Two Dreams: One Solution

Dream Forest

I fell asleep quickly; I was so tired. I don’t remember dreams very often, but this one was significant. Or rather…these two were significant.

As I dreamed…

I walked through a lifeless forest, devoid of all its beauty. No verdant leaves or blooms. It was naked and dead. The ground seemed hard and bare without the beauty of flowers or the cushion of grass, only the crunch of dead leaves beneath my feet. All was dark and dreary. I shivered in the gloomy surroundings.

Mushrooms began popping up everywhere. Instantly, I knew they were poisonous. Walking without stepping on them was next to impossible. I felt frightened.

I awakened and bolted upright. “Lord, what does this mean?” I received no answer and fell immediately back to sleep.

I began to dream again.

Dream Forest 2

I walked through another forest, though nothing like the first one. This forest burst forth with lush, green underbrush. Trees displayed golden-bronze, bittersweet, tangerine, bright red, and burgundy highlights. Grass and flowers were profuse.

I rubbed my eyes. There seemed to be a slight fog over it all, yet it did not alter the beauty of the forest. No, it was not a fog; it was something else.

Remember the stare game? I’m sure you’ve played it. You stare at an object for about one minute, then look away and stare at something else. The impression of the object first focused on is then superimposed upon any other object looked at.

What did I see? Impressed over all the forest was the image of Jesus.

Movement of some sort caught my attention. I glanced over to see a mushroom pop up and immediately disappear. Then, just as suddenly, a flower replaced it. I was surrounded by mushrooms popping up and disappearing and flowers appearing. I felt a deep, full joy.

The dream was over and I awoke again.

Puzzled, I asked, “Lord, please, what does all this mean?”

The Lord answered…

“In your first dream, all seemed dark, lost, and devoid of life and beauty. Why? Because the mushrooms symbolize your thoughts of worries, doubts, and anxieties that pop up concerning your circumstances, even over your future. They are truly poisonous. They darken your whole outlook on life and your surroundings. They expand in your mind and can even bring disease and toxic emotions.*

Clinging to these troubling thoughts is harmful. Bring them into the captivity of Christ.

“And what about the second dream?” I asked.

In your second dream, you walked through the beauty of a life focused on Me. Life, with its blazing colors of joy and comfort I create for everyday living. The mushrooms disappeared because you did not allow them to become poisonous matter. Every time a negative thought of worry or doubt arose, you immediately replaced it with praise and it filled you with joy.

I am your focus. Look away from your sordid circumstances and behold Me with such intensity that My image is impressed upon everything else in your life.

Love, joy, peace, comfort, hope, strength, power, healing, patience, humility, wisdom, forgiveness, provision, and victory…all can be yours. Just remember Paul’s words to the Philippians, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

Live by faith, not by sight. Your faith-vision is to see Me. Concentrate on Me and your thoughts will be more positive, your praise more abundant, and your joy more full.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” (Phil. 4:8 Voice)

My sweet readers, may all your dreams be filled with solutions.

~Lord, help me to turn all my toxic mushroom-thoughts into beautiful flowers of praise.

* “Change in your thinking is essential to detox the brain.” Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Does This [blank] Make My But Look Big?

But looks big

Buts! We all have them. I mean the verbal kind.

Excuses, excuses! We all make them.

* I’m afraid
* Me? Never!
* It’s too hard
* I can’t do this
* I don’t want to
* I’m too whatever
* I never learned to…
* Someone will laugh at me
* I don’t have that talent/gift
* I’ve never done this before
* Why should I be the one to…

We aren’t satisfied with those, so we start inserting the negative in with the positive by adding the but…

* I like my job but…
* It’s great day but…
* My wife is caring but…
* My husband is kind but…
* He’s a great worker but…
* She’s my best friend but…
* My children are good but…
* We had a wonderful time but…
* The people at work are nice but…

I know. Some buts are necessary to explain circumstances. However, I think we have fallen into a but pit!

We limit ourselves with all the buts.
We kill our joy and positive thinking with all the negatives! Negatives are fetters that bind us to earth, tether our souls to the world and keep us from soaring in the heavenlies.

For every negative, we need to substitute a positive.

How many negatives and buts do we put into our prayers? We expect an outcome to be positive, so we pray how? With a negative, I can’t… I’m not…But if You don’t…I trust You, Lord, but…

Instead, we should add plenty of positives by worshiping, praising, and thanking God for the answers, for what He is doing and will do, and just for Who He is.

And what about after we pray? What do we do? If we pray positively, we go right back to speaking the buts and the negatives. Out of our mouth comes: I prayed and believed but I don’t think God will work it out for me. I know God is good but…

Solomon warned, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23 Masoretic Text) Another version says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (New Century Version) And so do your words!

Knowing the consequences of his thoughts and words, David was wise to pray, “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.” (Ps. 141:3 NLT)

I’ve learned that thankfulness and praise are the best replacements for any complaints, turning each negative into a positive.

Have “you confessed the good confession” lately? (1 Tim. 6:12 Amp)

Negativity will always make our but look big. I hope my but is shrinking! (Ha! In more ways than one!) However, God is always bigger than my but!

So, how’s your but?

Hooking up with…

katherines corner



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At the End of the Driveway

As soon as hubby drove out the driveway, I started my daily housewifely duties: picking up his socks and turning them right side out, turning off the lights he left on, closing the doors and cabinet doors he left open, putting his dishes in the sink, and whatever else I could find that he had done or left undone.
And then, it started:
Why does he leave his socks all balled up? Why can’t he turn off the lights? Why can’t he close the cabinet doors? Why can’t he put his glass in the sink? Why can’t he…
On and on, I mumbled, all in my heart and under my breath. I grumbled while I washed the clothes. I complained while I did the dishes. I murmured while I vacuumed. This negative attitude seeped into other areas of my thinking. Its tentacles grabbed my thoughts and slowly began to suck the life out of me.
I noticed negativity taking a foothold. I started to frown more often. My heart became two sizes too small, just like the Grinch’s heart.
I mumbled to myself that…

…my children wouldn’t clean up their rooms or make the right choices.
…my server brought my salad after my entrée, didn’t fill my water glass, brought me someone else’s meal, or ignored me altogether.
…the person in the car in front of me drove too slowly in the fast lane.
…the nosy neighbor across the street was always watching to see what we were doing and why couldn’t she mind her own business.
Oh, the endless list! I stumbled over all the negative pebbles I flung in my own path.
All this happened many years ago until it finally dawned on me: What is my grumbling and complaining doing to me? What is it doing to my marriage? How is it affecting others? I knew that if I did not change the thoughts in my mind and heart, my negative attitude would spill out as poison on my husband, the kids, and everyone else, if it hadn’t already.
The Bible says, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34b NIV) What would be the outcome if I continued? I certainly did not want negative criticisms to roll off the end of my tongue.
The Canadian preacher A. B. Simpson once said of the apostle Paul, “Paul did not carry a cemetery with him, but a chorus of victorious praise; and the harder the trial, the more he trusted and rejoiced, shouting from the very altar of sacrifice.”
So, I learned to give that sacrifice of gratitude, sometimes even through gritted teeth.
I learned that thankfulness and praise are the best replacements for any complaints, turning each negative into a positive. For instance, if my husband does something that irritates me, I replace it with a positive, like having a husband who loves the Lord, or having one who isn’t an alcoholic, who doesn’t fool around, who isn’t an addict, or whatever. And I do the same for anything else.

I found that, if I am constantly negative and boo-hoo my circumstances more than being thankful and positive, I magnify my circumstances above everything else. And if I am not careful, I will be just like the Israelites thousands of years ago, as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, whining and complaining, which resulted in dire consequences.

What is my response today?
Now, when my day is darkened with a multitude of problems that cause my gratitude to stick in my throat, I strive to remain positive anyway. When my eyes spill over with the tears of heartache, I attempt to find a way to be grateful.
I do my best to focus my thoughts on what is “true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others.” (Philippians 4:8 The Living Bible)
When faced with circumstances beyond my control, I try not to respond with feelings but try to purposely choose to be positive, thus invalidating the negative.
I do not want my gravestone to read: Died from too much whine!
Now, as I watch my hubby leave the end of the driveway, nothing fills my heart but gratitude!
***I originally wrote this for Chicken for the Soul’s upcoming book The Power of Positive. It never made it {sniff-sniff} so I’m using it for this month’s Christian Writers’ blog chain topic of change. Please visit the other participants are in the right sidebar.
Life: Unmasked
holy experience
katherines corner
Reflections of His Grace

How Does Your Life’s Garden Grow?

It’s spring! Finally! And the thoughts of many turn to gardening. Have you ever planted a garden? Are you a prolific gardener, producing a bumper crop of everything you sow, or are you a threat to nature, killing even artificial plants? I tend to be somewhat closer to a threat!

If you love to garden, what vegetables will you plant this year? Tomatoes, green beans, lettuce? What about flowers? Cosmos, Sweet Peas, sunflowers? How about herbs? Basil, thyme, rosemary?

If you are a good gardener, when you plant seeds in your garden, you will incorporate all the necessary elements to make them grow…planting for the best sun, providing water, critter repellent, bug spray, and tossing in some fertilizer and plant food, all in order to have strong, healthy plants. After the proper care, you know that, in time, you will have the fruits of your labor, the product of what you have sown.

No matter what size your garden, whether it is a pot on your balcony, a small plot in your backyard, or a farm-size field, the harvest depends on your choice of seeds.

When a farmer wants oranges, he does not plant tomatoes, and when he wants zucchini, he does not plant an apple tree. He has confidence that what he plants will be produced. Seems basic enough; whatever is sown is reaped.

That is Basic Bible Principles 101. This basic truth is applicable to every area of our lives. As the Bible says, “For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.” (Gal. 6:7 AMP)

Our everyday lives are our gardens. What we sow into it grows up around us.

Do we sow the things of the world each day as negative, worthless seeds? The weed seeds of pride, fear, doubt, unbelief, defeat, depression, and complaining?

Do we spread fertilizer on their soil in the form of gossiping to others, hatred magnified by prejudice, lust fueled by flirting around at work, unforgiveness inflated into bitterness, or whining so much that others don’t want to be around us?

Paul said, “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” (Gal. 6:8-9 NLT)

So, do you sow positive, flourishing seeds of the Word? Like the seeds of faith, hope, strength, health, forgiveness, humility, and praise? Do you water them with joy, peace, love, encouragement, and blessing?

In what amounts do you sow them? In whatever amount you sow, it will come back to you, as Paul said, “A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.” (2 Cor. 9:6b TLB)

The Received Greek Text says it this way, “The one sowing on hope of blessing will also reap on blessing.” Consequently, a bumper crop of anything is proportionate to its sowing. Therefore, consciously sow to the end result desired.

That verse also says that he who sows sparingly doesn’t get much in return. If you are stingy with the good seeds, retaining them to yourself, they produce nothing. Seeds have no intrinsic value in and of themselves. Therefore, seeds hoarded in the seed packet never produced another seed packet! They must be sown!

At the end of each day, do you end up with more positive or negative seeds? Or do you have a mixture of blessings and cursings?

Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant,” not only in thoughts and words but also in deeds.

What kind of seeds will you plant this day?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~