The Dream Book
Marybeth Whalen

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)

Heads bent together, they study what to me looks like a mess but to them looks like something beautiful. The table is littered with glue sticks, magazines, scraps of paper, and scissors. "Mom," my daughter informs me as she looks up, "We're making dream books." Her eyes shine with possibility. It is clear that she believes in the dreams she is pasting in her book.

Looking at her, I am reminded of my own little girl dreams, of a time that I saw life as bursting with potential: I simply had to believe hard enough to make those dreams turn into reality. Life had not taught me otherwise then.

I listen as they discuss what they are pasting into their dream books. "This," says my daughter's friend, "is my desk area. And this will be my husband's, right beside me," she says with satisfaction. I don't tell her that she might not be able to afford a house that is large enough for two desk areas. That her marriage may get to a point that her husband might not want to be right beside her.

"These are my twins," my daughter says, her face shining with enough pride that they could be her real children. "Their names are Hunter and Hannah." I don't tell her that her husband may not like the names Hunter and Hannah. That she may not be blessed with twins, with children at all. I don't cloud their dreams with the realities of adulthood. I turn my attention to the dinner that needs to be cooked, the pressing needs that seem to overtake what I once dreamed.

But in my heart, I feel God whisper, What are your dreams? Have you forgotten? Have you lost hope? You could take a lesson from your little girl. I am challenged to hang onto what I once believed about life—to not let setbacks and heartbreak scream louder than the echoes of my dreams. What kind of woman can I be if I have stopped believing that dreams can come true?

What kind of home can I create if it's a place where dreams are discarded like the trash?

God has planted dreams in all of our hearts. He did not intend for our dreams to get trampled by our own busy feet. Just like my daughter and her friend catalogued their dreams, maybe it's time for you to take some inventory in your life. 2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (NIV). That includes your God-given dreams.

Do you remember your little girl dreams? What did they look like? Who did you dream of becoming? It's not too late to dream dreams, to envision a future that accepts reality, yet embraces potential. Just for today, allow yourself to remember your dreams. Smile, feel giddy, hope. Whether it's starting your own business, writing a book, having a great marriage, or running a marathon… whatever dreams stir your heart, don't push them aside today. Create your own dream book, even if the pictures are just painted on the canvas of your mind.

Dear Lord, I know You created me to shine for You. I know that You gave me unique talents and abilities, with dreams to match. Help me to remember my dreams and to trust You to fulfill them in Your timing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Marybeth’s blog

The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

Shaped with Purpose Workbook and accompanying CD by Renee Swope

What about your husband’s dreams? Consider sharing this book with him Hero: Unleashing God's Power in a Man's Heart by Derwin Gray

Visit our Radio Show, Falling Forward, for more free encouragement!

Application Steps:
If you had a dream book, what would it contain? What parts of your life would you keep? What parts would you like to add? Write about this in your journal and consider clipping a few magazine photos for some visual inspiration.

What is one little girl dream you had that you have already seen come true?

Have you taken time to celebrate that?

Power Verses:
Psalm 62:5, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." (NIV)

Proverbs 23:18, "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." (NIV)

© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Amanda said...

Its so important to have dreams. I am so excited that I've been able to see my dream of going back to college become a reality, and so thankful that my husband and sons - another dream come true - are so supportive and encouraging.

Blogger Amanda said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Liza said...

I became a little misty eyed thinking how I have put dreams aside because life just gets so hectic and who has time. Being a mom, wife, daughter, friend, employer is so consuming. Thanks for the reminder in God's Word of all He has and wants for us. My hope is in my Lord who overwhelmes me with His love and His precious ways of reminding me of that fact by reading my devotion this morning.

Anonymous Deola said...

Most people know me as driven. I would not quite agree. as a matter of fact, reading today's devotion made me realize I don't dream much. So now I wonder what I have been trying to achieve. No wonder many things haven't turned out right. I'm looking into the mirror and I realize there's alot for me to do. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really never thought about dreaming, like you when I was small I know I had dreams of becoming a secretary and getting married someday. I also had dreams of learning to play the piano just like my mother. However that is a dream I have never accomplished. I am married and have one wonderful daughter. The other two dreams I just never seemed to accomplish. The secretary thing is out, I dont think I could handle that job now, I really enjoy what I do at my job as a inventory control clerk. I really would like to play the piano, it is something I have always longed to do. I just never seem to be able to afford it. One Christmas I got my daughter a keyboard. I tried to learn by myself but just couldn't seem to get the hang of it. I learned the keys and did pick out some tunes but that was as far as I got. Now that I have been reminded of dreams in this devotion, I will still dream that it can come true.

Blogger Unknown said...

This was simply beautiful and motivating. I think about alot of my dreams, but never actually think that I may actually accomplish them. I've learned that I must not worry and believe that God CAN and WILL do the impossible.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wept as I read dreams all but dissolved in a pool of many unrealized and may never be...

Perhaps it is time to ask God to give me new dreams...ones that are possible because He has dreamed them for me and will make them happen....

Revive me, O LORD....revive my hope!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the lady who wants to play the piano. This was also a dream of mine. I attended a class; they teach a technique that you only have to learn to play one set of notes and use cords. Their website is Check it out. I don't play well but I love to sit down and play; just like I also thought I would. I hope this might work for you as well. Good luck to you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am such a dreamer, but it seems lately I've been in a season where I wonder if dreaming is practical. Although I always have my eye on reality, I just can't give up on my dreams. This post was very encouraging to me today. Thank you!

What a beautiful devotion. It's so easy to get caught up in the responsibilities of the day we forget about our dreams. Thank you for the reminder!

Blogger ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I love this. A lot. I think as women sometimes we need permission to dream again. Thank you for giving that to me again today. :)


Anonymous Margie said...

Yes! This is a really great post...
As I take a minute again and think about what I always wanted to do. It take me back to a time when my dream was to travel the world, but the funny thing is I never got out of the city in which I live, But it's so great to dream again... Thanks P31 you open my eyes... :-)

Blogger Jessica said...

Thank you for posting this. It may seem strange but my big dream at this point in my life is for my daughter to eat (she's tube-fed). Just today I was feeling sorry for myself saying, "Just when I get a glimmer of hope that she's going to do it, we go spiraling backward." Thank you for the reminder to trust God to fulfill this dream IN HIS TIMING not in mine.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This is amazing dream. I used to live in a slum city from a third world country. I was always fascinated by an airplane as a child and had hope of being in it to go to the United States of America. I thought of meeting the "Wonder Woman" and "Super Man" with their blue eyes from the show I used to watch with our neigbor (black and white tv) and you can tell they have blue eyes from a colour tv in the 80s. I remember playing as nine-year-old child that I was married to Super Man :) and we have beautiful children together.

It wasn't the USA, but I flew to Canada when I was 13. A dream come true for me to ride an airplane. I had three children with a man having blue eyes, but he was not the Super Man I was dreaming of. A dream come true for me to have children, although their father was not my "Super Man" dream. LOL :)

As of now, I dream of writing a book, being married to my dream super man and be his wonder woman. I also dream of becoming a teacher, and I am in my third year this fall/winter semester. I give all my dreams to God and I know He meant what He said and He will do what He promised. Jeremiah 29:11!

God bless and dream big. God is bigger than our dreams. ;)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i haven't stopped dreaming.

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