Monday, February 20, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

The song is in my head...and started thinking of a few of my own favorite things!!

Downton Abbey

I, like most of America, have fallen head over heals in love with Downton Abbey. I can't put my finger quite on it...what makes us love this show so much?? Is it the clothes?? I do LOVE the clothes!! Is it the hair styles?? I am a woman; I do notice these things! Is it the love stories? *sigh, flutter eyelashes* Is it the scandals?? Who doesn't love those?? Is it the dynamics with the servants and the relations between servants and masters??

Yes to it all and so much more!!! I find myself excited beyond reason when a new episode has recorded and I am near tears knowing that right now the season finale is on my dvr. I want to watch it and yet I do not want to watch it because I know that is the end for MONTHS!! Why are British shows/seasons so SHORT!!!

The casting for this show is PERFECT, the setting is PERFECT, the story is PERFECT.

The Walking Dead

I know, without a DOUBT, that I should NOT like this show. A movie about people who die of an illness and than come back to life with only the urge to eat raw, fresh flesh. What part of that sounds entertaining?? NONE OF IT!!! It's's gives me nightmares..... So, why do I love it?? I DON'T KNOW!!!!

The main character, Rick, is appealing. He is cute (and I just found out he is British which makes him MORE appealing) and his character is GOOD!! He is just and genuine. This would be a hard quality to have in a world that is turned upside down. There is the character you just can't stand -- Shane -- who makes you angry each episode...makes you madder and madder with each passing moment. But that's it, right?? You get emotionally involved whether it be in anger or respect.

It has it's low points where I need to cover my eyes (zombie trying to get through broken glass...scraping off skin in the process) and other times where I have to make sure my finger is on fast forward (can be a bit overly sexual)...but otherwise, I love this show!!

BBC - Masterpiece Theater

I'm the butt of many jokes in my house!! I am in love with Masterpiece Theater!! With my Roku box came better access to instant watching opportunities. Between Netflix and Amazon, I have access to a LOT of content. Masterpiece Theater is a relative new venture for me and I am LOVING it. I especially love the period pieces...there are few that I have not loved. I could only list a few as I have seen so many in recent weeks, they almost blend together.

I loved "He Knew He Was Right"....LOVED it. It was about a man who thought his wife was having an affair...or was going to. He slowly went mad while she, who was in fact NOT EVEN CLOSE, tried hard to get him to understand. It was GREAT!!

I loved "Daniel Deronda". This is about a man who does not know who his father or mother were. He was raised by a gentleman and became a gentleman. In the end, he discovered he was really should watch it yourself.

There are SO many more. I am currently watching a series called Bramwell about a female doctor of the late 1800s in England...interesting perspective on today's medicine versus medicine of the past....I LOVE living in the 21st century!!

Classic Movies

Is there anything better than sitting down to a good, classic movie starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Doris Day, and the list goes on?? NO, there isn't. It gives me a greater appreciation of not only simpler times, but times when certain thing wasn't put on screen for the world to see.

I love a good, classic movie. I even love a fair, classic movie. I love the silliness of Doris Day....and dreamy eyes of Cary Grant....the clumsy way of Jimmy Stewart...the classic style of Katherine Hepburn. It just does NOT get any better!!

These are just a FEW of my favorite things. I pondered including The Walking it a show I should hide from the world. But, it is who I am. Well, it is an odd part of who I am. I am not a fan of gore and horror...this is an anomaly. I love a hodge podge of things...many more than what is listed here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Testimony

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 NIV

Tonight at church, Pastor Jeff was talking about praying for the lost and how important it was to be ready to speak about our own testimony. He encouraged us to write it down and I thought...what better place than RIGHT HERE!!

My life was one like so many others. I was raised in a kind of Christian home. My dad had me go to church when I was very young, but he would drop me off and pick me up. He had a conversion when I was about 8 or 9 and he began going to the church he had me going to. He decided to get us all baptized together into the Methodist Church. Soon after, he decided he didn't like the Methodist church so we changed to the First Baptist Church....where he decided to have us all baptized as a family (ok, so this was maybe not so typical). After awhile, he decided that Baptist wasn't for us either, so back to the Methodist we went until he finally decided that church wasn't for him (or us) and took to watching church from his recliner and left us to our own devices.

I quickly fell into a belief system that there just was no God. I did not see any evidence or influence, so it was easy to do. I lived life with little to no care of any religious influence declaring myself an atheist.........though, I honestly questioned my own belief in nothing. I chose to live life in the wild fast lane (doing things that would likely shock many people I now associate with). I always felt somewhat lost, but continued this lifestyle even into marriage.

And then, we got pregnant. My husband was a believer (though he was not living it out the way he should), but I was still unconvinced, though I found myself speaking out into the universe hoping someone or something would hear. Upon first getting pregnant, I was pretty upset. This signaled the end to a carefree life of partying. We had not even discussed becoming parents and what that would mean. It was a doomsday event for me.

As my baby grew within me, though, I started to feel things I have never felt before. A love blossomed in me that was unlike anything I have ever felt. I began to question God vs. no God. I began to evaluate deep down how life could be created inside of me and this great emotion could well up in me if I was just the evolution of an amoeba. It didn't seem possible. With every passing day, my love for this unborn child grew and grew and I found myself changing.

When she was born, the experience was unlike anything I have ever felt. The insincts of motherhood kicked in and I became that mother who protects and cares for her young. I would watch this baby for hours and wonder at her perfection...a blend of mommy and daddy....a picture of our love.

It was then that I realized that just as I could look at this baby and feel so much love and emotion, that I knew there was a God who looked at me with great love and emotion. I knew I had sinned....I was as messed up as the next guy......but I felt His power and love wash over me. It was supernatural and wonderful.

It was not by works that I was saved. It was by surender that I was saved. I surendered my life and became forever His. I am a true example of how one marked over in sin with what I thought to be permanent marker could be washed clean by the simple act of prayer and surrender.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I just got finished watching the movie "Courageous". I was a bit less than excited to see the movie, honestly. Sadly, Christian movies are made on limited, independent budgets so the production value is often less than stellar. Admitedly, the movies have been steadily getting better and better. "Courageous" definitely raised the bar for Christian was quite wonderful. It still had some issues in production value, but the meat, story, writing for the movie was significantly better and made it much easier to get over the minor flaws.

There were a couple things that really struck me about the movie. I know without any doubt how important the role of father is in a child's life. No question. I was struck by the man who had grown up without a father and his resolve to do better in his own life, largely due to his having had a mentor. I was especially touched by his visit to his father's grave. He stood at his father's grave and read a letter of forgiveness he had written to his father...forgiving him of abandoning him.

You see, I have the opposite issue. I was abandoned by my mother. Oh, she could try to justify her absense in my life by hiding behind a court ruling in my father's favor for custody, but that is no excuse for a father or a mother. For my whole life, I felt a hole or a trench where there was no mother. So many friends can call on their mothers in time of need or in times of just wanting to chat, or,at the very least, are able to conjur up memories of their mothers. I do not have any of that. My mother visited me once in my whole life. When I became an adult, I tried to find her to gain some semblance of a relationship with her. I did find her and was elated that I might finally have contact, but when I tried to call her again, she had her phone disconnected.

It is quite something to be abandoned by your own mother and, as a mother, I just cannot fathom it. How could one do that to their own child?? But, I have forgiven my mother. She made many bad choices in her life and her life was not easy. In many ways, I feel God was likely protecting me. She is dead (I found out a year or so after she had died) and so it is out of my hands as far as having a relationship with her...but I do know that the hole (or trench) that I carried for so long has long ago been filled. As the men in Courageous declared, it was time to break the bonds of the past and that is what I have been doing. I am a good mother and my kids have no doubt that I love them and would never abandon them.

The other thing that struck me about the movie was that for the most part, each of these dads were what would be considered even in the best circles as good dads. They were as good or better than the "average" dad, but they decided it wasn't good enough. Sadly, it did take a tragedy to bring this to light, but isn't that how God works sometimes?? It was interesting to see these good dads decide good wasn't good enough. I think this should be a mantra for all parents, moms and dads alike. Good is not good enough. We owe our kids better than good.

I resolve to fully give forgiveness to my mother, though she is not here to receive it. I also resolve to be better than good as a mom. My kids would say I was the best mommy ever...but where is the bar set in their eyes and is there a higher place to set it?? I think so.