Monday, December 31, 2007
It started off with my second semester of being a third grade/ French teacher. God saw me through my first year teaching. He gave me wisdom for dealing with difficult issues that would come up. And just to prove He actually cares about what you care about He gave me a special blessing.
I love drama. After all I spent three year getting a degree in it, but I thought I was going to have to give drama up entirely because of my teaching schedule. But He allowed me to be the makeup director for the Trinitas School production of "Alice in Wonderland." It is true that I had no idea what I had let myself in for, but I learned face painting (which was the director's vision and which I had never done before) quickly and we ended up with a blessed production. pictures here
But the Lord wasn't finished allowing me to continue with drama. A week and a half after school was let out, I went to the Masterwork Festival as a theatre student. We did the play The Crucible and the Lord used that to bless me and others in the community as well.
Then, if that weren't enough in one year, we (Shannon was a costume intern at MWF and our parents came to pick us up at MWF) left for Philadelphia where we caught a plane to take us on a three week tour of England. We had live there 13 years ago and as a graduation gift for Shannon and I, we were able to go back. I won't bother telling you everywhere we went for the simple reason that Shannon has already put together and amazing traveblog here . But beware, there are over 400 pictures on the site. You have been warned! :-)
But yet again, the Lord wasn't finished blessing me. We came back to the states and I found out I didn't have a job. The Lord used that to give me what I've always wanted: to be at home. I have been able to develope more skills as a homemaker. I have been able to sew more of my clothes. I have been able to practice homeschooling with the family I babysit for. I have been able to practice a little more with tutoring. And I have been able to start a Public Speaking class and train the next generation to be articulate witnesses for Christ. All those blessing came directly from the Lord.
Now this year is closing and I look back at everything the Lord has allowed me and my family to do this year and I think, "Wow, Lord, I think this was the best year of my life!" And I can almost hear Him say, "You think so? Just wait till next year." :-)
Through my whole life He has shown me that He knows exactly what is best for me and when. Each year has been the best year, because God has accomplished His will in it. Even the years that have been hard, have also been the best because of His love, goodness, and mercy (sometimes severe love, severe goodness, and severe mercy, but love, goodness, and mercy just the same.)
I pray that this coming year will be one full of hopes and dreams and growing in grace.
It's written by Isaac Botkins, a young man who is in the film industry himself. He has written this book to encourage and guide young filmmakers through the process of making a film.
He starts at the very beginning, which is, after all, a very good place the start. He makes the case that we, as Christians need to not help Hollywood in its paganness, but we need to set up an independent industry that will rival and ultimately win out over Hollywood.
In order to be an independent filmmaker, Isaac says, you need to be firmly ground in your faith. The entertainment industry is a place where if you are not constantly examining God's Word and creating a deeper relationship with Him, you will be steamrolled. Hollywood in particular will attack any weak spot you may have in your spiritual armour. To add you what Isaac has said, I also believe that to be involved in the arts and entertainment area, you need to be specifically called to it. As my acting teacher at school said, "If there's anything else that you can do, do it. Only those who are specifically called to be an actor, should do this."*
Once Isaac has established the need to be a strong Christian, he outlines how Hollywood began and how it has slid down the slippery slope to where it is today. I literally stayed up until almost 2:00 am one night reading about this decline. It's horrific. While in the beginning, it was moral industry with its self-imposed laws to govern itself, non-Christians then recognized the power of media and designed it to be used to fulfill selfish ends. They tore down the standards that were already in place and opened it up to all kinds of immorality, blasphemy, and unnecessary violence.
Now that the author has you thoroughly convince of the need for being "Outside Hollywood", he begins to teach about the steps that need to be taken.
He starts with the screenplay, afterall, if you have a resourceful producer, an incredible director, amazing crew, and show-stopping actors, but no story, the show will fail. I really enjoyed this part of the book very much. I love writing and am working at developing this love into something I can do from home. Isaac's description of what makes a good story, with the wonderful examples he gives, has spurred me to go back to the plot outlines I have and make sure they are set up to tell a great story.
That's as far as I've gotten. He goes on to talk about how to produce, direct, and some other things. It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. Even if you just read it to find out more about Hollywood, it would be worth it. You can find it at Vision Forum.
*Just to be clear, I do feel that God has given me certain abilities that, by my own shortsightedness, I believe can be used in the entertainment industries. However, my "high calling" in life is to be a wife and mother and support my husband in whatever God has called him to do.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
My dad used this passage in a sermon a couple of weeks ago. It immediately brought to mind a quote from The Magician's Nephew.
Digory, Polly, the cabby, the horse, the White Witch, and Uncle Andrew have landed in a Narnia that hasn't been "sung" into life yet. They watch Aslan bring all the creatures, vegetation, and landscape into being with his song. Uncle Andrew refuses to believe that the lion is actually singing, although it's obvious from the beginning. Lewis comments and says:
"Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."
Uncle Andrew manages to convince himself that Aslan can't sing and the animals can't speak. Which reminds me of the verse at the beginning.
God created all of us. God has shown Himself in everything around us, and yet, fools may convince themselves that there is no God. They are making themselves to be stupider than they really are and, unfortunately, as Lewis points out: "that [they] very often succeed." Fools usually succeed in their quest to be rid of God, but not to any benefit to themselve, in fact, quite the opposite.
How glad I am, that God chose to not let me be a fool, but to allow me to see Him for Who He is: Our Lord and Savior and our GOD.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
We made sure we were at the move in plenty of time. In fact we were so early, we were the first ones in the theatre. We chose our seats. (The best seats for stadium seating is about about five or six rows up in the centre.;-) Then we sat back to watch the movie.
First we had to get through the trailers. That's never fun. Although we saw a couple that were interesting to us. First the new Pixar trailer was one. Hmmm, from the trailer, I couldn't figure out what that was about. But then was the trailer I was hoping they were going to show: Prince Caspian. I'd seen on my computer screen, but the big screen was even better. Yes, I know they've changed some major points, but I have chosen to view books and any movies based on books as two totally different identities. Anyhoo....back to National Treasure.
I'm sorry to say that they whole movie was a disappointment. The biggest of all being that Abigail and Ben had been living together while not married and are now breaking up. The story line was weak. Overall, it just felt like a sequal. There was a lot of action, a lot of puzzle solving, but it wasn't as intriguing as the last one. They relied so heavily on the character developement from the last movie, that it was completely gone from this one. Instead of redefining each character, they just assumed you knew all about them and moved on. It is my personal opinion that you must have character developement, even if the movie is a sequal.
Oh, and Ben still hasn't stopped breaking the law. He purposefully starts a fight with Abigail at Buckingham Palace so he can sneak into the Queen's study to look at her desk. (I know it sound like there's no correlation, but there is.) He also kidnaps the president. Yes, Ben Gates kidnaps the President of the United States of America, and yet again, he is allowed to get away with it.
At the very end, they lead you to believe that there will be another sequal. There is a page in the President's secret book, (The Book of Secrets), that the President wants Ben to investigate.
I don't know that I will go to see the next one. Or at the very least, I will read many reviews from people I trust before I go.
That said, I'm very grateful to my father for giving up a weekend of fishing and football to take us to the movies!
Monday, December 10, 2007
The point was made that there is a difference between "being nice" and "kindness." Being nice is something that you can do on the outside, and won't cost you much, if anything.
On the other hand, kindness is motivated from the heart. Kindness is an attitude as much as actions. And being kind will usually cost you something: time, money, talent, etc.
Over the last few days, I've been examining what I do and deciding whether I'm being "nice" or "kind." May the Lord bless my endeavors to be truly kind to those around me.
However, I know the Lord has a purpose in everything. I knew I was going to need to do something this year. I received my bachelor of arts in speech communication. So I decided to start a public speaking class for homeschoolers. After a rocky start (I only got back into America from England three weeks before it was to start), we had a wonderful class.
There were only two students, but I really enjoyed teaching them.
Tonight was their "performance" night. I chose the best speech that each of them did over the semester and they presented them to their parents this afternoon. They also recited the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. They did such a brilliant job. It was exciting to sit in the back and watch them and remember their first attempts at a speech. It was so encouraging to watch their progress.
I'm planning to start a new class in January, but I will always hold a fond place for these two boys (young men) who let me experiment on them and teach them public speaking.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I just finished re-reading "The Silver Chair". (For those of you who care I read them in the published order, aka. LWW, PC, VDT, SC, HHB, MN, LB) I have always loved this quote and it has always been a comforting one somehow:
"'The boy is safe. I have blown him to Narnia. But your task will be the harder because of what you have done.'
"'Please, what task, Sir?' said Jill.
"'The task for which I called you and him here out of your own world.'
"This puzzled Jill very much. 'It's mistaking me for someone else,' she thought. She didn't dare to tell the Lion this, though she felt things would get into a dreadful muddle unless she did.
"'Speak your thought, Human Child,' said the Lion.
"'I was wondering - I mean - - could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to - to Somebody - it was a name I wouldn't know - and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open.'
"'You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,' said the Lion."
--The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.
How typical of "us humans" to think that we are always in control of everything. I think sometimes we could you use Someone reminding us that we wouldn't be doing what we are doing if it weren't for Him.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
While we were there, I used the oportunity to take some pictures of the shirt I had finished the day before.
Here is the front:
When we went to England this summer, I bought some buttons at the Button Queen, a little shop in England. I was waiting for the perfect project to put them on. When I started this blouse, I knew it was the one. So here is one of the buttons from London:
I finished the blouse and then realized it was way too low. So I used some blue fabric and lace that a friend gave me for Christmas one year. (Thank you, Amy! I'll let you know what I do with the rest of it.:-)
I had also been working on a petticoat off and on for a few months and finally got that done too. I bought a new sewing machine when we got back from England and tried out one of the embroidery stitches on the hem. I love the way it turned out, and it really does help to keep me warmer.
After the walk we went home, cleaned up dinner, and the sleepiness kicked in.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
We had decided to have dinner mid-afternoon. So in the morning we (or I should say Dad) did some preliminary Christmas decorating and Shannon and I sewed or knitting while we watched parts of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We then saw part of the dog show before it was time to start dinner. (The turkey had already started roasting.)
Shannon and I planned a rather unusual appetizer. We saw a recipe for a pumpkin desert in a magazine. We wanted to make it for Thanksgiving, but already had the desert planned. So we changed the pumpkin desert to a pumpkin appetizer. Everyone was satisfied with this arrangement. :-)
Then the feast began. Unfortunately the turkey picture is a little blurry, but trust me, even Dad said it was the prettiest turkey he had ever seen.
The mashed potatoes and gravy.
The baked corn.
The sweet potatoes.
And the biscuits.
Things I'm thankful for:
So many other things, situations, and people that the Lord has blessed me with.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
What a refreshing weekend! I have said before that one of my loves is Christian Filmmaking. It was so wonderful to be in a place where so many others shared the same feelings.
We were also able to meet "old friends" from the Sense and Sensibility board. We had planned to have dinner at a park and everyone dress up historically. Unfortunately we were a few minutes late and missed the main group, but as we were trying to figure out what to do, another girl from the board showed up. We wandered around with her looking for them. A kind man then asked us if we were looking for the "S&Sers". We replied yes and he pointed us in the right direction. It was so neat to meet everyone!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I had seen this book in a consignment shop probably about a year ago, but didn't buy it. I was so excited to see it again. The information inside is amazing! I'm already planning an herb garden for next year!
And finally, my treasures. When I go to any library sale, I always go to the children's table first. It usually hides some hidden treasures. These were the ones for this sale. They all have their original dustjackets that are in remarkable good shape.
So that was my adventure at the library. Now to go find room for them all....
Friday, October 19, 2007
That brings me to today. I am blessed to be able to stay at home this year along with my younger (but taller:-) sister. However, when I tell other people this, I feel like I’ve said something wrong. Their first response to my telling them, "I’m staying at home this year and Shannon and I are taking care of the house and meals for my mom," is usually something like—"Oh" (as in "Why would you want to do that?") or "Wow, I want you to come stay with me." I think they might be hearing me say "I’m staying at home and slaving all day long just so my mom can work" or some other nonsense of the sort.
I wish people could understand that I love fulfilling this God-given role as a woman at home. In fact, I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted. From the time I was 5 I have told people that I want to be a wife and a mother. Now I’m getting the best opportunity to prepare for it. I love being at home. I love making the home a place where mom and dad can come home and relax and not have things hanging over them. I love doing/learning these skills now, because I want to be able to do the same thing for my husband one day.
By no means am I laying around all day, reading and eating bon-bons. I do have other responsibilities besides homemaking through the week. I nanny/homeschool two mornings a week. I tutor two days a week, I’ve started a public speaking class for students in the area, and am putting together a Public Speaking Seminar for the school I taught at last year. My days are far from idle, but I love every opportunity I have to serve others for Him.
I sometime feel discouraged because of all the negative responses I get to the fact that I am an "at home daughter." However, the Lord has given me parents and sister who encourages me in my journey to become more like Him in every area of my life.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
After a false start, we successful made steak with yorkshire pudding and peas. It looked like a decidedly English meal and it taste like one too. The whole family enjoyed it.
For desert, I remembered a set of dishes that I bought a while ago at WalMart, so Shannon and I drizzled chocolate syrup on the clear desert plate and then put a slice of cheesecake on it with a sliced strawberry. Mmmmmm.
Shannon and I declared that one day our husbands would be very grateful for us trying new things on our parents. :-)
It was fun taking time to make a good presentation and having everything turn out so well.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This is the lone red leaf in our yard, but hopefully it is showing what is to come.
Today our church had a ladies' knitting day. We all brought projects to work on or learned a new one while we were there. This is the whole group of ladies:
Here is my sister, Shannon, with our friend, Sara working on their projects.
With the cool weather this morning it felt like the perfect day to get out the knitting. I only hope it's here to stay!
Friday, October 12, 2007
I used some dollar fabric that I had on hand. I like it, because it looks like a rather thick fabric, but it's actually just a cotton. It's so cool for the hot summers down here.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The first is by Queen Victoria.
"Queen Victoria on 'Women's Rights"
I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of "Women's Rights," with all its attendent horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to "unsex" themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen and digusting of begins and would surely perish without male protection.
I love peace and quiet, I hate politics and turmoil. We women are not made for governing, and if we are good women, we must dilike these masculine occupations.
Queen Victoria, 1870
And the second is a poem.
"Which Mission is Mother's?"
She's a woman with a mission;
'Tis her heaven-born ambition
To reform the world's condition
You will please to understand.
She's the model of propriety,
A leader of society,
And has a great variety
Of remedies at hand.
Each a sovereign specific
With a title scientific,
For the cure of things morbific
That vexes people sore.
For the swift alleviation
Of the evels of the antion
Is her fore-ordained vocation
On this sublunary shore.
And while thus she's up and coming,
Always hurrying and humming,
And occasionally slumming,
This reformer of renown:
Her neglected little Dicky,
Ragged, dirty, tough, and trickly,
With his fingers soiled and sticky,
Is the terror of the town.
I read that last one and actually laughed out loud. I have seen that with my own eyes! It's amazing how the author was able to capture it all in that six verse poem.
I was so glad to be able to find those poems (I ended up giving Dad another poem by Doug Philips for the Night of Recitation.) that express so poignantly what would and what did happen when feminists had their way.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
When I was at Masterworks Festival this year (a four week camp put together by the Christian Performing Arts Fellowship) we had a Masterclass with Ken Wales who was the executive producer of Christy and more recently Amazing Grace. When I had my private hour with him, I told him my idea for a screenplay. He said he liked it, but if I was ever going to be able to get a producer from Hollywood to make it, I would need to cut out most of the Christianity in it. I felt like I had actually been punched in the stomach. How could a Christian tell me that I needed to “take out most of the Christianity” in my story? Then I realized….he was from Hollywood. Of course that’s what sells in Hollywood. That was his mind set.
Then I just received an e-mail from Regent University (a Christian University in Virginia with a masters degree program in media ) saying that they were to have the executive producer and writer from the show “That 70s Show” in to talk about how Christians are changing those in Hollywood. My first reaction was, “How could the man who writes such a disgusting show as ‘That 70s Show’ claim to be a Christian?” My second, “How could he tell me what the Christians are changing Hollywood?” Then I had the answer….he was from Hollywood. Of course that’s what sells in Hollywood. That was his mind set.
After those two experiences. I am now more excited than ever to go to the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. For those of you who don’t know the SAICFF is a group of Christian filmmakers who enter and show their films every October in San Antonio. These film are decidedly Christian in theme (no cutting out most of the Christianity here) and family friendly. In fact, many of the films are actually made by families. I got the lecture CDs from the festival two years ago (I wasn’t able to attend because I was in school) and Mr. Botkins (one of the speakers) spoke about how we can’t “Christianize” Hollywood. We need to make our own “Hollywood”. I dimly saw before what he meant, but now I completely understand and want even more to be a part of the SAICFF.
Just as a note, I completely agree with the Masterworks Festival and believe that they are really reaching artists for Christ and I am not saying anything against them. I am actually planning to go back next summer. Also Regent University is the best place I have found to be able to get a well rounded truly Christian Masters degree in Acting/Directing/Producing. I am not saying anything against those places in particular, just using them as instances I have seen with my own eyes where we need to change.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Just a bit about me....I'm 25 years old. Single and living at home with my parents and wonderful sister. I enjoy sewing, reading, and children. I am a stay at home daughter this year and am loving every minute of it. I do teach one public speaking class a week, and do some tutoring and some babysitting/homeschool a few times a week. I do desire to be married and have a family one day and consider this time at home a wonderful preparation for that time.
My goal for this blog is to hopefully encourage other young ladies.
May the Lord bless you,