The Sweet Season

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Worry, Birthday Cake and a New Year

02 January 2012

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Yesterday we celebrated husband's 29th birthday. I worried throughout the day though...which is something I have never had to deal with.  That tugging, creeping, pit-in-the-stomach feeling.  This past week we have faced many challenges and asked "well, what was that for?" one too many times.  Worry. Husband's job ends here in South Carolina on Friday and we  have no idea where we are going after that. Worry.  The only job offer he has received so far just doesn't feel right, but it might very well be where we go.  Worry.  And finally, last night after having a lovely birthday celebration, tension came to a head and we got into a medium sized argument.  And then I was unhappy, and husband was unhappy.  Worry, worry, worry.

We went to bed, argument resolved, but still--- that small, nagging feeling of worry turned into full fledged dread as I drifted off to sleep.  And that is when I had the most terrifying and vividly realistic dream I think I am have ever had.  And I still feel that scary pain of anxious worry in my chest this morning, which is why I am sharing this with you.

In my dream, I was dying.  Not a painful blood and guts kind of death.  Something that could actually happen to me:  my lupus was flaring out of control and the medicine wasn't working.  My lungs were hardening and I was ultimately being slowly suffocated.  Morbid stuff, I know.  It wasn't a dream with random, crazy details like most dreams have.  It was so real, and every event that occurred is something that I feel like could (worst case scenario) happen in real life.

So, I was dying and the people I loved most slowly started to pull away from me-- since, I wouldn't be around too much longer.  And I was getting worse and the doctors urged that I should just choose my time of death instead of "drowning alive"  (their words in the dream).  I  chose to follow their advice and then was terrified at the prospect of actually dying.  ---and what that meant.

I started to wonder, even though I think I would go to heaven, would I?  really?  I didn't know.  I couldn't say.  I was panicked, frightened and completely helpless to what was going on around me.  This part of the dream was hazy, I just remember thinking how much MORE I could have done.  I could have prayed more, and meant it more.  I could have done more for others, and I could have treated my husband better. Worry.  Could have.  Should have.

And then, finally my dream came to a close with my precious baby bella dying.  And my friends, family and husband had left me because I wouldn't be there soon.  I don't think I can explain how awful it was.  And how real.  And how important... for some reason or another.

As I sit here this morning I can't shake the feeling of how fleeting and temporary our lives are.  And I am not going to go all crazy on you and say that God was speaking to me in a dream, but I am not going to say that its not possible either.  Perhaps a not so gentle reminder of what is really important-- and how none of us, not me or you, really have that much time here on Earth.

I know, I am being a debbie downer over here, and what a great way to start the week--- but it feels so important I had to share it.  I have been asked maybe ten times in my life "what would happen if you were to die RIGHT NOW?"  Usually its by some pastor in a sermon, and you don't really think about it, or its a little more serious and you maybe say longer prayers for a few days and eventually you forget it, and return to your everyday routine.  So I don't expect my random dream to make any of you actually ask that question of yourselves for real-- but maybe you will think about it.

I am not sure why I had the dream I had.  But I think it was because I need to quit worrying about very small things, and focus on the very big life or death things.  Like my relationship with God, and growing and cultivating it every single day.  Not letting it be crowded out by worry and fear and anxiousness.  Or maybe it was so this morning I could be extra thankful for the blessings that I do have, the ones that are surrounding me all the time. Because I can tell you that I did hug my husband extra long this morning, and squeeze baby Bella extra tight.

For the first year ever, this year feels like a fresh start.  A clean slate.  And as scary as  my sleep was last night, I appreciate that I can start this year out shedding the "worry" that doesn't really mean a thing at the end of the day.  I am sorry to be so heavy so early in the week but it was on my heart in such a huge way that I couldn't ignore it.

[awkward segway]And if this post was too morbid, you can scroll down one post and I am still giving away a really cute time keeper accessory from shabby apple.  and here are a few more pictures of our New Year's weekend-- because I am not ALL gloom & doom today!

picture on left is totally for erica @ young & fabulous. :)  and on the right?  I always tend to touch
my face and pooch my lips out to distract from what I think is a big nose.  my husband says I am crazy.  
We are our own worst critics though--
So for our New Year's dinner we chose Bonefish Grill.  There is a Bonefish back in Grand Rapids, Michigan that people always rave about but we have never been so we decided to try it.  We called and made reservations and had no problem getting a decent time, even though we waiting until almost 5pm on New Year's Eve!  We started with the Ahi Tuna Sashimi was seared on the edges with a sweet and spicy sauce poured on either side of the plate.  It was a great starter for sushi lovers!
At the bar I ordered a raspberry martini and husband got a rum & coke.  The drinks were strong, and we were good with one!  

Husband ordered the chilean sea bass which we didn't get a picture of, and I ordered the filet mignon.
It was okay, nothing too special.  It was nicely cooked but not worth returning for.  I would definitely choose something else, perhaps a fish dish next time.  Husband loved his sea bass, although it was a little on the dry side.  

Overall we gave the Myrtle Beach, SC Bonefish Grill an 8/10.

Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon

Did you all have a fun NYE?
What did you DO?
oh yeah, and go below to enter the giveaway!

Over & Out,

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  1. Oh, Ashley!!! I am so sorry you had to deal with all of that this weekend. While fights and worry are part of life, that dream would scare the heck out of me too.
    How long are your husband's "assignments/Jobs" normally? I know I started following right before you left MI (and we never did get a chance to meet up... we lived so close!), but it doesn't seem like you have been in SC very long...
    Keep your head up, and like you said, this is def a clean slate/fresh start for you. Can't wait to see what you make of it!!!

  2. How scary, some dreams just really get to you, even long after you wake up and you can't seem to shake it off. So sorry about all of your worries, it's so hard to overcome that. My mom gave me some advice to deal with it, write out the bible verse,

    "therefore I tell you to do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

    Then she told me to read it to David every day.

    I'll be praying for you two.
    -mckenzie jean.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. You are one amazingly brave woman, and I hope you always remember that! xoxo

  4. Oh my gosh, having dreams like that is soooo awful! I always have bad dreams when I am stressed about something. I'm glad you could find the good in it, you are amazing!
    I spent NYE playing games and having a karaoke party with my hubs and little girls. hehe...It was super fun and silly!
    I hope 2012 brings you happy happy times!

  5. Awww... dont worry!

    (These are perfect times to learn how to trust God and keep a peaceful heart. Just sayin)

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I had a similar weekend, stressing and worrying and hurting. Not so much fun, haha. But I also was brought closer to God through it, and am so excited to spend this year growing closer and working on my relationship with Him. Wishing you the very best in 2012, and excited to follow you on your journey via blogland! :)

  7. Wow Ashley! This is deep, I also think with everything going on and that has been happening your mind is just trying to scare the Sh#t outta you. Everything is going to work out for the best to wherever you move you will make the best out of it to whatever happens tomorrow you will make the best out of! You are amazingly beautiful and should have no worries, a hubby that loves you and seems like your rock! on the top You Rock!!!

    love ya chic!

  8. You are a very strong and brave woman. I read on my friend, Lindsey Jo's blog about what happened. I went through the same thing back in August.

    Its not easy, I know. But, little by little, you slowly move past it.

    I would like to have a blog date with you, before you move or anything. I have enjoyed your blog, a lot this year. It has made me think differently about situation.

    Remember, the lord loves, just as much as your husband and Bella. They are always going to be the ones that are there for you. Friends come and go, but your family is always there.

    Sorry, this was long. I will be praying for you.


  9. What an intense scary dream! I think it's obvious that your subconscious is harboring all of your anxiety and worry! I hope you can find a way to let go of some worry with the fresh new year!

  10. i needed this post today.

    i love you.

    thats all

  11. Yikes! What a scary dream! I have had REAL REAL dreams like that too and I hate them!

    Here is to HAPPIER dreams in 2012 :)


  12. Ashley, I want to take a minute to thank you for sharing your story. It really has helped me out to see this. I have been going through some big health issues these past few weeks and I have been worried,and fearful this whole time. I want you to know that reading helped me realize that it doesn't help to feel this way and I know that I need to focus on the bigger picture. So while you had to go through this terrible feeling, I thank you again that you shared it with us. I hope I can continue to focus on God and his plan.

  13. Omg Ashley, that was a really scary dream! I would be really scared too.
    I think it may have just been because of all the worrying and the argument with your husband that night.

    I believe that everything happens for a reason, whether it's good or bad. God always know what he is doing!

  14. got MY heart racing :( Sorry you had that awful feeling/dream. We have a theory, that if we share dreams, they don't happen (or if they do, they're not as horrible as what happened in the dream) You can always be better each day, and remember that always. I hope you're feeling better and that you two have a smooth sail the rest of Jan. on...

  15. first off...LOVE the photo shout know me and my tongue ;-) hahah and you WORKED it girl!

    second, Happy new year and happy birthday HUBBY!!

    third..that dream sounds awful :-( But you know what, after everything you've been through lately, things like that can happen! It's your mind playing with you...but you are such a strong person that you can get through all of this! and you are so amazing to write about put it out there...because bottling it up and worrying about it doesn't always help! I just love you...and everything will fall into place :-) It always does. You are amazing and so special and i just love you


  16. Oh, Ashley, that's a horrible dream. *hugs*

  17. Can I please send you a HUGE (virtual. ugh) HUG. First, for sharing that dream and your worry with us. AND second, for opening my eyes just a little bit wider about what life is all about...embracing our loved ones and grabbing life by the horns. You will ROCK whatever changes you face. I just know it. And I may sound kooky, but I am definitely a believer in signs and signals and messages from God...and I totally think you got one. And even though it was a super scary dream, I think what needed to happen will happen: you realized exactly what you need to focus on...and you shared a message with so many readers. (ones that sadly, may not know God or may not think about where they will go if they die.) And for that, I think you are awesome.

    Hope this wasn't too jumbly. LOVE to you. xoxoxo

    p.s. you look SUPER pretty in those pics.

    Here's to a new year. :)

  18. I'm sorry you had that dream, but I'm really glad you shared it. I think God definitely speaks to us in dreams like that, not predicting the future but just showing us that we need to embrace our lives more...or something like that, I dunno. But thank you for sharing it, it's a good reminder to us all to be thankful!!

  19. I think too often we forget that we are human. It's completely normal to worry. I worry way too often as well. Thank you for sharing. You are beautiful inside and out. And the pic of the ferris wheel...Myrtle Beach? I rode that this summer!

  20. Sometimes fear can grip me too but I remember each time who my maker's to definitely starting off on the right foot this year! Your honesty is refreshing Ashley!!

  21. Scary dream. I definitely agree with you though. Too often we forget how vulnerable life is. How undetermined it is. We don't think 'are we going to live to be ninety, mindless and living in a nursing home?' or 'will we die in three years?'. Death for some reason rarely crosses our minds in the real since that it WILL happen. And that's what's so scary. Because when it finally does cross our mind we realize just how close it could be.

    I love your blog by the way. =)


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