Those Amazing Moments…

One Thing…

 A few amazing and splendid things have happened since the beginning of the year. Firstly, I had a realization about my writing. I am not reaching for ‘astonishing’. I am not reaching for the bestseller list. However, I have realized of late that what I do want for my writing, my goal, my calling for this gift I have had since childhood is for it to mean something. I want my writing to be of value and good to someone. I want it to be encouraging, edifying, challenging, comforting, welcoming. I want my writing to speak God’s love to those who read it, to challenge them to keep going, keep trying, keep staying, keep loving. This is my goal.

I literally realized as I wrote that last sentence: this is my dream.

Friends, I cannot tell you the last time I had a dream. A dream to work for, a dream to reach for. Over the past decade when I have been asked what my dreams are, I have felt appallingly empty. I have had no words, no answer, no dream to speak of. And it made my heart ache; it made me cry, to be dreamless. I do not want big things; I do not want a huge, ostentatious house, to be famous, to top a bestseller list, or to speak to large crowds. Truthfully? I have accomplished many of the dreams that others might have. I have a solid job, health insurance, a strong relationship, a loving family, a healthy child, a home of my own, and enough money to cover our bills, our needs, and many of our wants, too. Are things perfect? No. Are they good? Yes. So, with all that, what else could I possibly dream for, reach for?

But, as I think about it, the more and more I realize that this is a dream. A new one! Like dear Flynn Rider (Eugene Fitzherbert to his friends), I needed to find a new dream, and…I guess I have. I do not necessarily know what comes next (sharing this post, I suppose), but the thought of having a dream is and feels nothing short of amazing.

            I’ve got a dream!

And Another Thing!

The second splendid thing was a moment of affirmation, one that meant—and still means—a great deal. On a recent Saturday, I wrote a post of thank-you’s on my personal Facebook page to my dear ones. A little while later, my phone pinged with a notification: my dad had commented on my post. Here is what he wrote:

Thank you too, for being yourself, true to openness and willingness to share such a ministry of helping others to feel that they are important, cared about, loved and have someone to lift them up. You are also willing to share their pain and climb down to where they are to keep them comfortable with your encouragement.

I really cannot describe to you just how deeply this affirmation touched my soul, particularly as it came from my dad, who has been in ministry in some way, shape, or form throughout my entire life. This is my life’s purpose and work: love. I really do believe that God put me here to do my best to love, deeply and well, those whom God has put in my path and life. Some may stay, some may leave, and some may just be passing through, but nevertheless, I am going to do my best to offer love to them all.

Encouragement is one of my spiritual gifts, without a doubt, but I learned it at my mother’s knee. She used to buy me little calendars for my study carrel (office) at school and she would write encouraging, loving little notes on them. When I went off to college, she sent prayer boxes with me (little containers with Scripture verses or prayers on them) and she would write notes on the back side of them. She never misses a birthday, anniversary, or holiday; her beautifully-chosen, loving cards come without fail. I keep many of them and re-read them when I need a heart-lift. With such inspiration and teaching, how could I ever doubt what my purpose on this mortal coil is?

My mother’s teachings, the affirmations of family, friends, ministers, dear ones, and now this timely one from my Da’…sometimes that is what a soul needs. What God knew my soul needed: affirmation that I am indeed doing what I am supposed to be doing. In that, God has given me a dream, a desire, a goal, and the confirmation that, yes, I am to step forward into it, whatever that mean. Just the next step, though.


Dream Memories: Little Precious

Author’s Note: This is the storified version of a dream that I had on March 10, 2005. Yes, I actually do write these things down. 🙂

= = = = 

I was so very tired; every part of me ached. I was sweaty and felt nearly ripped in two. The room still swam a bit and I felt too tired to lift a finger. I could hear voices around me, people moving around the room. Some leaving, others staying.

It was over. Finally.

I felt the doctor place a little blanketed bundle in my arms and they shook a little as I raised them to grasp it. It squirmed. I blinked to clear my vision and my breath was taken away for the umpteenth time that night.

He was perfect, absolutely perfect! Perfect little hands, perfect little nose, perfect little mouth. He clenched his little fists and squirmed again, opening his eyes. He looked right at me and seemed to almost visibly relax in my arms. Such clear, bright little eyes. I couldn’t believe it.

I felt lips kiss my forehead and a whisper of absolute amazement above me. I sighed. “Say hi to Daddy.” And lifted him into his father’s arms.

My pillow was soaking wet when I leaned my head back against it. The nurse said they would change my linens and bed after I’d caught my breath. She said he was a beautiful baby boy. We should be very proud. I assured her that we were.

I watched him hold our son, look into that brand-new face, so fresh from God’s presence. I found myself smiling, though I didn’t know what to say. But it was just the most beautiful moment.

After a minute, he placed him back in my arms. “I think he wants his mama.”

Mama. Me? It sounded so foreign to me, so impossible. And yet here he was. I held that precious, terrycloth-wrapped bundle and marveled all over again. Lips kissed my cheek and breath brushed my ear.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too…Daddy.” That didn’t sound foreign to me. I had always pictured him as a father, with a little boy or girl trailing after his heels. Playing with dogs, climbing trees, teaching his child to love the earth, the forests, and the fields that he had loved all his life. A little boy to teach how to open doors for a lady and to be simply charming, to play video games and knights and dragons with. A little girl—his own little princess—pelting around in the dirt after her grandfather’s chickens in her dress while her father laughs; a little girl to indulge in fairy tales and to teach to dream.

I determined then that our son would be encouraged in his wildness, to dash around the backyard, climbing trees, jumping rocks, and building forts in order to break every bone in his body. To dream of battle, of being a hero. He’d go camping and hiking and hunting with his father and grandfather, learn to love the land. I would read him bedtime stories full of heroes and quests, help him put together costumes for Halloween of superheroes. Campouts in the living room, safaris in the backyard. Yes, I knew there would be hard times, difficulties, shouting matches maybe, even. But we would make it through. God had placed him in our arms and we would give him back to into His hands.

I felt him smile against my temple as I set the little one to nurse.

“We still have to give him his name.”

I smiled, too. “Yes. But what do you say we tell Him thank-you first?”

Dream Memory: The House That Xavier Built

So I am avid X-men fan. Most of you know this. I buy the comics, own the movies, play rpgs. I greatly enjoy the franchise and have since I was a teenager. Last night, I had a very interesting dream.

I was an X-man. At least one in training. It was partially living in one of the games I’m in but so much more than that.

Xavier’s Mansion was still Xavier’s mansion but it, too, was so much more than just that. It was like the mansion had a sense of folded space. Outwardly it never changed but, inwardly, it grew and grew as Xavier’s took in more and more young mutants. The littler children and younger teenagers lived in large dormitory rooms together and trained with their powers. As they grew older and gained more control over their powers, students would then be moved into their own single dorm rooms upstairs.

On this particular occasion, the older students were finishing their training and heading back up to their rooms to clean up and change. As they headed past the children’s dorms, the kids, of course, ran out to meet them. Me, being the mother cat that I am, ordered the elder boys, “Come on, boys, upstairs! And you boys, back to your studies. Go on!” When asked why the boys had to go but the girls got to stay, I replied, “The girls put in the request weeks ago. Now give us the room.”

Begrudgingly, the boys vacated the large, ballroom-sized hall beneath the staircase and landings as Storm took one of the little girls up to the second floor landing. I and the other older girls smiled at the younger ones and told them to look. Storm and her little companion were up on the banister and, suddenly, they pitched forward, flying around around the ballroom. For Storm, of course, self-propelled flight was a matter of breathing, but not for Gemma. So I happily announced to the girls, “Today, all of you get to fly.” The mentalists and telekenetics smiled and stood off to the side to control the girls as they flew and darted around the room for about 20 minutes. Listening to them laugh and squeal gave me no small amount of pleasure.

And then I woke up.

Gamer Dreams – July 3, 2010

Author’s Note: This is a dream that I had about my LARP character and one of her friends.

For several minutes, Esther wandered the edges of the gathering, as though deciding the right time to dive in. The grand event was just beginning and not many people had arrived yet, so she observed the fringes, noting who had already arrived that she recognized. Soon, she drifted from the room and into the halls to explore the beautiful manor that served as their setting for the evening. Suddenly, she felt a jolt run up her spine and someone grabbed her arm brutally, whipping her around!

“I should have known,” Porter snarled into her face. Turning, he dragged Esther forcefully down the hall before she could utter a word. Finding a spare room unlocked, he threw the door open and tossed her inside the room, shoving her against the wall roughly.

To her shame, Esther found herself terrified and shaking to be alone in a room with this man, this lunatic. Here, there were no witnesses.

Porter regarded the woman trying to compose herself with a cold eye. “You have some brazen nerve showing your face here amongst proper Kindred,” he growled lowly, “But then we know you’re brazen, don’t we?”

Esther tried to stand as tall as she had that night but something in his presence unnerved her, unexplainably so, and made it impossible to pull herself together. She felt utter fear, revulsion, and disgust; they all roiled together in her form, tearing her foundation apart.

Just then a knock came at the door. After a final glare, Porter snarled, “You…don’t move.” With that, he opened the door and left the room.

Esther forced herself slowly to breathe, to calm and compose now that his presence lifted from the room like a cannon weight. It was exceedingly difficult to ground herself, however, and she jumped when the door reopened. Instead of Porter, though, in walked Gryphon!

Esther felt her chin tremble and, as Gryphon approached her gingerly with his hands spread, she threw herself into his arms, burying her face in his shoulder with her arms clasped around his neck. Her chest heaved but she refused to let herself cry.

Gryphon didn’t say a word, just held and shh’ed her quietly. His hand rubbed her back while the other arm wrapped around her waist tightly. Softly, he began to hum. Some obscure Irish tune that vibrated in her ear and down into her belly.

Finally, he whispered, “I wanted to explain…”

Even though she had played this moment over and over in her mind, Esther found herself shaking her head, pulling back gently. Amazingly, she realized that she was no longer angry with him, just missed him terribly.

“I understand what it is to not have a choice,” she murmured, her hand touching his cheek.

Gryphon looked rather downcast as he brushed a loosened tendril away from her temple. “I…want you to know that I am leaving Indiana after tonight.”

“Leaving? Are you serious?” She tried to ignore the tearing somewhere in her heart.

“Yes, it’s too…violent here for me. After what happened with you…” he paused, looking away, before taking her hands in his. “I can’t stay here with all this bloodshed. But I wanted to say goodbye to you…properly.” A rakish smile touched his lips then, “So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?” He took a step towards the massive bed that occupied a good portion of the room.

Esther held tightly to his hand, stopping his progress for a moment. “We don’t have to do this, Angel. I want to talk to you about…”

“I don’t, Esther,” he said softly, lowly. “I don’t want to talk about it. I want…you. Clothes off. On the bed. Now.” That smile almost killed her.

How could she resist it?