Posts Tagged With: dreams

Dream Journal

I have always had a vivid imagination. Though most people outgrow nightmares, I still have them as an adult. However, I also have some pretty incredible dreams. A few months ago, I decided to start writing down my dreams in a “Dream Journal,” which is actually just an online document so that I can add to it whenever I remember my dream from the night before.

As I’m reading through my journal, there are a few entries I’d like to share, but we’ll start with just two.

Here is the first one, from 6/10/13 – the night before starting my new job:

My extended family (on my mother’s side) was lined up across a cement platform, about 2 1/2 feet wide, that extended from the shore of a lake into the middle of the lake. We were using tennis shoes tied onto the ends of strings to catch small crocodiles. The crocodiles bit the end of the tennis shoes, and then we’d pull them out of the water and set them in the water on the other side of the platform. I had the feeling that there wasn’t any specific purpose for doing this–we were just entertaining ourselves. Then a large crocodile swam up just as my niece Tessa (16 months old) fell into the water. Tessa landed on the crocodile’s head, and he started to swim away with her. My sister Shanna (Tessa’s mother) and I looked at each other. She said, “He’s got Tessa!” I said, “So go get her!” and Shanna replied, “You go get her!” So I handed Shanna my cell phone (strange that I was even holding it in my dream) and jumped into the crocodile-infested lake. I rescued Tessa and then experienced that moment of indecision where I didn’t know which was closer to me: the cement platform or the edge of the lake.

That’s where my dream journal entry ends for that day. How would you finish the story?

Here is the second one, from 10/10/13:

I haven’t been sleeping very well the past few nights, and it seems that my dreams are getting stranger and stranger to coincide with that. Last night, I was in a place that felt sort of like Epcot Center in Disneyworld, only without the rides. It had little areas of foreign-looking buildings. My brain decided that it must have been Ghana (even though it was nothing like Ghana). Then I returned home (again, nothing like my actual home). I ran my tongue behind my teeth, and about half of my teeth popped out! It was so traumatic! I was catching them as they were falling out and breaking off. I tried to figure out why they would be falling out and decided that it must have something to do with the foreign food I’d been eating. I called my dentist (I distinctly remember that I felt guilty because it was early afternoon on a Sunday, and I was asking him to work), then went to his office with my hands full of teeth that had fallen out. My dentist and his assistant put white crowns on my teeth, and the crowns felt really strange. I was hoping that they didn’t put the crowns on too quickly (instead of doing it right) so that they could get back to church. Also, at one point, my dentist said, “Katie, I told you we would end up doing this one day.”

I have so many others I could share! Maybe I will share a few more before the month is through.

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Flying Solo

I leave for Ghana in less than two weeks now!

As I’ve mentioned, I have a tendency to have nightmares. Sometimes I don’t know what causes them, but many times, they are stress-related. I have more nightmares when something big is about to happen in my life. Saturday, I realized that I hadn’t had a single nightmare about my Ghana trip, and I was feeling very proud of myself for keeping my stress under control.

Then Saturday night, cue the Ghana nightmares. The strange thing was that all of them were about my flights to Ghana (missing flights, losing luggage, getting lost in airports, etc.).

Because of a minor flight time change a couple of weeks ago, I knew my flight itinerary would be different from what was originally emailed to me. So I hopped on the airline’s website to get my full itinerary and print it. I also wanted to take care of this sooner rather than later so that my stress would be gone and I would avoid another sleepless night.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that two of my connecting flights were gone. The flight itinerary had my return trip going from Ghana to London, and then…nothing. No flights back to the United States. I double-checked the original itinerary that was emailed to me in November, and the flights were there. London to Dallas, then from Dallas home.

Those who know me will attest that I’m a very calm person. Social, fun-loving, yes. But calm. At that moment, I was panicky enough that my heart was pounding, and I had a hard time even finding a number to call from the airline’s website. I eventually found it, I placed a call, and I explained to the employee what I was seeing.

He opened the file and had to put me on hold because he had never seen it happen before. Apparently one of my flights was bumped by a few minutes (I never received notification of any of my return flight times changing, which is odd), and it no longer left me enough time to transfer planes…so the rest of my flights were just removed. Go figure.

He booked two new flights for me–still from London to Dallas to home–and it actually removed two hours from my return trip. I will now get home two hours sooner and sit in airports for two hours less. Score!

Who would’ve thought I’d ever be grateful for nightmares?

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A dear friend of mine gave me a framed photo this weekend that had this quote:

“Courage is the decision to place your dreams above your fears.” -Unknown

I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe it’s because I am about to embark on an adventure (See Beginnings of an African Adventure) that is both dream-fulfilling and somewhat terrifying. Or maybe it’s because I have been pondering a lot lately on the idea of trusting in God versus trusting in oneself–and somehow the battle of courage versus fear seems to mix well into my ponderings.

It’s difficult for me to think about courage without also thinking about the God in whom I find my strength. I believe that fear always comes from the devil and never from God–same with discouragement, inadequacy, and many other feelings that keep us from living our dreams. God sends peace, hope, strength, and yes, courage. But yet that unsettled feeling we sometimes get can be God telling us–warning us–not to make certain decisions. So where do we draw the line? How do we know that it’s fear coming from Satan instead of a warning from God?

There’s a passage in the Book of Mormon that I absolutely love (well, there are a lot of passages that I love, but this particular one is relevant here :)). It’s found in Moroni 7:12-13. This is the prophet Mormon, speaking to his people. He says, “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” The chapter continues on to discuss the Spirit of Christ which is given to all of us to judge good from evil (what many would describe as a “conscience”).

There’s the answer. If we are doing something good, and we feel fear about it, that is the devil trying to influence us–to stop us–from serving God and our fellowmen. We should press forward, trusting in God, working to do His will, and spreading goodness and light. Hopefully those dreams we’re pursuing will positively impact the world.

Here’s where the trust in God vs. trust in oneself discussion comes in. In Proverbs 3:5-6, it says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” I think sometimes we say we trust in God, and then we struggle with feelings of personal inadequacy–as if somehow believing in the greatness and power of deity lessens our own worth or our own abilities. I think it’s actually the opposite. I am a daughter of God. As such, I have been blessed with sense, good judgment, talents, intelligence, and many other blessings. The Lord expects us to use the judgment He has given us to make our own decisions. He never intended to make our decisions for us–guide us, help us, warn us, yes–but not dictate our every move.

One more thought on this, which comes from a discourse Moses gave to the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” When we are doing His will, we have no reason to fear.

I would define courage, then, as the ability to choose a good path, trust in God to guide you on that path, and fight against the devil’s disabling fear in order to accomplish your dreams.

But then again, maybe that’s a little too long for a quote on a framed photo.

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