Momma, Will They Like Me?

Kids all over the U.S. are heading back to school and right now the question resonating on all of their hearts is, “Momma, will they like me?”

As parents and guardians, we surely can relate to this feeling.

Every time we take a new job, we attend a meeting for the first time, a new small group, or even a new volunteer opportunity.

We wonder just as our children do, will they like me?

So, if we struggle with the same question. How can we help our children in making that adjustment back to school?

6 Tips to Help Your Children Make New Friends

Affirm their feelings. Let’s face it, making new friends is scary. Letting them know their feelings are okay can be encouraging and affirming to them. They’ll know they are not alone.

Remind them this is not the first time they are making new friends. I ran into this question with my child as he was starting camp this summer. When I reminded him this was not the first time he was making new friends he realized if he was successful once before and he can do it again. This gave him the confidence and reassurance that he needed in being open to meeting new people.

Tell them who they are. Your child has strength and abilities unique to them. Tell them who they are as unique creations made in the image of God. Gush over them about all that you know to be amazing about them. Don’t worry about their egos, at this point, they need to be built up, not torn down.

Ask them to consider the other children who are also struggling with the same idea. You can use this to encourage them to be the brave one. To go over to someone and introduce themselves or sit with the child that is sitting by themselves.

Pray with them. Take a moment and pray with them about their fears, using God’s Word as a guide to help them learn how to lean on God to overcome this hurdle. You could use Philippians 4:6-7 reminding them not to be anxious about anything but instead praying to and giving thanks to God that the God of peace that surpasses all understanding will guard their hearts in Christ Jesus. (my paraphrase)

Momma Will They Like Me | Dawn M Owens

Know who you are

This may sound a bit strange to you as a way to encourage your child. But children learn from their parents. If you are unsure of who you are then you are probably communicating that to your children. As parents, we have a responsibility to our children to be our best selves. When you don’t know who that is, it can be just as confusing to them as it is to you.  My encouragement is to dig into God’s Word. We are who God says we are but we have to know what He says to know how to respond.

Children learn from their parents. If you are unsure of who you are then your children are probably confused as well.

Our children are going to struggle. But as we listen to them and their fears, pray with them, and encourage them we can watch God do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine in their lives.

What other ideas do you have to share with other parents on how they can help their children make new friends?

Check out some of these other resources:

How to Know If You Are an Approval Addict

What are You Called To Do?

Are you Afraid of Rejection?

Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction

 

Like Me or Not Now Available

 

How Do you Handle the Fear of Rejection

How to Handle Your Fear of Rejection

Do you have a fear of rejection?

You know that feeling: the sick to your stomach, nauseous feeling.

It’s as if all of a sudden everything ever said of you is summed up in the person’s rejection of you.

It feels personal. It is personal.

If you have felt this emotion before, you have probably got a healthy dose of fear to go with it. A fear of rejection can strangle any dream, vision, or desire in your heart.

It can keep you from the very thing that God has called you to do. All because you have a fear of rejection.

For the last few weeks, we have been talking about our need for approval. We discussed how an approval addict acts. If you are new to this, go take this quick quiz to find out how you rank.

Then we talked about people-pleasing and discovered three ways in which you can quit that habit.

Next up was insecurity and I identified the cycle we can get caught up in when we seek the approval of others allowing our insecurities to get the best of us.

Then we talked about our control issues. Oh, approval addicts can be bad about this. We like to be in control and we like to know that the outcome is going to be people’s approval of us.

And the real challenge for us approval addicts is trying to not be offended when people don’t agree with us, affirm us, or approve of us the way we want them too.

So it only makes sense that this week we start to uncover what it takes to overcome a fear of rejection.

What if?

In 2011, I was confronted with my greatest fear. Death.

A CT scan revealed a carotid body tumor that needed to be removed from my neck. More specifically, the artery on the right side of my neck.

My doctor told me that I might want to live a bit longer before it was removed because removal may cause me to “bleed out.”

Yes, he said those words.

That was the first time I was ever overwhelmed by fear.

Fear that visited me in my daydreams and woke me in terror at night.

The fear of the “what ifs” was crushing me.

After much prayer and research, God led me to another doctor who had much more experience and faith in his expertise so that I did not “bleed out.”

However the surgery was a bit more complex than they thought and after 6.5 hours, 4 units of blood, and a grafted vein from my leg to complete the artery in my neck I woke up feeling like I was drowning in my own saliva.

Fear, yet again, consumed me.

Fear is a tricky emotion in that it not only can have power over your mind, but it can affect every part of your body.

My next days, weeks, and months to come were a battle. Most of which went on in my mind, working my way through overcoming fear.

So I know fear. Fear and I were friends for way too long of a time period and unfortunately can return as an unwanted guest from time to time.

Now, couple fear with a hefty dose of rejection and you have a recipe for disaster.

Overcoming the Fear of Rejection

 Early in 2010, God gave me a vision for an organization that would initiate community transformation by ministering relationally to the poor.

Cullman, AL had been my home for a few short months when God laid this vision on my heart.

Most people I shared it with were not overly excited. In fact, their responses sounded more like this:

“No way would that work. People cannot get out of poverty.”

“If that did happen here, it would not be by you, a woman, only man with substantial power would be able to do that.”

“You don’t know people here. They won’t donate to your cause if they don’t know who your kin are.”

Each of these statements felt like an arrow stinging my pride. I wanted their approval, not their rejection.

I had to make a decision, would I choose to please people or trust God instead.

Kind of like what Jesus said in John 12:42-43:

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in [Jesus]. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

The Pharisees would not openly acknowledge Jesus because they were more concerned with human praise than they were God’s.

Which is at the core of our fear of rejection.

We don’t take risks, go after dreams, or accomplish our goals because we fear being rejected by people.

We don't take risks cause we fear rejection.

We will fear man and not do what God has told us to or we will fear God and accomplish the task He set for us to do.

But we must realize that in either scenario fear will propel us.

We don’t take risks, go after dreams, or accomplish our goals because we fear being rejected by people.

A Different What If

I want you to take a moment and consider those goals, dreams, visions you have and ask you a few questions.

  1. Are they goals/dreams/visions that will make God known?
  2. Do they feel too big to be achieved by you alone?
  3. Do you feel ill-equipped to accomplish them?

If you said yes, to all of these then I would say more than likely they are from God. It will do you well to fear Him and start taking steps forward.

But if you answered no, your focus is more on you than on God and you may want to pray about what you are trying to accomplish.

But here is the kicker, if that vision you have is from God, you have one more “what if” to ask yourself.

What if you don’t do the very thing He is calling you to do?

For me, that answer has become crystal clear. After six years now in the ministry, we serve more than 3,000 people a year.

We provided 18 different programs and services that extend to 23 different locations throughout our county.

Over 12,000 people’s lives have been impacted since we began.

I have my answer.

I’m thankful I chose the way I did.

You can too.

When you know who you are and whose you are, your identity no longer lies in whether or not that person says “yes” or “no” to your request.

You have a choice. God or Man. Who will you choose?

Like Me or Not Now Available

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How I Lost Control | Dawn M Owens | Like Me or Not :Overcoming Approval Addiction

How I Lost Control – Caution: Sensitive Material Inside

This is the story of how I lost control.

It didn’t happen in just a day, or a week, or even a month. Slowly but surely, over time God started to show me how tight my grip was on the things happening in my life. I was strangling His plans and it was keeping me from my future.

I have learned over the years, I have a bit of a control issue. It’s important to me that things look a certain way. Which also means, sometimes, I want people to act a certain way. Because when they do, what I ask them to do, it affirms me. Let’s me know that they approve of me, appreciate me, love me.

But that is not healthy. In the end, I hold people to unfair standards, standards that I would not even be able to meet. The only way for a control freak like me to learn how to lose control is, well, to be forced to let go.

Unfortunately for me, this happened through a series of very hard events.

Our Big Plans

Let me start off by saying, prior to this point, and well, if I am honest, even after this point needing control has been an issue. I am a professed approval addict and well, I have people-pleasing and insecurity struggles, which is why control is also an issue for me. You see if I can control my situation, I can also control whether people approve of me or not. Well, at least try to.

But this was one time I couldn’t make the circumstances work in my favor. You see, this situation was bigger than me. It’s situations like these where God can remind us exactly who is in control, Him.

About three years after we got married, I started suggesting to my husband it was time for us to have a child. I wasn’t getting younger (already over 30 at this point) and being older than him, it was time for us to try and start a family. We went before the Lord in prayer, and both agreed it was time. It wasn’t long after I found out I was pregnant. We were ecstatic. That was on a Friday and by Monday, I had miscarried our first child.

We were devastated.

We Tried Again

It took a few months to get pregnant again, but we weren’t going to give up, even though this time it felt scarier. We were nervous that we might miscarry again. But this time we made it not only through the first weekend but up to week eight. This time I was on the job training clients in Georgia when the bleeding began. At the time I lived in Cincinnati and was a long way from home. I called my doctor to find out what I needed to do. After taking a pregnancy test and seeing the line show up only slightly faded, I knew what was happening. To say I was angry was an understatement.

Thankfully I had an amazing boss, and she had me hop on a plane home. As if it was that easy.

What transpired will be an experience I will never forget. In fact, every time I walk through the Atlanta airport it brings back the memories afresh. But it was there in the bathroom stall that I lost our second baby. I could barely speak to anyone. Talking was not an option because deep sobs hung in my throat.

Somehow I made it back to our home airport where my husband waited with a car. I cried all the way home curled up in the back seat. There was a tug of war of the pain between my broken heart and my cramps.

The next weeks are still a blur because I could barely breathe. It was hard to live. I numbed my pain with books, movies, and food. I wanted nothing to do with God because I was so angry at Him. It didn’t make sense. We prayed. We asked Him for the desires of our heart. The Bible says we are to procreate, that babies are a blessing. What did we do wrong?

Tragedy Struck

A few months later the church we were attending, Crossroads, had its annual Christmas Show. This isn’t a dress up the kids and coo over their costumes show, this was the real deal. Dancers, musicians, lights, snow falling from the ceiling. This show could be on Broadway and it would sell out every night.

This year they decided to take the show to a new level and have the Wise Men belay down from the ceiling. One of the performers missed their rung and fell to their death. My husband was on staff and watched the accident happen. He still can’t watch that scene or performances where the performers are hanging from ropes.

Our pastor was amazing. Instead of dealing with it quietly, even though the event made the national news, he brought the whole church together. All ten thousand of us to walk us through the grieving process. He was honest, raw, and real. In doing so, he reminded us of the story of Job.  A righteous man who had done no wrong in the eyes of God but was targeted by the Devil for his righteousness. When God turned him over to Satan, he lost everything. Cattle, sheep, and most importantly children. His response?

Blessed Be The Name of the Lord

He fell down and worshipped the Lord. The Bible captures him saying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21, ESV) My pastor reminded us that we are not God. His plans are above our plans, His ways above our ways. He doesn’t need to answer to us and we may not understand everything that He does. But just like Job we need to strive to be people, that no matter what our circumstances that we can say “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.”

As sad as I was for the loss of the life of the performer, anger raged in me. I thought, “Why God? Why did you have to take both of our babies? I don’t understand. Why did the teenager who didn’t even want to be pregnant get to keep hers? The drug addict? The prostitute? Surely we were better than these.”

He then had us take the person we had lost, whether it as the performer who fell only a few nights before, or someone else we were grieving and hold them in our hand. When we were ready, we were to lift our hands up in surrender and let them go. God, in His sovereignty, is in control, we are not. Our surrender reminds us of that.

As we stood there, they played Matt Redman’s song “Blessed be the Name of the Lord”.

My hardened heart began to soften. Deep down inside I loved God. I also knew that He loved me. He wasn’t trying to make a fool out of me or withholding blessings from me. He had a plan, and though I didn’t understand it, I knew it was good. It took me a bit, but looking at my husband I realized the grace I had received. I was a sinner, an adulterer, and a divorcee, and yet my God gave me an amazing man to love me and be with me all of my days.

With tears streaming down my face, I lifted my hands to heaven and with each release let my babies go. In exchange, I experienced peace and freedom.

A New Story

That was mid-December and on New Year’s Eve, on a few weeks later, we were to go out with friends. I considered celebrating with a glass of wine but decided it may be a good idea to check to see if I was pregnant just in case. The screen went from blank to pink in a matter of seconds and I knew, we were pregnant again.

Eight months later, after a rough pregnancy including Braxton-hicks and pre-eclampsia, my sweet miracle child was born at 35 weeks. Sawyer James is our pride and joy. Now eight years old and keeping us on our toes.

I learned a huge lesson that night. Trying to control God, people’s responses to my pregnancy or lack thereof was not going to change our reality. It did not define me as a wife, a mom, or a woman. It wouldn’t determine our acceptance or affirmation of our friends and family nor would it determine the pleasure of God. I am who He says I am and my identity is not based on my ability to conceive.

It wouldn't determine our acceptance or affirmation of our friends and family nor would it determine the pleasure of God. I am who He says I am and my identity is not based on my ability to conceive.…

But instead letting go and allowing Him to guide our story instead of trying to write it ourselves, made way for the family we dreamed of and the life He desires us to live.

I have had two more miscarriages since then, losing three more babies. But what I do know now, is that God, in His sovereignty knew what my future would hold. I do not have physical children to hold, but since then He has birthed a vision of community transformation and now a book that holds this story and so many more.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

God is In Control

Let it go. Those expectations you have of how your husband should respond to you. Let it go. Your children will find their way into His arms. Let it go. Your work will continue on without you. None of those things define you, they certainly do not own you, and cannot determine your identity. You are who God says you are. So let it go.

Question: What do you need to let go of so God can affirm the identity He has given to you?

Check out these other posts about approval addiction:
Why I am a Professed Approval Addict
How to Know If You Are Addicted to Approval
Feeling Insecure?

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Join the Launch Team for Like me Or Not

Join My Book Launch Team – Here is 3 Reasons Why

This is your official invitation to join my book launch team for Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction.

I know your busy, and your to-do list has a to-do list of its own.

But I am going to share with you three convincing reasons why you want to make the time to be on my book launch team.

Here they are:

  1. You wonder if you are an approval addict.
  2. If you are, you need a method to talk about it.
  3. You want other people to know there is help available.

Now, if you’ve come to this wondering what a Launch team even is, allow me to address that question first.

Launch team’s for books became a popular method for big publishing houses to use to help their author’s gain more Amazon reviews.

Yep…that was the reason. To get reviews. Not a bad strategy when you think about it.

And yes, you will be sought out to help with Amazon Reviews, but I have a more important reason than that one.

You see, I didn’t write this book for Amazon review, to build a platform (it’s almost an oxymoron for an approval addict in recovery), or to become a “name” in the industry.

I wrote this book because I realized I wasn’t alone. I was so tired of the cycle I was in trying to deal with other people’s rejection, while desperately wanting others to approve of me. All the while wanting to crawl into a hole and forget interacting with people ever again. Are you with me?

We are all walking around stuck on our phones allowing social media to dictate our identities were feeling like we have to confirm, compare, and live up to more.

We are walking around with our faces attached to our screens allowing social media to determine our identities. #likemeornot

It’s mind-throbbing at times – but it doesn’t have to be.

I am not an expert, but God has allowed me to have some experiences that have led me to identify scripture, PURE TRUTH, that has proven to break the cycle of approval addiction to find my approval in Him.

Which is why you too need to be on my book launch team so, let’s talk through each of these areas.

You Wonder if You are an Approval Addict

We all do, and none of us want to be. But the reality is that God created us with a desire to want the approval of others, including Him.

It doesn’t’ take much to see why it’s an easily formed addiction when we quite innocently want to seek the approval of those around us: spouses, children, friends, family, co-workers…our hair stylists and the guy at Lowe’s.

Hearing verbal affirmations feel good because they release dopamines. Those dopamines feel so good they’ll make you want more, and more, and more approval. Before you know it, you can’t get enough.

Being on my Launch Team means you get first access to the information inside the book that will help you learn how to lessen those desires and put your focus where it needs to be, on God.

You’ll be able to access all the different ways that approval addictions can manifest itself.  Which leads to the next reason…

You Need a Method to Talk About It

Being an approval addict also means we desire justification from others, right? We need to know we are headed in the right direction and for the sake of enabling each other, we are going to do just that.

Each week I’ll get online with you through a closed Facebook group, and we’ll go through parts of the book together. If you are an external processor like me, you will love this part. I can’t wait to hear all you have to say and what questions you come up with for me.

You’ll want to know if you are doing the right thing, taking the right steps forward, using the concepts appropriately. Being on the Launch Team gets you the ability to do that with not just me but with women from all over the US.

There you can share all the great things you are learning to add even more value to the team.

You’ll Want to Let People Know There’s Help

Remember how it felt when you first came to know Jesus as your Savior, and you wanted to go and tell everyone? It was kind of like the women at the well. After she figured out Jesus was the Messiah she went and told the whole town about it. She couldn’t keep it to herself.

Yeah. Like that.

Well, once you start to understand the concepts laid out in this book – that will be you too. Because here is what I know for sure, you will experience healing and freedom. I promise you that.

How can I make that promise? Because I did and I still am.

Before writing the book God had shown me so much about approval addiction. Enough that I thought I could write a book about it. But God kept me humble by teaching me knew concepts with each chapter I wrote.

I’d grow in areas like comparison and jealousy, getting over my fear of rejection to turn my God-dream into a reality, and learning how not to feel like I am so alone in life.

But since then I have re-read my book at least ten more times. Every time, there is another area God shows me that I still need to work on. As I do, I receive more healing and more freedom.

This is why you want to be apart of my Launch Team. Yeah, we’ll have you do some other fun activities like share memes on Facebook or Instagram. We may even ask you to write an Amazon Review online or ask your local bookstore to carry it. But by that time, you’ll be convinced that not only do you need this book, but everyone you know needs this book.

Apply for My Book Launch Team

Now that you realize you need to be on my book launch team, what do you do?

Head over to the launch team page here where you can apply. Once you do, you’ll get a confirmation email. We will have the application available only until 11:59 am on April 2, 2018.  So don’t wait.

We’ll then be sending you a copy of the book and some other goodies. You’ll then be invited to join our closed Facebook group, and we’ll start chatting. If you want to pre-order Like Me or Not before we begin you can enter in to win A VIP package to the Fall Tour of Outcry and get some downloadables, you can do that here.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

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How to Make Your God Dream Come True

Six Steps to Make Your God Dream Come True

God gave you a dream, and it is scaring the heck out of you. Now what do you do?

It’s okay. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Ahh…better?

In today’s post, I’ve incorporated six steps to help you get started.

“I have a dream. Now, what?” is the question I get asked more often than any other.

People have seen the dream I had for our community through The Link of Cullman County come to fruition and wonder, “Well, how did you do that and how can I do the same?”

Last week I talked about how to know if your dream is just a big goal or if it was a dream that God placed on your heart to pursue.  You may want to read that post first if you haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

It is there that I help readers understand and know the difference between the two. This week I want to try and lay out some of the steps you can take once you know for sure you have a God dream.

This is where the “rubber hits the road” where the “ax hits the grind” where the “pen hits the paper” to overplay the cliches.  And I hope it makes its point.

Because here is where I see things go south and quick. Someone has a dream, and they talk about it, and they talk about it, and they talk about it. But they never actually do anything.

You Have a Choice

Sooner or later, you are going to have to choose to either go after this big, scary dream you have or honestly, shut up about it.

When The Link started to come to fruition, I had a few people say to me, ” I had the same dream as you. I journaled about it; I have a binder about it, or I told people about it.” I don’t know why it happened to you but not for me.

Honestly, I don’t know why it did either, but I am assuming that your dream was just that a dream and it never transitioned to action.

So that is what I am going to promise you today, I will share with you the steps to help you take action on that dream. However, just like last week, I have a disclaimer.

Disclaimer: I am not God. I have no way of knowing His timing or whether your dream is from Him or not. I also have no idea of your dream is to actually in support of someone else’s God dream, and not something you will get to see come to pass. Think Moses and Joshua.

I do know that there are some teachable concepts that I can share with you that God used with me to help you pursue Him and engage others in your dream.

How to Make Your God Dream Come True | Six Steps to Get You Started

One: Trust and Obey

The best piece of advice I received from someone on what I needed to do next was “trust God and obey what He says” Seems simple, right?

Simple to say, harder to execute.

For me, this was challenging because I had a carotid body tumor removed from my neck which rendered me temporarily disabled.  The surgery caused damage to my nerves and vocal chords.  Which eventually left me with a severance package and no job.

For the first time since I was twelve, I was unemployed and now also unsure of my future. I had no idea what was next except this vision/dream from God for an organization that would serve the needs of the poor.

If I am honest, I was not excited enough about this God dream to go after it. What I was passionate about was serving women through speaking and teaching. I had wanted that dream to come true, nearly since I was saved about nine years prior.  Now I was living in the south where my type of work was not prevalent, Cullman, AL though growing would still be a hard place for someone like me to find a job.

But God’s plans were different than mine. 

So here I was temporarily disabled, unemployed, and trying to minister to a husband whose dream had been crushed by a failed church plant. Confused and unsure may have been an understatement at that point.

So now, here we are in a very uncomfortable place, not knowing what to do and the advice I received in this season was “trust and obey.”

Trust. And then obey whatever God tells you to do. Ugh. Simple and to the point, easy to remember, so I decided to do it.

And it changed everything.

Day by day I would wake and ask the Lord, what should I do today? If I felt Him impress something on my heart, I would obey. If I sat in silence, I’d seek Him in His word.

That daily practice started to lead me to conversations with people about this dream; then I would pray about it more. It wasn’t long before God began highlighting His heart for the poor in His Word. I got my hands on some books that seemed to speak to relational ministries to the poor Then I prayed the all-changing prayer.

“Lord, what would you have me do?”

Two: Surrender the Dream

Which leads me to the next thing you need to do. Surrender the dream to God. Only He truly knows the timing, who is supposed to be part of the dream, what role you are to play, what resources you’ll need, where it will happen, and how it will transform your community.

For me, that looked like taking the dream I always hoped to pursue and put it up on the chopping block with the God dream He now impressed on my heart to accomplish.

It wasn’t long before God confirmed which dream I was to follow.

It was one of the hardest things I had to do, give up the dream I wanted to follow the one God wanted me to carry out.

Both were good. Both would help a lot of people. But one was mine, and the other was His.

I can tell you now on the other side of that how sweet the blessing of surrender has become. Knowing the lives that have been transformed in my community because I said “Yes” to His plan. The relationships I have now have sharpened me and helped me grow in my faith would never have been if I didn’t surrender.

And then when you consider what I have learned, including how to overcome my addiction to approval, I am not sure my path would have allowed me the opportunities I have been afforded, including publishing a book on that same topic, releasing May 15th by Worthy Publishing.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

Three: People < God

This may feel a bit strange to you to diminish what people are saying. It took me a lot to figure out how to do this because we all need the affirmation of people around us. In fact, God will use these people to encourage us. However, we need to make sure no matter what, that God trumps people. Even when those people are stroking our egos.

Here is why: back in the day, there was this good-looking, smart teenager, from a no-name family, was sent out on a donkey-hunting mission. Unbeknownst to him, God had selected him to be the first king of Israel. He was anointed, appointed, had the Spirit of God come upon Him, prophesied with the Prophets and empowered by God. Regardless, his insecurity and people-pleasing needs made people’s opinions of him more significant than God’s, and eventually, he was rejected as king.

Know who that was? King Saul. (You know the one who was on a crazy chase to kill his replacement, David? You can read all about him here.)

Saul was anointed and appointed to do the dream God had for him in ruling the Israelites, but he let people and their opinions become more influential than God.

This is true when they are affirming us, and this is also true when they are rejecting us. If you know for sure that God gave you this dream, you’ll need to seek Him, trust and obey Him, surrender to Him and make His Words of greater significance than man’s.

Four: Become a Student

One of the essential postures you need to take in this process is becoming a student of the dream. If this dream is from God and not you, more than likely you will not feel equipped to do it. In fact, it may feel as if you are the last person on planet earth that needs to be doing this dream.

That is exactly how it felt for me. This will produce fear. And that is okay.

I had done very little ministry to the poor. I felt like the ministry I had done was not done well and because of that, I felt very insecure, unsure, and ill-equipped. So I went into student mode.

I started with asking more questions of people already in ministry or serving in this field before I assumed my answers. I got my hands on books related to the topic and read as much as I could from the experts. I sought out scripture in the Bible to back up what I was learning to make sure I was on the right path.

Then I found some local classes I could take to teach me about creating a non-profit and marketing a non-profit because those were two critical components in seeing my dream come to fruition. When I knew I had all those pieces in place, I sought out a conference for me to attend to obtain more extensive training. In doing so, I became equipped as a Christian Community Development practitioner.

Five: Stop Talking and Start Walking

When my husband and I were in our pre-dating stage we talked a lot on the phone, being that we lived 150 miles away from each other, it was our only way to connect regularly. Although we visited each other every now and again, they were for short periods of time, as we didn’t stay the night. It didn’t take long for our friends to notice there was more of a connection between us than just friendship. At one point, one of my husband’s friends said to him, “It’s time to stop the talky, talky, talky and do the walky, walky, walky.” I am pretty sure they were quoting out of an Adam Chandler movie, but the point was right. It was time for my husband to take our relationship to the next level and his friend was encouraging him to do so.

Sooner or later you have to decide to do something about your dream. You need to start sharing the dream with people. Start making appointments with people who could be involved with the dream or affected by the dream. Host an interest meeting. Post the idea on Facebook. Figure out what it will take to make the dream happen. More importantly, follow through. If you say, you are going to do something then do it. People are watching you, integrity is critical.

Six: One Day at a Time

From here you need to take these steps and apply them one day at a time. We just celebrated six years of this ministry; it’ll be seven years for me pursuing this dream in October. I employ these steps just as much today as I did back then.

I still need to trust and obey God each day recognizing that He is the dream-maker and I am a steward of this dream, which always leads me to a place of surrender – “Not my will Lord, let yours be done.”

It’s easy to let other’s opinions become more important than God’s. The only way I can accomplish this and the others I just mentioned is by getting into the Word of God every day. Otherwise, I get a bit lop-sided in my thinking.

I still need to be in student-mode. I am committed to being a life-long learner. Taking what I learned and acted on it. Professional development is just as significant now as it was back then. If I let comfort or status quo be my guide before we know it we’ll become outdated, inefficient, and eventually unsuccessful.

The Dream is Greater Than You

You see, when God lays a dream on your heart, it always affects more people than you. When your dream is from God, you have a responsibility to God and the people involved to follow through. There is a lot at stake.

Lives will either be transformed or not.

A change will occur or it won’t.

Communities will be altered or not.

When your dream is from God, you are responsible to God and the people involved to follow through. #Goddream

What will get you up in the morning is not your success, it is the success of God’s glory being made known. It’s no longer about you and your ego, but more about your willingness to serve in the capacity God has led you to with this dream.

You’ve got some big choices to make. You are the one God has selected. The time is now. What will you do?

Comment below: Share what your God dream is (because I love to hear about other people’s dreams) and share what you think your next steps might be and how you will start to see your God dream come to fruition.

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