How to Move Toward Your Dream

During the GateWay Pastor Appreciation Breakfast, we were privileged to hear a presentation from Phillip Kelley, chaplain of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Using an acrostic for DREAM, Phillip presented some inspiring ideas for how we can move toward our dreams. Although we’re adding some nuggets of text in this blog post – information we share with our GateWay women – we give credit for the original acrostic to Phillip Kelley.

D = Desire – the WHAT of your dream

Knowing what we truly desire helps us focus on the details of our dreams. Then as we focus on what the dreams entails, it can also expand into new territory.

As we focus also on God and the desires he has for us, we begin seeing him show up everywhere. When we are more aware of God and his presence all around us, it helps us confirm our dreams and move forward.

We also realize our dreams DO count for something. As the Psalmist wrote, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 TNIV).

R = Reason – the WHY of your dream

Sometimes we may wonder why we are so focused on an idea or why we feel a particular nudge in our hearts.

That inner voice is definitely worth listening to, because it might be the Holy Spirit urging us to listen and obey – to march forward and accomplish our dreams.

Michael Hyatt wrote, “When you know your why, you’ll know your way.”

Our “why” – the reason for our dreams – gives us the motivation we need to keep moving toward the goal.

E = Experience – the WHO of your dream

Each of us owns a personal experience story, the bumps and bruises along the way as well as the joys and exciting events that have happened to us.

God can use each one of those experiences to move us toward our dreams. Like stepping stones advancing us toward the next experience and the next goal.

How we own those experiences and how we react to them determines how successfully we navigate. We can become bitter or we can learn and grow better.

The Bible also confirms the importance of our experiences, “God comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4 TNIV).

As God comforts us and teaches us, we learn. Then we can pass on that learning to others and use it as a springboard for our own dreams.

A = Abilities – the HOW of your dream

We have each been given talents and giftings unique to our personalities. Often, we take these abilities for granted.

For example: the stay-at-home mom who organizes birthday parties has a gift of administration and detail-orientation. She may not realize how important she is to the family unit, but that gifting becomes the ability to get everyone to doctor appointments on time, to plan for meals and to make sure everyone in the family has a fun time on their birthdays.

Think of all the things you do in one day’s time. How do those activities line up with your abilities? When you feel energized by a certain activity, that’s a good sign you are operating out of your strengths and specific abilities.

Then those abilities become the action points for moving toward your dream. Lean your life into the abilities that strengthen you.

M = Maturity – the WHEN of your dream

Throughout our lives, God is in the process of growing us up. We become mature by moving through experiences and using our abilities to make progress.

Even though a dream may be realistic and so very important to us – we may not yet be ready to see it happen. God does stuff in us before he does stuff through us.

For example: it is rare for a person who carries the dream of writing to sit down and put together a best-selling novel. Writers learn how to write by practicing the craft of writing. That dream of writing and publishing a novel may come true, but for most writers – the dream becomes reality only after many hours of trial and error, rejections and starting over.

Are we defined by our circumstances or will we allow God to refine us because of our circumstances?

We may often feel as if we’re going backward instead of forward, but we need to remember that failure does not define a person – it is only an event.

As we learn from our failures, we become more mature. Then time determines the when of our dreams.

A good exercise would be to think about your current dreams, then journal through this acrostic. Check to see how you’re moving forward and perhaps what your next steps might be.

If you need help, call us at GateWay of Hope – 913.393.4283. We help women transform their lives and find that hopeful place where dreams come true.

©2017 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

How to Deal with Discouragement

discouragementOne of the lines in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” presents a great truth.

Clarence, the second class angel who’s trying to earn his wings, watches a video about his divine appointment. Then Clarence asks God, “What is wrong with George Bailey. Is he sick?”

“Worse,” God says. “He’s discouraged.”

Anyone who has experienced discouragement knows it is a feeling of being sick at heart, a heaviness and a dread, almost a hopeless feeling.

We might define discouragement as a black cloud that hovers over us, stealing our joy and distracting us from the abundant life. We feel melancholy and can easily slip into a gloomy pessimism that eliminates hope.

Sometimes, as in George Bailey’s case, discouragement settles in because of the circumstances of life. George was facing the possibility of jail time and scandal because his uncle lost the company’s money. Basically, George was discouraged because he thought he was worth more dead than alive. He listened to the lies of Mr. Potter, and then considered taking his own life.

Discouragement escalated to despair.

Some of our discouraging circumstances might revolve around a financial setback, a health issue, a child who denies her faith, the loss of a job – or any number of struggles.

Sometimes discouragement is a result of how others treat us. Constant verbal abuse that tears at our self-esteem or someone who ignores us when we so desperately need to be cherished.

Any type of devaluing statement can cause discouragement. This is one reason why our words are so important.

Sometimes discouragement creates a rut of gloominess, especially when we’ve experienced a series of losses. We feel we’ve struggled so long, we can’t move forward and we don’t know how to climb out of that dark pit.

So what do we do when discouragement settles in? Can we pray for an angel, a Clarence, to come alongside us?

Yes, we can. We can ask God to send us encouragement through the presence of angels or through the kindness of other Christians. God knows the exact gift we need or the exact words we need to hear.

We can ask Jesus to pray for us and help lift us out of our melancholy. His role at the right hand of God is to intercede, to remind God of what we need and ask for divine intervention. So we can cry out, “Jesus, pray for me. Send help!

Sometimes the way out of discouragement comes through powerful music. Just listening to a song or even dancing to the music can help us feel better.

When we are discouraged, we can talk to counselors and coaches at GateWay of Hope who will help us find the root of the problem and formulate a plan to move forward.

And we can remind ourselves that discouragement doesn’t have to win.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 TMB).

What are some practical steps for dealing with discouragement?

  • One day at a time, present the discouragement to God.
  • Journal about your thoughts.
  • Check with us at GateWay for ways we can help you.
  • Stay in hope – don’t lose heart.
  • And keep reminding yourself … Discouragement does NOT have to win.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

 

When Discouragement Settles In

depressed womanOne of the lines in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” presents a great truth.  Clarence, the angel who’s trying to earn his wings, asks God what is wrong with George Bailey. “Is he sick?”

“Worse,” God says. “He’s discouraged.”

We might define discouragement as a black cloud that hovers over us, stealing our joy and distracting us from the abundant life. We feel melancholy and can easily slip into a gloomy pessimism that eliminates hope.

Or we might go as deeply into the discouragement that we eventually develop the darkness of depression.

Sometimes, as in George Bailey’s case, discouragement settles in because of the circumstances of life. He was in danger of losing his business and going to jail for a mistake he did not make.

For us, discouragement might be the result of a financial setback, a health issue, a child who denies her faith or a host of other struggles.

Discouragement may be the result of how others treat us. Constant verbal abuse that tears at our self-esteem or someone who ignores us when we so desperately need to be cherished.

Sometimes discouragement creates a rut of gloominess. We feel we’ve struggled for so long, we can’t move forward and we don’t know how to climb out of that dark pit.

So what do we do when discouragement settles in? Can we pray for an angel, a Clarence, to come alongside us?

Yes, we can. We can ask God to send us encouragement through the presence of angels or through the kindness of other Christians, through the changing of circumstances or through a special song we hear on the radio.

We can ask Jesus to pray for us and help lift us out of our melancholy. His role at the right hand of God is to intercede, to remind God of what we need and ask for divine intervention. It’s okay to ask Jesus to pray for us.

We can talk to counselors and coaches who will help us find the root of the problem and formulate a plan to move forward. GateWay of Hope offers counseling, coaching and support groups. Check out our website for more information.

We can also remind ourselves that discouragement doesn’t have to win.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

  • One day at a time, present the discouragement to God.
  • Journal about your thoughts.
  • Check with us at GateWay for ways we can help you.
  • Stay in hope – don’t lose heart.
  • Share the truth about your feelings with a trusted friend.

Discouragement doesn’t have to win, and we CAN live the abundant life in joy. Let’s all band together and fight against discouragement.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

 

When the Trail is Hard

“Saddle up. We have a trail to blaze….”trail

The children’s voices rang loud and clear in the gymnasium that morning. It was Grandparents Day at the Christian school where I taught kindergarten. And as they continued singing I realized it could lend me hope for the new trail I was on.

For five months, our 16 year-old daughter had been gone from our home. One month after returning home, she realized she was pregnant. She broke the news to us the day before Grandparents Day.

Navigating life with our prodigal child was like blazing a trail in a foreign land. I was saddle weary, and now the Lord wanted me to blaze a new trail?

I was devastated. “ No Lord, not me. Choose someone else. This is too hard!”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 came to my mind. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

“But I don’t want to be the mama to comfort other mamas!”

I continued to listen to the chorus with tears streaming down my face. “Follow God into the glorious unknown….”

As the song ended, it seemed my hopes and dreams for my daughter ended, too. Pregnancy would change everything.

I had more questions than answers. How would she finish high school? What about college? Would her boyfriend stick around? How could she support a child? What about adoption?

That year I learned to rely on God for each step in that “glorious unknown” and He was faithful. Our local pregnancy resource clinic, where ironically I was a counselor, became a haven for us.

If I could love, encourage, and pray for other women in unplanned pregnancies, surely God would give me strength to do the same for my own daughter.

God began to take my shattered dreams for my daughter and turned them into His dreams.

After much prayer and counsel, our school helped her graduate before the baby was born. Her boyfriend came to know the Lord and they were married.

Then God brought our story full circle this fall as I walked hand in hand with my grandson to visit his classroom on Grandparents Day.

Now I count it a privilege to ”comfort other mamas” when their children beckon them into the “glorious unknown.”

Cindy Richardson©2015 Cindy Richardson
For over 20 years, Cindy Richardson has been guiding little kindergarten hearts to love Jesus while mentoring and teaching women’s hearts through Bible study, retreats and speaking engagements. Her desire is to encourage, challenge and inspire women to trust the Father’s heart.

Image Attribution: Boris Kyurkchiev

When Discouragement Settles In

One of the lines in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” presents a great truth.

Clarence, the 2nd class angel who’s trying to earn his wings, asks God what is wrong with George Bailey. “Is he sick?”

“Worse,” God says. “He’s discouraged.”discouragement quote

We can define discouragement as a black cloud that hovers over us, stealing our joy and distracting us from the abundant life. We feel melancholy and can easily slip into a gloomy pessimism that eliminates hope.

Sometimes, as in George Bailey’s case, discouragement settles in because of the circumstances of life. A financial setback, a health issue, a child who denies her faith.

Other times, discouragement is a result of how others treat us. Constant verbal abuse that tears at our self-esteem or someone who ignores us when we so desperately need to be cherished.

Sometimes discouragement creates a rut of gloominess. We feel we’ve struggled for so long, we can’t move forward and we don’t know how to climb out of that dark pit.

So what do we do when discouragement settles in? Can we pray for an angel, a Clarence, to come alongside us?

Yes, we can. We can ask God to send us encouragement through the presence of angels or through the kindness of other Christians.

We can ask Jesus to pray for us and help lift us out of our melancholy. His role at the right hand of God is to intercede, to remind God of what we need and ask for divine intervention.

We can talk to counselors and coaches who will help us find the root of the problem and formulate a plan to move forward.

And we can remind ourselves that discouragement doesn’t have to win.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

• One day at a time, present the discouragement to God.
• Journal out your thoughts.
• Check with us at GateWay for ways we can help you.
• Stay in hope – don’t lose heart.
• Discouragement doesn’t have to win.

©2015 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women

Overcoming Self-Doubt

Several things happened recently that led to my feeling rejected. Again. My internal emotional responses to such situations make me doubt how God can use me. I feel so messed up. Why would anyone listen to what I say when I struggle with rejection? Angela D. Meyer

In my saner moments, I realize self-doubt keeps me from doing what God has given me to do. It’s part of the enemy’s tactics to make me ineffective.

Over the years, my emotionality has led to rejection more than I’d like to admit. I’ve learned to stuff my emotions to avoid rejection. However, that leads to an outburst at some point, which causes even greater rejection.

I try to walk by the Spirit, but still mess up. I am glad that God is patient. I am not so patient. I often heed the cloud of depression that invades my thoughts. I give in to my go-to comforts instead of turning to God. I want victory yesterday!

Overcoming these self-doubts, starts with baby steps. Here are some things that help me as I remind myself of several truths:

• My struggle to handle my emotions does keep me aware of my need for God.

• This helps me be compassionate toward others and their messy worlds.

• It’s okay that it is a day by day, hard-fought victory.

• The emotions themselves aren’t bad – even if others don’t like them or me.

• I need to take time to be with God. Focus on His ability, not my weaknesses.

• Take care of my health. Get enough rest. Cut out the foods that interfere with my emotional regulators (sugar and over-abundance of carbs do it for me.). Go for a walk. Get outside.

• Replace bad thinking with right thinking.

• Choose to do something positive.

I’m not perfect. People will reject me personally and they will reject what I say, but God is always faithful and I’ll be okay.

I’m going to keep sharing what God puts on my heart and hope it makes a difference in someone’s life. And bit by bit, God will change me.

More and more days will find me walking in victory and being effective in His kingdom.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Do you find yourself struggling with self-doubt? What helps you get out of this quicksand way of thinking?

2014 Angela D. Meyer – www.angeladmeyer.com