Sunday, December 30, 2012

Les Miserables...and why I love movies and musicals

0 What are your thoughts?
Two nights ago my husband, my sister and I watched Les Miserables. All three of us were giddy in anticipation of an incredible performance.  I exected to be moved, to be inspired, and cry. I was sure I would go through a box of tissues and I was actually looking forward to that experience of the show.

I love the story of Les Mis. It is truly the story of grace, forgiveness, and a changed life. Have you ever listened to the musical? Wow! The lyrics, performances, voices, and orchestra are INCREDIBLE. Put those two together and you know you are in for a treat, right?

I speak music. Now, I am not a singer, I am a dancer, but when I hear music, and singing, my soul connects in a powerful way. This is one of the reasons I love musicals so much.

And let's not forget the power of story (especially in cinematography when you see it unfolding before your eyes). Some stories are so powerful that they change you, they touch you, and they inspire you.

As the end credits rolled out, I sat motionless in my seat. Les Miserables was a good movie, but there was something that just didn't sit well with me. It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally did. I felt cheated.

The story is complex, and there is so much to tell. However, the events happened so quickly that it was hard for me to follow (even being familiar with the story). I had no emotional investment or connection to the characters. Yes, Ann Hathaway's rendition of "I dream a dream" was as amazing as the previous show. However, before that, I did not feel emotionally drawn to her plight. Her song moved me, but her story...well, it did not. It happened so quickly.

Oh the singing was great, I do not even have anything bad to say about Russel Crowe and his singing. It just didn't...connect.

Another great performance was "Empty chairs"  and Eponine was incredible, but then again, I did not feel this great sadness or loss.

Maybe this is a good place to also point out that since this is a movie, I did not expect it to be all singing. No dialogue, no talking, all singing. I don't know, singing, "Who is out there" takes away from how powerful it would be to say, "Who is out there" if you were terrified to find someone that wants to kill you, no matter how terrified you look, if you sing it rather than say it, it is not the same (in my humble opinion). So the "we sing everything" approach actually took away from my enjoyment of the movie, and it took away from the powerful songs, because it all became singing (and I really do love singing).

So maybe Les Mis, the movie, was not my cup of tea. Maybe this is just a style that does not "speak" to me. I really, really wanted to love it, but I felt like the previous did a lot more for me than the actual show. I did come home and found some Broadway performances to "redeem" the experience for me, and yes, I do love Les Miserables, absolutely love the musical too...just not this particular movie version.

What about you. Did you love it? Was it everything you expected it to be? Were you disappointed?

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Brokenness and Prayerlessness

4 What are your thoughts?

I live in a world plagued with evil and suffering.  Broken lives walk around me and I look past their hurting hearts. This is a lost world, a fallen world in need of hope, in need of light.

Last Friday I had to recognize not only the darkness, but my own prayerlessness.

Because this is what has been so heavy in my heart.

It is about the fact that I forgot how to pray. I say I believe in the power of prayer, yet the time I spend in prayer is insignificant. How is it that I can access the Almighty God, yet instead I choose to spend my time browsing through Facebook statuses, or researching the best parenting sites? 

And this is when once more I am confronted by my own brokenness and my own need for God… my Redeemer, my Comforter, my Hope.

Would I be different if I devoted time before the throne of God each day? Absolutely.

Would our church see fruit if I prayed as fervently about our ministry as I complain about how difficult it is? Without a doubt.

Would my girls be more alert to the doings of God in their lives if I was more aware of them myself as I recognize His voice throughout my day? Yes.

A tragedy brings us to our knees, it makes us realize how far we have moved away from the Lord, and how we have allowed darkness to cover the light we are supposed to give and spread with this world.
But darkness cannot destroy light, not when Jesus has already won the battle for us. And sometimes, it takes the precious and innocent blood of children to make us wake up and see the brokenness inside us, and how desperately we need God to be ever present in our lives, in our hearts, in our words and in our actions.

Because He has come so that we have life, and have it to the full. And so I am ready, ready to embrace this full life He offers, and to do so, I need to spend time with Him. I need to hear His voice.
So I will fall on my knees, spread out my arms and ask God to mend the broken pieces of my heart. I will ask Him to make me whole. I will beg Him to move!

The same God who parted the Sea, the one who made the blind man see and the lame man walk…He can move today too. So move Lord Jesus, show us your power, your Glory, and your unending Love.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We need to pray for our schools (response to tragedy in Connecticut)

1 What are your thoughts?
This post first appeared on

It seems ironic I posted my first “confessions” the day before the tragic shooting at the Elementary School in Connecticut. I did not hear about it until after school…thankfully.

There was a flood of compassion and empathy for the victims mixed with fear over our children’s lives as we send them off to school. Are our children safe? Homeschoolers reminded us this is one of the reasons they homeschool.

When tragedy hits our most vulnerable (our children), we face the raw reality of the fallen world we live in. Evil exists, and precious lives suffer under the actions of an enemy that seeks to tear down and destroy.

This is a time where it seems okay to talk about prayer, and God, and His love. It saddens me that it is not until crisis and terror strikes that our Nation recognizes the need we have for God to step in and bring light into darkness.

I will not play the blame game. I will not point fingers and talk about who’s fault this is, or what should have been done different. No.

Instead, I will take a close look at me and see if I have failed to do my part. Because when I honestly look at my heart and the role I play, I have to admit that I have failed. If this had happened at my daughter’s school, I would have to painfully admit I have not done my part.

I send my kids to school and I pray for their safety, “Lord please keep them safe.” Yet today I am confronted by this little prayer, because the magnitude of the events that transpired yesterday show me that I do not take my prayer role very seriously.

So I speak to other God fearing moms (and dads):

Where are we? Why are we not regularly getting together and coming before the Lord asking him, begging Him to MOVE in our schools? Why are we not concerned about the teachers, the staff, the broken families and broken hearts that gather in our public school buildings? Are we burdened by the shattered lives that are so close to us and to our children? Are we doing something? Is it really just enough to ask the Lord, “Keep my child safe” and forget that there are many lives that could be touched by God is we only prayed?

praying for schools

If I take my role as a mother, as a child of God, and as a messenger of His love seriously, then I need to wake up and go!

Let’s wake up church, let’s get our hands dirty as we work to bring the love and hope of Christ to this world. It’s time we bring light back to our schools through us! We cannot blame the government for kicking God out of the schools, we have the Holy Spirit within us, and it’s time to pray!

Lord, may you comfort the broken hearts that grieve because of the wickedness of this fallen world. May we all wake up and listen to your call. May we not point fingers and blame when we have not lived unblemished lives ourselves. May we come together in our grief and recognize that we need you, we desperately need you!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ten Things I Want My Kids to Remeber

1 What are your thoughts?
This post first appeared on

Like running water, time slips between my fingers in a steady stream. These are precious drops of time I wish I could hold on to longer, but they are gone too soon. As I seek to make memories with my children, I think about what is important, and what really matters. There are lessons, memories, moments I want my kids to remember.

I love you. 

Not because of what you can or cannot do, but simply because you are.

I delight in you. 

Nothing brings me more joy than to be your mom.

I know you can accomplish anything you want. 

I see you try hard to learn and master new skills. I know with your determination you can accomplish anything you want.

I will always be your number one fan. 

It doesn’t matter what you do or where life takes you, I will always be cheering you on, always believing in you.

It is okay to make mistakes, my love will never change. 

I know there might be times where you mess up, my love will never change, I will always be available for you.

When you are struggling in life, I am here for you. 

Sometimes we struggle to make sense of life, it is just not always easy. No matter what it is, I am here for you.

You have taught me the most precious lessons in life. 

I thought I would have so much to teach you (and I have taught you many things), but you have taught me so much more!

I am proud of you. 

So incredibly proud.

It is an honor to be your mom. 

How did I get so lucky to have you in my life? It is an honor and a pleasure to be your mom.

I would give my life for you. 

Anything, I would do anything for you. And I would give my life for you, because I love you, and because there is no sacrifice I wouldn’t give for you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

18 Months Post-Rhizotomy {and a CP connection}

1 What are your thoughts?
Last week, Nina and I made a trip to Mayo Clinic for her 18 month post-rhizotomy follow up. I cannot believe that it has been that long!

Her therapists and doctors were all pleased with Nina's progress. It is so fun when you see the people that have followed her for almost 3 years be as excited as you are about her progress. Nina is walking independently, and she walked up and down halls and across rooms (over and over) for everyone to see.

Here is the gist of things we discussed:
  • Nina uses her walker for balance (she still looses her balance easily). The thing is, the walker is an overkill. She uses it to, "do some tricks!" per her own words to all her therapists and doctors. She is even known to give "rides" to her friends. Her gait is terrible in the walker because she uses it for speed.
  • We are going to try crutches for balance help. Actually, one crutch. Her left side is very strong, and she really only needs support with her right side. We need to start practicing one crutch.
  • Nina's right knee comes in (faces her left leg) every time she walks, making her right foot come in as well. As she gains balance and confidence, she is tripping on her own knee and/or foot.
  • Nina has hip dysplasia, a bone malformation on her right leg femur, and still some spasticity. 
  • Veredict: Nina is having surgery this summer. Okay, surgeries. Yes, 4 of them! The doctor will fix her hips, break the bone and rearrange it, do muscle lengthening in her hamstrings and PERCS on her Achilles tendons.
Nina's left side is really amazing. When you remind her to put "heel first" when taking a step, her left side is almost...normal. Remember the "magic juice" I talked about last month for the CP connection? Yeah, we really do believe this has a lot to do with her left side improving.

And speaking of the CP connection. Do you blog about cerebral palsy? Link-up! And don't forget to visit the person that linked up before you and leave a thoughtful comment!

Oh, and PLEASE link back to this post! We ALL want to be connected, it is the CP connection after all.You can link with text or copy the CP connection code from the right sidebar.

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