Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Accio Adventure!

There are few things in life I enjoyed more in my childhood than reading Harry Potter. I know, I know- everyone and their brother who happened to grow up in the 1990s/2000s would consider themselves fans of the franchise. But unlike many of the fans who dressed up as obscure book characters for the midnight releases of the novels and movies (which I never did, by the way), I find myself drawn to the story for more reasons than just an entertaining plot line and intriguing characters. Reading these books, I was both captivated by an adventure and challenged by the truths that the story presented. Many of my peers were forbidden to read the series, as it contained "witchcraft", but I honestly believe they missed out and I plan on rectifying the situation by requiring my future children to add it to their reading lists. Here's why.

1. Let's start with the fact that the story is adventurous and imaginative. I mean, really, who can come up with such an original, detailed world that you can't wait to delve into? J.K. Rowling, that's who. And while, yes, sometimes the writing itself leaves a little something to be desired in the way of sophistication, her created universe is colorful and textured. And let's be real, she can actually write when compared to many contemporary authors (cough*Stephanie Meyer*cough).

2. To me, Harry Potter embodies more than just a childhood fancy. At its core, the tale is about good triumphing over evil, how the choices we make are more important than the life we are born into, that we all have value and should treat each other like it, that standing up for what's right isn't always easy and demands selflessness. There are few books (classic, modern, or otherwise) that challenge me as strongly to put others before self. I know that these aren't "Christian" books, but you know what? I see a lot of examples of how I'm called to treat others and view this world in the pages of those books. I'd much rather my children get something out of those books than LOTS of others I see out there.

3. I am not a feminist, by any means, but I think that the books are empowering to women. Laugh if you want, but if you spend 95% of your childhood reading (like I did), you start to pick up on portrayals of characters to whom you can relate. One of the first times I felt okay about being unpopular, nerdy, and smart was when I read about Hermione. She went on adventures, she outsmarted everyone around her, and she was not pretty- flawed and better for it, just like me. And even when relationships between the characters began to develop and inevitably fall apart, Rowling never let Hermione crumble out of the picture. With or without a man by her side, she still remains loyal to her friends, fights for what is right, and is truly beautiful because she has character. That's the kind of lesson I want my daughters to learn.

4. As a Christian, I think it's very good to stay away from witchcraft. But for the record,the "spells" in the books are just Latin phrases. Seriously, once I started paying attention to some of phrases in the book, my grasp on Latin vocabulary increased exponentially. And now I have a B.A. in Latin. True story.

And that is why my kids will be reading Happy Potter.

"Of course this is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

Friday, January 6, 2012


Resolutions are made to be broken. At least, that's all I heard as people rang in 2012. It seems to be a pattern in our culture to make a show of things, only to turn around and blame others and excuse ourselves. I'm not trying to be cynical, but look around you. It is now a running American joke that we will "sign up at the gym" on January 1st and return to sedentary lifestyles by the 15th. This year, I'm deciding to do something different. I've decided not to make resolutions but to be RESOLUTE (if you are like me, this undoubtedly conjures up a scene from "National Treasure"). Rather than focus on things outside myself that I'd like to accomplish, I want to spend this year focusing on who I'm becoming... some ideas:

1. A lover of justice- someone who takes a stand and seizes opportunities to right wrongs.

2. A truer friend- a person who tries to communicate with, pray for, and give more of herself to those who she is blessed to have in her life.

3. A wiser steward- someone who spends her time and treasure well, serving as many others as possible.

4. A passionate learner- a student who is humble enough to realize what others have to offer her.

As I ponder these things,a joy and a desire to see these fruits in my own life is being awakened in me. I yearn to be resolute this year, not because I am able to do this on my own, but because, with God, being resolute can last significantly longer than 2 weeks :)

"Hold on to this lullaby,
even when the music's gone..."

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Beautiful Prayer

I haven't blogged in awhile, mostly because nursing school has a way of eating up free time. Between hospital shifts, labs, lectures, and studying for each of the aforementioned things, my recreational activities are limited to (maybe) a few minutes of fun reading before bed and eating (hopefully) at normal intervals.

My heart was stirred to write tonight by something that has been weighing heavily on my heart. A few nights ago, a friend of mine was in a terrible car accident. Now, we're not very close friends; in fact, I have only been around him on occasion and mostly we are friendly acquaintances. But at this moment he isn't doing too well. And I don't know if it's because I know what the medical jargon being tossed around so blatantly really means, but I'm scared. The fact is, even though I don't know him well, I've seen Jesus in the way this guy serves and treats people. I also know that our mutual friends are shocked and hurting as they pray for his recovery and peace. One of his friends has started a blog to let people know how he's progressing, and as I read the last entry I was struck by one thing. As people have been gathering in the waiting room for news and prayer, they have been burdened to pray for one thing in particular- that those caring for my friend would come to know Jesus. Only in a community of truly devoted children of God would you see people praying for the salvation of the night nurse of a dying friend. Really? I don't know if I'd be selfless and strong enough to pray that kind of prayer. Father, turn my heart into one that hungers for salvation in the middle of a storm! And if the 3 of you out there who follow me think about it, please please please pray for my friend Philip, his family, and that those caring for him would see Christ.

"Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground, at all?
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of us."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Forget diamonds... tattoos are forever

After months of seeking out every sketchy tattoo parlor in the greater Lexington and Louisville areas, my friend Courtney and I finally took the plunge and got tattoos last weekend. Most people who know me would be shocked to hear this, but just because I'm conservative doesn't mean I didn't want a tattoo. And did I ever!

Not only did I- the germophobic pain-intolerant pre-nurse that I am- willingly pay for someone to stab me with a needle, I also chose one of the most painful spots to get a tattoo (ribs). To clarify, I wasn't trying to be tough- it was just one of the best places to cover up a tattoo when working/interviewing/impressing potential suitors and/or in-laws. While I lived up to to the "pain-intolerant" title (because *shockingly*, a needle in the ribs really hurts), Courtney was a beast. Her tattoo was MUCH larger and she barely flinched. Barn girls.

But this experience has been a good reminder to me of being adopted into God's family. I have been branded as a child of God by the grace of Jesus. I may not have ink under my skin that affirms this, but God has graven my name on His heart. He has marked himself on my behalf, and now I have tried to do the same for Him. A few months ago, during the children's lesson time at church, the pastor was telling the kids that God had written each of their names on His hands because He loved them so much. One of the kids spoke up, "God must have REALLY BIG hands." May you rest in that truth, friends. Our God has really big hands :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things I Love Today...

Doing a head count of my class while they're in the pool and getting the correct number. Every time.

The knowledge that Christmas is less than 5 months away.

Not getting bit by a snake as I walk home through the woods.

The perfect combination of blueberry and chocolate flavors for dessert.

The realization that I will be done with school soonish.

Coldplay's new single.

The feeling of every one of cells jolting awake as I sip a steaming mug of coffee in the too-early morning.

The end.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Never Say Never

Let this blog post be the record of things I once said I would never do but have recently found myself doing...

1. Dyeing my hair. I know, I know- you should never make a decision about your hair while in the middle of a life crisis. But there wasn't really anything else I wanted to do more after the shock of being dumped wore off. And I learned my lesson. It won't likely happen again.

2. Returning to Alabama. This one's tricky. I went back for my cousin's wedding, and discovered a lot. For example, I learned my brother is much bigger than me, my mom has a tattoo, and I don't like alcohol. Also I came back as one large, walking mosquito bite. Good trip.

3. Admitting that I listen to Justin Bieber.I somehow convinced my sister that I deserved a "Congratulations-for-getting-into-nursing-school" gift, and I requested all of her JB songs. Needless to say, I am enjoying my new music.

After seeing my family and spending countless time with my siblings, I've been thinking a lot about my sister Amy that passed away. Someone mentioned during my family's visit that she would be in high school now. That makes me feel so old :) But as sad as it is to wonder what having another sister would be like, it feels like every member of my family fits in just the right way. I felt such peace looking at the connections I have with my siblings. We are all so different from each other, but I love being with them and I'm proud to see what is next for each of them in the coming year.

"Everything will be fine, everything in no time at all,
hold your own, know your name, and go your own way."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm a Twitterer-er...

After being dumped, most girls dye their hair an unnatural color, listen to angry break-up songs, and host a burning party to destroy unwanted relics of their crumbled relationship. I have only mustered enough energy to have my split-ends trimmed and to sign up for a Twitter account. Way to stick it to the man, Sam.

So instead of spending evenings making myself sick eating self-pity ice cream, I spend my free time wracking my brain for a reason, any reason, that I deserved having my heart broken. Inevitably, I start wondering if I could have won him over had I been prettier, skinnier, smarter, more ambitious, more compassionate. I have no doubt that improvement in any of these things is both possible and necessary. But I have nothing to go on, no idea what I could have done differently. I am literally at a loss.

Last week was Mother's Day, and it reminded me of how grateful I am for my mom. She has a knack for raising independent, well-rounded children, if I do say so myself :) But it also got me wondering what kind of mother I will hopefully be someday (read: in the VERY VERY distant future). Probably the kind that thinks dressing her kids to look like they stepped out of a BabyGap ad is not worth the battle it will be getting them to look that way. And probably the kind that thinks the best cure for any ailment involves homemade chicken soup and a John Steinbeck novel. Yep, I can see now that my children will be mismatched, soup-gluttonous readers. That said, I'd like to send a big shout-out to my mom who even now answers my questions about filing taxes and roasting turkeys. Thanks, Ma.