When we named the funding campaign Dream Big we did it for a reason.
(Okay, I just reread that sentence and think Captain Obvious would say, “No duh.” But I would reply to Captain Obvious, “You can be annoying, let me continue.”)
Dreaming can take on many forms, can’t it?
Some are comforting, but inconsequential. Picturing myself on an open highway, driving along, drinking diet coke and singing like I’m in a movie and have way cooler moves than I do in real life.
Some are private and move the deep corners of our hearts; we can barely look at them because the power behind the longing is so strong. Will he ask me out? Will this child be okay? Is our marriage going to make it? If I got a call from heaven from that one person and we could talk for 10 minutes, what would I say? What would I like to hear from them?
Some are exciting and scary because they are so beyond what we would say in the light of day to sane people. But those are the dreams that stir our hearts, right? That say, “You are made in the image of God, who is the ultimate dreamer, dream and then breathe on it. You have the breath of life in you. Will you dream? Will you obey? Will you breathe on the dream?”
We shared last month that Kim and Steve Nease have joined the team as financial advisor and budget fairies. Okay, I think their real title is something along the lines of Business Manager, but Captain Obvious can also be a joy killer at times.
When we sent them all of our financial records, they were too polite to laugh, but I think they were shocked to see that Velvet Ashes has managed to survive and do what we’ve done on the tiny budget that we have.
That’s when they asked for a conference call and got all Holy Spirit inspired on us. They breathed life into spread sheets and numbers because they saw your faces, “Velvet Ashes is just barely scratching the surface of the potential God has for you. Let’s draft a budget that would include all that you dream of doing, of all that God could do with you in the coming year.”
So we did. And then nearly choked when our budget was more than quadruple what is has been. But they looked it over and said, “There is nothing extravagant here. This is still shoe-string, but this will help you grow into the potential God has given you. The money is out there. People want to partner and be a part of this. You just need to ask.”
We shared the dream with you because it’s your dream too. The dream of community, of a group who celebrate packages that arrive (and don’t have extra fees attached) and mourn in missed weddings and births. Who understand the way a soul can stir in an airport and ache when a Skype call is dropped. Where community and connections can come through many channels (Shout out to Karen the Image Magician, Jessica and Twitter, Tawni and Instagram, The Facebook Team, Carryn the intern, all the writers, all the mentors, all the commenters, all the prayers).
When we shared the dream, we didn’t hold back. I’ll tell you the truth, we discussed how much to publicly share. Do we share a portion of the dream so we don’t look greedy? Or do we share it all, and risk looking like money grabbers? We long for Velvet Ashes to be self-sustaining so it is open to everyone. We are not password protected. We do not have a membership fee. We don’t have a secret handshake.
Instead, we have a collective sigh of “Me too.” I think I’m about ready to go all preachery and wave my hands, and risk scaring you with how much I love Velvet Ashes. What I really mean is, how much I love you. How much I know Danielle, Patty, and Kimberly love you too. I cannot believe how many wonderful people I have met here. As much as our community is transient, Velvet Ashes has become a constant.
When we first tried to describe Velvet Ashes to people before it was more than an idea, we landed on the phrase, it’s meant to be a watering hole. A communal place where we can gather, drink from the water Jesus offered the woman at the well, and return to our calls, our kitchens, our neighborhoods. Understood. Seen. Loved.
So, we laid it all out for you. Because the dream is yours too. Velvet Ashes is you.
The dream isn’t about money, anymore than a car is about the gasoline. Gasoline fuels the car. Money fuels the dream. We’re down to three days. Three days to fill this tank. Our Dream Big fund will close at midnight U.S. eastern standard time on Dec 31.
So many have already given, and we’re so grateful. Would you go a step further? Would you call your mom, your bestie, your uncle? Would you put out the Facebook call? Would you say, “Hey, there is this community called Velvet Ashes that has ministered to my soul, and I really want to see them have the funds they need to minister to women like me around the world. Will you help our community reach our goal?”
We believe that God is going to provide every single penny we need to reach the $23,975. But like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenego, we say, “Even if he doesn’t, we aren’t going to serve anyone but the God of heaven.”
Thank you for partnering with us. We are 75% there. Three-quarters of this big dream is already real. We only need $5,500. That’s it! Five thousand five hundred dollars in three days. If you haven’t already, would you consider donating $10? If you’re able to give more, you can read here how your gift will bless this community. Check back often in the next few days to see how the God given breath of this dream is spreading around the world.
Book club will come out in 12 hours with the list of my favorite reads in 2015. I can’t wait to hear your favorite reads this last year.
What has God stirred in you today?