Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I am going to dance again.

God has been ministering to my heart how he really does have a plan for me, and it is being fulfilled every single day. I just have to believe, and be willing to receive it.

He actually prodded me to begin dancing again, much to my joyful surprise! I really did think that part of my life was long gone. I never saw it in my future since I left the studio 5 years ago. But here I am today, enrolled in the Dance Studies program at my dream college, and getting more nervous and excited everyday to get back into the studio in January.

The past 5 years have been incredible, and I wouldn't take one thing away. It was hard to push forward though, and even harder to hold onto the hope that my future was bright. I have wanted to help others through dance ever since I was 4 years old. My dance teacher then, Ms. Nancy, was my role model, and I wanted to be just like her. She made me feel like I could do anything, and that I was beautiful.

When God asked me stop, because he was jealous (the dance world was beginning to suck me in, and it isn't all tutus and roses, let me tell ya), I listened. He gave me no word that I would ever return, but it was worth it to me if I could only stay with Jesus. He had promised me adventure with him, and that is all I ever wanted.

Adventure is what I got too, as Jesus led me to deal with my battles with anger and codependency. He challenged me to look outside of myself, and at the world around me. He taught me the difference between sympathy and empathy, between empowering and enabling. I went to churches I never would have attended. I made friends I never would have had, and with them I had adventures that changed my life. In the midst of this, I experienced a roller coaster of emotions inside as I struggled to trust God with who I am, for once not letting dance define me.

I have a trust in Jesus that I never had before, after coming through the wilderness with him. It is amazing to look back and see how much stronger he has made me. I would never be the person I am today if I hadn't given up dance. I don't regret where he has lead me, and I certainly have no protests to where he is taking me now. It is going to keep being an adventure.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Casting Fruit and Don Knotts Dream

I should be blogging more. I gotta share this dream.

A little back story before I start: I hate lakes. I think they are nasty, still water, full of bird poop that never moves. Also, all those nasty lake fish/creatures totally freak me out, and I have had bad dreams about them.

The dream begins with me on a lake. I'm in a canoe with two men, and we are casting fruit on the water to see what will eat it. We keep moving around the lake, not waiting to see if the fruit is even taken up.

At one point, I fall out of the canoe, but I just keep casting fruit, and swim from one side of the lake to the other. The men soon jump out of the canoe also, and we're all throwing fruit and swimming.

I realize that I'm not afraid of the lake. I wait to become afraid once I remember my fear, but the fear never comes. I think about lake creatures, but I still feel fine. I keep casting fruit, but am getting tired of staying afloat in the lake.

I eventually wash up on the shore of the lake. I am so tired that I am unaware of what the other men are doing. I lie on my stomach, and let my body sink into the sand. I think, "Finally, I can rest."

I wake from my dream in my bed. I get up, and I see Don Knotts sitting by my bookshelf. He has his arm stuck all the way in the bottom shelf, so his hand is touching the wall on the other side. It's a peculiar position to be in.

I ask Don Knotts what he is doing here, and he addresses the end of my dream, when I was at rest on the shore.

He says, "In life, we go to a lot of places and do a lot of things, but we can not find rest. These may be great things that we are doing, and we may be happy wherever we are, but it will mean nothing until we can rest. The purpose of life is to find a place where we can be at rest, and you can't stay in the same place until you find it."

I woke up for real this time, and realized why a lot of things in my life had recently come to an end, or hadn't worked out. It was because these things weren't a place where I could rest.

I went over to my bookshelf, and stuck my hand behind the bottom shelf. The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers was stuck behind the books, having fallen off of a higher shelf.  I laughed, remembering my dream of Fred Rogers coming to visit me, and knew that I was on the right path to eventually find my place to rest. It was also nice to know that I didn't need to be at rest yet, because I'm not, and sometimes there is pressure to be so calm and peaceful. Like, we aren't having a good relationship with Jesus if we aren't.  But that isn't true. My relationship with Jesus is bringing me to my rest, and it does provide hope in my journey, but I'm not there yet.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A reply from Mister Rogers.

The following happened to me over a month ago. I haven't sat down and typed it all out until now.

I was getting ready to go to a friend's baby shower. I had been invited to a friends' house afterwards. They were providing food, and I was providing the beer.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you what is right or wrong when it comes to alcohol. I'm only going to recount the events that transpired that day.

The night before I had bought the beer. I was excited to be spending the day and evening with friends. But as I was getting ready, I realized that I was becoming more and more uncomfortable drinking beer. I wondered if I needed to cancel dinner with my friends that evening, since I felt to uneasy.

I stopped brushing my hair and looked at myself in the mirror. "I am willing to do that, God. I'll come home after the baby shower."

I heard the Holy Spirit say, "No, you can go, but leave at nine."

I went to the shower. I went to my friends' place. We ate, played cards, drank beer. I was uneasy. I was taking pictures, and we realized that the pictures showed the beer bottles on the table. We didn't want to put those pictures on Facebook. We moved the bottles. I took more pictures. I became more uneasy.

I left at nine.

I arrived home, and walked down the hallway to my room.

Dad was suddenly walking behind me. "Jenny, I want to talk to you about something."

I could tell right away that he had been thinking a lot about whatever he was about to say.

I turned to face him. "Okay, what is it?"

He then talked to me, in the gentle and nonjudgmental way that only my dad seems to be able to say things, about my drinking. He said that he didn't think that it was a good idea, and that he didn't see the point in my doing it. He had been a drinker once, and he knew why most people did it and where it led.

I stood there and nodded my head as he talked, feeling my throat close up.

When he finished, he said, "I know that you have to learn these things on your own, but I wanted to let you know what I thought. I love you."

"Thanks, I love you too." And I quickly retreated to my room, and began to cry.

As soon as I made it to my room and let the tears fall, I knew that this was one of the things Mister Rogers had said in my dream. Being a man called to work with children, and therefore be an example for them, Mister Rogers lived to love and serve. I have the same calling, and I began to realize the weight of my actions. I knew why I was becoming more and more uneasy whenever I drank. The questions that I would ask myself...mainly, "Why am I doing this?" were instantly replaced with "I will not do this. I know that I do not need this."

The way that God orchestrated the whole thing is what made me cry, because I felt so loved and so taken care of after Dad talked to me. That morning as I was getting ready, my thoughts to stop drinking beer were all coming from a sense of obligation, which would have meant acting under a law, a spirit of death, believing I was a sinner who needed to repent, when I am already SO free.

That evening by leaving at nine and arriving right before Dad went to sleep for the night, Dad was able to be an instrument in my conviction to stop drinking. I felt no anger from God for not stopping drinking sooner, only a loving hand guiding me to stop at exactly the right moment. If I had not experienced that love and truth in that right moment, my reason for not drinking anymore would have only been an obligation to my unexplained guilt. Now I experience a freedom instead of guilt. I experience a freedom to give myself to my calling to children without resentment. I know that I want to be God's instrument in their lives as much as Dad is in mine.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mister Rogers has yet to drop me any lines of which I am aware. I know that I'll recognize what he told me in my dream if I could just hear or read it somewhere. It is super frustrating. I am still wondering what I am doing wrong.

I am studying for finals, and I am so glad it is almost over.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mister Rogers, drop me a line.

I kept waking up last night from my dream into another dream where I was in bed. Every time I woke into the dream, I would see James Stewart sitting in front of my dresser using my laptop. I would watch him until I fell back asleep. He was typing so gracefully, it looked like he was playing the piano.

 At one point, I woke up and he turned towards me. It was then that I saw that he was actually not James Stewart at all, but Mister Rogers! He looked at me, smiled, and reached a hand towards me. "Jenny! How are you?"

I sat up slowly, surprised and a little frightened that he had seen me. I was still having trouble not falling back into my second dream, and now I wondered if this was even a dream at all! Mister Rogers was making eye contact with me while addressing me, which doesn't happen to me in dreams.

I said, "I'm good..." and I crawled to the edge of the bed to take his hand, waiting to feel nothing, as I usually do. He rolled his chair closer so I could reach, and this time I felt his hand!

"Is this a dream?"

"Yes, Jenny, this is a dream."

"Then how are you here in my room talking to me?"

"Because we are both in the same service."

I thought about that for a second, and realized that he was talking about being Christians. I thought, Mister Rogers is so clever.

Mister Rogers gently said, "Jenny, I came here to tell you that some things that you think are okay are not okay."

He started explaining a lot of things to me, but I couldn't focus. I was fighting to stay in the room.

I reached out my hand to stop him. "Mister Rogers, I am not going to remember this. Is there any way you could send it to me later?" I gestured towards my laptop on the dresser to imply using email. I doubted he could, though, since he is dead in our world, and there probably wasn't a way to link up to the internet from heaven (smh, my dream logic).

He smiled, "Sure! I can, because we are in the same service."

"Really? Oh, good."

Mister Rogers continued, "So you need to be aware..."

And I let my head rest on my bed as his voice got further and further away until I was back in my other dream.

When I finally did wake up, I found that I could not, indeed, remember what Mister Rogers had said wasn't okay for me to do. I do remember that it made sense at the time he explained it to me, like, Oh, duh. Ofcourse that wouldn't be okay. I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Having weird things happen to me in the past where my dreams meet reality, or I hear a voice telling me to check for something, and that thing is there, I did check my email several times today. Not for anything from Mister Rogers, but just for ANYTHING. All I discovered was that Belk is having a big sale on Tuesday....

This is going to bug me.

So, God, you're going to have to explain it all to me again. And if you want to top having Mister Rogers visit me, feel free. :o)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back to the Basics

I had a long talk (and cry) with Mom the other night about how I've been struggling to find footing in my spiritual life this past year. I'm actually reminded now that when someone prayed for me several months ago they saw me climbing a mountain, but rocks were sliding out from under me. This made it hard to gain ground, but I kept fighting to climb anyway.

It still doesn't make sense to me why I am struggling so hard to free myself from just a painful silence in my spiritual life. My focus got off a lot last fall, and when I talked to God I was complaining ALL THE TIME. This complaining and focusing on so much negativity made me lose focus on just pursuing Jesus.

One thing that Mom said the other night is that when I pursue Jesus, and just focus on loving him, then everything else falls into place. I know that I have not been doing this, and this must be why I feel like my feet are not on solid ground. I lost sight of my true goal. It isn't to find my "purpose" or "destiny". When I was just loving Jesus, I was led so clearly. Not often did I know where he was leading me, but I lived in the moment, trusting, and he took care of me.

Jesus still leads me today, but I don't feel so rooted in the moment anymore. I feel lost. I have lost sight of Hope. I can't see the positive side of the day like I used to early last year. My main focus has been the negative in myself and in others.

I want to shut it all off and pursue Jesus again. I want to be free from the inner conflict of constantly judging myself as I have been these past months. I am becoming more aware how even before I fell into this struggle I was complicating my relationship with Jesus into a big mess of navel gazing. Things are so much more simple than I realize. Everyday he reveals something new, and I haven't taken the time to process any of it with him due to constantly looking at my life in a negative light.

So I have to give it up. Get back to the one thing I used to blog about, spending time with Jesus.

"Madam, my dear, my darling, tell me what all this sighing's about. Tell me what all this sighing's about."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ain't nothin' but a heartache. Ain't nothin' but a mistake.

Boyce Avenue, why must you be so good?

I did finally listen to The Rocket Summer, though. Amazing! Bryce has a way of sounding positive no matter what he is singing about.

Last week is gone! The week of Mondays is no more. The awful hours locked in the basement studying are over. I'll be studying at a music festival this week. WHAT? Yes. Awesome. I am sooooo excited! I'll be more excited once I'm ready, because I feel no where near ready. I'm jamming everything into tomorrow. Shopping, packing, and planning will happen all at once, and that will help knock me into this week and out of last.

Father's Day was very chill. Dad got a grill (not from us, from himself), and Jon did us up some burgers and hot dogs. I pitched in for Dad's new toy, some kind of computer tablet...thingy.

Well, I'm going to bed, because my mind is flying and my eyes are dropping. I have to go journal to bring my mind down a notch before I fall asleep and have those awful dreams about everything that happened during the day. I had those dreams a lot during the week of Mondays. Not fun.