Dream

I have never been one to give much thought to dreams. Occasionally I will have a vivid dream and just can’t shake it.

“Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.” Genesis‬ ‭41:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Some people keep dream journals and others, like my husband, can’t remember a dream to save their life. Some people believe in dreams as prophecy while others believe dreams are what you truly desire.

I don’t really know what the true meaning of dreams are but they are mentioned in the Bible several times. Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams which is think is fascinating.

Last night I had one of those vivid dreams that I mentioned earlier. The end of this month will mark the one year point at which my dad passed away. Naturally my thoughts are rotating around that. The dream that I had was quite intense and involved my dad being in a building. The building was on fire. My dad called me on the phone and I answered in a panic. He was saying he couldn’t get out of the building because of his physical limits. His body wouldn’t allow him to move from the spot he was in. If he could move he could get out. He was saying his goodbyes over the phone.

In my dream I was screaming “it’s going to be painful, it won’t be easy, but you can do hard things!”. I said it over and over to no avail. I then attempted to go into the burning building to help my dad. I found him but he still wouldn’t move. I couldn’t save him.

When I woke up I knew I had to write about that dream but I wasn’t sure why or how. I mentioned it to my sister in law, Liz, and she gave me some possible insight: every single one of us has felt, at some point, like we are the person in the burning building or the person on the other end of the phone.

For me, I think I’ve been feeling guilty. I couldn’t save my dad. I tried and I failed. I’ve been holding onto that when it’s not my burden to carry. I was never going to be able to save him. God had a plan. It was Gods job to save him and ultimately he did by taking away his pain and giving him the ultimate healing.

The truth is that it’s not our job to save people. I’m not talking about giving life saving CPR, rescuing someone from an actual burning building, or some sort of surgery-but we cannot save people from their sins. Only God can do that. You have to be willing to be saved. You have to work at it and make an effort. You have to be motivated. It definitely won’t be easy. It will probably hurt sometimes. But YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!

“What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God asks us to plant the seed and maybe do a little watering but it is not our job to force that seed to grow by screaming at it or beating it with a book. We are instructed to love with a gentle spirit.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”” Mark‬ ‭12:30-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Are you the person in the burning building giving up or waiting to be saved? Unwilling to to do the hard thing? Are you the person on the other end of the phone screaming and trying to take control? Either way…let go and let God have control of that situation. He will guide and direct you through the hard things.

5 Ways to Practice Self Care

So much of what I see online and hear about from other moms is to take time for self care. My initial thought was to spoil myself. To treat myself to spa days and girls nights. While those things are really nice to do on occasion I think they miss the point.

In my opinion it’s important to take care of your self-mentally, physically, spiritually. While that may include spoiling yourself with a pedicure now and then I’ve discovered five areas to improve my own long term self care.

Set Healthy Boundaries

  • This is one of my New Years Resolutions. I’m learning that setting healthy boundaries is fantastic for my mental health. For me this means not over committing my life to others, saying no more, and taking care of relationships-whether that is to end an unhealthy relationship or cultivate a new one. I’m sharing less of my life on social media and living more in the moment.
  • “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Practice forgiveness and gratitude

  • I tend to hold grudges. Do you? When someone wrongs me I just hang onto that and let it fester in my mind. That is not a great way to spend my life. There have been times when I’ve had to ask for forgiveness for holding a grudge and that person had no idea that I was mad at them. There’s also been times when I’ve had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry-or even alive. Letting go of those grudges frees my heart and my spirit.
  • “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • Gratitude goes hand in hand with forgiveness. I’ve learned that if I’m grateful for things in my life I see less of the negative. When I am grateful for certain aspects of people and the relationships with them I don’t see the bad things as much.
  • “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy” Philippians‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Invest in community and connection

  • Whoa! This is a hard one for me and I know for many others as well. This is stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching out human to human. Face to face. NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Community and connection seems so much easier when you aren’t actually meeting face to face. I’m currently taking a break from social media and it has been fantastic. I don’t really miss it. I do log on occasionally to update groups that I lead-but it’s in the name of building community.
  • “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs‬ ‭27:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • I started a small bible study in our church and it’s been great. I love getting together with these other moms and talking about our struggles. It’s crazy to see these moms-who look like they have it all together- and they are falling apart just like me. Motherhood is surprisingly isolating and community -face to face community is vital for survival.
  • Practice good health

  • To me this seems pretty obvious for self care but I struggle with it. Staying active, eating healthy-instead of junk, getting outside…these all help with self care. The more we move around, get our heart rate up, put good stuff in our bodies-the better we feel. In return we can help our families feel better too. We set good examples for our kids and we are ultimately able to do more without the added stress and exhaustion.
  • “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Rest

  • I mean…come on. This is obvious. Rest is vital to our survival. Our physical and mental health depend on rest. Rest may not even be sleep (though very important) it could be setting a boundary and saying no to something and instead spending time with your kids or spouse. Occasionally we like to book a night away in a hotel. We intentionally go away to spend time as a family uninterrupted. We could have a family day at home but life is still there-asking for help or advice. It’s good to step away from responsibility for just a moment to rest and recover and then you will be better at your responsibilities later.
  • “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews‬ ‭4:9-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Spend time in the Word

  • To me this is another no-brained but also another hard one to accomplish. I’ve found that the YouVersion Bible App helps to keep me focused. No, it’s not an actual paper bible but I can grab my phone anywhere and read some scripture or a devotional any time that I have a quick moment-during nap time or in the car when I have a moment waiting to go in somewhere. I wake up to tend to my kids in the middle of the night. Sometimes I can’t go back to sleep. I will grab my phone and read in my bible app. It’s pretty convenient. These actions have changed my mood and have allowed me to grow in my spiritual walk. When I’m struggling I know that I can find encouragement and truth in my bible.
  • “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” John‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Truthfully I don’t know if these five things will help YOU practice self care but I do know that they have helped me. I have learned so much about myself and my relationships by doing these things. My life seems to be less irritating and my difficult seasons are shorter. I have learned to have an attitude of gratitude and my mental health has improved greatly through that.

    Send me your suggestions for self care!