The Dream Coaches

I remember how it felt.
Knees slightly bent, pulled up–reclining against his chest. It was almost time, but not quite. Anticipation, fear, excitement…the air thick with these. We practiced giving birth.
“I want you to find something in the room…” she said. “It can be anything. Focus on that object. What color is it? How big? What is the shape? Do not take your eyes off that focal point. Now…breathe.”
And I did. Pulled air from outside in, felt invisible tendrils inhabit lungs and blood and tissue. In went fear, transforming into something altogether different as it traveled through my body and reached the exhalation point through parted lips.
“Breathe through,” she said.
It seemed so easy.
But when the time came, it was not so. Who could anticipate such pain? Such deep soul-pain can make one forget the practice. I wanted to hold my breath. I wanted to stop breathing at all.
“Breathe through,” he whispered—my love, my coach. I crushed his hand in mine. “Are you focusing?”
Breathe through. Focus. I needed my husband to coach me—to remind me. And in the focusing, the breathing came easier. Such a sweet reward to labor’s end almost makes me forget the pain. But not quite.
Birthing a dream is no less painful. A different pain, yes, but one that runs deep.  Where would we be without our Dream Coaches? The ones who remind us to breathe. The ones who encourage and teach and cheer and groan right alongside? The ones who remind us Where to focus? Who lead us to that place where our hearts connect with the heart of the Father?
Breathe through, the Dream Coach whispers.
I choose my Focal Point. It cannot be just anything. Only one thing—One Person—can transform this pain into something beautiful.
But sometimes my eyes stray. And I forget to breathe. Desire and fear flood lungs…threaten to break open fleshy confines and gush forth.
Breathe through, they whisper.
So I do. It’s not that easy. But, one breath at a time, I go on. And they cheer.
I learn to breathe again.
Have you heard about the Dream Coaches? Ann calls them midwives–they help to birth the dream. In July they will gather at the SheSpeaks conference to help lead others and each other to the heart of God. I’ve never met a group of women more generous in sharing their knowledge and resources to help other women realize their dream of glorifying God through writing, speaking, and ministry. Visit Ann to learn about a scholarship opportunity. And friend? May your birthing be sweet. I am honored to come alongside you and coach you along. 

And, will you join me over at Emily’s today? She kindly invited me to share at her place. Today we are dancing with trees…


  1. says

    I just found Emily’s blog and and will be highlighting it next week. Cool that you are on there today. Love your reflection on your son, arms out, “riding the breeze. When he is done flying, he sits on the porch alone.”
    As far as childbirth, all I remember coaching is the “hee-hee-hoo” breathing. I think it helped?

  2. says

    Your post reminded me of our experience with our children’s births. All that planning went out the door fast. I wasn’t the best coach in the world either. Funny thing too, we skipped the last class (C-section) because we didn’t think it applied to us. Suprise! All three of our children came via C-section for differing reasons.

    Never thought about the same principles applying to dreams. Now I have.

  3. says

    I would love someone to encourage me in the writing process. Right now it is hard to sit and think of words that have meaning and power.
    My heart is heavy and tired and as the birth of a new year continues I pray a new ‘birth’ for writing will take place.

  4. says

    Yet another inspiring blog. And so timely as I am anticipating ‘a new birth’ in the way of the Lord’s leading in my career. Thank you so much for such a beautifully worded, and ‘picture perfect’ blog!

  5. says

    Why didn’t I read this earlier in the week? These words spoke right to my heart. I lost a friend Thursday to an unexpected death. We weren’t close, but he brought a light and livliness to the room. Then, my story got rejected from one place I submitted. But I forgot to breathe and focus and instead felt the pain and the fear. Now I’m breathing again.

  6. says

    I can’t remember the pain of childbirth–never could, from the moment I held my baby in my arms, nearly 29 years ago.

    I do remember, at about hour 25, telling the nurse, “I can’t do this anymore!” She said, gently, “Do you want to stop and go home?”

    I need that kind of irrevocable stickiness about my dreams. You don’t get to stop and walk away when you’re tired. Just breathe.

  7. says

    Watch me spoil the mood…

    My memories of our “how to have a baby” classes mostly involve my husband and I heckling the RN teaching (who was awesome). You might imagine how the two of us responded to her suggestion that the baby coming out was much like a flower blooming. She tried not to look at us, and we tried to hold it in.

    And then you might imagine how much we didn’t remember when the time came…

    But your words remind me again that through that pain comes such wonder and joy — in so many different ways.

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