Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

What an incredible year this year has been!

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.


Outside Hollywood

I am in the middle of reading Outside Hollywood. It was a gift from my sister for Christmas. Actually, it was a Christmas gift two year ago, but due to some publishing problems it wasn't released until this year. So I got it this year for Christmas last year. ;-)

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

The Fool

"The fool hath said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Ps. 53:1

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

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

My dad took the family to go see National Treasure: Book of Secrets on Saturday. We were so excited! Shannon and I especially enjoyed the first movie. (That is not to say that we condone stealing the Declaration of Independence by anyone for any reason, nor do we condone using illegal means to get people out of FBI custody, nor do we condone low necklines, nor do we condone kissing before marriage....get the point?:-)

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!

Thanks, Dad!


Monday, December 10, 2007


This past Wednesday, our Ladies' Bible study group got together to discuss kindness. It really made me think about what I do and the motivation for it.

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.


Public Speaking

I think I have mentioned before that I taught 3rd grade at a Classical Christian school last year. I loved my job. When I learned that I wouldn't be able to go back this year due to a number of moves within the school family, I was heartbroken. I knew I would miss my "Trinitas family" greatly.

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 have made a habit of reading "The Chronicles of Narnia" at least once a year. I love doing this, one, because the stories are so delightful and bring many memories of the first readings, and two, because each time I read them, I see something new in them (even after 18 years, oh my:-).

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.