On Planting New Dreams

For as long as the play set has stood, I’ve held tightly to a dream.

For the hundreds of pushes I’ve given, I’ve whispered at least as many prayers.

As many times as I’ve held my arms wide open, waiting to catch wide-eyed little ones, I’ve looked wide-eyed to God for a “yes”.

As the beam began to groan under the weight of growing bodies, so too I have groaned under the weight of waiting on the Lord.

Years passed, chains rusted, and little ones outgrew the play set. In the same number of years, they outgrew my dream.

And I’ve often felt as worn, cracked and sun-scorched as the wood.

Even as God was sowing the seeds of new dreams, I was grasping at the rusty chains of the old, trying desperately to hold on. As seeds sprouted, I barely noticed, eyes set too keenly on that which was not meant to be. I grieved the “no” so much that I was unable to celebrate the “yes’ that was flourishing.

After a decade of dreaming and months of facing and wrestling with the answer I didn’t want to accept, I finally let the old dream go.

In perfectly symbolic timing, the play set came down this week. It is moments like these that define the word bittersweet. I’ve tasted the salty tears, shed through eyes that glimmer with hope.

Perhaps equally symbolic, we planted a garden in its place. A few seeds, yet to sprout; a few seedlings; mostly young plants. Just like my dream, they are already flourishing, ready to grow under eyes that will notice. Eyes that behold the “yes” of God.

I spot a sign on a church this week that reads:

All tomorrow’s flowers are in today’s seeds.

I think the same is true for dreams.

Continuing the count: #1372 – 1388

  • casting off the heavy weight of dreams unrealized
  • hearing the old creak of our swings two doors down
  • a crazy garden idea that went from a spoken possibility to a reality in a week’s time
  • my man, who will so readily do what it takes to delight the whims of the girls in his life
  • son growing into a man
  • father and son working together
  • us. gardeners. It’s pretty amusing.
  • my girl’s artistic talent
  • last track meet of the year
  • late afternoon sun

  • sunset

  • peonies
  • dame’s rocket

  • a day with my t2d!

  • checking the first summer project off our list
  • spying a rainbow
  • playing in the rain

In hope,

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience
as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. I loved this Shelli. The symbolism of planting a garden where the playground was is so vivid. I have to tell you, even though it’s very personal, this post brought tears to my eyes because just in the last couple of days the Lord has been speaking to me about barrenness, in particular my barren womb, but also the barrenness we all face because of a variety of circumstances that arise in our lives. God is speaking clearly to me that he brings blessing out of barrenness. I don’t know how, what or when the blessing is, but I know he uses everything. I plan to write a post about it this week and your post really gave me confirmation that I am hearing God correctly. Thanks for sharing this moving post.