“Meeting” expectations

I dreamed I was at church for a building committee meeting. Brian (our architect) was there presenting. There were two or three other groups there meeting and so midway through we switched to the library. There was food there and my childhood friend Alison was there. She found a load of fresh blueberry bread and said she was going to have one slice, but then the two of us ate the entire loaf. Bill Buhner or someone was writing budget numbers on the board. I took a picture of them.

Afterward, Will and Ben were going to a dinner but Will left his bag outside. It had a red plastic folder inside (the kind that’s like a portable filing pouch.) He has also left a couple of other things. He was sick and appeared to have the flu so I was worried about getting sick but I decided to take them to his office. On the way I stopped off in another room like the library. For some reason I took off my shirt and bra and was washing them. Then a new people came in (Suzie was cleaning and I wondered why.) I explained I had spilled something on my anker and was washing it. Michael was there too.

At one point I had a 1:1 with Elizabeth, my boss. She was yelling at me about staffing but then told me about some program where you and your kid could fly to NY for a mentoring program. I started filling out the application online and realized Austin and aj had already started.

Making Room for the Next Phase

I was living in a “new” house although it felt like I had been there a while. The house was large, and I didn’t understand how much space it had. I was getting ready to clean it, and I discovered that in addition to the main house, there was an entirely new floor below (in the basement) that had a very long hallway with extra rooms. Many of them were bedrooms, and in fact some had multiple bunk beds. I remember thinking that I didn’t realize how much extra sleeping space we had. I felt overwhelmed at the idea of cleaning it all, but I closed off some of the rooms that I wasn’t going to need immediately, and then I started cleaning my own bedroom first. I was dusting a shelf, and there were items from my childhood that I didn’t really like. There were some very feminine, girly things like ceramic hearts with fake lace around the edge. I thought to myself that I didn’t need to keep those things, and that I needed to donate them or sell them.

Then the dream shifted (or maybe it was a second dream.) I was supposed to go to the young adult group at the church and talk to them about Servant Ministry projects. I was supposed to be there at a certain time. First, I was in a big area that resembled an airport but with lots of food places. I was looking for something to eat. It also felt a little like a college dorm cafeteria. I was planning to eat and then go to the meeting. I stopped Will and asked if it was ok if I turned it into a game. I was planning to do trivia like “How many people did we feed with Stop Hunger Now?” He said that was fine. But then I missed the event (maybe this is when I was cleaning??) Dylan came in and said that he and his dad had done it, and although he hadn’t wanted to go, he ended up winning the trivia.

Expensive Problem Solving

My dreams this morning ran together, so I’m not sure where one stopped and the next started.  My apologies for a bit of a ramble!

It started with some sort of a ghost story at the Chapel.  I wrote down:

Stupid fake ghost story.

Broke the Internet. Had to take down.

Church window?

Then, it became a work dream.  I was trying to figure out a problem, and suddenly I was in a plane flying.  I think I was the pilot.  I was flying higher and higher, and was among clouds, then suddenly I broke through and I was high – flying fast – and I could see all the stars.  They were big, and bright and beautiful!  They were normal stars (not like the stars in my “first” dream) but they were breathtaking, nonetheless.  I can’t really read my writing at the bottom of the page – something about seeing the stars, or perhaps see 13 stars???  The flying was amazing though.

Then later, I was at work, and Elizabeth called me.  She asked, “How much do you think it costs to fly the plane?”  I didn’t know, and she said it costs $11,000, and I had to find a way to pay her back for flying it.  I thought to myself that it was very much worth the $11K.  About that time, I was paid an $8,000 bonus, and then Scott W. nominated me for an award that was going to pay $2,000.  So I thought to myself, “That’s not too bad – I only have to come up with $1,000.”

Coming to terms…

There was some sort of newcomer celebration at the church, but in a field.  At home, I threw out all my high heels, leaving one pair of black flats in the closet.  I went to talk to Dylan about Austin, and I went to the bathroom but forgot to close the door.  I was trying to figure out what happened at a night club some time back.  I was also (maybe in this dream or maybe in another) caught in a work situation in a frilly nightgown.


Now, I haven’t been interpreting dreams very long, but if there was ever a dream that was pointing to my persona, this is it.  High heels represent discomfort to me on one hand, but also what people expect to see.  I think that perhaps this has to do with throwing out my hesitation to be myself – weird dreams and all – and just embracing it.  Forget what other people will think.  I need to be comfortable myself.  Same thing with the bathroom – you are “supposed” to close the door, but in my dream, it wasn’t awkward at all, and I wasn’t uncomfortable.  And the nightgown at work?  My conscious mind says that I shouldn’t be talking about dreams, and spirits, and angels, and spirituality outside of a very small, private group.  But… it’s out there.  I’m in my nightgown for all to see.  But you know what, it’s a pretty nightgown and I like it. 🙂

The Church in the Wildwood

This post is not a dream, it’s my ramblings. 🙂  Be forewarned.

When faced with the thought of “understanding” or “interpreting” my dreams, I get overwhelmed.  Very easily.  I actually have notebooks upon notebooks of dreams that I’ve never done anything with, because I have no idea where to start.

One of the biggest reasons that I decided to start a blog about my dreams is so I could add tags, and easily see – what am I dreaming about the most?  It seems logical to me that I could start with the recurring trends, and try to understand those.  Right or wrong, it makes this whole journey seem a little more “bite sized” to me.

So – as of today, 50-ish posts into this adventure, the most commonly used tag (outside of some general categories like “dream”, “animus”, and “shadow”) has been Chapel of the Cross.

This is my church.  This is my spiritual home.  I suppose it’s no wonder that God brings this holy place front and center in many of my dreams.

As a child, I did not grow up in a church. My mom and dad were “spiritual” but not “religious.”  I never belonged to a specific church, although I visited several.  I never really wanted to *belong* – in fact, when my mom and I would occasionally go to a church to visit, I always worried that they would kick me out.  Maybe it was because I never really “agreed” with the doctrines that were being presented to me…. Maybe it was me, just being an insecure child.  Either way, I was not a churchgoing kid.

As an adult, I dabbled in church a bit, but again, never JOINED.  When I got ready to move to Mississippi, I knew I wanted to find a church.  I’m not sure why – I just felt that I needed that in my life.  I started visiting various baptist and methodist churches, because that was what I was familiar with.  I built a spreadsheet, circling churches whose doctrines I agreed with, and scratching out those that I disagreed with.  One day, Michael said, “Why don’t we try out this little church I’ve always wanted to see… it’s an Episcopal Church,” and I said, “What’s that?  Is there a bunch of standing and kneeling, because I don’t know about all that.”  🙂  After some prodding, we visited.  And then we visited again.  And then Michael made me go to a Wednesday Night Supper.  And then my (now) friend Dan invited me to a book club.  And then I did a service project.  And then before I knew what had happened, I was baptized, confirmed, and fully in love with the Chapel and her people.

So what does the Chapel mean to me?

This is my “home”… I suppose as close to Heaven as I can get while here on Earth.  This is my place to re-center, to talk to God.  It’s a group of people who I care about, and who care about me.  We take care of one another.  We eat together.  We play together.  At the moment, we are embarking on a capital campaign to build a new sanctuary, and we are about to grow together.  I can FEEL the energy and the Holy Spirit in this place, and I believe that it’s truly something holy and sacred.

So what does this mean in my dreams….?  I know that it’s something special… that’s for certain.IMG_8928

Please listen…

this sermon.

If you haven’t heard it – please listen.  It’s a wonderful message.

I’m not even sure if I can emotionally write about it.  But if, by chance, Ben stumbles upon this post in a sea of social media-online-linkages… thank you.

This entire journey has left me “troubled” to say the least.  On a good day, I’m excited.  I’m optimistic.  I’m humbled.  I’m eager to learn.

On most days, I’m tired and overwhelmed.  I feel like I’ve been given a new toy at Christmas, but it’s not assembled and I don’t have any batteries.  What do I do next?

Just hearing the words that the Holy Spirit is here.  Just being reminded that He will guide us.  Just remembering that maybe I don’t have to figure it all out today…. it’s like a soothing salve to the soul.

So Ben, should you stumble across this post… thank you.

The Rest of The Story – Future Plans from the Past

Below is an email that I wrote to a few key people who are working on the Capital Campaign.  This is interpretation #1 of my amazing dream, and it really embodies my hopes for the Chapel…

Some of you may know that I’ve been participating in Karen Bonner’s Sunday school class about dreaming.  (It’s wonderful, by the way!)  One of the things she encouraged at the very beginning was to write down our dreams.

 

Last night, I had the most wonderful dream about the new sanctuary and the capital campaign, and I felt compelled to share it.  Karen said that dreams talk to us in symbols, and much of what a dream “means” can be attributed to what it means to the dreamer.  This one shouted so clearly at me there is no mistaking what it meant to me.

 

I had gone to the Chapel, and there was an aerial tram that had been put in to “tour” the site of the new sanctuary. (Can we add that to our master plan? J)  I got on this tram in our existing parking lot with a group of others and it took a path into the woods behind the chapel, though the path went much further than our existing land.  We rode past the backside of China Grove, and back past an original (and very beautiful) cemetery that – in the dream – was an important part of the history of the Chapel.  Along the way, there were people in need who were following the tram:  a woman who was sick, groups of children. All of them were following us to get help.  When the tram stopped, there was a building there at the site that would be the church.  Inside, to the left, there were all different people from different cultures.  People were sharing food and tasting new things.  One family was celebrating Christmas!  To the right, there was a big room, and in the center was a group of kids.  Overhead, there was a blimp that was dropping gifts.  The children would get the gifts, and then slowly leave.  Eventually, the kids were all gone, and the blimp dropped another stuffed animal that someone ran in to get, and then it slowly flew away, waiting for the next group to come in.  Everyone was happy, and having a great time.  The dream was filled with enthusiasm and joy.

 

Now, I’m not an expert, but to me – this dream embodied all of the wonderful reasons that we are taking this bold step at the chapel.  This dream mirrored back all of my hopes – that by moving forward, we will be connecting our rich history with our future.  We will be bringing different people, families and communities, together, and we will be able to better help those in need.  And the gifts that we will be providing the community and our children will continue to give, long after we are gone. Most importantly, perhaps, is that the reach of this is so much larger than we can see right now.

 

I know that each of you are working so hard to set the stage for success, and so I wanted to share with you a small taste of the hope and excitement that came to me last night in my dream.

 

Late again…

I was talking to someone who was checking into the hospital.  (Maybe David?)  I asked if he needed anything, and he said “snuff” and told me a brand, so I wrote it down.  Then I remembered that my friend Adelia was in the hospital, and she had asked for a painted piece of wood with ivy on it, a small bottle of alcohol, and some mint M&Ms. (Do they even make mint M&Ms?)  I drove by, because I was really late and thought maybe she had checked out, but she was still there – I saw her  and another woman through the window.  So I was going to take the stuff even though I was late.  I was driving my Saturn and had gone to the school.  I was first in line and then got stuck in the “out” line because the gate was blocked until the bell rang.  Then I left and called mom to say I was going to miss band, but Mom turned into my friend Sloan and said she didn’t care.  She said she was too focused on the “garden” event (something in RL that is happening at the Chapel) and that would be her last hurrah. As I was driving to pick up the items to take to the hospital, it was still dark, and there were shadow men who tried to jump out and make me run off the road, but I was expecting them and missed them.  I got to church at 8:45 and went to the painting class, where I was expecting to paint the block of wood with the ivy.  However, there was also someone painting porcelain plates as well as the wooden plaques.  I think the artists were my friend Mary Lea and her son Daniel.  I needed to get the ivy plaque to take to Adelia.

Marco Polo

I had gone to the church during the week one morning.  I went inside and sat down, and Ben and Will were both there, along with some three sided boards that were talking about how to overcome obstacles.  Ben slipped and fell.  He got up, but Will helped him out to make sure, and he told us to look at the boards.  I realized just then that the entire church had been flipped backwards, so the “front” with the altar and cross were now in the “back”.  Even the kneeling rail had been moved and the pews were facing the wrong way.

I looked more closely on the boards, and one of them was talking about fear of cemeteries. Becky was there and said I needed to read that one, and we laughed.  There were three possible solutions for each obstacle/fear, and one was always silly.  For example, the first option for how to deal with a  fear of cemeteries was to scream shrilly.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the other two were.

We went outside then and Ben and Will had rejoined us.  We were walking around outside, and I noticed ground had been churned up.  It wasn’t clear why, and I thought to myself that people might think it was new graves being dug, or they might think that we were already breaking ground on the new church.  Either way though, I didn’t like that it had been dug up.

We continued to walk around, and I was walking with Ben.  We linked arms, and suddenly we heard a child’s voice call out “Marco!” and Ben replied “Polo!” and a huge group of kids who had been playing on the playground started running over to try to find us.  I whispered to Ben, “What kind of a service is this?  Is this church, or Sunday school?”  I had my eyes open, and then realized that perhaps that was making it too easy to avoid being caught by the kids, and I couldn’t remember if all players were supposed to have their eyes closed, or just the ones calling “Marco”.  The children didn’t call Marco a second time – they were only catching people based on other noises – the sound of footsteps, laughter, or  other noises.