We live in Seattle — a city known for Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, and coffee. Lot’s of coffee. I can name half dozen coffee shops within a 3-minute walk from our door. I (Leslie) love coffee. Les, not so much. He says I drink enough for both of us. And he may be right. The largest cup, “venti,” is my got-to order. And if you want to see what Les thinks of how much coffee I drink, check out the photo on our Facebook page from yesterday.

Lots of my thoughts about life — and my prayers — have been scribbled on a napkin in the white space around the margins of the green-ringed Starbucks logo. And that’s where I wrote this:

  • When ideas bubble up to the surface
  • Like the white rings from a scuba-driver’s tank,
  • My heart is energized.
  • I dare to dream Venti.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about making a difference with my life and my marriage it’s that my difference-making is only limited by the size of my dreams. I’m not talking about setting resolutions or even goals. I’m talking about dreaming.

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Dreams are the touchstones of our character. Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
— Henry David Thoreau

Here’s what Les and I have learned about dreaming that makes a big difference for us:

  1. Dream together. Les is built for the future. He loves planning and dreaming. If I don’t work at it, he gets way ahead of me. That’s why we start every year (for more than a decade now) by taking a couple hours to talk about our future. In fact, we typically do this on New Year’s Day.
  2. Review the previous year. We start by making a list of our top 10 highlights from the previous year. It’s fun. We review photos, reminisce, and make a list of 10 things we both loved about our previous year. Some of them are big (like a vacation to Montana) and others are seemingly small but significant (a great talk we had while walking in our neighborhood).
  3. Imagine your shared future. Here’s where we turn up the volume on our marriage. We get super intentional about creating future highlights – some just for fun while others build in meaning to our marriage. In 2015 we plan on writing a book together we’ve been talking about for years, we want to take a family trip to France, and do an inner-city search-and-rescue for the homeless through a local mission — to name just a few.

Again, we write them all down and get our top 10. We each keep an electronic copy of it and review it together in the weeks ahead (often on a date night). Why? Because we’ve learned that when we dare to dream “venti,” each year is better than the last.

We hope you’ll do the same. Dare to dream big together in 2015.

Copyright ©  Leslie Parrott, Used with permission.

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