Monday, January 21, 2013

Ten Steps for a SAHM to Pursue a Dream

Do you have a dream? This is the perfect day to dream a dream. J


Following a dream can be a bit like putting on pantyhose. {My apologies to any men reading this. Perhaps you’ll still understand.}

You sit down and slide the pantyhose over one foot, then pull them over the other foot. You inch them along on one leg. Then you inch them along on the other leg. At some point, you stand up. You keep inching them up until they reach the top, bit by bit, tugging and stretching, steadfast, unwavering. Finally, you jump up and down a few times to set them, rejoicing at your success.

I know it’s an odd analogy, but being a Stay-at-Home-Mom doesn’t mean putting away our dreams. {Although it does mean putting away the wearing of pantyhose every day. Yippee!} Many of you know this. You run successful at-home businesses or you’ve found a part-time job that works with your children’s schedule. You pursue art, scrapbooking, writing, research. Dreams can be accomplished with persistence and patience, even when we have a myriad of other responsibilities.

My dream…*deep breath*…is to publish novels. You know, Christian fiction, Francine Rivers, Jerry Jenkins, Beverly Lewis, it-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night, stories of redemption and forgiveness and finding God’s way.

Obviously, I like to write. But there’s so much more I’ve been doing, behind the scenes so to speak, to work at this dream. Whether or not it will happen, time will tell. But here are some suggestions for how you can work toward your dream.
  1. Give yourself permission to dream. It’s okay, really. You never know what God will do. In fact, your dream might be a blessing to others!
  2. Research. What all is involved in achieving your dream? It’s hard to know if it’s possible until you know what it will take.
  3. Examine Scripture. Does your dream line up with God’s will? If the answer is no, switch to another dream!
  4. Enlist your family. You’re going to need the support and encouragement and probably a bit of help with the housework.
  5. Pray together. Pray alone. Pray unceasingly.
  6. Take one step. Test the waters.
  7. Eliminate anything unnecessary. You’ll know what needs to go.
  8. Pray some more.
  9. Take another step. Even just 15 minutes every day can add up.
  10. Pray and step. Pray and step. Continue on, steadfast, unwavering.


So, how do these steps looks for me?




My husband has been telling me for years that I should write a book. I finally decided he was right and allowed myself to consider that possibility and all the ways it might take form. I also knew I wanted my writing to honor God and encourage others. That lines up with God’s will.

My baby steps have taken, and continue to take, many forms. Here I am at the blog, generating ideas and shaping them into something worth reading. It’s taught me self-discipline as I meet my self-imposed deadlines.

I also have been writing and selling articles and short stories to various periodicals and Sunday school publications. It hasn’t been many yet, but each sale keeps me going.

Another step I have taken is to attend a local writers conference the past two years. I plan to attend a national conference this fall, and I also have a shelf full of books about writing.

My priority is still my family and homeschooling. Those two callings are immovable. So, I write at naptime to keep it from detracting from my family. Very rarely, I’ll ask the Mr. to occupy the children for a morning so that I can get a few extra words down.

How will this play out at the end? I have no idea. But for now, I pray and send out another short story. I pray and hit publish on another blog post. I pray and type out a few more words on my manuscript.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Continuing on, steadfast, unwavering.







If you’d like, share your dream. What steps are you taking to achieve it?

{We’ll return to the Big Family Idea Bonanza Series on Wednesday!}



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34 comments:

  1. Love these tips :) I have that same dream! Since I was a little girl I wanted to write novels...only recently have I dared to allow myself to hope that maybe it could really happen!

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    1. Go for it, Crystal! I'd love to read it!

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  2. I am happy for you. I hope you get to fulfill your dream. Don't ever give up. Hope you have a wonderful day.

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  3. Wonderful wisdom, Meghan! Great advice for all. Thanks for sharing. Your obedience to God and your husband will be blessed. I'll be watching for that first novel:)
    P.S. Curious about which writers conference you are looking to attend this year. I'm a nonfiction writer and will be attending my second national conference.

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie, and thanks for the tweet! There are many I would love to attend, but this year it's the ACFW conference (American Christian Fiction Writers). Where will you be?

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  4. I had a lecturer say one time "every Christian needs a dream so big only God himself can fulfill it." I so resonate with your dream to write. Many many blessings.

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    1. Love that saying! Thanks for sharing and many blessings as you pursue your dream.

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  5. The pantyhose analogy made me laugh, but it is so true!!! (I wear very long skirts now, and I'm glad I haven't had to wear pantyhose for probably over 10 years, except for one fancy date with hubby, and that was worth it. :) ) Anyway, I've always been a "dreamer." Lately I have been absolutely amazed at what "little stretches" and steps I took long ago are being used by the Lord in my life right now--dreams that He has allowed to come to pass!

    I am always looking for good Christian novels! I think that God can do a lot through fiction, and I would love to read your novel when it's done (and yours, too, Crystal!)

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    1. Yippee for long skirts! I love reading comments about how the Lord is using people or fulfilling them in some way -- thanks for sharing Christa.

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  6. I'm really not sure what my dream is right now. It once was to finish my PhD but I'm not sure my heart is in it anymore. I'm praying now for direction as I pursue a new "dream" and what exactly that looks like. I think doing God's will, though, is key. Continually searching the scriptures to make sure what I am doing or want to do lines up with His Word is crucial.

    Thanks for the helpful tips.

    Keri

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    1. PhD? Wow! In what? It's so hard to keep going when you lose interest in something. But I'll be praying for you to find God's will. It's exciting to be on the verge of something new that God has for us. Many blessings to you in this new dream, Keri!

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  7. Your dream is my dream :-) I published a few books and I hope your dream becomes reality too. Super, your husband encourages you. That is what we, writing women need. Personally, I read a lot. Would you write? Read! And yes, I bought books about writing. I learn lot of. independent learning :-)I love all your suggestions!

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    1. I have seen some of your book covers on your blog, and they look fantastic! Are any in English? I wonder if that is how most people get interested in writing, by loving to read? Thanks for commenting!

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  8. Thank you! Baby steps. My dream seems so big and unapproachable...but if I just concentrate on taking the first couple baby steps and trust that the rest will come when the time is right...

    So hubby and I finally made actual plans to work on the first baby step this year. And it feels so freeing just to know that I'm doing *something* in that direction instead of just completely giving up ME for the day-to-day drudgery of dishes and laundry and disciplining for the same things all day every day.

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    1. Oh dear. I didn't mean to imply that dishes and laundry and disciplining aren't worthy pursuits. I'm happy to do those things. And my writing won't be worth anything to me if everything else falls apart. But I think it's possible to have both. And sometimes the best dreams are big! God can do anything, so keep planning those baby steps, Rachel!

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  9. Thank you for this beautiful word of encouragement, Meghan. Sometimes as mommas, we tend to feel a bit selfish and guilty about having/pursuing our own dreams. I so want to help my children achieve theirs. But there is this little flicker inside that says "You can do it!" With 9 of my 10 children still at home, it will definitely be baby steps. But at least now I realize that it is okay to allow myself to dream.

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    1. I share that guilt, Cheryl. But I think we are better mothers when we also get to be women. I want to be careful how I say this, because I don't want anyone to think that we should set aside our family responsibilities to pursue a dream. But I think there is time for a little bit of dreaming, and it helps to rejuvenate us so that we are refreshed and eager when we come back to our mothering. Some women like to take long quiet bubble baths. I would rather read quietly or write. Both accomplish the same thing. Does that make sense?

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    2. Absolutely! I agree that it can make us better mothers. I've just struggled with finding the balance. I pour myself into the children and their lives and try to ignore those things that I would enjoy pursuing just because I am afraid of falling into the "me time" trap. But then I feel frustrated because I don't have the outlet that I need. Thank you for writing this post; as you can see, I really needed it!

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    3. It's a delicate balance -- feels a bit like a tightrope! I'm glad this helped. I'll be praying for you.

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  10. I loved this post Meghan. I think my dreams are short-sighted and maybe I should dream a little bigger??

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  11. I would love to write christian novels as well. I took my first step the other day by getting some books at the library to research time period facts so that I could make sure my details would be accurate. Even though I picked up the books, I haven't made any notes from them yet. I still haven't fully convinced myself that it is okay to pursue my dream. If my children or other people have dreams, I think it is wonderful and strongly encourage them to go for it. When it comes to my dreams, it is a completely different story. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Just a little bit at a time adds up, Amanda. Keep going!

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  12. Thank you for this post. I found you on the Deep Roots at Home link up. I think that it is only when we dream and then start moving, that sometimes God can then redirect us. We end up in places we never "dreamed" of. I like the way you included prayer twice. We always have to go back with that at each "inching up". Read my post:
    http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/01/preparing-for-easter.html

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    1. That should be point #11 -- don't get discouraged if God redirects your dream. If God points you in a different direction, it will be better. Thanks so much, Ana!

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  13. A very uplifting and insightful post, thank you. Stopping by from Thriving Thursdays Link Up. Have a blessed day. Tara.

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  14. Oh - how wonderful!!!! I have a similar dream. I'm not at a stage where I can do much with it (I guess I'm still dreaming) - but I know one day it will happen!

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  15. Fabulous ideas! It can be so hard to try to work toward a dream, so I love the way that you broke it down into smaller steps (and included a lot of prayer!).

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    1. Thanks, Angie, and thanks for your link-up!

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  16. Found you through a link-up! I pray God will make your dreams come true! I'm still in the midst of diapers and nursing, so it will be a while for me. But I'll start thinking about what my dream will be. I don't think it's to write a book!
    --Gena
    Http://ichoosejoy.org

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    1. I wrote on my About page that as a homeschooling mom of six, I'm living the dream I didn't know I had. The diapers and the nursing are a dream come true for me. It just got hidden underneath the world's philosophy that I should have a job as well. Enjoy that nursing while it lasts! Thanks for stopping by, Gena!

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