Monday, August 31, 2015

The Theory of Everything. Indeed.

I know i'm late to the game on this one. The Theory of Everything was up for many awards last year and, as you might recall, Eddie Redmayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor.  Rightly so, I was moved to tears several times by his portrayal of Steven Hawking. 

If you haven't seen the movie, please go watch it and then come back to this. Because I'm going to spoil it as I talk through some of the themes which I found disturbing.  Not in a gory sense. In a soul-punching sense, I guess. 

The movie is portrayed through the lens of his wife Jane, who would painstakingly believe in her husband through much of the film--truly against the odds-- and care for him as his diseased progressed. They had children throughout, which felt redeeming in the midst of disease. I found it painfully beautiful, if I can simplify it greatly. To see one human care for another human through a disease is, perhaps to see the face of God. To see children come out of hardship felt like good gifts from a good Father. And I liked this part in an odd sense. I think it's what we all wish for, to have the marriage that can withstand those kinds of hits.

But then it turned into a place I didn't see coming.

As Jane becomes tired from caring for her husband (and of course she becomes tired beyond exhaustion), she finds relief in another man who helps her with the daily care of Steven and the 3 children. They have an affair. 
I hate that it was a part of the story, because it's part of my story, but mostly because everyone is thinking, Well of course she had an affair… I mean, who wouldn't in that situation. 
I found myself thinking it and cringed. When is having an affair ever ok? 

It didn't satisfy her.  And it didn't satisfy the audience either. We all knew it promised freedom and brought shackles of guilt as Steven becomes ill and goes into a coma.  He went into the hospital that night and she went into another man's tent, quite literally, at a campout. It was brutal. We all wanted her by Steven's side. We all wanted it to be a forever love like it seemed at the beginning when she saw the disease and still chose him. 

Even when she ends her affair and comes back to Steven, everything is tainted. I got the sense that Steven always knew of her affections to the other man, and said nothing. Because perhaps he thought the same thing as everyone watching, she deserves to be happy now after all this.  Then, in a twist of events, Steven and his new caregiver fall in love over the span of time and eventually, he and Jane, that marriage that had been through so much, ends. Quite abruptly. 

I cried. I cried because I wanted to believe that because they had been through so many hard things, and managed to come out on the other side, they would make it forever.  It shook me in my soul. I think because deep, down in there, I believe that because of the hard things we've been through in or own marriage, it's a guarantee for us. That we'll always make it. 

And it's just not how things are. Like Jane, I tend to put my hope in a man, in the children we've made, and sometimes in an institution, like marriage.  It is sinking sand.  There is no guarantee that even with much self sacrifice, I get a free pass to a good marriage that goes on until we are released by death. 
There's only one place where my hopes will not be disappointed-- and that is in the person of Christ. God, I know these words.  But the light of this movie shined somewhere in a dark corner of my heart involving hope placed somewhere it should not be. 

At the end of the movie, Steven Hawking never makes peace with God, unfortunately. Although he is looking for it throughout the movie, at the end, he gives some sort of feel good answer about the universe and never giving up-- as if he made it past his 2 years to live death sentence on his own accord.  He was searching for one simple equation to explain the universe, The theory of Everything. And although it is presented several times plainly throughout the movie, He rejects the idea that God is the great Answer.  He would rather search, than see. And so he keeps searching, in the form of women, or formula's, or accolades, or ideas, or his children. 

It was utterly depressing. 
And Exposing, more so.  I don't know what else to say, but I have thought about it all morning.  For the bright light shined in my heart,  I am thankful. So no, I don't have a tidy bow for this post. Only that we might all ask God to expose the places in our hearts where we are looking for salvation outside of Him. And that we might repent and turn away so that we are spared ultimate disappointment in the form never knowing that Christ is the answer to our deepest question and deepest disease.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blame the English teachers.

Ah, yes. Blogging. There you are. Always waiting and so trusty. Blogging is different than instagram and facebook and, certainly different than twitter.  These are where words are penned to figurative paper.  I think ideas are made and kept here and so that's why I won't stop blogging, probably ever. Even though a younger generation doesn't understand why these blogs really exist.  I'll tell you a secret: Because Ideas are more than a picture of yourself asking for likes, young chickens.

I digress. As you may notice, I am using capital letters, and for that, we can mark the ending of an era. I have had to practice to make capitals at the beginning of my sentences because, apparently, when you write a book, people like it to be grammatically correct and proper so they can know what's going on in your brain. The order is soothing and comfortable and as much as I've pushed back on it, I can see why some of it is necessary.  This is a previous English teacher speaking, so don't tell anyone I cared more about the kid's ideas and flow more than I cared about their capitals and proper spelling.  Getting an idea across in a relatable, convincing manner is something that has been lost.  Just look at your Facebook and you'll understand. People unable to communicate civilly and logically--which I attribute directly to their high school English teachers, who teach "Communication Arts" or the Art of communication?  But really slam punctuation and grammar down throats without teaching simultaneously that thoughtfully(i.e. convincingly) communicating ideas, and while listening intently to other's ideas (thus forming an educated opinion), is the number one human skill ever in the universe times infinity.

Unlike the Pythagorean theorem, in which I can not spell correctly for the life of me(prayer emoji hands for spellcheck), communicating ideas is a life skill that will actually be helpful, say, at the coffee shop or on snap chat. Wait. But you get the point.

I keep digressing. However, I haven't been on here for in forevs, so I have a lot of words all cooped up.
(But you just used the words FOREVS and you sound stupid! To that, I say, Your mom sounds stupid. )

So I'm changing. Like I have done lots of times on this blog.  You will have, by now, seen me flutter between different ideas and thoughts and styles of writing and clothing. If you've stayed with me for any number years, you've watched me grow up on this blog.  A lot can happen between 7 or so years. I am happy to say that I am not the same person I was those years back and I can look forward and predict that I will continue this trajectory of change.  I like having a soft heart, unlike my previous self. I don't know if it comes from the gospel or if it comes from age--or perhaps it is the beauty of the gospel in aging. Both in body and Spirit. I have made peace with myself physically in many regards(I will admit freely that more work needs to happen in this department) and congruently, I don't need to have all the answers anymore. I don't need to change people's hearts.  Oh the freedom there. For writers and mothers and wives and teachers and neighbors and sisters and co-workers.  I can simply, enjoy you and your crazy idea without taking it personally and wanting to send hate emojis to your inbox.
(here is a picture of me being 33)

The 30's have been good to me in this way.  Sure, my body is fluffy and saggy in many-a-place. My mind is sharper than it's ever been though, and I'm even using capital letters in writing!(sarcastic exclamatory, by the way). I guess none of it matters though when your identity arrows tell you not to find value in those items, which surely all go away in some regard as one ages.  Again, there's a lot of freedom in that. To live out today and try and Glorify Christ and Enjoy Him Forever --as we tell each other catechism style in this house, on the daily. Some days I robotically say it and other days it throws me into waves of grace changing me and freeing me to do such things as overuse parenthetical remarks in a blog post. Or being kind to people. Both have value.

I don't know why I came here to say all that, but I needed to start writing here again. Just casually, with no pressure of a topic and I figured you guys would get that. I mean, if you're here still, then you are considered a friend that has some "seen some things" but doesn't let it keep us from our internet friendship. Made myself laugh…sounds all craigslist.

And with that, I'll talk to you all soon.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Everyday Grace.

I love that Jess Thompson titled her book on relationships Everyday Grace, not every week grace. Or every couple of months grace. Is it just me or does every day feel like I need Christ more and more by the second as I interact with people.  People are the worst, I always say, and that's because we are sinners interacting with sinners all the live long day.  We are bound to place unrealistic expectation on one another and also, we are bound to hurt and be hurt by each other. What is the solution then? 
So. Lets read a little condensed version of a chapter about friendships and how the Gospel intersects them.

 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Have you ever experienced the awkwardness of meeting someone you really enjoy and thinking that it was the start of beautiful friendship, only to find out that they didn’t feel the same way? I’ll be honest, that is one of my biggest fears. I hate to be vulnerable and put my heart out there not knowing if my feelings will be returned. I want to make absolutely sure that the friendship is reciprocated before I ever let my real feelings be known. Initiating a relationship is a very scary place to be.
I was thinking about this the other day, when, all of a sudden, John 15:15 came crashing into my thoughts. Jesus does the very thing that I am so afraid of doing. He tells us, you and me, that he calls us “friend.” It almost seems like that can’t be right. I can understand God calling me his child, or his servant…but to call me his friend? He begins our relationship by calling me “friend.” I don’t do anything to deserve or earn this friendship.
He doesn’t invite us into friendship and then keep us at arms length. He tells us that he wants to share everything he knows from the Father with us. He invites us in completely, with no hesitation, no conditions, no judgments; just pure welcome. Fellowship and relationship with God is the ultimate goal of Christianity. This relationship is not something we can do; it is something that has happened to us.
What we deserve, at the very best, is to be called a servant. This was what the prodigal son asked for. He wanted to prove himself, to work for a relationship. Our God, like the father of the prodigal, will have nothing to do with that. When we come face-to-face with what we are, it feels like too much to even ask God — our Heavenly Father — if we can be a servant! The heart of the Father is to offer us something much better: “I don’t want you as servants. I call you friends.”
The lovely truth about dwelling on his proclamation of “friend” over me is that it frees me up to be a true friend to those around me. No longer am I looking to get into the “in” crowd; one such as Jesus has called me his friend! No longer do I have to wonder if others reciprocate my feelings; Jesus has loved me eternally even when I don’t love Him in return! No longer do I need to worry about whether or not a friend is meeting my needs; Jesus is truly all the friend I need! No longer do I have to demand that my friends are always available to walk me through a situation; Jesus never leaves my side! No longer do I have to make others prove that they’re worthy of my love; when I was unlovely and unworthy God initiated and sustains a relationship with me.
My savior has proved his love for and friendship to me by laying down his life for me. This opens up my heart and allows me to lay down my life for others. He has loved me when I don’t deserve it, even when I forget him. This changes my friendships; I can love even when I don’t feel like I am being treated the way I deserve.
Beloved friends of Christ, may we never forget that all of the love and acceptance that we look for in each other can be found only in the arms of Christ. His arms, once out-stretched on the cross for us, remain out-stretched, but now, reach toward us.---Jessica Thompson

You can grab this new book, Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesuson amazon right now!!

If you'd like a chance to win this book, please leave a comment! we'll pick a winner next week…

WINNER PICKED Dinah Childress!!! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

come-uh come-uh come-uh chameleeeonnnnn

It is day three of husband being out of town and Lord help me, single mom's deserve more than a million dollars + all the donuts + gin and juices on tap.

I stepped in puke on the way up the stairs today while bringing the sick child up to bed tonight. It was clean puke. You know the kind where you have wiped it up, sprayed it down, scrubbed it and it still leaves a spot? In my zeal, I over-sprayed, so it will be wet for the next two years at least.  On the way down, I told myself to miss that step, only I had miss counted the steps and still managed to step in it again. I asked myself and the Lord why I even got a runner for the stairs when the kids are still so little and the Lord was like, these and other questions will be answered at the Pearly Gates. God has jokes, guys.

I came down stairs to pick up a second child to put them to bed, who was wining loudly and clinging, and Pruett , who has yet to crawl, was on all fours crawling unsteadily backwards. American idol's obnoxious jingle was playing in the background and I watched my last baby crawl (the wrong direction) in the midst of bedtime chaos.

I have been thinking a lot about how I want my life to be and how it is not that. I tell myself throughout the day what should have happened and what this or that should look like by now.
all day long.

You should mother better. 
You should not have the stomach pooch by now. With the other babies that was already gone. 
You should probably be eating something other than carbs for breakfast. like a green smoothie. 
You should have said this to that person instead of ----. Sorta screwed that up. 
You shouldhave written more today. You had a couple minutes to spare. 
You should talk to Layne more about his day. He's going to resent you.

I literally do not shut up to myself all damn day.

All the other kids were in bed and it was just me and Pruett on the carpet.  I'm laying there with him watching him scoot and play with a non-children's paperback book and Boy George is in the background talking to the performers with cliche advice, I guess I would just say, Enjoy what's happening.
then me in response, chiming in:
I should do that. 

And I can't. I don't know how, Boy George. I can not, for the life of me, find the magical unicorn that is "balance". Basically, at the end of the day, I feel pretty bad about myself after all the not matching up to my expectations. I mean, there's no way to fancy this up with eloquent words and there's no way to fix my self worth with tired clich├ęs that no one can actually do. unless. well, unless, in a dusting of God's grace, He gifts you with maybe a strong margarita and a glorious moment of clarity where you see how good the thing in front of you really, really is.  I hate that we act like we are living some glorious full life of constant Be Here Now. We just fail so hard and deep down, we all know we're pretenders that yearn to love the moments in front of us.

I want to just cry admitting that. It's like staring at sophomore self in the mirror and seeing a huge zit on picture day. This isn't how I wanted it to go. I wanted to look better.  I planned it differently and I have this incredible blouse with a matching scrunci from the limited to prove it.

Speaking of high school me, I'm writing/procrastinating this talk for some young gals on "beauty" and I am learning how much I am still my insecure, zit face self hiding under something I think might make me prettier.  I know the truth though, I only want to be gorgeous but I am not. I want to be popular but I am not. Except for my senior year when I got boobs and legs, but I digress. I want to be something other than what I am because I know that looking a certain way brings me value.

I have thought about it a lot today.  That God's love for me is based on him seeing my ugliness and still choosing me. That because of Jesus, I am beautiful. That under all the crushing expectations that I don't meet, christian ones and worldly ones, God chose me wether I have the pretty life or pretty face or pretty morals I've wanted and tried for in my short breath of a life.

He loves me and that makes me beautiful, not the other way around-- not, I am beautiful so He loves me. Not, I have it together, so He loves me. The truth is, I am stuck and dirty and ugly, and He loves me.  Basically, that's kind of a game changer. Am I really 33 and just now learning about self worth as I walk up puke stairs and listen to come-uh come-uh come-uh chameleeeonnnnn but hear the Gospel? I laugh.  Of course, I am.
Grace probably dusts the unpleasant moments of life more than we think.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

writing and stuff.

oh hai.

ya. i know. i've been all quiet on the blog. i sometimes wonder if blogs are a thing of the past because of instagram and twitter and all the other quick things we have that keep us in touch.

but i know blogs are good for one thing -and that's writing. sometimes i write blogstagrams because it's more convenient. but this space is where i actually learned how to write. i didn't have to worry about capitalizing things and saying words all pretty. i didn't have to reference a thesaurus to find a bigger better word for what i was trying to say…i just wrote. i love that quote by ernest hemingway:

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

I think there's a lot of flowery christian writing out there and it's popular. so sometimes it crosses my mind that i should be more THAT. but i can't. and i won't. it's not my voice and it's not for me. 

i learned that here in this space. i had a unique voice and i didn't need to write like i learned how to in college or how i felt pulled by popular styles.  i would just start writing and the strangest things that had been sitting around in my soul would just fall out. I would re read that black on white and i think, i can't believe that was in there. i guess the internets would say i am a verbal processor and writing allowed me to take a moment to think about something other than whatever i was knee deep in for that life stage. i was a mom, covered in spit up and was wiping behinds for the better part of the day but i had things to say.  i was learning about life and God and things really hurt me and really encouraged me and i needed some place to put those thoughts.  I wanted the theology discussions and chatter but felt like it was a man's world, with resources geared towards men (think: crafting at MOPS as opposed to men's hefty theological book study at 6 am in the morning).

(please enjoy pruett's eyeline in the first picture. whatcha' looking' at buddy?)

and so i wrote. i was in there and i had things to say and things to think about and i liked discussing it with women in my same life stage. ( 'member when we used to comment on blogs? hashtag takes too much time.)

and i'm so very glad that i did.  the past me preaches to the present me. the past me tells me how much i've changed and grown. the past me helps this me remember that life is always changing and it's best not to hold tight to rigid judgements and ungraceful words. i did that all on the internet in front of people and i fell down and got up and did those things 100 more times. it was and is so good to be a blogger in this day and age, i don't care what anyone says.

now, i've moved in a new direction.  i am writing a book. a real long book. not essays, like my natural leaning. it's more of a marriage memoir and it is challenging me so much. i hate being challenged. ugh. but the uncomfortable is where i grow the most and where some of (read: ALL OF)my richest life experiences have taken place. so i'm trusting the process.

i may get picked up by a publisher and i may just self publish. who even knows at this point.  book-type people are looking at some chapters and it makes me very nervous. it's one thing to write something and hit publish. it's another to write your heart and soul and hear, this isn't for us. or can you change this this and this? or  this is too bold for christian marketing. 

i have time to figure this all out because i'm not even stinking halfway through. but. i just thought if i keep saying that i'm going to do it, i will have to just do it. because i told you i would. and a lot of the days, i just want to quit because it's a hard story. it's not a funny story. and i would much rather be funny than serious. but alas, for now, these are the words that need to be penned. it's a good story where everything that was broken and dead gets new life again. and those are the stories i can read over and over again.

with that said. will you all pray for me? to not be discouraged and to keep walking ahead in sometimes what feels like a really dimly lit path.
and just thank you for sticking with me all these years. i know i'm not your typical blogger with a schedule and all that. but it means the world to me. i feel like a lot of us have grown up together. or something deep. but haven't we a little?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

our house on design sponge

our house is on design sponge if you want to pop over there and see it!

you can see my craft room here 

if you want to see the kitchen redo, you can go here

the dining room before and after is here

our entry way how to is here

Thursday, February 5, 2015


and the winner of the single mom giveaway is…

YOUR MOM. jay kay.

ERIN HISER!! you win the craziness.

all you ladies were amazing and i wish this could have gone to every single one of you.