This post was first published in 2012. May it be a light to you on this January day too!
I can not tell y'all how good it felt outside yesterday. Here in Alabama, we reached 76 degrees yesterday. Mercy, did that sun feel good on my pale white legs!
Especially after our rainy weekend. Since the weather was so bad, we had a grand ole' movie weekend. We started on Friday night with Moneyball.
Raleigh and I both really liked it. He isn't a big fan of baseball (so not American, right?) but to see how Brad Pitt's character changed baseball is pretty darn cool. I loved the ending...it is so what I would have done.
We also watched, in my opinion, one of the best movies EVER this weekend for kids. Y'all, I can't begin to describe how GOOD it was. You are going to laugh but it was:
I was rooting for that little bitty turtle through the whole movie. What that creature has to do to survive is just truly amazing. Also, it was a fun movie to play after dinner/before bedtime with the girls. As they were playing, every now and then they would sit on top of the coffee table (yes, instead of their chairs) and point at the t.v. screen as they watched the fish swim in the ocean. This film showed some pretty amazing sea creatures and made me in awe again of God's imagination.
On Saturday night, we watched Clone Wars and then Friday Night Lights. Raleigh is obsessed with Star Wars and I have watched so much of it with him over the years that I really don't mind watching a thirty minute adult cartoon on the subject matter. Speaking of my nerd of a husband, he started his own blog, iDigress, on Tumblr that shows some of his artwork. He has a lot more but hasn't put it all in his blog yet. Again, I am amazed at the imagination that God gave him.
One more thing on the subject of blogs - I was hoping that y'all could do me a favor. I need your e-mail address. Before you scream Noooo hear me out. I have stats that show me how many people come to our site but I would love to know your name. The best way that I capture this information is by getting an e-mail address from you. If you could take a quick second and fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page, I would be forever grateful. I will not send you a million e-mails but I might send you one every now and then to say hello in a more personal manner...maybe as a devotional, or a really big update, or just an overview of what's been going on this month in a newsletter. Thank you so much kind readers!
Back to our rainy, movie-watching weekend: I just have to say, I am still in love with Friday Night Lights. I had missed Coach and Tammy (not to mention Tim in his football pants!). That show is one of the most authentic shows that has been on television lately and I wish there were more episodes. I went back and started with Season 3 and then I watched the Pilot episode and it was so cool to see the story arc and the character development. Those writers were geniuses.
Another genius writer that I am so enjoying is Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts. She is such a beautiful writer and I feel like I really get her. The way she uses our English vocabulary shocks me...just read this passage:
I am old now. Why am I after the moon tonight? I have known all these years since that you can never run all the way to the end and lay your hand up against awe. I have grieved this. Are the staid Mennonite neighbors peering out their kitchen windows to see the farmer's wife flapping across the wheat stubble? I do have shoes on. Are my own children nose-pressed to the window watching my race?
The moon rounds immense, incandescent globe grazing ours. Her gravity pulls, pearl filling deepening sky, stringing me unto the universe.
If I race to field's edge, earth's rim, can I stroke her lustrous curve, drink her lily-white skin?
I laugh. I am still a child.
Wow. (That's the best my English language can say about that pretty writing.)
This past Sunday, the girls and I went to see our friend Ashley and her twins. Michael Hyatt (his blog is a must-read for writers) was speaking at her church about making your own life plan. His talk was practical advice that most of us don't take the time to do but if we were to do it, we would see a major difference in our lives. Did that sentence make sense? Because his talk sure did make sense to me. Basically, he asked this question: What is the outcome that I want out of my life?
Sitting quietly in a back pew, my mind raced about all the things I want out of my life. A marriage that remains full of love, raising little girls to become little women, writing words to encourage others, sharing stories to groups of people about God's greatness, being a fulfilled woman, wife, and mother....my list continued as I listened to the words spoken from this man of excellence. His advice was spoken confidently. Clearly, he had given this much thought for his own life before he shared it with us. Maybe, I thought, maybe this is how it all works.
Because, I struggle daily with my life plan. I know what I want but I have a hard time believing that I will get it. I am afraid that I might fail. Fail at being a loving wife, fail to raise my girls properly, and fail in my dreams to share. And if I fail, then what happens?
It seemed as though other people were thinking the exact same thing because a shy hand rose from the front of the church. A man spoke those exact thoughts into a microphone loud enough for everyone to hear. Without a moment's hesitation, Michael replied, "Embrace your failures. I failed my way to the top." He went on to say this:
Failure is never fatal unless you quit.
Failure is part of our life plan. It is because of failure that we learn to grow. As corny as this may sound, it reminded me of the little turtle that I watched swim across the ocean. She had the odds against her but she succeeded in returning to her beach. Through sharks, jellyfish, boats, and cold water, she did the only thing she knew to do: she just kept swimming.
Sometimes, I have to remind myself to just keep swimming.
Because it is so much easier to just quit swimming, find a raft, and call it a day. But, I don't want to float my way through life. I want to live my life fully, completely, and confidently in Christ. I want to go the distance, beat the odds, and thank God for any suffering that brings me closer to Him. Why else am I living? What else am I living for?
The turtle swam for 21 years before she was able to complete her mission of finding her beach. Through her life span, she saw many seasons come and go. Having that sunshine yesterday was a reminder to me of the joys of spring. Because, right now, my life has literally been in a season of winter. It has not been a season that I have enjoyed but I know it is part of my growth. Michael Hyatt said that he loves winter because spring always follows it. I had never thought of it that way but now those words give me hope for the future, for the next season to come.
Might I pray with you before we go today?
Thank you for the winters of our lives. Thank you for being the warm shelter that we seek during the icy, cold storms. God, thank you for giving us life and for teaching us through your word how to live life to the fullest. May we continue to grow through our failures and seek your guidance during our dark hours. Continue to show us that spring will come, hope is here, that Christ has been resurrected and grace has been given to every nation, tribe, and tongue. Thank you God, for your unending love.
Till next time, let your light shine!
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