Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just Let It Go Already!

Strains of "Let It Go" have been swirling through my thoughts this past month.  I am sure that at least half the planet's population has been similarly afflicted.  There is something about that song that speaks to us.  Powerfully.  In some cases, even against our wills.

Before I saw the movie, Frozen, I was puzzled by this phenomena. 

I guess the first I heard of it was when my brother-in-law took my two oldest boys to see it when their little sister was born.  They were bitterly disappointed.  Evidently all three of them assumed it was going to be an Ice Age movie. 

Oh, the agony of disillusionment!

And yet, when given the opportunity to watch it again at a friend's house, they were delighted!  Thrilled, even.  They sang along with it . . .

How did they even know the words?

Well, on their way to church camp, both vans had a copy of the soundtrack, purchased by a 23 year old male, (who shall remain nameless) and sung anywhere between 7 and 70 times.  (My three witnesses have been debating the exact number.  I think they settled on an average of 18 total.)

If you are depressed with the world news and the direction our country is headed, just watch this video of our proud and brave U. S. Marines singing along with Elsa.  It might make you feel better.  Or maybe terrified.  Let me know how it affects you.  It made me proud though.  The kid in the center is the spitting image of my little brother.  These are the guys on the front lines, defending Justice, Freedom and The American Way.  They are just kids.  And they sing along with Disney Princess movies.   God bless every one of them!

Anyways, this is just one example of the two and a quarter million You Tube videos relating to this song.  I couldn't believe that number.  People, we are seriously obsessed!

It is a well established fact around here that my family is too cheap to go to the movie theater.  Which means if I want to see the latest and greatest hit movies, I have to wait 8 months for it to come out in the library.  But that's okay.  I'm totally cool with that.  I was number 267 on our library's waiting list for Frozen.  It just arrived on my hold shelf last week.  But, thanks to my awesome friend, Susan, I got to see it at her house last month. 

And now I get it.

 The song makes sense.  

Really, it blew me away.  I was mesmerized by the intensity of color, music, feeling and good ol' Disney magic.  All of a sudden, it became my song.

Here is my theory on why Let It Go speaks so powerfully to all of us, whether we want to admit it or not:

Every single one of us are created in God's image.  That means (among other things) we are creative.  For years I argued with my Grandma that I was not creative or talented in anything. 

Guess what? 

I was wrong. 

Just because I can't paint, like she does, or sew like my other Grandma does not mean I am not talented.  Thanks to my Grandma Joan, I discovered as a teenager that I enjoyed writing and playing the piano.  When I married, I let both of those "hobbies" lapse.  Every now and then I would get an urge to sit down at the piano.  Sometimes my inner storm would erupt and the only way I could make sense of things again was to take up my pen.  But mostly these promptings were stifled, pushed down, concealed. 

I didn't have time. 

It wasn't as important as taking care of my family. 

I was afraid of failure. 

The excuses rolled on.  But last year came a sort of watershed moment for me.  Almost simultaneously, my music and my written thoughts found a way out.  I started piano lessons and this blog in the same month.  For the first time in forever (another great Frozen song!) I felt like had found a large chunk of myself that had been AWOL. 

And it felt good.  

It was right.

 I hope to never let these outlets of expression languish into oblivion again.  God gave me these gifts.  He wants me to use them for His glory, my enjoyment and the enrichment of others. 

I find it interesting that Elsa's ice powers are more the expression of what she feels with her heart than a thought out response.  When threatened, her ice is a barrier, sharp and defensive.  When finding release, it is joyful, beautiful, triumphant, but yet cold.  When moved by love, it is warm and thoughtful, serving others. 

What hidden talents do you keep tamped way down inside? 

You aren't creative, you say?  Maybe you need to look again. 

I am not good at taking a blank anything and creating something from basically nothing, per se.  I am not a Novelist, creating people and realms straight out of my imagination.  Rather, I prefer to take something that is already there and craft it to suit my purposes.  That is why I write personal experience stories and devotionals and recipes.  The raw materials are already there.  Whatever you do, don't send me to the store to purchase everything new to make over a room.  I can't do it.  But, lock me in a room full of shabby and eclectic  Goodwill furnishings and I can make it a work of art.  Give me the notes, and I will make it my music. 

What makes your heart sing?  What can you do to feed your soul while feeding others at the same time?

 I have such talented friends.  I think of Christy at Sooner Sugar.  She has a gift!   She comes from a family of extrordinarily gifted ladies.  I'm in awe of all of them.

  I dearly love Miss Susan at Grace To Thailand.  She is using all of her Pastor's Wife Super Powers to create a lovely home for abused and orphaned children.  But besides these, she is a gifted author who is now using her skills to keep supporting churches apprised of the best way to pray for these precious souls they are serving.

  Renee at Little Earthling Photography and A Baker's Dozen is changing the world, one photograph, one blog post at a time.  Not only is she the mother of 14, she has such a tremendous heart for the babies and mamas of special needs families.  Her photography is beautiful, dignified, heart rending and heart healing.

 Mrs, Gore  has the most amazing and thoughtful birthday party ideas.  I truly admire her gift of making memorable occasions.

 We may not all be able to do our thing, whatever that might be, in a professional way, but we can do it like no one else can.  And it makes all the difference in the world to those around us.  If you need any ideas to get started, may I recommend another one of my "life changing" books?  The Hidden Art of Homemaking; Creative Ideas For Enriching Everyday Life by Edith Schaeffer.  You will be thoroughly challenged and  refreshed.

One last link, for all of you who now can't get Let It Go out of your head, here is a version that is not only side splitting funny, but lump-in-your-throat poignant: Let It Go Mom Parody

Let's Let It Go today!

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Dream Morning

Saturday's Blog Post:

Writer's Block.

I have it.

The End.

Monday's Blog Post:

I have been afflicted with a serious case of apathy.  I am in Homeschool Limbo.  Last year's work is STILL not quite finished.  The new school year is about to begin.  I have neither rested this summer, nor have I gotten anything accomplished.  I have, however, become thoroughly sick and tired of living without any sort of schedule.  Which is really what summer is all about.  The true miracle of July is that it accomplishes the impossible feat of making the dreary and predictable days of November seem "cozy" and "structured".

One side effect of the crazy, lazy,  halcyon days of summer is that I have lost my time for writing.  And I have really missed it.  As I was making our oatmeal this morning, (at the scandalous hour of 10:45) it occurred to me that if I want Success, I am going to have to define my terms.  What is Success to me?  What would it look like, feel like, taste like?  Would I know it if ever I did achieve it?  For instance, what is my conception of a Dream Morning.  A morning where everything went right.  So I grabbed some scrap paper and started to scribble a heading: My Dream Morning.  But, what's this?  Rob had left the laptop  up and running on the kitchen table.  I set the timer for the oatmeal (which I then ignored) and sat myself down.  (Now you know why things have a tendency to burn around here)

What follows is my idea of the beginning to a perfect day.  Now, I know that to expect this to ever happen exactly like this is foolish.  But, if you can dream, you can create.  You have something to aim for.  At the very least you will have spent a very pleasant half hour.

So, this is how I broke my Writer's Block, and maybe even my Summer's Apathy.

And, if I happen to "rise before dawn" or find flowers in my hair, I can say to myself, "Yup, I'm living the dream!" because now I know what it looks like.


* Rise before dawn  (should I *rise, *spring or *leap from bed?  I guess it depends on when I went to bed in the first place.  Rising sure sounds elegant, though)

* Kiss my honey.

* Dress in comfy workout clothes, make coffee, be alert/motivated enough to unload the dishwasher while waiting for coffee to brew without breaking anything.

* Take my coffee, Bible and hungry baby outdoors for Mission Briefing with my Commander-In-Chief  (if I am dressed and shod this should be easy)

* Watch the sun rise over my well tended lawn.  (But wait, my front porch faces west . . .  Never  mind, this is my daydream and anything can happen!)

*  Pluck a few stray weeds from the flower bed.

* Water the homegrown, organic tomatoes.

* Since the house is already immaculate, (thanks to My Dream Evening being flawlessly executed) I sweetly wake my eldest to join me in a rousing workout

*After a refreshing  shower, real clothes and makeup duly applied, I awaken the rest of the family with a hearty, homecooked breakfast.

*There are flowers on the table.  There might even be flowers in my hair. 

* During breakfast (which is high protein, low fat, low sugar and low cost)  we intelligently discuss world politics, religion, The Periodic Table of Elements and Suzuki music theory while listening to the Classical Conversations learning CD.

* Directly following our repast, the older boys will happily clean the kitchen while I flit through the house putting a few finishing flourishes on the bathrooms and laundry.  A crockpot with tonight's dinner is burbling away.

* We will all gather in the living room for Family Devotions, (which will be interesting and meaningful.  No one hit or bite another during this time because we all LOVE one another.  Right?  Right?!)

* After Devotions, flash card drills and violin practice, then on to the day's official academic adventures! 

*By the way, it's only 9 a.m. 

How about you?  Do you have a dream?  Try taking some time today to flesh it out.  Make it BIG!  Give it lots of details.  Pray over it.  It may not be as impossible as it first seems.  Is there one step you can take today to make it become a reality?  Here is my first step: Get everyone in bed by 10 'o clock every night this week.  Not easy!  But it IS doable.  I hope it will set the stage for easing us back into our school routine.

 There will definitely be no springing out of bed without it!