Monday, August 23, 2010

Christian Mental Mash-Up

Do you ever mix up 2 similar-sounding songs in your head? Today I realized I did that with these 2 songs: Nichole Nordeman's Holy, and Natalie Grant's I Will Not Be Moved. I love them both, but the melodies sound too alike for my brain to keep separate. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mean Girl

For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. -Romans 7:19

You're not nice, you're just quiet about it. -My mom

I know exactly how Paul the Apostle feels. And, my mom is right. I want to travel the globe and offer my love, aid, and faith to people, yet I avoid eye contact with the 7-11 clerk because I'm scared he'll hit on me... again. I want to be patient and compassionate, but those desires dissipate the minute I get behind the wheel. I implore God to help me with my habitual sins, but I am the harshest judge of those who share the same struggles.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a mean girl. I am a petty, selfish, bratty, know-it-all (who abhors other know-it-alls, BTW) who is stingy with her time and her affections. These shortcomings become all the more glaring when viewed in the perspective of the cross.

However, all is not lost! I have hope! This same cross has saved me from my awful human-ness:

God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were yet dead in our sins- it is by grace you have been saved -Ephesians 2:4b-5

My flaws make me all the more grateful that I have Christ in my life. Not so that I can rest in what He's done and just coast, but so that I can know that He is sanctifying me in this life. It is with Him I can aspire to better:

Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. -Hebrews 10:14

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday!

Whew, it's been a long week, my friends. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Movie Review: La Strada

After a discussion with friends, I was resolved on which Fellini movie to watch next. I liked La Dolce Vita, and I loved 8 1/2. They recommended La Strada. Thank you, Herb & Carol!

La Strada is enchanting, primarily because of the main character, Gelsomina. I couldn't figure out if she was supposed to be painfully shy, a little slow, naive, or any combination of those. It didn't really matter to me, though. She was so endearing that my spirit soared with her every smile, and my heart sunk with her every tear.

Gelsomina (played by Giulietta Masina, Fellini's wife), lives with her family in poverty. She is sold into labor by her mother, and joins Zampano, an ill-tempered traveling strongman. Their journey through Italy coincides with her own journey to understanding her purpose in life- even as Zampano (Anthony Quinn) is thoughtless and cruel to her. The ending, though not the happiest, is very fitting and satisfying.

Some of the reviews of La Strada I perused online classify it as surreal. I don't know that I agree with that. Everything was plausible; besides, don't we all have moments in our [real] lives when we think , "This is just surreal"??

So, if you have any interest in watching a black-and-white Italian movie (I can hear my mom now: "Bleeehhh!"), watch La Strada.

Dream a Little Dream

Inspired by another blogger's post on dreams, I'll share mine here. I consistently have strange dreams. People behave unpredictably, places are mash-ups of familiar locales and strange new ones, and I have varying degrees of control over what I do in them. Like last week, when I voluntarily woke myself from a long dream to find I'd overslept.

For the past couple weeks, in all the dreams I have had, it's been raining. It hasn't been a downpour, or anything. It's just there. In one dream, I was driving my brother somewhere. My car suddenly flipped over- onto its roof! Neither of us were hurt, so we climbed out, and walked home in the rain.

So check it out: according to The Curious Dreamer, rain can signify
A gift or assistance from God
Nourishment and replenishing (as rain nourished plants)
Spiritual presence
Cleansing, washing away the old, and starting new
Wow! Dream Moods has the following to say about rain in dreams

To see and hear rain falling, symbolizes forgiveness and grace. Falling rain is also a metaphor for tears, crying and sadness. Alternatively, rain symbolizes fertility and renewal. If you get wet from the rain, then it indicates cleaning from your troubles and problems.

To dream that you are watching the rain from a window, indicates that spiritual ideas and insights are being brought to your awareness. It may also symbolize fortune and love.

To hear rain tapping on the roof, denotes spiritual ideas coming to fruition in your mind.

Hmmm I'll take it. I don't really know how much weight/importance we can give dreams (Are they prophetic? Symbolic? A mixed-up buffet of the subconscious?), but mine are definitely a source of nightly entertainment.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I remember reading once that the Orthodox Jewish man begins his day with a prayer that includes thanking God for not having made him a woman. At the time, I felt indignant. Snubbed. However, I can now say that I thank God for His having made me a woman. In fact, there are things I absolutely love about being female.

Before I detail them, I should clear something up. To say something about one's "sex" is biological, i.e. what anatomy you have. To say something about one's "gender" is sociological, i.e. what your culture defines each sex's role to be. I realize that this list is gender-based. Not only that, it's Treehouse-Dweller-based. I don't believe, or expect, these things to be true for all women. They're true of me, and that's all.

Ladies, comment with your favorite things about being female!

10. Blushing from receiving compliments
9. The skillful application of mascara: between the treacherous grounds of poking oneself in the eye and smearing black goo on one's face
8. Teetering about in high heels (yes, I know they are "bad for you," but they do something almost magical for my posture, and therefore, my confidence)
7. Lip gloss
6. Being faced each morning with the decision: "Which perfume will I wear today?"
5. Having doors held open, chairs pulled out, and heavy bags carried- to me, this isn't anti-feminist, it's chivalry
4. Feeling that it's perfectly acceptable for me to coo, swoon, squeal, giggle, and get misty-eyed over silly things
3. The catharsis of a good cry
2. Surprising others with grace and strength under pressure
1. Being zipped into a dress that fits like a glove