I had a dream.
It came in a big walnut box banded with black and white. It was the first piece of furniture we bought together after our wedding, and when I closed my eyes, I could see my fingers fly up and down those keys. I took lessons weekly after work, and she made it fun. But when we moved and my new instructor heard me play The Entertainer (my goal), he told me I wasn’t ready for it yet and needed to go back to square one. I quit taking lessons.
I had a dream.
It came in a maple package, striped with steel. I could see the hammers fly over wires just like my great-grandfather’s did. But I could only plunk, and I never found a teacher. I don’t even know how to tune it.
I had a dream.
It came in a cherry frame, double strung to 56. I drove four hours round trip for several weeks for lessons and even went to a weekend workshop (where I really didn’t understand the language.) But I could see my hands gracefully pluck healing notes and strum angelic glissandos. So far I’ve managed to pick out an awkward Amazing Grace and “noodle” some melodies. And I hate tuning it.
I gave the first dream away (though we still have a full-size Yamaha keyboard), and the other dreams are up for grabs. I’ll never be a musician. I know this. But I’ll always love trying to make music.
I’ve had some impossible dreams. Even laughable dreams.
But I also have God-sized, yet reachable dreams.
Writers, they speak my language. I’m at home with them.
I love to tickle syllables, pluck words, and string sentences. I love the rhythm of tapping keys and the flow of pen on paper. I’m not sure I’ve ever dreamed of shelves filled with name-stamped glossy colors, but I’ve longed to write stories that sing hope to hearts, that bring a little color to washed-out lives, that help others see amazing things.
And yes, a book.
And photography? I never dreamed I’d pick up a camera.
Deidra had a ridiculous dream, and she finally gave it words–ten of them to be exact. She challenged us to do the same. I never told her what I wrote. It was a small and very simple ten-word prayer. I’d really like to write sometimes for The High Calling.
Just a little dream.
A confirmation that I’m practicing the right scales, following the right notes, in tune with Him.
Within the week the call came. No kidding. And on top of that another writing opportunity that I didn’t even think to dream about.
God is the God of dreams. The itty bitty little ones. And the giant-sized, gargantuan ones. And even the unspoken ones. He does a lot of work in and with and through dreams. Just open the pages of The Book.
Sometimes it’s hard to get a handle on our dreams. Sometimes we’ve been disappointed so many times that we’re afraid to dream. But sometimes maybe God simply says, “Not yet.” or “Not that dream. I’ve got a bigger one for you.” Or “Let’s just morph that dream a tad.”
And Deidra’s daring dream? To help us unwrap and embrace and tackle some amazing dreams. To help us find the holy hows of making our dreams realities. Dreams to do big things for Him. Dreams to see big things through Him. Dreams to be small in Him. Dreams to be like Him.
It’s all coming together in Ashland, Nebraska, at the Carol Joy Holling Conference and Retreat Center April 19-21, 2013. It’s called Jumping Tandem: The Retreat. And a bunch of my favorite people will be all together there in a sacred place with a slowed-down pace.
Here’s some other stuff you need to know:
- Early bird registration will begin October 1 and run through October 6. (I’m first in line! No jostling!)
- Early bird tickets will be $249 and will include a retreat pass, two nights lodging, and five meals.
- Regular priced tickets will be $299 and will include a retreat pass, two nights lodging, and five meals.
- A day pass will also be available for those who may live nearby and choose not to stay at the retreat center. The cost for a day pass is $99 (early bird) and $139 (regular price) and will include lunch and dinner on Saturday.
- Ashland, NE is a 30-minute drive from the Omaha airport. We will provide a shuttle from the airport to the retreat center.
- Optional “Be Brave” activities will include the ropes course and zip line, under the supervision and direction of Retreat Center staff members. Participants can add this activity as one of their breakout sessions for an additional $10.
- The event is designed to be casual, cozy, and small — we’re planning for about 60 overnight participants, with a possibility of up to 100 total (including those who choose a day pass).
I’m so excited about this. I’ll be there, God willing. You’ll come, too, right? I can’t wait to find the right harmony and make some music together! I’m thinking God might do something beyond our wildest dreams!
And maybe I won’t be so quick to sell my other dreams out.
What a great job you did with this! I am so excited about your dreams shared and that you will be there! I wish I could meet you there but I promise to pray for all of you! SO wonderful! Congrats on your chance to write for The High Calling. Wowsa!
Oh, I wish you could come so we could spend some time diving beneath the surface.
…for Him, through Him, in Him, like Him… That’s the key isn’t it? The key to all of this dreaming. It’s not about us at all. Not at all.
I always tell H, “When I get to heaven, God’s gonna hand me a guitar, and I’m gonna be able to play it.”
H says, “Well, you’d better start practicing now.”
Really, our whole life here on earth is just practice for what’s to come, right?
Oh, I love the way He makes dreams come true.. and the way you see Him even in the “little dreams”. Your retreat sounds wonderful. Looks like some of my favorite gals,too. I’m just next door in Iowa. May need to find my way to Ashland in April! Blessings to you!
Really? Oh, do! That would be so. much. fun.
Lynn Mosher says
Before I got to the ending image, I was going to quote that verse. I’m so excited for you. May the Lord bring you more and more of your heart’s desires!
I just have to squeeeee when I see all those who are going to be there. I wish you were!
Kel Rohlf says
God has me on a journey that I am calling New Frontiers…I recently made a commitment to start blogging five days a week…God nudged me after a season of preparing for the dream…I hope to be one of the first in line to sign-up for the RETREAT…as I feel this timely invitation has come as I fine tune the dream God has been unveiling over the years…thanks for sharing your dream and writing journey…
This is awesome, Kel. It gives me some God bumps. I’m looking forward to meeting and dreaming with you.
I love how you write out a dream. And I’m crazy about that picture, my friend. I cannot WAIT to see you again!
Or me you. April is way too far away!
Diana Trautwein says
You know that 10 word dream of yours? It was one of mine, too. And it never happened and likely never will. But then this other door opened – one I hadn’t even thought to dream about. Who knew? Sometimes dreams are amorphous things. And sometimes they have meat on them. Deidra’s has meat, doesn’t it?? This is big and scary and amazing – thanks for writing about it so wonderfully well.
Yes, it is big and scary and amazing. I’m so excited I get to see you TWICE in the span of–counting–seven months! And never say never. 😉
Louise G says
You make it sound so very tempting….
Would you? Could you???
kd sullivan says
Funny you should write about this today…I have something oh so similar tumbling about my insides. Oh how I wish…
Shelly Miller says
You’ve said it so well Sandy, the tumbling ways of dreams and the way they become reality. I have some holy expectation about this retreat, and I’ll get to see you twice. That is a gift my friend.
Jennifer Dougan says
I’m hopping over from Scribing the Journey. I understand the draw that words have. They string together in my head too as I drive, parent, pull weeds, and run.
Have a wonderful time at the Nebraska retreat. It looks great. I’m saving up for my next She Speaks conference.
Have a great week,
imperfect prose says
sweet sandy, i love how God cares about us, about all of us and you’ve beautifully illustrated that here. i am so looking forward to hugging you tight.
Megan Willome says
I am so happy to hear about your dream!
First of all I LOVE THIS POST! I have my own similar story of piano playing so you really struck home with me. I also love what you said about writing and where your dream is going. I still haven’t figured out where my dream is going……. and I am so so envious of the retreat! I want something like this so bad but it is really scary to me. I am going to start praying that God will direct me in where to go and when to go regarding expanding my dream of blogging for him.
I am so glad I stopped by today. I am adding this retreat to my prayer list.
Blessings to you and to all who attend.
Jennifer Richardson says
love and lilt
to you and your dreams:)
Jennifer Richardson says
love and lilt
to you and your dreams:)
David Rupert says
It sounds fabulous…too bad it’s just for girlz!
Charity Singleton says
This is just a beautiful post. It got my heart fluttering about dreams I had all but given up on that just might, maybe, one day come true. So glad to know you and have you in my life.
Janis@Open My Ears Lord says
Looks like I missed last year’s Dream Retreat but I would not have been able to go because of work. Maybe Deidra and team will have another one next year. Wouldn’t that be great?
Your post is filled with such enthusiasm that I was caught up in excitement myself, even though I kept seeing the date as 2013.
I’m so glad your dream came true. It gives me hope to give voice to one of my dreams. And to remember that when I delight myself in the Lord, He gives me the desires of my heart.
Thank you, Sandy–even if it’s a little late.