Monday, July 28, 2008

A Few Reviews

In keeping with the theme of musicals, let me recommend the movie Once, but only if it doesn't bother you that the main characters don't have names and the story is really all about the music and not really the story. Having said that, the music is great. (a new obsession of sorts, as I'm trying to learn the songs on the guitar) I can't believe I accidentally stumbled upon this movie recently and no one bothered to tell me about it earlier.

Another movie I accidentally found (the same day as Once actually) is The Namesake. It's about an Indian family in New York, especially the son Gogol as he tried to balance his parents culture with his American life. Nikolai Gogol is a Russian author of a famous short story The Overcoat, which is also a main theme of the movie. I enjoyed the movie so much, I thought I should read The Overcoat, thinking perhaps it might add even more insight into the movie. (I am fully aware it's a little odd) In case you decided to see this movie (which if you like a good clean drama, you should) let me spare you from then going to research this story. DON'T. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense; it's one of those deeply philosophical metaphoric stories, and because it's Russian, you actually have to read what the smart intellectuals say about it just to make any sense of the story... and by the time you've done all that, the charm of the movie is gone. So just watch the movie and enjoy it. I know that's what you were planning on doing anyway.

Finally, the review I've been wanting to write even before the book came out. Where the River Ends. READ IT!! This book has the potential to change the way you live and the way you love as you take a journey down the river right along side of Doss and Abbie. It's definitely emotional, but oh soooo worth it in the end. There were two parts that really jumped out and spoke to me. The first was at the very beginning, the moment I knew I was going to fall in love with this book.

"She lifted my chin again. 'Band-Aid, are you hearing me?' 'Why you call me that?' She pressed her forehead to mine. 'Cause you stick to me and you heal my hurts.'"

Then towards the end of novel. The words we would all do well to really understand and live.

"You don't have to be beautiful to be beautiful."

So if you're ready for an adventure, curl up with this book and let it take you to the place where the river ends.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not So Legally Blonde

I am obsessed with musicals and have been my whole life. Everything from the cool '40s movies, Gene Kelly, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (true musical lovers know this is one of the classics) to modern day movies and Broadway shows like Connie & Carla, HSM, Les Miz and Wicked. I will watch a million times, memorize the songs and sing them until everyone around me is sick of it.

My last obesssion was with Wicked. And I'm very excited because I finally get to take my sister to see it in a couple weeks. Since we've always shared a love for musicals, often staging our own, I finally get to share this one with her too.

But more recently, I fell in love with Legally Blonde.

Those that know me find such irony in this. See, I actually hated the movie. It's the whole pink, perky mentality.... not that it's bad, it's just not me. But there is something about the musical that transcends - that grabs a hold of me. I can't help it and I'm sucked in. It's the power of music. And I love it.

Even if pink isn't my signature color - there's still something to be said for being blonde.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Come check it out!

My really cool friend Lauren asked me to do a photo blog with her. Of course I said yes, even though she's a way better photographer than me. It's fun and helps us share our small portions of the universe with each other. Plus who doesn't like looking at cool photos!

It's called the space between overlapping differences. (I've also put a link on the sidebar) We decided to have rotating themes, so feel free to leave a comment if you've got a good idea for us or captions for the photos.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Need to breathe

I wonder if a study has ever been done on the relationship between good stories and breathing.

I've never really noticed it before this week. Perhaps it's because lately I've been discontent and desperate for some escape that I became conscious of this phenomenon.

This week, amidst all the hustle and bustle, the pressures and pains, the confusion and questions, I opened the pages of a brand new book... began to lose sense of the world around me. I took in a great big deep breath.... realizing I had been holding my breath all this time. Have you ever been in that place?

Sometimes life's rhythm is too monotonous and the story causes us to hold our breath. All to remind us that we are alive. We need air to survive and to not take it for granted.

Breathing is the flow of life. To be healthy, we must learn to inhale the elements that give us life, grow us and encourage us onward. Tandemly, exhaling all that doesn't. It is give and take; being filled up in order to pour out. Just maybe, one reason good stories remind us to breathe, is that they fill us with a newness and give a desire to share it with others.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The truth about love

I used to have a prayer group that met on Saturday mornings. There were 4 of us, bonded initially by a passion for missions work, but eventually by something much deeper. Our times were filled with sharing our hearts, funny stories, stupid moments, and on occasion deep hurts. Then we would go before the throne on behalf of each other. God was always faithful to meet us. It was a time I treasured.

One evening several years ago, I had these women over for a dinner party. Of course we took some pictures. Here's where I have to explain the pants I was wearing, because they became quite significant in the story. I have a pair of jeans that are covered in painted pictures and words regarding travel type things like the Eiffel tower, etc. So, we took a picture of us all crammed into my big reading chair.

I emailed the photo to each of my friends so we could use it to remember to pray for each other. Heather noticed something about the photo - in the corner where my knees were, in my totally cool jeans, it looked like it says "Angels of Love." In reality it was the words Los Angeles and Love that got squished together by the way I was sitting, but who cares. To us it said Angels of Love. And we dreamed big about what God might have brought us all together to accomplish some day.

And then, one of us dropped out. Nothing felt the same. We still met to pray, but the sense of someone missing was always there. And then another one was gone. And then it just ended. It's season had come and gone...

Last night, the 4 of us were together in the same place at the same time for the first time in years. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about what it would be like to all be together again. And for a short time I didn't even want to show up, but I did. And it was good. It was light and fun, we got caught up on each others lives. As the evening closed, we touched on the subject of friendships. The "leaf" people who come and go in seasons. The "thicker branches" you can lean on. And the "roots" who build you up and serve you in love.

As I got in my car to drive home, I left with this thought. True love is deep, deep down in the roots where you don't always see it.

Last night, perhaps my roots got some much needed watering.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where the River Ends

Today is my first official Friday off. I don't really have any great plans for the day until this evening when I go to child sit for 2 adorable little girls. I do plan on doing some reading. One of my favorite authors is Charles Martin and his new book Where the River Ends just came out. I'm very excited about going to get it! He's one of my favorite authors and if you haven't read any of his books, you should (i know most of you reading this already have, but just in case you've stumbled onto this blog I had to say it) Maybe when I'm done reading it, I'll write a review on it.

Starting this blog has been a journey of knowing what to write and what not to write. It still doesn't feel entirely comfortable to me. I want to be true to myself and be able to share the events in my life and the feelings I have about them. But in some cases that's hard to do when the situations involve other people. This morning, as I was contemplating what I may have to say today that would be "safe" to say in this place, God very gently reminded me of something. He said if you don't feel right about blogging it, then you probably shouldn't be saying it all. I think lately I have let my words and feelings run away without much consideration for those around me (all part of that selfish bubble). I don't want to live my life in that way. And to those of you who may have been affected by my words and attidtude recently, I apologize.

When I was young, I listened to Kids Praise albums (yes albums, and some cassette tapes). One of them was Charity Churchmouse and on it she learned the lesson of how dangerous our words can be. One of my favorite songs on it (based on Psalm 19:14) says "May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable to You." This is my prayer for this week; that I, that we, would learn to use our words in the right ways.

I was just about to publish this blog and I looked up at the title. I thought, what does this title have to do with talking about words. Maybe in the river of life, encouraging and truthful words will carry us through to the end with less of a rocky ride.

May your ride through today be smooth and refreshing for you and those around you.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

On This Night of a Thousand Stars

It's been a week of extremes, in an emotional sense I mean. Ever been so stuck inside your head, as you turn up the radio to drown out your thoughts, your thoughts just seem to proportionally get louder. That's the place I was in as this holiday weekend began. But I had things planned and it was going to be fun and all the stress would just fade away. YEAH RIGHT!

I couldn't relax, I was antsy and frustratable. Everything was negative. After rushing from one place to the next, I finally arrived in the middle of nowhere to watch some fireworks. The fireworks were good, but it was the stars that brought me back to earth. There were so many.... Not just the bright ones, but all the teeniest pinpricks of light that made the sky look a little fuzzy on a brilliantly clear night. It reminded me that God is so much bigger than my frustrations and my little selfish bubble I sometimes wrap myself up in. And He loves me regardless of it all.

Our plans might not work out the way we want and people may disappoint us; we can chose anger, resentment and rejection or we can look for God to do something bigger and better like show us a sky numbered with the thoughts He has for us.