Dreams of the Daily & Daunting Variety

A shout out to the winner of the Home-Shaping giveaway from the weekend. She is:

Jenny Wilcox, time stamp February 25 at 9:50 a.m. Email me at karen@proverbs31.org to claim your prize!

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Do you have a dream?

Maybe it is a minuscule one; you’d just like to get your fridge cleaned out today and get caught up on your pile of paperwork. Then, you’d bask in the glory of a task checked off of your never-ending “to do” list.

Maybe it is a bit bigger; you’d love to get all the closets  and dressers really organized. They’d not only be neat and tidy and would contain only the clothes that are of the current season and actually still fit the wearer!

Or maybe you have a monumental dream.

No, I’m not talking negotiating for world peace or eradicating hunger across the globe.

I’m talking a tiny little dream tucked away in your heart, that although tiny, would take a great amount of faith to pursue.

Have any of you ever longed to step out and venture to try your hand at writing? At speaking? At leading women in your church and community?

Ever since I began to follow Jesus late in high school, I had an inkling in my heart.

I’d see a woman lead at church–teaching a Bible study; being in charge of an event or mentoring another– and I’d wonder in my heart if I could ever do the same.

When I began to read books that helped me understand and follow God, I’d silently wonder “Could I ever write a book that helped others too?”

When I attended events at church or summer camp or college which featured a guest speaker, I’d walk away and contemplate being able to communicate in front of a crowd what passions were on my heart about living life and loving God.

And I promised my little 1980’s self that if God ever did allow me to fulfill this burning passion, I’d try to  assist others with the lessons I learned along the way.

I had my first speaking engagement in 1986.

I was paid with a potted plant.

I wrote my first article in 1994.

I wrote for 7 more years with no pay.

Over 15 years into my journey, I attended my first  Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks conference. In one weekend, I had access to loads of information it took me nearly two decades to discover on my own.

Seriously.

The inspiring main stage speakers, practical “how-to” break-out sessions and opportunities to meet with publishers one-on-one to pitch my ideas was a crash course in speaking/writing/leadership 101 and an opportunity to network with those in Christian ministry & publishing.

A kind of “everything you’ve ever wanted to know but didn’t know where to ask” three-day seminar.

But girlfriends,  more than anything….God shows up at this conference.

I’ve known women who went to learn how to write a book.

They left determined to work on their relationship with Jesus even more.

I’ve know gals who wanted to know how to get started speaking.

They also left with a fire in their belly to start speaking kindness to their own family.

Pssst……

I’m now on staff with Proverbs 31 as the director of speakers.

Registration for She Speaks is now open. I’d love for you to join us there!

Now that my dream of writing, speaking and serving has come to be, I want yours to come true too.

So whether you’d like to write, blog,  speak, or be involved in women’s ministry of any kind, check out the conference here.

Don’t worry about the cost.

If you are to be there, it will happen. There is info on scholarships. And although I never obtained one when I first attended, God did drop a free plane ticket in my lap and an individual came forward that paid for over 75% of my conference cost.

And just today over at our executive director LeAnn Rice’s SheCooks site, she is offering a scholarship!

And remember to stay tuned to my site. I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve to help you with that daunting dream.

(Including a great giveaway designed to launch one of you off on your own blog soon with a special guest expert to show you the way!)

But I’d like to know in the mean time, do you have a ministry dream? What is it? I’d love to have the honor of praying with you about it.

I’ll do that when I take a break from pursuing my daily little dream of getting to the bottom of my antique desk’s current paper pile. :-)

Dream-chasing Blessings,

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  • God began a work in my life in 2008 with 8-12 year old girls. At first I thought it would be a bible study between me, my daughter and some other moms and daughters–but since then, we are now in 2011 and it’s just me and ‘my girls’. God’s girls. It’s us–Daughters of Zion. It’s a discipleship group. My hearts desire is to help these girls along the way to realize that they are Daughters of the King and that God has given them all they need to fight the strong fight on this journey called life.

    I love it, but feel so inadaquate in this role. But, one thing I am learning–“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called”. I wish I knew who said that because I think it’s one of the best quotes ever!

    I think my biggest struggle is… being seperated from the world as I am… as in music and tv(Only Jesus music and no TV–Cable, dish, etc. for us… just DVD’s in home), I am not up on all the times today, but I know this is what God has called us into for our family. All I can do is pray God gives me what these girls need to hear, even if I don’t know all thats going on.LOL

  • My dream is to help women struggling through separation/divorce and single mothers. I feel God has laid on my heart this ministry since I myself have had to endure so much during the past 3 years going through my separation, divorce and learning how to be a single mom. It has not been easy and if I can offer one encouraging word to another woman, then I know that is what God has called me to do.

  • Oh Karen, your blog posts always seem to hit me right where I’m at. Only recently did my long buried desire to write pop back up into my life. I’m a bit scared of it yet excited at the same time. A blogging friend of mine told me that the best way to hone my writing would be through a blog. So, after gentle nudging from my loved ones I decided I would start a blog. It’s nothing fancy. I had started reading through all the Caldecott and Newbery Award books and kept it in a journal. Now, I’m adding that to a blog along with a mini-review of the book and other thoughts. I may be the only one who sees it but I feel like I’m actually starting to embrace this writing bug that God has given me :)

  • I have been writing since I was a little girl. I suffered from deep, dark depression through middle school, all of high school and much of college. Just recently (the last year or two) have I found the answer…seeking God with my whole heart! I have always dreamed of using my writing to touch other women who have struggled and/or are struggling like I did. I keep praying about it as I feel God calling me towards a minitry of helping other women through a blog. I am just not sure where to begin at this point or if I’m ready just yet. But I hold this dream very close and one day hope to also tell my story through a book in order to give others hope for a better life free from the chains of depression. It is possible…through God only!

    Thank you for what you do, Karen! I love your blog and read it constantly! God bless you!

  • I had a dream to start a cooking business. Making affordable frozen meals that would make life easier for moms and bring families back to the table for dinner together. I was so sure that God called me to do this. I jumped in with both feet and it did not succeed. It closed 2 years ago and since then I just don’t know where I am supposed to go. I’ve been wondering in the desert. Biding my time looking for my next step. I also have a heart for teens who have aged out of the foster care system and have been trying to find a way to break in there, but so far have not succeeded. So, I have had dreams, and I do still, but right now they have no direction. Thanks for the blog. It’s a reminder to keep trying to follow them! God bless.

  • Hey gals— I am so touched as I read the desires of your hearts and your creative ideas!!! I am printing off your names and will put them on my prayer board to remember to lift you and your dreams to the Lord!

  • Hi Karen,
    I have a vision the Lord put on my heart over 9 years ago to minister to pre-teen/teenage girls about biblical beauty and self esteem versus the world’s version of these things.
    I am taking a step toward that goal by “shadowing” one of the leaders of the pre-teen small groups at my church this week to see if that’s where God is calling me to serve.
    Thank you, Karen, for offering to pray for us gals and our God-given dreams!

  • Do I have a dream? Many years ago I wanted to be on Broadway. Everytime I see drama and music used to further His kingdom, I wonder if I can still do that.
    I’ve done several skits for church.
    But most of all, I dream of being able to do something with my husband. He will be retiring in May and I want to be there for HIm. To work on us.
    Thank you for encouraging me to dream.
    God Bless

  • 9 1/2 years ago I had a daughter that died at birth. My husband and I left the hospital devastated, broken-hearted, and empty-handed. My dream is to start a hospital ministry for women who have late-term miscarriages or still births. I would like to send each woman home with a basket filled with a Bible, journal, grief book, and a few other items to comfort them as they begin the grieving process.

  • I whole heartedly believe it is God’s desire (gift & one of my callings) to write a book about my testimony of coming to saving faith in Jesus from Islam. I believe I can do it in terms of the actual writing but I constantly struggle with questions like “when will I have time to actually sit down and write?” “who will want to publish me?” “what will family members say about what I have to share.” A lot of fear/anxiety-oriented questions which I know are not from God. I don’t believe it is time to write it but I am praying that when it is I will walk boldly towards it knowing that God has it all figured out; from the smallest details to what medium I’ll use to write it to the bigger ones like editing and publishing.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have been so blessed to read your blog these last couple of weeks.

  • My dream has been to become a Dave Ramsey certified Financial Counselor. I currently coordinate Financial Peace University at my church and I want to take it to the next level so I can counsel people one-on-one. I have a special passion to counsel engaged couples so they can start their marriage financially strong. I have been praying and waiting on God for the answer to this dream for two years. And within the last month, I have approached the leadership of my church for their blessing. I hope to attend the September, 2011 training!!! God is so faithful and I have learned sooooo much in the waiting!!

  • I love to write stories. Reading books as a child and as an adult has been one of the biggest influences on who I am and who I am becoming.

    I would love to write a fictional book for kids that stokes their imagination and fires them up about a personal relationship with God.

  • I am cracking up. My husband asked me if I had a chance to please clean out the very mess fridge today. I had asked him to tell me something that was bugging him that I could do for him. So, when I read your very first line, about cleaning a fridge, I figured I had better get off the internet now and get hopping! Cyberspace will have to wait, I have a date with a messy fridge.

  • When growing up I often had my dreams dashed by a Mom and Dad who were often not there for me. One of my Mom’s comments when I made National Honor Society was, “they must have made a mistake”. Or when my Dad responed to my nursing scholorship, If you want to live at home and go to school you will have to pay rent.” I moved out, and went to work, married soon after that and soon became a Mother at the tender age of 19. I have forgiven both my Mom and Dad, but I believe the messages are still imprinted in my thinking and my heart. I would love for God to open my eyes and heart to a dream buried deep within me, so I can begin to live that dream. I am 62 and want to be a woman God can use. I am looking forward to your special post coming soon on blogging. Thank you and have a blessed day.

  • I have had a ministry dream for many years to be an encouragement to and promote strong families. I haven’t a clue at the moment what this would look like – in fact less of a clue now than when I first had the dream. I think at the moment, I’m burned out with my own responsibilities and maintaining things in my own home. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking with this dream, since life is so hard! And other times, I think isn’t that what the devil wants? To be a discouragement? Because the reality is that my family is probably not so different from any other family out there! Our family’s biggest hurdle is finances. My prayer is that God would use me, and that I would be brave enough to walk through the door that HE opens for me.

  • I do have a ministry dream…I’m just not sure what it is, doesn’t that sound crazy? I have had many dreams over the years of how I wanted to make a significant difference. I wanted to write a book, I wanted to speak, I do have a blog, but I have trouble finding time to write on it…all of these things have been dreams because I wanted to feel significant. I wanted to know that I (emphasize the I) was special, important, making a difference. I have read the book “Radical” by David Platt twice since this summer. It was life changing. I realized the desperate need of the world and how it REALLY isn’t about me (I knew this, I just didn’t KNOW this). Anyway, I have such a deep desire to make a difference to a lost world. My husband and I thought we had direction and this summer began working towards a big change and beginning a ministry…we prayed and got excited and thought it was perfect…and then the whole thing fell through. I was utterly disappointed and felt totally lost. I realize, now, that it just wasn’t the right thing. It wasn’t God’s plan and that is okay. But I still feel that burning need to do something…so I am seeking God’s will, praying, and hoping he sends down a flashing sign that says go here now! We’ll see. Until then, it is fun to dream about writing a book but I no longer have ANY desire to speak, I have realized that I HATE being looked at and the center of attention, I hate being noticed and would much rather just disappear into a crowd so no speaking for me!

  • I would love to start a blog where I can encourage women who are single moms like me. Being a single mom has its own challenges and I feel “a pull” towards having a blog site. Thanks for any info that you can give me about getting started and all. Please pray for me as this is one of my dreams that I would like to pursue within another year.

  • Yes!Yes!Yes! to everything you said. I went to She Speaks last year and I am praying I can get back there this year. I’m determined to complete a book proposal and meet with an editor. Money is always an issue. So is whether or not I’m any good at this or can be.
    Please pray for God to allow me to go this year.

  • I love this sign made by your friend, Trish Smith. I just googled her to see if she had a website where I could purchase one of her signs, but didn’t find one. Is there a place where I could see more of her work? I just discovered your webpage today via Proverbs 31 devotion from Friday and I must say I LOVE it!