Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dreaming Big and Running with Endurance

I am honored today to feature a guest post from one of my favorite writers, Teresa Reep Tysinger (at left). To be completely honest she is not just one of my favorite writers- she is one of my favorite people!  Teresa is sharing today about dreaming, and about one of her dreams. I urge you to share in her dream (as I have) by clicking the link at the bottom of the post and doing something amazing and tangible- GIVE! Join me and be part of her Dream Team. I'm not promising anything, but there may be t-shirts! And thank you, Teresa, for being willing to share from the heart. Always.

Hope is a foundational concept in the Christian faith. In fact, I’d argue that aside from grace, it’s the defining concept. We have hope for salvation because we trust in the promises of God’s love for us. We are renewed with strength as we wait on his plans to be made known. So what do we do in the meantime, as those full of hope?  We dream.

Throughout the course of history, “dreamers” have often been tagged as foolish, nonsensical, time-wasters. Undoubtedly there’s some merit to that. Dreaming is easy. Doing is hard. Doing takes planning, gumption, patience, and a willingness to fail (sometimes several times) before succeeding.  But while dreaming may be comparably easy, let’s not forget that dreaming is birthed from hope. Inventors dream up an invention hoping for added convenience. Artists dream of new ways to use various mediums in hope for creating beauty. Humanitarians dream of repurposing excess resources in hopes of bringing relief to hunger and poverty. 

These might be lofty examples of dreamers – inventors, artists, humanitarians. But I believe each of our individual dreams (i.e. ideas, brainstorms, and ambitions) are a product of the spiritual gifts God has distributed among us. At the most honest level, we dream of doing the greatest with our own talents, and leave those with talents we don’t possess to figure the rest out. What are your dreams?

One of my dreams has been to use my writing to express joy, hope, and grace to others. Since a young girl, I’ve found these things within the pages of countless books. As I’ve grown, however, the dream was packed away in a box deep in the recesses of my mind, covered up by demands of school, relationships, motherhood, career, etc.  I accepted that there’d be time for that particular dream down the road. One day. I hoped.

Have you ever noticed God’s tendency to make things more complicated than necessary? Weaving together expanses of time, involving numerous people in varying degrees, detouring to expose unexpected opportunities. But an intricately woven tapestry is far more interesting, memorable – and most importantly stronger – than a simple, loosely stitched piece of fabric constructed swiftly and haphazardly.

I’m so thankful to see God in the midst of weaving together my dream of becoming an author. A friend/co-worker urged me to consider participating in National Novel Writer’s Month back last November, through which you commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Crazy, right? But the dreamer in me perked up. I channeled my inner gumption and willingness to fail and committed. I traded my precious evening couch time for the glow of the computer monitor late into the night. I painstakingly ignored my lack of confidence that anyone would want to read it. I was tired. I was weary. I doubted along the way. But I was also excited, hopeful, and felt alive. I trusted God to use my words to craft a story of grace and redemption that would mean something to at least one person who needed it.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance 
and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  (Hebrews 12.1)
 Imagine my surprise when in less than 30 days, I had done it. It was hard. I wanted to quit – many times.  Now, thanks to the urging of supportive family and friends, I’ve found an editor I want to work with toward to road to publication. She’s the first one I checked out and it felt like an instant match. But God’s not done weaving. I’m taking another uncomfortable leap and asking anyone interested to join what I’ve affectionately named the “Dream Team,” and donate funds to cover the cost of a professional edit of the manuscript.

“I can’t ask people for money for something that’s just a personal dream,” I told my family and friends.

A friend pointed out that might be selfish of me – not giving others the chance to be willingly woven in to this beautiful and intricate tapestry of how God’s working through this dream. A dream that ultimately belongs to him anyway. 

So I created a campaign on, a crowdfunding site specifically for aspiring writers and publishers. At the time I’m writing this, I’m 10% funded with 27 days to go. It’s scary. But I’m willing to fail. And I’m hopeful. A pretty powerful combination that leaves the door open wide enough to welcome God in to work his magic. The outcome is no longer really important.

What’s your dream? What amazing thing – big or small – might God do through your dreaming while we await the hope of eternal life with him? Working in the lives of your children as they experience you parenting with a servant heart? Integrating into your company’s initiatives a community service component? Building a water well in a small African village? And be on the lookout for people join your Dream Team. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Build your village. Bless others with the opportunity to be part of your tapestry.
Dream big, friends. Endure the race set before you. We are a hopeful people.

** If you’re interested in learning more, or – gasp! – donating to my crowdfunding campaign, please visit my PubSlush page (link Thank you! **  - Teresa Tysinger

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