Your Dream Isn’t Done

{Subscribers, I know some of you had issues with the emails since the switch to the new blog. That has been resolved now. Thank you for your patience!}

This summer I did a very brave thing. I bought a tomato plant. To understand why that’s an act of courage, I need to share my history of plants with you. Don’t worry, I can sum it all up in three little words:

I kill them.

Every few years I decide to change my wicked, plant-assassin ways. I wander into a store for completely unrelated reasons and there they are…rows of promising little pots just begging to be taken home (well, in my case they are probably hollering for me to leave them there).

This year I yielded to temptation and picked up a cherry tomato plant.

I put it in the sunshine.

I watered it.

Sometimes I forgot.

Then I went out of town.

I came home and my little plant had turned the color of crispy french fries. “Dang,” I said to myself, “Another one bites the dust.” I felt a bit disappointed because this time I had really tried. I had watered that thing. I had put it in the sun. I had even talked to it and told it what a good little plant it was.

I strolled across the yard with sorrow in my southern heart. But when I got to that plant, I stopped right in my tracks.

Lo and behold, two bright red tomatoes smiled up at me.

I clapped my hands. Not only had my crispy plant managed to survive, it had just grown my very first tomatoes.

I carried those tomatoes into the house and showed my husband. I took pictures of them. I put them on facebook.

My little dream had somehow managed to come true in spite of me.

That’s often how it works. We set out with good intentions. Then life interferes, we forget to water, we go out of town and we think the dream is surely done. But all the while God in his mysterious ways is still working in ways beyond our understanding.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1 Cor. 3:7

If you have a dream that looks like crispy french fries in the sun, don’t give up yet. Because you just never know. Sometimes when we least expect it, when we don’t deserve it, when we can hardly believe it…everything changes.

My little plant has two more tomatoes on it. They’re still green and I’m watching, waiting, seeing the “impossible” grow before my eyes.


What dream are you trying to grow right now?

And when it comes to real plants, are you a plant-assassin or a green thumb? :)

p.s. Last day for free shipping on the Heart to Heart with Holley Collection from DaySpring {books, cards, gifts & more}.


  1. Denese B. says

    Plant assassin here…: ( It’s not purposeful…I’m just not all that attentive to plants.
    Thanks for the encouragement…”Your Dream Isn’t Done” Just what I needed to hear just now.

    • says

      How can you possibly know what I need to hear when I need it??
      You are a great counselor, writer and friend to sooo many .
      God works His miracles through you …
      “Your dream isn’t done” was perfect for me today…. When dreams have been shattered we know God is with us..

  2. says


    Congrats on your tomatoes! With God all things are possible! Even for us plant assassins! Maybe I’ll try to grow those sunflowers I’ve been dreaming of, after all… :)

  3. Angie says

    I really want to have a release party after working a year and a half on a recording of some original songs that I wrote. When I look at my finances, it seems like it would take another year to have the party and I don’t wnat that…I have a dream of what the party would look like and it cost money for duplicatoin of cds and musicians,etc. So i have my dream on paper and am waiting for God to drop the big bucks in my lap or an alternative plan if that is what he wants…Lord I give this dream to you – please water it!
    I am ok with plants. I have killed them in the past but there is one fertile one in my office that for two years of me planting – has done pretty well (there are flower buds and all!) and I forget to water some times. Sometimes I wonder if that is a symbol of my life, even if i get a bit dried up; God manages to sustain me and give beauty and life to my soul that can bless others. Well I am hoping he’ll do the same for this dream!!! Amen.

  4. Jackie van Overdijk says

    Very encouraging Holley! So right on. I was given a prophetic word last night which aligns with your blog. I am very pregnant with God’s dreams and plans. I believe a lot of dreams are in the birthing process! Let’s continue to pray that it is an easy delivery and no miscarriages.

  5. says

    The dream of writing out my story to share this fall on my blog…to put it all down and pray my brokenness, pain and past can be used to bring Him glory and give hope to anither’s heart. Thank you for your message at She Speaks…even amidst the fear I’m holding on to my God-sized dream!

  6. Kat says

    Oh I try, but some live, some die. So glad that my dreams aren’t done, even if I haven’t dreamed them in a while.

  7. Lorrie says

    Oh, how your words have encouraged my whole being, Holley! I needed the reminder of that scripture. Thank you. Bless you.

    • Holley says

      I like describing it that way–sounds much more spiritual than “I talk about the goofy things I do.” Ha!

  8. Cassandra says

    Thanks Holley,

    I needed that today more than ever…my dream of this relationship that this time last week I was feeling so loved, but this week it seems to be over, crisp, dried up like those french fries…but I have decided to let go and let God, because if its met to be only he can fix it, not I, I would only make a mess of it…so thanks for the encouraging words you past on to me today. Love you in Christ. Have a blessed day.


  9. Robin says

    Holley I’m happy to say that I’m not a plant assassin. Mind you I know my gift to grow just about anything came from God. My husband and I grow a garden and fruit trees and we can and freeze vegetables and fruit. We share all this with family and friends during the winter and it has really been a blessing for us. We always give the first fruits away in obedience to God’s word and he more than takes care of us. God is so good!!

  10. Irene says

    My mother grew up in the Ukraine and lost her family to famine. So food was always her way of showing love. I am blessed to have her growing instincts. One of my fondest memory of Mama is her carefully saving tomato seeds, even some from tomatoes she bought in the store, to start her “babies” the following year. She passed two years ago, so I have to work hard to save those, which are truly heritage tomatoes.
    Currently our housing situation has all frizzled up and turned brown, but hopefully we will soon find buyers or renters, and we can move on time to our dream home in Arizona.
    Thanks for all your words, you have been a blessing to me, my sisters, and my friends with whom I share your words.

  11. Beth Ann says

    Hi Holley! I’m a fellow assassin, and I hate it. I try so hard thinking “This time it will be different.” Yet, each time, I discover the dried-up, crispy leaves you talked about. :o( Although, there is hope. A couple of weeks ago, I moved an inside plant outside, thinking it may be happier on the porch in the summer. It still wasn’t looking all that good. Just the other day, I noticed a beautiful white flower opening on top. A beautiful sight to behold! I guess there’s hope for me yet. The leaves are still brown, but there is life in that flower!

  12. Pam says

    God has been speaking to me about this theme of dreams & our abilities… last night I dreamed we had a tomato tree like I’ve seen in the catalogs. It was truly a tree, taller than myself and covered with huge fruit…then when i saw your email this morning with the tomato plant – wow. Thank you I’m getting the message :)

  13. Pam says

    PS….just as a by the way, I’ve found tomatoes do better planted in the ground actually. I’ve never had a lot of success with planting them in pots :)

  14. says

    I’m a plant assassin most of the time, but sometimes I can get something to live. Once, I was house-sitting for someone, and one of their plants died. It took several watering a day and a whole lot of prayer, but Jesus brought it back to life. :)

  15. Amanda says

    Holly, thanks for this answer to prayer…I’ve been praying for God’s guidance and direction in regards to a dream that I had decades ago to write and share my journey with others. You are an inspiration…tomatoes and all! :-) I’m not sure where to begin, but I’m seeking God for answers, and today this fantasy became just a bit more real by sharing it with you. Whew! The first step is behind me…I guess I’ll just keep taking one step at a time…and eat more cupcakes! :-) Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart with us everyday…You Really Are Amazing!!! :-) What’s also amazing is the fact that I’m a plant-assassin, but with God’s help, I’m growing mini roses and begonias in containers inside! :-) Hallelujah, Praise the Lord! :-) Love and Blessings from one Southern to another…and You Go, Girl! :-) ~Amanda

  16. Jeannie says

    I am so excited for success with your tomato plant. Your message today was so timely. I am in the process of starting a support group for women who have suffered a misscarriage, stillbirth or loss of a baby shortly after birth. I suffered the loss of a baby at 26 weeks many years ago. I don’t want to jump ahead of God’s plan. Your message was so encouraging to know God can work out errors I make. This not anything I ever thought I would be called to do. Leadership has never been a comfort zone for me but I know God will give me what I need when indeed it. I would really appreciate your prayers.

  17. Judy says

    My name is Judy…and I’m a plant assassin! Yes, try as I may, I seem to have a black thumb instead of a green one. My mama could always make anything grow…even from seeds. I think of how she always loved roses and how she’s probably tending some now in heaven. I think of all the crispy fries I’ve had in my life and so glad you understand Holley…and most of all how God understands! What a blessing your story was to me today. Thank you Holley.
    Looking forward to seeing Mama and her roses when I get to heaven!

  18. Jan says

    To put it bluntly…..I even kill silk! In the spring I received a beautiful planter filled with coleus, impatiens, and begonias from a dear friend who knows me well. When she presented it to me, she said, “I know…I know! But all you have to do is keep it in the shade and water it a couple times a week. I promise you…you can’t kill it!” Oh, she of so little confidence in my plant-killing abilities! A month of hundred degree temps later it was a crispy husk of its former self and sadly consigned to the yard waste dumpster with a rueful grin. My record stands unbesmirched by any success in keeping a green thing alive!
    There’s always next spring…….hope seems to spring eternal!

  19. Beatrice A. Okundi says

    Hi Holley, what a bag full of encouragement you are. I have been out of regular employment now for a year and God has sustained me and I am grateful. I have a challenge believing that I should go back into formal employment but some friends keep telling me that am good at what I do and should therefore be an employer. Last week after discussions with a friend about setting up my own place, I got your mail talking of the doors that are opening. I felt very encouraged. Today I have been wavering whether am going after this because my friends say so or it is really time to go the full Stretch and I receive this post…how timely! May God continue to use you and to always hear your prayers as you talk to him. AMEN

  20. susan mihm says

    Holley, have i told you lately “I love you”? well I do. Your blog brings the warmtn of God right here to me in my heart. I always say “no plants here , I have cats who chew everything.” LOL i could try something different. Surely there are cat-friendly plants out there that won’t mind being chewed a bit. My biggest dream is to go home to Iowa but right here and now i hear “not yet” so I am putting one foot in front of the other and doing what I can to make my life here more enjoyable and easier to live. I believe that’s what God wants mme to do today. So with a smile and a big hug. See you soon! Susan

  21. Jeanne Bowser says

    Hi Holley, Thank you for sharing on dreams today. It really ministered to my heart as I think of my dream yet to unfold. I will continue to take one step at a time, and press. Your blog was also a confirmation concerning a word of encouragement I received this morning from my mentor at this time. You’re a blessing to me:) Keep planting; by the way, I’ve been on vacation and need to check my garden too:)

  22. says

    I kill plants either I overwater them of forget about them altogther so I do not touch them and that is the way it has been in my life until I turned every thing over to God and trust him to lead me and guide me and I also have some mentors that I speak with I enjoy your insirational notes because it lets me know that I am not the only on that screws things up

  23. Oana says

    Holley, your words are such an encouragement for me! Right before opening my mails i was thinking that my dream is gone, but now i have hope again because you reminded me that God is in control , that He can make my dream come true. Thank you, you are such a blessing!
    (a Romanian reader)

  24. Kenyatta says

    Yes I too was plant assassin, but one day I too was atonished that I had received a plant from a coworker and I still have it going on 3 years Amen so I can testify that God can turn things in our lives around and allow us to do what we think we can’t do! Have a awesome day and keep dreaming and it shall come to pass!

  25. Char says

    Hi Holley,
    I do not kill plants. Thank you so much for your words of encouragenent! I am looking for a part time job. I love to create designs on my computer. My favorite saying is God’s Got It. The Lord gave me a design for a Bumper Sticker that says God’s Got It. I believe that. He said in His word that He would never leave us nor forsake us. God is a good God!! May the Lord Bless You and Keep You..Keep growing those tomatoes!

  26. Lynn says

    I had a dream last night – it was not specifically what I actually dream about when I am awake – but it sure did hit the spot. It was everything I “dream” about wrapped up in one package. I have been thinking of it all day. Then I tell myself it was only a dream. A dumb dream. It will not happen.
    Then I saw your subject for today – Your Dream Isn’t Done! WOW! That really spoke to me, of course. Hit me right in the heart!
    Then you ended with the words….seeing the “impossible” … I once wrote an article for a local magazine and the title? Seeing the Impossible!!!
    God is so good to me and your article encourages me.

  27. Lydia says

    Thank you for your acute observations, Holley!
    I am a plant assassin, definately! Most everything I plant or take care of wilts and fades away.
    You reminded me of my job in your analogy. I don’t have to worry about being in favor on my teaching job—if my job is blessed with more people in classes, then God has given me the increase! If not, then I will know I need to switch and do something else. Doing our best is not always appreciated by others, but God sees the heart! Thank you, dear Holley!
    I love your new photo and format!

  28. says

    I’ve been reading your book You’re Already Amazing. It’s Awesome! I love your upbeat writing style. Just found your blog and am excited that there are other girls who are writing about daily-not-so-good experiences and turning into a lesson. I started my Christian-if-you-stub-your-toe-smile blog a few years back. You really have encouraged me to step forward and continue. Keep writing Sister. YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

  29. says

    Your emails always seem to come at a time I need to read them. It’s like you’re looking in my window thinking that poor girl needs to know XYZ. My hubby and I own our own graphic design, website development business. I mostly just try to stay out of the way and take care of the house and kids! It’s been really rough this year. The bad economy is finally hitting our area and really taking it’s toll. We’ve had to lay off employees and just found out a customer from April used a stolen credit card for their order. The cc company is trying to charge us back that money which we don’t have. It was a very large order. It all feels like a mess and that the dream is gone. My husband has started looking for other jobs while trying to keep the business afloat and customers happy. This all happened last week and your email about dreams comes today…

    I thank you for looking in my window and for taking the time to send me a note of encouragement. Your notes are so uplifting and speak to my heart and situation about 90% of the time and always when I need to hear those very words or verses. God Bless you and your heart for women. We all gain strength when one is bold enough to speak the Godly truth into our lives. What you do matters! Thank you!

  30. Rachel says

    I love this Holley! It made me smile because I too have been known to kill some plants and also to take pictures of miniature tomatoes and peppers I have managed to grow (by God’s grace). :-) This is great encouragement – as your words always are. Thank you Holley, you really have a gift from God and I thank you for sharing it with all of us. Too many people waste their gifts!

  31. Janet Brett says

    Oh Holley! I do pretty good with outdoor plants (good thing because we have a lawn care/landscaping business :). As for indoor plants—well, let’s just say that I need to stick to the outdoors!
    Thanks for sharing your dream with all of us! God Bless :)

    • Holley says

      Oh, girl, if you could follow me around for a day you would see just how REAL I am. My friend recently said, “I think crazy things happen to you just so you can have material” (and usually those crazy things are my doing). Ha! My husband could tell you some stories too. And the dog if she could talk.

  32. Cathy says

    Hello Holley
    So many fantastic comments!
    I’m a green thumb!
    Even wonder why some ppl think roses are hard to grow!
    I loved your above comment left @ 6:10pm!!
    Thank you so much
    Keep the Blessings flowing GOD is Awesome!

  33. Joan says

    God sized Dreams… my husband and I have prayed for an opening, an opportunity, a green light to move from our busy metropolitan area to a city we love – semi retire. We prayed and we dreamed and then when we least expected it God answered. Now doors are opening and opportunities await in a new city in January 2013! God is in every unexpected detail and blessing.

  34. cathleen says

    You are such a blessing! Thanks for your words of encouragement, I kill plants too. Sometimes it’s a quick death and other times it is slow torture. 😀

  35. Rebekah K Jones says

    I have the same problem with African violets. This little 94 year old lady came to my house and brought violets and leaves that can start a new one with. Left them to my husband and he has got the violet blooming again and the leave with new leaves and put in a small pot in the window. The neighbor gave us a extra tomato plant and cucumbers and the cucumber did well and the tomato are the cherry ones and they have produced some. That is not because of me but because of my husband.

  36. says

    Great to read your words today.Just what I wanted to hear.Evertytime I think my dreams are finally coming true, there is a road block somewhere..So now , I believe ,if my dreams are god given, it will come true, come what may , in whatever withered situation, it is His to fullfill and for me Just to believe.


  37. James Nwankwo says

    Thank you very much Holley.
    I needed the message.
    May God bless you and increase you in every positive way, amen.

  38. Kate says

    You are a blessing. This message was soo timely. I am on the verge of giving up. You have rejuvenated me. Blessings to you

  39. says

    I am still waiting for my dream come true that it is to improve my health especially my bad breath. I speak to many doctors not helpful and pray for God no result. I trust it is not a serious illness and should be able to improve.It cause people to treat me abnormal. Please pray for me Holley.

  40. says

    Plant assassinators anonymous here…I kill cactus. Yep, it’s awesome like that with this totally un-green thumbs:)

    I was diagnosed with cancer in April 2009, four months after giving birth to my Sunshine. Both are on my Top Blessings of My Life list. Two others are the beautiful ladies sandwiched me between for afternoon radiation appointments. As one said this week, “This all started with a sweet note left in a locker.” God collided our paths for a purpose. He brought along a few others and even took one Home to serve as the guardian angel of this beautiful dream He planted. And this week He gave us the words to share this dream with others. To have a front seat and watch this dream He placed on our hearts come to fruition is absolutely one of the scariest most beautiful blessings… coming along side others during and after their cancer journey to show them Christ’s love and give them hope in HIM not reliant on circumstances, diagnoses, scan results, puke or wigs.

    Bless you for this and Him for these words…which just got printed and will most definitely become a source of inspiration and encouragement along this crazy ride:) Love you and your beautiful heart!!

  41. Julie says

    Its good to know I am not the only now who struggles with growing things. This year I had wonderful tomatoes and I was so excited.This is not normal and then… God felt the deer needed some. Good bye garden! I enjoyed what God gave me and the deer got some too!

  42. says

    He’s still working His own mysterious ways beyond my understanding…hope indeed!!!

    My dreams:
    1) For our family ~ even in trials that we have joy and laughter…and stay heart-connected in Christ.
    2) For myself ~ To be & stay in Him, To create for/with Him, To live out from under any weight that would hold me back.
    3) For others ~ Encouragement to unwrap God’s gift of little joys and discover His small wonders in the everyday-ness of our lives.

  43. Harriett Busby says

    the reallity of the plant assisin surely is me!!!!!! I know they scream when I come near…but I do know that God turns things around in our lives..I do at this time have a drem that satan keeps telling me will never happen..ubt I’m a child God and I believe IT WILL..Holley you are so encouraging..Harriett Greenvilee,SC

  44. says

    Oops trying to leave a comment about the waxed floor…First, what’s a mop and bucket? And second, so agree…isn’t it freeing to be authentic. And it allows others to be the same. Beautiful!

  45. Pam says

    I don’t garden, personally. I do admire others who invest themselves in gardening. I have a dream that the men in my family will experience a spiritual growth spurt. My husband works long and hard for career success and our son has made us proud with his academic success. I want to see the spiritual growth and leadership capacity of these men unfold in fresh, new ways as we launch our son this fall into the next phase of college life. Maybe I will take up gardening .

  46. De-anne says

    Hi Holley,
    That is awesome about your tomato plant. I bought a cherry tomato one last weekend. Mine do grow. Good luck with yours. My 2 girls love cherry tomatoes.

    I wrote a book last year, a novel and tried to see if a publisher would pick it up in the monthly catch-up. They didn’t. The 3-month period is up and didn’t hear back. I thought, “oh well. We can try again somehwere else.” I am NOT giving up. I have a feeling about my novel and know I WILL get it published one day. It is a Christian one. God bless and thank you for the blogs. De (Australia)

  47. Vero says

    Greetings Holley,
    I relate to everything you said about the lost dream and the desire to being a green thumb. I now will try a tomato plant to gain confidence. I’m wondering if my dreams were even realistic for me.

  48. Nancy says

    Howdy Holley,
    I’m trying to garden in pots this year. Grow greenbeans for our little dog who has diabetes. She needs a snack and loves greenbeans. Growing tomatoes and cukes too. A whole bunch of hard work. Drought doesn’t help. Garden critters like possums, rabbits and other critters eat the produce before I can harvest it. I put the pots on top of outdoor tables so hopefully critters can’t get to them. The severe hot winds blow the pots off, to hit the ground. Breaking off tomato branches heavy laden with ripening tomatoes. As bad as the brown and thinning plants look, they are producing much produce. Amazing. The plants look almost dead but they keep puting out tomatoes, cukes and green beans. Yes, I get tired of watching the plants to make sure I’m doing all I can for them. Water them every day and pick their fruit that ripens. Amazing. Just when I give up and think everything was for nothing, Suddenly there’s ripe food to harvest. Don’t give up. Even when things are realy looking hopeless. Thank God and ask Him what to do next……and don’t give up !

  49. Laurie says

    After reading your last two posts I am convinced that we are twins separated at birth. I too can’t seem to keep plants alive. I have family members who are great at it but I didn’t get that gift. So glad we can apply this to DREAMS instead and when we think of the harvest of lives that will come as result of our callings and ministry- it will be BREATHTAKING.

  50. says

    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  51. says

    Wow, that looks so good!Perhaps you from changed your point not too extensive ago? For all practical purposes because I could contain sworn it was not the having said that the one-time time I was here…unless I am thinking of a distinguishable net site.

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