Begin Where You Are: Dreaming Together

by May 6, 2016Cultivate, Deepen2 comments

A surprising thing has happened as we’ve begun to spread word of the vision God has given us to equip women to live their design and transform their communities. I have discovered how many women walking right beside me have dreams that are simmering, solidifying, or even boiling over with an uncontainable readiness to be unleashed.

Because of the new circles I frequent with a one year old in tow, many of these women also happen to be mothers. And many of us find ourselves in unconventional settings, needing a place to co-create our dreams and plans but lacking a traditional office space with colleagues to the right and left.

On the one hand, we live in an exciting time, when we can be excellent mothers and dreamers, women who live our passions in a variety of settings, from office to home, out in the community as consultants, independent contractors, self-employed leaders, and more. Yet, when we find ourselves working in less traditional job settings, we may not know who else shares our dreams or would be willing to join in our journey. Personally, I can begin to lose momentum when I spend too much time working alone, as I draw great creative energy from the passion and insight of others.

I’ve found that I need to cultivate a unique web of teammates by coming alongside others and providing mutual space to listen, engage, dream and plan, take a step, and follow up. In this season, I’ve found many of these teammates in other mothers.

How have you stumbled upon unexpected teammates?
What kind of partnerships would provide the boost of energy and support you need to thrive in your dreams?

We’re drawn into each other’s lives because we seek community and resources for parenting and for our children, yet we walk away with a lot more. As I begin to share pieces of my vision for partnering and equipping women to unleash their leadership, my energy to move forward has been reignited as the woman across the table or playground says “me too.” Walls fall away as our conversations expand to explore not only our toddler’s milestones but our vision for making an impact in communities and organizations.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to celebrate motherhood as a beautiful space where dreams are birthed, refined, and joined with the passion and strength of others. I also want to honor the women who have reached out to me from a different season of life—women who have shared their dreams and allowed me to dream both in and beyond my role as mom. This web of multigenerational relationships has served as my team.

In a season of early motherhood, when isolation has been a very real struggle, these women—mothers, neighbors, and mentors—have met me with their spiritual counsel, creative insight, and plenty of space to explore what’s stirring in my heart and what next steps are emerging before me.

While I’ve cheered fellow mothers on in their dreams and stepped out in my own, I’ve found that the benefit is rich for everyone around me, especially for my family. This is the economy of living your design. As a wise leader, Alisha Gordon, shared on the Happy Hour Podcast, “When a mom is living out her dream, the whole family thrives.”[i]

How do you show up in the most important relationships in your life
when you’re living your design?
How about when your dreams are on hold?
Where do you find yourself now?

Whether you’re currently waist deep in motherhood or you resonate with this unexpected discovery of teammates because you also find yourself in unconventional leadership settings where colleagues are not readily available, I encourage you to begin where you are:

Who has God intentionally placed in your life?

What is the next step you could take to dig deeper into the heart and vision of the woman beside you?

Who can you gather around you for mutual dreaming and support of the plans God is laying before you?

[i] Ivey, J. Happy Hour #87: The Mother’s Day Special. Podcast from May 4, 2016. Available at:


  1. Sarah Bond

    Joanne, yes! Thanks for sharing. I love the way God provides the room to make our children priority while opening just the right spaces for engaging in the dreams He’s given us, too. I feel like the balance of each element has invited me to seek and listen to Him in each new chapter of motherhood. I also love your reminder to pour into the dreams of others. It is such a gift to do that for the women around me and to have the honor of celebrating with them when their dreams come to fruition! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  2. Joanne Reese

    This is a beautiful tribute to motherhood. I’ve learned along my journey that it’s important to prioritize your children because you only have them for a short time. There are small ways to invest in your dream while you are raising them. Waiting on God and His timing has taught me so much. The greatest and most painful lesson being that of patience. God will open the right doors when He’s ready to and not a moment sooner. Having a community to dream with makes a world of difference. And finding ways to pour yourself into another person’s dream can be very rewarding in itself. God will be faithful to carry your dream and what He started to completion. And when you finally step into all that God has planned, if you’ve linked arms with others, then there will be people around you to celebrate with.

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