Dreaming is terrifying! No, let me rephrase that… dreaming OUT LOUD is terrifying! It feels so good to dream up a future, an idea, or lifetime achievement you’d like to see through to completion. That warm and exhilarating feeling of what “could be” feels AWESOME right?! Can every dream just stay in this cozy little cocoon forever? Nope, sorry friends! Not if you want those dreams to become a reality…
Growing up, I didn’t consider myself very creative, or more specifically, a “dreamer.” In fact, I still RARELY remember my dreams! I never had an imaginary friend as a kid, and always learned from the triumphs and mistakes of my older siblings. I didn’t dream because I didn’t have to. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood, I was very artistic, and had built-in friends with my siblings and cousins! But dreaming was not my instinct, my logic steadily became dominant, and my dreams remained in hibernation… until now.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalms 138:8
I am currently in a season of dreaming… dreaming of what my business will become and the next steps I will need to take to make this a reality. This word “dream” has been ever-present these last few months… and if you’re anything like me, you know to pay attention to instances that seem like coincidences! I quickly embraced “dream” as a word God is speaking into my life and wants me to live out. My initial reaction was “Oh, cool, I get to have a fun season for a change!”… that lasted a few weeks or so. Then, reality sunk in, the honeymoon period wore off, and I realized “Holy CRAP… I have to actually follow through with this!” If I’m being totally honest I resisted it HARD when I fully understood this would be no cake-walk…. [oh, baking-related puns!] A dream is safe when it is in your head, only for you to know about, it reaches a vulnerable state once it is spoken out loud. All these dreams I have stored up have so much hope and freedom because they have yet to be spoken into existence. The moment we speak our dreams they become a target, at risk for future failure, and I am TERRIFIED of failure… who’s with me on the failure train?! 🚂🙋🏼♀️ 🙋🏻♀️🙋🏽♀️ Once other people know about your dream, there comes a moment when you realize they also will know if you fail at that dream. The challenge is to alter our perception of failure and view it as a positive step along the journey; failure is inevitable to some extent, it’s how you react to it that determines if you fall even deeper or rise to the occasion.
You can imagine how out of my comfort zone this is to start dreaming! It’s just not something I’m well-versed in. So, in an effort to keep this word at the forefront of my mind, I went out and bought myself a Giving Key with “DREAM” engraved on it. If you aren’t familiar with this company, the idea behind a Giving Key is to wear a word until you’ve conquered it, then pass it on to someone else who needs the word more than you do. I LOVE this idea so much, and always thought if I got a key one day, it would be for something strong, like courage, or faith… no, God knew this was the word for me, the place I’m most vulnerable right now! Once I accepted my word and started wearing my key, it was like the sky opened up, and “dream” came pouring down on me…
I thought about sharing all the ways this word has impacted me, all the instances it has shown up in surprising and bizarre situations¹… but there are just too many! Instead, I want to encourage anyone who has a dream out there, I can’t think of a person who doesn’t… whether it is that job promotion or total shift in careers; starting a family, or traveling, having the courage to step out and show the world what it is you’re made of… KEEP DREAMING THOSE BIG DREAMS!!!
“Now glory be to God, by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Ephesians 3:20 (LB)
Sitting in this season of “dream,” I have learned to be bold in my dreams and prayers. At a recent retreat, one of the biggest takeaways for me was hearing that prayers that are ordinary and not “out of this world” are insulting to a God who can do all things. If I don’t pray for impossible things, that means I don’t think He can do the impossible. Shouldn’t we take the same approach to our dreams? You see, God has given each of us unique talents for a reason, specific strengths² that we need to succeed in the plan/dream He has in store for us! Are we using our strengths to glorify His Kingdom? Or do we think that is a job for someone else “more equipped” than us? He has already perfectly and uniquely equipped you for what’s ahead!
The first step, I’m realizing, is to say what your dream is out loud. Dreams will NEVER become a reality unless they are spoken. Yes, it’s scary to know that your dreams may not come true, but it’s so silly to be trapped in the fear of failure when the possibility of success overshadows each small failure every time. Accepting the notion that I will fail, I will fall, but I WILL get back up and try again and again because this is what I’m passionate about, what I’m gifted at, and what God has called me to do!
This is my dream… to open up a cafe/bakery of my own… No, not just a shop, more like a second home! I want it to be a place where people feel like they are going to a friend’s house… where they feel comfortable to have real and honest conversations from across the table… where they can sit back and enjoy a few laughs over a cup of coffee… where love prevails… where encouragement and self-worth are spoken… where you can DOMINATE at a game of Yahtzee or corn hole, or just as easy sit and study for an exam… where healthy eating is encouraged, but decadent desserts are occasionally indulged! This is MY DREAM, my HOME and my Heart, and hospitality runs deep in my veins (almost as deep as the Dodger Blue my family bleeds)! I’m excited to see the ways this dream will grow and blossom… and I invite you to witness it unfold… in all it’s imperfect glory. Everyday we have a choice… a choice to be bold, to be confident in our own skin and the talents that are unique to us, to be positive and respectful to others, and ourselves. What will you choose to do with the time and gifts you have been given?
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
What is that dream you are too terrified to speak out loud? I encourage you, speak it! SHOUT IT OUT!! The only person standing in your way it YOU! Seriously take a few hours to sit and dream… and, if at the end of your dreaming session you realize this is doable… then your dream isn’t big enough. Dream big friends, for anything is possible with our God, and dreaming small dreams that don’t require mountains to be moved by Him is not really dreaming at all.
Thank you for dreaming with me, I hope you feel encouraged to pursue your dreams, there’s honestly nothing like it!
Steven Tyler sang it best… “DREAM ON…”
¹Seriously!!! Sermons, unexpected conversations, an impromptu toast at a book launch, and even a movie I saw recently… “The Greatest Showman.” OH friends, It was so exceptionally inspirational, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack ever since! If you know me, you know how much music is a part of my life… I mean, what is life without music right?! Oftentimes I use music to express how I’m feeling, it has helped me dig deeper into my emotions… in particular being comfortable with crying [insert visual of me crying, singing “The Last Five Years” soundtrack, while sitting in traffic on the 110 freeway] Music speaks to me, it’s a feeling of indescribable connection when the words match perfectly to a sequence of notes. But I digress… sorry to all my non musical nerds out there! I was inspired by the entire show which was all about dreaming and embracing who you are and who you were meant to be with confidence. If you get a chance, listen to “A Million Dreams” and “This Is Me”… they embody this season of dreams and confidence I am experiencing now. God has given me this challenge to be bold and speak my dreams… and has grown my confidence through it all.
‘Cause every night I lie in bed, the brightest colors fill my head. A million dreams are keeping me awake. I think of what the world could be, a vision of the one I see, a million dreams is all it’s gonna take, a million dreams for the world we’re gonna make.
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out. I am brave, I am bruised I am who I’m meant to be, this is me. Look out ’cause here I come, and I’m marching on to the beat I drum. I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, THIS IS ME!
²If you haven’t taken the “Strengths Finder” test, I encourage you to do it! After taking this test, I was able to ground my dream around my strengths… which are specifically geared toward being an entrepreneur!