Oh let my heart rejoice! Let it sing with praise and thanksgiving for God has seen fit to place struggles in my life.
An odd way to begin a blog, oh to be sure, but there is truth in it.
Again the Bible says in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Or again in James 1:2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
I've asked for adventures in my life. I asked to be challenged and pushed. I said to the Lord, "Make me something special and worthy of the tasks you have set before me." It seems He took me at my word. And why shouldn't He? He also says, "Ask and Ye shall receive..." Ha! Be careful what you wish for, isn't that the old adage? Well, I will do as James suggests and consider it pure joy.
Tis' the season to be joyful, is it not? So then let's be joyful, for God has seen fit to place struggles in my life...and what are these struggles you ask? Nothing compared to some and huge compared to others. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, a good glass of wine to ease the day, and an amazing husband to make me laugh and smile. I was not a victim of Sandy; I do not live in the Middle East; my husband is not out on tour seeing and doing only God knows what. I am QUITE blessed. But does that mean that I do not struggle? No I dare say it does not.
I found one week ago that my dear, sweet, wonderful Pop has Parkinson's. Words can't quite express the feeling of utter shock, disappointment, fear, and heartbreak that I experienced that day. I felt sick. I felt faint. I felt numb. Pop has Parkinson's Disease. The same disease that has plagued Muhammad Ali, and Michael J. Fox. PD, as it is known in familial circles, is attacking his neurological system in his brain. But God, He is my Pop! My gentle, kind "father-in-love" that drew me in and loved me like a daughter from the moment I met him. In his quiet way, he wrapped me around his little finger and firmly placed himself in my heart. If I had to have any other man, other than my own wonderful Papa, to my father, it would be him.
Sidebar: As you readers may know, songs have a pull on me... and now as I write it is not Miles, but George that captures my ear and my soul. Gently caressing the ivory and ebony keys into a haunting melody of new snow quietly settling onto the forest floor, illuminated by a winter moon. I feel that I can let my mind wander in the silence of this forest and for a moment relax long enough to let my heart break a little and mend a little.
The tune shifts and Canon in D brings me back...
So dear reader, you may thinking, well Bree PD is not a tragedy and lots of people go on to have fulfilling lives with proper medication, exercise, and attitude. You are so right...it still plagues my heart and grieves me deeply. I guess because of this, lately I feel guilty dreaming for things I want. Why is that? Why do I feel that I have no right to dream? Is it because on the news I see homes destroyed by hurricanes, or women and children used as human shields? Or read of friends who have inexplicably lost their babies for no good reason? Or is it because I see that my Pop suffers, my Mother-in-law crushed, and my family scrambling to make sense of "what to do next?"
But I do dream and I have suffered loss. I have been loved in spite of bad decisions and broken relationships. I have dreams. Sometimes I feel like Jean ValJean; sometimes like Fantine. But it's been ages since I felt like Marius or Cosette with the spring of youth and the optimism of naivete.
Maybe it is that at 34 I feel like it's time to grow up and cease with the dreaming. All the dreaming in the world won't make them come true. Even as I write these words, there is a part of my soul that cries out, "NO, don't ever stop dreaming!" Is it fair of me to hope for more than this apartment? To ache for a little "normalcy?" Is it okay for me to dream of a day when I might celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving in MY home, and in MY kitchen? I want children running around, adults laughing, while cider brews, Turkeys roast, pies cool, and the flush of hard work fills my cheeks. I dream...
Then James 1:1-4 comes back to mind. "Consider it pure joy..." I once heard a sermon on this passage. What I found most interesting and unique is that the speaker told us to welcome the trial because God sent it to us specifically, instead of some one else and therefore we should dignify the trial by walking straight up to it and going through it. Allow it to happen with dignity and joy. Be not tempted into complaining about it, but in all things regarding the trial, don't complain.
God asks for the desires of our hearts. He wants us to speak them out loud to Him. He knows all about them and honors those that ask. He takes us through trials so that the dross may be burned from us and the purity of gold shine in us. But He wants us to dream.
For today, I will not stop dreaming. I will not let go of the 2 little boys and little girl that dance in my head with cookie schmeared faces and milk moustaches. I will not give up on the little shop in the town square filled with unique and one of a kind finds. I will not give up on the published work, or the red carpet walk. I will NOT give them up! They are part of me and whether they come true or not does not deplete their significance to me.
In 1999 Saya Hillman wrote, "We could not survive if we could not dream, for it is our ability to dream that sustains us in the most wretched times. It is the realization of this gift, to see a glimmer of light in a shroud of darkness, to hear laughter amongst crying, to seek good when surrounded by evil that has guided me, a compass of sorts for my spirit." Well I would add one point to Mr. Hillman's statement; it is God who provides the dreams. He places them in our hearts and minds. So why would He place such beautiful dreams if not to see them realized.
I am saddened by my Pop's news, heartbroken even, but I am not down trodden. I will not be broken and I will let him be broken either. We can be wounded or we can be broken. A broken bone can heal, and an oozing wound cannot.
So "Come What Dreams May Come..." I'll "dream my dreams...
- Bree Shannon Tuttle
- Hello. I'm Bree Tuttle, owner of You in Mind Designs, LLC. I've been a designer for 13 years and I work with you in mind. There's much joy in discovering those treasures in your home that are, perhaps, misplaced or even in the attic. I will help you making every room a reflection of who you are personally. It's my philosophy that if you feel proud, safe, and at peace in your home, then it will affect all aspects of your life. You stand straighter, walk taller, dress better, work harder, sleep more soundly, and ultimately have a more fulfilling life. If I can help you do that, then I'll consider my job as your designer a success.