Have I dreamed that before?

January 2, 2011

I’ve mentioned some of my recurring dreams before (not the exact same dream but elements that appear over and over) – my teeth falling out, doing laundry (and usually having problems with it). Those I’ve had so many times that I have no problem identifying them as recurring elements.

Others, though, I am never quite sure about. When I remember having had the dream, I’m sure I have had similar dreams before. But is that because I have had such dreams, or is it part of my dream to remember having dreamed that? After all, if I can dream that I have just awakened from a dream (only to later wake up and realize I had only dreamed I woke up before), isn’t it also possible that I dream the memory of having had a dream?

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God is our Forgiving Father

October 28, 2009

If I had to pick one of these alliterative names for God as my favorite, it would have to be Forgiving Father (Mark 11:25). It’s good for us to think about the different attributes of God and the varied aspects of our relationship to Him, because an overemphasis on any one of them (and a corresponding underemphasis on others) is not good. But “Father” encapsulates so many of those truths in a single word.

Father means that

  • He is the source of our life
  • He is in authority over us
  • He love us
  • He helps and teaches us
  • He corrects us when necessary
  • He has a continuing relationship with us
  • He is personally interested in each one of us

I did not have a close relationship with my own father. I liked going hiking with him, or doing other physical activities (biking, swimming, making things on his toolbench downstairs). But I don’t remember talking much. He didn’t talk a lot (unlike our mother, who was aggravated by this lack of communication), and neither did I, so conversations between us were generally limited to practical matters – how to do something or how to get somewhere.

I remember one time at the dinner table he commented on Communion at church, saying that he felt close to God then – I think he even said something about God speaking to Him through Communion. It was one of the rare times when I learned something about his inner life. But I didn’t feel comfortable asking him to say more about it.

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Laundry dreams

June 1, 2009

Since I have learned, from comments on this blog, that other people have dreams about losing their teeth or being in a driverless car, now I’m wondering if other people have laundry dreams similar to mine. I admit I’m often not caught up on the laundry in real life, and in our house in Michigan our washer did sometimes empty water onto the floor instead of into the sink (we finally fixed that by securing the hose to the sink with large clamps). But my laundry problems in my dreams go far beyond anything I have experienced in real life.

Last night’s dream was typical of the milder version of these dreams. I was trying to find clothes to put on in the morning, and as usual having trouble finding something that fit me, fit the weather, and was more or less coordinated (no polka dots with plaid). Of course, the clothes that would have been best were in the laundry, which apparently I hadn’t done in quite a while. I was also sharing a dormitory style room with other females – most of these dreams seem to put my back in college – a variation on them is trying to find the shared bathroom so I can take a shower.

Some of the dreams have me actually doing the laundry – when I discover, after a few months, that I simply don’t have any underwear or socks left. (I have no idea how I manage to get along that long without having done any washes.) Sometimes I am in a dorm situation, where I have to wait my turn for shared washers and dryers. If I do manage to get my clothes into one of these, I discover that I have left them there for a few days.

Other times, I am trying to do laundry in a house, either one where I live (which may be the house I grew up in, or some other house that doesn’t particularly resemble any house I have lived in), or that of a relative (usually my husband’s grandmother, though it doesn’t resemble her house at all either) where I am visiting. There is almost always a leak, so that the clothes wind up in a wet heap on the basement floor. (I’m not clear on the basement part – the laundry room is normally in a closet on the first floor, but somehow the clothes emerge in the basement to be dried.)

I am always greatly relieved to wake up from these dreams and realize that there is no leak in our washer or our plumbing, and that there are clean clothes in my closet and my dresser (or at least in the dryer downstairs), and I will be able to get up and get dressed without too much trouble. As in my dreams, my closet does have a collection of clothes that don’t fit me at my current weight, but in real life I never have to go to the thrift shop in my underwear to get clothes to wear for the day.

I really don’t think I give that much attention to my clothes in real life. I’m not sure why they occupy such a large space in my dreams. No doubt they symbolize something else, not my literal clothes, but I’m curious what that is.


Kindergarten driver

May 23, 2009

One of my recurring dreams as a child was that I was riding in the back seat of the car when my father drove to choir practice at church, then because he was arriving late he jumped out of the car without taking time to stop the car. From the back seat I had to try to climb into the driver’s seat and figure out how to stop the car. I don’t remember ever actually managing to get my foot on the brake, but I don’t remember crashing either – I must always have awakened during those moments of panic.

A six-year-old boy in Nebraska recently found himself in a situation where he had to take the driver’s seat when his father passed out from low blood sugar. He evidently didn’t know how to stop the truck (probably, like me in my dream, his leg wasn’t long enough to reach the break), so instead he steered the car as it idled along at an estimated 10-15 mph. That approach never occurred to me in my dreams – of course I didn’t have the advantage of being able to sit in my father’s lap so I could see out through the windshield.

My dreams also never had any alert policemen around. Officer Freeze noticed the youthful driver, ran after and caught up with the truck, reached through the open window and slammed the gearshift into park. Tustin had been driving pretty well for a six-year-old, but he was very happy to be relieved of his unexpected responsibility.

I’ve had a few dreams as an adult where I’ve somehow forgotten to put the car in park before getting out. I see the car moving and chase it, trying to figure out how to stop it (sometimes with a young child in the back seat, but I don’t remember that he ever climbs into the front seat to drive). Unfortunately I never drive with my window wide open, either waking or sleeping, so reaching in to grab the gearshift isn’t an option. And in my dreams, the boy in the back seat doesn’t climb into the front.

I’ve wondered sometimes how well I would react in an emergency that really tested my bravery, such as witnessing an accident where I would need to risk my life to save someone from a car that was on fire or had gone underwater. I hope I would react with as much presence of mind, and willingness to do something that seemed like it might be too hard for me, as young Tustin did.


Toothless dreams

August 25, 2008

I have had dreams in which my teeth were falling out – literally falling out of my gums into my mouth and then into my hands. At least I think I have had more than one such dream – unless I just dreamed that I did.

Last night I had one of those dreams, and in the dream I remembered having had such dreams previously, only now it was real – in my dream, that is. I called to my husband for help, though I don’t remember what if anything he was able to do for me. Perhaps that is when I woke up, as the dream was very vivid in my mind upon waking. I was certainly very happy to find all my teeth firmly rooted in my jaws. (I have very healthy teeth and gums, and my dentist has nothing but praise for my oral hygiene habits.)

I’ve read what some people suggest are the hidden meanings behind dreams of flying, finding oneself in public with little or no clothes on, missing or being late for work or school, and trying to find some lost object. I have all those dreams from time to time (although rather than flying I more often dream of jumping along as though on an immensely powerful pogo stick, going higher and higher over trees and buildings and not being able to stop).

I had never before read about dreams of losing teeth, however. So I looked it up on the internet today – hardly the most reliable reference source, but then I’m not inclined to put much trust in any source regarding interpretation about dreams (though I can’t help being curious, which is why I look at all). And it turns out it is apparently a very common dream.

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Weird dreams

February 19, 2008

My family long ago decided that I have the strangest dreams. I don’t usually remember them, but once in a while they are memorable – which means I’m only telling them the weirdest ones to begin with – but even so they agree theirs hardly ever match mine.

Last night I dreamed that a terrorist told me about a terrorist plot – then raised a knife to my face to kill me because I knew about the plot. He pointed out that I would be better off dying quickly right away than slowly and painfully later. I persuaded him I’d really rather put it off, though he assured me that the rest of his group would be absolutely sure to find me and kill me. I then set about trying to find a way to let my husband know about the plot so we could tell the authorities, without giving away what we were doing. I was trying to figure out a way to write it down without leaving evidence in the form of the next pages in the legal pad showing the imprint of what I had written, when my son woke me up.

I don’t generally think about terrorists, much less dream about them. All I can think of is that I had spent most of the previous 24 hours feeling nervous for no apparent reason, which my doctor has told me is probably a reaction to a change in┬ásome medications.

What kind of weird dreams do you have?