4 Disciplines Every Dream-Catcher Needs

{Click here to listen to my message on this topic at Carmel Mountain Church!}

{Photo: “Please Don’t Fall Cloud” by Gordon McBryde}

The Tums weren’t helping. I stared at the computer screen. Cursor blinking, mocking me: “And you dreamed of being a writer! Where are the words then, Miss Writerpants??”

I had some choice words for the cursor. Especially because it had the nerve to taunt me when I was so disciplined in making time, planning chapters, researching widely… doing all the TASKS to pursue a dream I’d held since clutching that shiny plastic trophy for my “Magic Whale” story in second grade.

We hear a lot of talk about following our dreams and calling. And about being productive. But sometimes it seems like productive only gets us so far. To really dig in and grab hold of a God-sized, envelope-pushing, heart-filling dream, we need to have version 2.0 of Dream-Chasing Productivity Tools (version 1.0 being the nitty gritty of planning, prioritizing and having SMART goals).

Turns out that kind of productivity comes from a special set of disciplines: 
 

Faith

God-sized dreams are just that: God sized. They require faith to pursue and develop, and faith is a discipline. It’s a choice to trust what you know is true as you pursue what you hope for. Practically, it means to surround yourself with truth: friends, scripture, books, nature (after all, the heavens declare the glory of God, right?). Faith doesn’t develop in a vacuum, and it’s a necessary discipline to chase our dreams.

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” ~Romans 10:17

Abundance

We can only pursue dreams as big as we see as possible. Discipline yourself to enjoy fullness in every area that supports your goals. Getting physically healthy? FILL the pantry, fridge, (your purse, glove box… wherever) with healthy foods you love. Pursuing a new endeavor? FILL time with life giving activities – things that reflect what you love and value most. For any dream, FILL your mind with gratitude for what you’ve already seen God do in your life.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus.” ~Ephesians 3:20-21

Vision

Vision sometimes plops in our heads when we least expect it. But more often, it’s something we pursue – something we discipline ourselves to see no matter how circumstances may contradict it. It’s the revelation of God’s heart for you (see Jeremiah 29:11) and the personalized dreams He’s inspired in you. The discipline here is to make time to cultivate vision: regular time to reflect, pray, dream and listen to God’s heart for you.

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” ~Proverbs 29:18

Persistence (to stick with – or find – your dream)

Maybe the day-to-day of life has seemed to squeeze out the possibility of a sense of deeper purpose – the kind of purpose that drives and excites you. That plays to your strengths and gives you joy. That’s where the discipline of persistence comes in. The tenacity to believe God has a plan for you, it’s a great one, and you’re wired specially for it (see Psalm 139). And… it’s already unfolding. It’s just a matter of time before you see it clearly.

“Behold, I am {as in right now} doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~ Isaiah 43:19

So choose it, friend. Live these dream-catching productivity tools. Your dream is closer than you think!

-Laurie

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