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.