If you see a door, open it

Front-Door-Open-to-Foyer A few weeks ago I had a dream that I was pregnant. In this dream I was not concerned about my pregnancy, even though I was obviously ready to deliver. The fact that I was pregnant did not bother me nor did it worry my husband, even though I’m 53 years old. We did not think it was weird or remarkable. This is because it was not a regular pregnancy. In my dream I understood exactly what it meant. Later that morning, in real life, when the dream returned to me in the fuzzy-funny-what-the-heck? way important dreams tend to do, I had to laugh at the obvious symbolism. You see, I’ve been contemplating my next steps for some time but have been afraid to act. With a pregnancy there is no time to dawdle, you had better be ready. So last week I submitted my resignation from my job. The dream was not the catalyst for my resignation, it was an affirmation that I knew something was growing inside of me that I could no longer ignore.

The dream about being pregnant occurred just days after I had another dream—one that I have had many times ever since I was a teenager, and one which I love—and that is the dream about discovering an entire house attached to my home. This secret house, accessible through a plain door, is furnished and fabulous, with a fully stocked kitchen, cute clothes in the closets, and most significant of all, a sunny art studio off the porch. In this dream, as I walk through the secret house, I marvel “how is it possible this was here and I did I not know?” My brain works that way, no room for nuance here. Suffice it to say both dreams point to something new, something untapped, and something that can’t be realized without change or a willingness to step out of the known and into the unknown.

Is there something great growing inside of you that you can no longer ignore? How many rooms are in your house that you have yet to discover? Divine clues come in many forms including our interests, our talents, and especially through our relationships with others.

So here it is. I want to devote myself to spiritual writing, theological study, and liturgical art consulting. I don’t want to make too big of a deal of my writing, I definitely have something to share, but for all I know it might not be all that interesting. (You’ll let me know won’t you?) Theology is my addiction (could be worse), and liturgical art is something I am both passionate about and qualified to do. At the very least, this decision is allowing me to exercise the creative side of myself that I have neglected for a long time. Most of all, I am responding to the urging of my maker to use the gifts I was given. And I am grateful.

Is this your Authentic Life?

The word authentic, when we are referring to, for example “Authentic Italian Cooking” means the food is made with the same ingredients and techniques found in the original, and if it’s truly authentic, it ought to taste just like Sunday dinner at Nonna’s.

To be authentic men and women we need to recall in whose likeness we were created [Genesis 1:27]. Obviously, likeness does not refer to physical characteristics, but rather points to our ability to know and love God and all that God created. Put another way, God’s initial gift of love was the act of creation, and God’s entrance into creation in the person of Jesus Christ defined the unbreakable relationship for which we, as part of creation, remain mutually responsible.

Our authenticity is reflected in our response to that responsibility. Are we authentic? Yes! Do we always live authentic lives? Not so much! Our culture makes claims that being authentic requires only that we remain true to ourselves. One popular website states “We only get one life, so why waste it not being the real you?” Er, well, it’s a little more complicated than that. True, we are individuals, but authenticity starts with remembering WHO we are and accepting that we fit in God’s plan. A user’s manual for understanding this plan exists in the person and example of Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you want to know your maker, and you want to live an authentic life, get to know Jesus and actively share what you learn with others.