229: “How Can I Know If A Goal or Dream Is From God?”

Ready to learn more about goal planning after last week’s episode? Today we are continuing the conversation around goal setting by answering a few questions such as “How do we know if a dream is from God? “What do we do if we can’t see past our everyday life?” and “How do we take the next steps towards the God-sized dream we feel within us?” 

I also invite you to my Goal Setting Workshop where we will dream big while also honoring and acknowledging all that God has done and will do for us!

Ready to learn more about goal planning after last week’s episode? Today we are continuing the conversation around goal setting by answering a few questions to allow us to move towards the God-sized dream in our hearts. Make sure to join me in my Goal Setting Workshop where we will dream big and honor all that God has done and will do for us!


  • [01:03] Goal Setting Virtual Retreat
  • [05:03] Is Day-By-Day Survival Keeping You From Dreaming + Setting Goals?
  • [07:40] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #1
  • [09:05] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #2
  • [09:44] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #3
  • [13:17] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #4
  • [15:48] Mindset Truth #1: A Dream May Not Be Ready For Us
  • [21:23] Mindset Truth #2: We Have To Be Willing To Be Refined
  • [24:23] Mindset Truth #3: Watch How You Speak About The Dream
  • [28:20] Helping You Create A Plan In The Live Goal Setting Workshop

[01:03] Goal Setting Virtual Retreat

If you are looking for support in setting goals for your big dreams, join me in the Goal Setting Virtual Workshop on November 9th at 1pm PST. This process will be different from other goal planning you have done in the past. We will be acknowledging God by looking back at what He has helped us with, seeing what is available right now, and asking Him for a few things that we can do to move forward in the next season of life. Imagine how much more impactful goal planning would be if you were alongside a community of women who are feeling just like you and excited about what God has planned for them too!

[05:03] Is Day-By-Day Survival Keeping You From Dreaming + Setting Goals?

I know that many of us have been in seasons (or are currently in a season) where we feel like we cannot see past our day-to-day lives. We might feel like we have lost what it means to have a dream or a goal. I want to let you know that I get this – I have been in those seasons. I want to remind you that God is with you in these seasons and He wants to help you persevere through it. He has a plan for something bigger and better which might involve the situation you are in right now.

I want to let you know that it is okay to feel like you cannot dream beyond this moment. What you can do is sit and be honest with God. The God who makes plans for us, sets goals for us, and gives us these talents and dreams, is the same God who sits with us when we are broken, exhausted, and overwhelmed. He is the God of compassion and he cares about where you are at, right now. If you feel like you cannot dream, I would encourage you to go before him and say, “God, what is going on? What can I learn from this season? How can you comfort me through this? Please give me what I need to refresh my eyes to be able to see beyond this.”

[07:40] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #1

When we are goal planning, we want to make sure we are doing God’s will. We do not want to do things in vain, we want to make sure that we are doing what God wants for us. The first tip of discerning if a dream or goal is from God is if the dream does not line up with scripture, then it is not a God-ordained dream. Anything that God asks us to do is going to line up with what is in His word and is going to continue to further the work of the Kingdom. He is not going to give us a dream to do something that is contrary to what He has said and clearly outlined in Scripture as immoral or wrong. Make sure that your dream is in line with the character of God and the character he wants to develop in us as believers.

[09:05] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #2

Secondly, if a dream will not go away, that is something to pay attention to. What are the things you keep hearing from God? What are the feelings in your heart that will not go away? If you cannot stop thinking about it, chances are it is something that God is directing you towards. We also have to remember that dreams we have had since we were younger might not come to fruition until much later in life, so be patient!

[09:44] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #3

The third tip to discern if a dream or goal is from God is that it will align with the other talents and skills he has given you. Many times this is something that other people will comment on as well.

For example: I am part of a women's group at my church and I was asked to be a table leader last minute. I said yes but I also told the leader the dates that I would be traveling and she said we will pray that someone will step up to be a leader on the days you are gone. From the very first meeting, I felt God put the spotlight on this one woman. I asked her if she wanted to lead the meeting and she said yes. I told her thank you for stepping in and I believe that God showed you to us because you are an excellent fit. She said that for a very long time, people have told her that she is good with others and that she should have a role working with people. This was a confirmation in her heart of what God was already telling her to do.

I thought “How good is our God that he would bring this young woman to our church, connect us at the table, show me that she was the one who could fill in, and that gave her the confidence and confirmed what was ahead for her.” These kinds of situations do happen so if people constantly tell you that you have a good voice or that you are great with children, that might be God confirming these desires in your heart over and over.

[13:17] Discerning if a Dream or Goal is From God: Tip #4

And then lastly, if God is drawing us towards a dream, there will often be these unusually divine opportunities. But I do want to caution you that just because there is not an “open door”, this does not mean that God is not calling you to this dream. We have to understand when we pursue a dream that there is going to be opposition to the dream. Sometimes things are not going to be “green lights” so there cannot just be one way that we discern if a dream is God's will or not.

There are many different ways we can discern God's voice in terms of closed and open doors. A great book on this is “Whisper” by Mark Batterson. In this book, he talks about the different languages of the spirit that God speaks and how he confirms dreams and ideas leading in our hearts.

The greatest thing about goal setting and dreaming is that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move it forward. We do not have to see the full picture, we do not have to have full clarity about every part of it, we just have to have a tiny bit of faith.

[15:48] Mindset Truth #1: A Dream May Not Be Ready For Us

If we have the wrong perspective on these truths, they can distract and derail us from following God's dream for our lives. This is where mindset truths can come in to help. The first mindset truth is that we might feel a dream strongly, we might see it, we might have the vision for it, but that dream might be green on the vine. This dream is there but not ready for us.

For example: I have a lot of tomatoes that I planted and for some reason, they refuse to get ripe. I look out my window and think “Come on, just get red”. This is how we can feel about our dreams. Sometimes we see them but they are not ready yet. If I were to pick those tomatoes, they would not be what I would expect. I would be disappointed with them and I would be forcing the process that God has perfectly timed.

I want to share with you a story that showcases this. I graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 1997 and I felt a sense of disappointment about my career options. I had a passion for working with women but back then I had no idea how to pursue that dream. At the time my only perception of working with women involved writing beauty articles for magazines like Cosmo, which did not align with my values as a newly Christian woman.

Back then there weren’t blogs, social media, YouTube, or podcasts. Despite these obstacles, I held onto the dream of speaking in a way that could inspire and encourage people. It seemed like a distant dream back then but I could not have predicted that 25 years later I would: host my podcast for women, write books, and continue to pursue the dreams God had planted in my heart. Looking back, I do not regret my early jobs but I always knew in my heart that they were not my ultimate calling, and I was right. God had a different plan for me and I am excited to see what is ahead. Who would have known that the dream I had when I graduated from college, uncertain about my path, would eventually become my reality?

[21:23] Mindset Truth #2: We Have To Be Willing To Be Refined

The next mindset truth is that we have to be willing to be refined. We have to be open to this so we are able to step into the 2.0 version of ourselves that the dream is going to require. Sometimes there are things that God has to birth, change, or transform in us before He can make the action of something new come out of us. He has to do that inner work first and we have to be willing to show up and let that work happen. We have to be receptive, willing to change, and willing to sacrifice. We often don’t understand how the suffering is related to the dream but we don’t have to.

I recently watched a video where they talked about how we always want the answers from God. We want to understand His timing and purpose but our constant “why” questions can come across as a curious 4-year-old. Oftentimes their “why” questions are things we do not have the answers to or are beyond their understanding. And sometimes it is the same with God. He has to say to us “I am refining, carrying, and moving you to the 2.0 version to get you to the place where I can birth this dream out of you and I am loving you through the changes.” If we want to move towards our best life, we have to be willing to be on the move like Jesus.

[24:23] Mindset Truth #3: Watch How You Speak About The Dream

The third mindset truth is to watch how you think and talk about the dream. Our mindset affects how we show up to everything. We have to ask ourselves this question: “Am I speaking about the dream God is calling me to do in a way that is hindering God's work in this area or am I speaking about it in a way that is helping God's work?”

It is really simple for us to look at the obstacles and live in fear thinking that it is going to turn out differently than we expected it to. We always talk ourselves out of things because we are protecting ourselves and are afraid of what could be. But there are times when we also need to take a step of faith, be honest, and acknowledge that God is moving us towards the place we need to go. He is providing everything we need. He is going to comfort us and help us get to the other side of it.

We have to watch how we speak and think about it because that changes our perception of the situation. If we have a perception that God cannot show up, and we are speaking about it like that then why are we surprised when that just happens to be that way? I hope you hear my heart in this and I am saying that we need to get out of our own way and we need to stop telling God that something is impossible and that it is never going to happen.

We also have to remember that sometimes an investment seems out of reach and we do not think that we can afford it but we have to understand that God is going to provide if he wants to. If we talk about things being too expensive and that we could never do it, that shortens our ability to believe in God's power to work. If we do not have big expectations of our God, if we believe that he is only limited by what we can imagine, then guess what, he is only going to be able to live into what we can imagine anything. He can step outside and transform beyond our situation or circumstance. When we speak and believe that God is going to make our dreams happen, that is a different mindset.

[28:20] Helping You Create A Plan In The Live Goal Setting Workshop

I want to help you begin this process of stepping into that big dream or goal by making a simple plan alongside you! Make sure to join me in the Live Goal Setting Workshop that I am hosting on November 9th at 1pm PST. It will be on Zoom so you can turn your camera off if you want and you will also get access to the replay if you cannot make it live!

You will be interacting with me and other women who are also asking, “What is next for me, God? Show me what could be. Let me live fully in this life you have given me because my time is short. Show me that you have a plan for me in light of all of the things I am worried about, the concerns I have, and the worries of the future. Show me what that plan is in a little tiny baby step.”

So I hope you join us for the Live Goal Setting Workshop. I am going to be helping you by walking us through three specific steps in goal planning:

Looking back at what God has done. How has he shown up for us? We may also want to forgive ourselves and others. Honoring God to boost our faith.
Looking around to see where we are right now. What is in front of us? What resources do we have? What opportunities are before us? What are the challenges that are before us? What are the stirrings in the voices in our hearts?
Looking forward at what is next. What is He doing with all that is right in front of us? And what could he do? What is the next step? We will do a dream bank where we write down these big dreams and we begin to see that these things have been in our hearts for a while.

For me personally, I do not know the specifics but I have this feeling of what God is calling me into this next season of my ministry. And by faith, I am taking that first step to move forward and helping you do the same. Whether they are big or small dreams, we need to look forward, believe, and trust that we have a purpose. I hope to see you there!



Live Goal Setting Workshop

Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God



227: Stop Letting Disappointment Steal Your Dreams

228: Join me live! Goal Planning Virtual Workshop: Partnering with God to Discover What’s Next for You


Live Goal Setting Workshop: 

What if goal setting allowed you to honor your life, celebrate God’s blessings, and renew your perspective on what’s possible? This is how goal planning was meant to be. 

I want to help you become more energized and joyful in the coming year, help you create a specific plan for change, and celebrate your wins. 

Join us in this Goal Setting Workshop and let's discover a healing, Gospel-based approach to asking God to direct our next steps.

I can't wait to help you find clarity, renewal, and a new passion to love God and enjoy your life!