Weird Dreams

Do you ever have reoccurring dreams that are so real you wake up to make sure that it actually was your imagination? I am a vivid dreamer. Sometimes God speaks to me through my dreams and other times I am asking myself what on earth I was thinking about before I fell asleep!

One reoccurring dream I’ve had over the last year is a variation of the idea that Andrew and I know each other  but don’t get married. In my dream I know about my “real life”, that we’re married, have Caleb, etc. I know how our story goes, and my dream starts out following reality and then somewhere along the way takes a turn.

One time I dreamt that we liked each other but then he decided to go another path and we never dated. The torment in my heart was so vicious, I felt like I could literally die in my dream. I tried to scream at him what could be. I tried to tell him about Caleb. I tried to tell him about the happiness we would experience, but it was like he couldn’t hear me. He was numb to my emotion.

Another time I dreamed that we were dating and it was getting to the point where we got engaged in real life, but in the dream he tells me he’s been accepted to school and is breaking up with me. I repeat the same anguished cry, pleading him to seek God for confirmation, but he becomes numb to my voice and tunes me out.

Each time I’ve had this dream, I wake up panicked, checking to see if Andrew’s asleep beside me,  making sure the baby monitor is still flashing and that Caleb is still our boy.

Taking a few deep breaths, I can usually fall back to sleep.

As I was up with Caleb last night, sitting in the dark of his room, moving back and forth in the rocking chair, I asked Jesus why I have this heart wrenching dream. I guess I’ve never asked him before, and this morning he told me this:

“What you feel in that dream is the tiniest fraction of what I feel when someone walks away from me. I call to them and speak what could be, place hope and vision in their path, yet they tune me out and become numb to my voice. I then watch them walk a path of pain that I died to save them from.”

Wow. I wish I could accurately describe the pain and hurt in my entire being when Andrew rejects me in my dream. God said that’s the tiniest fraction of what he feels. And his love and motives are actually pure. Mine was still rooted in my own desire and my own cry for happiness.

Listen, the Lord of heaven and earth is heartsick when you reject him. He knows what your life could be, and he longs to pick you up, rescue you from the kingdom of darkness and transfer you into the kingdom of his dear son, who ALREADY purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

Don’t run from God, his plans and purposes are much greater than you can even imagine, in your wildest, most bizarre dreams! Though you have lived apart from Christ, he will redeem your life. (Jeremiah 29:10-12)

If you are walking with the Lord, I pray that you can feel how desperately He aches for people to turn to him, and that we would be driven on to share the hope that we have with others.

 

 

 

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“Just Wait”

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately that have gone something like this:

Person: “Is your baby walking yet?”

Me: “Not quite, he’s getting close though!”

Person: “Just wait until he’s walking! Then your life will really get crazy. You’ll wish he never learned how to walk.”

Since having Caleb I have been introduced to the worlds of parents who always think they are one harder and more challenging step in front of me.

I quickly realized these people will say that about every single stage:

“Just wait until he’s on the move”

“Just wait until he’s on solids”

“Just wait until he starts walking”

“Just wait until he can talk”

“Just wait until he starts school”

The “just waits” started to drive me crazy! Each stage that should have been exciting was met with well-intentioned parents who tried to put fear into me.

This is why I will never say a negative “just wait” statement.

No matter what you do, or how much you dread it, your baby is going to learn to walk, talk, run and jump. In fact they won’t even stay babies! Dreading the future won’t change a thing and it robs you of your joy in the process.

I feel it is much more helpful to say a statement like this to a mom whose baby is about to start something new, like crawling.

“Wow, this stage definitely holds some new challenges, but it sure is exciting to watch them find their independence.”

We’ve acknowledged the truth of the challenge, while recognizing the joy of the new action. We have also instilled a positive comment in this already over-thinking mom and filled her with a bit of confidence that she can handle each new phase that comes her way!

I don’t know why we do it. I’ve caught myself about to make a negative statement like that to a mom with a baby younger than Caleb. Usually its rooted in my own insecurity. My competitive nature starts to overtake me.

1 Peter 3:10 says

If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.

Discouraging words are not of God, and not only rob others of enjoying life and having happy days, but rob you as well!

Life might seem to get a little busier, but it sure is a joy to watch my son grow and discover!

Just wait until your baby turns one…it’s so much fun!

Remembering

It’s funny how you can long for a season of your life to pass by for so long, only to realize later how quickly it went by. Tonight I went for a walk with my sister and cousin through my hometown. I spent so many hours in my high school or at my part-time jobs, worrying about pleasing people I never see anymore. In the moment it was such a big deal. Their approval meant so much.

I walked past my school and all that remained for me was memories.  I wished I would have been more open about my faith and more passionate about sharing my salvation story. Jesus had done so much for me, what was scaring me?

It’s too late to worry now.  All I can do is move forward.

Time is such a funny thing. One moment drags on and on and the next zooms by so quick you don’t have time to breathe. In reality though life keeps moving on at the same speed.

One day this stage of life will simply be a memory that I look fondly back on. I heard one older mom say that she had no idea how brief a period of time babies actually would be. All the things that worried and overwhelmed her are now just cares of the past. A past which holds some regrets and many joys.

I need to stay present. I need to remember to enjoy this whole stage. It will soon be over before I know it. I’ll drive by our current house and long to hold my babies again, remember our first five years of marriage and feel a flood of emotions from this time.

Don’t be drunk on the future, be engaged with the present.

Stress Free Wedding Planning Part Two

While you are following the three D’s to stress free wedding planning, there is another piece to this fantastic engagement period, that often goes unnoted. Well, at least unnoted to the extent that I feel it should be. I’m talking about pre-marriage counseling or enrolling in a pre-marriage course.  

 I’m not talking about a chat with your pastor in his office, I mean a “dig down deep” pre-marriage course. One that challenges your motives for getting married, asks God to confirm your relationship and prepares you for some of the tough stuff you’re going to face.

The course that my husband and I took was a 10 week intensive that brought up a lot of great things for us to process before getting married. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed that we were having to be so serious during the fun stage of engagement. I am so thankful we took the time to invest.

A lot of couples I talk to have an extremely difficult first year adjusting. The couples we know who have committed to an extensive pre-marriage program have transitioned very well to married life.

50% of all marriages end in the divorce. No one wants to be a part of that heartbreaking statistic, nor do they assume they will be, as they walk down the aisle. I believe it is way more important to set your marriage up with a great foundation and have a little less time for your wedding, than to have a perfect wedding and start out on a rough note.

Our pre-marriage course taught us the importance of praying together daily, of being in agreement and the seriousness of covenant. These things have been invaluable to us.

Never underestimate the power of preparation. Don’t let the busyness of wedding planning cause you to neglect deepening your relationship during this fundamental stage.

A few other thoughts…

Enlist volunteers! You have more family and friends than you realize who want to help. Many of them just want to be given a job and let at it! If you are organized with jobs for everyone ahead of time, the set up stage will fly by!

While setting up for the wedding, DO as little as possible! Just be the coordinator walking around answering questions and organizing. If you don’t feel like that’s something you want to be in charge of, having someone really close to you who understands most of the details to be the one who does this. They can filter through all the questions and bring the important ones to you

Pray over the details of your wedding. Marriage is God’s idea, and he loves throwing a party for a wedding! Hey, Jesus even went to weddings!

Decide that anything that doesn’t get done by midnight before the wedding, just isn’t going to get done. Don’t worry about it. Don’t think about it. JUST ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY!

This is a wonderful time that only comes once so do as much as is in your power to let it be a positive memory of love, peace and joy! 

If you would like help finding a solid pre-marriage course in your area, feel free to email monica@myredandpurplelife.com

Happy Wedding Planning!

 

Birthday Boy

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I gave birth to our precious little boy. Honestly, this has been the fastest year of my entire life. I pray that time can slow down a little bit!

I wanted to share a video that my husband made of Caleb’s first year of life.


We love our boy so much, and thank God daily for the gift he has given us. We look forward to this exciting next year with Caleb!

 

Three D’s To Stress-Free Wedding Planning

On June 5, 2010 I married my best friend, and I can happily say that I walked down the aisle with very little stress! I’ve had many people ask me for advice regarding wedding planning, and I’ve decided to try to sum up what I believe are the things we did well, and maybe not so well to help you as your embark on this exciting journey towards marriage!

For many couples, planning a wedding can be the most stressful time of their relationship with hardly anytime to get to know each  other more. Instead of treasuring the short time of engagement, they combat unnecessary strife. Often the bride can let a monster jump out of her that they didn’t even know what inside of them, scaring her beloved groom and inciting the awful title of “BRIDEZILLA!”

But does that have to be?

Planning our wedding was one of the most exciting times for us and here are three D’s to why I think that was the case!

D #1 – DETERMINE!

When we got engaged, I knew that I could become an over controlling bride who wanted everything my own way. I made a choice
in my heart and determined that the utmost priority was growing closer with my fiance and preparing for marriage. If something about the wedding got in the way of that priority, then it was cut.

Sound harsh? Well just stay with me. You can still have your dream wedding. When you determine this in your heart, that leads you to the next D.

D #2 – DELEGATE!

Once you have determined that your relationship doesn’t need a ton of unnecessary stress, you will be at peace to release details of the wedding to other people.

Let’s be honest, you think you want to do everything on your own right now, but the week of the wedding you will be having a full-out panic, and probably a big fight with your groom-to-be if you take this project on alone.
Our family and friends were absolutely amazing with helping us put on our wedding. Once we sorted out the main details, we were able to pass on a lot of the pieces to people who loved us deeply and were excited about being a part of our wedding.
A great example was our decorations. I wanted our decorations to be absolutely perfect, and my husband has an aunt who is a gifted decorator. I hummed and hawed a little about whether to pass off the decorating plans to her or not. I wanted it perfect, but I also knew that for me the decorations would probably consume my life and create unnecessary stress that wouldn’t be helpful to this period. I followed through with my decision and passed it off to her. I shared my vision and colours, and she made everything perfectly amazing. The decorations are still on of the most favourite parts of my wedding!

D #3 – DECIDE (together)

I believe that bride often robs their fiance of the most wonderful experience for growing together as a couple when they lock out their groom from the wedding planning stage.

Some of you men reading this are probably shouting, no I don’t even wanted to deal with the wedding planning!

Well here is the truth: The bride NEEDS her man to help bring balance to the crazy amount of decisions that have to be made, and to call into perspective the stress that can get out of hand.

You both need to use this as a chance to learn how to make decisions together!

We determined to make the most out of our wedding planning stage and turned many things into date nights, whether it was shopping for ties, choosing our wedding cake and many other fun decision that we decided to make ourselves and not delegate. You can CHOOSE to make these decisions fun.

Looking back, we both say that doing our wedding together was the best decision we could have made!

Next time I will talk about making pre-marriage counseling a priority, and a couple other little tips that will make your day a success!

Remember: Your wedding will one day be just a memory, do everything you can to let it be one of peace, love and joy!

Happy Wedding Planning!

 

Toddler Transitions

I’ve heard a few times that at eighteen months children develop their will and can start being willfully disobedient. While I’m not expert in child psychology, I do have an almost one year old and I do not believe that anymore.

We’re had an interesting month with Caleb as he’s started throwing his food, screaming when he isn’t getting his way, and all the other normal things that come with transition to toddlerhood.

That said, because it’s normal, doesn’t make it any easier on the first time parent. We have spent many evening talking about whether Caleb is getting his way too much, if he demands too much attention, and praying that he doesn’t become “one of those kids” who people label a spoiled brat.

With so many different philosophies on raising kids and many books, programs and guides to go with them, we find ourselves crying out for wisdom.

I read in 1 Corinthians 1:30

 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself.

I was so encouraged by this! Not only am I one with Christ, which I of course knew already, but Jesus is wisdom itself!

Knowing Jesus means that I know wisdom. Phew. I can breathe a sigh of relief now. And don’t you love how the verse says “for our benefit” God did this? He knew we would need all the help we could get, so he made Jesus not just the savior of the world, but wisdom itself.

God you’re too good.

I’m still nervous about this toddler transition. But I was nervous about the baby transition. And I’ll be nervous about the elementary years, and the teens years. This I am thankful for: I have a personal relationship with the saviour of the world who is wisdom, and I’m going to make sure I tap into that wisdom as much as possible!

 

How was your transition to the toddler years?