Place Holder Dreams

When you dream, do you dream big?

When you look ahead to the next year or five, do you see yourself in an entirely different way, or a different place, or maybe a different life altogether? Is there something that keeps calling your name every time you let your mind drift?  I’m not talking about those shrimp tacos you crave at midnight. I’m talking about life dreams, big ones!

Do you keep pushing that dream off to the side in a kind of place holder position?  A place where dreams go to sleep until you can wake them up again.


We ALL have those dreams that we just can’t get launched!

Wonderful, incredibly exciting nuggets for the next stage in our lives, still floundering in the  planning stages. 

These dreams hold a place in our hearts and minds while they tug at our most creative parts, straining to be heard; and fighting to be put in first place. 

And yet we keep them silent and still.

How do we lose sight of our prized dreams so easily?

How do those dreams get shifted down into low priority lanes? 

Place Holder Dreams are too important to let them be forever discarded in the waste bin of our mind’s eye. 

And yet sometimes that’s exactly where they end up.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

Langston Hughes

I know this because I put too many of my own dreams in that holding bin for too long. Some I have kept alive for decades, just barely breathing.  

One of them finally made it into the real world right after Thanksgiving, 2019. 

And part two of this same dream was launched on Valentine’s Day, 2020.  

It was the dream of putting my writing “out there in the world” beyond the safety of friends and family. 

Tippy-toeing in…

Here’s what happened when I jumped in to save my Dream from suffocation. 

Well… “jumped in” is not exactly accurate.  It was more of a “tippy-toeing” in after I was given a little boost in the seat of the pants.”  Ok, I admit it.  It was a kick, albeit a metaphorical one.  

So while I was holding the dream of publishing in that Place Holder Position, I kept writing little pieces here and there; sometimes randomly posting on Facebook. Several of the pieces were about faith. 

My pastor, Bud Leskovac, a FB friend of mine, read some of those and asked me to write a series of Advent Devotions based on the book of Luke for the 2019 Christmas season. 

“And I know you can do it.”

His words were “I’d like you to consider doing this for the church. And I know you can do it.” How could I say no to that?

Immediately, I was excited by his request, motivated by something much bigger than myself. 

That’s what started the unearthing of my place holder dream…not me, but someone who believed in me enough to offer an opportunity.

He set a deadline, a few guidelines, gave me a pep talk and set me to it. And just like that, I was on the road to a big writing project. 

You don’t need warrior shoes! Just a little faith!

Full disclosure here, my initial launch is NOT a story of bravery on MY part. Not at all! I had a big case of writing nerves that were only calmed by constant, vigilant prayer.

Very soon, after I realized how I needed to start each writing session, I settled down and settled in to some of the most joyous hours of my creative life. It was thrilling.

I think that’s how you know you’re moving through the force of a real life dream.  

You are immersed. You are committed.  You are stretching every part of your skills, talents and courage.  And you are living in joy. Even the frequent angst doesn’t hold you back. 

Yes, there is angst.  There is also the discipline of multiple edits and the ever-present fear of rejection.  Those parts don’t go away, at least not yet for me.  

But now those things are taking the back seat, not the dream. 

The dream finally comes forward to the front seat and owns its place in your timeline. And that’s a sweet victory!

Psychologists are right. Self-actualization brings amazing fulfillment!  

Step out again…

And with that, comes the courage to step out again. 

I launched this blog, Around the Table, on February 14 instead of “some time in March”, because my son-in-law, Josh, said to me that day, “Let’s get this thing online, Linda!” I had written the introduction weeks before, chosen a few photos, but was stalling in place. So, he flashed his brilliant smile and proceeded to techno-wizard me through this WordPress launch. Thank heaven for Millennials!!!  Gotta love ‘em!

I wear Baby Boomer shoes but I’m still operating with baby steps. Sometimes I need to be challenged.

Speaking of baby steps and challenges… I am fascinated by the way babies learn to crawl. And I think it is the perfect symbol of how we take our Place Holder Dreams out of inertia and ease them on their way to the launchpad.

How a baby learns to crawl. 

The squad of encouragersthe cheerleaders in our lives.

First and foremost, there is always a reason for that baby to WANT to move forward. 

The motivation is sometimes a favorite toy, or something new, but more often it is the smiling face of a parent or grandparent, encouraging them all the way.

Eventually, babies get enough strength to pull their front bodies up off of the ground & support themselves on their own. 

It is a gathering of steam and strength…a blend of courage and confidence.

Next they start the rhythmic movement of rocking their bodies a little forward and a little backward. They realize they need to leave the safety of that one place because they want what is ahead of them.

They respond to the pull of desire & reward. 

Eventually they lift one knee off of the ground and edge forward, followed by the other knee, smiling all the way, as they rock & roll their way to their destination. Success!

We need to be more like the babies!

A baby overcomes inertia because she stops holding herself in one place and puts her dream out in front of her! 

Babies are brilliant, but they don’t learn to crawl in one day.

This may have been the 101st time she tried this feat.  

Neither do we become successful at launching our dreams over night. 

But when we finally take that dream out of hiding and put it out in front of us, a little part of us grows. And there’s nothing like growing and stretching in every part of our lives…young, middle, older…there’s always room to grow and a place to shine.

So what’s YOUR Dream?

Is it a Place Holder Dream? 

Is it time to move it out of there and into FIRST PLACE?

Sometimes we get off track, for a day, a year, or even a few decades. 

We can get back on track.

Sometimes we can get back on track with just one change of heart!  Maybe we need a reframing of our dream or our attitude; maybe some realism infused; maybe we need to bring forward our most positive self; or maybe we listen to a trusted and faithful friend, or family member who has never once given up on you or your dream. That kind of encouragement is priceless. That kind of support builds solid dreams that won’t fail. 

Listen to the cheerleaders! 

Listen to those who have traveled this road with you; those who have encouraged you to take just one step forward out of the place holder spot. 

They know you and have your best interests at heart. 

Give their words air time in your head! 

I am blessed with generous people in my life who will offer constructive feedback for me from time to time. There are two in particular who have been long-time, faithful readers of my sentences, whose comments are genuine, thoughtful, and honest…my friend, Cathy, and my daughter, Kathryn. I can always trust what they say. When I’m stuck, I go to them.

You may have people like that too in your life. Ask them. 

If you have not yet found your trusted others, then, by all means, trust yourself. 

Trust the instincts that have faithfully guided you along your pathway. 

I hope this post encourages you to take a risk; expect the unexpected; step out into the unknown and take a leap of faith! 

As my sister-in-law, Ann, reminded me, “It’s Leap Year, you know!” The timing is perfect!

I would love to hear your “launch” stories.  There’s so much to learn from each other. 

I hope you share what has helped you move your own dream securely into reality.

Come and share.

Welcome to the Table! 

11 thoughts on “Place Holder Dreams”

  1. Always felt fortunate that I have gotten to read your musings. Loved your devotions book at Christmas and was so sorry that it was only 12 days! Well not just sorry, actually mad because I so enjoyed it! I love the concept of placeholder dreams and I’m thrilled you have launched!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Betsy, my soul sister, cousin! You are one of life’s best “cheerleaders”.! Your own life is so full, so rich and meaningful that your encouraging words mean so very much. Thank you for reading!


  2. Congrats Linda! You are once again my role model as I’m still tip toeing around my “place holder dream” and you motivate me to do it sooner! Thanks for the reminder that it’s LEAP YEAR! I’m so looking forward to watch your dream expand and grow now! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend! I’m thankful we were first neighbors, then friends, then YaYa’s!! Looking forward to seeing your dream materialize. I know for certain it will! I will be one of your encouragers.


  3. Linda Beth, I love that you are sharing the heart, soul, wisdom, insight, love and faith I have known since we were knee high to a Greyhound with the rest of the Universe! The World is about to be rocked by your very Best way. I love you with all my heart Dearest Friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were 11 or 12 when we met and immediately knew we would be life long friends! I love your “knee high to a Greyhound” phrase!!! Go! Gore Greyhounds! Thank you for your kind words. I love you , too. I’ll see you in SC within the next 10 months, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise!


  4. WooHoooo, Linda Beth !!!!! So glad those dreaming cheerleaders still have your back! AND we shall ALL be furthered nurtured by your precious insights and communicative talents ! So many of those place holders have blossomed and matured as the years flowed forward. I have been blessed in so many ways. !!

    And our shared past and kindredness (is that a word ?) is way up there !

    However the exponential growth in numbers of my place holding dreams has given rise to multiple visions and challenges. But, as you have stated, time eventually opens the door and clears the way. I, however, have come to the realization that my place holders have become so numerous and entangled that they are wedged together. Your enthusiastic invitation to bring one forward is in the works on my part, but the initial pressure of just one of them bursting forth may set me back a bit.
    I look forward to reporting the status of the vision that erupts first and it’s ongoing status. There are presently three place holders that are wedging through, and hopefully will surface as we get mentally ready to come back home (on April Fool’s Day—something significant there, but no sure what it is). More later.
    Thanks for sharing this table and for inviting me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, I cannot wait to see which one of your many dreams and exciting visions bursts through first! let me know when you are ready to announce what it is and I will cheerlead, pray fervently and encourage you all the way! Safe travels home this April…in the meantime enjoy Australia and keep sending photos of that magical place!! Love to you always. LB


  5. Lindy Lou!

    So proud of you for taking this leap! I, too, am acting on my place-holder dreams! I always wished when I was teaching that I had time to write—and now I do, and I am! I also always thought I would like to teach at a university—not my beloved Spanish, but in the teacher ed college—and I am!

    I am currently working on another place holder dream of mine from time to time. You’ll know when I accomplish that one!

    Lovely “first” piece, and congratulations! Love you, dear Linda!

    Let’s have brunch soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marla, you are so very motivated! I love your two dreams that are being realized!!! You are a mover and a shaker indeed!!! I love reading your blog…such a very interesting blend of cultural knowledge, gorgeous photos and perspective!! Write on…


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