I Had a Dream Last Night…incorporating Joseph’s example into my life…

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Long, long have we had a fascination with dream interpretation. Some believe dreams to be a direct revelation by God himself to the dreamer. The cool thing is, unlike many things that require complete and utter faith in the unseen- dreaming still holds stock in our unfaithful world. Whilst God is sometimes a taboo subject with some individuals, dream interpretation can be a gateway to conversation with that same person- it’s up to you on how you sneak some morsels of Godness into your conversation. It’s like those recipes for sneaking healthy stuff into brownies…if your good at it, they’ll ingest it without even knowing the goodness they received.
Case in point:
Just yesterday I stumbled upon a dream interpreter on the radio. He informed me that to have a dream of a sexual nature of someone outside my faithful relationship did NOT mean I was secretly pining for that person. It actually meant that I saw some quality in that person that I wanted to highlight in my own life. What does this have to do with God you say? nothing really, other than it got me thinking about a few dreams I’ve had in the past two years. A while ago I was going through a time of self redefinition. I was a new mom of four, newly moved, with a hubby that traveled. I felt very alone, and very unsatisfied. I was searching. One night I had a dream that I was frantically running through a store gathering supplies for my “work” when I looked down to my supplies, where I expected to find food items I actually found frames. At the time I was dabbling a little in chocolate dipping and expected, I guess, to be purchasing chocolate stuff, but instead ended up with frames. I was surprised because up to that point, my camera was just my hobby. But I went with it. Over the course of the year, I DID end up dipping chocolates which lead me to being discovered by a boutique owner that wanted to carry my chocolates in her shop. As I met her, I saw a much deeper need for something I KNEW how to do…marketing, blogging, and photographing. We began our unlikely pair up. What ended up happening the more I was behind the camera, and in front of the computer was– I found that I loved what I was doing. I gained confidence in my arena, and began taking on photo sessions for others. She began referring colleagues to me for social media marketing, and product photography. Another year passed by, and a day didn’t go by that I wasn’t approached about either my photography or my social media business. I was thriving. Then I met with the shop owner. Over the past eighteen or so months, we had become quite close- what had started out as a business relationship became a friendship. She confided in me her dreams for the future of the shop and she and I agreed that it would be a great move to team up as partners with the changes of the store. And that my dears as how I became a boutique owner. What has become of my social media and photography you ask? I have completely removed my social media business from all avenues of promotion. My photography is a different story. As of late, I am trying to juggle the two. As I have longed for simplification in my life, this has become the subject of many a prayer. Then God spoke to me…again…in a dream.

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Last night I had a dream…I had gone as far as to have a studio, it was close to rent time, I was busy at the shop, and had a session at the studio. I was running late and fresh out of new ideas. I was stressed because rent was riding on this shoot and I had nothing. When I got there, my studio was nothing but a big warehouse… Devoid of any photo props, coziness, or anything else that might indicate the warmth or professionalism of the photographer I hope to portray. That was all. End of dream.
There is the literal conclusion I can draw- your pictures have run their course, concentrate on the shop. BUT there is always the non-literal translation. As with the sex dream translation and the frame dream translation, neither dream was what it seemed. So this then could mean something very different from what may first appear to be.
Remember when Joseph first interpreted the dreams for the baker and the cupbearer….I would have never guessed that the birds eating bread from the basket on the dudes head would mean in three days time they would all but be making snack out of his brains. But hey… Joe was right. He then interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and we all know those were words from God because here Joseph sits for all to read, In the middle of Genesis. So Joseph- what does MY dream mean? Right now- to me- its unclear. What I do know is this: vs 39 says- since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning as you…
41: I have set you over the land…in my case my land or my life consists of not a whole people, but my people…my family- those that rely on me. If I remember to give God his glory and remain a humble servant like Mr. Coat of Many Colors- I can rest in the fact that as time continues, my dreams meaning will present itself loud and clear.

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Originally posted on my Holy Bible app: Mcamommy

Gold and Treasure

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I have a huge case of the green monsters lately. For the most part we-as a couple, and as a family-have disengaged from the rat race per se. We’re a one income family, and just can’t afford a lot of societal luxuries. I’m comfortable in our position…until recently. Recently I’ve had three people close to me get new vehicles. I congratulate them and oh and ah with them over their cool new purchase- then I hop in my old SUV dented and scratched on the outside, and listen to the click click the engine makes as I start it. I look at that odometer pushing 150,000 miles and think- gosh it would be nice.
It’s the change of seasons and as I bring the children’s winter clothes out- I shake my head at clothes that are older than they are- wearing thin in the knees, stained, and shabby. Clothes I’ve grown bored of cuz I’ve seen them so much! And I think- it would be nice to pick up a few new things for the kidlets.
I wait in line at Target mentally running and re-running the total of the items in my cart- praying I did my math right and I have the cash in my envelope to cover my purchases. There were many things I had to put back today. Items on a list that seems to grow with each pay check, but never seems to make the final cut because it’s not critical-yet. I watch in front of me as a young mother fills her cart to the brim with little red and white shopping bags, swipes her card on the card reader, signs and walks over to Starbucks before taking her immaculately dressed children to their promised outing of Chik-Fil-a- since they were well mannered. As I sigh to myself-thinking it would be SO nice….
My green monsters creep in. They scream at me- Why? Why can’t YOU get a new car?! That old jalopy makes more noise than my grandpas 1976 Ford truck! Why can’t YOU get some new clothes? You wore that shirt when you were pregnant with your now-six-year-old! Why can’t YOU buy whatever your family needs without giving a second thought to where the money is coming from. Why WHy WHY!?

Because. Because God says: (Romans 10:19). I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation. With a foolish nation I will make you angry.
I may be jealous or angry with the circumstances of those around me, but what really will those treasures on Earth provide them in heaven? Matthew 6:19-20 says: do not lay up your treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal- but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Where neither rust nor thieves may reach it.” And finally verse 21- where your treasure is, there is your heart also.
So I will set my iPad down and greet each little sleepy head with snuggles, a smile and a kiss on their fresh bed head. I will hold each piece of my world in my arms and as I bury my head in their hair and immerse my nose in the smell that is distinctly little boy- I will store another piece in my treasure box in heaven. And thank God I know the difference between gold and treasure.

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Published on my Bible Study App- McMommy

Gold and Treasure

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I have a huge case of the green monsters lately. For the most part we-as a couple, and as a family-have disengaged from the rat race per se. We’re a one income family, and just can’t afford a lot of societal luxuries. I’m comfortable in our position…until recently. Recently I’ve had three people close to me get new vehicles. I congratulate them and oh and ah with them over their cool new purchase- then I hop in my old SUV dented and scratched on the outside, and listen to the click click the engine makes as I start it. I look at that odometer pushing 150,000 miles and think- gosh it would be nice.
It’s the change of seasons and as I bring the children’s winter clothes out- I shake my head at clothes that are older than they are- wearing thin in the knees, stained, and shabby. Clothes I’ve grown bored of cuz I’ve seen them so much! And I think- it would be nice to pick up a few new things for the kidlets.
I wait in line at Target mentally running and re-running the total of the items in my cart- praying I did my math right and I have the cash in my envelope to cover my purchases. There were many things I had to put back today. Items on a list that seems to grow with each pay check, but never seems to make the final cut because it’s not critical-yet. I watch in front of me as a young mother fills her cart to the brim with little red and white shopping bags, swipes her card on the card reader, signs and walks over to Starbucks before taking her immaculately dressed children to their promised outing of Chik-Fil-a- since they were well mannered. As I sigh to myself-thinking it would be SO nice….
My green monsters creep in. They scream at me- Why? Why can’t YOU get a new car?! That old jalopy makes more noise than my grandpas 1976 Ford truck! Why can’t YOU get some new clothes? You wore that shirt when you were pregnant with your now-six-year-old! Why can’t YOU buy whatever your family needs without giving a second thought to where the money is coming from. Why WHy WHY!?

Because. Because God says: (Romans 10:19). I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation. With a foolish nation I will make you angry.
I may be jealous or angry with the circumstances of those around me, but what really will those treasures on Earth provide them in heaven? Matthew 6:19-20 says: do not lay up your treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal- but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Where neither rust nor thieves may reach it.” And finally verse 21- where your treasure is, there is your heart also.
So I will set my iPad down and greet each little sleepy head with snuggles, a smile and a kiss on their fresh bed head. I will hold each piece of my world in my arms and as I bury my head in their hair and immerse my nose in the smell that is distinctly little boy- I will store another piece in my treasure box in heaven. And thank God I know the difference between gold and treasure.

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Published on my Bible Study App- McMommy

A Blessing and a Curse

This is a classic line for me.
In the past I have really struggled with Job because I don’t know how to read him, but I know he’s a source of great strength in the bible!
I’m giving it another go and reading him verse by verse and really digesting.
Today- this verse spoke to me.

Job 6:11- What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?
Here, Job’s saying- ok so you’re telling me that my strength is that I’m patient…but that my weakness ALSO is my patience? How do ya figure?
I know my strong points are also my weak points. I list my busyness as a strong point but it is weak too.
My wanting to help everyone? Oh yeah that’s a good and a bad trait.
I have felt overwhelmed lately; largely in part due to this exact problem. I have cried out to God to help my circumstances, and he points this out and says, “Ashleigh- those talents I have given you can be used for good or bad. How will you choose?”

Published on the Holy Bible app- McMommy

Doomsday Prepper-Heeding God’s Word or Satan’s Fear?

Job 5:19-27-
I’m on a countdown. My countdown is not to Christmas…it’s to the end of the Mayan calendar. how can you not be at least a little interested in what may come to pass on that day? We are surrounded by fear, awe and wonder when it comes to the subject of the end of the world.
It bogs down Google- it’s all over cable, and there are at least a dozen movies made about the subject. But where do Christians stand?
I have a doomsday prepper pretty close to me. In the past few years DP has filtered a lot of things down to me as he has researched our pending doom. What I came to realize is that spending anytime on the subject would leave me feeling uncertain, afraid, and completely uneasy.
As I mentioned DP is pretty darn close to me. So I have had to take his information and just let it pass by the way. It’s been very hard for me- but I’ve had to stop opening e-mails from him and be very careful not to engage him in conversation that comes around to the subject.
This past weekend, I happened across another bit of DP information, but this time on Pinterest. As I read Through the blog post I felt those same old feelings of unease creep up.
So- I need these words today. What pulled me through my fear earlier this year was my faith that His name and His gospel bear GOOD news. Where I have been able to recognize his hand in so many awful situations, I need to remember His hand is here too. Our economic weakness is His doing. My survival in said Depression…..that’s His work as well.
If my house is in order and at peace, whom then shall I fear?
If I worry about tomorrow and the looming death and destruction, am I then saying I don’t trust in Jesus and his deliverance of my soul? I can prepare my home but that doesn’t just mean hoarding firearms, fuel, and food. It means putting my house in order to accept Him into our lives. NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCE. It means building a foundation on a rock strong enough to weather the storm. If I, like Job can build an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ-I, like Job will be rewarded with a second chance at life full of more happiness than I could have EVER imagined.
I did a search and found a few tidings of joy as far as this subject is concerned–
With overwhelming research leading back to idols and occult, this is what I found….
“Besides this doomsday prophecy, our society has a fascination with various degrees of the occult which includes astrology, fortune telling, palm reading, crystals, channeling, spirituality, new age practices, witchcraft and others. And Satan is behind all of them.”
A Dangerous Fascination (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
Just as most of us are naturally curious about a magician’s trick, the Israelites were curious about the occult practices of the Canaanites. Because Satan was involved in these practices, God warned Israel to avoid them. People today are still fascinated by horoscopes fortune-telling, witchcraft and cults. Often their interest comes from a desire to know and control the future. But the information Satan offers is likely to be distorted or completely false. With the trustworthy guidance of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures and the church, we don’t need to turn to occult sources for information.

Just Say No to the Occult (Leviticus 20:6)

Everyone is interested in what the future holds. We often look to others for guidance. But God warned the Israelites against looking to the occult for advice. Mediums and psychics were outlawed because God was not the source of their information. At best, occult practitioners are fakes whose predictions cannot be trusted. At worst, they are in contact with evil spirits and are thus extremely dangerous. We don’t need to look to the occult for information about the future. God has given us the Bible-a trustworthy source-for guidance. Is it your one-stop wisdom check?

Acting on What’s Right (1 Samuel 28:3-25)

Although Saul had banned all mediums and psychics from Israel, he turned to one in desperation. Likewise, we may make a great show of denouncing something that we know is wrong. Yet if our heart doesn’t change, we may find ourselves doing what we said was wrong. Knowing what is right and condemning what is wrong does not take the place of doing what is right.

These were found here:

Colossians 3:1, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

And finally- one of my favorite scriptures I think is perfect here: Matthew 6:25-33
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:25-33 ESV)

Published Holy Bible App: McMommy

Slammed Shut

There is a song in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat…..,
Close every door to me.
Hide all the world from me.
Bar out the windows and shut out the light….
Darken my daytime and
Torture my night….if my life were important I would ask will i live or die…..
This song echoed in my head today as I read the story of how Joe got to that space in the first place. You see, he trusted. He put his whole life in the hands of another. He trusted that IF he acted in a certain manner, those around him would act with as much honor in regards to him. He was handed a healthy dose of reality as his integrity was challenged and his lifestyle was stripped away. All because of an egotistically motivated move on the part of those whom Joseph trusted with his life.

Hub’s is out of a job these days. He has been for six months. I couldn’t help but to see the similarities in our story and Joseph’s. We entrusted our lives to his employer. We believed that this employer would look out after us. If H showed loyalty, a good work ethic, and integrity; we would have nothing to worry about. This company has moved us to a different state, and back. H has worked his way from local location to management to corporate. He’s poured blood sweat and tears into them for 11 years. Then, in an egotistically motivated move, H was stripped of his gainful employment. We were stripped of our lifestyle. It has felt in the last few months as though the door has been slammed shut….the window barred. H has been on several interviews, he has worked through dozens of other applicants- been invited back for second, third and fourth interviews, only to have the door brutally slammed in his face at the final selection process. I’ve stood by and watched as he’s gotten excited about company after company only to be passed again. It has been heart wrenching. But today the words of the song rattle around in my ever hopeful brain….
I know that the answers lie
Far from this world
Children of Israel are never alone
For I know I shall find
My own peace of mind.

Joseph was betrayed by those whom he trusted, but he still chose to trust in the goodness of others. He got out of prison and ended up in a better position in life. Today, as H goes back to his old company on a temporary project, I too will trust in the goodness of others, but more importantly I will trust in the Lord’s sovereignty. I will remember that He is truly in charge of my life, of our family. One day, THIS will all be part of the story that built our character and brought us closer to our own peace of mind.

Show Me….

And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” (Mark 8:12 ESV)

Why does this generation seek a sign…Jesus asks in this text. I dare say he asked in a flabbergasted tone. Here he is fresh off feeding the people …twice. Fresh off healing blindness, leprosy, and even death and the masses are still saying show us a sign.
I’m so frustrated. We are going on a while now with Hubby being jobless. It’s down to the wire and all I can say is…show me a sign. Show us what to do God. You are in the drivers seat God. Show us where you want us. And I think he is trying to. But we won’t get out of His way to allow him to forge that path.
There is a scene in “Liar Liar“where Jim Carrey’s character is throwing himself all over the bathroom in an attempt to “kick his own a**”. Am I that character? Am I kicking my own butt standing in my own way, inflicting unnecessary pain on myself because it is easier than trusting in someone else to do your life for you. Is God the gentleman that walks in on this madness, shakes his head in dismay and disbelief and walks out?
I keep saying “God, I need a sign”- and here He is saying back…no sign will be given. The sign was Him. The sign is TRUST. The sign is WAIT. I feel like this is my dark before the dawn. I feel like it is 4 a.m. — I HOPE it’s 4 a.m. in this trial. But I don’t need to be looking for a sign- I need to just TRUST.