Where did the year go?
It seems the older I get the faster the year seems to go by. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we celebrated Independence Day, and a few days before that Valentine’s Day?
And here it is hours away from 2017.
For the last few years, I have kept the “words” that God has given me for the year.
In 2015, it was CONFIDENCE. The corresponding verse: Heb. 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God wanted me to have confidence in HIM, to trust Him for my writing future. I had two books release, both novellas.
In 2016, my word was CONSISTENT. My verse: Col. 3:17, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” God wanted me to be solid in what I’d set out to do and to do it consistently.
While I can say I tried to do these, I can also say that I failed in both, to some extent.
Writers…well, we’re an insecure lot (most of us). Nearly every book invokes the feelings of insecurity and phrases like, I’m not a good writer, This is garbage, or I should just quit. I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve read it numerous times in fellow authors’ posts, either here or on their blogs.
And this year has been anything but consistent. Life got in the way, and I let it. However, before my set back, I published three novellas and two novels. Not bad for a single year. (You can see all of my published books here.)
For 2017, I don’t have a single word. God gave me two.
I wasn’t even praying about it. Of course, that seems to be the way lately. BUT He hadn’t dropped a verse into my heart, so I went looking. I searched for DREAM. Nope, none of those verses. I looked up various verses for thirty or more minutes. Then I searched great things.
At first, I found Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” But it didn’t seem quite right, though it’s still an excellent verse.
Then I searched future. A very familiar verse popped up. Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” (NLT)
But does it fit? *shrug* Until God shows me another, this is the one I will use. :)
I still struggle though. What does it mean to DREAM BIG?
I’ve considered it over the last few weeks. (God dropped the bomb into my heart in late November/early December.) And this is what I’ve decided:
I will publish eight (8) books in 2017.
- 4 novellas of unknown content–none started
- 4 novels
- 2 contemporary (both in progress at the moment)
- 2 historical (both completed, but need editing)
Can it be done?
God doesn’t call us to do something He has not equipped us to do. So, I’m going to say YES.
Of course, the call to DREAM BIG has no guidelines, nothing specific to dream big about, so I choose to believe it is not exclusive to my writing. I have to pray more about what He wants from the rest of my life, though I’ve thought of a few things I’d love to see happen in 2017.
BUT I’m saying YES to God. I’m going on the ride of my life to an unknown destination, but I trust my driver, and wherever He takes me will be better than anywhere I’ve ever been. I’m excited. I’m scared, but excited.
Will you say YES to God when He calls you to do that which seems impossible?
Noah did when he built the ark. Moses did when he faced Pharaoh and then led the people from Egypt. Mary did when she said Yes to carrying the Son of God. There are so many examples of people—normal, insecure, seemingly unworthy people—who said YES to God.
Will you be one of them?
‘Cuz I’d like to believe I can be one of them—a normal, insecure, seemingly unworthy person chosen by God to do something that will bring glory to His name. Even if that thing is just this post, reminding you that, “Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
Father, I pray for each person reading this. You know their names, their lives, their gifts and talents. Show them ways to use what You have given them for Your GLORY. May we always point others to you with our words and actions. Amen.
May your new year be full of love, laughter, peace, and BIG DREAMS.
Thanks for the prayer Ginger. It is our (hubby and I) constant prayer that God use us for His glory and that we are where He wants us to be. Often we question, but God makes it clear that we are where He wants us- we just need to trust! That is my word for the new year- Trust.
So excited to hear that you have more books coming- you know that I will eagerly anticipate their release and be ready to read:)
Happy New Year and God’s blessings:)
Being used by God for His glory is also my constant prayer. I never want this writing life to be about me, but to point everyone back to how great He is.
Autumn Macarthur says
Awesome post, Ginger! And awesome dream. :)
I’m learning that when God gives us big dreams, dreams for His glory, He’ll also give us all we need to make them happen!
Don’t I know it, Autumn. I just keep wondering how because I’ve barely written 20,000 words in 4 months (probably not even that many).
When it happens, I will KNOW that I couldn’t do it alone. I can only do it WITH Him. :D
Happy New Year and thanks for your thought provoking blog, Ginger. I enjoyed reading Learning from Experience in the Falling for You boxed set and Broken Holiday in Snowflakes and Mistletoe’s boxed set. Living in the Midwest, I really could relate with Broken Holiday. Thanks for such delightful, inspirational novellas.
As a retired high school teacher, I always challenged my students to set high goals or dreams. Our family’s motivational verse has been Psalm 37: 4 & 5 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” Trusting God and Dreaming Big brought my great uncle to America in 1914, which in turn helped my mother, my father, and I leave war torn Berlin in 1955. Trusting God and Dreaming Big I was the first person in my family to graduate from an American college. Personally I rather dream big and fail, then set expectations to low. Thanks for the challenge, maybe I will still write a book. I can always be Grandma Moses (still have a few decades to go).
Happy New Year to all the Inspy Romance Authors. Best wishes in 2017. Thanks for the challenges. Happy Writing.
And thank you, Renate, for being encouraging to me. It’s nice to know that my books are enjoyed.
I cannot imagine the stories you have to tell (either from personal experience or related from your parents). Please write your book.
Happy New Year!
I totally agree the year just ended too fast. It seemed that yesterday I was making a plan and now looking back I didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted.
Thanks for your prayer and good luck with your big dreams.
Oh, but you had a plan. Even if you didn’t accomplish it all, you did some, and that is achievement and movement in the right direction. Make a new plan for 2017 and DREAM BIG!
Thanks for writing. I so appreciate Christian authors. Thanks for the encouragement. Our dream for the next year is our home sale and move to be nearer kids and grand kids. The house is currently torn up while being updated and painted. One day at a time, God will give grace.
God will enable you to do what He has called you to do. So far all of my kids are still local (most still live with me), and I really hope most of them will stay close, but…
Best wishes on the update and sale of your home.
Valerie Comer says
Dream Big! I love that. And yes, my daily prayer is not that God will bless my writing (like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval) but that my writing will bless Him.
I used to say I write FOR God alone. While that is still true, more and more I want to write WITH God alone.
Funny what a distinction can be made with our choice of prepositions!
Jill Weatherholt says
What a fantastic post to close out the year, Ginger! Dream big is the perfect mindset for all of us. Here’s to a new year of capturing those dreams and good health. Happy New Year!
Merrillee Whren says
Thanks for a very thoughtful post, Ginger.
You are welcome, Merrillee. ;)
Thanks, Jill. To good dreams and good health. :D And happy new year!
Marylin Furumasu says
You always write such encouraging and thoughtful post. Thanks for your challenge to take steps God wants us to take even when it can be scary. I love your words for this year! I know you can make it happen with God’s help!
May this year be full of blessings!
Thanks, Marylin. Sometimes my posts seem… self-centered, but I always try to share my REAL life, so readers realize that writers are people, too. We’re not perfect, and we live lives that are far from grand, though I am blessed. And we struggle with being the people God has made us to be, just like everyone else. :)
Linda Herold says
What a nice post to end 2016! It was a sad year for me due to two deaths! All I want for the new year is peace in my immediate family! Compared to a lot of people, I have a pretty good life! Happy New Year to you and your family!!
I’m sorry for your losses, Linda. I pray 2017 brings you the peace you desire. We must all keep our focus on God as He can bring supernatural peace despite our circumstances. :)
Linda Herold says
Thank you, Ginger!
Mary Alford says
I so agree that 2016 flew by. This Christmas season was a blur for me. I’m excited about 2017 and I agree that if God plants the dream in our heart, he will provide the way to accomplish it, although it may not always be easy. I think God uses our writing to reach others for His kingdom. Someone once mentioned that when we pray, we should pray specifically. As God to help give you the strength to meet that looming deadline. Finish that chapter. Give you the answers to what’s missing from your story. This year I want to pray more specifically and dream big as well.
What a good reminder, Mary. Sometimes I forget to pray specifically. There are several personal things that I prayed for specifically (still in the DREAM BIG idea), but I rarely get specific with my writing, which is why I have written it here. Maybe next year’s post will be the second part of this. I’ll make it my accountability post. :)