working on your fears?
This week’s chapters held some great advice on what to do when your dreams go wrong and how to stop sabotaging yourself. Are you ready to get started?
When You’re God–Sized Dreams Go Wrong
As I was reading through this chapter, my thoughts turned back to when I opened a full-day preschool program. It was in a small town, and at the time owning and operating my own child care center was my dream. The funny thing was that everything just seemed to fall into place as I was working to open the center. It wasn’t until after I opened the center that my dream started to go wrong.
On the first day that the center was opened I had to deal with a family in crisis. I had to deal with an employ who thought that she could sit around and read when she was supposed to be interacting with the children. I had to deal with repairing the roof, and many other things that they don’t teach you about in business and child care classes. After a couple of years, I had to deal with the school district opening their own center. It wouldn’t have been a big deal in the city, but this was a small town so I basically lost all of my children to the school’s program.
(The irony of that…the school didn’t really recognize the need until I opened my program & had full enrollment on opening day. Two and a half years later they put me out of business.)
The experience of opening and running my own preschool program taught me that it is not a matter “if” your dreams go wrong, but it is a matter of “when” your dreams go wrong.
And that is what Holley addresses in this chapter. She gives us some great advice on what to do when your dreams go wrong.
1) Recognize that your God-sized dream is not controllable…by you.
You can’t control your God-sized dream. No matter how much you think you are you’re not the one in control of your dream. The One that gave you that dream is the One in control of that dream. Your part in the dream is obedience to the One who gave you the dream. Let Him take it from there because then we don’t have to be responsible for the results—He does.
2) Try, try again.
When something goes wrong, reevaluate or re-strategize and then get right back to work on that dream. When I closed my preschool program, I knew that I still wanted to work in early childhood education so I set new goals and found a new job in that field. I didn’t give, and when that went wrong, I tried again in a new place. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my dreams had changed and that was no longer where I wanted to be.
3) Change your perspective
“We don’t have a choice about the rain that comes into the pathway of our dreams, but can choose what we do with it—and what we let it do to us.” (Holley Gerth) This has been a hard lesson for me to learn. In fact, most days I still don’t think that I have it down. In the preschool world, we would tell the children, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.” And while most of us don’t throw fits like a preschooler does, how many of us are guilty of becoming bitter or sorry for ourselves when something goes wrong? But we can make a choice that whatever may come we will let it makes us better, not bitter.
4) Guard your heart
“Above all else, guard your heart.” Proverbs 4:23
Guarding our hearts isn’t about locking them away and shutting people out. Guarding our hearts is about being alert, engaged and intentional…It’s about acting instead of reacting.
5) Remember: It’s Never the End
Your God-sized dream won’t end until God says that it is time for it to end. Your dreams are going to change and grow as you change and grow. And while it can seem like one dream is ending, it is usually morphing into another dream and then another and another and that will continue until you are in heaven or until Christ comes back.
How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself
Oh, I am so good at sabotaging myself. Isn’t that horrible to admit? But I am. And my biggest way of sabotaging myself isn’t one that Holley talked about in this chapter so I’m going to have to do a little studying on my own to figure out how to stop it.
In this chapter Holley gives us 5 ways to stop sabotaging ourselves.
1) Remember you’re human
Recognize your limits, Embrace them. Use them. Take care of you. Pace yourself.
2) Take care of your body
I, um, well, I, uh …Yeah, I don’t do this one so well. Next!
Okay! Alright I know that I need to do better. I know that my physical condition matters, that it affects my emotional, mental & even my spiritual condition, and I am starting to take steps (itsy, bitsy, baby steps at times) to improve my health and take care of my body.
What Holley recommends are all thing that we are familiar with…get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. I’ve been getting enough sleep. I’ve started eating better. I have cut out almost all soda. I did this over Lent and started feeling amazing, but then last week I drank a lot of soda again and was sick all week so I have decided that soda is going to be a very rare treat. Exercising is something I need to create a plan for. I feel better when I’m up and moving so I need to make myself get up and moving on a regular basis.
What about you? What improvements do you need to make?
3) Simplify your life
Right now, my life is probably overly simplified. I’m definitely working below my optimal pace, but for those of you who are working above your optimal pace Holley gives some great advice. She recommends making a list of what takes valuable resources from you and marking what drains you and what fills you up, reviewing the list and deciding what has to stay and what can be decreased, delegated or eliminated. Then make a plan for dealing with each item left on the list.
4) Build your dream team
This is another one that I really need to work on. In the last couple of years since I started taking care of my grandmother, my world has become increasingly isolated. Oh, I have friends that I see and talk to on occasion, but as my grandmother has needed more and more care and rarely leaves the house anymore, those occasions have become less and less frequent and it is as much my fault as it is theirs. It is hard to make plans when you think you might have to cancel them.
But “relationships are at the heart of who we are” and I know that I need to find a way to re-energize my relationships and to get out and meet new people. Community is important, and having a group of people who are on your side is a necessity. Holley recommends 4 types of people to have on your team:
a) A mentor
b) An encourager
c) A “younger” woman
d) A cheering section
If you don’t have them, start praying that the Lord will send you the people you need to fill these roles.
5) Decide to be on your side
Are you on your side? Or do you talking harshly and negatively about yourself? Me? I go back and forth, and I think most people do. But wounding ourselves is not loving ourselves so stop the negative and harsh talk. Love yourself and treat yourself kindly.
Read the rest of the series here:
A few extra resources: