Got Dreams? Do the Work!

 

Happiness woman on grass with laptop and documentsI have been so encouraged by so many of your comments over the past two weeks. It seems like you could be right on the verge of discovering or re-discovering something big God has for you.

So let me push you a little bit…prod you a smidgen…spur you on, as Paul would say.

The Bible tells us that God will supply what we need, but that doesn’t mean we don’t prepare ourselves, and get ready.[tweetherder] Abraham Lincoln once said, “I will study and prepare myself and then someday my chance will come.”[/tweetherder]

He did get ready. He did prepare. And when his chance came to run for public office, he was ready for the challenge.

Oswald Chambers said, “Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready when God has called.”

Let me give you an example.  For many years I had a desire to write a book to encourage and equip mothers. This was one of my dreams. In the mean time, I prepared material and spoke to mom’s groups and at women’s conferences on how to be a great mom and raise great kids.

Through the years, I added to my research, wrote down personal examples, and clipped relevant magazine articles. I  listened to others talk about what they felt their mothers did well and where they fell short.

I collected poems that would encourage and challenge mothers and stories that would spur them on to be the best mother possible. I even read about famous people in history and discovered what their mothers did to encourage them.

In my research, I noticed seven key ingredients that kept coming up time and time again. To help women remember those key ingredients, I ordered them to fit the acrostic BLESSED. She’s a Beacon, Listener, Encourager, Self-esteem Builder, Seed-sower, Example Setter, and Diligent.

Then through the years, as God revealed scripture and situations that illustrated those seven essentials, I placed them in a folder.

In the fall of 1999, I received a call from Moody Publishers. They had seen an article that my ministry partner and I had written in a magazine, knew of our radio program, and wanted to know if we had any book projects we’d like to write in the future.

You guessed it. I didn’t have to scramble to get ready. I was ready! Within weeks I was sitting in an office at Moody Bible Institute sharing my book proposal. Being a Great Mom Raising Great Kids was released in 2000.

My dream came true. It wasn’t by the wave of a wand. I had to prepare. Oswald Chambers also wrote, “Dreaming about a thing in order to do it properly is right; but dreaming about it when we should be doing it is wrong.”

But my preparation wasn’t all it took. God prompted the publisher to call. I could prepare, but I could not make it happen. That part is in God’s hands. My part, and your part, is to get ready—to do the work we feel that God has called us to do right now, today.

Is there something that you feel God has for you to do? What are some ways you can go ahead and prepare today? Leave a comment below. I’d love to pray for you.

Want More?

This isn’t a resource about “getting ready,” but I thought you might like to see the book that was birthed from the story in today’s blog. Here’s my sweet “baby!” Click on it to read more…

 

43 Responses to Got Dreams? Do the Work!

  1. Nancy Beneteau October 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    “HI Sharon
    There is much to pray for. Most importantly my husband who is lost in a world of selfishness, material satisfaction, denial and not wiling to find Jesus in his heart. It hurts me to see him like this because he is so full of pain and bitterness.
    The other thing is my book. I am writing a book of poetry and then adding my life story into it. It;s done but now I have to wait for the funding to be able to afford to publish it. So I guess I need prayers for that.
    Thank you for your encouragement. I know God is leading you and I thank Him for that.
    Nancy”

  2. Mimi October 3, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    “Yes, I do! The youth leader at our church. I can start by truly believing GOD
    has & will continue prepare me.
    I would love prayer, i am VERY hard on myself & catch my “”stinking thinking”” saying, “”i am not smart enough.”” Abba Father, I NEEED you in this day, today, to rain down
    “” I Am Smart!”” Your servant is listening, O God, In Jesus name,
    Amen & Amen”

  3. Sara October 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Wow! You hit the nail on the head! I felt called to write several years ago and began writing short stories of God’s answers to my specific prayers. Sort of a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” type of book. I have quite a collection. Then in Dec of 2009, my 17 year old son attempted suicide after years of being bullied at school. For my “therapy” I kept a journal and then began writing that story. It has taken me all these years to work on it in the nooks and crannies of my life but I am nearly finished w/ the rough draft. What will God do with this??? I have NO idea! But I do know that teen suicides are so much more prevalent than past generations and I have felt God’s prompting to visit and revisit the lowest time in this mama’s life in hopes of helping someone else. I am prepared though, should the opportunity arise. I have joined a writer’s group in my home state and will attend a writing conference this weekend to further my resources and contacts. Thank you, Sharon, for your encouragement to keep moving forward! God bless you.

  4. Wendy October 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    “Aloha Sharon
    Thank you for all your Encouragement,
    I’m waiting for my husband to find me!
    Mahalo
    & God bless You
    From Hawaii
    Wendy”

  5. Lisa October 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    “Please pray that my husband Is protected by
    God during these trials we r going through with
    His old partner in business it has been going on
    For two years .”

  6. Linda King Tribble October 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    “I believe God is birthing a healing ministry in me. To be honest sometimes well a lot of times I am actually afraid of it. What ifs try to step in and shut me down. I am currently a Mary Kay Consultant and I love what I do. I am working towards Top Directorship with the company. I also am starting chemotherapy on Oct. 10, 2013. I had breast cancer surgery on Sept. 4, 2013. I would love for you to pray for me, please.

    With all my heart and my love;

    Linda King Tribble”

  7. Yvette October 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Oh Sharon , YES , I do feel there is something The Lord desires me to do for him and I know what it is, I’m just scared I think, no I AM SCARED!! I don’t want to disappoint him , I don’t want to mess it up. When I was little a lady told my mom that I would be known through out the world , I could never see it. My mom is a wonderful sweet woman of God and would always tell me to hold on that God has a plan for my life and I would come to know it. We’ll to make a very long story short, I’ve been married 32 years with too many ups and downs ( infidelity, an outside child on my husbands part and an addiction to pain killers on part which I have since over come with Gods Grace ). About two weeks ago I was watching Marilyn Hickey and there was a lady on there singing a song called Jeremiah , it moved me to complete and total tears I was on my knees crying , then the Holy Spirit spoke to me , to go to the women’s jails and talk with them.!! Of course I will I have always wanted to do that !! My Greatest Love is helping others, that’s why I went into Psychology & Sociology. But now MY Father, WOW MY Father , what an honor I feel as I type those words wants me, dare I even say needs me ? Help me dear Lord not to be fearful take this fear away from me, I just want to please you. I had been attending Church occasionally , when I raised in Church attending each Sunday and very active , All my brothers and sister were. But also I had gotten into watching certain ministers on TV and taking notes like I was in class!! I have I don’t know how many note books of notes on topics that they covered that hit home with me !! Also I’ve always wanted to write a book on the things I’ve been through and how The Lord brought me through, maybe instead of writing a book I can tell my story !?? What do you think Sharon??? Ya know something was holding me back from writing this , I’m so very glad I fought through it and with Gods Grace wrote to you anyway !! 🙂 be Blessed

  8. Tina Dankyi October 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    “Dear Sharon,

    I am blessed and inspired by today’s message. I cannot tell you how many years I have spent dreaming and not getting anything ready for the assignment God has given me. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am going right away to my desk to start mapping a strategy on how to go about my assignment. I am called to set up a huge facility to accommodate and educate children that I pick from the streets. God told me specifically that the institute will be as refinery that churns out finished products and that I will give to the children from the streets the same things that he wealthy and the elite in society enjoy. I have known this for almost three years now and I do not have so much as a proposal in hand. Please pray with me and once again thanks so much for sharing. Reading and being inspired by you all the way in Ghana, Africa tells me that God is able to do all things. God less you richly. Keep on keeping on!”

  9. Lucinda October 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Sharon, I would love your prayers in my nudging to leave my current career and take up a second career as a math teacher. I am preparing, but am not sure about the transition timing due to kids in college and a sick parent. Thank you for your blogs and sharing your God given gifts with the rest of us!

  10. Angilen Adkins October 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I have always been blessed with the written word. I knew this since my high school years….always knew there was words inside of me that others needed to hear. Please pray that I redeem the time wisely and activate the gift God has blessed me with. Please pray that my spiritual environment become instrumental in me reaching that point of making my dream a reality. Again, thank you!

  11. Diane October 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    “This blog Answer to a prayer of mine yesterday. I believe this was God’s answer to my question about me going in the right direction. I am in nursing school right now
    larning all I can about nursing to get my Associate’s degree. This was God telling me to keep plugging away and not to give up. It can be overwhelming at times. I know now that when these 2 years are done, God will be there with a job gor me. Thank you Sharon”

  12. Tana October 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    I am a recovering addict, a little over three years clean. My dad and my brother are heroin addicts, and heroin has become “the drug” among the youth, in our little Midwestern community. Not only in ours, it’s a nationwide epidemic. My kids and I have seen friends of theirs overdose and die. “Good kids” and “Bad kids” alike. The Lord keeps putting things on my heart and I keep acting on them. I keep meeting people involved in overdose prevention and gathering research. It is slow going trying to get the information out there. People are reluctant to admit that this is happening in OUR community. But it is. The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy our kids and he has brought heroin. That’s a pretty big temptation.

  13. Michelle Devol October 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    “I know that God wants me to one day open a facility for those early learners, especially those that come from homes that may not have a lot of money along with children that have disabilities. Which is why I am in school to get my credentials. I also feel like I should write to children, to inspire them to be the little guys God has called them to be, also to encourage them to not try to rush ahead. Lastly, for my husband to help encourage him to keep on putting together the book God has called him to do. That is a tough one because he will begin many things but never finish, why because he does think he can and does not want to disappoint God. (I believe to be the two key reasons). Thank you for your prayers, and inspiration. I know that God will help me and my husband, I just hope I will always keep on encouraging him no matter what.
    Michelle”

  14. Pamela Nipper October 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    thanks for being such and encourager like I have told you before you just seem like a dear friend…when you talk to me through your writings…I am a teacher God called me 35 years ago to teach and now I sub in some really tough classes with kids who have no light…I try to light their world for a day or so…Now that we have an empty nest and are close to retirement I am not sure what God wants me to do… I write a little I have at least 20 prayer journals of writings to Papa but not sure that is it…love to craft and make jewelry reading your book on Dreams and praying for Him to show me His dreams for me…Please pray with me…just not really sure now

  15. Faith October 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Beautiful written article, Sharon! I receive such joy and peace while I read your writings! Sounds like you are an awesome mother, too! May the Lord continue to bless you and all the readers who come to this site.

  16. Lorna October 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    WOW… Thank you Ms Sharon, I really needed that. I have a burning desire to start a non profit organization. You’ve encouraged me even more. Be blessed!!!!!

  17. Dianne October 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Tell my story !

  18. val October 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    “I am now a single mother of 6 children; all by men that I felt that loved me. For a long time, I just didnt know my purpose for existing becuase it’s always something. I have learned that trials is what makes me strong and to RELY on GOD.

    I am now being faced with going through the biggest trial of my life. My husband who I thought was a Godly man who I fathered two kids with has decided that he doesnt want to be eith me anymore.

    I just feel that I have been through so much in my life dealing with low self-esteem, substance abuse, and etc that God wants me to tell my story through a WOMEN’s Minisitry… SO I ask for prayer for direction and guidance”

  19. Caroline October 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    What a great article! I also have a dream of writing a book to help women who are in emotionally abusive relationships. I was married to a man in ministry for 12 years that turned out to be a fraud. Now I’m a single Mom with 3 kids and have a real burden to come alongside women in these situations. My heart is not in any way to promote divorce, but to encourage women to address the issues and not be afraid. Many women are living suppressed and hindered from being who God wants them to be if they simply ignore the problems. It then passes unhealthy relational examples to the children. Anyways, I’ve been putting this in the “someday” category but it really helps to think of small steps I can be taking to get ready even in the midst of a very busy schedule. I’m leading a women’s group at church now, so at least it’s a start. If it’s meant to be, God will open the doors. Thanks again for your insight!

  20. Rebekah October 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I don’t believe in dreams or that God has a plan for me. It is hard to see that i really clearly have a a call on my life and here i I am almost thirty years old, still struggling to find a job I can keep and a place of my own. I grew up in church all my life, is God real?

  21. Sheryl October 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    I want a chance to be part of the worship team, at one time I was leading worship. Then I let my pride get in the way and then began to gossip about the gifts of others in a very ungodly manner. God pulled the “Musical Rug” out from under me. There are days that I can barely match pitch. I so want the opportunity to serve again, I do not want to lead, just be on the platform using the gifts that God has given me. Only this time doing it God’s way. I would so appreciate your prayers, you are such a blessing to so many.

  22. Debra October 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Thank you so much for thess words. I have a book I feel God wants me to write about the things he has done in my life . Wow is the name of my book and know I keep seeing the word wow all the time and then you say this to day . I am sitting down now and starting to write not sure how to do this but God will work it out I do clowning and hope some how God will show me how I can use my clowning for him. I do go to hospitals. Also God keeps bring up singing to me have so much fear when I do get up to sing. Use to be in singing group but moved . So in a new place don’t know many people but I am going to start doing the work and see what God dose. I read all the comments here and I will pray that God leads all if them maybe we can all pray for each other. Thanks again.

  23. Nichole October 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    God showed me a vision of myself standing and playing guitar& singing before a crowd. He told me i was going to write music for him as well. Another vision was running a shelter for homeless individuals…pray God will help me prepare.. i feel so unworthy but i know i have been called to do that..

  24. Diana October 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Thanks for this bit of encouragement, Sharon! You’ve turned up the heat on a slow-simmering book I started and subsequently left for a time. My book will be partly my story and partly faith-based fiction, meant to offer hope to those shattered by divorce. Please pray that God will continue to give me the words to write and then bless the product so that broken lives will find restoration in Jesus. Blessings on your work and thank you again for encouraging so many!

  25. Kalyani October 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    “Hi sharon, It was a really lovely and an encouraging message. I always thank God for the anointing you have. I have always loved writing and speaking things that would encourage others. My friends say I am at good consoling and counselling others but they say so because I have studied psychology. What I feel is God is calling me to write and preach today’s youth about addictions, lust, break-ups, letting go-moving on, career, pornography, forgiving, revenge, holding grudges. I feel He’s callin me to open their eyes which are closed due to blindness devil has created. And already preparing for it through my Blog with the help of Jesus and my pastor.
    I don’t know how to say this, but twice God has prompted my pastor to ask me to speak on the things that have impcated my life. Things like effects of confession and speaking in tongues.
    Would really love it if you pray for me, for God’s will to come to pass. Cuz his word never returns void
    Stay Blessed
    Kalyani from india”

  26. Ligaya Williams October 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    “Sometimes I feel I lack direction, that my dreams are somewhat shallow that they constantly change! One day I want to be an accountant, three next day a writer, then a salon owner, and even a consultant of finances for low income. It would be great to have all these different dreams if I were 20 or even 30 but I am 47 years old! I don’t know what i want out of life except to live the rest of it drug free!
    I beg God to to lead my steps but I think I get in the way by not pursuing anything, getting prepared. I got an AA in business, studied cosmetology, and have had experiences to share overcoming quite a few things, but inside I can’t find the connection where i can really say I want this…..”

  27. Patricia A. Robinson October 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    So encouraging. I’ve written a book and started working on another one. The hardest part is waiting, because I felt led to sit and write my first book. I know I wrote it for someone or several someones, just don’t know what God wants to do with it yet. Thanks again for the reminder that we need to continue preparing while we wait rather than dreaming about it.

  28. Teresa October 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    “Hi Sharon,
    I believe this was a God sent message just for me. Thank you for the push and the prod. For sometime now I have felt the urge to write more than ever. I write in a journal after prayer. Sometime while riding down the road thoughts come to mind that would make for a good poem. Actually, I have a book of inspirational poems that I recite at Women’s Day programs and I’m told they are very good. Yet I find myself making excuses like Moses. My words are not eloquent, I don’t have a degree. Who would read it? I have started writing on a topic that I think would make an excellent inspirational book. Reading your post, Got Dreams? Do the Work has inspired me to continue to prepare myself for someday my chance will come.
    Thank you for allowing God to use you greatly!”

  29. Lisa October 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    “My dream…I’m preparing for is the Restoration of my Marraige its been a very long year and the Lord has been healing my heart.
    My prayer is that my Husbands heart will be brought back to the Lord and healing for him and our marraige!
    That you for you blogs they seem to give the bit of wind that I have so frequently needed to continue on when Almost everyone says give up and walk away!
    God is so Good and thank you for being one of him many messangers!!”

  30. Betsy October 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    “Sharon, I believe that God is directing me to serve more at a school, (Mi Refugio), in San Pedro, Guatemala. It is scary because I need to sell my house first. Could you pray that I can get the house ready, and on the market before the “”first snow””! You are a blessing.
    In Christ, Betsy”

  31. Dana October 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    I feel God is going to use me to speak to groups of women regarding marriage and being a Godly mother. I have been praying a lot about this, preparing by writing life experiences, etc. I can’t wait to see what God does!

  32. Rhonda October 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I am a writer, I have a several things written and have been published twice. I have big dreams which include screen plays, I appreciate your article because it lets me know I am on the right track. Thank God for you Sharon!

  33. Debbie October 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    I have a yearning to learn sign language for the deaf!

  34. Abby Jones October 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Hi, just wanted to say YES, my dream well one of them was to attend college, and now yea! for me I am doing just that. will start in a few days. Why so long, family and their came before me. I now realize that what I am doing is in the will of God for my life, NOW is always a good time to start your dreams…I am one for that…also a dream is , to have a family reunion with my siblings…have not had contact with them for about 5 years, but who’s counting…..I know that this too will come to pass…in the mean time my faith is out there…..

  35. Cindy October 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    This really spoke to me today. I feel like God is preparing me to speak and write. When I question when it will happen, I feel him telling me that I need to study more diligently to get ready for when he opens the door. This confirms it. I do teach SS and write a blog, but I feel like He has more in store. Also, I read your Book, “Being a Great Mom…” 2 years ago and it is still one of my favorite books. I plan to read it again soon. Thanks for you compassion and love for the women of God.

  36. Judith Di Stefano October 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    First, thank you for all you do! I feel all of you are my girlfriends. It has been on my heart to help young girls with their self esteem. It is my hope all young girls find the love of our Lord at a very young age so that they rest in His love instead of giving themselves away looking for love.

  37. Mallori October 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you Sharon for sharing this with us all! My story is similar to what others have written. I am a person who has so many dreams, but I fail to prepare for those dreams coming true. I am uncertain as to what dreams I should be pursuing and at times am just plain afraid, so I don’t do anything. Recently I reached a point where I actually started pursuing one of my dreams and preparing for what God may do with me. This leads me to believe (whether it is true or not) that this one dream may just be the one that God chooses to fulfill, and while my other dreams are nice, they may not be what God wants for me or maybe I am just not ready to fulfill them yet. Thank you again for your words of wisdom and insight.

  38. Dee October 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    God has instructed me to prepare for a new job. I am currently wanting for Him to move me into this position. Everything He has shown me has come to pass, I am just waiting on The Lord. Please pray for me to stay encourage during this time in my waiting room.

  39. Annita October 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Just had a chance to read this – & it was a blessing! Can’t say that I have a “calling” at this point – but, I know there is “something” in the works. At 60 – God’s not done! And, I love your encouragement & “down to earth” reality! Thanks! Have a blessed week!

  40. Zernah October 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Just read this now. Have been pretty discouraged… Since there seemed to be nothing going on with the dreams God has planted in me. So I thought, I’d better get my head from the clouds and do the work set before me, that of taking care of my family. I stopped writing my thoughts for more than two weeks now, which is not normal, and haven’t published any in my blog ’cause I felt that I have nothing to say. Thank you for this, Sharon. I’m overwhelmed by God’s answer to my confusion. It’s in times when my head is not busy with my own thoughts that His words get to me. I will do my best to prepare. And taking care of my family is part of the preparation process. In God’s time, I will be ready.

  41. Mary October 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Thank you Sharon for these words of encouragement. I feel God is leading me in the direction of starting my own Senior Home Care business. I have been procrastinating investing time on investigating and obtaining knowledge in that direction. I know that the Lord wants me to do this but my self doubt rises up each time I think about doing it!! I know that is the enemy and I vow to get up and start working toward the goal!!! Bless you for all you do for us women!!!

  42. Becky October 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    “Thank you so much! I’ve been feeling God calling me lately and I needed this push of motivation. I have suffered from depression for years and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago. Since then, I’ve met many people who struggle with similar issues. I’ve learned that our mental health industry is very broken and God has placed it on my heart to start a ministry to help people that are struggling. Suicide rates are highest between ages 10-24 so I’ve decided this is the age range I’d like to focus on.
    I also have a heart for animals and would like to incorporate this with my ministry as well.
    Please pray for guidance and direction and anything else you think I might need. 🙂
    God bless you.

  43. Naomie August 25, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    Hi Sharon,

    This is the time I’m getting to read this particular blog, i have read quite a number today and left comments for some.

    Yes, God has a lot for me to do today. I realized 2 years ago that I have a gift in PR/Communication but I studied for Finance (my current job is in Finance). I desired to work in PR/Communication, so I set out to study for it. I’m finishing my last paper this December and I know great things are unfolding to place me in my God gifted field.

    Also, I have a love for children of all ages, though I’m not yet a mom, but I hope to be one very soon. I hate to see children suffering or going through hardships of life. I desire to see all of them grow into their God given roles because children are the our future.

    A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend, and he asked me what it is I feel I desired the most other than working in a PR or communication setup. And out of nowhere, I told him I wanted to start a children’s home where I will get children of all ages, especially newly born/toddlers abandoned.

    I’m in the process of coming up with a business plan, so as to start the process of getting donors to help fund and come up with the children’s home of my choice.

    Please pray for me as I undertake these great gifts, opportunities, and God given roles, to fulfill God’s will.

    Hope you get to read this.

    Thanks.

    Rgds,

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