Dreams

 dreams 1               What is a dream? This is a complex question, although it may seem simple. Dreams are different for each individual. What a dream means for one, has a total different meaning for another. As children grow and develop, often so do their dreams, and by the time they reach adulthood their dreams are so far off from what they once wanted. There is a rarity of adults that grew up doing what they set out to do as children. My niece is one of those fortunate individuals that always knew what she wanted to do, as a young girl she used to say she wanted to be a teacher. Now, at almost 22 years old she has graduated collage in May and has already landed herself a teaching position in the fall.  She is a very blessed intelligent young woman. She knew what she wanted out of life and she set out to accomplish it. Now she can focus on her other dreams that she may have in the future.

            I, on the other hand had no clue what I truly wanted to do in life. I struggled in school, not because I was not smart, however, I did not fully apply myself. I struggled in math, and I truly had a hard time understanding the concepts. I went through school having teachers tell me that I would not amount to anything and that I was not college material. I went through my school years believing this and it affected me a great deal.  I graduated high school in 1994 and all I wanted was to be done with learning. I got a job, and went to the “real life school” I moved out and got my own place and did my best to live on my own.

When I was about 20 I knew I needed to go to college, but I still was not sure what I wanted to do, or even if I could. I always had that voice in my head saying I was not college material. I was always afraid to just go for it. That fear kept me away from the doors of any and all colleges. I married at age 23, I had my first child at 24 and by the time I was 27 I was a mother of three children.  One day, I was looking at my life and though I loved my children and my husband I wanted more.dreams 2  I wanted an education, I decided the Fall before I turned 30 that I was going to go back to school and prove to everyone that I could. I did not have any clue to the journey I was taking on. I had been out of school for 11 years and had not studied or taken a test in that many years. It was difficult to say the least. Many times I wanted to throw in the towel and say everyone was right, I was not college material.  I, however did not quit, I pressed on. I had to repeat a few classes, but I graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology.  I felt so good and loved going to school and learning, I decided to go for my Master’s degree.  This was a huge step, the classes were harder and more in-depth. I was determined to finish. I completed my Master’s in August of last year. I received my MA in Human Service. Though I started out to prove myself to others, now that my journey is over I learned more than books could teach. I learned that I was smart enough, strong-willed enough and determined to finish. My dream finally came true, a total of ten years in college, but I conquered my mountain. One of the best feelings in the world was to hear my parents say they were proud of me, it seems silly, but it is true.

I had other dreams; I recently wrote about my journey of buying my first home. That was another major milestone in my life. I always wanted to be a homeowner, and to own my childhood home is a bonus. What now, I have completed two sufficient goals?  Well like most people there are always new goals and dreams, and now that I know I can do anything I set my mind to the possibilities are endless. images “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. God says many times in the bible to trust him and have faith, In Joshua 1:9 he states, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.

Throughout the Bible God reassures his children, that if they believe in him and have faith than he’s got your back. Having faith, the size of a mustard seed is all anyone needs to move mountains; Matthew 17:20.

I have a new job, working with the community helping them find affordable housing and help them set goals. My hope is to encourage them to better their selves. Give them the confidence to maybe get a degree, or their license. I want my customers to know that I am there to help and believe in them. I also set myself a new goal, I want to get my real-estate license and someday I hope to have my own rentals and possibly flip houses. I am also an aspiring writer and hope one I will be a published author.

A word of advice, do not set your limits to what everyone says you are capable. Reach high, and convince yourself that you are worth the struggle. Do not let others steal your joy, Ephesians 5:27-28 expresses this by saying, “Do not give the devil an opportunity. Let him who steals, steal no more”. I feel this could fit the negative people in your lives’ as well. Maybe it is time to clean house.  Well until next time, may God Bless you.

Graveyard Walk

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Ever since Memorial weekend I have been meaning to get out the cemetery to place down flowers upon the gravestones of my beloved great-grandparents. I grew up living only eight miles from them and every Sunday (especially in the summer) we were there visiting. I bought the flowers and I had great intentions to get out there, and then I signed papers for my house and then the moving began, then the unpacking and placing things in just the right order. Needless to say I did not make it out there, well finally today I had the opportunity to drive out to where many of my family members are buried. I began walking to their plots and memories flooded my head, I remember being a little girl and going with my great-grandmother to put flowers on graves. I, as a young child did not know or even understand the importance of this act of respect. Respect is just what it is, these are not just concrete or granite headstones, these represent the loved ones in someone’s life; whether they were young or old. I always liked walking around the grounds and reading the dates, this has not changed, I still look at dates of all those around the cemetery.

I went right to the headstones of my great-grandparents Thelma (Granny) and her husbands’ Andrew and Oscar. I never knew Andrew; he was known as Slim. He died at a young age of 42 years old. I always wished I had known him, because my Granny loved him so much.

I always wished I had known him, because my Granny loved him so much. Later she married Oscar and he is the one I grew up knowing and loving. He told the silliest stories IMG_1926about life in the early 20th century, but there was a time when his eyes would get glassy-eyed and tears would begin to form while telling a story and with that you would know it was a true and sad story.

I was only 14 years old when Oscar passed away, and it was a sad day in my world, he was almost 91 years old. Born in 1899, I always thought that was awesome that I knew someone who was born the 19th Century. He was part Indian and an oil man, and he let my sister and I do pretty much what we wanted, but we also were not allowed to misbehave either.

I placed my flowers in front of the headstone, and sat down on the ground and had a chat with them both. It had been a while since I had been there, too long I am ashamed to admit. Why do we, in this generation find it hard to take time out of our busy lives to lay down flowers and pay respects. I told them about my new job, and that I bought my childhood home back. I told them about the kids and how they are doing and I how much I miss them. I know that one day I will see them again in heaven, but I still miss their presence here on earth.

The bible states in verses throughout that one day we will all be reunited again as along as we are children of God. Matthew 8:11 says, “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (NASB).

This gives me comfort.

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Died 1862

Once I spent a little time graveside, I walked around the grounds, like I always do. Although, I have seen these gravestones before and read the dates, something just seemed different this time. I focused more on the death dates and how old the stones looked. This always seems to blow my mind.

There are some of these gravesites that are so old that the dates are not even visible any longer. My mind wonders who lies there, is it a mother, father, or a child. What was their life, like, how old were they when they exited the earth? There are so many possibilities. As a writer my mind can come up with many scenarios, whether they are true or not.

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The Forgotten Ones

The day I went the grass was still wet from the much-needed, but wrong timing rain. Everything looked so fresh from the rain, and because it was a day after Independence Day there were many fresh looking flowers on many of the stones. This made me think, why do we only think about our loved ones during Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and so forth. It seems as if that is the only time the living remembers the dead. What made me even more sadden is to see the gravesites that were forgotten, family that does not even care enough to lay flowers down. Unkempt sites, flowerless sites, what happened? Are there not any living relatives, living friends, anyone that cares? This makes me want to go and get some flowers and lay them down. I understand that once the body leaves the earth their soul goes to either heaven or hell, and that their physical bodies are no longer here but they still deserve to be thought about too.

 

As I was making my way back to the truck, I spotted a gravesite that made my head turn and brought a smile to my face, and I just had to include it into my blog. Please comment if you can make the connection.

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What connection can be made?

Thanks again for coming along on my journey once again. Always remember, Ecclesiastes 3:1-22, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;…”

Unintentional Hoarder

Moving is never fun, despite the excitement of the new adventures and journeys that may be ahead. The whole wrapping, packing and stacking boxes and furniture just right so that the maximum space is utilized. Depending on the amount of things that a person owns, or how far the move is will depend on what size truck is needed. Why I am writing about this subject, because I have recently moved to what I pray is my final home.

I have moved several times in my 40 years of life, as a young woman, I moved five times, when in the military we moved four times and as a child, I believe I moved about four or five times; and each time was an adventure. Moving can bring about stress and anxiety, however, in the end when it is all over, the fun begins. Exploring the new neighborhoods, checking out the new shopping areas and so forth.

As I mentioned, I just moved to what I hope is my last earthly home. I have just become a homeowner and I do not plan on moving, God may have different plans that I do not know about but I do not plan on moving again. I just bought my childhood home and I absolutely love being back here. Along with my memories of this place I plan on making new memories as well.

As I was packing and preparing for my move I got to thinking about all the times that I moved and how each one was all different yet they were all the same as well. It is amazing how much unneeded stuff that accumulates through time. Why do we feel as if we have to keep everything? I found things hidden away that I haven’t seen or used in years, yet I still had them? Why? I do not have an answer for that, except that deep down everyone at some point feels that if they throw something away they will need it immediately. I guess it is just human instinct, whatever the reasons are, we all end to keep a lot of unnecessary junk. I decided that for this final move I would get rid of many things that have just set in boxes collecting dust, and taking up space. Okay, to be honest, I did not decide to purge things on my own I had help. The fact that I was downsizing to a smaller home was the deciding factor. Choosing what was staying and what was going was not all that easy.

Through the years there are many things that have been accumulated, having been in the military things seem to just been had; sometimes not even remembering why or where you got it. During the year that my husband was in Iraq the kids and I were sent a few things from the foreign land, these of course are on the keep list. However, there are things that I came across that I really do not have a clue to why I still have them. We have two storage units filled of “we might need this one day” stuff. Enough is enough, no more hoarding.

I have a lot of undoing when it comes to my family, I need to reteach them better habits and hopefully the unlearn what they have seen as a child and do not follow the behavior. I realized with this latest move that I have become an unintentional hoarder. This can be a huge problem and in a lot of cases it can be crippling. Hoarding is a psychological mental issue and it can be extremely difficult for some to literally throw things away. They become physically ill, or very agitated when confronted. Is hoarding biblical, unlawful in God’s eyes? According to Luke 12:15-21 it is; “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ …

The bible also states in Luke 12:34, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” When material things become more important than anything else it becomes a problem, and God has said many times that he is a jealous God and that there should be no other master than him, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Mathew 6:24. I feel that the last word in this verse can be blank and other words can be substituted. There is nothing wrong with keeping sentimental things, family heirlooms and so forth, however there needs to be a line drawn on how much is too much.