you wouldn’t know it for the lack of flowers or perfume or jewellery, but my husband is a romantic, and two nights ago he grabbed my hand and my glasses and pulled me outside.

he led me to the trampoline where he’d laid out our pillows, and our feather-tick, and it was a cold Alberta black, one of those crisp fall nights where you can see your breath and the stars are so bright they’re all the diamonds you could ever need. and as soon as we lay down beneath that feather tick we saw a shooting star.

not five minutes later i heard a child crying, and we went inside and our two boys were awake. we picked them up, wrapped them in blankets and carried them out with us where we all lay down together and counted the stars. we spoke in whispers, quieted by the stretch of divinity and our humanity and we sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

and then in the quiet that followed, kasher nestled against my neck and aiden against trent’s, and trent told them how much we love them. that we will never, ever leave them. that they are so very important to us.

aiden nodded solemnly. kasher laughed.

then i told them that God made all of these stars, and knew them by name, and he made all of us, and knew us by name, too.

we don’t tell them these things to boost their self-esteem, to make them feel better about themselves, or to force faith down their throats. we tell them because we have big dreams for them: that they might be God’s disciples. that they might know, in spite of their weakness, in spite of their flaws and their humanity, God is gracious and good and forgiving. that no matter what happens, he will always love them, and will never, ever leave them.

God has big dreams for all of us: that we might claim his image and walk in it, here on earth. that we might dream HIS dreams for our children.

and this is a message i’m hoping to share this coming spring at a first-ever Jumping Tandem retreat hosted by Deidra Riggs, in which we’ll gather with people like Holley Gerth, Jennifer Lee, Michelle Derusha, and more, to learn things like:

*How to tell the difference between a dream that comes from God, and an idea you came up with on your own
*Ten reasons your dream won’t make it (and one reason it will)
*Learn the next steps you need to take to make your specific dream come true
*Identify the ways your gifts fit with your dream, and what to do about the gifts you don’t have
*What to do about fear and criticism (and fear of criticism)
*How to make a living on a dream
*Giving your dream a voice
*What to do if your dream has lost its dreaminess (how to get your dream off life support)
*How to be brave

doesn’t this gathering of bloggers, artists and entrepreneurs sound like a dream come true?

what you’ll experience:

Excellent speakers, practical workshops, the opportunity to meet online friends in real life, cozy accommodations with many amenities, top-notch cooking, inspirational worship, and more. Space is limited, and we hope to keep the “rushed” and “frazzled” factors to a minimum.

We’re calling it a retreat because we’re slowing down the pace. Jumping Tandem will take place at the beautiful Carol Joy Holling Retreat and Conference Center in Ashland, Nebraska. The Conference Center provides acres of outdoor space. You’ll have the opportunity to stroll the grounds, sit by the pond, kick back by a campfire, and build meaningful friendships.

will you join us? april 19-21st? i would so love to meet you face to face… early bird registration begins october 1; to register, click here.


we tuck the boys back into bed after star-gazing and then i hug trent for a long time. “thank you,” i tell him. because he teaches me this. life isn’t about agendas or goals or any of what i want to do. it’s about being sinners with a message:

God loves me enough to know my name.

so excited to be giving away a copy of Elora Ramirez’s beautiful, poignant new novel on trafficking, Come Alive, today … just tell me about your dreams. what are they, and how is God speaking through them?

*sharing with ann, laura, michelle, jen and jennifer*