Posts tagged dreams
A Kingdom Kind Of Life


Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:32


The kind of life I want is a kingdom kind of life.

I want to live free of fussing and worry and angst and tense shoulders. To so trust the Father that every day is new and fresh. I want to wake up every morning with a smile of delight on my face because I know He has good things planned for my day.

I want to live free of fear, not because there’s nothing to be afraid of, but because I know His pleasure in me. I want to know with a knowing that permeates my being that His thoughts towards me are generous and grace-filled, that He sees the truest part of me.

I want to please Him and therefore be able to take both the threat and the reality of displeasing other people in stride. To know that it is only His favor that matters, and that if I do that, He can handle everyone else.

 I want to live, not as a perfectionist-performer people-pleaser, but as a worshipper-listener-delight-filled God-pleaser.

I want to have a plan to order my projects, but to be free to step away from the plan when the Father taps me on the shoulder and says, “I need you to do something different today- to be My hands and feet and presence to one who needs Me.”

I want to live free of all the should’s that bind me tight, and relish, instead, a life of get-too’s.

I want to be sent out by Jesus like the seventy He told about in Luke 10, and return as they did: “with joy” and in awe of what God can and will and does do when we set out on the assignments given us by God.

 I want to dream big dreams that are all about Jesus and not at all about me.

I want to so thoroughly grasp kingdom truth that I do no measure my success by accolades and bank accounts, but by the uncanny reality that the God of the universe is with me every moment of every day. And that He actually, really, truly… adores me.


I want to see and know and feel that every day is a gift, that my hours belong to Him, that there is a great crowd of people who are counting the days until I slip from this earth and into the presence of the One I live for. That they’re excited for me to get there because they love me and like me and want me to experience what they already know and I still barely grasp.

 I want time.

Time to work and time to rest and time to interrupt it all to enter into my people’s joys and sorrows. Time to write poetry, to craft stories, to spill words from my life. I want time to sing and bake cookies and plant a garden and go on long walks.

 And I want my story to count, because it’s God’s story.

I long for people to know…

what He does even when we don’t deserve it,

how He cares even when we can’t quite bring ourselves to believe it,

how He speaks even when we can’t or don’t or won’t hear.

It is this kingdom kind of life my deepest soul and truest self longs for, and it is this kingdom kind of life my Father is pleased to let me live.

 May you, dear ones, enter in to this kingdom— this place of indescribable beauty, unshakeable peace, and unending delight.

 May this place be your home.

From my heart,


P.S. My book, He Speaks In The Silence is now available for pre-order.  This is where I tell my whole story, more than I'd ever thought I would.



“…the wise of heart will know the proper time and procedure.”

Ecclesiastes 8v5


For as long as I can remember I have fought the feeling that I have too much to do. Too many errands, too many deadlines, too long a to-do list. Too many things I should have done but didn’t because I had too much to do.

 And often— too often— that too-much-to-do feeling has turned me anxious, fretful, and inevitably crabby.

Do you know what I mean? Is that your story too?

Or are you like all the women I put up on a pedestal— cool, efficient, and AMAZING? You know who I’m talking about:

They post pictures of their four-year-old’s Princess Party on Pinterest. Gauze and glitter, crowns on every child (and DIY directions on how you can make them for under a dollar!). The birthday girl looks overwhelmingly happy, not a tear or a temper tantrum in sight.

The women who manage to keep their house perfectly clean, their clothes perfectly stylish, and their lives perfectly managed. Women who never lose anything, never run out of anything, and are never, ever late.

Oh! And whose Christmas gifts are wrapped in perfectly coordinated paper— of course.

I am not one of those.

And if you’re not either, I’d like to share with you some things I’m learning about what to do when that feeling of too-much-to-do begins to choke your joy. And how not to let your LIST chase your dreams right out to the rubbish heap where dreams go to die.

1.    Rejoice by choice.

I know that sounds hokey but it’s a phrase that has stuck in my head and keeps coming back to me whenever I’m running helter-skelter to get more done than I am capable of doing.

The apostle Paul was stuck in prison and couldn’t do or accomplish anything! Instead of going crazy and complaining, he chose to “continue to rejoice”[1], dictating a letter to a group of Jesus followers for whom it had “been granted on behalf of Christ… to suffer for Him” the “same struggle” as Paul was enduring.

Here’s Paul’s motto: “Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.”

Rejoicing by choice replaces stressfulness with gentleness.

2.    Hide and Abide

Once, years ago, I was hiking high in the Alps with Phil and some friends. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with a sense of panic— the drop on either side of the path was dizzyingly steep. I froze. The only way I could get down that peak was by putting my hands on Phil’s back as he led me step by step down the mountain. I think of that often when I remind myself to hide my face in the One who loves me like no other.

By hiding in, and abiding with Jesus, we can make it step by step down any mountain we face.

3. Get your Assignments from God

When I wake up every morning early enough to spend a luxurious amount of time listening to the Father, He directs the paths of my day. Which is why I make my list after I’ve spent time in the Word.

I get my list from God by knowing who I am and who I’m not, lest I try to be superwoman. Or someone else: my best friend, that woman I admire, or the pretend person I follow like a puppy dog, wishing I were her.

I cannot do everything but I can do the all-things God has assigned just for me.

4. Know your Big Thing

The same man who rejoiced by choice, had purposefully cleared his life of anything that wasn’t about his God-given purpose. That specific, clarified purpose gave him the power in Christ to “strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” [2] It was Paul’s Big Thing.

For most of my adult life, my God-given purpose was raising four children to love God with all their might and mind, soul and strength. Now that’s changed. Now my Big Thing is to invite women to know God intimately, to learn to listen to His Voice.  And it’s also to partner with Phil to teach parents to intentionally raise children who become passionate Jesus followers. All the while, continuing to do all I can to help my own children raise the next generation of passionate Jesus followers.

Your Big Thing is that one thing that, if you found out your death was imminent, you would regret you hadn’t done.

5. Turn your Dreams into Goals

What do you dream about doing and being? What do you wish for in those quiet moments when you can listen to the longing in your heart?

I’m not talking about dreaming of cruises and castles and becoming a super star. I mean those God-given dreams, the things He has equipped you for but life keeps getting in the way and you’re afraid you’ll never do what you know God has called you to do.

Rather than spend your life simply wishing, what if you laid it all out before God and under His guidance dared to turn your dreams into actual, bona fide goals?

Goals are dreams purposely put on the calendar.

What a difference might it make if instead of forging ahead, list in hand, working harder, smarter, better, and more, we chose instead…

to rejoice,

to tuck ourselves in close to the Father,

to get our assignments only and always from God,

to ask Him what is our Big Thing, and then

to confidently put His dreams for me onto my calendar?

From a heart learning wisdom,


P.S. How are you learning to tame your to-do list? I'd love to know.

[1] Philippians 1v18

[2] Colossians 1v29

GARDEN CITY: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human

Welcome to October! Crisp mornings, fall colors, a sense of fresh beginnings as school routines normalize and we lean forward into our lives.

Here in the Northwest we know the rains are coming and so we live our lives outdoors as long as we can. That last bike ride, a walk in the woods, dinner on the deck. Surrounded by beauty, we dive in before the mists and mud make our treks cumbersome.

And we buy books. Lots of books. The citizens of Portland are readers. We brew our coffee strong and are more prone to meet friends at Powell’s than the mall. In the dark days ahead I’ll light cinnamon candles and look forward to reading my way through blustery storms in my corner of the world.

One book in particular.

My son, John Mark, has written a book that may well change the way a generation views the purpose of their lives. It's intriguing title is: Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.

And though his words are directed at millennials emerging into the early stages of their work lives, I believe the truths he writes just might change the way my generation sees the purpose of the later stages of their own professional lives as well..

Let me explain.

This book is about being human in real time. In that easy way he has, John Mark manages to bring the theology of work and rest out of the ivory tower of academia, right smack into our conversations over coffee.

He gives us room to dream, to imagine, to dare and risk and be the thriving humans God designed us to be.

And he refutes the widely held idea that, for Christians, who we are is more important than what we do. Instead, he paints a picture of a fully integrated life. A life where we get to choose. A life that finds satisfying meaning, not in living the American dream of more and bigger and better, but in choosing to become who and what God invites us to be.

And then he writes about rest. About Sabbath.

When John Mark first began sharing what he was learning about Sabbath with me, and then later when he developed the teachings that became the basis for this book, I listened like a woman whose canteen had run out of water while crossing the desert. I’d been pushing myself to work harder, to accomplish more, to wear every hat I’d been assigned.

And I was staggering under the impossibility of the load.

I couldn’t get these truths out of my mind. I couldn’t shake the sense that I was failing at everything, like one of those circus performers who spins so many plates that he’s running back and forth frantically to keep them from falling to the ground and shattering.

When I read his words I gave myself permission to quit.

I quit a job I loved, but that had outgrown my time constraints and my abilities. Was that little extra in my wallet worth it? Could I make do without?

I quit saying yes to needs I was not best equipped to meet. Instead I began to see myself as a connector. I hear a plea or help and connect that woman to one whose story is similar or whose strengths are just what she needs.

I quit going to every church gathering, every event, everything I was “supposed” to do. Instead I left room for myself to linger, to think and ponder and be alone enough to fill my introverted cup.

And I gave myself room to dream with God, to throw myself into what I love.

And Phil and I changed the course of our future. Our son’s words got us to talking and Phil quit too. He resigned a position he loved but that was choking the life out of him in order to start Intentional Parents, something we had talked about forever but would not have had the courage to dive into without these truths.

So I’m warning you. This book will give you permission to dream, to throw yourself into your God-assigned work, and to purposefully hit the pause button in order to give God one full non-achieving, non-striving, non-conflict day every week.

Read this book and you just might get messed up in your head. You might have to downsize your budget. You’ll probably make some changes. You might even quit.

And somehow I think God will be smiling, cheering you on as you dare to drink deep, to have courage, to know the hope of His calling… for you.

From a heart so proud of my son and so hopeful for you,


P.S. What is it you dare to dream about doing? My dream was to write, to overflow all that I have heard and learned to women. I so want to hear yours so I can cheer you on and pray.

P.S.S And if you do buy the book, and it does set you free to do and be what you hear God whispering in your soul, would you consider leaving an online review? For some reason I do not understand, those reviews mean something to publishers and booksellers. And they wouldn’t accept mine—can you imagine?! I guess they think I might be just a little bit biased…

The Family I Always Wanted

We all need a small group of people who will echo God’s love for us and His belief in us.

In an ideal universe, these are the people closest to us, our immediate families.

But this is not the case for so many people.

The wounds so many people carry are not from the opinions of strangers

but from the opinions of the people they love.

Savor~ by Shauna Niequist

I read these words this morning knowing I have what everyone wants and needs and so few experience— a loving, affirming family who actually like each other.

I cry mama-tears as I remember the years and years of hoping for this, despairing that my children would ever get along, that maybe this ideal is unrealistic, impossible. How I wondered if they would grow up to hate me for all those broken edges that poked and hurt and sometimes (oh how I wish it wasn’t true!) – wounded.

The truth is, ours is not and never was the Ideal Family.

We are too willful, too wordy, too opinionated to avoid hurting each other.  But somehow the Spirit of God heard those not-possible prayers from all those years and did something impossible.

He created a family of us, for us, in spite of us.

And tomorrow my family will begin gathering in Southern California for a week of being us. Camp Comer officially begins Monday at Disneyland. Fifteen of us: Pops, John Mark, Tam, Beks, Steve, Beets, Brook, Matt-man, Simo along with the 5 Grands: Judester, Mo-man, Sunday-Love, Dukester, and baby Scar.

And me.

I’ll be there grinning, taking terrible pictures and being teased for it, heart so full I won’t know whether to laugh at the impossibility of us as we are or weep because of the impossibility of what we have become.

We are a family.

We belong, every one of us— those born into us and those married into us. We will be there for each other in times that include Disneyland and in times of tragedy or shame or loss or failure. We, better than anyone else, know each other’s worth. And each other’s less-than’s.

There is something incredibly safe about being all-together.

As if we are our own small democracy, a tribe of people who will defend each other’s well-being at all costs.

When, just this last week, we got the bad news about 5 year old Duke’s severe hearing loss in one ear, his need to get fitted for a hearing aid before he starts school this fall, the email thread thrummed with our collective grief— and with hope as well. That watching Mom go deaf has taken some of the terror out of what may lie ahead for this boy we all know has worlds to conquer. And who knows who else in our clan.

In the front pages of John Mark’s book is a real-deal endorsement from his little brother, written a year or so before John Mark stood in front of Matt and his bride to laugh and tease and preach just a little hell fire and brimstone at his wedding before declaring Matthew and Simona husband and wife.

All week Elizabeth will love us by cooking. Beks will bring books and stories, Steve will excite us about design, Simo will inspire us with her gentle elegance, Brook will have us laughing, Tam will understand, Matt will bring joy and balance, John Mark will get us thinking about things we didn’t know mattered, and Pops— he will make it all work.

And me? I will be filling up with this “small group of people who echo God’s love for us and His belief in us”.

I can’t help but think of all the young parents who are right in the thick of the part that feels impossible.

Moms who will get up this morning to another day of the same, wondering if all this work is worth it. Dads who had no idea how hard all this would be. May I just give you a peek into your future?

Fathers, don’t run away.

You stand to lose so much more than you can comprehend. Be faithful, be present, be loving, say loving things. Apologize when you blow it. Get help when you need it. Love on your wife like your future depends on it. Because it does.

Mothers, don’t be mean.

Be friendly to that man of yours even when you’re overwhelmed and think he could be, should be better. Love on those children even when you’ve reached your limit. Apologize when you blow it so they grow up knowing your frustration wasn’t their fault— because it isn’t. And please, watch your words.

Because someday, by God’s grace and a miracle or two, you will be planning your own version of Camp Comer.

And the fun starts now.

From an overflowing heart,


P.S. Do you have hopes for your family? Can you tell us?




But you are

a chosen people,

a royal priesthood,

a holy nation,

God’s special possession,

That you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness

into His wonderful light.

I Peter 2v9

I am just now emerging from that fog called jet lag. We arrived home from Albania in the wee hours of last Tuesday filled to the brim with thanksgiving for what God did in our midst.

Phil and I had been invited to come to Albania to teach the Intentional Parents: raising passionate Jesus followers conference to a group of leaders who would determine if our material would effectively cross the barriers of culture, making it applicable to the Church in Albania.

On the last night of the conference, one of the leaders who invited us asked people to come to the front and tell us how our teaching had impacted their lives.

We listened in awe, humbled and energized by their words. What we heard made all the work of preparation and study and speaking through translators and jet lag and fatigue… worth it.

Over and over we saw mothers and fathers who caught the vision of intentionally passing on their faith to the next generation.

Parents who now see their children as the hope for Albania- and as bearers of the Gospel to a side of the world that needs Jesus desperately.

Albania is a nominally Muslim country with open doors and friendly relations with nations that are closed to most westerners. Turkey loves Albanians, Syria welcomes them with open arms. They have the support and sympathy of nearly every Muslim country in the world— countries closed to Americans and most Europeans.

Because of that, we realized together that-

If this generation of Jesus following Albanian parents

make disciples of their own children,

they can quite possibly change our world!

Which is why I am already looking forward to going back next year. Their plan is to have us come back with a team (more about that later) and put on the Intentional Parents conference in the capital, Tirana, and then for a gathering of churches in southern in Albania.

On the long flight home, all I could think about was this idea of God giving us dreams that are too big for us.


He takes our barely there dreams—

the ones we hardly dare voice out loud,

the dreams we know we don’t have what it takes to do—

and He infuses us with more than we are, and does more than we dare dream.

Why aren’t we talking about this every day of our lives?

This great thing, this magnificent work of God… in us and thru us and for us and to us.

I have absolutely loved hearing about your dreams. Not one of them has sounded outlandishly impossible to me… and yet so many of you are just like me… sort of apologetic about the dreams you harbor.

Why is that?

I think it’s because we are afraid: of failure, of mediocrity, of standing out from the crowd, of looking foolish, of our not-enoughness.

We are afraid because we think these God-inspired sparks of compelling desire are our own responsibility… and we know we are not up for the task.

Look at me: A shy introvert who quakes at the very thought of people turning to look at me. A back row kind of girl. Super serious and introverted, born without a funny bone, who rarely grasps the punch line of a joke. Who doesn’t actually like to travel. And on top of all that? Deaf.

That woman— the me that I am in real life— went to Albania, spoke in front of a room full of leaders… who laughed at my unplanned jokes… and learned from my raw stories.

If I can dream, just think what God might do with you?

From a heart still tired but immensely satisfied,


P.S. Okay, please, I am craving a few more honest, hope-filled possibilities of how you dare dream God may use you and your story. 

Your courage just  might light a fire of desire in those of us who are held back by fears.  


“There is a time for everything…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…I was a mother of little ones.

John Mark—my wild one, incapable of sitting still, coming out of his skin with ideas and interests. He was born to challenge boundaries, encouraged to question, destined to a story of vision and conquest.

Next came Rebekah, overflowing with joy, loving people, born with an insatiable need to fix, to help. She inhaled books, studied anything and everything that interested her inquisitive mind, and met injustice with the ferocity of a warrior-woman.

A boy and a girl, both so high on the intensity scale, they filled this mama’s days with wonder… and weariness.

Then came Elizabeth. Soft and gentle. Slow and easy. Compliant. She turned all that familiar intensity inward, filling up with wisdom, dishing out prophet-like insight. An easy infant, an easy toddler, even an easy teenager— easy on everyone but herself.

We waited a while for Matthew, our delight-filled, drama-prone, willful one— who came out of the womb looking for a party and filled our home with his friends.

All I’d ever wanted was to be a mother, to surround myself with little people, to create a legacy. But somehow I thought I could do all that and still keep my house always tidy, my chore list crossed off, myself looking like a model, my marriage conflict free…

And I couldn’t.

Not even close.

And there’s a whole story I can’t tell right here, the one I’m working to tuck into a book for next fall— about my flailing struggle and miserable failure to measure up to my own impossible dreams of how life ought to be.

On this wind-swept No-Rush-November day, all I can say is this:

For every worn out mother who wonders what happened to her dreams, hold tight, hang on. There is time for everything. Between your time to be born and your time to die, you will have more than enough time to achieve, to make your mark, to create beauty, to excel.

But what you are doing now, in the midst of the messes and the piles and the impossibly long lists of things that must be done— this is your finest hour.

When you hold that infant to your breast… you are nourishing a human who will grow up knowing deep down that she matters, that he is loved, and not just by you, but by God Himself. When you hold those babies close, their hearts sinc to yours… and to His.

Because God says:

Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! Is 49v15 nlt

When you hold that little one’s hand because he is afraid, because he needs you, because holding onto your hand keeps him safe… you are giving him the deep down security that can only come to one who puts his whole trust in God.

Because God says:

See, I have written your name on My hand. Is. 49v16 nlt

When you do the hard work of discipline— again— and you think that’s all you are, just one big-mean-mama, you are planting within that child the ability to choose. To choose how to act, who to follow, what to do when life gets hard. You are giving him the gift of soul strength, of self-control. Of life.

Because God says:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 10v11 niv

For just a few short years of your life, you are assigned to fill in for God. You guide with His hands, you speak His words, you guide every child-paced step towards the path that leads to life. You open the door to introduce your child to a Father who welcomes them in.

This, dear mothers who need to know, is…

The time to love:

To embrace sweaty boys while they still hug long and close.

To plant seeds of future dreams by imagining with them what could be.

To laugh over silly jokes with no punch line.

To dance to tunes about building snowmans and being free.

To read stories and give piggyback rides and fix lunch and rummage in the messy closet for socks that match.

This, my dear mothers, is the time to find beauty in the faces right in front of you.

Right now, during these fleeting days of No Rush November, will you redefine your definition of perfection?

Will you choose to live at peace with the imperfection of your body, your abilities, your to-do list?

Will you decide to see that achieving is not the same as doing?

That, indeed you are— in these sometimes disorderly, discouraging, disheartening years— achieving more than you could possibly hope to achieve in all the rest of the days of your life?

May He give you eyes to see.

From my heart,


P.S. if your answer is YES! will you write it in the comments?


(Image by Abi Porter)


“… when dreams come true there is life and joy.” Proverbs 13:12

Last week Phil and I left for Germany to teach INTENTIONAL: Raising Passionate Jesus Followers. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland where we were met by a delightful young couple and their two-year-old daughter. We’d known Stephanie before she met Luke, then watched their love grow and all the curious leading of God in their lives that eventually landed them at the Black Forest Academy in southern Germany. As we taught this group of missionaries and business people, pastors and teachers and leaders, I couldn’t help but be humbled by their intelligence and maturity. Their questions revealed their hearts— brimming with love for their children and a deep desire to follow fully and passionately after Jesus in every area of their lives.

A few days later we traveled by train to Salzburg, Austria, land of Sound of Music and Maria and all those Van Trapp children. Castles and Cathedrals and Cuckoo Clocks and Glockenspiels. As you read this, we’re exploring the wonders of the Christmas Market, then headed by sleeper train back to Zurich for our flight home.

(the mansion where the Sound of Music was filmed)

And all I can do is wonder…

Why in the world would God let me do this?

A simple, shy homebody.  A woman characterized by average. Normal. Medium. And yet here I wander, half way around the world, doing what I couldn’t possibly have dreamed up on my own.

For years, I’ve eschewed the best sellers that claim all our dreams will come true if we’ll only believe enough. I’ve been known to scoff at the “Best Life” ideals. Shuddered at what I believe is an adulteration of the message of Jesus. Somehow diamonds and dream vacations just don’t line up with the reality of Paul’s life— or John’s or Peter’s or any of those heros listed in Hebrews 11. Early on in my walk with God, wise mentors taught me that only in laying down our lives can we hope to gain everything He has and wants for everyone of us. I have believed that a life fully surrendered, emptied of expectation, ready and willing to die to dreams is the life that is truly life.

So how did I end up here? Living this dream?

It started with a problem: How in the world would we raise our children to be full-on followers of Jesus? With no faith background, no inherent wisdom, and no idea what to do, we began to study. To read and research, to ask questions and seek mentors. And as our children grew, we dug deeper.

Having no idea what to do, we had the advantage of having no preconceived ideas about how it should be done.

Sometimes we taught others what we were learning. Mostly we just listened and took notes and begged God to give us the wisdom we needed to face the unexpected.

Some friends thought we were overdoing it. Others taught us what they knew, adding to our stockpile of accumulated answers.

We dared. We risked. We did what we thought we heard God teaching us, telling us, leading us to do.

And we made mistakes. Lots of mistakes. Which led to a lot of repenting and relearning and humbling ourselves to try again.

Somehow our four children survived all that intensity. Somewhere in there they caught hold of Jesus and held on. They saw Him and heard Him and fell in love with Him.

Amazing. Miraculous. Beyond belief. Watching them, one–by-one, catch hold of Him has been more reward than I’d ever dreamed.

But, if I’m honest, somewhere I did dream of passing these uncovered treasures along to others. Years and years ago I even wrote it all down- only to realize I still didn’t know enough— hadn’t lived enough, to have enough to offer. Someday, I thought. Maybe someday.

And now I’m getting to live that Someday.

And I’m beginning to see a place in our lives for dreaming… not scheming and pushing and assuming and expecting… but for the kind of dreaming that has hope at it’s heart. Dreaming that maybe God will take my small sack lunch— my version of a couple of dried fish and a few barley loaves and multiply it to feed many.

And so today I’ll wander the stalls of the Christmas Market, wishing strangers a Frohe Weinachten, holding Phil’s hand, pinching myself from time to time just to be certain it’s real. In a couple of days I’ll be back to my normal, less-than-extraordinary life. Later, I’ll wrestle with what I’ve believed about the place of dreams and hopes and wishes.

But for now… I’ll just delight in dreams come true.

From my heart,


P.S. Are you dreaming of what God might have for you as you follow Him fully? Dare you tell us what that dream looks like? I, for one, would love to hear what God is up to in the weaving of your story. 

HE'S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: what a woman really wants

“I sought him who my soul loves…”

Song of Songs 3:1

Dear girls,

For many months now I have been writing with two purposes:

#1 To remind you that only Jesus can fully satisfy all those cravings and wantings inside of you. And that no man has the capacity to meet your every need. That until we find our hopes and longings for love met in an intimate relationship with the Savior, we are unable to fully give ourselves to the men in our lives.

#2 To teach you what I am learning about how to love a man well. We’ve talked long about responding with sexual freedom in the marriage bed, about respect, about tenderness and loyalty. All sorts of ways to be the lover and friend your man wants and needs.

Now it’s time we started talking about your own hopes and dreams.

  • What you wish for in a relationship.
  • How you wish he would treat you.
  • What kind of man you want to spend the rest of your life with.
  • What hurts you
  • What you wish he knew.
  • How you would respond if only…

But I’ll need your help with this one. Because I’m hoping to write in a way that men will want to read. And I’m hoping that you will pass these letters on to the men in your life; that you will tweet and text and Facebook and hint… And that I will be able to speak as an older woman into the hearts of your men, setting in simple terms the truths about what a woman really wants.

Here’s what I need from you:

Realistic, bottom-line lists and descriptions of what you really want.

Can you condense all those yearnings, all your ideals and dreams into short form? Feel free to make up a name or call yourself Anonymous. But be honest. Think about this. If your husband or boyfriend dared ask “What do you want from me?” What would you say?

Because, my dear girls, there are men who are really asking. Good men, godly men, imperfect-but-growing men, who want to know what it is you want, but are so confused by the mixed messages they’ve been getting for so long that they honestly don’t know.

I think it’s time we let them into our hearts and hopes.

From my heart,


P.S. If leaving a comment seems too intimidating, you can email me at I’ll be collecting all your thoughts as I write.


Dear girls,

Sometimes God gives us a task that is just too big for us. It starts, most often, as an idea. A spark.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if…

And somehow that tiny spark starts to light us up. We glow when we think about it. The idea warms us. We find ourselves wanting to flame it into something tangible and real.

We dream.

Someday I’d like to…

As the dream grows and takes shape we who walk and talk with, and listen to Jesus are in constant conversation with Him about this idea. He is, we believe, the One who sparked the vision in the first place.

Lord, is this from You? Might it be Your prompting? Are You behind this dream?

That’s when we let others take a peek. Tentatively, protectively, we share the dream. Or part of the dream. At least the part that doesn’t involve us.

Somebody really ought to…

We hope our closest people will jump up and down and tell us they’re with us. That they’ll point out that we’re capable. That they’ll give us the courage to go for it.

You were made for this moment… I can see it….

That rarely happens.

Usually, people who love us caution us.

What if? You know that time you? Be careful? Have you thought of?

And the dream falters. Those doubts and fears and insecurities we’ve ignored like buzzing flies land on our skin and burrow deep.

Or for some, stubbornness sets in. We set our jaw and feel sorry for ourselves and resent the ones who love us enough to tell us not to try that thing they don’t dream about and wonder why we do.

Why doesn’t she understand? Why does he always have to throw cold water on my ideas?

And sometimes we just let the dream die right then and there. It was ours for a moment but now its not. We go on with what we’re supposed to do but the spark is gone from the day-to-day. The burdens we carry seem a little more burdensome. The boring must-do’s a little more wearying.

The next time that sparks tries to ignite way back wherever it is that dreams are born, we snuff it out. Immediately. No use dreaming. That’s for other people, not for ordinary, less-than-amazing people like us.

Our dreams, we’ve been told, are selfish.

What about the kids? The house? The future?

And as we grow older, that daring, adventurous, BIG part of our soul just shrivels up and dies. We’re not heroes-in-the-making anymore.

We drudge. We crank. We grumble.

And that, my dear girls, is what happens when we squelch the dreams of those we love.

When we caution our man about all the things that could go wrong…

When we insist we know it’s not for him or for us or for our future together…

When we point out the obvious— that nobody dreams that big except the somebodies.

And we don’t let him be a somebody because… well, I don’t really know why.

When my wants clash with his dreams and I get squeamish maybe its just because I’m afraid. And maybe instead of trying to talk him out of it I should just trust him.

Or maybe not. Maybe I can’t trust him because I think he’s selfish and foolish and just wrong. Maybe that idea is just no good. Or no good for me. Or for the children we have or might have someday.

But what if we decided to trust God?

To say Yes.

To dare to let him dream and maybe even fail.

And then be there to tell him he’s not a failure, but a man brave enough to dream and you love that about him.

And then to pick up the pieces and let him dream again because you really do.

You respect a man who dreams and does because dreaming and then doing that dream is heroic.

And rare.

And worthy.

Girls, I think it’s time we dare to let our men dream.

It’s time to let him know we’ve got his back even when we’re scared. That it’s okay if it doesn’t work out because we’ll still be there to let him dream again.

I think it’s time that we realize that He’s Not Your Prince Charming but he is a man with a need to dream. And if we’re the ones to squelch the dream he’ll never get to be that knight in shining armor he needs to be.

And if you think so too, I’d urge you to read Sarah’s story. It’s found in Genesis, chapter 12. Her husband had a dream and she chose to follow it with him through all the messes he made in the process. She risked, she endured, she laughed and she cried and she lost and she gained.

And she learned to trust God even when her husband failed.

I think it’s time we choose to be like Sarah. 

From my heart,


PS: Sarah made some not-so-nice mistakes in the process of trying and so do we. But we can give each other courage by telling our stories- both good and bad. Would you tell us yours?