Live in your imagination? ~ Bethany

walter mittyRecently, the hubby and I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  It is very loosely based on the original short story written in 1939 about a man who lives mostly in his imagined heroic conquests.

In this wonderful adaptation, Walter works for the magazine Life.  Life has been acquired by another company, and they are ceasing paper magazines and instead going to fully on-line editions.  Walter’s job has been to manage “negative assets” (a humorous description of photographs), and has been the main liaison for their most famous photographer Sean O’Connell. Walter is given the job of producing the final magazine’s cover, using one of Sean’s photographs.  He sends a roll of negatives to Walter, explaining that #25 is in his mind the “quintessence” of life.  However, when Walter unrolls the negatives, #25 is missing.  Sean also sends Walter a wallet engraved with Life’s motto:  “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”  Frantic to find the negative, Walter tries to find Sean by traveling to Greenland.

Up until this point, Walter has never done anything that he considers “noteworthy” or “mentionable”.   He quit skateboarding and school to take care of his family when his father died, and ended up in this job at Life.  He always wished he could do something amazing and did “zone out” into his imagination on a regular basis.  He envies Sean O’Connell tremendously, and sees him as his ideal.

When he finally gets his chance on this incredible multi-country adventure, he is able to call up things from long ago (like skateboarding) that help him tremendously. However, he does not find Sean O’Connell or the negative and returns home only to be fired. He also is apparently turned away from his love interest in the movie, thinking that she has reconciled with an ex. In disgust, he throws away the wallet Sean gave him and goes on a trip traveling through the world.  He eventually finds Sean himself and asks Sean about the picture.  Sean doesn’t tell him what it is, but tells him it is in the wallet.  When he returns he discovers that his mother fished the wallet out of the trash.  He grabs the negative and without even looking at it, takes it to Life’s offices.

I won’t spoil it by telling you what the picture is, however, it is a huge surprise and an honor to Walter.  The thing that Walter didn’t know about himself, Sean O’Connell knew. Commitment is heroic: whether that commitment is to getting the best photo even it means risking your life, or thinking of others instead of yourself and taking care of your family, or being the best you can be in your job.  The truth is, we all have greatness in us – sometimes we just don’t see it, and waste time wishing for things to be different.

Sprinkles on Eggs & Important Decisions for Kids ~ Betsy

My name is Emma. sprinkles
I am four.
I make important decisions.

One day my nanny fixed scrambled eggs for lunch. Eggs are my favorite.

“Can I put sprinkles on my eggs?” I asked.

My nanny said yes, and she handed me the salt and pepper.

“Not salt and pepper!” I cried. “Sprinkles!”

“You mean cupcake sprinkles?” asked my nanny.

“Yes!”

“You can’t have cupcake sprinkles on eggs! Especially not if you want a piece of candy after lunch,” my nanny said.

She doesn’t understand how much I love sprinkles. I tried to explain. “But I’ve never had sprinkles on eggs before! And sprinkles are my favorite thing!”

My nanny stopped what she was doing. She looked at the ceiling. She looked at the eggs. Then she looked at me.

“Okay,” she said. “Here’s the deal. You can choose: sprinkles on your eggs or a piece of candy after lunch.”

“SPRINKLES!” I yelled.

“SPRINKLES!” echoed my little brother.

“Sprinkles?” asked my nanny. She couldn’t believe it. “You are sure you want sugar sprinkles on your eggs instead of candy?”

“Sprinkles! Sprinkles! Sprinkles!” we chanted.

My nanny set the plates on the table. She poked her head into the cabinet and brought out the sprinkles. I was happy to see those pink and green and blue and purple sugary sprinkles! I chose pink and purple sprinkles for my eggs. My brother wanted every color on his.

My nanny let us shake the sprinkles onto our eggs. We shaked and shaked until she said “That’s enough.”

She looked at us. “How do they taste?”

“Deeeeee-licious!” I replied.

“Yummy!” said my brother.

We ate every single bite of those sugary eggs.

I felt happy. Glad that I got to choose sprinkles on my eggs.

Note to parents and caregivers: Remember to give your children opportunities to make decisions, for this is how they learn. Loosen up and say yes when you can! Life is more fun that way. Give them a couple of choices such as “sprinkles on your eggs now or candy later?” If your tendency is to say no to things that you think are ridiculous, try to say yes when the child’s choice is harmless.

* based on a true story ;)

Climbing ~ Rebekah

As we were singing this the other night, my heart was saying, “yes!” Here are some thoughts that unraveled afterwards. You may notice that there are a lot of questions here. It just so happens that I’m climbing up this mountain of questions myself.

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of Heaven

Though our Creator has given us amazing, intelligent, and creative minds, there remain things that we simply cannot fully understand. We are unable to see the whole picture and absorb every detail. I’m not just talking about some random math theory or quantum physics. I’m saying that things happen in life, and ultimately we will face the choice of placing trust in God. Or not. And it’s not that easy to let go of what we think should happen.

I give it all to you, God
Trusting that You’ll make something beautiful out of me

So, then we make the choice. Hold on, or let go. Let go of what? Abandon all reason and logic? Of course not. However, at some point, logic and reason will fail us. We often have an ideal in our head of what our lives should look like. Reality is a different story. So what do we do with the discrepancy?

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

grandfather mtn hikeHave you ever hiked up a mountain? Though the views can be amazing, sometimes the actual hike just plain stinks. It’s hard. It’s hot, our feet our blistered, and we are so thirsty. However, most who reach the end feel the journey worth the effort. Life can feel like you’re busting it up some pretty steep, rocky terrain. The hard parts can conquer you, or you can say, “yes, let’s do this!” None of us know what’s coming around the next bend. Truthfully, pleasant things are coming, but so are really tough obstacles. No one gets to pick which is on the way. However, we do all get the choice to keep our hands wide open to the Lord and His redemption, or to clench our fists in resistance, pain, bitterness, or unforgiveness.

There’s nothing I hold on to

Psalm 115:1-8 can be summarized as “you will become what you worship.” What are we holding on to that is causing us to reflect something other than the Lord? How are we spending our precious time?

What are your thoughts on leaning on the Lord instead of ourselves?

ctb