Dream Presently

Haley Bodine | January 22, 2024

It’s 2024. That’s strange to type. Wasn’t I just typing 2004 a few years ago? Wow. Alanis Morissette was right: I have no concept of time other than it is flying. 

2023 came and went. I’m sure if you and I were to sit down and share the stories of our last year we would both share about how the year was filled with wonderful moments, new memories, lessons learned, disappointments, and even tremendous grief and loss. On any given day life can be such a mixed bag of beauty and sorrow, and I imagine you know what I mean when I share that the more the days and years go by the more aware I am of my own humanity, frailty, and limitations. I am more and more aware that I only have so much time this side of Heaven.

And as we talk about Divine Dreams, I believe we would be remiss to neglect the power of dreaming in the present; what kind of life do I dream of living today. What is God’s dream for me right now? The lyrics to Psalm 90 are becoming a daily prayer of mine: Lord, Teach me to number our days that I may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). 

As I dream about 2024, I ask God to help me dream more presently:

Breathe deep and live slow.

I’ve heard that the years go faster and I want to appreciate this moment. I want to take more mental snapshots of the beautiful, ordinary moments. I want to delight in the mundane as well as the exceptional. I want to be a great noticer of the smallest graces of God that help bolster my soul: how my coffee tastes, how my children’s laughter sounds, how the pine trees smell outside, how quiet the world gets when there is snow on the ground (even though I do not believe that I deserve to be this cold). Little graces add up. 

Lord help me to breathe it in, walk more slowly through the day, and be a noticer of the tiny beautiful things you’ve given.

Dig Into Real Community

Let’s drop the facade for a second. I’ll go first: I’m conditioned to start over when I feel that I am no longer “new and shiny.” When my imperfections start to show, I want to run. Getting close to people is not my forte. It’s risky. It’s scary. It’s uncomfortable. 

And…it’s wonderful. It is deeply tragic when we choose to live in isolation. Let’s be brave to lean in, risk being known, and risk showing up for others when they let us know them. This is community, this is the safety net God has given, this is the good stuff. Let the table be littered with bread crumbs and water glass stains…messy tables, full hearts. I cannot overemphasize the power of community enough! Check out willowcreek.org/groups to see all the opportunities you have to find your people. 

Lord, give me courage to say yes to the invitations. Would you provide community around me and my family who would know us and love us and whom we can know and love? 

Rest more.

Life has a way of pressing on my wounded soul’s belief that my value comes from what I can produce; that I am only as valuable insofar as I contribute. I am a terrible rester, which means I run on fumes… a lot. And that is not how God designed any of us to live, nor is it the truth. I want to stop more often. Be still on a regular basis. Breathe deep. Rest, and continue allowing Him to speak the Truth: that my value comes from the reality that I am His.

Lord, thank you that the world does not stay in motion because of me. Thank you that you say I am already enough and that work is a gift designed out of identity and not currency to earn your love. Help me to rest well so that I can live and love at my best. 

See and love people. 

I love humans. A simple moment with a barista this morning ignited my soul. There was nothing spectacular about our conversation; no earth-shattering moment, so to speak. But there was kindness, and a genuine sense that we saw each other with dignity, worth, and value.

I want to take the brief moments I have with people throughout the day and speak life, hope, value, worth, and joy into them. Whether it’s looking someone in the eyes and sincerely asking how they’re doing, whether it’s taking the time to hear a person’s story and pray with them, whether it’s a sincere thank you to the barista handing me my dark roast coffee…people matter. Period.

Lord, you love people. Make me an instrument of your compassion, your joy, your affirmation in the lives of the people I come in contact with today. 

Fix my eyes.

I want my eyes to be laser focused on Jesus. I want to intentionally look for Him in the moments of my days. I want to obey. I want to look for hope in the hopeless places, and have eyes to see and ears to hear where God is moving in the hard moments, and delight in the beautiful. I want to keep my eyes on who I’m running to and who I’m running for.

Lord, you created my life, you are the author of my life, you are ever present with me. Give me eyes to see your hands and your heart in these small hours of my life. Amen. 

Here’s to a new trip around the sun. Here’s to 2024. Cheers.