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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Dream LARGE or PDS Part 2

~ Sadie and Sandra ~
I'm not much on New Year's Resolutions as I believe what Daddy always says, "If you're living the way you're supposed to live, you don't need to make resolutions." 
I do believe in writing goals, making plans and lists, and dreaming large...make that LARGE. Perhaps you read my first goal oriented post, PDS - Pretty Darn Smart! Part 1 but I suggest you click on the link and re-read before reading this second part; it will help put it all into perspective.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" so says Proverbs 29:18 and how true a statement! Do you want to have an etsy or eBay account or own your own business? Do you want to sell at a brick and mortar store or be published in a magazine, book or even, publish your own book?! Do you want to be on a television show or have your own program? Do you want to find a wonderful person and be married?  
I truly believe God delights in answering dreams that are LARGE and that will, ultimately, show His goodness, grace and mercy. He is able; it's we who are small thinkers, planners, dreamers and goal makers.
My six year old self wanted to live on a farm with horses, sheep, goats, cows, dogs and cats. Now, my almost sixty year old self lives on a farm with horses, sheep, dogs, cats and I used to have goats and calves. God answered the desire of my young heart!
As life changes, as dreams and goals are met, it's a good idea to revise dreams, plans and goals. I don't make resolutions but try and live the way I should daily, so, if the first day of the New Year allows, I schedule time to tweak my dreams, plans and goals. If the first day doesn't have time for that activity, I do it as soon as possible.

Your goals should be                      SMART GOALS
"Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it" says James 1:5 and most of my three ring notebooks have a front page with this verse. I want to see it Every Single Day; I want it engraved on my brain and, most importantly, I want God to give me wisdom so I ask Him for it, Every Single Day.
S - you should make specific goals in detail; as focused as possibly but knowing you'll have to be flexible. Make sure your goals are what you want and not what someone else wants for you...easy mistake to make! Also, write your goals in the positive, affirming what you want, "I choose to _____". 
M - you should make measurable goals and be able to measure your goals and success or lack thereof. Your goals should not contradict your other goals; they should all be in accordance, one with another.
A - your goals should be attainable. Yes, you should make challenging goals but they should also be within your reach. Start by making smaller goals that will enable you to reach larger goals; stepping stones, as it were to ensure success.
R - your goals should be rewarding or realistic goals. Your goals and priorities should align and, most importantly, you must be willing to work toward their successful completion. As you reach your smaller goals, your larger goals will shrink because you grow toward them.
T - goals should be timely and have a time line and deadline. If you don't have a time line and dead line, how will you ever know when you've achieved your goal?
I'm repeating myself but it's that important...every day, ask yourself, "is what I'm doing taking me closer, or further away, from my goal?" Then, adjust accordingly.
Finally, is there                            BALANCE?
Dave, my husband, died in 2011, and I've, pretty much, spent this last year trying to attain balance again. It's so easy to become overwhelmed with all the work load of animals, farm, house, finances, writing, studio, physical, spiritual and all the rest. I've found when I have balance in my life, I tend to accomplish more and with much less stress, both mental and physical. There are five main areas I focus upon and write goals:
~ spiritual - each morning I have devotions where I read uplifting books, including the Bible, and listen to sound Biblical preachers such as Begg, Youceff, Sproul, Swindoll, Meyer and others. I'm going to start taping Osteen who isn't theologically deep but he's a great motivator. Someone asked me, "Do you really listen to all those preachers?" The answer is, "Yes, I do." Perhaps not all of the daily but I do listen to a minimum of two each day and, most days, more. You may be a truly nice person but, I hate to tell you this, I'm naturally cranky. There's a lot of fallen man in me and I struggle with practicing Christianity but, bless His name, God is faithful, merciful and gracious toward me.
~ home, family and friends - Dave and I lived contemplative lives and that's not going to change now that he's gone. If anything, it's going to become more so because I don't like noise, stress, craziness, busyness and the like and strive mightily to eliminate those things from my life. No one can control my schedule but me and I'm perfectly comfortable using the word "no" when necessary. There's no room for guilt in my life nor is there room for continually cranky, mean, unkind or downright nasty people. It's not allowed and when such a person enters my life, I weed them out rather quickly with no feelings of regret on my part. Christ died on the cross knowing not all would accept him so I'm comfortable not being all things to all people. Who protects you in your life?
~ health - the hardest area for me as I sincerely hate to sweat unless I'm doing physical labor. I don't mind hoeing or shoveling or working a horse in the round pen but I despise to exercise and sweat! The days I do put in a Zumba or yoga tape, the dogs and cats think it's play time and it's rather difficult working out when three dogs are either jumping on me or sitting on me when I'm on the mat.
~ financial - this past year has been such a steep learning curve for me and I'm still finding paperwork that needs letters written, telephone calls made, etc. in order for me to reach a closing point. God, please give me wisdom!
~ community and volunteer - My volunteer work is done in my community and, there's a possibility, I'll do some church volunteer work later this new year. 
You're going to end up somewhere, why not somewhere of your own choice? I've read most people plan their vacations with more thought than they plan their lives but that doesn't have to be the case. You'll reach your goals when you follow and plan PDS - Pray, Dream, SMART goals and that makes you Pretty Darn Smart!
In closing, I'd like to suggest some other folks to help you on your path...Dave Ramsey is a great financial guy and late last year, I took his Financial Peace University and it helped me enormously! Dr. Kirk Elliott is an economic analyst and his paper, 10 Ways to Survive the Economic Tsunami That is Coming, is the best I've read.
Susan Branch is my (almost) daily dose of happy and she has a lovely post on The Care and Feeding of Dreams; reading it will do your heart and your life a lot of good. Yes, you're busy and have a lot on your plate but what can you let go of and not miss? I'm betting there's more than you think. If you're a Christian, a practicing Christian and not just one of those people who attend church occasionally, put and keep your life in perspective. God first, family second and your life, and the lives of those who depend upon you, will be much better.

Today's Miracles ~ a deep breath ~ rain for a thirsty earth ~ lunch with friends ~ contented beasts ~ electricity ~ a warm house ~


  1. This has to be one of most superior posts you've had to-date! Everything is right on the mark. I hope everyone reads it carefully. We also adhere to the Dave Ramsey school of living debt free (and we are). :) I have been in pain for so long, I've forgotten how to plan and set goals though. Happily this post reminds me, and encourages me, that I need to start setting goals again. I had even quit doing any crafting. So, wish me luck! Or better yet, pray for me. I have an idea for a business venture ... :))) <--- Dreaming LARGE!!!

  2. This is a very inspiring set of posts. I did go back and read the first again. I agree with you on these things that I, myself, need so very much to work on. I will start my notebooks, and I surely need wisdom. I ask that often, but know I need to listen to more and use what has been given to me.

    There is only one point where I deviate from you. I am too often cranky myself, so it is okay not to agree on 100%. I listen to those same preachers and several others you did not mention, but will not listen to even good motivation if I think the person is in error, meaning Mr. O. I have many friends who do follow much of his leading, but at the very heart of it, I believe he is false. This is my own personal opinion, and I do not expect you to agree with me, and am not trying to be mean or nasty.

    Not trying to case any difficulties here at all. I am grateful to be able to read what you write and so obviously put great time and effort into.

    I truly respect your efforts and thank you for praying, encouraging me and so many others. I admire you greatly.

    Happiness and blessings to you on the farm. Happy New Year.

  3. Happy New Year!

    Blessings and Peace be with you...

  4. Oh, Sandra, how I needed to read this. 2012 was filled with many unexpected upheavals. You have made me realize I'm not being introspective enough, not concentrating on what I want enough. Just reacting to whatever happens, and that's not a good thing. I'm going to restart my LARGE-ness.
    Thank you so very much for the reminders, & much love....

  5. Excellent post! Blessings for 2013!

  6. An excellant post! I plan on printing it so I can reread it often.

    Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  7. Two great posts about goals setting and keeping! Thanks. I have set my goals and shared some of them in my latest post on my blog. May God bless you in achieving the things you want and need this year. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  8. P.S. I also listen to a lot of Joyce Meyer CDs and read many of her books. They help me a lot. Also, have read and listened to Dave Ramsey and we have become debt free this past year as a result. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What an excellent post, Sandra! I think articulating this kind of clear, logical, practical advice is a gift of yours. I needed to read this. I gave up making dreams for myself years ago. I don't even seem to plan much these days, because so many dreams were ruined and swept away. I felt it was unwise to dream anymore. My faint hopes are like whispers, instead of a strong shout of "This is what I want!" Thanks for the encouragement.

  10. We'd make great friends as we like so many of the same things and on others we are poles apart. I gave up hoping for my farm howeverm as God just knew I didn't really need a farm.I'd probably drive you nuts with my disorganization though. The only list I make is a grocery list. Since becoming an empty nester and thankfully a stay-at-homer, I just deal with it as it comes. Being married to a man whose only consistency involves his job has made me a little leary at making plans. Spring signals my trip outside, and late Fall the beginning of my hibernation. We let the kids make visiting arrangements on their schedule. I was raised with single working mom and had little supervision, resulting in little self-discipline or longrange plans. I married and raised 2 kids while returning to school to get my own education. I worked,did church and school PTA stuff,and eventually homeschooled for 6 years up to their college years.
    That took more organization and self-discipline than I'd ever mustered up for anything else. I worked for a few more years, then spent almost 7 years teaching each week in a local womens' prison. Now, I find myself with absolutely nothing to do but take care of Handyman and myself. He's not picky! I could actually use a schedule so I'd know what to do with myself all day. I'm not bragging, just sayin'. For years I prayed for 3 things not have to be under the power of someone else all day, to have enough money when I went grocery shopping so I didn't have to use a calculator (the lean years), and for peace in my life despite the circumstances. Guess I should have set my goals higher, but at the time that was very important. Now I have all three. Of course some of those could change, especially the money thing. I'm enjoying the peace.
    I keep promises, keep appointments, and I hope I use our resources well as we have no debt but a small amount owed on mortgage, which we'd pay off if we felt more secure about emptying our savings account.
    I think my dis-organization is more a lack of responsibility for once in my life. I haven't much to organize as you do.
    Osteen Sandra? :D

  11. This is filled with such wonderful wisdom that I hope it receives the attention it deserves! In 2011 I did daily devotions, but when 2012 rolled around I was distracted with caring for my mother and three family tragedies that nearly did me in. I needed to get close to God during those times yet only felt drained and empty. Now I am armed with a new devotional book and a new purpose in finding peace. I admire your honesty and thank you for sharing your wisdom. God bless!!!

  12. I can just picture you and the dogs on the mat - gee, that's what happens to me too LOLOLOL Much more fun that way I think. When you said this: Christ died on the cross knowing not all would accept him so I'm comfortable not being all things to all people...I had never thought of it that way but you are exactly right. What a wonderful post - I enjoyed every word. Thanks!

  13. I love this post, and I love that you dream big. You have wonderful and thoughtful goals.

    I didn't set any goals this year - I normally do but I'm not sure what I want right now. I do need to find a part time job that I can do when the twins are in preschool, so I guess that would be my goal.

  14. Thanks, Sparky! I think we all get so overwhelmed we forget to dream and we can all use a nudge now and then.
    Thanks, Annie - I've sent you a PM so we can chat more; I'm interested in what you have to say as I can always learn. Thanks for being so honest with me!
    Hi Teresa, Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Hi Marsha, so many times we put ourselves last and then wonder why we're cranky, out of sorts and prone to sickness. It's okay to put yourself first, especially when you're also a caregiver!
    Thanks, Patrice!
    Sweet Virginia, thanks for your kind words and print away!
    Congratulations Debbie, debt free is a great way to live!
    Hi Jill - having the dogs "share" my exercise time is a lot of fun but it doesn't help me much with the exercise -LOL!-

  15. I just printed out this post because I have never retained anything without reading and rereading something. I have approached the new year this year with a catch in my throat. I'm not getting any younger and I don't won't to mess around wasting time. I have prayed asking God what he wants for me this year but I doubt he wants me just to stand around waiting for him to reveal it. I must get busy and redeem the time. Your list will be on my bedtable until I'm sure I've not left any thing undone. That means I'm going to close this laptop now and get up and at 'm.

  16. Sandra, you are making me feel somewhat remiss that I haven't made any goals for 2013.

    I have just one word though -- acceptance. I'm trying really hard too and it's only 1/2/2013. Oy. :)

  17. Excellent! I had to back up and read the PDS post first and then read this one. You are a wise woman. I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. I always get my chores done and my bills paid on time, but the rest of my life (mostly) is day to day. As you know, on a farm/ranch plans can change day to day or hour by hour. Got to go with the flow. Still....I like your ideas and your method of planning with lists. I like lists.

    Happy Dream-y New Year!

  18. Sandra--
    You really help to put things in perspective-- making us all think about what's important in our life and set priorities. We should all strive to lead this life--

    I just saw that you have a feature published on the magazine-- so sorry I'm late to see that-- I'll be leaving a comment for you there later today. I love your stories--


  19. Ps-- I adore the photo if you and Sadie!

  20. You deserve all the best in this new year. Find excitement each day when you wake to see what God is going to do with each new day!

  21. Sandra, I have my goals, just have to start them, ohhh so hard.
    I miss my dog and just keep dreaming of him. Maybe this year I'll look for a new old dog like me.
    Happy New year

  22. Found you by way of A Rural Journal. Awesome post. I think I'll read thru it agin. And check out one of those books you mentioned.

  23. I am enjoying reading back through your posts and the good resources you list. Thank you for visiting my blog and God bless you.


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