DREAM BIG SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
KRISTINA’s CREATIVE IMPACT
Since attending Dream Big in 2017, Kristina’s dreams have completely shifted. At Dream Big, she got to tap into exploring more of what she loves and has always wanted to do - while pushing her fear and doubt out the window. It was through that, and talking with Tyler from The Halle Project, that led her to rediscover the dream that she had hidden away, which was to travel around the world and create visual imagery for different non-profits.
Since then, she has traveled back to Haiti multiple times to partner with an organization that she has done work with in the past called Jasper House. She’s built amazing relationships with the community and continues to go back because of the joy that the people and culture bring her. This coming week, she will be headed back for her next trip! Her goal is to shoot photos for their annual back-to-school fundraising campaign, and create stock for them to use throughout the year. The non-profits she’s partnered with have been using her photography and videography to help fundraise, promote, and share their mission.
Kristina sometimes thinks she’s dreaming, because this doesn’t feel like your average 9-5 job. She stated, “I think my biggest initial setback was wrapping my head around the fact that this could actually become a reality for me. I’m realizing it doesn't all happen right away. It's been small steps each day, and these small steps have led me back to finding myself.”
You can check out some of her incredible projects through her website: http://www.kristinagrahamphotography.com/.
MAKING THE WAIT WORTH IT
“Dream Big helped me start uncovering, prioritizing and clarifying many of my dreams. I was beginning a journey that would take over 2 years to be selected to manage a third franchise with Chick-fil-A. I didn’t want to waste 2 years pushing back all the dreams I had brewing while I worked to be selected for this franchise. My Dream Big journey led me to share my story with our team members and community about how we should approach business with purpose. Additionally, how to utilize a 15-acre training property, which we later converted to a community center called The FARM.
Today, we are still the selection process. I am so thankful that this time has allowed us to realize that happiness and joy is not tied up in being chosen or not. Expecting Setbacks has been part of the journey and met with a sense of wonder of what God’s plan is. My team and I are still writing our story, which has taken much more time than I ever imagined. I have a new respect for authors. Yet is has provided a process to organize 1000 different ideas floating around to clarify our message. We are taking steps to complete this project by the end of the year. I have also encouraged new team members to come on this journey with me. Dream Big has given me confidence that we are not alone in our crazy plans and shouldn’t hold back from exploring new adventures. The community center has taken shape as a counseling center for adoptive and foster parents, all while providing a home for some donkeys and goats and music. The perfect FARM combination.”
DREAM BIG AUGUST NEWSLETTER
SEE WHAT GLEN'S ZUP TO
Since attending Dream Big in Atlanta in 2017, Glen has come a long way in gaining clarity on his big dream. At first he put all his energy into further developing his company “Zup” (as seen on Shark Tank), which specializes in all-in-one boards for water sports. Zup was thriving in business and giving away part of it’s proceeds to multiple non-profits. Glen was feeling accomplished, his company was growing quickly, but his family was getting more and more distant.
He went “all in” on his big dream, but he knew that wasn’t his only calling. Glen wanted to incorporate his passion for his family and existing dreams into one, so naturally, he bought a restored RV with his wife! Now, he gets to work from “home” and travel the country all in one. Him and his wife are getting rest, visiting grandchildren, and exploring new cities together. “The greatest thing about this new dream is that I get to work on the road. It’s given me more creativity, and more time with my wife,” Glen said. This experience has taught him that dreams feel empty without your family and friends, and now he is having the most fun he has ever had on the road.
YEAR ONE ROLLERCOASTER
It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for Rebecca and we are extremely grateful that she was willing to share her story with us. She was courageous enough to share how her big dream tumbled into something she never would have expected. Rebecca’s story has inspired the Dream Big team and we hope it encourages you to keep moving forward too.
Rebecca and her husband Michael had a dream to start a Bed & Breakfast for struggling kingdom workers to come and have a restful, healing time without the added stress of a huge price tag at the end of their stay. Rebecca and her husband, just a few months into their marriage, sold their home and began the process of purchasing a larger home which they could use as an Inn to make this dream come to life. As they were packing the car for their big move, things took a huge turn. Rebecca got a call from the bank stating that all their money in the bank transfer was stolen. Everything that she had worked for fell apart in just seconds.
With nothing left, they resorted to relying on the hospitality of friends (and a few AirBnb’s) for the first 10 months of their life as a married couple. Instead of giving up, Rebecca and Michael have pushed through this season with patience and grace. They are currently looking for a place to call home where they can still practice the essence of their big dream by inviting neighbors and co-workers to share a meal or coffee around the table.
Rebecca stated that she feels as if they are in a season of waiting and rebuilding, even though it’s an uncomfortable place to be, they continue to wait on the Lord’s timing and plan for their lives. The best thing that has come out of it all is that she has never felt closer to her husband. Being able to go through big trials together, side by side, not knowing what’s next, has been the biggest adventure, especially throughout their first year of marriage.
When we asked Rebecca what she has learned most through it all, her biggest takeaway was that “It’s great to make a plan, but hold onto it loosely. Recognize if your dream doesn’t work out, that life does go on and there will be more dreams and opportunities along the way. God is greater than our plans, so go forward with confidence, grace and gratitude acknowledging that God is good in every season. Rebecca’s story is one that didn’t turn out the way she hoped for, but her attitude towards life can inspire us all to dream a little bigger, and not be afraid to fail doing it. Keep moving forward, and find good people to surround yourself with along the way.
DREAM BIG JULY NEWSLETTER
When was the last time that you quit something on Thursday? For Patrick, it was last week when he and his family decided to adventure to Hawaii for the rest of the year.
"I keep holding fast to the truth that I care more about building a tight family than not rocking the executive committee", says Patrick as he commits to this adventure of a lifetime. Even after hearing comments like "It's the length of time that concerns us" or "This is not what you do, this is not how we operate" from his colleagues, he knew he had to take action and get his family to Hawaii.
A little background on Patrick for those of you who don't know him. Patrick attended Dream Big 2 in May 2017. Some of his big dreams were to be more present with his family, get an MFA in Creative Writing, all while continuing his job as a pediatric epilepsy doctor. He and his wife Lauren live in Minnesota with their three lively young children. Lauren is the "master of routine", so it took here a while to warm up to the idea of going away to Maui's north shore, Paia. Together, they quickly realized that they lived separate lives back home, missing out on family time with each other and with their children. After about a month of prayer and consideration, they knew they needed to do this for their kids. Since being there, they say that this is the most time they've spent "together" as a family. During their family time at a local ice cream shop, they met their first friend on the island - Owen Wilson!
"People have been calling me courageous, but I'm really just figuring it out as we go. If you want to do this with your family, the job stuff will work out. I'm realizing that life is too short not to dream big."
oNE dOOR clOSES, AN ORPHANAGE OPENS
“It’s incredible how life is a tapestry that the Lord weaves, and we don’t see what it looks like or what he’s doing until after, when we look back at his work in our lives.”
Anita knew there was something more to life than her day-to-day job. In just a short period of time, she saw her opportunity and took a huge leap into the unknown. A year after she attended the first Dream Big, Anita and her husband sold all their belongings, left their jobs, moved to Mexico, and never looked back. When Anita ended up getting laid off at her job, she took it as an opportunity and a sign to pursue her dream! Her husband was on board from the start, which helped her take the leap. On March 19th, Anita stepped into the life she always dreamed of. She launched Gift of Dignity, her own non profit organization Learning Center, as well as a small farm at Casa Hogar Elim Orphanage - which is home to 80 amazing underprivileged and orphaned kids.
“The world will tell you no, but that usually means you’re on the right track. I didn’t listen to the rest of the world,” said Anita. Her dream was big, and felt the world and others telling her what to do, and what not to do. She just kept moving forward, starting small in her progress.
When we asked Anita what her biggest takeaway from this experience was, she said that “there’s such freedom and choice when you know you're doing what you’re supposed to be doing.” Some of the rules Anita and her husband have learned to live with that have kept them moving forward with joy and excitement instead of fear and anxiety. First, don’t do it alone. Next, know where you are going and why you are going there. Finally, don’t wait for the world to say it’s okay to go.
She wakes up everyday and often pinches herself because she's truly living out her dreams.