(Sharing this personal story and advice from an expert in hopes of inspiring even one person to begin dreaming again…)
Earlier this month, my husband Billy threw a surprise birthday party for me. When we had come home from going out to dinner, I happened to notice glowing, colorful balloons on our patio. I walked outside, and was pleasantly surprised by a group of special friends awaiting our arrival. My heart was warmed by the love of my friends, and the generous gifts that I received. Upon opening one gift, I was brought to tears. It was this engraved bracelet….
You see, a few weeks prior, I had an epiphany: I had stopped dreaming in my life. While commuting home from work, I was listening to the audio version of the book Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines (of the HGTV series Fixer Upper). Chip was explaining how he and his wife Joanna dream TOGETHER—when it comes to their personal lives as well as their business, Magnolia Market. I realized the following: Billy and I don’t dream together; in fact, I had stopped dreaming completely; and I had even grown cynical towards people I viewed as having unrealistic, “BIG” dreams. This really troubled me. So much so, that when I arrived home, I asked Billy what I should do to start dreaming. His response was along the lines of “just start dreaming again” lol. Dreaming has always come easy for him, but I felt perplexed. I didn’t know how to kick into “dream mode.” However, I knew that I had to learn how to do it-for me, Billy, and Liam…
So, I began a personal quest to find resources that would help me start dreaming again. I’m going to share a few just in time for the start of the New Year!
The first resource is a great Ted talk by world re-known author Mary Morrissey. In the video, she discusses how to “build” specific dreams, and she provides 3 powerful strategies for transforming dreams to reality. At 18 minutes, this video is a little long, but it has the potential to change your life. It is definitely worth the investment into our self-growth!
“The Hidden Code for Transforming Dreams into Reality”
The second resource is a list of reasons why it’s important to dream. Some of them may surprise you!
“11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams”
As parents, we need to model dreaming for our children! Here are some very specific ways to foster dreaming in our children…
“The Importance of Dreams”
I believe that God has been telling me that He wants me to start dreaming again. He has been drawing my attention to it in books that I’m reading, Facebook posts, and clearly in the engraved message on the bracelet I received for my birthday. I sense that He wants me to stop limiting myself, and to trust that He has very BIG plans for my life. Just as He has for you. It starts with us, and we have to be OPEN!
“Without a vision, a nation perishes.” Proverbs 29:18
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
A New Year’s Prayer to keep God first in 2018 (from Crosswalk)…
Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.
We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.
We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you.
We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run, and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.
We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways.
We ask that you would keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a close walk with you.
Forgive us for the times we have worked so hard to be self-sufficient, forgetting our need for you, living independent of your spirit. Forgive us for letting fear and worry control our minds, and for allowing pride and selfishness wreak havoc over our lives. Forgive us for not following your ways and for living distant from your presence.
We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again. We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for your refreshing over us.
Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been, hissing his lies and attacks our way, we trust that your voice speaks louder and stronger, as you remind us we are safe with you and your purposes and plans will not fail. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground.
We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us, we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed. We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but to say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.”
Help us to be known as great givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own.
May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives – your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.
To you be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever.
In Jesus’ name,
Do you dream? Or, do you plan to become more of a dreamer in 2018? What are YOUR dreams? If you tell us, we’ll share ours with you ;).
Happy New Year!