Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Dream – You Probably Have It Too

There is something strange that happens to me all too often.

I am in a very public, unfamiliar place, and suddenly I really gotta go. I search and search and finally locate a restroom, only to discover that everything that could possibly go wrong in a bathroom has gone horribly wrong.
Not only are the toilets missing seats, covered in urine (or worse), clogged with toilet paper (or worse), and just downright filthy and disgusting in every imaginable way, but there are also no doors on the stalls (or no stalls at all) and there are hordes of people milling about. So I end up precariously teetering above the tainted porcelain while trying to shield my goods from all the potential onlookers.
Recurring Dream About Public Restrooms

Thank God this only happens in my mind, in the form of a bizarre recurring dream.  (And, well, perhaps also at the occasional small town truck stop…)

Apparently, this is actually a super common dream for people to have. There are even forums on the Internet dedicated to the discussion of the awful bathroom dream, as I discovered in my googling attempt to unlock the puzzle of my psyche. Turns out bathroom dreams signify that you’re holding onto burdens or negative emotions and need a release, and the inability to get privacy in the bathroom indicates that you are afraid of being criticized for those emotions.

My husband doesn’t have the bathroom dream. He has a recurring dream in which all of his teeth are falling out. Oddly enough, this is another popular recurring dream that supposedly signifies a fear of failure or lack of control.

I know – I sound so wise. But I’m no dream interpreter, people. I’m just telling you what the Internet told me.

Personally, the dreams I find most fascinating are not the recurring ones, but the ones that stick with you forever, even though you only had them once. Like the time I dreamed we had a baby girl, and her name was Rupus Milton. Yes, Rupus Milton. And I was so angry because I just knew that Clint had named her.

It must have been a prophecy. Years later, when I was pregnant with our daughter, he tried to convince me that her middle name should be Menodora. Thank you, Psyche, for the foreknowledge that my husband couldn’t be trusted with baby naming.

And thank you for letting me know that I need to release my emotions. I haven’t had the bathroom dream in quite some time, so perhaps I’m getting better at not keeping my feelings bottled up. I’m worried, however, that I may be getting a little too open with my emotions. Last night I had the famous “naked” dream (a version, anyway – I was just topless), and it didn’t really phase me. In fact I never seem to be bothered by missing clothes in my dreams.

Now what does that say about me?

Today's post was inspired by the 'Dreams' prompt at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heard Around The House

To Princess Cindy: "Your Magic Steve"
 {Your Majesty}

To Peter Rabbit: "Don't go into Mr. Cracker's garden."

To Abram: A whole lot of "No, you're not posta do that!"

To Mama: "My Love" {Because that's what I call her. Sigh, melts my heart.)

What have you heard around your house lately?

And also, what do you think of the new blog design? I'm finally getting around to fixing it up!

Monday, July 16, 2012


Taking a TemperatureAs a kid, I rarely got sick during the summertime. I got sick plenty, but usually just during the winter months, like normal people do. Apparently having small children means you are no longer a normal person (newsflash).

I have already been sick four times this year – twice in the past three weeks – and currently Hannah, Abram and I all have a cold. At least we’re a family who shares.

Since my kids stay at home with me most of the time, it almost seems as though they get sick every time we leave the house. I know that can’t be true – otherwise it would mean we really need to get out of the house more – but it feels that way, and it drives me completely BONKERS. I need to escape these four walls as often as I can, but is it really worth it when I end up spending the next couple of weeks stuck at home, trying to get everybody well again?
Each week the library has a ‘Babytime’ session with stories and songs, and occasionally we venture out to partake in this exciting activity (sarcasm intended). Every parent knows that getting around so many other children is like swimming in a cesspool of super germs, but we do it for the sake of fun. (Or some semblance of fun, which generally means you hope it’s going to be fun, but it just ends up being more trouble than it’s worth.)

At least the kids get a kick out of it, but the question that plagues me (pun intended) every time we go is are we going to win the germ lottery this week?
Baby in sandbox
Everything goes in the mouth
At Babytime they sing a song called “Chocolate” (the Spanish pronunciation – cho co lah tay). I dread the Chocolate song. Because that means they bring out the bag of maracas. The slobbered-on, grubby-hand-assaulted, mucus-crusted, microorganism-infested maracas. And do you know what seven-month-olds like to do with…well, pretty much anything you give them? Right. In. The. Mouth.

In a perfect world Abram would never lay a hand (or tongue) on those icky maracas. Like a true germaphobe, I stay put while the kids line up for them.

But inevitably, without fail, every single week one of the other parents/grandparents decides that my little boy is so adorable that he simply must receive a pair of maracas.
“Here you go,” they say cheerfully as they hand me the dreaded orange-and-yellow wands of disease. “For the baby.” Then they beam as though they’ve just handed us 3-day passes to SeaWorld.

“Thanks,” I say reluctantly as I accept the infected gifts. I could deny them, but then I risk offending the kind gift-giver and becoming known as the mean mom who won’t let her poor little baby have some innocent fun shaking maracas.
It’s not innocent, people. So not innocent.

I give in and let Abram hold them. Then I spend the next few minutes helping him shake them along to the music while his little mouth tries to attack them like a zombie after some brains. I die a little inside and wish it was socially acceptable to bring a bottle of Listerine to Babytime for toy decontamination.
Then we go home, and I nervously await the verdict as I watch for symptoms over the next couple of days. I always breathe a sigh of relief when it appears that we are in the clear and have actually avoided bringing home an epidemic.

Then we go to the store, and he tries to eat the shopping cart. I give up.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Devotional - Because I Need It

A while back I read something that talked about ‘spiritual markers’ – specific times of God’s activity in one’s life. It’s something I hadn’t given a lot of thought to, perhaps because I focus so much on the future and decisions I’m making day to day that I forget to stop and think about the past. And it’s so important to think about the past. Not to dwell on it, but to learn from it, and to allow it to mold us into something better.

So I thought about it, and I made my list. I tried to recall the times that I can look back on and specifically say God was doing things to bring me to the place where I am now.

I’m not going to bore you with my entire list, but it contained some basics, some mini events, some big events…a full life of a sometimes-easy-sometimes-difficult spiritual journey. Things like:

·         My decision to accept salvation. It laid the foundation for everything that was to come.

·         My college experience, where I learned just how much negativity about what I believed was out there. Mostly, it made me sad. But it also made me realize that I needed courage that I still didn’t possess.

·         The death of a close friend. The injustice of it broke me – and often made me wonder if the pieces might be unsalvageable - but then it forced me to eventually learn what justice truly was.

·         My marriage. The decision about the most important earthly relationship I’ll ever have.

·         The wait for children. Excrutiating. Confusing. Depressing. The hardest lessons of patience and trusting Him.
And so much more. Through all of it, I knew I wanted to be better, and whenever I stopped relying so much on myself, I slowly began to learn that I could be better. A new me.

But the thing I wonder most is – am I even close to being the ‘me’ I want to be? All of my spiritual markers have collectively brought me through the fire, but did I truly come out refined on the other side?

I worry that I’m not being everything I need to be. As a Christian, do I always show God’s love to others through my actions? Do people see me as kind, humble, and living purposefully? Or just annoying, awkward, and weird?
I put too much pressure on myself, and a lot of that comes from my misguided desire for everyone to like me. When am I going to learn that it isn’t about me? I can’t be everything to everyone. The best I can do is to simply be a vessel for Him and not allow myself to get in the way. Because I can’t do it. Not all people will like me. Not all people will understand me. It’s more likely that few people will even be interested in getting to know me.

It’s not me they need. It’s Him.
So what has been the purpose of this life of mine? What is its future purpose? Where am I going, and what do I need to do to get there?

I don’t have all those answers, but in looking back at all of my spiritual markers, I am certain of one of the answers. He has been with me the whole way. Faithful in a way that I’ll never be. That’s why I can’t rely on myself – I’ve got to rely on Him.
I don’t always clearly see His guidance. And truth be told, I don’t always seek it. I need to be better.

It’s time to be better.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Warrior Poets {Thoughts On Freedom}

I often hear people say that they wish they could be a kid again, to be without a care in the world and without the responsibilities that come with being an adult. And I get it; I really do. There are parts of childhood that I suppose I might like to revisit…like innocent discoveries and imaginative play…but those are things I can relive with my own children.

The truth is I’m one of the weirdos who enjoys being an adult. I like cooking whatever I feel like eating for dinner and staying up late and planning vacations and choosing where to live and what to buy. Even as hard as it is sometimes, I like being in charge of my own life. I like being free. Independent.
It might be easier to lack responsibility, but I wouldn’t trade my freedom for the dependence that comes with unaccountability. Boundaries, though often necessary, are only worthwhile when you can trust the source from which they come. There are few sources that I trust with such a power. The only good boundaries come from a place of love.

What Does Freedom Look Like?I often wonder what kind of world my children will grow up in. Will they experience freedom in the same way I have? Do I experience the same level of freedom that my grandparents did? Blood has been shed over securing the right to freedom, and yet there are those who would be so quick to relinquish it for the very little they think they might gain.
From where one person stands, it’s hard to gauge freedom as it has been experienced in different times and distant places, but it’s clear that the world is changing – because it always has been. It morphs into something new with each passing moment, and it often feels as though there is little we can do to impact how it changes.

We can, however, choose the sources that we trust. And we can fight for what we know is ours.
The choices that we make – they are only made possible by the fact that we are free to make them.

I put Hannah down for her nap a while ago, and as I typed this post, I heard “Jesus Loves Me” coming from the other room. She has a stuffed lamb that plays it, and she was winding it up over and over, listening to the music until she fell asleep. It told me that she's at peace with her source of love and boundaries.
There is so much liberation in that.