beautiful, confession, creative, entertainment, family, gratitude, home, journey, Lately, list, parenting, Uncategorized

It’s friday, I’m in love…

Oh it’s that time again- Hello, weekend! These summer weekends are fleeting and I find this bittersweet.

This week was a BUSY one! Some moments I barely had time to compose myself and other ones were a little more intentional. It has been a weekend filled to the brim with stress and disappointment. You guys, parenthood is HARD. Adulting is HARD. Taking responsibility for screw ups is HARD. My week has been Die Hard with a Vengeance, minus the Bruce Willis/entertainment value/special effects/big budget stuff, and just loads of craptastic.

It is nice to take a few minutes to seek out the best bits of sharable…  I LOVED the links and little notes you guys sent last week! The best part of that was finding some new music. My readers have THE BEST taste! :)

Here’s my top five for the week…

1.) August is apparently the month for Random Acts of Kindness. If you know me at all, you know I am a sucker for RAKs! I absolutely LOVE this project and have been enjoying leaving intentionally written letters about my corner of the world.

2.) If you love Zombie movies, i HIGHLY recommend Train To Busan. (yes, it’s Korean, of course it is…) It was amazing, and by far the best Zombie movie we have ever seen! (also, it’s on Netflix, so that’s super cool too.)

3.) Quite awhile ago a friend of mine recommended the podcast Blue Babies Pink. Essentially it is Brett Trapp’s coming out story, told from his perspective as a now adult preacher’s kid, having grown up as a Jesus loving, well-adjusted youth. It is very interesting, very thought-provoking and at 44 (although super short) episodes, I am two-thirds of the way through and am really glad I make the choice to listen!

4.) I must clarify that i DO NOT own these earrings, but I also am publicly stating it right now: I really, really want them.

5.) Lastly, for this week… Coke Zero Sugar. I know, I know… I was just as sad as everyone else about the loss of Coke Zero. To be honest, my biggest worry was What will I drink at the movies now? And again, being honest, I am not certain they will even offer CZS at the theater, but I do like it. We still have plain old regular coke zero and did do a taste comparison. The two taste nothing alike. Chw likes the new better, while I still prefer the original. (likely because I HATE CHANGE!) that being said, I do really like the new. It tastes good by itself. It tastes good with a splash of lime. It tastes super good with a bit of crown. All in all, it’s a win. :)

Happy weekend!

adoption, confession, family, journey, parenting

a PSA…

Our youngest came to live with us when she was four and a half years old. Many of you know that story, about how our little family unit came to be. She’d had a rough go of it, for those first four years. Within the first few days that she lived with us, we took her over to a friend’s house. We were very close with these friends and wanted to share Gen with them, and vice-versa. We weren’t there but half an hour, or so. As we were pulling out, my friend called my cell to tell me she’d seen Gen with an orange golf ball in her pocket. “I’m pretty sure she stole it from my husband’s set, but honestly I don’t know how or when. Just a heads up, you might have a little stealer on your hands.”

She had not come to my friend’s in possession of a golf ball. We waited til we were home to gently broach the topic. Gen was adamant that it was her golf ball, she’d gotten it as a present when she was two from so & so. The story came so honestly, so naturally that had we not be the ones to sort through the very few belongings she’d come with, we might have believed her.

When she was little, she stole a lot. She stole everything from gum, to candy, to food, to stickers, to socks, to receipts. If she wanted it, she believed she deserved to have it. If she was confronted, a lie so believable flowed from her lips and when consequences came, she was so broken that we didn’t believe her and she wasn’t a thief.

The longer this went on, the more defeating it became. All of the well-meaning people who were reassuring us this was kid’s stuff and she’d grow out of it, stopped saying much of anything. We taught and taught and taught her through various degrees, that stealing was WRONG, that lying was WRONG. We were doing everything right, in that regard. She honestly just never cared if it was right or wrong, or if anyone got hurt.

My point here is sometimes things happen. Kids become adults who make their own choices. Sometimes, like with that little girl, they will blame whoever they please, anything to not own the responsibility. But please, when this happens to someone you know, don’t blame the parents for the child/adult child’s choices. Their journey may have been wrought with hell, and defeat and hopelessness may be the hats they wear more than any other. A little love can go a long way…

entertainment, family, journey, parenting

Horror movies for the Christian…

When it comes to horror movies, there are so many perspectives. Some range from super conservative (horror movies are evil) to really obsessive about them. I grew up watching scary 80’s movies on the only semblance of family movie night my childhood home had. At 5/6/7 these movies terrified me, BUT it felt more scary to NOT watch and know it was happening in the other room. (ah, the rationale of a child.)

As a teenager and young adult I really loved a good horror movie. Chw could care less either way. Then, one day in around 2001, I read an article about people’s love of scary films being connected to their perspective on life and the horrors/traumas that they had experienced. (I do not remember the specifics about it really, other than the fact that it was really psychologically driven so it spoke my jam.) Strangely enough, after contemplating that, I did not love them so much anymore. Chw, on the other hand, began loving them more.

I pretty much avoid them now,with a few exceptions. At various stages of life my kids have loved them and it has led to dialogue. Some would judge that I am in a precarious position being a Christian and messing with such things. As a Christian I believe that doors in our spirit can be opened (and remain open) when we engage in darker activities. I know this is truth because I did some pretty stupid things as a teenager and it still affects me. There are films out there, of the horror genre, which tell this tale well. And so, as parents, we came to the decision (based on maturity levels of course) to experience some of these movies with older kids, rather than forbidding them, and then having conversations.

We really love the newer films telling the stories of Ed & Lorraine Warren. If you google them you will get an array of things that are not the heart of their story. The more I have learned about them over the years, the more I have been humbled by their life’s journeys. (I would love to have a conversation with Lorraine, face to face over a shared pot of tea. I know this isn’t possible, at least not this side of heaven, but it’s on my list none the less.)

Annabelle: Creation (not to be confused with the last Annabelle made) is one of those scary movies which illustrates to us the dangers of messing with things we don’t understand, as well as the dangers of making extreme choices when dealing with overwhelming emotion. I am sharing an article which I believes articulates what I’m trying to say MUCH better…

Lessons For Christians From Horror Movies

The popularity of horror films continue to grow, especially among teens and young adults, who flock to movie theaters on opening weekend.  This Friday, August 11, for example, the movie “Annabelle: Creation,” about a possessed doll hits theaters nationwide.  It seems difficult to believe that any movie created to frighten and give us nightmares might have a meaningful spiritual lesson for Christians.  And yet, anyone who has been brave enough to watch “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” written by Scott Derrickson, a Christian filmmaker, knows full well that horror movies can serve us with cautionary messages and, might just inspire the audience to head to their nearest church pew.

To be clear, not all horror films are the same. The genre has different versions.  There’s no takeaway from “slasher” or disturbing “torture” movies meant to provide nothing but shock.  However, there are horror movies that depict spiritual warfare (which we know to be real) and the battle between good and evil. These supernatural films, oftentimes written and produced by Christians and based on real-life events, are filled with lessons about something we as people of faith have stopped discussing in an increasingly distracted secular world – that evil is real.

Here are a few other lessons from supernatural horror films:

  1. Exorcisms are also real.  Although incredibly rare, people can get possessed by evil.  “The Exorcist” is based on a real-life possession of a young boy, and “Annabelle: Creation” is about a possessed girl.  
  2. God will always defeat evil.  No matter how powerful the enemy may be, God will always come out on top.  In the Bible, one of the most powerful miracles that Jesus performed was The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine in which Jesus cast unclean spirits out of a man.  In real-life and in all supernatural films that have a faith message including “The Conjuring” and “The Rite,” evil will always be vanquished.
  3. Ouija Boards are a big no.  Perhaps one of the strongest and most valuable lessons to come from supernatural horror movies (which just as true in real life) is that those who become plagued or possessed by evil may have inadvertently invited those spirits or demon to come into their lives.  This is done through certain “gateways” that many priests and Christian leaders warn us about.  Christians, especially Christian parents must teach kids and teens to stay away from Ouija boards, tarot cards, fortune telling, or any sort divination.  These are all means in which evil can take hold of our lives.  In the second “Conjuring” movie the character becomes possessed after playing with a Ouija board.  This was based on a true person and event.

 

  1. Prayer is the most powerful thing in the world.  Prayers protect and deliver us from evil.  In horror movies, those who are plagued by evil must often turn to a person of great faith or priest to help them.  That Christian leader is always portrayed as someone who believes prayer to be of utmost importance and is shown onscreen praying to God throughout the film.
  2. Faith is the most important thing in the world.  Believing in God and being baptized in the Christian community protects and strengthens us.  It is a natural defense again evil.  In times of weakness, we must lean on our faith and turn to God.  The upcoming movie, “Annabelle: Creation,” is a cautionary tale that depicts what happens when one turns away from God and succumbs to temptation during a period of grief and weakness as opposed to leaning on God for grace and healing.  

All movies, including horror movies tell stories.  In the last century, before we had television and films, parents told stories and tales that were meant to alarm and even frighten children and youth from a certain place or course of action.

Now these stories, meant to be lessons, are brought to life onscreen, complete with sound effects and make-up.  They are terrifying and they should be – evil is something to stay away from.  But for Christians, there is a stronger message, one that should always comfort and strengthen us – that we have a savior and that he will always come to protect and fight for those of us in need.

beautiful, books, chronic illness, confession, entertainment, fibro, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, self care, travel

hey, hey, it’s the weekend…

The weekend is here, (Hurrah!) and I feel like, as of late, everyone has been heading to the mountains but me. It isn’t that I love the mountains more than anyone else, just that my soul is a little jealous…

Friday came and went, this week. Having Chw out-of-town with a weird schedule, and a couple of fibro flare up days, I found myself a bit behind. Thanks to my beautiful people though, I received half a dozen inquiries asking where my friday five post was. Is that what we’re calling it? ok then… You asked-

1.) I took a Tai Chi class earlier this week. It was amazing on so many levels and helped me address issues in a few key problem areas within my body. (Full discloser, I did follow a yoga class with it, back to back, which likely helped.) I went in a skeptic and with one session it won me over.

2.) A fellow K-drama loving friend (and AWESOME writer) got me turned on the series Goblin. It is unlike any K-drama I’ve watched before. Confusing at first, and now so compelling.

3.) I am reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and loving it. Really great read and I highly recommend it!

4.) Yesterday evening felt like Autumn. I had all of my windows wide open, breeze blowing my curtains. The air felt AMAZING and I just sat there wrapped in a blanket, watching Goblin and waiting for Chw to make it back to town. It was pretty perfect! I do hope, however, that this does NOT mean we are going to have an early/harsher winter.

5.) Day dreaming about vacationing here. Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Chw and I have talked about it more than once, and I’m not kidding when I say it randomly enters my mind at unexpected times throughout the day. We are just under two years away from our 25th anniversary. Maybe this will be our destination getaway? (perhaps once the change jar equals a puppy we can turn it from Project Puppy to Project Mexico???)

So there you have it… What would you like to share about the week behind us?

beautiful, creative, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, writing

why hello there, August…

While I wish that my August was going to include some amazing beach time, I know someone out there will sink their toes in sand this month and I will practice being happy for them. (and count the days until I’m doing the same, 10 months from now!)

In questing to be more intentional, I like to keep a little list here of goals I have for the month ahead. I really love the emails and interaction I have with you about your hopes and plans, as well! What are your August hopes/plans?

Home:

  • make jam.
  • can peaches so that I can make my grandmother’s amazing Peach Cobbler as the weather turns cool.
  • Finish sorting out our garage.
  • Cook with my instant pot more.
  • Learn to mix four new cocktails.

Health:

  • Begin a Tai Chi class, for peace and balance.
  • Meet with a personal trainer to reassess the current state of things, where my health and body are concerned.
  • Go hiking at least 6 times, before month’s end.
  • feel happier with my strength, what I’ve accomplished and what the scale reads, than I am today…
  • Practice yoga weekly

Marriage:

  • spend as much time with my husband as possible, before he hits a heavy travel season.
  • bike rides and picnics.
  • Have intentional dates, with a dress and everything.
  • Go dancing.
  • Taco fest! <3
  • the drive-in before summer ends.

Creative:

  • Not only read this book, but spend my August putting Dear Stranger letters into practice.
  • Shoot a photo series.
  • Write a collective 40,000 words.

Personal:

  • Read Chasing Slow
  • Establish a new quiet time routine.
  • Get lost in one more good summer novel. (suggestions?)
  • This book will FINALLY be available! (i LOVE Flow! i just wish the magazine was more accessible here in the states!)
  • Have coffee with a new friend.
  • Step out of my comfort zone in a social setting.