Monday, May 11, 2015

On dragons and dirt and changing the world {a review}

When I finished reading “Dragons and Dirt” by Dalene Reyburn, I immediately began flipping back through, re-reading the parts I had marked. And when I saw marked, I mean entire paragraphs with notes jotted in the margins.

That’s how good it is.

The subtitle is “The truth about changing the world – and the courage it requires.” I wouldn’t have always thought I could be a world-changer. When I was a kid, I would have told you I wanted to be a teacher. Then I outgrew that and realized I loved to write. So I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. And that’s what I was before I became a momma. Before I decided I wanted to be Mom, I didn’t dream of becoming a mom.

But now I am – and it’s the most life-changing thing I’ve ever done. I’m still a writer. I write press releases for organizations I care about. I help causes I believe in by stringing some words together. I wrote an ebook that tells my favorite story – ironically, the one about becoming a momma and how that built my faith – and have other ideas for other books. I share my story here and in conversations around tables in my community.

But I’ve never set out to change the world.

Dalene’s words make me realize that’s what we’re called to do. Maybe we do by being a wife, mom, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, neighbor, housekeeper, writer, lawyer, realtor, fashion designer, farmer, banker, chef … or any other endless combination of roles. Maybe we do it in one role for one season before God calls us to something else.

Regardless, we can change the world, starting in our own souls, spilling over into our homes and offices and neighborhoods and churches and social media channels.

Of course we all have dragons – things like change, especially the unpredictable, unanticipated kind; desires for pleasures, prestige and possessions, and the distorted believe we need those things; and all sorts of misconceptions. We chase all sorts of things and people and places that aren’t grounded in truth.

“Jesus knew this would be hard. That’s why he said, ‘Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need’ (Matthew 6:33). Which means it’s not wrong to get excited about doing a PhD or walking the Inca Trail or dishing up seconds. Relish the good things God gives – the daily bread and the dessert – for his glory. But be aware that like all good things, they’ll enslave you if you let them. Check your intentions before tucking into whatever is on your plate. God has set you free. He wants to keep you that way. I pray that you won’t let this dragon seize you.”
{Dalene Reyburn in “Dragons and Dirt,” page 44}

To be free, Dalene reminds us we have to declutter our hearts, really forgive, stop comparing, give thanks, be brave one decision at a time, and rid our lives of pride. Like she writes in the book, “Comparison forgets that, as someone has said, the Kingdom is a co-op, not a competition” (page 75).

Celebrating with our people matters. Giving things for all things – our things and their things – matters. Community and relationships matter.

“I flung my joy, not my spite. I reminded myself that God didn’t love them more than he loved me. I reminded myself that he has promised his best for me, too, and that I wouldn’t want anything other than that. … God has different Kingdom plans for different people. He has shaped each of us for his purposes. That’s cause for celebration – and relief. I let the truth wash clean over me: you don’t have to be anyone but you. That’s why God made you you.”
{Dalene Reyburn in “Dragons and Dirt,” page 77}

This book made me think and encouraged me where I am. It’s packed with stories and truth that are written beautifully. And it reminded me whose I am and that where he has me matters – and behaving as if I really believe that could change the world.

I was provided a free copy of "Dragons and Dirt" from Kate Motaung on behalf of the author in exchange for a review. I'm linking this post with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood and Circles of Faith. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links. 

Read some other reviews of this book :: Katie ReidAshley HalesJen Daugherty. Kate Motaung.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."


  1. Joanna Sormunen5/12/2015 3:48 PM

    Sounds like a really good book. And I like the idea of being called to a role for a season. Because that is how life is. It changes and we find ourselves yet in another role.

  2. KristinHillTaylor5/12/2015 4:13 PM

    Seasons have been a hard thing to accept, but God's been showing the power and truth in seasons. So glad you stopped by, Joanna. Definitely add this book to your reading list. :)

  3. Thanks for joining us on Circles Kristin! Sounds like a great book. I really do believe we each can change the world in large and small ways. We do make a difference!

  4. KristinHillTaylor6/07/2015 7:47 PM

    I love being at Circles of Faith with you! Thanks for being here, Elise!