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30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 30} The Greatest Gift of All

1 Dec The Reason For the Season

I was reading to Micah last night prior to our bedtime routine, in an attempt to settle his wild soul down.  So, of course we were reading, “Where the Wild Things Are.”  It was adorable to hear him repeat Max’s phrases, “Be Still!” and “Let the wild rumpus start.”

And as I sat tonight trying to settle my soul into this special season that is upon us, it instead felt like the world declaring, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

For many, the rumpus of the Christmas season began the very night we give thanks for all we have.  What better way to reflect on our abundance of blessings than to rush out and get more, right?  I don’t have a problem with those wanting to get a jump on giving and save while doing it, but the retailers pushing it earlier and earlier is just ridiculous.  I just avoid it all together!  Was the Dollar Tree even running a Black Friday special?  That’s where my DIY gifts will hail from!

We are in a consumer society that teaches us to want more, need more, and be satisfied with none.  Trying to teach little ones what Christmas really means is tough.

I am all for passing on Christmas traditions from childhood, Santa, gift giving, and The Grinch.

But I am all about the greatest and first Christmas gift, Christ.

To be cliche, He is the reason for the season, in this heart and hearth, and I hope in yours.  There is nothing better to give or to get than the FREE gift of God’s grace, wrapped beautifully in swaddling clothes, and delivered in the humble form of His son, Jesus Christ.

But I’ve been struggling on how best to deliver this message to my children’s hearts (and ours) without robbing them of simple, fun Christmas magic and joy that comes in many commercial forms ….

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30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 16} Cream-Filled Goodness

17 Nov hostess-cupcakes

I can’t help myself.  With the news of the Hostess demise, I feel compelled to share my thankfulness for the many cream-filled wonders I have consumed.

I have been lol’ing at all the memes floating around Facebook, namely about how well-timed the downfall of Hostess is in relation to the Mayan’s prediction of the end of the world.

It’s hard to imagine a world where my children may never know the joy of a Hostess Cupcake or Twinkie.

When I heard the sad news, I had a few thoughts: Continue reading

Are You White Rabbiting God?: Day 15: Lent Journey

9 Mar Alice

“God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness.  He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost.  He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”

2 Peter 3:9 (The Message)

I enjoy the classic Disney film, Alice in Wonderland.  I adore the mischievous Cheshire Cat.  I think the Mad Hatter is endearing, and what a dear little mouse.  I even find a soft spot of sadness for the unhappy Queen.  I do not, however, care much for the persnickety White Rabbit.  Whenever I watched dear Alice chasing the rabbit’s retreating tail, I found myself wanting to flick him in the head for being so darn rude.

Instead of just repeating, “We’re late. We’re late, for a very important date,” how much trouble would it have been to take 5 seconds to explain what you are late for, and why things are looking so very strange?  You have time to consult your giant pocket-watch, you have time to explain yourself, rabbit!  Instead he scurries off, repeating the endless phrase, We’re Late, and leads Alice into Wonderland.

I wonder if God gets tired of our endless white rabbiting?

Image courtesy and copyright of Disney. Image is a screencap and displayed for personal and fan use from http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/pictures/white-rabbit-pictures.html

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Career Change in Store for Peyton? Day 13: Lent Journey

7 Mar

 

 

1” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Breaking News: On the heels of the recent news conference, announcing his release from the Indianapolis Colts, quarterback Peyton Manning decided to go for broke and announced he will be turning down the numerous offers pouring in as the most coveted free agent, and instead will be pursuing a second career in the NBA.  Through his agent, Manning released a statement:

“I have fulfilled my dreams these past 14 years as Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  As much as football will always be my first love, I feel I have other talents that I need to share with my fans.  I’ve always admired professional basketball players and feel that I have numerous skills to offer.  I hope my football fans will fully support me and the NBA team I join.  I’ve always said, “I wanna be like Mike!” Thank you.” Continue reading

Sexier?

28 Feb

I was checking my email when I noticed this image in an ad banner.  I almost gagged.

Image from Victoria's Secret Ad

I am sure that some of you think there is nothing wrong with this image.  Some of you will see nothing but a beautiful woman in lingerie (creeps), and come of you will see what I see; something scary.

Please, hear me.  I’m sure the model is a fine person, and this is not an attack on her.  She is a product of the fashion industry, reduced to skin and bones.  While she is very pretty, her form is sickly skeletal.  This type of image is everything that is wrong with our culture and the persisting images that ultra-skinny= sexy.  This is one major reason eating disorders are so dangerously rising in teens and tweens.  When you can LITERALLY see ribs and other bones jutting awkwardly from a person’s frame, they are too skinny.  There is nothing wrong with being fit, thin, and in-shape. I think we all need to find the healthy weight and shape that best fits us individually.  There is something wrong with this degree of skinny being hailed as “Very sexy, now sexier.”

Yes, the ad is supposed to be about the lingerie, which is really cute.  However, you can’t ignore the model wearing the items.  Despite the fashion industry’s best efforts to create models who are mere “hangers” for fashion, we do still see the models behind the clothes.  The image projected tells millions of females that unless you strive to look like this model, you aren’t sexy enough.

This image just makes me sick and very sad for the state of our society, and all those who will see images like this and think, “I’m not good enough.”

Hear me:  Yes, you are.

 

A Lost List: Ten Things Tuesday

18 May Charlie Dies

Tonight is the last new Lost episode before the series finale, Sunday.  I can guarantee two things: tears and more questions.  We are having a Lost finale party that is doubling as our farewell party on Sunday.  We figured if we have to say so many goodbyes we might as well say them all at once.  If only I could give Sawyer a farewell hug.

Since I am not allowing myself to dwell on the real life goodbyes we must make, otherwise I’d be a pile of blubbering mush all week, I will recount some favorite moments in the Lost universe.  Because I am limited to ten, I can’t say these are all my favorites, but it’s a start.

1. Charlie bringing Claire ‘peanut butter’ to share

2. Hurley finally getting to kiss Libby

3. Desmond and Penny reunited first by consciousness jumping, then by boat

4. Jack embracing faith

5. Sawyer sacrificing himself for the other 6 and jumping from the helicopter

6. Hurley saving the day in the Dharma van

7. The Losties playing golf

8. As sad as it is, Charlie’s death and “Not Penny’s Boat”

9. Sawyer bringing Juliette flowers in Dharmaville, and the genuine I love you’s exchanged

10. The first hopeful attempt to leave on the raft with Sawyer, Jin, Michael, and Walt

Again, these are only a few moments to treasure.  Maybe I’ll do a top ten favorites from each season soon.  Hope you enjoy the show!

Charlie Dies

Quebec Sinkhole: WWYDW

12 May When Disaster Strikes

My mouth was wide open in shock when the tragic scene from Saint-Jude, Quebec flashed across the late news.  It’s the stuff of science fiction; the Earth opening up and swallowing homes whole.  My prayers go out to the community and family members of the Prefontaines who lost their lives.  News articles say they were watching a hockey game when their world literally fell out from underneath them.  The only bright spot is that one of their dogs, Foxy, miraculously survived and was found in the mud, tied to a tree.  I hope she finds a good home, on solid ground.

This horrible accident, along with the arrival if tornado season in my home state of Oklahoma, got me thinking about what I would want to survive a catastrophe.  Obviously I would want my family and friends to survive; I was thinking more along the lines of what I would grab if I had time to grab anything other than Micah, Aaron, and Beau.

I used to think that I would grab pictures, but with so many online now, I don’t know if I would.  I think my computer would be up there since there is a lot of life on it.  I would try and grab my purse with my cell in it and Micah’s diaper bag.  I think the only memory items I would want to grab would be Micah’s baby book, our wedding albums (they are the only copies), our wedding license and birth certificates, and if I could I would grab the album with Micah’s sonograms in it.  But even all the irreplaceable pictures would mean nothing if there weren’t new memories to make with the same people.  If reaching for something material meant losing someone of immeasurable worth, then I would let it all go.  It’s funny how those things we can’t live without mean so little when compared to the people who make life worth living.  I am grateful for the good things in my life, but I thank God for the ones I get to share my life with.  So I guess the most important things, I already carry with me.

What would you reach for if disaster was imminent?

When Disaster Strikes

Featured Flick Fridays: Need Some Sunshine?

7 May Eternal Sunshine

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004

Eternal Sunshine

Independent films production company, Focus Features, has released some of my favorite movies.  It is the art house films division of Universal.  I really like their logo; it’s very artsy.  One of their more successful films is, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Boasting a pretty stellar cast with Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson, ES is one of the more unique story-lines I’ve encountered.

Joel (Carrey) and Clementine (Winslet) meet and strike up a relationship on a train from Montauk, NY.  Joel is emotionally guarded and Clementine is a nutty, free spirit.  This meeting, however, was not their first.  In fact, they recently just separated after two years together, but do to a little procedure they both undergo, they don’t remember this.  Most of the movie plays out in Joel’s mind as it is being erased by employees of Lacuna.  These employees (Wood, Dunst, Ruffalo, and Wilkinson) all play peripheral roles in the main character’s lives, and we see these moments intermittently throughout the film.

The movie can get pretty depressing and high-strung at some points but I think it beautifully mirrors the arcing story of Joel an Clementine.  It is quirky and insightful and can really make you think about choices you have made and the effect we have on each others lives.  I, myself, love the ending.  If you need a good film to stir your heart and mind, give Eternal Sunshine a shot.

Ten Things Tuesday

4 May Movies, Movies, Movies

Ten Movies To See

In no particular order are the top ten movies I am eager to see with a brief reason as to why.  Yes, there are some that are rentals now, but with an almost 7 month old in the house, we haven’t gotten out much.

1. Eclipse: The third installment of the Twilight Saga series, by Stephenie Meyer, premiers June 30, and I can’t wait.  I was a hold out on reading the books, but when I found myself on bedrest during my pregnancy, I gave in.  I am a total fan of the books and movies now.  I love a good, tortured, love story.  Nothing like teenage angst.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: I have only missed one HP premier, but I do not intend to miss these last two.  I heart Harry Potter and even after reading the books, again which I finally did on bedrest, I still love the movies.  Yes, the books are richer in detail and the movies make some changes, but they are still highly entertaining and, I think, thoughtful and moving.  And yes, I want to go the Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, badly.

3. The Losers: 3 words. Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  I also am due for a good action flick.

4. The Back-up Plan:  I am a JLO fan.  I think she can act and I enjoy her music.  Selena, is one of my favorite bios and I think Jen really shines in Rom-Coms.  After surviving my first pregnancy, I am looking forward to a few good laughs, and I’m sure a few over-top Hollywood moments.

5. Date Night: This film has the potential to be unbelievably funny or unbearably funny, but raunchy.  I’m hoping for option 1 and think that’s the right one with Tina Fey on board.  Aaron and I love Steve Carell, and I am eager to see him in a good mix of his acting skills.  Plus, great excuse, Date Night on date night?!

6. Sherlock Holmes: Who doesn’t love a big action block-buster?  This looks clever, funny. and the actors are quality.  Jude Law is, um, a nice-looking bloke.

7. Remember Me: This film combines two major favorites.  See #1 for my mini-obsession with Twilight.  Robert Pattinson is angst and tortured in this film, so lots of brooding looks which he wears well.  Plus, Emilie de Ravin, better known as Claire, from Lost is Rob’s love interest and fellow tortured soul.  Love the love stories.

8. The Last Song:  I’m not really a Miley Cyrus fan.  Nothing against her or her talent, just kinda ambivalent.  I am however, a Nicholas Spark’s fan.  I have read all of his books and seen all the film adaptations.  I’m not expecting this to be The Notebook quality, but I enjoyed the book.  This will no doubt be a rental for a night when Aaron works late.

9. Sex and the City 2:  My best friend Melodi adores the series and tried to sell me on it numerous times.  It wasn’t until moving to KY and I had some sleepless nights that I finally watched the show on TBS.  I find the relationship dynamics fascinating and the whole show a brilliant case study into the psyche of our need for love.  I enjoyed the first movie, especially because it involved a girls night.  I am overdue for a girls night with Mel, so this is the perfect excuse.

10. Letters to Juliet:  Yes, another love story.  However, I think it is a must see when it involves one of the classics.  I think the Romeo and Juliet aspect will be cheesy, but the movie will probably provide exactly what is expected; a fun, sweet, happy-ending love story meant to uplift.  We all need more of those don’t we?

Movies, Movies, Movies

Song for Saturdays: Opening Number

2 May

Hands by Jewel

A jewel and her guitar

(Make sure to watch the video of today’s song at the end!)

I thought I would start the song series off with my two favorites.  Jewel is my absolute favorite artist and she is a constant source of inspiration in my life.  Her songs, lyrics, poetry, books, art, blogs, tweets, videos, and causes all showcase her talent, but more than that, they are glimpses into the soul of someone who sees the good in everyone and everything, and works to make a difference if good is not to be found.  Yes, I am a fan.  I even thank her in my poetry book as being an inspiration!  I have 6th row tickets to an upcoming concert in June and I am so ecstatic to see Jewel in concert again as she promotes her new album, Sweet and Wild.

While I adore most, if not all, of her music, Hands is, well, hands down my favorite.  (I know, but I couldn’t resist!)  The message of the song is so beautiful and very much needed in the world today.  If my life had a theme song, this would be it.  My favorite version, other than live, is on her Christmas album, Joy: A Holiday Collection, while the original is found on her Spirit album, which is my favorite album so far.  I have a desire to sing this at church one day, though it would be a humble version as I cannot even compare my voice to hers.  This song is a powerful reminder that we each have worth and something to offer.  A very timely message for myself.  I hope this makes you feel a little better about this sometimes cruel and unloving world.