Over the past two months, my granddaughter, Lucy, who has loved music almost from the day she was born, has fallen in love with the 2017 Beauty and the Beast movie. Asking to watch it almost every time she sees me—she knows I most likely will acquiesce—it was my sheer delight when for Christmas, Jerry and I gave her a wifi-enabled microphone that allows her to sing along to the music from the movie. To top it off, we also gave her a Barbie-sized, Belle. No matter what Lucy is doing, when she hears the music, she stops and begins to sing. (As a tickled-pink grandmother, I just know she is a prodigy. After all, she’s only two.) You can watch a video of it here.
But it did make me stop and think. Why is it, that almost every little girl envisions herself as a princess or as a bride in white waiting for Prince Charming? Even those, at an early age who are slapped down by circumstances in their life which buries the dream so deep it seems to disappear, still at some point have had some glimmer of it.
On the flip side, why is it that almost every little boy holds the fantasy of coming in to save the day? Whether it’s Luke Skywalker bursting on the scene in the X-Wing Starfighter, or Captain America bulking up with scientifically made muscles to right the wrong and defend the weak, this scenario is ingrained deep within.
Even though we define and pocket those images as fairytales, I think, one reason why they are treasured in the hearts of children is that they actually point to the truth. And as adults, whether or not we admit it, that ideal which children hold onto, is what we genuinely ache for also. We want someone to ride in and make the world a better place. We want a kinder, gentler day-to-day. We want the pain, suffering, and tears to go away. We want death to be no more. Continue reading
Yesterday, sitting in my optometrist’s office that plays a continual stream of movies, I was able to catch a glimpse of a most memorable scene from one of my all time favorites, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Indiana Jones, the main character in search of his missing father, who is an archeologist, finds himself—along the way with WW II Nazis, and others looking for eternal longevity—in pursuit of the chalice Jesus drank from at The Last Supper. In the last scenes of the movie, Indiana is clasping a series of clues woven with Scripture written in his father’s notebook, and he must use them in order to successfully find what he is looking for.
Among those many challenges, there is one that always mesmerizes me. An abyss of such unthinkable proportions, it looks impossible to cross. As Indiana reads from his father’s scribblings, Proverbs 3:6 always pops in my head. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. A pastor once told me that the literal translation of that verse is, when you put your foot out, the path will be there. When Indiana made the choice to step out into what looked a chasm of sickening heights—one in which he would surely die—his foot landed on a granite-like crossway bridging the gap. Hands down, it is the best picture imaginable of what it means to walk in faith. Every time I see that scene, I want to slap my leg in affirmation while jumping up exclaiming a resounding, “Yes!”
Now we may not have an actual physical canyon to cross, but I think we all face our own personal abysses everyday. Some, on the richter scale seem smaller than others. And then there are those that are gargantuan. Continue reading
My dear husband does not like to get gifts. Not birthdays or holidays. Not even Christmas or Easter. Not anytime or anywhere. Nope. Nada. Nyet. The other day—mind you, it’s only June—when I surprised him with the complete DVD series of Hogan’s Heroes, which he truly loves, while thanking me, he quickly deemed it his early birthday and Christmas present adding that there was absolutely no need to get him anything else. I just have to shake my head and smile because my kids and I love to give gifts. And we especially love birthdays. It’s a celebration of life.
Giving and receiving. It’s not so hard to do. Or is it? For some, giving is a way of life. Making someone smile. Bringing that ray of sunshine into a cloudy day. Loving. Ministering. Caring. But flip the switch and be the one given to, and whoa, hold the phone. It’s been said, “It’s better to give than to receive,” but I would submit it’s a whole lot easier to be the one bestowing than it is to be the one accepting. In a world where according to The Beatles, all we need is love, why then is it so hard to be loved on? Continue reading
My daughter, Laura, doesn’t like change. Most of us don’t for that matter, but when she was a little girl, anything great or small that altered her universe, would send her into a tailspin for exactly two weeks. You could bank on it.
One time that stands out, happened when we made a major move from Missouri to northern California. We found that because of overcrowding in the public schools where we were going, it would be better for Laura, an upcoming fourth grader, to make the switch and attend private school.
First, there was the digging-her-heels-in and wrinkling-her-nose-in-protest-phase, followed by the argumentative, why-this-couldn’t-possibly-be-good-for-her-life, angle. (At that time, I was convinced if she had chosen to be a lawyer by profession, any firm would have gladly welcomed her.) Continue reading
This coming Friday was supposed to have been the start of our family camping weekend. Anticipating chilly bright-stared nights while sitting around the campfire, followed by the wonderful aromas of coffee, bacon, and eggs—that Jerry would be preparing—greeting us in the coolness, maybe even the frostiness of the morning, brought much excitement for what was ahead. That was until yesterday, when I read with much disappointment, that because of the drought Middle Tennessee is experiencing, no open fires where we were going, are allowed. No campfire at night. No fun stories. And no delicious smells in the morning. No. No. No. Continue reading
For the past five years, without fail, one of my children has needed to move. And also without fail, it has happened at Christmas time. So much so, Jerry and I have jokingly said that we needed to purchase a magnetic sign that would attach to his truck advertising this new-found, or not so new anymore, mission in our life, “We Move At Christmas.”
This year Laura, Andy, and Lucy Drew’s move has proved to be true to form, except that it didn’t happen at Christmas, yet. We shall see. (They are looking to buy a home so a move could happen any day.) One week ago after a mad flurry of planning, packing, and saying goodbye to friends and family in Alabama, they have landed here with us. In what I refer to as a happy challenge of rearranging rooms to having a new purpose—the library is now a nursery, furniture finding new homes in different rooms, and the addition of one more dog (she is the best mannered and most well-behaved of the bunch)—we are all settling in. And Jerry and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be part of the adventure, part of all of their lives, even though moments can be hard, is a blessing we wouldn’t want to miss. Continue reading
Many years ago, my late husband and I had a German Shepherd named Rachel. Everywhere we went, she went—she was right there with us. It was nothing to see the three of us careening down the highway in our Wagoneer, windows open and hair flying. Not mine, because it was secured under a baseball cap, but Rachel’s. Her fur, mingled with her drool, because she was panting with excitement to see where our next adventure took us, flew in all directions.
Rachel and Me