Dreaming with God by Sarah Beth Marr Book Review
by Heather Bock
Do you have dreams?
I have big dreams and small dreams. I have dreams God’s helped me attain, dreams that have come undone, and dreams for which I still wait. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never reach those waiting dreams.
Right now, I dream about being able to run injury-free again, publishing the Bible study I wrote, and adopting a child. I’m not sure if I’ll get to do any of these things, but I’ll keep dreaming about them until they either come true, or I realize they’re never going to happen. After all, I’m pretty stubborn about my dreams.
Sarah Beth Marr is the author of a book about dreams, Dreaming with God: a Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God’s Lead. It’s a book about taking your dreams, the dreams of all sizes, and dreaming about them not on your own, but with God. Instead of thinking of those dreams as belonging to you alone, thinking about them as belonging to both you and God.
Sarah is a woman with many dreams, starting from when she was very young dreaming about being a gymnast in the Olympics. That dream was never to be for her, but dreams of getting married, being a professional ballet dancer, having children, and publishing the very book about which I write were all ones God allowed her to obtain.
On the way to the fulfillment of these dreams, she discovered that contrary to the standard world’s message about dreams, God doesn’t want us to approach them alone, thinking that all we have to do is work hard with determination, never letting them out of our sight for a moment. Instead, He wants us to focus our eyes on Him, trusting Him with our dreams and waiting for Him to make the next move. She writes that she hopes you also will find “a new level of grace, joy, peace, and rest in His plans for you by dreaming with Him. These plan may be different from your own…But I believe God has called us to dream with Him, and when we do, our hearts will begin to dance in a new way” (p. 16).
She starts by requesting we contemplate who God made us to be–this is the start to understanding what obtainable dreams might be for us. “The things that give us joy, make our hearts go pitter-patter, and provide us a boost in our day are the very things given to us by God to bless us and steer our hearts toward His dreams for us” (p. 28). She also emphasizes that we begin to understand God’s heart for us. Once we get an idea of what we could dream with God, we need to hold it with a surrendered heart, trusting Him with it. As we work towards our dream, we don’t have to strive with anxiety. We can wait, knowing God has it in His hands, ready to take us there in His perfect timing.
She continues, writing about much more, including hanging onto hope and joy while we wait, simplifying our lives so we’re not focused on too many areas at one time, and learning how to handle when our dreams don’t come true.
All of this is written from the perspective of a ballerina with illuminating metaphors drawn from that vocation. Now, I know very little about the world of ballet. I’ve been to see a few ballets, mostly the Nutcracker, and although I enjoy it, I only have a vague notion what even a plié is. Thankfully, Sarah includes a glossary of ballet terms in the back, but I found that I didn’t even need it–she makes it all clear enough in the book. Although the book would especially be good for ballet dancers to read, it easily applies to anyone with a dream.
I will say that I’d love to sit down and talk to Sarah over hot chocolate about her thoughts on those people, maybe struggling in war-torn countries, living in deep poverty, or perhaps facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer at a young age, who struggle to ever see any of their dreams come true. I did, however, appreciate the chapter in which she talks about how to handle when our deeply-held dreams are never realized. Also, as I am not in the position of having had dreams broken time and again, I could relate with what she had to say. Her words reminded me of the trust God calls me to as He calls me to dream with Him. She clearly shows God to be the loving Father that He is.
What are your dreams? Are you submitting them before God or working feverishly to accomplish them in your own strength? Or have you simply given up on them? I hope you take the time to read this book and find a healthy way to live out the dreams God has given you, letting Him take the lead in your dance together.
To pre-order the book, click here.
0 thoughts on “Dreaming with God by Sarah Beth Marr Book Review”
This sounds like an incredible book! I think this kind of discussion is so important, especially in today’s world full of people eagerly and constantly trying to “climb the ladder” and chase one dream after another. It’s important for Christians to realize that is not the path we are supposed to take; like Sarah says, our dreams and our aspirations to attain them should be a joint effort with God. We should constantly be praying and reading the Word to allow God to shape our dreams and lead us toward the ones that glorify Him. I am particularly interested in reading the book as it pertains to, “simplifying our lives so we’re not focused on too many areas at one time.” This is definitely something that I have personally been struggling with. I always have great ideas that turn into dreams, and I am currently working on waiting patiently and letting Him show me which dreams I should pursue. I’ll be adding this to my TBR list. Great review!
I’m glad you’ll be reading it. I was very impressed with it—it had an excellent perspective.
What a great job you do with your book reviews. It makes me want to read, and the idea of a podcast interview while you have hot chocolate with the author would be something I would love to listen to! I keep a list of desires in my prayer journal. I guess those are my dreams. I call them desires as a reminder that they can’t be goals because they aren’t in my control and they may not be God’s best. But I love God to know my heart and praying them gives Him room to change them or make them come true. He has done both. Thanks for sharing your dreams with us, Heather.
Thank you for your kind words! That’s great that you are already keeping a list of dreams/desires and that you’re placing them in God’s hands. It sounds like your heart is right where it should be.
Wow – I can’t wait to get this book for my daughter, who danced since she was five, and now teaches at the same studio part-time as a young college student. This sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing.
Wonderful! I was told by a ballet director that it’s hard to find a book like this. It sounds like it will really meet a need!
So many dreams, so little time! As a writer, I would love to get my Bible study and some other things I’ve written published. I’m in waiting mode, too!
Yes! You’re right there with me in this. Patience is a virtue, right?
This sounds like a great book. Having been in a waiting pattern on so many of my dreams, it has been hard to know when to move and when to trust/wait. But seeking God in the process has been so key. I will have to check it out.
You should check it out—it’s well done! I understand you in your holding pattern—I’m there right now.
Ir seems so obvious–that we should trust God with our dreams, seek His partnership in our dreams, but yet, don’t we so often strike out alone? You’ve written such a lovely review. Thank you for sharing with us.
Thank you—it’s a lovely book! Yes, it is obvious, but like you said, I wish I always kept my eyes focused on Him.
Thank you for sharing this. The books sounds good.
It really is a good book! Hope you’re able to take a look at it!
First, I share two of your dreams: to run injury-free (wearing a knee brace these days) and to publish a Bible study. We were open to adoption earlier in our life, but we’ve already put that dream away.
Second, I wonder if she talks about God changing our dreams as we grow closer to Him so that the dreams align with His will. Thinking Psalm 37:4 here, about “desires of your heart.” I know I’ve sometimes held onto dreams/ambitions longer than I should have. I imagine we need to hold our dreams loosely and even offer them to God as part of our “living sacrifice.” Then He would return them to us reshaped to fit us even better than what we had before.
Maybe I could you two for that cup of hot chocolate.
It’s pretty good you share two of the three dreams I recorded, and one you shared at one time! We have a lot in common!
I think you’re right that we need to hold our dreams loosely and offer them to God. She does talk about that in the book, even if I didn’t mention it. I know I’ve had to hold my own dreams loosely, and I’ve certainly had to surrender some. For example, I’m not a missionary in France! After seeing the beautiful yet empty churches there, I asked if He would send me there, but He said no. He knows best!
I wish we could go out for hot chocolate!