January 03, 2014


Georgia O'Keeffe Ladder to the moon

Sunday we talked about and drew our dreams during our all-ages service. It was my turn to be the lay liturgist, prepare my talk, my own confession and lead the church in a unison prayer of confession.  The scripture reading was Matthew 2:13-23 where he talks about 4 dreams; Joseph's, and the 3 Magi. 

I thought a lot about my dreams leading up to and after Sunday. I'm a pretty vivid dreamer and I can usually remember even the tiniest details in my dreams. (Makes sense, it is my brain. Duh.) Some of them are funny or bizarre, some are unbelievable and some are very scary. 

Like take for instance a few days before I was to speak in church.

I dreamt I went to church, completely unprepared for my liturgy, frantically scratching it with an un-sharpened golf pencil on a scrap of paper, only to fall asleep right there in the Godly play room and sleep through the first service and wake up some time during the second. Pastor Jeff somehow knew I would wake up so he saved the confession for last, which made me even more anxious because the service and the liturgy was all out of order and I STILL had to speak and you all saw what an anxious mess I was AND see that I failed because I wasn't prepared.

That was last week. 

So guess what my resilient-renewed-outer-aisle-eating self dreamt this week.....

I ate a whole cake. 

At a restaurant. 

In public. 

In front of my whole family. Extended too. 

I was going away at this four layer cake, completely forgetting my choice to cut out sugar. Then I downed a glass a milk forgetting I cut out dairy.  Then back to the cake. It dawned on me during the 2nd round of cake eating that I failed. Again. I asked the server to take the cake away. 

Still in dreamland as we were leaving the restaurant I whispered to David that I felt so sick and asked if he would help me remind me how sick I felt in that moment so I would never do it again. 

I woke up thinking I really had eaten cake. It took some time to get my head wrapped around the fact that it was just a dream and I didn't have cake. 

The way Matthew tells it, my cake and unprepared dream was nothing compared to Joseph's dream.  I can only imagine how anxious Joseph must have been feeling.  His life was turned upside down, and then he dreams about an impending doom. This random scary being (be not afraid. Angels are scary???) shows up and tells Joseph to take his wife and unborn kid and get the hell outta dodge and go into hiding before Herod finds them and kills the kid. 


Dude. Joseph and me, we're like this [crossing fingers]. Behind the scenes supportive.  But man does he know how to breathe after a crazy dream.  He didn't just take his anxious dream and stew over it, he took action.  He moved, exercising all the way to Bethlehem or Egypt.

When we have dreams that are sometimes scary or anxious, like Joseph, we need to act.  We reach out, we talk to one another, we talk to our parents, our teachers our friends, our pastors, we pray to God, we blog. 

As we talk about our fears sometimes we find out that other people feel the same way.  Sometimes If we really listen we realize that God not only was calling attention our anxiety but also putting the people in our paths to help us, even from within our dreams. 

I am pretty sure that was God in my two dreams since my liturgy was pretty much written by last week's dream and I asked for help to get out of the vicious cake cycle. Yay me!

If you are struggling. Reach out. This prayer I addapted from Sunday helped me this week. Maybe it will help you too. 

Forgiving God,
Even as I celebrate your birth into the world, I struggle to feel your presence.
It seems like so long ago that you were here - It seems so far away.
Sometimes I get a little confused about how to celebrate.
When you feel absent, I fill the absence with other things like cake or dramatic dreams.
Baby Jesus, be born in my heart.
Come alive in my deepest and darkest recesses.
Plant yourself like a seed
And grow up in my dreams.

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