Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's the middle of summer and you haven't had time to relax? Can't get to the beach? Need a Staycation? Bring out the chocolate; send the kids to Aunt Augusta. It's time to schedule some time off for yourself - quick! 

When this happens at our house, we generally reach for a classic movie and bring out the pillows. The longer the movie, the better. Meals are leftovers or cold cuts served from the kitchen countertop. Fresh cherries or grapes, or apples with peanut butter, are available for the snacking. After a few hours of laughter, tears, and general escapism, we're ready for another round of busy days. 

Here are some of our favorite long classics for those days when we need some downtime. (Note: none of these are good for small children, but my teen girls enjoy these movies as much as I do.)

  • Cranford. Based on the stories of Elizabeth Gaskell. The ladies of Cranford deal with etiquette, tradition, a new young doctor, and the shocking advent of the railroad in 1840s England. It's a story of friendship and fidelity, tragedy and unexpected joy.
  • Wives and Daughters. Also based on the stories of Elizabeth Gaskell. It's a different kind of Cinderella story. There's no prince, but there is a hateful stepmother and a selfish stepsister, and happiness at the end.
  • Sense and Sensibility. Based on the book by Jane Austen. Sisters grapple with understanding Love. Is it a fleeting fancy, a fervency of emotion, or a quiet faithfulness? When they relocate with their mother to a remote district, they discover their friends are not entirely what they seem.
  • Little Dorrit. Based on the book by Charles Dickens. A young seamstress with a father who lives in a debtors prison learns about life and trust as circumstances propel her from wealth to poverty and back again. 
  • Les Miserables. Musical, based on the book by Victor Hugo. This redemptive story of crime, justice, adoption, and grace, is set amidst the era of the French Revolution. Bring out the tissues.

Don't forget the ice cream! Relax and renew - it's summertime. :) 

- Nancy

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jesus is my Quarterback

When my grandpa was 82 years old, he gave his life to the Lord. An avid sportsman all his life, his fondest memories were of playing football, and that was the analogy he used when he told me about the experience. He said, "Now Jesus is my quarterback. He's calling all my plays."

We had a game on TV the other day and I was watching the plays, calling out advice from my rocking chair. The team, of course, didn't listen to me. And they didn't listen to the thunderous noise around them. Instead, they entered into the traditional huddle before each play so they could hear what the quarterback had to say. And they carried out his plan - not the advice being shouted from the stands - to the best of their ability.

I was reminded of that as I meditated upon my morning scripture reading
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-17). Paul was writing to the church in Thessalonica, a Greek seaport, to a group of people who had turned to God from idols and who went on to endure successive attacks from barbarians who tried to stamp out their faith. In Paul's letter, you might say he was in the locker room with them at halftime, encouraging the "team." 

What kind of a pep talk did he give?