How to Grow Your God-Given Dream: Listening for God

Starting Something NewDo you have a dream to start something new? It might be a big idea like a new ministry or a new non-profit, or something more personal like going back to school or changing your field of work. As I begin a new writing project, I always think of it as Starting Something New.

That’s why I was drawn to Beth Booram’s book, Starting Something New: Spiritual Direction for Your God-Given Dream (IVP Books, 2015).

I’ve gained a lot of great start-up advice from books and online sources about setting goals, getting things done, staying motivated, and making your dream a reality. The Type A, multi-tasking side of my personality loves that kind of energy and activity.

But the more reflective Type B side of my personality has been savouring Beth Booram’s book for the last several months. Instead of being so task-driven, her book encourages readers to reflect on how God is drawing us. Instead of forging ahead come what may, her book encourages listening and learning, exploring and experimenting. This is spiritual direction for your God-given dream as her subtitle expresses it.

I love the way Beth traces her own story through the book, and also introduces readers to Katie Taylor who had a dream that became Film School Africa, Phileena and Chris Heuertz who started Gravity as a centre for contemplative activism, Chris Smith and the Englewood Review of Books, and many more people who started something new. In addition to these stories of other dreamers, she includes questions for reflection and practical tips to try.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes, followed by a video with Beth Booram on bringing your God-given dream to life.

Somewhere in the content of your prayers are important clues about who you are and what God is asking of you. (36)

From the story of Dave Baldwin, who started Furnace Hills Coffee:

. . . one of the first commitments he made was that they would ‘major in half-steps.’

Half steps are modest, reasonable steps forward that are measured by their company’s capacity. They ask the question, ‘What can we do without risking our mission and the health of our company and employees?’ Half steps are progress, just slower progress. (94)

On discouragement and disappointment:

If you have been moving through the gestational process of bringing a dream to life, and that dream has appeared to die or at least be in ‘sleep saver’ mode, it can be hard to keep hope alive. I believe that many who have given birth to a dream would like to say to you, in unison, ‘Don’t give up!’ Just because at this moment in time your dream appears to be lifeless, don’t assume that what you have desired and pursued will not, at some future moment, be revived. Keep your eyes open for the unfolding evidence of resurrection. (132)

Quoting Tom Durant who started Eco Cafe Haiti:

In retrospect, as I look at every twist and turn, I see God’s providence in it. (141)

And now here is Beth Booram’s video:

Your turn: What have you learned from growing your God-given dream? What examples, advice, or resources do you have to share?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and as always, the opinions I have expressed are my own.



Categories: Book Reviews, Spiritual Practice

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4 replies

  1. I Beth Booram’s message (and voice). It connects beautifully with Courtney Martin’s latest blog post at On Being. Of course, I also thought of Mother Teresa’s quote: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

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