I’ve spent the past five years wondering, “Where will I be this time next year? What will I be doing? Where will I be living?”

I’ve been like a neglected houseplant, my leaves slowly curling. I had no roots.

Here at Maplehurst, we are in the freeze/thaw ugliness of midwinter, but I am fixated on the particular beauty of golden, late-afternoon winter light. I stretch toward the light and feel just how deep these roots can grow.


on letting go


There are dreams planted everywhere here. Specific dreams about the vegetable garden and the blueberry bushes. Vague dreams about community and hospitality.

How did I get to this place? This place called Home? This place where dreams are realized?

I have no formulas to offer you. No guarantees. I suppose there are no shortcuts. All I have is this one thing: when I look back I see all the dreams we let go.

It turns out knowing when to let go of a dream is a necessary part of the dreaming life.


Jonathan and I fell in love at an inconveniently young age. He had always planned to attend medical school. He gave up that dream so we could marry. So I could earn a PhD.

We dreamed of moving overseas. We imagined living in Scotland or Ireland. We let the dream go and moved to Chicago. Spent two weeks hiking Ireland’s west coast, instead.

We dreamed of moving closer to family. Maybe a farmhouse in the Midwest? Close to grandparents in Kansas, not too far from grandparents in Texas. Instead, we moved to Pennsylvania.


When I tell you that my dreams are coming true, I do not mean I saw this life in advance. What I mean is this: life unfolds and something deep within us says, “Yes. This. Yes.”

A dream-come-true is a thing both surprising and deeply familiar.

It is the future you were made for before you even knew enough about yourself to dream it.


I have these words starred and underlined in my Bible, “May he give you the desire of your heart” (Psalm 20:4). One day I read those words, and it felt as if I’d tipped my head beneath a stream of warm water. That warm-water-feeling was real enough that I wrote the date, too. The ink is a bit smudged, but I can still read this: “So I pray / 12-14-2008.”

I didn’t write anything else, because, at that time, I had nothing else to write. I had no dreams. I had no desires. I couldn’t picture the future at all.

Now I know the most incredible thing. God not only gives us the desire of our hearts, he plants it there too.

He gives us the dream. He gives us the desire. He makes it come true.

And our hearts say, “Yes.”


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