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Jesus Needs New PR

A BLOG POST: Are you a dreamer?

Jessica is in New York City this week for the BlogHer Conference.

This trip is her first to New York City! On our first date–April 2003 in Nashville at The Palm–Jessica told me that for years she’d dreamed of going to New York City. She talked about her love for theater, the Today Show, shopping, etc. So needless to say, I’m so very excited for her. If you know Jess, then you know how insanely organized she is. She’s a planner, so she’s scheduled like 100 things to see, do, and experience (including a musical, a tour of the Today Show, a visit to Martha Stewart’s headquarters, a mini concert/Q&A time with Gavin DeGraw, and much more). Her four-and-a-half days there are jam packed.


I’m so thrilled for her.

After dropping her off at the airport, I teared up as Elias and I pulled away. Not because I was sad to see her leave (I was, but that’s not why I got emotional), but because she was preparing to experience something that she’d dreamed about since she was a little girl (and yes, while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade). For several years I’ve wanted to take her to NYC, but between scheduling, becoming parents, not really being able to afford it–you know, real life stuff–we couldn’t make it happen. So in some ways, watching Jess get to experience her “dream come true” is a dream come true for me too. There’s something cool about seeing a person realize a dream–even if it’s just a small one.


But really, I’m not surprised that Jess is going to New York. In our nearly-six years of marriage, I’ve watched Jessica realize numerous dreams–big and small ones, shallow and deep ones. My wife is a Type-A dreamer. I’m not kidding. And while her Type-A passionate spirit can get overwhelming from time to time–I think that’s because I’m a Type-Non-A dreamer–I also love it. Her detail-oriented-tourist-trap-loving-go-go-go spirit makes vacations un-relaxing, but it also makes them memorable.¬† One of the reasons I fell in love with Jessica is because she’s a go-getter; she doesn’t simply let life happen; she makes it happen. And then she takes what happens, and makes it into an event, a day, a moment worth remembering (and then she scrapbooks the happening so family, friends, and the occasional stranger can cherish it, too).


I love that Jessica dreams. Because watching her dream, encourages me to continue dreaming, too.

(Now for a short blermon–“blog sermon”. Cue the strings…)

Do you dream? And if so, when was the last time you experienced a dream come true? Just a small one that you’ve been wanting to do since you were young. Because the older I get, the more tempted I am to stop dreaming. Or to stop dreaming for me, and focus on dreaming for Elias. But I’m inclined to think that dreaming is perhaps more important (or at least, just as important) when you’re older than it is when you’re young.

But so many of us let life keep us from dreaming. Our finances. Our failures. Our fears. Our (fill in the blank).


I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to let finances, failures, fears, and the opinions of others keep me from living life and living it passionately, deeply–and yes, sometimes shallowly (is that a word?)–I want to dream (Ugh. This blog post is starting to sound a little Joel Osteenish). My wife encourages me to dream. I want to dream for Elias, but I also want him to see his father dreaming…

And then I want to see a couple of those dreams come true.

And if they don’t come true, I’ll call my therapist and then write a blog post about how I tried and failed, and some of you will relate and that will probably make me feel less alone. But sadly, failure is a part of dreaming sometimes.

But not dreaming is failure, so why not take our chances?

Comments read comments(21)
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posted August 4, 2010 at 10:40 am

Very inspiring post!!! It makes me want to go realize one of my dreams today, even if it’s a small one. Thanks!!!

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Leslie Beck

posted August 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

This was so good- I needed to read this today. Thanks for posting it!

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posted August 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

I’m confused now though if my dreams are too real after seeing “Inception.” And why is Leonardo DiCaprio always wandering around in my dreams trying to plant ideas in my head?

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posted August 4, 2010 at 10:45 am

It’s not only beautiful to read about the desire to continue to dream as we live life, but to read about how your wife and her dreams (and sometimes Type-A craziness) has enriched your marriage and who you are as a person. Your marriage sounds like a beautiful, rich, authentic one and that is something that is a great example to so many people.

I hope she has the time of her life in fulfilling this dream and that whatever dreams you’re hiding away for now will come to light, no matter what the outcome may be.

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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted August 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Thanks Carrie.
    And I hope the same for you.

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Janet Oberholtzer

posted August 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

Excellent post – love this!

(And who cares if it has a tiny Osteenish feel – the man can’t be all wrong)

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cool dad / eric

posted August 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

I can be too much of a dreamer, dreaming of ideas that I would love to make reality, but finding that my time isn’t allowing it. I’ve been blessed to have so many dreams come true that I guess I’m addicted to it!

There have been plenty of failures, which lead to the occasional plaintive Facebook status update (just did one this week!), but I guess that does make the dreams that come true all the sweeter.

I will continue to dream because dreaming drives me. No matter how old I am or how many kids I have, I have hope that life can be even better. And I know that with God, nothing is impossible.

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Emily Sutherland

posted August 4, 2010 at 11:01 am

This is great, Matthew. I sometimes mistake “fear of dreaming” for “having a firm grip on reality” but you’re so right. Not dreaming is a (really sad) form of failure – as if we’re giving up on something that, for whatever reason, means something to us….without ever even giving it a shot!

I needed this today (and many days). Thanks.

Oh, and thanks for loving your wife so well. I’m blessed with a great hubby who cries more than I do when special things happen for me, and being loved like that is a wonderful thing. The world needs more men who can love like you and Scott Sutherland.

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posted August 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

That’s terrific for Jessica–and you–she’ll have a great time!

I’m a Type-A, goal-setting dreamer too, and fortunately have achieved some big ones. One little one I always think about is how one day I hope to fly somewhere on the 4th of July (my birthday) so I can see fireworks from the air. I always love seeing fireworks on my birthday, and I think that would just be a really cool perspective.

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posted August 4, 2010 at 11:24 am

This is a great post.

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Bethany Smith

posted August 4, 2010 at 11:33 am


I kept getting to the “Well, what’s the point?” to having dreams.

But you’re right! What’s the point not to have them?!

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posted August 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

I am exactly like Jess! I like to make life happen. It gives me purpose and a sense of being out of the ordinary :)

I have a bucket list. It only has 11 things on it but I will do them. I’m 21 and ticked two things off already. But the point is I have my dreams written down and in this one life I will take every opportunity I get to make them come true.

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posted August 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

I may have just figured out why I relate to you so much. I’m a Type-non-A dreamer too. I’m married to a Type-non-A non-dreamer though, so sometimes I have to dream for him ūüėČ My dreams lately have been more about doing something bigger than my normal for God. At the moment my dream is to go to Africa and adopt an orphan, and maybe built a well or latrine too. Maybe not in the same trip LOL.

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Melissa Brotherton

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I LOVE that you said failure is part of dreaming! I am, like your wife, a Type-A dreamer and I married a Non-Type-A dreamer. My husband hates dreaming & planning because he doesn’t want to be disappointed. I am always nagging him to talk about the future with me. Over our nine years of marriage we have become more familiar with how each other works and we’ve rubbed off on each other. I’ve learned to be more content with where we’re at and appreciate the now. My husband has learned that it’s ok to look toward the future and have things to hope for. This was such a sweet post!

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Jonathan Chang

posted August 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Yeah, one of my dreams came true in that I got a new job as an editor. Then I can write books called Stuff White Christians Like or something.

That’s one dream come true.

People may laugh at this next dream, but I’d like to save up cash for a house. I don’t know, I just don’t want to get involved with the bank and loans and a potential foreclosure. I’m not one for debt.

I hate how when we were younger adults told us to follow our dreams and that we could do anything. But then when we grew up they told us, “Welcome to the real world, get a job, go to college, etc.”

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Allison Lynn

posted August 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I love this post, and I’m so happy for your wife!

I took my first visit to NYC last week, and like you, my husband was so excited for me! Lots of dreams were filled as I took in my first visits to Broadway, the jazz clubs, and Central Park. (Lots of photos on my blog: )

I love to dream big, and then take the steps and risks to make those dreams come true.

I think sometimes in the church, we dismiss dreams as being flighty, immature, or even worse, selfish. But if we believe God created us as curious creatures, and that He has great plans for us, aren’t dreams just a way to make all that come to fruition?

Again, love this post! :)

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    Allison Lynn

    posted August 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Sorry – lots of dreams were “fulfilled” – the proofreader in me was napping :)

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posted August 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Hi Matthew….Very nice post….I guess I planted that dream…I loved the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving and would snuggle with the girls and watch it every year. Now I dream about Elias…and when Jessica left I said to Dad…You know what that means…Matthew will make a video….so I came here looking for it and found this very nice post…Nicely done honey xoxo Mom Schim

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posted August 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

So happy for her!! What an awesome experience!

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