If you need a movie to warm your soul, make you laugh and cry this is the one. The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet should have won awards. All of the awards. I don't understand the Academy at all because this one they missed.
The cinematography is gorgeous, bright and big hearted. This kid made me proud. The mom is my hero. The dad is a rock. Older sister is hilarious and T.S.' brother you'll never forget.
You can get a copy on Amazon at the link below for $8. Best $8 you'll spend today.
A little over a week ago I threw my lower back out. Bad! It was literally crippling at first. After a few days of being completely out of commission, my crowning glory grew to being able to make three cups of hot cocoa and getting through an entire shower.
Mobility is returning gradually and I have been able to introduce more normal activities slowly each day. I celebrate these moments!
Last Friday, my dear friend, Kathy, accompanied me to Costco to help me with the stooping and lifting as I pushed and leaned on the cart. I could have washed that woman’s feet! I must say, I have recently fallen in love with grocery carts and have a whole new appreciation for them!
As we sauntered down the cereal aisle we passed by some boxes of Annie’s Toaster Pastries.
Me: “Toaster Pastries!”
Kathy: “Annie’s too!”
Me: “Healthy Toaster Pastries!”
Me: “ No! I must resist. We are watching our spending to pay for Sheppard’s schooling and conquer debt. Toaster Pastries are not a necessity.”
We head on down the aisle and turn onto the next aisle where low-and-behold a Costco worker was stocking shelves, and what was one of the items waiting patiently to be stocked? You guessed it! Annie’s boxes of Toaster Pastries.
I shot Kathy an “Oh!” look.
Me: “Must resist.”
We then make our way to the following aisle and wouldn’t you know? God sent an angel in the form of a young man who was serving samples of…. Yes! …. Annie’s Toaster Pastries!
Me: “It’s a sign.”
Kathy: “ Yes, it is.”
Me: “ Three times now.”
Kathy: “ Yes.”
Me: “ Three….Trinity….. I’m supposed to buy these Toaster Pastries.”
Kathy, bursts out laughing.
So, yes, I left Costco that beautiful, sun-shiny rays from heaven, September day with a lovely, brightly colored box of Healthy Annie’s Toaster Pastries.
As I relayed my (ahem) “God-led” journey to Annie’s Toaster Pastries to my husband, Mark, he responded with a laugh, “ Now, that is quirky faith!”
.Oh I'm so excited!!! You must stop whatever you are doing right now and go read my friend Jill's Blog post. (Click on the photo below for the link).
Never underestimate the power of telling someone you'll go with them. Go with people when they are hurting - to the hospital, to court, to funerals. You can help just by being present.
But sometimes telling people you will go with them brings so much joy!! I'm a tad excited and trust me we'll be posting lots of updates and photos and book reviews.
If you want a great deal on Jill's newly nominated book you can pick up a copy on sale today on her website at www.jillwilliamson.com.
People seem to love to read about my stories when something gross is involved. Puke seems to be a favorite but alas is not a part of this story. There is a mess though. You know life isn't perfect right? Enjoy it anyway. Shine in the midst of the mess.
So I am sure this is understandable but I hate going to the dentist. I always get in trouble for not flossing. And I have TMJ (tight jaw) so the whole process hurts. And I feel dumb. My normal procedure is to gut through it in annoyed silence and then slink pitifully back to my car to sit in in sad flossing shame.
I've tried in the past to floss. Usually this happens about three days before my appointment. Guess what? It never made a difference. Three days before doesn't cut it. Shocker.
A couple of months ago I read an article on Facebook about 10 things old people want you to know. I would share the link, but I can't find it. Grrrr. The internet is a love hate thing with me. Anyway, read the article and one of the things old people wanted me to know apparently is to floss my teeth. Hit me hard when the article said (and I'm paraphrasing). "When you are fighting with dentures, that whole brush your teeth and floss daily seems shockingly simple and easy". Yikes.
So I started flossing. Every day.
Then today happened.
I had a dentist appointment. I was kinda excited. I wondered if my flossing would have made a difference. I smiled on my way in. I wasn't in my usual silent moping mood.
The dental hygienist asked me if I was on a work break. Normally I would have said a simple yes and stayed quiet as I waited for the torture to begin. This time I didn't. I chatted with her about what I do in my day job and my blog.
This lady was the best hygienist I ever had. Kind. Compassionate. Gentle.
I didn't get in trouble for not flossing. She said my teeth looked good. YAY.
As we chatted, we discovered we have two different mutual friends. Goodness the world is small. I told her she was the best ever and she smiled. My change in habit made all the difference.
So what did I learn?
1. I NEED TO DEAL WITH MY JUNK. This time it was my teeth. Guess what? When I listened to the experts and actually put a good habit into practice it reduced my own pain.
2. BE OPEN WITH PEOPLE. When I dealt with my garbage I was able to be open with a new person. This gave me a way better experience and I think encouraged her day as well.
What habits do you need to conquer?
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening--it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:11
A couple months ago a dear friend of mine and her husband were on the final lap for preparing to move to the other side of the country. 3,107 miles to be exact. Due to schedule conflicts and such I was unable to make it to their sending off party and the sending prayer moment our church family had for them.
“What kind of friend am I!?” I critically thought to myself. Yet, I felt no strong conviction that I had failed in my spirit. Just guilt… Pure guilt.
Monday arrived and I felt this strong inkling that I was to drive to a favorite local farm nearby and pick up a box of green beans. I had experienced canning beans for the first time last summer and they were so much yummier than store bought that I was determined to do so again this summer. Healthier for my family too!
In spite of other things I felt pressed to do that day, I had such an overwhelming feeling that today was the day! I decided to follow through. I am so glad I did.
No sooner had I gotten back home when our doorbell rang. I opened the door to find my dear friend standing there. Although she smiled, her face looked frazzled and stressed. “We are leaving tomorrow and I wanted to stop by and see if I could just hang with you. I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye.” “We were supposed to leave Friday, but then all kinds of things seemed to start going wrong.” “ My husband encouraged me to take a break today and just get away from it all. So I came to see you and then have lunch with another friend of mine in an hour.”
Me: “ I am so glad you did! I was just about to snap green beans, would you like to join me? I heard it said that, “Part of the problem with the world today is no one snaps green beans with grandma anymore.” Come join me for some ‘Green Bean Therapy’.”
I thought to myself, “She is going to think I am so cooky for suggesting such a thing. However, A)She already knows I’m cooky anyway and B) It just seemed like the right thing to invite her to do.
“Yes! I would love to! That sounds wonderful! I used to snap green beans with my mother when she would can and it was always so relaxing.”
So, to the back porch we commenced, snapping and chatting away. It was a beautiful sun-shiny day and we had so much fun.
After only an hour, my friend had to leave for her lunch commitment and the last of her moving preparations. “This is exactly what I needed. I feel so much better now. Thank you.”
It totally made my day to see the shine return to my friend’s face and the cloud completely lifted off of her. I hugged her tight goodbye and felt my heart ache and tears well up in my eyes as she drove off. I was happy for her new adventure, yet a bit selfishly-sad to know she was going to be leaving for so far away.
I learned something that day. There truly is a difference between guilt and conviction; between following God’s leading and giving in to the expectations I have for myself or worry of what others will think.
If I had followed my guilty feelings for not attending the party and prayer send-off and gone anyway, my friend would have never have had a reason to stop by in the first place. God knew she was going to need that, somehow. Imagine that!”
If I had ignored the conviction of going to buy green beans that day, passing it off as, “Surely, God wouldn’t advise me to go do something so mundane as going to buy green beans.”, I wouldn’t have had the very thing my friend needed to give her a second wind and boost her spirits.
So, never underestimate the power of the “mundane” in your life. Grab yourself a bowl of green beans, and a loved one, and start snapping! Therapy is now in session!
If you've read my blog for any amount of time you know I let a lot of loose ends drag. And things clutter up. I think I have a junk magnet or perhaps its my kids. Yes. It must be my kids. Anyway - I've gone through several different programs to try and tackle the mess. I'm making progress. Room in my brain and my life. This book helped. Buy it. Maybe on a digital device so it doesn't clutter up your bookshelf. Or better yet borrow it from the library. I'm learning. I still need help with old photos and my kid's art. Hardest things to get rid of hands down.
What do you struggle getting rid of? Read any other books which helped?
That's the Book: Luke
If you have kids my bet is you've seen Finding Nemo. More than once. Who am I kidding? You probably have it memorized. So you already know the movie is about Nemo, a fish, who gets lost. He spends the whole movie trying to get home. His dad spends the whole movie trying to find them. The movie documents their story.
The book of Luke is the third gospel or story of Jesus. This one was written by a doctor named Luke. He investigated the reports of Jesus and compiled his notes, interviews .songs and information into one text. His stated goal was to help people find Jesus. This is the most detailed of the four accounts and provides extra insight into the people, miracles, wonder and events around Jesus. If you are searching for Jesus let me recommend you start with Luke.
With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1: 3-4
As I read Luke this time I thought about where we can find Jesus today. Here are some hints from my read through this week. You want to find Jesus?
Try church: There is a push right now in the Christian world to avoid church and find faith anywhere else. Can I recommend you go back? Church can be a primary place to feed your soul, to encourage other believers and to find out more about Jesus. Luke has a story about when Jesus' parents couldn't find him and Jesus seems shocked they didn't try the temple first. It's a good place to start and a good place to stay plugged in.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke2:49
Try prison: You want to find Jesus? Try the places where people are hurting. My guess is you'll find Jesus there. His ministry was all about helping the hurting. So if you want to find Jesus find someone hurting and try to make a difference. Or find a group of believers already pushing back on the dark in a hospital, homeless camp, jail, brothel or bar. You'll find Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Luke 4:18-19
Try the Lake: Yup. Jesus loved to be near his guys out fishing. Out boating. Walking through fields. Praying in gardens. He knew that nature portrayed the glory of God. Wanna find Jesus? Take a Bible and go for a walk.
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Luke 5:5-6
Look for kids: If you want to see the world like Jesus did then start to volunteer in your church's preschool department. Or borrow your friend's kids and hang out at the zoo. Play with play-dough. Ask them questions. Serve someone weaker and smaller than you. You'll learn about heaven.
Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Luke 9:48
The book of Luke is full of stories of Jesus interacting with and around his world. You'll find him arguing for outcasts. Standing for truth. Welcoming strangers.
Here is the great hope found in the book of Luke. If you seek him- you'll find him.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:9-10
Want to know the better truth? He came to find YOU!
You know in Nemo he was surprised his dad was looking for him. Dad was out the whole time searching for Nemo. Just so he could tell him "Come home kiddo". Do you ever feel like you are searching for God and he's hiding? He's not. He left all the glory of heaven just to come and find you. Read Chapter 15 of Luke if you need a refresher. God's crazy about you and he went to great lengths to find you.
One of the stories in Chapter 15 is of the Prodigal Son? Here's the 2 second version. Rich dad has two sons. Older son does what he's supposed to his whole life. Follows the rules. Younger son takes his inheritance and runs away. Breaks all the rules. Ruins his life. Repents and heads home. Dad throws a party to celebrate because his son has returned. Older son pouts.
I think most people don't notice what happens next. We stop there. We talk about how God welcomes home the wandering messed up sinful son. And he most certainly does. But what happens next makes this church girl so happy. The one who was lost was welcomed home with open great arms to a great party. The elder one was pouting, bad attitude, missing the party. And then.
Dad went to find him too.
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. Luke 15:28
"My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:31-32
See? God wants everyone at the party. He wants those lost in the world to come home. AND He wants those lost in judgment and apathy and fear in the church to come to the party. Salvation is for everyone.
You know what's fun about Finding Nemo? It came with a sequel. There was a next step. Same with Luke. Once you find your way home to the father - you are commissioned to the world to find others. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will fish for people." Luke 5:10
Wowsa. So much info in the book of Luke. If you have time and want a great sum up check out The Bible Project's Read Scripture series. Here are the two they did for the book of Luke.
Infographic?? Here you go!! And check out New Spring Church and their 24 day devotional to go along with the book of Luke. newspring.cc/studies/luke-a-24-day-devotionalREAD HERE. It's a good one.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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