Friday, March 30, 2012


Although several of my friends read The Hunger Games trilogy last summer (or the summer before even?), after hearing the basic plot of the stories, I was unsure I wanted to read them. It sounded unsettling and disturbing. But when I heard the movie was coming out this spring, I opted to go ahead and read them because I have a thing about seeing the movie without reading the book first.

Side note: I actually read The Help last summer so that I could go see the movie with some friends, but something came up and I never went to the movie. So I have read the book but still have not seen the movie - crazy, huh?

I started The Hunger Games and found them so compelling that I finished all three books in under 72 hours. They were well-written and seemed to pull me into what the characters were thinking and feeling as they made hard decisions (or as decisions were made for them).

As much as I was drawn into the series, I was also disturbed by some of the themes and content. I hated what "The Capitol" represented and was uncomfortable with the similarities I saw in the book and in our world today: the way we view entertainment, the huge discrepancy between haves and have-nots, the way I sometimes worry more about what I need than the good of everyone in the world. I was challenged to think and change because of the books. (Although I still feel like I need a book club or support group to help me process my thoughts.)

I have been anticipating the movie, hoping that it would rekindle some of the thoughts and feelings I had for the books. I saw the movie Monday night and have to say that, while I think they accurately portrayed the events of the book, something was missing. I was disappointed and (to use a word from the review I posted below) "under-whelmed."

The characters and setting and events were as I had imagined; but, after reading this review, I think I know what was missing: it was the inner monologue of Katniss. Her thoughts and feelings, and emotions were described in the books in such detail, that there was no way to capture that in the movie through facial expressions and conversations. What they showed was good, but there was so much more to be shown.

I think this article says it well. What do you think?

Monday, March 12, 2012


Josiah (3) just got out of bed, came into the living room and complained, "I'm sleepin' in the middle of the day!" My thoughts exactly.

Friday, March 09, 2012


I hate typing the word.

I hate saying the word.

I hate thinking everyone is looking at me thinking the word.

I hate checking the marital status box on medical forms.

It's a word I never would have expected to be applied to me. I mean, I didn't even get married until I was 28, waiting for God's timing. And then I was so happy. Content with my spouse, my children, my life.

But, things happen. People make choices. To say things. To do things. Two people choose how to treat their covenant.

For better or for worse.

What happened to my attitude in the hard times?

For richer or for poorer.

Why was I so anxious about money?

In sickness and in health.

Where was my patience in times of struggle?

To love, honor and cherish.

Did I do this? Daily? To the best of my ability?

I have regrets. And guilt. And more guilt.

But God juxtaposed a conversation with a friend and a quote from a Mark Lowry concert and started me thinking.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about the divorce and how incredulous it was to me that this all happened. She kindly commented that “my sin” and circumstances just happened to be public and that she would not want some of her choices or her sin to be made available for all to see.

I was a little surprised. While I have made plenty of poor choices and did, in fact, sin during my marriage, I have not considered the divorce itself to be a matter of sin for me. I did not want it. I did not pursue it. And I only “agreed” to it, signing the final paperwork because it was holding up the process of buying a house for Jim.

I did not say anything, but continued to consider her words.

A few days later, I attended a Mark Lowry concert. In the midst of his sharing about how we are all able to be used by God, he specifically referred to people who are divorced. He said, “God was divorced” and told us to read Jeremiah 3:8. He went on to encourage us that if we were divorced, God could still use us and to not think of it as a barrier to what God could do with us.

His words were powerful. I went home and looked up the passage and found this:

I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.”

(emphasis mine)

According to this, Mark was right. God gave Israel a certificate of divorce. If God did this, how could it be a sin?

I started researching verses on divorce and found that although divorcing someone can cause them to sin (commit adultery), I have yet to find a verse that says the actual act of giving someone a certificate of divorce is a sin.

I’m still looking and thinking and praying. What do you think?

Thursday, March 08, 2012


I love cookies. A lot.

In fact, I have often thought that cookies might be my one weakness when it comes to food. There is just something about a cookie that makes me want to keep eating and eating and eating.

It takes a bit of effort to convince myself that eating one (or two) cookies will be just as good as eating 10 (or 12) cookies. And that it will probably be better, in fact, because I won't be willing myself not to be sick from all of the sugar and butter sitting in a lump at the bottom of my stomach.

But, I digress. My point is (was?) that I love cookies and I decided to make cookies tonight. Monster Cookies.

Side note: I cannot decide if they are named Monster Cookies because of how huge the cookies are (you are suppose to use an ice cream scoop to dip them out and place them on the cookie sheet) or because the recipe makes a ton of cookies (it calls for 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups each of white and brown sugar, and 9 cups of oatmeal/flour.)

I originally planned to make them for the students at school to celebrate them doing ISTEP this week. But then I got to thinking about who really deserved cookies:

The students who, yes, have worked hard at testing but who also have gotten extra snacks and recess all week?

Or the teachers and staff who have been cooped up in rooms testing students all week, carefully reading pages of instructions and making sure they do everything just right so that they are not reported to the DOE?

Not to mention the parents who have put their children to bed early and gotten up early themselves to fix scrambled eggs and toast for their elementary children. (Hypothetically.)

It was a no-brainer.

I have already baked around 50 cookies, and I think I have at least 3 dozen to go. So far, I have managed to eat only one cookie. And I'm thinking I should stop there or I may not be able to stop at all.

The bright side of my late night cookie-baking adventure is that I may actually be awake at 9 pm to watch Person of Interest. With a cookie and a big glass of milk.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


A List of Things I Discovered Today

(Alternately titled "A Desperate Attempt at a Post")

1. The amount of time it takes to clean my bathroom mirror is disproportionate to the difference it makes.

For some reason, when I clean my bathrooms, I often skip cleaning the mirror. After scrubbing the toilet, sink, and floor (and sometimes shower, although I hate to admit how many times I skip that too - is that too much information?), I figure I've done enough.

But today, I looked at the mirror and decided it needed an intervention. So after a few squirts of cleaner and a few swipes of the paper towel (minus the moments of scrubbing those stubborn toothpaste splashes), the mirror was sparkling! Note to self: Clean bathroom mirrors more often to see an instant improvement.

2. Toothpaste does not always end up on your teeth.

While in the aforementioned bathroom, I decided to clean the kids' toothbrushes and cups. I have recently wondered why Josiah's toothbrush seemed hard as a rock and would not brush his teeth effectively.

Now I know it is because there was hardened toothpaste between the bristles. He still uses an "edible" toddler toothpaste because he likes the flavor. (Not that I keep feeding it to him *because* he likes the flavor but because I am afraid if I promote him to regular kid's toothpaste, he might like to eat it; and I think there may be negative effects if he does.)

So, I spent several minutes (more time, in fact, than it took me to clean the mirror!) separating the bristles and rinsing it under warm water and he now has a like-new toothbrush. Madelyn too.

3. Cream of Wheat will always be comfort food for me.

For several months in high school, I had the same thing for breakfast every morning: Cream of Wheat made with milk and a sliced banana on top. It was a bowl of warm, creamy deliciousness to start my day. And it was most likely the best part of my day, since high school was a time of anxiety and insecurity for me; but that is another post entirely.

Anyways, sometimes, I find myself craving a bowl of Cream of Wheat, and tonight was one of those nights. So I whipped some up (I didn't actually "whip it"...more like "stirred it" but that does not have the same ring to it.) I topped it with a sweet ripe banana and a little sugar and had it for dinner with a large glass of milk. Lovely.

4. I will most likely be watching episodes of Person of Interest on the internet instead of on live television.

The past three weeks, I have wanted to watch this show. I have planned to watch this show. But by the time 9 pm rolls around, I find that I would rather go to bed than stay up to watch this show.

Between last night and tonight, I caught up on the last three episodes online (Illegally? How do I know if they are illegally posted? This may keep me up at night.)

I am evidently too old now to stay awake for Prime Time shows. I realize this is sad and lame on several levels. And most likely boring too. Sorry about that.

5. Finally, never underestimate the body of Christ.

I attended the funeral for the baby of some sweet friends today. They have known for several weeks that their baby had physical maladies that, without God's miraculous intervention, would make it impossible for their son to live outside his mother's womb. Today we celebrated little Elijah Korbin's short earthly life and his heavenly home-going.

Despite the parent's loss, they seemed to be surrounded by an almost tangible peace. Their pain is great, but they exhibited grace and hope. Dozens of friends supported them and their family today, grieving with them, trusting with them and celebrating with them.

Earlier this week, I dropped off to them a basket of goodies on behalf of a friend. I found myself desperate to take them something to "make it better." I realized that I cannot take away the pain, and I don't even have much to offer to ease the pain. But I can walk with them in the pain. I can pray for them. I can offer a hug or a word of encouragement. I can continue to ask how they are and lift them up in the weeks and months to come.

I think grief is a journey. One we are not meant to take alone. But with others.

That is what I saw today. And I am grateful.