Friday, March 5, 2010

A Conversation with a Kindergartener

I've already posted this on Facebook, but I had put it here.

I got this in an e-mail from my mom, who takes care of my daughter after school:

Em: Eddie taught me a new word that I didn’t know today.
Gma: (dreading answer) What word was that?
Em: Diarrhea
Gma: Do you know what that is?
Em: Loose poop.
Gma: Yup. How’d that come up in conversation?
Em: It’s “D” week!

Go letters of the week! Teaching kids the important stuff!

P.S. I love you, Em!

A Dream is a Wish

I've always wanted to believe that dreams were either your heart's desire being shown to you or true communication with God. But I find that my most vivid dreams come from eating a weird combination of foods or just dealing with stress. But wouldn't it be nice if the really good dreams were to come true?

I've had a few recurring dreams that are just so weird, they stick with me forever. I've had a few dreams "come true" in the sense that when I had a déjà vu moment, it was reminiscent of a dream I'd had before. I've had a recurring dream that I've interpreted as a psychological fear of being silenced or not being allowed to speak.

But I had a dream yesterday that was nice, fun and made me feel content. But upon reflection, I am horrified that I a) had the dream and b) enjoyed it. It is a dream that reflects a want on my part that, unless a major tragedy struck, would never come to be. And yet, I still want to go back to that dream, because it's easier to live in that fantasy than to admit to myself that it'll likely never become a reality. And there is nothing I can do to make that dream come true. It's out of my hands.

A wish is a prayer without a specific diety to whom you are directing the request. And when we wish for something, whether it's on a star, while pulling on a wishbone from a chicken, or when the clasp of a necklace has snuck to the front, it's usually something silly. Like a 5-year-old wishing for a pony even though she has nowhere to put it. But when we pray, more often than not, it's for something serious, like the strength to deal with an uncomfortable working/living situation, for healing, for comfort. Sometimes we pray just to remind ourself that God is always there for us. And I find it hard to pray for something that I know God is unlikely to give me. Because it's not God's way to give me what I want, but what God wants for me.

I do believe that God answers prayers, though we may not always hear the answer or the answer may not always reveal itself to us right away. And I believe that God does not answer every prayer in the way that we want. We will get an answer, just not always the answer we want. But when I focus on the answer that I want instead of the answer I'm likely to get, I don't hear an answer at all. And then I just keep praying for the same thing over and over again, refusing to accept the answer I'm getting. I might want 1+2 to equal 4, and I can keep insisting over and over again that 4 is the right answer, but God will always insist that 3 is the true answer, even if I'm being stubborn and choose to ignore God. The answer will always be 3.

It's easy to recite the Lord's Prayer: "Thy will be done..." but it's not always easy to truly believe that. When something isn't going the way we want it to, then it's not truly God's will we are seeking, but our own.

I wish that I could have as vivid a dream as Joseph had when God told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt. I wish it because I don't think that it's a serious request on my part. Upon reflection, what I'm praying for seems to be more of a wish, something not serious enough to be worthy of a prayer to God. Even though it weighs heavily on my heart, I can't bring myself to pray to God about it. Because I know what the answer will be, and I know I won't like it.

So I think I'll just go back to dreaming. For dreams are wishes, not prayers.

My fearless child, friends and I on Tower of Terror at DCA

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