Monday, January 20, 2014

Dreams and gardens and chickens

Last night, I had a dream.

Dreams usually encourage you. Usually.

Like the dream a man had a long time ago, who fought for freedom and justice and who we remember today. That was a big dream, a change the course of history dream.

I'm talking about the middle of the night dreams that wake you up wondering if they were real -- and you go back through and remember the characters and what they said -- because they are real people from your life, typically, if you're in my dreams.

In my dream, there were eight kids running around. I’ve only met six of them. The last two were born after I moved. They’re from my hometown.

I don’t talk about that place much.

There wasn't much I liked there. In fact, I hoped and prayed my family would move away when I was little. Most kids don’t pray to move away, usually.

Looking back, there was a lot of good in having the stability, in safe, comfortable, ride your bike anywhere kind of small town living. It was a pleasant place but I had trouble fitting in there.

It’s odd how it can take you years to feel comfortable in your own skin. I think about that the way I think about my dad who says I’m generally the same person I was at age four, or six, or eight. He says most people are, mainly. Of course, things change us. God changes us. But there’s things about how he created us that remain.

Sometimes I divide my life up into before North Carolina and after North Carolina. I don’t know your age or life situation, but this may be the case for you, too. Before and after kids, before and after marriage. Who knows. Distinct changes in our lives mark changes in our path, sometimes.

In the dream, I was seeing the family again. It had been awhile, for sure, and they were older now. The kids are spread out in age, and I tried to talk to the oldest boys like they are grown now. I tried not to let the middle ones get lost in the shuffle. I asked them if they remembered having a baseball team together, just all of them and me, in their back yard. I talked to the one girl out of the bunch, who told me she was 10 now, and it was a dream so I'm not sure that part is true. In my mind they are all under five years old and I’m thirteen and way too young to be so interested in babies.

But her mom was a friend of the family, my old teacher in fact, and with all those kids, she never turned down an extra hand.

It felt like another extended family. An extra set of cousins or siblings I got to watch grow up. And I loved getting practice at what I wanted to be when I grew up.

It’s scary talking about that on here because even then I would put it in a little box and tuck it away for someday. What are the chances that I could homeschool a baseball team of kids, find a husband who wanted to live in the country, have a big yard for playing with lots of trees for climbing, and a garden, and chickens?

There is a slight chance I have deviated from the plan. I’ve spent the last seven years living in a city, the last three or so years working in rougher neighborhoods doing mental health.

I think I'm starting to realize more and more, that everyone’s life is uniquely their own, and that you never know what the future will hold. Yet, sometimes a life you enjoy getting to know points to something deeper, not the need to replicate it completely.
Thank you, strange dream, for reminding me....

I like the slow pace. Maybe that’s part of why I’ve enjoyed living in the south.

I also like adventures and new experiences and city life. Maybe that’s why I’ve lived in a city.

I love kids. That’s why so many of my roles I've had have been surrounded by them. I can look to opportunities to love kids and be advocates for them and embrace where He’s put me now.

I like peace and quiet. Maybe that’s why I want to frolic in meadows and give my (imaginary) kids space to climb trees. This world is noisy, but I’m trying to find the balance of engaging in it for God’s glory and also realizing that He’s made me a certain way.
Everything doesn’t have to have symbolism. This isn’t high school English class. But I do think God encourages me and grows me through my dreams. And I do have a high school English class Q & A type question for you: have you ever let your childhood dreams come to life again, even if just to point to some things you forgot? 
linking for a very long and late five minute friday on encouragement


  1. Lovely. We all have different dreams but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy all the dreams we have. I am a Vegas bread and in a mid sized town now but longing for my tiny river town.=)

  2. Thanks for coming by and sharing your words, Heather! Your river town sounds nice, I love places on the water. I know you what you mean about dreams. I look forward to connecting with you more, have a great week!

  3. You work in mental health? I think we have a lot in common :)

  4. Hey Lisa, yes, I'm a counselor. Been working in community mental health for a few years...looking around now though. What about you? I knew we had some things in common but now I'm really excited...:)