Deep sleep and vivid dreams

I softly say a silent prayer like dreamers do.
Then I fall asleep to dreams, my dreams of you.
Roy Orbison

Yesterday I had one, and today I had another; extremely vivid dreams. Moreso than any dreams I’ve had in a long time. The first included one of my grandfathers who passed away a few years ago. He wasn’t exactly in the dream, though. Here’s what I remember about it:

In the dream, I was thinking about the temptation of lust that men face, that I face. It can be a tough thing to keep under control and then my thoughts turned to my grandfather who served in World War II. While at war, he was away from my grandmother but then when he came home, the war ended for him and he was able to be with her again. It was clear to me that this was symbolic of the war I face spiritually. There is an enemy with weapons of war all around me, and yet I must win the war so we can be with the woman I love (wife, girlfriend, or the hope of either in the future). I also heard my grandfather’s voice in a greeting he left as an outgoing message on his answering machine. 

The answering machine part was out of left field, but it was so nice to hear his voice again. It was just as real as if he were sitting next to me right now as I type! I don’t understand dreams because of things like that, how real they are in the moment. Anyway, I woke up with such clarity about this battle I face. And to be fair, women probably face something similar, but I wouldn’t dare try to speak on their behalf!

A couple of Bible verses that relate to this dream:

“Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.” Deut. 3:22

“But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” Romans 7:23

 


Today’s dream was about moving to a new city. Not the first I’ve had about such a subject, but here’s how this one went…

I had already decided to move from Nashville to somewhere north. But in the pit of my stomach this choice felt like the wrong one. Like, things here are building into something great, and I’m about to leave it all behind. Though it felt wrong, everything was already packed and a trailer was already hooked up to a Jeep Wrangler. My departure was mere minutes away when my Mom asked something about my leaving and I started crying. I asked for a particular DVD that I needed to watch in some sort of attempt to confirm or challenge my resolve to leave. I remember the scenes I watched confirming that I needed to stay, but wondering how I’d go about breaking the news. 

I woke up before officially deciding to stay or go, but knowing deep down that I would stay. And thank the Lord for that! I love it here, and don’t want to leave, even in dreams… which is kind of funny because I had a powerful dream before I decided to move here saying almost the exact opposite: it’s OK to move to Nashville. That dream was over 12 years ago now, and represents part of a very important time in my life.

A couple of verses that relate this dream:

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

“Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” Jeremiah 42:3

 


Anyway, there’s more to think about with both dreams but what I’m taking from them now is that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, here in Nashville, even though it’s a couple of states away from my family who I love so much… and that there’s a war going on for the attention of men. Will I suit up and fight?

 

-Out of the Wilderness

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I was going to be a baseball player

In middle school, one of my teachers asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember timidly responding, “I want to be a baseball player.” Well, it wasn’t for a few more years that I would lose my love for the sport (and haven’t ever regained it :)) but up until then, I believed I could do it.

2 me and Whitney Williams

me in 5th grade sporting a Semper Paratus shirt.

Childish dreams, that’s what it was. I didn’t have the talent, and even if I had the drive and the willingness to work hard at it, I didn’t have the talent. Have I mentioned that I didn’t have the talent? But kids don’t think about what it actually takes to make it in professional sports. Or anything professional, really. It takes time, dedication, and oh yeah, talent.

The last year I played organized baseball was in 8th grade. Something flipped and I didn’t care to play anymore. When I went off to college (I say “went off” like my parents didn’t live right down the street), I played intramural softball for a winning team, albeit we were all students not playing for any school-sanctioned team of any sport whatsoever, but we were the best intramural team at FSU for 3 or 4 years running. #stillhavemyjersey #livinginthepast

As a grown man, yes I’m a grown man!, I love playing softball and even if most leagues I’ve been in fall into the “beer league” category, I’m still competitive and I’ll push a guy if it comes to that. Hmm, maybe I’m just living out the broken dreams of a middle school kid who just wants to come back to his hometown and ask his dad, “Are you prouda me, Pops?” like some dramatic New Jersey school dropout with a strong accent.

It’ll never happen, though, because my dad doesn’t go by “Pops”. Dang it!

-Out of the Wilderness

This one time, I was a train conductor

As some of you already know, I sometimes write about my dreams (for example, this one or this one). Well, last night was a fun one! I was a train conductor. Chooooo chooooo!
train conductorToo bad it wasn’t a soul train.
soul trainIt was a real train, full of passengers, and I was driving it. But when I took breaks, another driver took over… it was Fred Savage. Of course it was.
fred savageHe did a great job. There were even a couple of old, scary, wood bridges over bodies of water and I remember praying out loud for survival.

I have no idea what this dream could mean! But I definitely woke up relieved it wasn’t real, although hanging out with Fred Savage would probably be pretty cool.

-Out of the Wilderness

Big waves on Lake Azalea

My brother and I were on a yacht and dealing with what seemed like 10-foot waves. They were crashing over the bow of the boat, and I remember at times only being able to hang on with one hand.I can remember so many details, especially right after I woke up.

I’ve picked up the habit of emailing myself when I have vivid dreams like that. If I don’t, when I wake up for the day I will have forgotten what the dream was. So yes, that means this morning when I woke up I had an email from myself. You’d email yourself too if you were in a life or death situation facing big waves on Lake Azalea! And where did the name Lake Azalea come from anyway?

Dreams are such a wild concept because when I’m in them, it’s real life. It’s as real as me sitting here typing out this post. But then when I’m actually awake, I realize how nonsense they are. And this one about the yacht was tame compared to some I’ve had. I wonder if there’s a way to turn this common occurance (waking up and emailing about my dreams) into some sort of app people can use?

-Out of the Wilderness

Alligators, Bieber, and an Apple IIc

AlligatorWhen I was young, our family lived in a house that backed up to a lake. There were a few reasons to live in fear. The most popular among my siblings was because we lived in Florida. Which meant alligators in any body of freshwater bigger than a roadside puddle. Actually, in the last few years, we’ve seen them in the ocean, too, but that’s another story. Back then, I couldn’t think of anything more scary than alligators. Of course, that was way before Justin Dweeber, reality TV, and Obama which are all more bieberscary that alligators if you ask me! So the most immediate threat was not on the radio, TV, or in Washington, it was in our very own back yard. I remember at night there were 2 red lights that reflected off the sliding glass window. One was probably from the power button on the Apple IIc or something. But I always imagined they were the eyes of  an evil alligator waiting to bust through the door and bite us. Every day we played in the grass and swam in the lake and I wondered where the alligators were. My dad would even swim across the lake a few times per week.

I’ve lived in Tennessee for a few years now and one of my favorite things is there are no alligators! You can swim in the area lakes with total freedom from being dragged under by a prehistoric dinasour-looking death machine. If you’ve never grown up with a daily fear of being preyed upon, you can’t truly appreciate this feeling of freedom I feel every day. But night time is another story. Alligators show up in Tennessee when I close my eyes to go to sleep.

They’re the kind of dreams that make you very thankful when you wake up that it was not real. One recent dream took place at my family’s beach cottage in Florida. There was a small alligator (oddly, it was about the size of a snake) near the shore. I started running because it was chasing me! Before I could get away, it latched onto my hand. To remove it, I held my hand above a fire that was nearby (how convenient!) and it burned up so all I could see was the skeleton. When I returned outside to show my dad, the alligator somehow got to me again! You know things are not going your way when a dead alligator bites you. Not good. Then later when it wasn’t paying attention I smashed it’s head with a MagLite flashlight. That’s what I’m talking about! However, if it was real life, I would’ve ran away like a scaredy cat, zig-zagging of course.

Any interpreters out there?

-Out of the Wilderness

apple-iic

Wacky Wednesday: All I Have To Do Is Dream

Most of the time, my dreams are about one of these 3 things: alligators, Taylor Swift, or Hawaii. The only one I like is the alligator dream because at least when I wake up, I’m happy it wasn’t real! What do you dream about? Confess below in the comments!

Taylor Swift in Hawaii.

Taylor Swift in Hawaii.

I’ll See You When I Fall Asleep

Yes, that’s the last line from the bridge of “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men, one of my favorite songs right now. Is it just me or are there a ton of songs on radio lately that feature guy/girl duo’s or duets? A quick look at iTunes and the top listing is “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink featuring Nate Ruess (from Fun.) and I work in country music so I notice bands like Thompson Square, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, and from Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott has been featured as a duet partner on a few pop songs lately, too. But more what I’m getting at is the back and forth type of song, the guy sings a line, the girl sings a line, on and on. The first one I remember hearing and still listen to when it plays on my iPod, “I Got A Man” by Positive K (which is a whole other story in itself because the rapper Positive K, a guy, also did the female voice on the song, crazy right?). The biggest hit over the last year or so was Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” which featured Kimbra for the female verses. But anyway, this isn’t about coed duets, it’s about a dream I had a few days ago.

ronald reaganI was outside and Ronald Reagan was there. American flags were flying all around. I was balling my eyes out in the dream. When I woke up, my eyes were full of tears. It was weird. I wish in my little talks with God he would just give me a reason why dreams like this happen. Because Ronald Reagan isn’t even somebody that I used to know, but when asked who or what was in my dream, I’d have to say… I got a man!