My lovely friend Kate Motaung contacted me awhile back about reviewing a book from a South African author she knew, and of course, I said YES! Because I love the idea of promoting a lovely South African author, and the topic sounded much needed. So a week or two later, a copy of “Dragons and Dirt” by Dalene Reyburn landed in my mailbox.
Goodness, I was hooked from the beginning. Dalene is an engaging author, and I was thrilled to be stuck traveling all day so I had no reason to stop reading! I wouldn’t have wanted to put it down anyways. Her voice and her anecdotes drew me in, and her assurances encouraged me.
The book starts out asking you to dig deep into yourself, pulling out all the “dragons and dirt”. Uncovering the unsavory parts of yourself, and the undesirable tags people pin to you. Dalene then journeys through different ways of developing habits to draw closer to God, before finally showing how radically different life can be in a community seeking God while turning out the dragons and dirt.
In part 1, “Here be Dragons”, Dalene explores the damage adversity can do to our God-Sized Dreams. These dragons can tear us down and drag us away from the glorious plan God has for our lives. They can shake us to the core. And they take incredible courage to face, and strength to vanquish. Dalene calls us to stop allowing the dragons to rule our dreams, and instead allow God to defeat the dragons.
In part 2, “Dare to do in Secret”, she digs even deeper, calling us to delve deep into the scary places in our own hearts. To the places we try to ignore, or pretend don’t exist. Only in facing and then sweeping out the dirt can we be transformed into the person God can use for His glory. Rather than pretending a perfect reality exists in our own lives, we can bravely lay claim to our deficiencies and allow God to use them. Dalene shows that our dirt only sticks to us if we allow it to.
In part 3, “Sing it”, Dalene shows that diligently apply holy habits can radically change our lives. By leaning into God’s word, breathing prayer throughout the day, and learning to worship in the little moments of life, the relationship we hold with our Savior becomes more vibrant and sinks deeper into every little action. And Dalene illustrates the truth that developing these habits doesn’t restrict us, but rather frees us in unexpected way.
And in part 4, “Sow it”, we are blessed to see a glimpse of what true community can look like, when a community journeys towards God together. We see how families build one another up and support each other, no matter the circumstances. And we see the blessing that community can bring, and the strength that exists within.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It was a blessing to read, and I know it would bless your socks off as well. We never hear the sweet truths sprinkled throughout this book enough. To all you ladies who fear you don’t measure up, know this is a dragon. Now read along and slay it.
Because God has plans for you, friend.