True Love

February 21, 2012 in Love Stories

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the movies.

We never go out, so for us this was a major treat!
So we went to the movies, and we saw a chick-flick. Guess who got to pick the movie??
I won’t say which movie, because that is not the point of this post, but I will say,
It was terrible.
It did well at the box office.
It was the most shallow, uncomplicated, unrealistic romance movie I have ever seen. The plot was boring and the character development was…well, there really wasn’t any. They ( the people who wrote/produced the movie) are relying on the hope that most of the girls who bought tickets would be thoughless, love-hungry and very imaginative.
Which, proudly, I can say I’m only 1 out of those 3.
I sort of felt manipulated when I left. Like, I knew what they wanted me to do was go home and be dissatisfied that my man is not “that” man.
But really, which man is?
Tell you what real romance is…
Real romance, is my husband coming home at 5:00 (After I have had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, sick day) today with a bouquet of cold medicine, OJ, fresh oranges and a grapefruit, chocolate, and a baked chicken for supper.
That, my friends, is romantic.
Could you write a whole movie around it?
Maybe not.
But it sure made my poor, tired heart skip a beat.

Book Review: Lilies in Moonlight

February 20, 2012 in book review

Skeptic that I am, I just knew that this book was going to be nothing more than a simple, depth-less, unlikely tale of romantic do-goodery.
I am happy to say, I could not have been more wrong.
Lilies in Moonlight is clever, flirtatious, tasteful, and believable.
For two days, my beautiful children peered at me longingly over their oatmeal, while I reluctantly tore myself from the pages to answer their questions with absent, glazed-over eyes.
Set in the mid 1920′s, the story begins in a period of discontinuity and redefinition. With the chill of war still hanging in the air, disillusionment and fear are countered with rebellion and modern, progressive thinking. Springing forth from such a period is our protagonist, Lily Margolis, a beautiful, iconic “flapper” girl. Outwardly, Lily exudes confidence. She is free-thinking and independent, fun-loving and foolish. But in the hidden person of her heart, she is tormented, fearful, broken, and utterly lost. Through a series of events, she is met with her unlikely counterpart, Cullen Burnside, a war wounded, ex-professional baseball player. Together, they journey down the bumpy road of self-discovery. And love.
Though initially it would seem that this is a story about cat-eyes, rebellion, and mischief, the characters’ outer layers are peeled back with such tasteful timing, as to reveal much richer, much more satisfying themes, such as trust, forgiveness, restoration, and grace. I do regret that the author did not delve deeper into some of the theological applications of these themes; however, it is possible that her intention was to “plant the seed” so to speak, and allow the imagination room to wander.
Allison Pittman brings the 20′s to life in such a way that it’s possible to close your eyes and smell the buttery popcorn emanating from the busy, roaring, classic, early American baseball stadium. She paints an accurate picture of the feminist movement, simultaneously illuminating the destruction and devastation that result from living a scandalous, unregenerate lifestyle.
To use the catch phrase of the era, this book was the “bee’s knees”.
Just read it, and see for yourself. :)
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

A big Battle with little People

February 12, 2012 in Little People

Do you ever go to war with your children?
 
I do.
 
This week has been a battle of control.
 
 
 
A losing battle for all parties. My children have sensed weakness in me. They know when I am tired and overwhelmed, and they push the boundaries. They see how far they can make me bend before I snap…and snapping is inevitable at this pace. And also unGodly.
 
Ahh the great conundrum.
 
(And to all you young, hipster, postmodern mommies who are thinking, “Um, you really shouldn’t try to control your children. They aren’t objects.” –this is what I have to say to you….ha hA HA HA HA HA. Sorry. But no, really. HA HA.
 
Onward–
 
So I think I have developed, or picked up, a few strategies that are helpful. I thought I would share.
 
At the point in the battle when you feel you have lost all control, your children have stopped responding, you feel overwhelmed and defeated…
 
1. Pray. This is a battle you cannot win. Go to the throne of grace and beg for God’s mercy. You are unable, but He is able! And remember, your actions are not reactions to your children’s unholiness, but a reaction to the Gospel. You are capable of training and discipling your children by the power of the Spirit who is at work within you. Call out to Him for help- it is your greatest asset!
 
2. Facilitate an outlet. Are you stir crazy? They probably are too! This would be a great time to take them to a park or let them romp in your backyard. You don’t have to stay indoors and watch while they tear down the walls brick by brick. Get them out of the house and into a place where they can be crazy and destructive. Let them play in the mud and cake it over every surface of their tiny bodies…sometimes that is healthy. I mean, grown women pay to have mud spread all over their faces. That stress-releasing-tradition started somewhere, right? Sometimes I even take my 5 year old outside and make her run laps. Sounds mean, but she actually loves it. And when she comes back inside, she has run all her crazy out.
 
3. Divide and Conquer. Do you have more than 1 tiny person? Because I do. And let me tell you, there is strength in numbers. Separate the tiny people, and you weaken them. Did you know…it is okay to ask your child to spend time alone? For a long time, I had a very unrealistic sense of guilt for asking my children to spend time away from me. That is absurd. Put one child in his/her room for 30 minutes and let one play in the living room. Then switch. If you have time, spend some one on one time with each child- reading, coloring, playing with play dough…this might be a good stress relief for you too! Or ask them to play separately and alone. This is not child neglect. It is good for them to learn independent play!
 
4. Rethink your House Rules.
(This is advice from my husband-picked up from the Desiring God conference) Your job as a parent is not to make your children conform to the law, but to love the law. Is your house a house full of yes’s? Or No’s? Do you feel like you are punishing your children for everything that they do? Maybe it is time to rethink your house rules. Your house should be a house full of yes’s. This allows you to discipline less, but be firm when you do have to discipline. Think of the garden of Eden. Everything was there for their pleasure, with the exception of one tree. And that tree had serious consequences–death. (This is not me endorsing Capitol punishment for your children.) You can see that our God is a God who delights in our pleasure. He has bestowed on us blessing after blessing, so we as parents should delight in bringing our children happiness. Let them be children. Without giving away your authority, limit the scope of the law to a point that they can begin loving it. Once they appreciate the law’s boundaries, you can expand the boundaries with them as they grow. This will probably mean channeling your own creativity to provide them with things to do–in other words, more yes’s.
 
Hopefully these strategies will be helpful for you as you fight for the control of your household.
 
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the things to come.” Proverbs 31:25
 
Do you veterans have any additional strategies that might be helpful to those of us who are still in the trenches? If so, please share!