Dreams Cannot Stay Dreams and Give It All We Got

Dreams Cannot Stay Dreams and Give It All We Got

Double feature time!!  Some of you may know that I’ve been busy during quarantine (which is now over, but not…we’re in stage 3…I still don’t know what that means though besides be safe and in small socially distant groups…still sounds quaratine-ish to me!). I’ve been working on taking several older songs that I felt like had potential and rewriting them, or parts of them.  I’m actually getting quite close to finishing my list!  I only have one left!  These two I finished within the last month, and they kind of go together, in a way, so I thought I’d share!  

Dreams Cannot Stay Dreams was a song that I wrote before I started my teaching career – during the summer that I was interviewing for jobs.  I wrote it right after I accepted a position.  The first line remained the same: “This is the time, this is the place, my fears and I meet face to face.”  I was attempting to capture the anxious/excited emotion of what it looks like to set out on your own and begin a new chapter of life.  I had this sense that so much could go right, and potentially, so much could go wrong.  Either way, however, this is what I had been preparing for and what God had been preparing me for, and it was time to go make an attempt!  A key idea that got carried through into the rewrite was originally stated “I couldn’t fail when it was just a dream.”  But, you can’t succeed either.  We aren’t guaranteed success at what we do – even if it is something God honoring.  In the rewrite, the end of the chorus now says, “I could fail if I proceed, but I’ll never know lest I believe that dreams cannot stay dreams.  So, watch me set them free!”  This idea that we are called to be brave and bold in love anyway.  It was a bit odd to rewrite this song from a 10 year later position….hoping to still catch the original feelings. But, it was very cool to reflect on what God has done and write the bridge line: “I trust You hold the plans that redeem dreams yet to be.”  This idea that God grows dreams in us, at times, and sometimes our dreams and aspirations are of our own making, but as we submit to Him, he is at work redeeming our dreams.  And His plans (or “dreams” so to speak, even though I’m not sure God has dreams) for us will succeed: we are promised that.  What a hope!!  So, those are the first set of lyrics below!

The second rewrite wasn’t nearly as labor intensive. I knew I just needed to make the third verse and bridge better.  The song took in too many ideas about what is wrong with the educational system (and there is a lot, mind you).  But, since the chorus focuses on wanting to love students well with the one chance we have in a year to impact them, I wanted to cut out all the words I had written about government control over education, educators who don’t care but just do it for a paycheck, etc.  It’s a call for those who are in the same position as myself to stand strong and love well (the song Hard Love by Needtobreathe comes to mind here.  A much better song than mine, and you should give it a listen.  It’s not about education, just simply about loving well) despite the fact that there will be obstacles to that.  Students’ home lives or apathy or distrust of authority can all play into the fact that it is hard for them to trust that our love is genuine.  We still gotta Give It All We Got anyway.  Hope you enjoy!

Dreams Cannot Stay Dreams

This is the time, this is the place
My fears and I meet face to face; checkmate
So much unknown yet so much to hope in
Knowing You’re here with me lessens the weight

Oh Lord, may Your Presence require my fears to flee

If my dreams don’t pan out
I will still have what I have now:
A faith that’s burning through the trials of doubt
Whether I fail or succeed
I know that dreams cannot stay dreams
So I’ll cross the threshold of reality

Shoulders are set, squared to the present
I see what I’m up against, but I keep moving
Can’t dwell in the past, so I don’t look back
Unless it’s to take in the breadth of Your faithfulness

Oh Lord, may Your vision inspire my feet to leap

As I stand at this chance
Help me lay it in Your hands

I trust You hold the plans
That redeem dreams 
Yet to be

Give It All We Got

Packing ‘em in like we don’t care
No, we got no room to spare
Adolescent sardines wearing jeans
Come waltzing through this classroom scene
I just hope it’s not too late to begin to make a change
In attempt to reverse what we feel

Tripping over the backpacks, walking down the aisles
Hoping that they learn something worthwhile
So few smiles, I find myself asking why
Why they all seem void on the inside
The time I have is not enough, to show them all a simple love
Together we might prove that it is real

We’ve got one shot; better learn to give it all we got
On this timecard called life
Make our trademark loving every lonely heart
Before they give up to get by

You know what I can’t stand is the arrogance
That says some kids are just dead ends
I can’t see their futures, but I won’t assume ‘em
I have a hope for late bloomers
There are times that just one phrase is enough to turn the page
To reveal a truth they’ve never seen

It’s not hopeless though the system’s broken
We’ve still got a platform to meet the need
So let’s jump the hoops ’cause we’ve got to still believe

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