DREAM BIG DECEMBER NEWSLETTER
John Boldt, also known as Grandpa Bear, attended Dream Big Hawaii in November. The way he touched our lives with his wisdom, his passion, and his story, was truly special and something worth sharing. After just a few days at Dream Big, John quickly became a grandfather to all of us with his inspiring journey.
John’s reason for coming to Dream Big revolved around his wife, Sweet Judi. They were married for 60 years and John described her as “a women with an infectious smile, she lit up every room.” A year and a half ago, Judi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given 4-6 months to live. At that point in John’s life, the reality of what was going to happen kicked in for him. “I committed my whole self to being her caretaker for a year and a half, I watched her go through this experience and it was truly inspiring for me. Judy knew how to live, and Judi knew how to die. She knew exactly where she was going, she knew where heaven was at, and she knew how she was going to get there. She couldn’t wait to be free of pain, and to be with Jesus and her two babies that are already in heaven,” stated John.
When John first heard about Dream Big, his life has been totally interrupted by Judi’s passing. They were involved in a ministry called “Engineering Ministries International” for a number of years. He had been on 37 short term missions trips and by 80 years old he’d been to Haiti a total of 26 times! Judi had been on 4 trips, but in the last 18 years, they had traveled the country as exhibitors and recruiters for their ministry. 85 different conferences in 33 cities. That was their shared life together. After her passing, the reality hit him. He said that he would ask himself, “What am I going to do now without her? What does the Lord have planned next for my life?” That’s when Dream Big came into the picture. “I wanted to find out what my dream was and I wanted confirmation that the things I’m doing are exactly what I should be doing, even without my partner” stated John.
After experiencing Dream Big, what became most clear to John was that he needs to keep doing what he is already doing. To be a light to others with his story and his wisdom, just like Judi led her life. John shared with us that “Judi was the light in the room. We served together for so many years, she was the one that would start conversations and take the lead while I sat in the background. Now, I need to practice being that light, meeting new people, playing a new role and being bold.”
Each year, John keeps a spreadsheet full of opportunities, prep work, and traveling. John’s advice through his experience would be to live in the moment. “Take time to look your loved ones in the eye and tell them how much they mean to you and how much you would miss them if something were to happen to them. I wish I could have told Judi that just one more time. I didn’t really catch the reality of what was going on, I was too busy trying to take care of her. I wish I had one more chance to tell her how much I loved her,” stated John. Often, we get so busy chasing our big beautiful ambitions, that we don’t take time to be with our families or live in the moment as we chase our next big goal.
Going into this new year, let’s take time to sit and look back on all that we have done and tell those around us how important they are to us. Don’t miss the moments that are passing us by as we look forward to all the dreams we want to be chasing. We are so grateful for John’s wisdom and his story. As John prayed over us at Dream Big, we felt as if we gained another Grandpa. We can’t wait to see who else he inspires through his story.
Making moves in morocco
It’s been almost 2 years since Bonnie attended Dream Big and began her new and exciting journey. “It feels like it was just yesterday, so many incredible things have happened in my life,” she said. Before attending Dream Big, Bonnie had been on staff at her church for almost 15 years. Not only is she a licensed minister with a Masters in Professional Counseling, but has also been in corporate America for the past 25 years. None of these positions seemed to fill her up. “I felt like I had life experience and really wanted to help others but didn't know how, I had this little voice in my head telling me there was much more for me,” stated Bonnie. After Dream Big she knew it was time to do the next thing.
Her first dream was to launch “For Real Life,” a place where people could feel connected and understand that their life mattered. Having only one of the pieces in place, things started to become more clear to her once she got to talk to Bob and spend a few days at Dream Big. Her idea had a lot to do with Morocco, which is a country full of people she truly loves. Bob connected her to an individual who then introduced her to the most amazing people of influence in Morocco, as well as an inspiring group of young Moroccan men and women. It was then that she realized her big ambitions were much greater than she could have ever imagined. That’s when her big dream really began to take flight.
Bonnie began to realize that she was dreaming way too small. “I realized that there was so much more to it, if I would just go do it instead of dream about it. So I did! I was the Producer, MC, and a workshop speaker of the 2018 Young Women's Conference in Casablanca last March. It included 510 young women attending, with 10 main speakers and 24 workshop speakers. The first day of the conference was to empower the next generation of Moroccan women. The second day of the conference was to create a leadership team and to help them launch their own non-profit organization. It was crazy, it felt crazy yet so right all at the same time” shared Bonnie.
When we asked Bonnie what her biggest obstacle has been so far, she stated that she needed to get out of her own way. Once she stopped worrying about the details, things began to fall into place. “Overthinking it or wanting there to be perfect timing are definitely obstacles that I personally have had to overcome. What I learned most about myself along the way is that I was numbed by the mundane, lulled into this space where it was just comfortable. But once I was awake I couldn't sit still, those obstacles were just speed bumps and there are more possibilities than I could ever have imagined,” she said. We are so grateful for all the work Bonnie is pursuing and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her life!
DREAM BIG NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER
KARA’S FAMILY FOCUS
“If you can’t build a well overseas, start with a water fountain.” - Bob Goff
When Kara showed up to Dream Big, it was very clear to her that it was time to get intentional with her dreams and put them in motion. She knew she needed to face her fears and her limiting beliefs by taking a leap of faith, with great intention. Since the Dream Big conference, Kara has been pursuing her beautiful dreams and ambitions by getting off the sidelines and into the game!
It took Kara a year and a half to realize her identity wasn’t in her successes or her paycheck. “In order to fill my bucket, I knew I needed to take things out of it. I quit my job at the end of August,” she stated. She needed self-care, which meant a time of dreaming, reflecting, and planning. After Dream Big, she realized that her big dream was to have a “Love Does” family, which she defined as a family dynamic full of intentionality, fun, whimsey, and adventure. Quitting her job was a major step to make this happen. When it came to taking the leap forward, Kara said “Dreams can often feel so big and out of reach that it paralyzes the dreamer from taking action. It’s important to make them more simple and take the next step. That’s where the magic happens!”
Ever since Kara put her dream in motion, her family has been traveling all over the world and experiencing new things while spending time together. Some of their big adventures consisted of visiting the White House, traveling with her husband to Bora Bora, and lastly, spending a week all together at family camp! Creating space and making herself available for whimsey with her family has made all the difference in pursuing her “Love Does” family. Kara said she knew that she needed to stop and get some rest, which was exactly what she did. The past few months her family has grown into something extremely special, from weekly game nights to handing out balloons to neighbors, Kara truly feels like she has a lot more mental space to do these things now.
Kara’s boldness led her into a life that she has been searching for by creating space to do what she loves! “Fear is a part of the journey, use it to fuel you, not to scare you away. Fear is your friend,” Kara said. Even though finances had always been a big fear for Kara, once she became intentional with her dream and started to take the leap forward, God met her in a profound way. He not only provided them with what they needed, but blessed their socks off with memorable, whimsical, family moments! We are so proud of Kara for her bold steps and taking time to put her family first, no matter the cost!
Going into Dream Big, Anna had an idea of things she wanted to accomplish but felt as if all those things were fogging her view of the things she truly desired. “I lost my ability to marvel at the world. I was pursuing distractions, but Dream Big brought me back to this place of dreaming and marveling at what’s to come” stated Anna.
Since Dream Big, Anna has begun the process of starting a nonprofit called “Cherry Avenue”, which is named after the street they live on. This nonprofit will support different projects globally and locally and will support their ongoing efforts in Guatemala! “I wasn’t planning to start a nonprofit before attending Dream Big, but I realized that I needed to start where I was at, with what I had,” stated Anna. The reason for formally launching Cherry Avenue was to invite others in their local community to join their efforts! For Anne, fear was something she felt creeping in from time to time with her big ideas, and was a huge obstacle for her to overcome. Now, she is confident in the decisions that she’s making that are moving her forward with these big dreams. Anna shared that “It’s okay to not have all the answers, asking the questions is sufficient. We need to stop thinking we need to be qualified to pursue our big dreams and beautiful ambitions, because we don’t!” Since Dream Big, Anna has been able to open her eyes in wonder and seek out what the Lord can do in her life and the lives around her, starting with Cherry Ave.
Anna and her husband were able to host their first fundraiser to stock the pantry at the orphanage in Sumpango for the year, and were able to raise all the funds needed! They are also working on supporting a trade school for orphans and kids that live in Sumpango! Their “why” for starting this non profit is to let more people know how much God loves them. We are so proud of Anna and her family and all that they are doing through their nonprofit. Keep going after your big, scary, audacious dreams!
DREAM BIG OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
DUSTIN - the weight is over
There has been a lot of transformation and change in Dustin’s life in the last few months. He knew he wanted a change, but wasn’t sure how to get moving. After Dream Big in May 2018, Dustin transformed his life by losing 40 pounds in 5 months, with 20 pounds left to go in order to reach his goal!
As the Pastor of Mission City Church, a husband, and a father of 4, Dustin wanted a physical change when it came to his health. “I didn’t feel comfortable going out and doing things, and I wanted to be more active," stated Dustin. His church has been planning and working towards a big event coming up in February and he knew that date would be the perfect countdown to accomplish this goal.
He says that sharing his weight loss journey on stage with his church has really kept him accountable. Being transparent and open has given him so much encouragement and motivation to keep working. “We are called to an uncomfortable life. We need to always be advancing," Dustin explained.
By taking photos every week, he started to see transformation, which began to give him even more motivation. He shared with us that he knew it was time to get going, nobody could tell him no, unless it was himself.
One of Dustin’s dreams was to plan a huge revival event through his church. A one night event to share hope and encouragement, with guest speakers Tim Tebow, Kari Jobe, Mack Brock, and Shannon Estee speaking to hundreds of people. This dream will be coming to life on December 2nd! Through his weight loss experience and the hard work to put on this event, he shared with us how important it is to invite people to be a part of your world. “If you let them in on your blessings, they get blessed as well,” said Dustin. Whether it’s waking up early and working out with a friend, or hosting huge events where the community can all be together, we need each other in order to keep moving forward.
Dustin shared with us his biggest takeaway from this season: “If you want change, you have to apply it. A lot of us hear information and expect transformation, but it doesn’t work like that.”
We couldn’t be more proud of Dustin and all that he is accomplishing since Dream Big. He has inspired us all on the Dream Big team to step out and learn to find comfort in the discomfort! To hear more about his event coming up, check out nightofhope2018.com.
Jennifer’s best yes
Jennifer’s story is one of boldness and faith, a story that makes others want to step out, even when the waters look uncertain. Jennifer was invited by a friend to attend Dream Big and had no idea what the workshop consisted of. Dream Big ended up being an unexpected blessing in Jennifer's life which ignited a burning in her soul to change her life in a drastic way.
After Dream Big, Jennifer had a coaching call with Bob which ended up changing the course of her life. She shared with him that she felt it was time to move on from the ministry she was a part of for the past 11 years! Quitting her job and moving on seemed like a giant step for Jennifer. She shared with Bob about the tension that she was battling and how she felt as if she needed something to be lined up before she made any moves. Bob spoke words to her that day that she will never forget. He said to her, “It’s just a job, it’s just what you do, it’s not who you are.” He also told Jennifer that if you step out in faith, there will be people knocking down your doors with opportunity. Those words were exactly what she needed to hear. “It confirmed everything for me, the next day, I quit my job after 11 years. God confirmed through Bob’s words that it was time for me to move on,” stated Jennifer.
She resigned on a Monday and just 24 hours later she got a call asking if she would be interested in a job interview with Lighthouse Family Retreat. She started working for Lighthouse retreats in August, and absolutely fell in love. Lighthouse Family Retreats is an organization that strengthens families affected by childhood cancer by offering restorative retreats and helpful resources. Jennifer also had 4 other jobs contact her that week regarding a job position. “Just like Bob said, they were knocking down my door with opportunity. It’s God’s way of showing off,” she said.
She wants to encourage people that if they feel the Lord telling them to do something, then to just go do it. Dream Big taught Jennifer to let herself be real, transparent, and open. “Who are we trying to impress? What do we have to lose?” stated Jennifer. “It was really hard for me to step out into the unknown, I know that I want to wear out my life for the Kingdom, but it was still such a big step of faith for me,” she said. Her story can inspire us all to say yes to opportunities and know that when one door closes in our lives, even bigger ones can open if we are willing to walk through them!
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/.
kevin is 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.
rebecca’s 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.