Dream…just Dream

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“Dream a little dream of me” was sung by Ella Fitzgerald and The Mama’s and the Papa’s. People perk up when someone says, “I had a dream last night.” It’s interesting, and it is mystical. It is deeply personal. Most dreams are not understood but the value is there whether we understand it or not.

Last night I dreamed but woke up to the memory of moving through a dream but no real logic or pictures were coming to me. Crazy how that happens. My dream journal is filled with the dreams I do remember but I was shocked the one morning I woke up to no clear memory of them. I missed the recall. I was disappointed. They have become a constant, like a friend.

They are usually in threes. One transitioning into another and then into the one I remember when I wake up. I write them down from the last to the first because I seem to remember them better that way. I have many months memories recorded in my journal file. They make me laugh and cry. They tell a story, but they also have an indicator light effect.

The gist of them usually show me where angst abides or where I need to practice forgiveness. Some are playful and I am grateful for those. Many, many are going, doing, and trying to make sense or see a pattern frustrates me. I give up doing that, but I do seem to find peace in that so often they point me to being at peace with being me. If I am prompted to take action after reviewing one then I do. Sometimes that means sitting back and meditating or praying about the situation. Sometimes I call or check on the person I had the dreams about, but mostly I smile and send warm thoughts and healing energy to those images so that the realm of angels that know what is needed will deliver whatever is necessary to those involved including myself.

Each night becomes a canvas upon which to paint the most intriguing landscapes and stories. I often look forward to the stories that will be told during the REM state which I am graciously allowed. Now, if only I can feel that same intrigue about the life I awake to and lay down the judgement or my thoughts surrounding how the day must go. I don’t do that to my dreams. Why would I do that to my waking hours? Why not enjoy the mystery! Okay, so dream a new dream. That may apply to the state we find ourselves in daily as well as while asleep. Many thanks to our dreams whether awake or asleep. To all who read this…Dream a little dream…

Pixie Cut or Pixie Dust

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Today was a pixie cut kind of day.

Ego may have been involved. I don’t have the knowledge or self-awareness to immediately identify when ego takes hold or attacks. It serves the purpose of defender, or night watchman, Ego seeks safety. It puts up a good front lest people make fun of us, or talk behind our back. It hides behind caution with a spirit of negativity. There is division in its ranks. Ego moves among the masses and is so common that most cannot recognize it. Families split up over it. Communities shut down as churches divide and all in its wake have to recover from the chaos it creates. It is a low resonating energy. The more it is used the bigger it gets like a low burning ember within reach of dry brush.

So where from here? All things new boost the ego from new hair cut, new house, new car, new clothes, new flower garden, new bikes, new gifts, new cellphones, new electronics, new partners, new spouses to new career. Can a boost be okay? I think so. When it lifts our spirits and is used for good. There will always be the ever so slightly indicative thought that will reveal its true motive for self or self-less behavior. It is up to each individual to notice the reason behind actions and goals. Sometimes the boost is needed and restorative. Sometimes it can be life changing like pixie dust. We can all create and spread love like pixie dust.

A pixie cut may be pixie dust! It was for me!

IDK…Is Not An Answer

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One ticket… really? Says it all. Funny, but we all have many layers too. I gave students a paper discussing and instructing the topic of emotions . All boys, mind you. Many asked if they could write “IDK” for an answer.  They were good-natured about it but not-self aware. Most were missing knowledge of some layers, but then aren’t we all.

The psychology behind this thought is peeling back the layers like an onion. Strip away one layer to find another layer waiting to be explored and peeled back. It is a process. It is life. There is no end just an exploration of the layers, but we can’t explore or stay on the path of discovery if our answers are continuously “IDK.” That stalls the process. We have to go a direction for there to be contrast. This movement in any direction gives us information upon which to base our next move. So, when in doubt … make a decision and see where that takes you. Then another, then another, then another.  Keep moving, keep going, keep seeing contrast and living through it and making the next best decision. Ask, What’s my next best step? It will give you information so you can know what to do next. Keep going. No “IDK” here.

A Cold and Barren land? or Naw?

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Barren Land is defined as the following:
“incapable of producing offspring, seed, or fruit; sterile: a barren tree. 2. unable to support the growth of crops, etc; unproductive; bare: barren land. 3. lacking in stimulation or ideas; dull: a rather barren play.”

Barren | Define Barren at Dictionary.com

Isaiah 41:18

17“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water.

This picture I took at the lake where I walk reminded me of this verse. The lake ebbs and flows with abundance and lack of water from season to season. The water level again is down but it will rally. There is hope. This is life for all of us. We arrive with nothing to offer but cries and demands and we often exit the same way. Some go peacefully, so go kicking and screaming, but we all…go. Just like the water, and the leaves, we will bear fruit for a season or perhaps many seasons. There is not a human alive who does not produce which is part of the ultimate plan. What will our focus be? Shall we focus on the measurement of productivity or the delight in the process?
I look at the picture and somehow find it remarkable that even when the land is bare there is a faint and distant nudge toward the thought that somehow, someway the water will one day again flow. The crops will be abundant. The children will all be fed. The parched will thirst no more. And to that horizon we look in awe of abundance we all may access. May all who thirst drink deep of life and know the God of Israel will not forsake us.

Old Dirt Roads…More like Gravel

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There was a long gravel road down to Granny’s house and over to our house which later became Uncle Larry’s house.Not just the small gravel wrapped in the fine dusty grey dirt but the big sharp white rock pieces that could split your knee cap open when you fell from your bike. I did split my knee cap open a few times and elbows and palms of my hands. It was all good, because I loved that road. It was like freedom to me being young but having somewhere to travel, somewhere to go and explore for the day. I loved my life, but wasn’t aware that not everyone had a road to play on that was only traveled by grandparents and other extended family members. Sometimes a group of “church folks” would come a “visitin’.” But the majority of the day that road was mine. I didn’t know it then, but I do now.

We played for hours upon hours upon hours along that road. We raced up to the Highway 51. I wished it could have been 100 Highway. Everyone talked about that Highway. It was curvy and people had died on it. It was famous, but no, we just lived next to Highway 51. Who knew that someday that road led to where I live now for most of my big kid and adult days. My Uncle who never left Adair county lives down that highway, up and down a few hills from where this road to Granny’s was, where I spent these growin’ up days. We knew better than to get too close to the Highway, but up to the edge was fair game.

As you came down the road you could stop at the trailer house that was once an Aunt and Uncle’s house for a bit, then another Aunt and Uncle lived there, and maybe a cousin that wasn’t married yet, then I can’t remember from there the many inhabitants of that first stop.

Next you passed a cottonwood tree to the right down a slope to the burn pile. We spent many an hour stopping by the side of the road to roll down the hill. We didn’t care about ticks and chiggers. Finding them was the mom’s and our Granny’s job at the end of the day. The grass was cool and plush with clover. No real stickers like here in the red dirt part of Oklahoma where I live now. Never found a four leaf but I sure looked a lot. Made chains with them too. Necklaces and bracelets and wreaths for my hair. I don’t remember being taught how to make them. We just did it.

Farther down the road it branched off. If you went straight you would end up in the Grandfolks driveway next to a Rose of Sharon bush. I loved the smell of the blooms and the pretty flowers that budded. Now I wish I knew who planted it. It meant a lot to me growing up. I’d jump off the front porch or pull other crazy shenanigans from the height of the front porch and run smell the Rose of Sharon blooms. That’s just what I did over, and over and over.

Now here is where the road curved a bit and led to the house where we lived for a few short pieces of time. Then my Uncle lived there and put up a fence. It never looked the same after that. But out in front of that house was a sun lit field. It looked big then. Now, not so big. We played ball in that field and sometimes church folks would come over and play a round of softball. Well, I was little and just remember watching wondering if I’d ever get big enough to play.

We rode bikes down that road and up to the highway and back and marched and skipped mostly barefoot. I don’t remember wearing shoes ever as we went back and forth, back and forth until time for supper. We lived outside and on that road. I have many memories of that time.

I went back a few years ago to see it after my family’s land next to the junk yard was sold where these houses stood after Granny and Granddad had passed. The road wasn’t really a big road like it had seemed when I was 6. It was more of a very long curvy driveway, but it had been full of wonder and learning and jagged rocks. What do kids that age do now while growing up? Where do they spend their time? I was blessed. Most of my best memories came from an old dirt road.

Cloud Burst Psalm 19:1

 

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American King James Version
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

Blessings from above fall into this post. May our spirits be lifted in the mundane to the greatness of the elements. We have no control over how the clouds burst open and shine light on us. I am grateful for such  surprises. In our most trying moments being outside for the simplest tasks can take the burden of the moment and turn it into a gift of energy. The ancient words “Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be open to you…” Matt. 7:7-8. When we allow ourselves to notice these gifts they offer healing to our very spirit. I love the tradition of the Orthodox Christians who use the words from The Nicene Creed as follows:

“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

Wow! There is so much to this creed. Look for one moment to the “God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made;” speaking of Jesus. “…Light of Light…being of one substance with the Father…who for us men, … came down from heaven…” Now think to the Light as “Very God of Very God…” Think to the energy we are given daily if we only open our spirits to receive it. There is so much in this writing I do not do it justice by picking and choosing what to illuminate, but I sit in awe of our source and our heritage. We are one, we are united. We can accept it. We can know because of where we have originated and who our creator is, we can “…look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen”

Next time you go outside look to see if there is a hint from the cloud burst to the very essence of all life-giving force, spirit, God. Let that picture burn into your essence how we walk as spirit in human form rather than the opposite. May the earth and the sky and the water and fire and ice and all the elements give your spirit the boost it needs to finish strong. Give thanks to the “Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” Let it be so.

More is Better? Or is it simply More?

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More flowers are beautiful in a field outdoors under the expansive sun filled sky! But one rose will often do so much without uttering a single word. So, is “more” better? Or, is it simply more? They both have their place in this life.

We need more love, more patience, more joy, more peace, more kindness, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness and more self-control. These can never be duplicated and spread fast enough. They are intangibles. You can’t run out and you can never have enough, so to pursue them is a noble cause. They don’t clutter the house or make the fridge messy. They never take up too much room in the closet. So when talking about the fruits of the spirit, we can never get enough.

Now, in this place and body we reside, more of anything, is just simply more. It clutters, it makes messy, it piles up. It begets hoarding, and storing and paying to be stored. It lurks in garages and sheds and closets and cupboards, bookshelves, containers, and drawers. There are those that proclaim to store and stockpile, to conserve, to save and grow and multiply for times might get tough. Rainy day funds, a container of certain screws and grommets, a basket of light bulbs really are helpful during the year, yet has humanity sped up to the point that to slow down long enough to head to market for some groceries might put us out-of-pocket so that we miss the next big deal. Will we become losers for taking time to care for ourselves and others? Never a day off lest we appear not dedicated or loyal to the owners.

This line from the movie “Sabrina” when she took photos of the Larrabee’s cottage which expresses this very thing. Sabrina says, “More isn’t always better, Linus, sometimes its just more.”

In this world of acquisition the emphasis is on “more.” “More” can be empty. We acquire only to desire more or different. So, if we acquire only to add to what we own, then we walk away in need of “more” and bigger and better, but if we work toward a new pursuit or experience then we find wisdom in our journey. Make “more” a blessing to yourself unlike acquisition only.

Proverbs 3:13-18

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. …