August 13, 2016

Last Saturday before School Begins

It is August 13th, and it is my last Saturday before school begins this year. In some ways, I am excited for the new start to the year. In other ways, I am in excited for the new start to the school year. I know...what? LOL! Yes, I couldn't think of any reasons NOT to be excited for school to begin, so there you have it, I just said it twice. It is true...I am excited, eager, and looking forward to the 2016-2017 school year.

Maybe it is just the massive brain fog this morning or the fact that my first cup of coffee hasn't settled in yet, I don't know; but, I am feeling rather chipper today. Yes, and this is despite the pounding headache, the stiff and sore back, and the general malaise of a night spent tossing and turning. Oh, did I mention I dreamt non-stop last night? Well, I did. I had at least four different dream scenarios, all of them, the type that cause you to be disturbed. Can anyone say, "so how did you sleep last night, Carol?" Crappy, at best. Still, a good night is a good night. I am thankful for the rest I did have -- in between some mighty strange and disturbing dreams! Selah!


Just a Recap on the Night

So I woke up around 4:00 -- after I heard the sound of a chirp or bell. I got up because Winston was crying in the hallway, you know, that long MA-OO he does that just drives me crazy. I got up, walked about the house looking for the chirp, but ended up returning to bed. The chirp continued, so I got up a second time at 4:30, walked around again, fed the cats and gave them treats (to quiet them), and landed back in bed thinking to myself, "this is going to be a long night." The chirp happened again, then a swoosh, and before I could say "Lenny!" I realized that Len, the fish, was cleaning the rocks in the tank and then spitting them out against the glass. Yes, the culprit was found. He pinged the glass a couple more times before I settled back into my dreamy drowsy sleep.

As I mentioned, the four dreams I had were disturbing to me. The first was short, and really, really weird. I think it had to do with some news I had read that was linked to Facebook yesterday (LOL!) I know Facebook stories are not authoritative, but sometimes the headlines just grab my attention and suck me right in. The news I read yesterday came from the BBC (so a good source) and was about Orca's in Washington. The researchers in the Pacific Northwest have been studying pods for the past 20-30 years, and released findings suggesting that the reason why older non-child bearing females live so long is to serve as protectors of the young and food providers for their families. It is an interesting study, one that suggests (lightly) the error of Darwinian Evolution. Yes, the researchers even admitted this is the case, how in DE, the older non-child bearing females SHOULD die out once they are no longer reproducing (as happens in other species), yet in Orca family groups (like short-finned pilot whales and humans), females live long after they pass-through what is called "menopause." The idea is that older females carry important survival information that is then transmitted to the younger ones in the group. This seems to suggest the vital importance of grand parenting, well at the least, grand mothering. So long story short, I was reading about Orca whales and menopause. My dream was about sharks and whales and surfing in the ocean. Okay, so such a slim tie-in here, but still, you get the picture. Whales and surfing = dream generated from news about Orcas. Yeah, it fits.

In this mini-dream, I was watching as several men were in the water near a beach. The water was about waist deep, and there were some kids in the water with them. They were paddling out to deeper water to catch the waves. The one man told the younger child to stay behind and he did. The men all paddled out, caught some waves, and were surfing in toward the beach. It was at this point when I saw the shark fins poke up through the tops of the waves, and I saw the Orcas off in the distance. Yes, I do not like the ocean nor do I like swimming in it. I wasn't afraid. I wasn't scared. It was like I was just watching everything happen -- waves, sharks, whales, and people in the water. I thought, "I am really glad I am not in this water with them." End of dream.

The second dream I had was the one that was really disturbing to me. In it, I was in my house back in IL, and I was asleep in my room. Someone came into my room late at night (a woman) and startled me. There was a dog, a German Shepherd, there first. It was a big dog, and it was right next to my bed. I remember touching its head and saying something like "good dog" to it before I rolled over. The woman came in shortly after and was looking for something next to my bedside table. Whatever it was, she found it, and started to leave. But this poodle (yes, I know) jumped on me and stuck its face in mine. I was startled by the dog, and I woke up (in my dream). The woman and the poodle left, and then I heard voices outside the window. I got up and went to the window and I saw this car, like a station wagon, surrounded by women. There were four of them, and while I didn't know them (as in personally or in real life), in my dream, I knew who they were. They were taking things from the house (like paper towels, toilet paper) and putting them into their car. The one woman was loud, and she had curlers in her blonde hair. They were dressed in night clothes, like robes and slippers, and they were laughing and talking about me. They were making some very snide remarks about my relationship with a man that apparently one of them knew or maybe was related to, I don't know. The comments were nasty, hurtful, and of course, untrue. I remember thinking that these women didn't even know me, and yet they were saying these awful things about me. I wanted to tell them that they were wrong (about the relationship), and that they needed to be prayed for (well, you know, I wanted to say "Hey, I will pray Jesus forgives your sins!" in that sarcastic way) because of what they were saying. I remember the loud woman looked up at me and sneered at me. She pointed her finger at me, and began to curse at me. It was awful. I felt so abused.

Thankfully, I actually woke up at that point (like really woke up), and I prayed about it. I felt for sure that this was a persecution dream whereby my enemy uses my dreams to accuse me and persecute me. I prayed over the dream, asked the Lord to forgive me if I had done anything wrong, sinned in any way, and then was able to fall right back to sleep. No harm, no foul.

The next dream was another mini-dream. I was in this western town and it had been flooded by heavy rain. I was walking through the center of town and I noticed two horses tied to a post (like an old-fashioned hitching post). I walked past them, noting that the water was moving pretty fast down the center of the road. The road was very muddy, and the town seemed empty. As I turned a corner, I saw that the center of town was completely flooded, the water was about knee deep. I thought about the horses I walked past, and I wondered if they were okay. I turned around, and as I did, I saw both animals laying down in the water, as if they were stuck or stranded. I rushed over to them, grabbed their reins, and started to pull them to get back on their feet. They appeared exhausted, wet, and muddy. I took the reins and started to walk through town. The water was getting deeper, rushing all around me, but I steadied myself and continued on. Along the way, I spotted another horse in trouble, so I grabbed that one and towed all three animals to safety. After I made it out, I stopped in a field that was near the road. I let the animals eat grass for a minute. Later, I trailer truck pulled up, loaded the horses into the trailer and took them away. I felt good that they would be cared for, cleaned up and fed, and then reunited with their owners. End of dream.

The last dream happened right before I woke up this morning. It was a spy-thriller dream. I was part of a secret spy team, some computer-y type of organization. I was sitting at a lunch table with this girl, and she had received a lunch from some anonymous source. I was talking with her about her lunch (I know, weird). There was this other group, working on some super secret computer disk thingy at the same time as I was talking with this girl. The two were related. I digress. Any way, the director and manager were down at some meeting, and we (the team) were supposed to take food to them. This girl was packing up her lunch to take it with her when I spotted something tucked inside her food. Gross. Okay, not really gross, just sort of gross. Inside her food was a package of blueberry pop-tarts. Yes, pop-tarts. So I open the pop-tarts (I noted that were the real kind and not a generic brand), and there was this hidden message inside. I read the message, ran to tell the supervisor who was still in his office that we found a clue. He said to call the director and manager back from the meeting because we had found something important. I woke up.

Yes, my dreams were all over the place last night, and I woke up feeling like I had run a marathon. I was absolutely beat. I still am worn out. My head ached from the changes in outside pressure (sinus is back, thank you very much dry weather) and from laying funny on my pillow. My night's escapade with Lenny, Ike and Winston, didn't help much, and even now, AFTER my first cup of coffee, I still feel wasted, tired, and without any gumption to do a thing. Oh well...such is life!

Interpretation

I love it when I can remember my dreams. Of course, I love thinking about them, what they could really mean, and how my dreams might relate to my every day experiences. I do think that sometimes I dream about things that are tied to my real-life. Sometimes, of course, I just dream about weird things, snippets and pieces of images and movie clips, all mashed together with no real meaning at all.

Last night's dreams -- all of them -- were very vivid. Normally, the dreams I remember are the ones that are most vivid to me. In fact, I can still recall images from dreams I have had several months to several years ago. Why is this? I think it has to do with our brain's ability to store images in memory. One science field I would have loved to study is neuroscience. I simply would have found the study of the brain and how we use imagery to make meaning to be fascinating. Oh well, perhaps in another life! Selah!

I think the obvious dream was the persecution one. I mean, when you are the object of the dream and individuals in it, whether you know them or not, begin to attack you, most of the time, it is a dream of the enemy. Persecution dreams are just what they seem -- they are designed to make you feel abused. I think the reason why I dreamed this particular dream was in order to scare me from my ministry calling and my mandate. The Lord has called me to a life that is very specific, and my ministry, the work He has for me to do, is very specific. My enemy wants me to quit, to give up, to walk away and not continue to follow after the Lord. He is going to accuse me, hijack me, in any way he can just to get me to feel afraid or as if the path ahead is too unpleasant, too difficult to walk.

The other dreams were more a mish-mash of images, sounds, and meaning, I think. I had watched a murder mystery earlier in the day, so perhaps they were just similar to a story board. I don't know. I am guessing that the two with animals were more about me mothering, wanting to mother, than anything else. My son is off in KC at his grandfather's funeral today. I was feeling sad that I didn't make the effort to go (even though I couldn't afford it or take the time). I wished I was there. I guess I was worried about him traveling there, the whole "family" thing, etc. The spy dream seemed to be the last one I had, and I am guessing it either had to do with my mystery-mindset yesterday or the fact that some clue is about to be revealed to me. Maybe it simply was my mind seeking clues to understanding my current situation. Maybe I need to eat some blueberry pop-tarts today! LOL!

In all, when I dream, I tend to dream in vivid reel-to-reel sequences. I dream movies! I guess I always seek meaning simply because my dreams are storyboard in their fashion. Perhaps it is my English Literature background, and the fact that I love to analyze literature, to critique, to figure out deeper or hidden meaning in the stories. Perhaps my brain is just wired that way, I don't know. In any event, I didn't sleep well, and I feel really bushed right now. But, I also feel rather chippy or chipper, and I think that is interesting in and of itself. I mean, I feel pretty good, overall. Just sore, stiff, and the normal cramps that can be associated to back injury and sedentary life. Oh, I so wish I was active, more active than I am now. I know I would feel better, so much better, for sure.


Plans and Plans and Plans

This summer is almost over, and I can look back and say that I did nothing, really nothing. My friends, acquaintances really, had these great vacations. They posted pictures of their travels to Facebook. I spent the summer at home. I sat here at my desk and didn't do a thing. I hate this fact. I hate that I spent my summer, my time off, here at home. I longingly see their travels, their smiling faces as they visit wonderful places, and I think, "Oh, my life is so boring." In truth, my life is pretty boring. I spend my days, my entire year, doing two things. I work and I do school. I don't travel. I don't go out with friends. I just sit here at the computer and I do work. Sigh!

My next summer is going to be GREAT! I've decided. I need a break, and after I graduate from Regent, I am taking a break. I am going to take a vacation. I am going to get in the car and drive some place, see some place new, and enjoy some place where life is different from here. I want to go, to get going, to pick up stakes and just go. I want to be free to go, free to live, free to explore. I want so much to just be free.

For now, at the least, and the next short term (months), I have to finish my school. I will be fixed, focused, and firmly settled on graduating. I have to do my work. I have to finished this big project. God be praised. God be praised. I can do it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I believe it. I believe it. I can do this work! Selah!

My plans for today are to finish my paper as best I can so I can send it to my professor. Second, I need to finish my grading for OCU. Third, I am going to rest some, relax, and enjoy my Saturday as I can. My prayer is to complete everything in good stead, and be ready to start school on Monday. I am excited. I am eager. I am ready to tackle this new year with vim-and-vigor. God is good. He is to be praised. I will do this work, and I will be successful in it. He is good to me, so very good to me!



In Closing

2 Chronicles 2:21 ESV says, "And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, 'Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.'" As I close this blog post, I am reminded of the necessity of giving God praise. Today He appoints all of us, the entire body of Christ, to praise Him. No longer is this task relegated to the priests of the temple; rather, it is up to us, His children to lift our voices and to sing praises to the Lord. Today, I cry out with those appointed and lift my voice in praise to the One True God and say,

"Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever."


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