Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I tried - March {April Goals}

Dear March,
You were good to me.  Lots of reasons to celebrate (most birthdays in a month).  Including my sister's new baby girl! *squeals* We had Spring Break, a time to relax and reconnect with family - much needed.  Fresh air filtering through the screen door as I listen to my sons play freely in dirt and new grass. Peaceful.  As quickly as you storm in, you roll out in a different storm.  And you always welcome your friend April.  Thank you March.  Until we meet again.  You were good.

I didn't even have time to write a pre-March challenge.   So here is what I accomplished:
Book - I read and enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  You can read about it here.   I also took notes and skimmed over a book about how to read your Bible better; you can find those thoughts here.
Health - I didn't do well, but I didn't do horrible.  I kept running but I was not successful this month with tracking my food or my workout events.  Here's to "just be healthy"
Scripture Memorization - I (attempted) to memorize Matthew 15:18, Philippians 2:3, Matthew 25:25-26, Proverbs 10:17 and Isaiah 41:10.  I also, along with my husband and two friends sat down one evening and we read the entire book of Romans.
Challenges - The challenge I chose, and completed for March,  will be revealed at a later date for it is something that deserves it's own entire post.

Do you ever have those moments that the puzzle is just done. complete. finished and you have no idea how you got to that point, but it feels great.  My April puzzle is complete.  Here are some of the pieces that started to point towards the completion of what April is shaping up for me.

* My favorite quote since high school (maybe prior) see below
* Last Sunday our church started a sermon series called "Overload"
* Had planned, months ago, to read Jen Hatmaker's book "Seven" - first introduced by a friend 3 years ago. 
* Recently watched the documentary Minimalism that several friends raved over months ago.
* In preparation to move (now we are not) we had started a collection of things for a garage sale and will be participating in a City Wide sale. 
* Pinterest board from months ago had April as the "Waste Less" month
* My interest in the Tiny home movement.
* Easter - a major time of reflection.

"Simplicity is the Ultimate form of sophistication." -DaVinci

April shaped up to be a month of scaling back, losing the excess, finding peace in the simple things, joy.  Spring is typically the time that people do their "Spring Cleaning" - all of the above small pieces were just a way for me to realize that it's more than my house that needs spring cleaning; but my body, mind, and heart do as well.  A month to purge. 
Book - As I mentioned before I have been interested in the book "Seven" by Jen Hatmaker for a few years.  I purchased it over Christmas break in anticipation to read it sometime in 2017.  Perfect timing.  Although it's not April yet, I have already started reading it - let's just say this - she's hilarious.  [Purge - media and hopefully will read more books]

Health - April 1st will be a big day - running my first 15k.  Although I have ran a half marathon, this will be challenging for I have not been able to train as much as I would like.  I had some encouraging ladies remind me that it's okay to walk and just have fun.   A few weeks later I will have another 5k and would love to see my time improve.  I WILL (not going to try, but DO) the above daily challenge as well as the same amount of burpees as is the date.  So, April 7th I will do 7 burpees.  I will also be completing whole30 simultaneously tracking food and water intake. I might even participate in Jen's first chapter about Seven Foods....... [Purge fat and negative self image]

Scripture Memorization - I have the following pieces of scripture to work on memorizing and more importantly applying to my life: Proverbs 1:7, 1 Peter 2: 1 - 3, John 8: 31 - 32, and Luke 10: 41 - 42.  The cool 'God' story about these scriptures, they have been listed in my Bible for several weeks, but they all seem to fit the need to focus on Jesus and his teaching - true priorities.  [Purge the world]

Challenge - I am going to be keeping the same challenge that I have been working on this past March. I look forward to updating everyone about the observations I have been honored to witness from doing this very easy task in my life.  I am also going to do something, that I just learned about tonight, called "listening prayer."  If you would like to know more about what it is, please ask. [Purge doubt; in others too]

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I tried - reading Women of the Word:How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds [Book Review]

Hey look, I did it!  I read 2 books in one month.  Technically, if you want to call the Book of Romans a book on it's own, than I have read 3 books in one month.  *This never happens*

Okay, I hate lies.

I can't really say I truly read the book Women of the Word.  I read the first few chapters and then started to skim.  Here's why.... in one of my groups we had a lady speak about how to study your Bible and she referenced (and gave credit) to this book.  I just couldn't face spending time on something that I have already taken notes over.

Women of the Word:How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds written by Jen Wilkin is an incredibly short book, to the point, helpful but not shameful. Jen is truly passionate about helping women understand the word better.

I also found this PDF for anyone who would like to do a more in depth study over Jen's book.

Like I mentioned, I took notes from a wonderful mentor, who prior to the session, encouraged us to read the book.  Here is the google doc on my notes.

Some highlights from the document:
5 P’s to studying the Bible:
Purpose - meta narrative, keep in mind the overarching story of the Bible.
Perspective - archaeologist dig into the word - who wrote it? Who was it written for? What genre? What is happening in the world at the time? When did it take place? What was it written?
Patients - don’t give up when you don’t understand, enjoy the process and know that no man will fully understand the beauty of His Word. This will take time.  Slowly form a habit so when you slip up you start up again.
Process - as you are reading and process information ask yourself these three questions 1) what does it say/comprehension? 2) what does it mean/interpretation? 3) how should it change me/application?
Prayer - you can’t be successful in studying your Bible if you don’t read.  Practice makes permanent.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I tried - reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the nigh-time [March Book review]

January - I read a book about how to study your Bible.  [Understanding your Bible in 30 days by Max Andres]
February - I read a book about my heart [Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow]
March - I read fiction book!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is a great book!  It reminded me a lot of Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I first read in high school 12+ years ago).  I relate these two books to each other because they are both very quick enjoyable reads.  Both books also offer a sense of wonder and page-turning curiosity until the end.  YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING TO CHRISTOPHER!

TCIOTDITNT also reminds me of the book Flowers for Allgeron, both were written in first-person, you were getting the feel of the character by living through them.  One main example about TCIOTDITNT is that Christopher numbers the chapters with prime-numbers.

I personally enjoyed the fact that he explains himself.  He does not like certain's why.  He doesn't like being touched....explanation to follow.  Although he is thorough in his thoughts and writing of the story, it is not drawn out or redundant by any means. His references to pop-culture were also a good way for me to stay focus and enjoy this read.

The relatable aspect to the story was a major reason for it to be a good novel to read. Christopher is a 15 year old boy allowing me to see parallels between the main character and that of my own students.  I also enjoyed the book for having been to England/London I was able to visually see what he was writing about.  A person who is not British or has not traveled to the UK might have a harder time appreciating the cultural diversities from transportation to words used.

A great book, would recommend anyone over the age of 14 to read, for it does have some language and mature-content (just read the first chapter for that discovery).

The fact that we are only half way through the month  and I already finished my goal of reading a book, I might try to stretch myself and read another book!

Let me know if you have read this book.  What are your thoughts?   What should I read next?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I tried - letting my kid watch Disney {Beauty and The Beast}

My wonderful husband, Jeremiah, sent me an article about the new 2017 Beauty and the Beast.  It was titled: Disney Movies' First Ever 'Exclusively Gay Moment' in New 'Beauty and the Beast'

Oh awesome, I enjoy reading articles.  He sent the article to me because our oldest, who is turning 5 soon, wants to take one of his best girl friends to the movies and out to eat.  A date. 

Yes, I am encouraging my son to take his friend on a date.  Because if I don't teach him how to be a gentleman at a young age (while he's impressionable) than what am I teaching him?
Not to mention, his mom, Emily (one of my best friends) and I want to see the movie too, so we can conveniently chaperon the event.

Once I looked at the article on my phone I quickly went to my dear friend, Google.  There were several news article with similar head lines.  

The first thing that caught my attention was the word "moment." What's a moment?  Seriously.  Can a moment be 10 seconds.  So are we not talking about a full fledged gay-sex-scene?  Is this 'moment' something that only adults would understand as more than a moment?     You know, Disney with their sneaky subtle innuendos. Was this announcement of a gay moment just another way to spark public's interest or concern?

I started texting Jeremiah and Emily about it.  Should we still take our kids to this?

My husband and I's conversation went something along the lines of: this is our world, we don't want to shelter Gideon but educate him with a Christian foundation - meaning, if he does catch this 'moment' that we can have an open dialogue about gay people and how we are still meant to love them.  Gideon would say, "because we love people" and "we do good to all people."   Jeremiah actually believes that Gideon will be more scared of the Beast and not catch anything else.

We decided that our son could still go.

A little later Emily started talking about the article and her first response was "this is the world we live in." as I was typing something similar about helping our younger ones understand the world without being drowned in the world.  She talked about how their family has watched the classic cartoon version numerous times.

She decided that her daughter can still go.

In Emily and I's conversation I mentioned how every movie has something "wrong" with it.  People were upset about Zootopia at one point; complaining that it was racist.  She then brought up all the other negative attitudes and characters within the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.

I started to look more into Disney movies and at what age is it appropriate for young children to be exposed to the variety of issues that Disney challenges.  Below are some crude and maybe slightly exaggerated examples:


When we think of movies though, they can be a teaching tool.  Any form of media can be a teaching tool.   I am almost positive we were more successful potty training Gideon because of Daniel Tiger's episode with the catchy potty tune. Mother Goose was a political satire - just leave that right here.

Growing up I didn't not watch many Disney movies or really any movies.  I have never asked my parents why. This year my Dad  took their 4 and 3 year old grandson's to go see Star Wars - full of violence and all sorts of other scenes.  So either they changed, or we just didn't watch movies.

I was not a princess girl.  Although I did adore Belle and remember seeing the Lion King for the first time.  I don't remember ever trying to live their life.  I was never in a fantasy world. Could I be a different person if I watched more Disney (or any movies) as a child?  We only know.

Here's my bottom thought: as a parent you have to know your boundaries and your child's mental and emotional ability. We have always carried out open and honest conversations with Gideon (at an appropriate age level).  I can't protect him from everything, we live in a broken world.  But I can help guide him through rough obstacles and thoughts.

I remember being in junior high and asked my dad about a Stephen King R-rated movie.  His response was something along the lines, "You have read the book, your imagination is much more dangerous than that of a movie you will see."

If Gideon gets scared in the New Beauty and the Beast, it will be an opportunity to talk about attitude, contentment, loving people regardless of their outward appearance.  It might also bring questions about the gay couple or other deeper issues.  I will pray that I will have the right words to help guide his curiosity where he can have a better understanding, without being hurt.

I wore a red-X on my hand the other day.  February 23, 2017.   Gideon asked what it was for.  He understands that there are people living on the streets, that there are people hurting.  He now knows what a slave is.  But he does not need to know what sex is, he's five.  Just like that red-X, this movie will be an opportunity for Gideon to learn about others so he can love them better.

This is the world we live in.  Disney is being culturally relevant.

Do you have a certain age that kids can watch certain movies?