FREE COURSE!!! Sow Seeds & Seize the Dream 12 Week Creative Course: Course Content Page #SeizetheDream #Creative #Goals #MondayMotivation

Welcome to the Contents Page for the ‘Sow Seeds & Seize the Dream’ 12-Week Creative Course.

This course journey is designed to help Creatives:

  • Shed mindsets that hinder creativity
  • Step out beyond your fears
  • Clearly define your Creative Destination
  • Set their course for your Vision & Dream
  • Take the steps of Creative Discovery
  • Encourage others along the way

What you will need:

  • The desire to take hold of your Vision & Dream
  • Faith & Courage to implement the tools acquired
  • A Journal to mark your journey & progress

Each Week a new course will be added below.

Intro: Gearing Up for the Journey

Week 1: Divorcing Perfectionism

Week 2: Building Memorials

Week 3: Establishing: Vision, Voice, Doing Intro

INTERMISSION WEEK

Week 4: Vision

Week 5: Voice

Week 6: Doing

Week 7: Dream, Imagine, Believe, Do, CONQUER! Intro

Week 8: Dream

Week 9: Imagine

Week 10: Believe

Week 11: Do

Week 12: CONQUER!

My prayer is that by embarking on this journey you will discover not only the courage and direction you need to make your Dream & Vision a reality but the faith to tend the seeds until your harvest comes.

To everything, there is a season. This is your season to sow your seeds of creativity!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Let Go: How I Learned to Step into My Dreams #MotivationMonday #SiezetheDream #Creative

Perfection has a price, but I cannot afford to live that life. It always ends the same; a fight I never win. Oh control. It’s time, time to let you go.” -JJ Heller

A few years back, on my birthday, I woke up after having an incredible dream. The dream was prophetic for my personal future. It hit straight to the core of some inner struggles I had been having. It gave me a greater hope for the future that I am now living.

For several years I had felt like I had fallen into a dark well or a completely lifeless creative downward spiral. Sure, I had been making art, commissions, and though I was pleased with the outcome of each, I have to say they were indeed lifeless … to me.

I was so detached from these paintings that I didn’t even really bother archiving them for my own portfolio. That says something. It says a lot.  My writing was like swimming through mud.

I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

Spiritually, I felt like I had been traversing a craggy wasteland, always walking forward in the direction of the sun (Son), waiting for this storm of torrential rains and floods to come, but I was always waiting, always walking, and there was never a drop of rain in sight nor a cloud in the sky.

I began to grow used to the desert, both the spiritual and the creative. Oddly enough, my inner spirit man never really felt like it was in a drought, just thirsty, content, but never satisfied. No matter how much I fought to be satisfied.

As years past in my reality, circumstances not changing, my hope for a better future, for the flood rains in my creative life and spiritual life to come, became like an old plane ticket in my hand. It had no expiration date, but neither did it have a date of departure, and so I ceased looking for one.

I was a desert wanderer. This was my reality. But on my 31st birthday, waking up from that hope-reviving dream, remembering other dreams that partnered with it, I began to smell the scent of rain in the air again. A change was coming and it was right on the horizon. Messiah Yeshua Jesus even led me to a verse in the Scriptures to solidify this newly revived hope and expectation.

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing what is new, let it now spring forth. Do you not know it? I am even making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Now, for several years I had been having a connected series of dreams about living in a trash bag tent in the desert amongst many others who were fearful of a coming flood.  So when I read this verse, and the images of those old dreams of my desert lands being flooded out with enough water to fill the oceans,  I knew it was a Word of life for me from Him.

This, however, is where faith gets tricky. People of faith LOVE a word about CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH, but they never take into consideration what CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH really mean.

Simple analogy, think of how a child who has come to the end of his or her stay within the womb feels when they are are BREAKING THROUGH to their new place. It is not a comfortable transition.  The very fluid they had been thriving on for nine months is squeezed out of them as they pass through from one existence to the other.

Isaiah 43:19 is awesome, but there is a verse that comes before it. This verse was the training breakthrough verse from me.

Isaiah 43:18 Do not remember the former, nor consider that of old.”

STEP 1: Confront your past disappointments.

In order for me to move forward out of my desert, I had to forget the things that were behind. I had a lot of disappointments and false starts,  a lot of heartaches, a lot of wounds, and all of those things not only blocked my creativity but stifled me spiritually and emotionally.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows.

I was in agreement with ‘forgetting’ all of those things. I had buried them for a reason, but I had not healed from them. I was still carrying them with me, and the load was rotting lot gangrene and affecting every creative part of me.

I began to think I was a failure because I could not make myself forget these things that Messiah Yeshua-Jesus had let out of the bag. I cried. I didn’t understand until He gently and lovingly told me a simple truth.

In order to forget what is behind, you have to confront it, heal from it, so that it never has power over you again.

You know what it is like when a clogged pipe has been treated and all that grime comes out before the clear water flows? That is what had been taking place with me ever since. I began to allow my pains to be redeemed, and I am talking about those old pains, the-school-bully-that-scared-you-when-you-were-nine kind of pains.

STEP 2: Embrace your unique path and timing.

The pains of not feeling good enough and trying to achieve those superficial plateaus that society has put in place, but failing every time. And why was I failing? Because these things are not part of His design or rather they were not part of His design for my life back then. Striving for those things (marriage, children, nest, 9 to 5 job … not really on the 9 to 5) at the WRONG time was creative suicide.

Because of my wounds, the ones that were sneaking up on me even though I had pressed them down, I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

STEP 3: Divorce yourself from perfectionism.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows. I was trying to control all of these things because I could not control the pain that I refused to confront. But now I know better. I was blessed with the chance to journey far way from home, away from the noise and get a glimpse of the creative woman I once was and am in the process of becoming.

I leave you to take another listen to the song that makes my heart dance. It’s one of my new anthems. It comes from the “When I’m with You.” Album by JJ Heller. The song is called “Control.” I have let go of the control now. I have ceased to clip my own wings out of fear and the need to control something, anything, just to feel secure. I gave Yeshua Jesus permission to heal my hidden hurts and to draw out the creativity that had been backed up.

BONUS: LET GO OF THE NEED TO CONTROL!

I gave up control and I am getting to know me again and you don’t need control for that. It’s actually best to let it go.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams?
  • What were some things that were holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Plan Big!: A Word of Creative Encouragement #MotivationMonday

When God is your partner, make your plans big!” ~ D.L Moody

Plan BIG!

You’d think that that exhortation would make every person who heard it celebrate with a motivated fire for action when in reality it makes a lot of people shrink back in fear and hide under the heavy blankets of safety and mediocrity.

Dreaming is not so much of an issue for most of us. But dreaming big . . . well, that has the power to not only knock the wind out of many of our sails but sink our boats completely.

Like me, I suppose you are wondering why that is. If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that insecurity and the scrutiny of others is what holds us back. The old ‘what will people think?’ phrase acts as the perfect glitch in our plans of action.

The very thought of failing in front of others, especially those who’ve minimalized our former dreams with the constant song of ‘you can’t,’ strikes us immobile. Them witnessing our former failed attempts doesn’t help either.

But is any of that really a reason to shrink our globally-sized visions down to something that only fills a shoebox? Are our past ‘failures’ really messages that we are not able to achieve the impossible?

I dare say NO!

If nothing else our past ‘failures’ are signs that we are indeed able to succeed? Why? Because even when we aimed for the moon and didn’t even leave the atmosphere, we still have the gumption to load up for another shot.

We are indeed meant to plan big, and along with that, we must rest in faith that every seeming malfunction has a glorious function for our good. We learn from every step we take. We are strengthened by every closed door. We can actually become better with ever affront against our determination.

Isaiah 54:2-4 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Dreaming BIG is a gift, a costly gift. It means we will have seasons and moments when we look foolish. It will require us to cast out our nets just one more time in faith even though we’ve been fishing all night and caught nothing. (Luke 5:3-7) But when Yeshua Jesus is directing our casting even when the progress looks minimal the process is optimal and so is the final outcome if we stick with it.

What we must realize is that the God of all Creation has big dreams and plans for each of us. When we trust Him as our Father we are then positioned by faith to prosper. (Jeremiah 29:11)  His thoughts for us are all GOOD and PRECIOUS  and they outnumber the stars and the sand (Psalm 139:17-18).

But part of seeing these dreams come to pass rest in our willingness to dream big, plan even bigger and allow the Giver of Dreams Himself to guide us on the journey. (John 15:5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

There is nothing that is too big for Yeshua Jesus to do and when He is our partner there is NOTHING we cannot do! (Philippians 4:13)  But it requires us to believe in and on Him, and take great leaps of faith.

But then, that’s all it takes.

So dream, plan and do it BIG! He’s got your back.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Revised from June 2016

5 Ways to Maintain Creative Joy: Wisdom for Creatives #Creative #Writing #Art

 

Being a creative person is a gift, one that is inherent to us all. Whether you are a writer or an artist, an educator or a parent imagining a new way to get your kids to eat their broccoli, you are operating in your creative nature.

For those us who want to take our creative passion to the next level and turn our hobbies into lucrative business ventures, we run the risk of facing burn out.

This burnout isn’t just from creating nonstop on something awesome. This burnout comes from being unprepared for the reality in the shift that we are making.

When our passion becomes a businesses there is another level of accountability that we have to step into, a level that is not as ‘fun’ as creating itself but just as necessary if we are to be successful.

With that in mind, I want to encourage you on ways to keep the glow of joy in your creating even as you stretch beyond your comfort zone and begin to make your passion available to your audience.

5 Ways to Enjoy Creating

  1. Make a plan: Realize that having an idea is just the beginning. You have to take the necessary steps that will take your plan and make it a reality and this requires time, dedication, and hard work. As Thomas Edison put it, “There is no substitute for hard work.” But the fruits are certainly worth the labor.
  2. Take your plan and break it up into daily, weekly, or monthly achievable goals: How do you eat an elephant? Whether with a knife and fork or simply your bare hands, it’s going to take one bite at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks, and neither will your next novel or great sculpture reach completion the very day you begin. Take things a step at a time. The Book of Genesis outlines how the world was created, one day at a time, one plan at a time, and with the completion of each day, God said IT IS GOOD!
  3. Don’t overdo it: Aim for a number of tasks you can do daily and have maybe one or two smaller tasks you can do in addition should you accomplish your big three in a shorter time, but no more. Time with family and friends is just as important and actually more so than work.
  4. Set work boundaries: Give yourself a dedicated time limit to work and then honor those boundaries. Boundaries create discipline. When discipline is developed our productivity is more effective. We can focus more on quality than quantity which saves us time in the end. Boundaries also create balance and enable us to enjoy our work and appreciate the freedom in our lives. I heard Pastor Ron Carpenter say, “The difference between a swamp and a river is boundaries. “ Because a river has boundaries it has a greater sense of order and bears fruit, whereas a swamp…well it’s a swamp. Both have water and trees but which do you most prefer to visit?
  5. Celebrate each victory: Even if you don’t reach your daily or weekly goal in totality, give thanks for what you were able to accomplish and give yourself a reward for a job well done. Whether it is in a specialty cup of tea or coffee, or just fifteen extra minutes of leisure time, be sure to celebrate. Celebration makes the worth just as worthwhile as the goal itself. Life is not just about the destination but each mile that makes up the journey. Again, if the God of Creation can see His daily tasks as good on the way to the greater destination, so can and so should we!
  6. BONUS: Remember that your value is not rooted in the work you do, that you are not measured by your victories and failures. Rather remember that because you have value you are able to do the work you do and do it well even through the ebbs and flows of victories and the unavoidable fails.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

New Year, New Chapters, New Novel in 365 Days: Novel Writing Challenge 2017

Welcome to 2017! This is a new year for resolutions, clean slates, and fresh journals, which leads us to the 365-day novel writing challenge.

This challenge was inspired by a quote I came across on Facebook, by Brad Paisley. I’m certain what he said was not meant to be taken literally but I figured, hey, why not?

Tomorrow is the first blank page of 365 page book.Write a good one. ~Brad Paisley

When I read the quote, I thought, what would it really take to write a book in 365 days besides sitting down and writing one?

Then I saw another shareable moment that read:

12 new chapters. 365 new chances.~Unknown

Within the span of twenty minutes this challenge was born, one that I am giving to myself and offering to you as well.

SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A NOVEL IN 365 DAYS?:

A novel (Young Adult, New Adult, General Adult) will contain roughly 50,000 for YA, 70,000 to 90,000 words for Adult, depending on the genre. Genres like thrillers and science fiction run around 90,000 to 120,000 words, while middle-grade manuscripts require a lesser tome of roughly 20,000.

To get a bit more information about word count you can check out the blog, “Ask the Agent” by clicking the link.

Putting things down to daily requirements for word count within the 365-day challenge, here it goes:

  • 20k Novel: 54 words PER DAY
  • 50k Novel: 137 words PER DAY
  • 70k-90k Novel: 192 to 245 words PER DAY
  • 90k-120k Novel: 245 to 329 words PER DAY

Not very many words, huh? But this is a challenge after all, and I want to give you a little something to work with.

First, let me give you the rules or guidelines.

365-DAY CHALLENGE RULES:

  1. Choose a Genre and Demographic you’d like to write your novel for.
  2. Decide which bracket of word count you are in.
  3. THE RANDOM WORD OF THE DAY-Using a word each day chosen from the random. word list, fulfill your word count requirement by weaving the direction of your narrative around the given word. ( A list of words is at the bottom of this post. You can also do a Google search for random word engines and create your own list of 365 words.)
  4.  How to create Chapters: 52 chapters or 12 chapters in all:
    • EXAMPLE for a book with 80k words-  You will have roughly 1,600 words a week, the length of a chapter. Create 52 chapters (one for each week)
  5. Write for 365 days!

And that is it in a nutshell..mostly. This challenge is about having fun but there are going to be days this year where you just don’t have even five minutes to set aside for fun. Life does happen. Here are some things to keep in mind should you decide to take this challenge:

  • For days that you can’t write, double up on the days that you can. Grab the words assigned for the given day and write.
  • Feel free to follow your creativity: If you are feeling like you have more than 250 words for the day, GIVE MORE! Again, double or even triple up your writing goal for the days when the juices are flowing.
  • Have fun!

RANDOM WORD LIST WILL APPEAR ON THE NEXT PAGE. CLICK THE NEXT PAGE BUTTON BELOW THE ADDS, LIKES, & SHARE THIS TABS.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Dressed for the Appointment: Hope for the Promises to Come

Urgent Message of Hope from December 26, 2012, ON TIME FOR December 2016: 

Four years ago I was led to write a short message reminding many of my friends on Facebook to keep holding on to the Word of Faith and promise that Yeshua Jesus had given unto them. Now, four years and two days later, I am urged to do it again.

The Lord laid this question upon my heart that only you can answer for yourself, really, and here it is. “Are you dressed and are you ready for the open door?”

It is easy to be given a dream and a prophetic vision for your future/destiny/purpose, but it is a whole other thing to not only hold on to it but to be prepared for it at all times. With many of the trails that we face, especially within the last year, it is easy to lose hope in the dream, allowing it to be transformed into the elusive ‘carrot on a stick’ dangling just out of your reach.

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.”~ Genesis 41:14

The enemy has a way of trying to convince us that that that is what the promises of Yeshua Jesus are, elusive and out of reach. The good thing is that we know satan IS A LIAR! (John 8:44) As we know that our Heavenly Father’s Word never returns to Him void (Isaiah 55:8-13) ( And our Savior is the Living Word that did not return unto Him void…think on that a bit more 😉 ) we also know that the truth is not found within the enemy (John 8:44). If the Lord said He is going to do somehting in your life, HE IS GOING TO DO IT!

He (Jospeh) did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on.

So again I ask you are you dressed and ready for your open door? Consider Joseph. Joseph was given many prophetic dreams about his destiny and purpose. He, like all of us called by His Name, was destined to reign (Romans 5:15-17). Our Heavenly Father embedded these truths about his future deep within his being so that Joseph would know what he was meant to do and who he was called to be.

Even with these truths and promises deep within him, Joseph still endured hardships and betrayals, letdowns and heartbreaks that looked and were completely contrary to the promise and vision, but Joseph did not relent on what God had shown him. Instead, he held on to the dream. For thirteen years Joseph trusted in God in the face of more storms and more roads that seemed to lead further away from the promise, but with each step down he kept looking up, waiting for his open door.

In Genesis 41:14 we read that when Pharaoh suddenly calls for Joseph, Joseph immediately shaved and changed his garments in order to go before Pharaoh. He did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on (Genesis 40).

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

All along Jospeh believed that he was meant for greater so he dressed for greater. He held on to the Hope that ‘This might be the day!’ and it was! His day did come. He did not allow thirteen years of imprisonment to convert him in any way to a prisoner.

But not only did Jospeh hold on but so did many others like Father Abraham and Sarah who waited over twenty years of their promised miracle son, Isaac (Hebrews 11).

Yet, here is something else we need to consider and that is how we are waiting. Are we really waiting on the promise dressed with faith or are we like the fruitless fig tree giving the appearance of faith but empty of the real thing similar to the five foolish virgins who held lamps they didn’t bother trimming and with very little oil, or are we truly ready and waiting with faith and hope? (Matthew 21:18-22*, Matthew 25:1-13)

So I ask again are you dressed for your open door or are you keeping on the clothing of a prisoner and a slave with no intention of changing them because of lost hope? I pray the Holy Spirit leads you in all you do and for whatever He has in store for you I pray you are getting dressed and ready because the open door is indeed coming! Be ready.

*If you are wondering about the fig tree, understand that fig trees have what is a preseason fruit, where they bear a first run of figs and then a second yeilding. When Yeshua Jesus approached the fig tree that He later cursed, it was during the preseason for fruit. The tree had the appearance of doing what it was supposed to be doing but was empty of fruit!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion