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Permission to Dream

Jan 22, 2019


I’ve been waiting around for permission to do the things I really want to do.

It’s been less about a specific person dubbing my desires worthy and more about believing I needed some achievement or accolade to make a way for me.

“I’m not a writer.” That’s the kind of thing I thought I needed permission to be. Oh, I mean, I write, but I’m not a “real” writer. What makes a writer “real?” I’m thinking a publication…a following…a platform…and probably the knowledge and confidence to use a semi-colon properly.

Bruce and I bought an old house we’re planning to restore. We named it Haven Hill. The closing process took months, so I had plenty of time to doubt myself. I went back and forth second-guessing this dream of mine. Can I do this? Should I do this? Do I really want to do this?

Yes, I determined, I really want to do this — and not because I want to be Joanna Gaines or some HGTV superstar.

I realized I wanted to buy that old house because I want to be Lindsay van Zyl, and Lindsay van Zyl loves restoration.

So we bought the house and we’re turning it into a haven. The whole process got me thinking about all the other things I really want to do but don’t.

Why don’t I do them?

Well, if I’m honest, and I am, it’s because I believed that wanting something wasn’t enough. My wants didn’t feel like needs, and I’ve lived a lot of my life filling needs. That’s not a sad statement, it’s just what leaders do, and I’ve found a lot of joy in doing it. However, somewhere along the way I started to believe that filling needs was the only meaningful item on my life’s to-do list. My wants — really, my dreams— always felt less significant.

But now I’m thinking dreams don’t have to be strictly categorized as a want or a need, instead, they’re in a category of their own.

Just like with Haven Hill, I’m putting my other dreams in their own box marked “to be explored.”

Here’s another dream of mine: I want to write. No, actually, it’s more than that — I want to share my writing. I want to be free. I want to set others free. I want to live and write in a way that cuts off the digital noise that’s trying to direct everybody away from loving the lives they are already living.

I’m not the only one with this dream. There are many others who are already doing this and doing it well.

I used to think that if I explored a dream of mine that someone else was already realizing I’d be labeled a copycat.

Then my husband asked me what would happen if everyone lived their lives that way. He pointed out that the author who wrote a book that transformed my life would probably have never written it. He also pointed out the churches that wouldn’t have been planted, the companies that would have never been launched, and the inventions we use every day that would have never been made.

“Don’t let your world get small by focusing only on what’s already been done. We live in a big world with lots of space to cover, so add your voice to the chorus of your choice so it gets even louder,” he told me. (maybe he should write a book)

I used to think the world didn’t need another blogger. But now, I think what the world needs a lot of less of is people waiting around for permission to explore their dreams.


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