The Country Home, The Call, The Confirmation

My Dream Last Night.

It would seem that the dreaming season is back upon us.  At least the time to remember the dream. 

Last nights dream.

At the House.

My family and I were at our house, a 4,500 square foot, Ranch style, two story home, with a  completely finished basement.  A beautiful home that Jill, myself, Tyler and Jesse lived, along with Jill’s Mom and Dad.  It was on a very large property.  A very real country setting.  No real next door neighbors, to speak of.  A dirt road, with some ruts and holes in the road.  Some small ponds, next to parts of the road.  With tad poles, and even some trout in others, that were connected to a stream.

One day, in the dream, we were helping Dad and mom move into a new home next to our property, and the boys were being very helpful and wanting to carry some smaller items over to the new house.  As they went out to the road, a person on a side by side, quad, type vehicle, was speeding up the road, it was loud and scared the kids off the road.  THAT got my attention, and I yelled at the guy driving the side by side.  He stopped, turned around and apologized.  The oldest of the two was very upset at what just happened.  He is a great helper when it comes to moving things, and if disrupted, he just does not like that, at all!

Next scene:

Everyone was happy, and we were walking along next to a pond, just out enjoying the warm clear, weather.  A beautiful Spring day.  We came across an older, lady, sitting on a rocking chair on her porch, she had white hair, and was most likely in her late 80’s.

We waved at her, and she waved for us to come to her, so we did, and she wanted to share a lemonade with us all.  So, Jill and I sat down on the porch, and the boys went off to play and explore.  The lady, never did catch her name, while she was pouring our lemonade, began to speak over us.  She made the statement, “I see that you two understand what beauty means, when it comes out of ashes!”  We looked at each other, kind of speechless and kind of in shock!  Our eyes began to well up with tears, as we knew this lady was about to speak live and love over us.  She continued, “God gave you both a certain ability that not everyone gets.   Also, not everyone gets you two, but you know, deep down inside what HE spoke over you.  You both see things differently in this world, and it is going to allow you to take the abilities you have to help other people walk out of darkness into light!  It is a powerful calling that HE has placed on your lives, NOW is the time to write, release what you write and pray and watch how God uses what HE has placed in your hearts!”  I looked over at Jill, with Tears streaming down my face, and tears streaming down hers as well.  And we just sat there, in awe, praying in our hearts!

Then BAM, I woke up, with tears  streaming down my face, and praying for Jill and her family, at the same time.

I Never Really Fit In…

I Never Really Fit In

Keep It Simple
Island of Misfit Toys

Growing up, my childhood memories were filled with hanging out with my cousins, yes, but for the most part, remember being that of a bit of a loner.  Never really had the feeling that I fit it.  Felt a bit like the black sheep of the family.  Even to this day.  Been pondering this thought for a number of years, and now, people still don’t understand who I am.  Even family, and you know, learning to be okay with that.  There are people out there like me.  Found one, who will forever have a special place in my heart.  For you see, through a series of unfortunate events, some bad choice were made on my part and scared her off.  (Heart Broken to this day).

Those of you from my generation are sure to remember the 1964 animated TV special, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

In this classic tale, Sam the Snowman narrates the story of Rudolph, a reindeer who is born with a glowing red nose. His father – Santa’s lead reindeer, Donner – feels ashamed, and uses a special cover to hide Rudolph’s nose so that he can join in the Reindeer Games. During some horseplay, the cover on Rudolph’s nose pops off; after seeing his glowing nose, the other young bucks begin ridiculing Rudolph. Rudolph is banned from the rest of the games. Rudolph runs off into the woods and meets up with Hermey, an elf who had been forced out of his job because he was more interested in dentistry than toymaking and singing. The two bond, singing “We’re a Couple of Misfits” after they discover they each have something that makes them unique. Later, they meet a prospector named Yukon Cornelius. The trio manages to flee to the Island of Misfit Toys, an island populated by abandoned toys with idiosyncrasies. Working together, the three save the day by rescuing Christmas, Rudolph and Hermey are no longer ridiculed, and the lead elf finally allows Hermey to open a dentist’s office the week after Christmas.

Wisdom is gained through challenges

I’ve always enjoyed this tale, and I can relate to its powerful message. The morale of the story is that, despite perceived flaws or differences, we are all valuable. Some of my most meaningful work was accomplished alongside folks who, like me, might be considered inhabitants of the Island of Misfit Toys.

Most of us aim for a positive and progressive career path. Unfortunately, that rarely occurs. Life is never as expected, and challenges are needed to facilitate our growth.

It’s enjoyable to see people you know who are doing well and growing professionally. It’s even better to see colleagues who’ve had some sort of professional setback (unplanned job change, poor work alignment, bad boss, etc.) and overcome the challenge to shine brightly again. I look at these folks with admiration, and I know firsthand just how difficult those situations can be.

I experienced a professional setback during my 15-year career. It was a painful and challenging experience. While I would never want to go through it again, I can look back and see the wisdom gained, and how it fueled the next level of my personal and professional growth. Simply put, I’m a lot stronger and more successful today because of that experience.

Don’t feel like damaged goods!

If you’re the one going through challenges today, or still smarting from challenges that occurred in your past, don’t let these experiences make you feel like damaged goods! You’re not! I believe one day you’ll look back and be grateful for the challenges you’ve overcome. It’s these challenges that bring out and refine our strengths. You’ll gain wisdom through overcoming these challenges, and that wisdom makes you a better candidate for the right team – a team that will value your experiences and the stronger you.

The value of wisdom on a team

Some of the most amazing professionals I’ve ever worked for have had experiences that made them feel like misfit toys. Get to know them well enough to hear their stories and you’ll most likely hear that those experiences shaped their character, determination, focus, and values.

It’s been said that “knowledge” is the facts and ideas we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experience. “Wisdom” is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life. Life’s experiences give us the ability to discern, judge, and make better decisions. When I’m looking for the right people to collaborate with, I prefer wisdom over knowledge.

Why it matters

Whether we are individually working to become our very best selves or trying to build the very best team, let’s remember the Island of Misfit Toys. In ourselves and others, let’s value those life experiences that strengthen, and human uniqueness that allows people to look at things differently.