Monday, January 14, 2019

Can You Dream Too Big?

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of marrying a wealthy man and owning a mansion with a swimming pool, so I could call my mean older brother and un-invite him over to swim. As a teenager, I dreamed of singing opera in lavish costumes and writing books.
Most people think only one of my dreams came true. But I would argue about the definition of the word “wealthy” in relation to my husband. It’s true we don’t own a mansion with a swimming pool. But he is a faithful, godly man who cares for me more than his own life, and you can’t trade that for all the stuff in the world.  So, I contend that two of my three biggest dreams are now reality.
I let go of the other one after I realized that I love writing and being a wife more than starving myself to fit into opera costumes and practicing scales four hours a day.  Also because I don’t like opera music!

Seven down;; 93 to go!

But I have other dreams I’ve picked up along the way—things like authoring or co-authoring 100 books, traveling all over the world, and winning a million people into God’s familyI know, I know. They’re enormous dreams that need an enormous God to make them happen. That’s okay. My God is bigger than my—and everyone else’s—doubts. .

I read recently that people who write down their dreams earn nine times as much over their lifetime as those who don’t. Wow. That made me skedaddle to find a pad and pen! So far, I’ve covered two full sheets of paper, and am still dreaming. Because I know where dreams come from. Or I should say, Who they come from.

God is a dreamer.  He dreamed of the universe before he spoke it into being. He dreamed of a plan whereby his children who had lost their way in the darkness of the world could become friends with him again. And he continues to dream of the abundant life he wants to give all his kids ( Jesus’ words in John 10: 10 and the Father’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11).
Jesus' dream for you

Will you let him dream through you? Will you dare to ask him to pour some of his outrageous hopes and plans and goals into your heart? His dreams for you are high and wide and deep. He is not a wimpy, wish-upon-a-star god. He has all the power in the universe at his disposal, to make his dreams reality in your life. Will you dare to ask him to fill your soul with desires that shock even you? Will you allow yourself to dream big, bigger than you ever have before?

What would you like to do, to be, to achieve, to create? What is so much bigger than you are that it must be a God-thing when it comes true? Don’t settle for wishing on a star when you can have the Milky Way. If you are a Child of Almighty God, dare to dream with him.
How big can you dream? God is bigger!
Because the thing about dreams is, they only come true if you dream them. And if you need a pen and paper, I have extra to share.
What is the biggest dream you've ever had come true? What are you still dreaming?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Give Up Your Dreams? Crazy or Wise? A Podcast interview

IN this fun podcast with fellow-author Lisa Buske, I talk about how giving up your dreams to help someone else fulfill theirs is not crazy! 

It's actually wise, and can lead to abundant blessings. Click on the link above in the words "fun podcast" to listen!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Seven Ways to Increase Your Brain Power

We already know how smart you are, since you're reading this blog post! But if you'd like to increase your brain power, these seven ways will help. I found six on brain specialist Dr. Daniel G. Amen's blog, and the final one--a fun method I use to stretch my brain muscles--is my own idea. I have also added some of my thoughts to Dr. Amen's.

1. Make new friends. Meeting new people and getting to know them keeps our brains active, and helps our emotions thrive as well.

2. Analyze, compare and contrast. Don't just say "Mom and I are nothing alike." Tell us how Mom loves to cook, clean and sew, but you would rather plant a garden and read romance novels. These type of mental comparisons  are good workouts for  our minds.

3. Learn a new word. Then use it at least 12 times in the next month, to keep it active in your brain.

4. Forgive. The mental and spiritual work of telling the Lord, "I release this person to you--deal with them in Your love and mercy," opens your mind to new levels of creativity and sets your spirit free from judgement.

5. Do something kind. Stepping out of our me-me-me world to help someone else is a lovely way to relax and rejuvenate our brains.

6. Turn off the TV. TV is a mindless way to entertain ourselves. We watch others do their lives--whether exciting or silly--rather than experiencing life for ourselves.

7. Memorize Scripture. This one is the most fun, as it helps you overcome the devil!  For some fun ideas on how it can help, see my posts on five ways memorizing Scripture enriches your life and Fun tricks to memorize Scripture.

Which ways to increase your brain power stood out to you? What will you do today to help yourself to grow even smarter than you are already? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

7 Time Management Tips for the Holidays

If holidays bring you more stress and worry than peace, you might enjoy the following 7 Time Management Tips for the Holidays adapted from my book, Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives. 

Knowing how creative you are, I believe you'll find at least one tip you can use.  

1.      Break chores into baby steps.  You can wrap three gifts or bake one batch of cookies or address ten cards at a time—there’s no rule that says you must do everything from start to finish in one sitting. Some tasks—like addressing cards—can be combined with watching a Christmas movie or chatting on the phone to Aunt Bernice.

2.      Reward yourself when you finish a less-than-enjoyable task. Drink a cup of eggnog, call a friend, or read a chapter of a Christmas novel.

3.       Ask yourself, “If I had time to do only ONE thing on my list, what would I do?”

4.      Use paper plates, cups, and plastic ware to save time doing dishes. If you explain to guests, “I’d rather spend time with you than to wash dishes, they'll feel complimented. If using Grandma’s china for Christmas dinner is a non-breakable tradition, pay the kids in the family to help you clean up. If you’re short on cash, reward them by letting them have first dibs on dessert. If you wait till clean up is finished before serving dessert, those dishes will get done lickety-split!

5.      Listen to Christmas music while doing houseworkit will help it go faster.

6.      Never wait till the last minute—something will always come up to delay your finishing on time. Allow plenty of leeway for interruptions and glitches.

7.      Learn to say “no” without apologizing. Your time, health, and emotional stability are worth more than pleasing every elf in the workshop.

By the way, Shock the Clock makes a fun stocking stuffer for all your creative friends--it's not just for writers!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How do YOU spell relief?

In the Spring and Summer, I grow vegetables to relieve stress. 

Digging, pulling weeds, and tugging baby carrots and onions from the soil--even the smell of tomato plants--soothes and relaxes me. 

In the autumn, I bake. Kneading dough, mixing pumpkin bread and Christmas cookies, then inhaling the warm, spicy smells that dance across the kitchen make me feel safe and cozy.

As to winter, well. . . never mind. We won't talk about that today. 

How do YOU spell relief when you are stressed? 

P.S. I will be taking a blogging break for a few weeks. Happy Thanksgiving!