Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's A Love Story

Parts One, two,   three four.  five.  six. and seven. and eight, and nine. TEN.

Christmas time came round and joy did abound. There were secrets, and wrapping, and laughs all through it all.
Then Christmas day came and the prince came around. The princess' grandma, and family all gathered round. They ate a big dinner. And seconds and thirds. There was talk of the Wii and fun things that they'd learned. They planned for what movies they would watch first. But first they'd get presents, all stacked up by the shelf.
There was a small tree...a Charlie brown tree. With no Grinch ornaments hanging off it, grinning with glee. But it did the job, standing guard over the boxes. The sisters had them all shook and examined, as sneaky as foxes.
The prince opened the ones that they'd got for him, and then handed out what he'd bought with a grin. The sisters loved their gifts, so did the whole clan. He smiled at the princess; that had been their plan. Then he handed her a large box all wrapped up in green, she tore it open, they all leaned in to see. Inside was another box and giggles echoed round. Opening that box a blue t-shirt she found. He'd bought it for her the Christmas before, he'd been too scared to give it to her back then, but not anymore.
Then out of the shirt tumbled a small wooden box. The princess picked it up, and then her heart stopped. She gave a little squeal and it fell in her lap.
The prince scooped it up and dropped down on one knee, saying "Madeline Jean Morrow will you marry me?"

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Christmas Story

Hi guys! I wanted to get this post in before Christmas was fully upon us, but that didn't work. In case any of you wonder, the character Zacher in this story is the same as the one in the King of Thieves Easter story I wrote last year. I just love the little guy. I had to bring him back again.

Zacher dashed out of the house, tugging his coat into place. "Sorry. I couldn't get away."
Amol rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Never mind. Let's get a move on."
Zacher fell into step beside his friend and quietly waited for his irritation to abate. 
The streets of Jerusalem were empty as they wove their way through the houses and alleys. 
"Where is everyone today?" Zacher ventured after awhile. 
Amol waved a hand toward the west. "All listening to that teacher." 
Zacher swung his gaze in the direction his friend had indicated. Away across several streets he could see the edge of a crowd, all crowded in close together. He could hear a soft murmur of voices, but not nearly as loud as he would have expected from such a large group of people. He couldn't glimpse who had their attention captured, and the mob disappeared behind the houses as he kept walking. 
"What teacher?" He said when it was all completely out of sight. 
Amol shrugged and quickened his stride. Zacher matched it, and kept his gaze fixed on him, not at all dissuaded by Amol's aversion to questions. "That Jesus fellow everyone's been talking about."
Zacher tipped his head, a frown tugging at his mouth. "Jesus...Where have I heard that name before? Where's he from?"
"I just said everyone is talking about him. How should I know where you heard it?" Amol snapped. 
Zacher shook his head. "No, I've heard it somewhere else. I haven't even heard about any teachers."
"You live with your head in the sand."
Zacher raised a shoulder. "I suppose I do. I just try to keep things fair between us."
Amol snorted and pushed him away. Zacher chuckled and kept his distance. "Where did you say he is from?"
"Nazareth." Amol sighed. 
Zacher shook his head. "I know I've heard of him before. When I was young. How long has he been teaching?"
"I'm a thief, not an expert on rabbis. I don't know. Maybe two years now."
Zacher cast a glance back toward where the crowd had been. "Lets go over there. I want to see him."
"I thought we were going to steal things." Amol hissed as he turned onto a different street. 
"We can see what we can find there. That many people, their bound to set things down. Sounds like they're captivated. No one will notice." Zacher called over his shoulder, not waiting to see if Amol would follow. Muttered curses and footsteps told him he was.  
Zacher wove through the buildings to the fringe of where the crowd was gathered. People sat and stood wherever there was room, bags and bundles scattered around as they listened. Zacher cast a knowing look at Amol, who just scowled and lost himself in the crowd. Zacher slid in between the onlookers, being careful not to bump anyone and draw attention to himself. He glanced around for any easy prey and moved deeper into the mass. 
Toward the middle he could finally see the man who had everyone so captivated. He paused to study him a moment and frowned. There was nothing out of the ordinary about him to look at him. He dressed the same as the men around him. His features were soft and caring, and there was an urgency in his voice as he spoke, like he was imparting a great gift. The people seemed to think they were receiving one. Zacher could hear soft sounds of aw and every once in a while someone would whisper excitedly at something he had said. Zacher tilted his head to catch Jesus' words. Loving neighbors, and feeding the hungry. 
A snicker escaped him and he glanced at the man next to him, then at the people around before slowly moving his hand toward his coin purse. Luckily for him someone wanted to listen to such teaching, otherwise he would never be able to get this close. A sudden silence made him freeze and he glanced up to see Jesus' gaze directed at him. His breath caught in his throat and he snatched his hand back, straightening and trying to look like a casual listener. The teacher's gaze never wavered and Zacher wanted nothing more than to shrink down into the dust and disappear. 
As calmly as he could he turned and started weaving his way out to the open. He didn't see Amol anywhere, and wasn't about to wait for him. His breath rattled in his chest and sweat tickled the back of his neck. When he was out of sight he broke into a run and didn't stop until he made it back to his home. 
He leaned against the door post, and waited for his chest to stop heaving then picked his way through the house and out to the back. His father and younger brother sat working on tents and looked up as he approached. 
"You're back soon." His father offered. 
Zacher nodded, trying to find his voice. "I was with Amol. We saw the teacher all the people want to see." He sat and picked up a corner of the tent and absently started to work. "His name is Jesus. Of  Nazareth. I told Amol I've heard of him before." He glanced at his father to see if there was any clue to the nagging memory in the back of his head.
His father's brow furrowed deeply. "He is here in the city?"
"Yes." Zacher nodded. "He was teaching near where we were."
A smile tugged at his father's lips. "I told you the story. Don't you remember?"
Zacher shook his head, casting in his mind for what story he might mean. "No, I don't."
His father set his work aside and brushed himself off. "Then I had better tell it again."
His brother scooted in closer to his father and Zacher couldn't help but do the same. 
"It was quite some time ago." His father began. "Before either of you were born. Upwards of thirty years now, I think. I was a young man, about your age Zacher." 
Zacher tilted his head, trying to remember the story. 
"At the time I was living near Bethlehem. I was a shepherd, and it was the time of year to be out in the fields with the sheep."
"You were a shepherd?" Zacher's brother quizzed. 
Zacher cast him a hushing look and turned to his father to continue.
"Yes." His father nodded to his brother before continuing. "A tax had been issued and there were many people traveling. It was late. The sheep were quiet and my companions and I were resting, when all of the sudden the whole sky lit up like daylight." He leaned forward and his hands spread. "Above us was...well, a man, but not. It was an angel."
"You saw an angel?" His brother cut in. "What was he like?"
"Beautiful," His father said slowly. "Like nothing I've ever seen before. But terrifying. I thought we were all going to die. But he told us not to be afraid. That he had good news. He told us that just a little distance off in Bethlehem that the savior had been born. God's promised deliverer, come to save us." He shook his head and Zacher could see a distant look in his father's eye and he wished he could see what he was remembering right then. 
"I could hardly believe it. I had heard about the promised savior all my life. I believed it always seemed distant. Like it wouldn't happen in my lifetime. But here it was, right in front of me. The angel told us we would find him wrapped up in a manger. That would be our sign." His face lit up suddenly. "And all at once the whole sky was full of angels. Everywhere, too many to count. And they were all singing. It was the most magnificent sound I've ever heard. Powerful and strong, but so full of adoration. Then they were gone as quickly as they had come."
"What did you do?" Zacher asked when his father paused.
"We hurried as fast as we could to see for ourselves what the angel had told us."
"And?" Zacher urged. 
"We saw Jesus." His father said slowly, reverently. "A star had moved over the stable where he was. Bigger than I've ever seen. His mother was there with him, along with her husband. She was just a young thing, I remember. Mary was her name. And her husband was watching over her so carefully. It was just like the angel said. There was a tiny little baby all cuddled in the manger. Sleeping just a peacefully as could be."
He shook his head, rubbing a hand across his cheek. "I can't believe I forgot...I didn't forget really. It's just been so long ago, I don't think about it often anymore."
"Well why would you? Nothing has happened since then." Zacher shrugged. 
 "But it was real." His father said firmly, eyes roaming between his sons. "He opened his eyes when we got there, and I just new. The angel had told the truth. This was the savior. And someday he will save us." 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Next Chapter

Parts One, two,   three four.  five.  six. and seven. and eight, and nine.

(Sorry, I couldn't keep up with the fairy tale style pics. This one was too cute! It is the perfect height difference.)

Now where did we leave off...? What was the theme...?

Now I'll stop this pretense, and end the suspense.

We left the princess waiting in the night, when the prince texted and said he and her dad had a fight
"He said we're too young, that I'm not ready for married life. The hours were heated and chuck full of strife."
The princess laughed him off, she didn't believe, till her dad called her mom and told her the same thing. 
The princess felt a panic, this couldn't be real. Was he wrong, was he right, how was she to feel?
Then her dad saved the moment, and called her mom back
"It was all Jarod's idea, sorry for the panic attack."
The princess blew up the prince's phone with scoldings and such. When he called her immediately she didn't talk much.
"I'm going to kill you "she said, "and my mom wants your head.You shaved ten years off of the life she has led." 
The prince he just laughed and tried to convince, that it really was funny, but she didn't agree with the prince. When finally she calmed she tried to get him to tell, what the men talked about it, since it really went well.
"He said that would be fine, and to talk to pastor sometime. And whenever I get a ring, that I'm ready to bring, we can keep moving forward with these plans and this dream."
 He told her all how they'd talked for hours and hours, but communication has never been one of his powers. He could tell her the gist, but sadly that was all, of this grand conversation that he could recall. 
She huffed at him slightly, but took it in stride, she knew more details would come if she'd just bide her time. So she let her dad watch football, and the prince fell asleep, how they could be so calm was a secret they would keep. 
She was all giddy and her head liked to spin, with things suddenly so certain why would the doubts start to begin? They came up with him and with her, over the week, but their love was still sure. Like last minute thoughts to prevent a mistake, but love is a risk, and one they would take. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

And That's My Take on the Matter

It's been going around for years. This big conflicted hype about christian dating. Should you even be dating? No, no you should be courting. Be careful who you date, wait for God to show you the one. Before you do anything, should you even want to get married?
I'm not exaggerating. I spent four years in a community for christian girls from all over the world. The new ideas of Godly relationships were a popular topic. Girls shared things from popular new dating books, things their pastor of youth leader had told them, or even parents. And it makes me sad and disgusted. 
For many of the ideas, they are good things to consider. But as a culture we like to take things to the extreme. Suddenly we swallow the idea that you can't be pure if your relationship is a dating one. And if you date rather than court you are somehow prostituting yourself out. But when I ask these die hard supporters of courting what it is, no one can tell me. No one has given me a clear definition of what modern day courting means. So many girls have taken the idea that we need to allow God to lead us to the right 'one' (a good idea) and taken it so far that when a decent guy comes along and shows interest the girl wont give him the time of day because they haven't heard an audible voice from heaven saying he is their one. And somewhere along the line it became a sin to date someone and end up not marrying them. I venture to say it is a sin to date someone, realize it wouldn't be a good match, then marry them anyway. 
The other day I read a post someone shared about being single. You can check it out here. There was nothing wrong with it at all, so I'm not putting it down. I fully agree that while a person is single they don't need to pine away for a spouse. A single person needs to focus on the Lord and live their life no matter what their relationship status. The post wasn't a problem so much as the commentary the person who shared it had. It pretty much said that people need to not force marriage on people, and was generally very hostile. Now, I understand that some people can push hard for a person to get married. Those parents want grandkids! But overall, I don't see that there is a big push to get married. In fact, I think it is quite the opposite. I think our culture, both secular and christian, is geared to push singleness on a person. Of course, there are exceptions. I'm not saying everyone. 
I've felt it in my own life. People tell me they think I would be a good missionary. A good single missionary, literally emphasizing single. What gives, man? Can't I just be a missionary, period? Or when me and my boyfriend started talking about getting married, we ran into some serious opposition. People kept telling us how there is nothing wrong with being single, and you can really serve God....Um...Yes. We know there is nothing wrong with being single. But...we're not single. And there is nothing wrong with that either. 
Somehow this notion has snuck in that says single is somehow holier. No one really says it, but it seems to hover in the shadows for so many people *ahem* Wrong! 
The Bible does say you can serve God single. I'm not arguing that. But if you take the time to read a lot of what Paul wrote about being single, it says that it was Paul's opinion on the matter, as God hadn't told him either way. It says that! 
The Bible has just as may passages about being married. Favorable passages. 
The point is, there is no cookie cutter answer, one size fits all. God planned for some people to be single, and some to be married. You can serve God fully in both callings. If a person is saved and living their life for the Lord, and they desire to be married to someone who is also saved and walking faithful- or if they don't desire that- there is no sin in either choice. 
As a culture we need to realize we are individuals. The way I serve God with my life may be different from the way you serve God. 
And that's okay. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Story Time

This story keeps marching, its way 'long through time,
Like the rhythm to the poems she sends him that rhyme. 
Our pair was getting on smashingly, and life was going happily. 
Holiday seasons began to roll in, and more hours were spent with her and with him. 
Long car rides, and then in the dark, he'd reach for her hand, and it stole her heart. 
They'd sit and watch movies, and he'd let her sleep. To expect her to wake wasn't fair, when he kept playing with her hair. One day at her house, while watching tv, he reached and held her hand, for all the world to see. They laughed and they joked, mixed with real plans that they spoke. Of somedays and maybes, and can't wait till thens. 
The year trickled past, the day he'd leave school approached fast. Excitement was brewing. He'd be home at last. 
He called her one night, sounding in a rough plight. Our young princes family had him all in a rile, and worries for the future were stealing his smile.
He attended the parties her family held for the holidays, and she went with him. And she lived for the moments when she'd make him grin. He gave her a jacket, he'd had as a kid. It didn't smell like him, but she wished that it did.
Then they went out for a date, and stayed out real late. Christmas shopping, and ice cream, and silver bands that glittered. Movies and joy rides, his coat stopped her shiver.
He shared her his fears, and his story through the years. Closer and closer, our pairs lives were entwined. It was difficult to bring their lives apart up to mind.
He told her how he'd liked her for some time. He'd got her a present once, back before they ever talked, but kept it hidden away, for fear she would walk.
One day after church she sent him off with her dad, to hunt and to talk about the plans that they had. The day dragged on, and not a word, so you'll have to wait to see what she heard.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Off to War

Hello readers. Today, I declared war. I've spent most of the morning readying my weapons for battle. Not swords or knives (though I have some of those), but lists. 
I don't know if any of you have seen the movie War Room. It is fabulous, and if you haven't you definitely should. Not only is it massively inspirational, but it is just a great story.

Without ruining the plot for anyone, the movie focuses on the power of prayer, and several characters in the story build war rooms- rooms devoted just to praying. They fill them with Bible verses and prayer lists, and document answered prayers.
I know you don't need a separate room to talk to God, but I like the idea of an...intimate, space reserved just for me and him. A special place to lay out battle plans free of distractions. Mine probably wont be a war room. My house is small and all the rooms are being used, and we don't have closets like they did in the movie. But I have a bulletin board in the corner of my room, and I plan to make a war corner. 
In the midst of my life trying to spiral out of control, I've finally arrived at the conclusion that I can't fix it. No matter how tight I hold on, it could all get ripped out of my hands. No matter how hard I scream and fight, it doesn't do any good. I'm not strong enough. I don't have the power. I need the one who is to take control of things for me. He can see the whole picture. He knows where all the pieces need to be. Maybe he is okay with what feels like a catastrophe to me. Maybe he is going to use it to grow me up into something better. I'm trying to keep reminding myself of that as I make plans for my war. I can't fix them. So I'm going to pray for them. These people aren't my enemies. Satan is my enemy. I can let the actions of theses people affect me for good, or bad. That is a choice I have to make everyday.
I need to make my faith my own. I can't keep it up to benefit others. It is for me and God. I have to live my life in a way that God can bless me and use these attacks to make me strong, not break me down. Maybe I'll learn patience. Maybe I'll gain faith. Maybe I'll be able to bite my tongue when people spread lies about me, instead of trying to get back at them. 
In church we read in Isaiah 45.7  

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God creates evil? It stumped me. But no, God is not the founder of moral evil. He didn't establish murder, lying, and thievery. But he does allow bad times in our life. Hard times, where sometimes bad things happen. And he uses those to grow us to where he wants us to be. 
Nothing sneaks up on God. None of what is going on is a surprise for him. He's got it covered way better than I ever could. So I'm turning the fight over to him. Instead of warring against them, I'll go to war for them in prayer. The battle is the Lord's. 

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Mockingjay Movie Review

So, like I mentioned earlier, I went to see The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 2. 
Here are my thoughts on the whole thing.
It was amazing.
The end. 
Have a nice day.

No, but really it was great. I would definitely give it Five stars. 
If you're a book lover like me, you will be satisfied with it, as it followed the books very closely, and didn't deviate in any troublesome ways. 
If you haven't read the books at all, but you've been following the movies, the story continues to flow smoothly so you can understand what is happening without the book to fill in the gaps. 
I screamed in the movie theater. Like, it drew some emotion from me. So that's a five star bonus right there. 
The effects were fabulous. It looked so real and was completely terrifying. The whole thing made me want to bawl. Probably the only thing I would critique is they could have played up Katniss' mental instability a bit more. It was very obvious in the book, and I thought there was room to make a little more dramatic in the movie. They portrayed it alright though. 
As far as anything to be concerned about, the only thing would be the violence. That is kind of a given with The Hunger Games. Nothing too terrible in my opinion. There was nothing sexy and I don't remember there being any language. If there was it was one word maybe. 
Definitely a fabulous movie. Did not disappoint. 
The worst part is that it's over and there wont be any more Hunger Games movies. 
Now what the heck am I supposed to do?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Let's Talk Turkey

Well my lovelies, did you survive the turkey holiday? 
I hope so. 
It would be tragic to lose a reader to food coma. 
(sorry, I can't help but think of this kid whenever I say let's talk turkey. He liked to run around saying that. As well as things about Mongolian hoards and eating cats)

My Thanksgiving was insane. The whole week was, really. Saturday, Minion one turned sixteen. Presents!!
Sunday, Daddy-kin turned fifty. Presents and cake!!! We invited grandma and Jarod over. 
For some reason my mom made turkey. 
She made turkey, the weekend before thanksgiving. 
When we would be eating turkey. Go figure. 
After evening church that day I went to Jarod's house and we continued the Hobbit\Lord of the Rings marathon we have been having. (Just got one movie left!)
I'm loving the movies. So glad I finally got to watch them. The only downside was that I've been waiting all along to see the death of a certain character because I couldn't remember how it went in the book. Well...I fell asleep. I stayed awake for the beginning, and for the ending, but the middle part I zonked out. And of course, characters always die in middles, so I slept through it. When I questioned my skinny man on why he didn't wake me, he said he tried, and when he did I curled up and said "Jarod, stop" in a real small winy voice, so he just let me be. Dang it. 
Then Tuesday came and we packed up several kids and took off to go watch The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 2 for Minion 1's birthday. It. Was. Fabulous. 
I will be posting a movie review. 
Thursday was snowing and blowing and we were all pretty nervous we were going to get stuck with a big pile of turkey when no one showed up to eat it. But, four-wheel drive and some capable men in the family pulled through. I went with Jarod at noon to his cousin's house. And we had turkey and all the fixings, and played a card game called Golf. I had never played it before. It was rather fun. And I scored higher than Jarod, which is really all that matters in life. 
Then we headed back to my house. In a vehicle like this. 
These things are not warm when it is snowing and blowing. At all. 
But anyway, we got there and my aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandma were all there. So we ate turkey and all the fixings again. (We'd taken about two hours to digest)
Then we watched movies and visited. The movie was For Greater Glory. 
Everyone I love dies. Typical. But a very good movie. 
Love this guy...he also looks creepily alike to one of my cousins...
Once my relatives all packed up and left we discovered cows out in the yard. Upon further investigation we also found cows all over the road, in our trees, on our hay field, and meandering down the canal road. 
So us and Jarod spent half the night chasing cows around. And I broke the window on the Geo. So it was even colder. We did eventually get them all in and Jarod went home at midnight. I went to bed, but dad and mom fell in a hole while checking the fence, so I had to take the other pickup and go pull them out. So I didn't get to bed till closer to two. 
Then that Saturday I hauled Jarod to my mom's side of the family to meet my aunts, cousins, and grandma. We ate turkey and all the fixings. 
All in all, it was a fun thanksgiving time, and also a very exhausting one, and I'm not at all hungry for turkey or fixings anymore.