Playdates with God: I Dreamed a Dream

The days have been warm and clear for late January and yesterday when I went running I noticed the bulbs waking from their sleepy beds—pointy green fingers reaching up. The sun left a memory of its summer strength on my face and as I took flight I wondered about sleeping dreams and the way the earth turns silently through time.
My boys have been on a short winter break from school and we have had many adventures. I’ve been scarce here but fully present with them. They both mark their birthdays this week and there have been friends and sweets and presents. Yesterday we went to see Lincolnand I studied their faces in a dim theater for traces of understanding. On the way home we talked about the movie—about how things might have been different if the 13th amendment hadn’t passed. And we wondered together at what human beings are capable of. And how time—this thick thing, as Abe said in the movie—has erased the urgency of freedom.
We forget so many things.
Today there is a march from one of the churches downtown to our state capitol building. There the freedom bell will be rung and speeches will be made. And the boys and I will watch the inauguration on television and I will tell them how the President will be sworn in on two Bibles—one that used to be owned by Martin Luther King, Jr. and one that was Abraham Lincoln’s. We will make our own march and recite pieces of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech—shout it from the top of the little bridge in our neighborhood.
Last week my agent sent my book proposal out to several publishers and it was a good feeling—a surreal feeling after all this time. I was so grateful. And last night when the boys and I walked I told them how I can’t stop thinking about the thirst for justice that Abe Lincoln had and isn’t it funny how a dream changes with this thick thing called time? How something that used to seem as necessary as air can become a means to an end—a way to open oneself up to the bigger dream that God dreams?
When I watched Les Miserable a couple weeks ago, my first tears fell when Ann Hathaway sang I Dreamed a Dream. Because an unrealized dream can be a heartbreaking thing. Especially when it comes to justice. And something a mentor said about 1 Corinthians 12:1-11keeps sticking in my mind.
It occurred to me for the first time, he said, that all the things discussed in the scripture are carried out by human beings. For these things to happen, a person is required to fill them.
And when I think about Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. and anyone else who has stood up in the face of injustice…it makes my dream bigger too.
Let’s keep dreaming for each other, for this world, for shalom. And hold these dreams for one another with love through the thick turning of time.
They tell me a cold snap is coming on. 
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him

Today, over at The High Calling, we continue our book club discussion of Karen Swallow Prior’s Booked. Will you join us?

The Playdates button:

Linking up with Holley Gerth and her God-Sized Dream community …


  1. says

    I know, I know…I almost printed the lyrics to I Dreamed a Dream because it has these lines:

    But the tigers come at night

    With their voices soft as thunder

    As they tear your hope apart

    As they turn your dream to shame

    And I think its so true–we let the world make us ashamed of dreaming. I’ve been guilty of it. That’s why I think we need to dream together–a bigger dream. To hold each other up and celebrate the desires we hold in our hearts. Just think–what if MLK kept his dream to himself?

    Love ya, Kendal.

  2. Jen Ferguson says

    How many dreams have we let be destroyed? But perhaps the more important question is, how many dreams that God has given us have we let fall by the wayside? May we grow together, encouraging one another to pursue those from Him, no matter the cost or the struggle or the heartache. (And what is your book about??)

  3. says

    Well, now I’m dreaming of bulbs pointing shoots out of the frozen January ground.

    Yes, we forget. I remember when Deidra was writing her 31 days series, about looking at life from inside her skin. I kept thinking how little context my kids have for understanding the struggle for civil rights in this country. They have read about these events in history books but simply cannot comprehend a time in this country’s recent history when injustice, based on race, was so blatant and protected by law. They just can’t believe such a thing was possible and, in a way, I’m glad they can’t imagine the possibility.

    Dreams? I’ve been reading Holley’s book too, but I’ve been silent in the community. Sometimes dreams lay dormant an awfully long time, especially when the immediate goal is simply to survive the winter. Maybe you can help coax one out of me in a couple of weeks. I’ve missed seeing you around the internet, but I’m glad you’ve had time with your young men. Much love.

  4. OutnumberedMom says

    “A dream changes with this thick thing called time.” Been there, felt that. Dreams were on my mind today too, Laura. As they should be; I’m not sure we can go on without them, personally or corporately. I say, we dream on!

  5. Becky Kopitzke says

    People are required to carry out dreams. Why have I never considered it in that light before? Thank you for these beautiful thoughts, Laura. Blessings to you today…and Godspeed that book proposal.

  6. says

    Beautifully written, Laura. You tied in so many themes pertinent to this day. It is a scary thing to me at times that God has put so much in our hands, until I remember that it is his hands holding us up. But still. Thankful for grace.

  7. says

    This post reinforces what I just read over at Lisa’s blog. We are God’s workmanship; created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. I needed this reminder. Thanks for saying it so beautifully, Laura.

  8. says

    This post took my breath away. I reread it several times. You really struck a chord with your words. very inspirational. Yes I tweeted it and will read it again.

    by the way, loved both movies too

  9. Diane says

    Lincoln…King…two inspiring leaders. Two men that whose dreams became reality. I’m grateful that they put feet to their dreams. Dare I dream that our country would again have leaders of that caliber again?

  10. says

    “It occurred to me for the first time, he said, that all the things discussed in the scripture are carried out by human beings. For these things to happen, a person is required to fill them.”

    Terrifying, isn’t it, and heart-breakingly beautiful, hopeful.
    Your post reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, “Shoulders”

    A man crosses the street in rain,
    stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
    because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

    No car must splash him.
    No car drive too near to his shadow.

    This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
    but he’s not marked.
    Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

    His ear fills up with breathing.
    He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
    deep inside him.

    We’re not going to be able
    to live in this world
    if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
    with one another.

    The road will only be wide.
    The rain will never stop falling.

  11. Linda says

    Those days spent with your boys are so precious Laura. I love the way you pour your very heart into them.
    I’ll be praying about the book. I’m excited for you. I printed out what I had written of my feeble attempt the other day. I’m a bit fearful. Fearful to continue and fearful to step out into the future with it. Please pray I’ll know what to do.
    Love to you dear friend.

  12. Elizabeth Hernandez says

    I love reading your playdates. So inspiring! Dreams……I love dreams because they all can become reality. They have been placed there by God! I love that you took you children to see Abe Lincoln. I want to see it. Maybe soon. Then home to watch the President sworen in and the speech what an awesome mom you are. Such encouragement.

  13. says

    I loved your words this morning, and your inspiration. What your mentor said? About God’s plans being carried out by people? Yes. Scary yes. But it all rests in Him, so we have only to be obedient. Thank you, Laura, for this quiet place!

  14. Dave Lee says

    I want to dream with my eyes wide open, my hands reaching and my heart ready. I want to dream without blankets to hide me or pillows to soften the weight, but with boots on and back straight. I want to dream a blue jeans and flannel shirt, calloused hands and dirty faced kind of dream that sees fields tilled and planted and tended and white unto harvest. I want to dream with my eyes wide open.

  15. says

    OK – this is the 3rd post I’ve read about God-Sized Dreams today! I’m getting the message I think! One of my dreams connects with your theme of ending slavery, and I wrote a post about it today & linked here. Hugs! Thanks, as always, for sharing. Love, Michelle

  16. pam says

    I have never allowed myself to dream, but recently God finally connected the dots in the depths of my being that I truly am His daughter and I think dreaming is going to wake up a part of me that has been denied. I do believe when He reveals that to us that our part is to step into what He has for us. The past does indeed shape us but we need to learn that all along the way God was always there and moving the world on in our behalf. When we can see how only He can connect the dots in our lives than we see with His eyes and the world looks so differently and we can believe with hope….that there is much to dream, there is much to notice.

  17. says

    How gorgeous. I was thinking that the dreams we have are often God-given, but we grow in character and faith as we carry them to fruition, as I imagine Mary and Elizabeth and Sarah and Hannah and Rachel did. Funny how so much of these Biblical women of faith grew to full stature in the years of dreams deferred, grew in their ability to hold on to faith…

  18. Amy Anderson says

    I enjoyed going to the movies with you as I read this:) (loved and wept with Les Mis and still need to see Lincoln) I REJOICED, though, when I read about your book proposal! That thrills my heart. I love your voice and will pray it is heard in the best ways possible. I thought of that recently when reading one particular book a certain friend kindly sent my way, I couldn’t help thinking that I’d enjoy it more if the author’s name were Laura.

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