Congratulations! Your Dream Came True!

31button8You did it! You followed the steps, didn’t you? You fulfilled your dream! Congratulations! What else do you want to accomplish? You can do it! You know you can! With God’s help, you can do absolutely anything!

You had the dream of writing for 31 days on one topic. You published your 31st post on the last day of October, 2015. Congratulations! You really did it! You defined your dream; you prayed about it. You could imagine how you would feel on this last day, having completed the challenge. You asked the Holy  Spirit for inspiration and guidance along the way. You took your first step when you pressed the first key on the keyboard, and you did this every day until the end! Congratulations again! You did it!

And that was for all of those who did! Others of you are readers, not writers, and you, no doubt, have been inspired by the beautifully written narratives you’ve read this month. Perhaps your life has been changed by something you’ve read. You’ve begun to think about what your dream might be, or you already know what it is, and you have steps to take toward fulfilling it. Which step are you on?

  1. Define your dream.

  2. Pray about it for ten minutes a day and be sure it lines up with God’s will.

  3. Live your dream by picturing the end result.

  4. Ask the Holy Spirit for help and guidance.

  5. Take the first step whatever it might be. Often it is to pray and picture every day until the next step is revealed.

Others of you started the challenge like I did, but somewhere along the way you had to stop, or you chose to stop. Congratulations. You started, then you made the tough decision to stop. You stretched, and you won’t go back to the same place. You’re better for every day that you wrote. You learned something, you helped someone, you inspired someone. The ripple effect will not be known to you for a very long time, if ever.

Now is your time to reevaluate. Will you choose a new dream? Will you reframe the time expectation on the same dream? What do you want to accomplish? You are at step one: Define or redefine your dream. What an exciting time! A new day. A new dream. A new beginning! You can do it!

All of us are in one of these three groups:

  • Those who wrote all 31 posts, fulfilling the dream they had. I hope you will define your next dream.
  • Those whose dream was either undefined or was something other than writing for 31 days. You are our readers, and we are grateful, but you have a dream of your own. I hope you will define it.
  • Those who started the Challenge and then stopped. You have a dream. I hope you will define or redefine it.

It has been an awesome Challenge. I started out expecting to end up with a list of practical steps to take to publish a book. I had expected to be able to offer a copy of the ebook to all of my readers. That is for another time, but it will happen. As the first few posts unfolded, I felt that I was learning God’s thoughts on fulfilling any dream. I spent prayer time praying for the dreams of others and this time has been a treasure to me. I’m not stopping. I am still praying for you and for your dreams to be fulfilled because I know that many of your dreams are God’s dreams. I want to be a part of encouraging you to fulfill His dreams!

For me personally I have reevaluated. I am reframing my time expectations and moving forward to complete publication of my book Dare to Be Happy! Stay with me! You’ve become my friends!

Dare to Dream with me!

SharySignature

 

31 Days to Publish My Book? Not Likely! or Hold Tight to Your Dream!

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Here’s what happened to me. About two weeks ago when I logged in to my site, strange redirect messages popped up, taking me and perhaps you to parts of the internet I personally didn’t want to go. I saw ads for casinos, for things unmentionable, and for security issues that if I didn’t do something right away, dire things would befall my computer. In my view, they already had. I thought I had been hacked, and my beloved site here had come to the end of it’s road. Nevertheless, I was surprisingly calm, and prepared to rebuild.

I researched the issue, took the computer to a specialist, contacted Hostgator, WordPress, then Hostgator again, my oldest son, my middle son, my youngest son, then SiteLock. I considered paying $300 to have it cleaned up. Not really. I had no intention of doing that. I was ready to shut my beloved site down and rebuild. But  I considered the counter offer of $99 a month for two months and then $14.95 to protect the site after they cleaned it. Just before making the call to clarify some information from SiteLock, I went in to my site. I remembered something Kali, the customer service rep had said in passing:

Be sure to always update when an update is available.

I happened to open up my plugins file and see that my theme needed to be updated so I figured what can it hurt. I pressed it, and then opened up the site to see what effect that had on the appearance of the site, fully expecting to have to  maneuver my way around the ads as I had become accustomed to doing. Well, to my shock and amazement, for the first time in two weeks, no annoying, scary ads appeared. I checked it again on different devices. I couldn’t believe it! Something so simple had solved the problem, or an angel decided to fix it at the exact same moment that I pushed that button. That’s probably what happened. The good news is, I’m here. I’m writing. You’re reading,

31 Days to Publish My Book? Yes it is possible. I have no doubt that you can do that. I’m not going to be able to say that about this book, but I can say:

I will publish my book.

Somewhere in the five steps, there is a place for reevaluating the time frames we set. We have to keep our dreams in perspective and hold tightly to them as life happens around us. I realized in my pressing toward this dream how little time I have to give to it. I work quite a lot on my day job, and that’s okay. I am thankful to know that God is with me in everything I do, and He is showing me how to use the time I have on what needs to be done at the time. I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband to spend time with. He is extremely supportive and is a rock of character, conviction, and godly principles. He is so encouraging when I am facing delays, distractions, and self-imposed deadlines.

Here’s where we stand: I have a dream, a goal just big enough that I have to have God’s help to accomplish it. It’s to publish Dare to Be Happy, the book. I have chosen 31 of my favorite posts from 2013. I am still going through them with a fine tooth comb, clarifying sentences, placing or removing commas, adding paragraphs, weeding out unneeded words. It’s a much bigger task than I thought, yet I probably haven’t put more than 20 hours into it during this month. I would expect to easily be done in 40 hours and that’s not so bad to go from blog to book in 40 hours.

I still don’t know what will happen when I finish the draft of the book and upload it to Createspace. There may well be seemingly insurmountable issues, but maybe not. I know the step ahead of me right now, and I will daily take those steps. I am revising and revising until I am satisfied with the finished product.

One thought I am embracing is:

It’s too important to not do it right.

There’s no need to hurry through, and be disappointed in the end result. So I’m taking my own advice, taking a deep breath, and continuing to take a step every day. I am continuing to give ten minutes to my dream every day in prayer, and I am continuing to live my dream by picturing the end result.

I am most thankful to be able to share my progress with you, and to encourage you in your dreams. You can do it! Even if there are delays, distractions or discouragement, you can overcome whatever is in your way. You can step over it, go around it, or through it. With calmness, faith and determination, and God’s help, you will succeed! Your dream is within reach! Sometimes we have to stretch to keep reaching, but hold tight to your dream and keep reaching!

5 Vital Steps to Fulfilling Your Dream

  1. Define your dream.
  2. Pray for your dream. Be sure it lines up with God’s will.
  3. Live your dream by picturing the end result. Your faith accesses heaven’s resources.
  4. Pray asking the Holy Spirit your specific questions. You will get answers.
  5. Determine the next step and take it

Thank you so much for taking the time to come by and read my story. Feel free to comment or email me requesting specific prayer or encouragement concerning your dream.

With a heart full of love and thankfulness!

SharySignature

Day 16: Your Dream Is Within Reach

 

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It’s a lot like climbing a mountain. You have to take time to get your hook secured to the next ledge, get your rope attached to it, and then pull yourself up. I’ve seen it done in movies. I’ve seen my sons do it when rock climbing as they stretch one arm over their head reaching for a rock while bringing a foot up to place on a higher rock. Slowly, and with sometimes strenuous effort, they pushed themselves higher and higher and finally reached the top!

The day to day effort of read, revise, repeat can be strenuous, time-consuming, and possibly boring, but this steady progress gains ground and the goal is in sight. I don’t know what obstacles lie ahead after I reach the pinnacle of a completed manuscript, but that is where the real adventure lies. That is when we begin the ascent to publish Dare to Be Happy! I can feel the oxygen getting thinner as I ascend, the adrenaline begins to pump. We’re making progress every day.

If you’re following the journey, stay with me. Keep praying. We don’t know what lies ahead, and we feel like we are walking on water.

Remember the 5 Vital Steps to Fulfill Any Dream

1. Define your dream.

2. Pray ten minutes a day for your dream. Be sure it lines up with God’s peace and plan for you. If it doesn’t, go back to step 1.

3.Live the dream through picturing the end result.

4. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

5. Take the next step, and the next, and the next.

Remember a dream is a goal that’s just big enough to need God’s help to fulfill. The thrill of life is partnering with God, allowing Him to supercharge you to accomplish everything He wants to do through you.

Go for it! Today’s a good day to work on defining your dreams.

SharySignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 14: It Looks Like a Book!

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All writers know that when you start to write your manuscript, your words can take you down paths you had not intended to go. If you are writing fiction, I have heard that the characters take the story away from you and weave a different story than the one you had planned. This has certainly been the case with “31 Days to Publish My Book!” Instead of focusing so much on how to do it, I have found myself passionately imploring you to go for your dream. I have loved praying for you and will continue to do so. But today, I can add a couple of more steps to my list of Practical Steps for those who desire to move forward in publishing a book, as many of you should! It is after all your story, and it needs to be told!

Practical Steps:

1. Write your book.

2. Prepare your content.

3. Begin revisions.

4. Ask questions.

  • What is CreateSpace, and should I use it?
  • How much money does it cost to self-publish?
  • What is the best font to use for publication?

5. Get a CreateSpace account.

6. Order and read eBooks.

7. Download Grammarly and use it to correct your manuscript.

8. Plan the “extras” for your book: size, title page, author page,copyright page, back of book.

9. Continue revisions.

My mentor told me to customize the page setting in my document to the size of the book, my heart filled with excitement when I saw it on the screen!

It looked like a book!

That was a moment I will never forget!

Thanks, Anne!

Keep writing, my friends, and keep dreaming!

SharySignature

Day 13: The Fifth Vital Step

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As I embarked on this journey to publish the book in 31 days, I felt like I was stepping out on water. In my quest, I was able to identify five important steps to fulfilling our dreams. Here are the first four:

  1. Define Your Dream
  2. Pray
  3. Live your dream through picturing the end result.
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit for help.

I believe with all my heart that these steps will move you forward in the right way toward any dream you have. Remember I am using the word “dream” almost interchangeably with “goal,” but it refers to a goal big enough to need God’s help to fulfill.

Here’s a short way to remember the four steps:

Dream, Pray, Picture, Pray,

and the final step is simply:

Take a step.

When you have a dream in your heart, you can ask yourself these two important questions:

What can I do to move toward that dream? What step can I take today?

Sometimes there is nothing you can do. Continue to pray and picture and eventually you will be led to any steps you should take. You might ask every day,

Is there anything I can do today to move toward my dream?

My first step was to get my computer in good working order. I did that. My next step was to organize my posts so that I could efficiently sort through them and choose the ones that should be used. By the time each step was completed, I knew what step to take next. My third step is to copy and paste each post into a word document, and the fourth step is to meticulously revise each one. This is where I must stay now until completion. I will be doing this over the next several days. I hope to post a progress report occasionally and reminders of the Vital Steps. I will be praying for your dreams as I pursue this time consuming step.

If your dream is a trip to Bora Bora, what can you do about that right now?

  • Check prices.
  • Get an envelope.
  • Put $20 in it.
  • Look at pictures
  • Make decisions about how long  you would stay and what time of year you might go.

You may get to a point where the only step you can take is to continue to picture it, pray, and put a little cash aside as you can. Step by step your dream will come to pass.

I could write quite a lot about steps that could be taken for all kinds of dreams, but what matters to you is that you determine what your first step should be, and then

Take that step.

I can’t wait to hear about your dreams coming true!

What step can you take toward your dream today?

SharySignature

Day 12: My Dream

31button8If you’ve been reading along since Day 1, you know that my dream is to publish my book in 31 Days. Ideally that means I will push a publish button on CreateSpace, and then happily wait for my copy to come in the mail. I am really stepping out on this because beyond a few steps, I don’t know what lies before me. You’ve been kind enough to join me on the journey, and I don’t want to let you down. Let me recap a little of how I got to this point before I reveal the final step on Day 13.

I jumped on board the 31 Days to Write Challenge because I needed a big push toward fulfilling my dream of publishing my book, Dare to Be Happy.  For years I’ve had the dream of publishing a book. 

Because I needed solutions to some struggles I faced, I used to get up in the middle of the night, go to the computer and type in “encouraging words.” I would read something inspirational, get my thinking straightened out, feel better, and go back to bed. I decided I wanted to be the one on the other side of the keyboard who provided encouragement for others. That is how the blog was born. Now I am able to read some of my own writings and feel encouraged.

My prayer is that the published version of the book will be beside a person’s bed whether through Kindle or paperback version, and they will be able to reach over, grab their Dare to Be Happy and be encouraged. Every chapter will point them to the Ultimate Answer in trusting in God through Jesus Christ, His Son, and every writing will give hope and build faith. Through this book, readers will find practical ways to apply God’s principles to create happiness in their lives on a daily basis.

I hope you will be one of them.

SharySignature

Day 11: What to Do When Your Dream Is Attacked

31button8Get ready, on Day 13, I’m going to reveal to you the fifth and final Vital Step to fulfill your dream, but first a warning:

Your dream will be attacked.

Note to self:

Sharon, don’t worry, if you feel discouraged, remember where discouragement comes from and ask yourself why the enemy of your soul would bother to try to discourage you. Your dream is dangerous to the enemy. Your mission is to fulfill your dream no matter how small. By fulfilling your dream, you will encourage others to fulfill their dream. Every time a dream is fulfilled, valuable territory is taken from the enemy. You must fulfill your dream, and you must remember that you can do it only with God’s help. Do not fear, He shall bring it to pass.

 

Day 10: Dream, Sweet Dream

31button8When we skip a step, we often stumble and fall. Step 3 of Vital Steps to fulfilling your dream is one of those steps you don’t want to skipl

Live the dream by picturing the end result.

This step follows so closely with Step 2: pray, that they can actually be done at the same time. I have just returned from a ten minute prayer walk and after I had poured out my heart and asked God to infuse His life into my book, I then pictured the end result. I saw a picture of the cover and I saw little whimsical graphics at the end of each chapter. I saw my copy arriving in the mail, and I saw myself meeting people who had been blessed by the book. That’s my dream.

Consider your dream:

If your dream is Bora Bora, then you can imagine your toes in the sand on that beautiful beach.

If your dream is cleaning out your closet, then picture yourself presenting your finished work to a friend or loved one. Picture the feeling you have checking that huge project off of your list. Picture the confidence you have that you can accomplish an even bigger task.

If your dream is finding the man or woman of your dreams, imagine the first date. Is it meeting for coffee or a gourmet dinner for two?

If your dream is for a loved one to be saved, can you picture tears streaming down their face as they tell you how God has met them where they were and set them free.

If it is difficult for you to get a picture of your dream, keep praying. Keep imagining. You will soon get a crystal clear picture of your dream, and it can eventually turn into a full length movie with you in the leading role. Dream, sweet dream. You will soon have what you are picturing.  This is your faith at work.

Have fun and live your dream through picturing the end result.

Progress Report: I am now muddling through corrections for each day’s devotional. Did I tell you it’s going to be thirty-one days of inspirational writings, hoping some readers will read one a day to get a happy start to their day. Today I wished each month was only twenty one days because I looked at the calendar and the clock is ticking. I prayed, and I pictured and I tackled more revisions!

Keep dreaming!

SharySignature

 

Day 9: 10 Minutes for Your Dream

 

31button8“It’s not possible!”

“You can’t do this!”

“No one will read it!”

“No one will buy it.”

“They will think it is cheesy.”

“It’s not near good enough to publish.”

These thoughts were relentless during the first few days after I defined my dream:

I will publish my book in 31 days.

Now I know I will publish my book. I’m excited about what God will do, and how He will do it.

What changed?

10 Minutes for My Dream

In my first post, I stated,

“I have no idea if it is possible to publish a book in 31 days.”

Do you hear the doubt, the questions, almost the expectation that I probably won’t actually get this done? Now I confidently approach each day with a surety that it will be done. I admit there is still the concern that when I get into the nitty gritty, I may run into more than I can accomplish in the given time. I am, however, much more confident that it can and will happen than I was ten days ago! That is amazing, marvelous, and well, let’s just say miraculous.

I reached this point through Step 2 which is praying about my dream for ten minutes a day.

  • I admit I set a timer because I have been known to be distracted and forget what I was even trying to accomplish for ten minutes at a time.
  • I admit that sometimes I run out of things to say during the ten minutes I am praying,
  • and I admit that ten minutes can seem like a lot longer.

But I can assure you it has been well worth the gentle pressure of my will to take this time to talk to God about publishing my book, to see what flows out of my heart about it, and to then go about my work knowing that He is guiding me and helping me.The finished product will be His. He is the Dream Maker!

You may say as I did in the beginning, “This is something I have never done. There have been days, weeks, and months that I have not even thought of my dream and if I did pray, I wouldn’t know what to say.”

I am confident that anyone who will pray over their dream for ten minutes a day will see positive results.

During your ten minutes, you can just lay it all out all there. Tell Him your fears, your concerns, your questions. One of your first expectations from your prayers is to determine the will of God concerning your dream. There are some things that we may want for the wrong reasons or things that we should not want at all. He will clearly show you as you lift that desire up to Him. This is why Step 2 is so vital.

If He is not in it, you really don’t want it.

Through consistent prayer, He will reveal His dream for you. You will find that it was a seed of a desire in your heart all along. Notice that inn the beginning, Step 2, pray, may circle you back to Step 1, define your dream.

Once your dream has been clearly defined and You know God is in it with you,

Continue to give 10 minutes for your dream every day.

When you pray knowing He is in it:

  • You can thank Him for your dream.
  • You can ask Him how to do specific things.
  • You can ask Him to bless the final product.
  • You can ask Him to use it for His glory.
  • You can ask Him to show you the next step.
  • You can ask Him to show you what the end result looks like.
  • You can say, “Holy Spirit, help me!”

Here’s a list of the first four Vital Steps:

  1. Define Your Dream
  2. Pray
  3. Live your dream through picturing the end result.
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit for help.

I know you thought I was going to write very short posts for a few days, maybe just a scripture or reminder of the five steps so I could focus on the manuscript. Good news, I have been focusing on the manuscript, but I felt a desire to pour my heart out concerning each Vital Step before giving the final step. Everything is moving along as planned, and I am excited to see the progress each day. I feel passionate about stirring up dreams in others and encouraging you to take the Vital steps necessary to accomplish what God wants you to accomplish. We’re in this together. Thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful day of dreaming and praying!

SharySignature