Saturday, October 27, 2012

More on Cinderella: Faith

Something I forgot to mention yesterday that I found admirable about the character of Cinderella: she had faith and hope that her life was going somewhere better, that her dreams could come true. She certainly didn't have much external reason to believe that, but she did. And when the fairy godmother appeared, she said to Cinderella that she couldn't have lost faith entirely, or she wouldn't have been able to appear to her! Faith is not an excuse to be lazy or to do nothing towards a dream (but Cinderella wasn't doing nothing: she was a hard worker!), but it is important. There is a truth to the picture of the miracles coming in to Cinderella's life because of her faith. The Gospels report that in some towns Jesus was not able to perform many miracles because of the people's lack of faith!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Trusting in Promises and Plans

I've been wanting to write about this for awhile, and I'm not sure I know where to start.

There is something that I feel God has promised me. Something more specific, that is, on top of that which He promises in His word (but not super specific). And, relatedly (almost the same thing), something that I just feel I am in many ways terribly suited for, there are so many things about me that I feel are saying that that is how I would be happiest and what I would be best at.

Yet this same thing is something that my real life has never come very close to including, and that far too often makes me feel sad and doubtful that it ever will include, even angry. I turn to God and say things like, why would You make me like this if this isn't going to happen? Why would You give me this and then not let me use it?

Then one day--probably weeks or months ago now--I've really been putting off trying to write about it--I read a story about someone who had been promised something by God and who spent years by turns waiting and hoping and expecting and giving up on getting this thing, and eventually the promise was fulfilled, although in a way different than they were expecting.

I really felt God speaking to me that day, reprimanding me (gently!) for not trusting Him more.

Stop doubting whether I am going to keep my promise to you. It may not happen how you are expecting, and it may not happen when you are expecting, but it is going to happen. Stop accusing Me of giving you gifts and then wasting them. I made you this way and I AM going to use those things. I know exactly what you have been made for. Stop accusing Me of giving you a desire for something, dangling it in your face, and refusing it to you. That is not what I am doing and it is not Who I AM.

Reflections on Disney's Cinderella

Having not watched many of the well-known Disney movies as a child, I am currently on a quest to continue my cultural education and amuse myself by watching them now. I started with Cinderella.

First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. But, watching it as an adult, I thought it was pretty, sweet, and funny but also thought about what it represented as being good and worthy of a reward (ie, what the differences between Cinderella and her stepfamily were).

Cinderella was kind and thoughtful, in general, and patient with her stepfamily. Specifically, though, what I noticed most was that she was kind and considerate towards those around her who could be considered less important or inferior (such as the mice). To throw in a Harry Potter reference (sorry to any who are not fans), Sirius Black once said to Harry that the best way to get the real measure of a man is to see how he treats those he considers his inferiors. For instance, if Cinderella had only been kind and gentle with her stepfamily, who were more powerful than she, it could have been because she hoped to get something for it. Feeding and clothing and befriending the little creatures around her is something that means she was willing to be kind and generous even if she had no reason to expect a reward. Of course she did end up being rewarded for it, but the point is that that wasn't the reason she was being kind.

On a more aesthetic level, it was interesting to me to see the artwork, hear the music, and hear Cinderella's singing voice, it really made it clear to me just how old the movie is and how much tastes in things change over time (something that's going to be quite interesting to me as I keep watching these).

My one complaint? The prince got zero characterization. Romance is a lot more interesting when both of the people seem like people. Girls, be sure to marry the first guy you meet who immediately starts singing a duet with you and has a lovely voice! (kidding) (though the prince did have a lovely voice)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy I Love Yarn Day!

In honor of I Love Yarn Day, which is a nifty idea, and also in honor of my fiftieth blog post (OK, that part is a coincidence, but still), this blog is taking a break from deep thinking to say: oooh look at all the pretty colors! and it feels so nice! About, well, yarn. This picture (sorry if the quality is not very good, I'm not much of a photographer) is of a blanket that I am making in KnitPicks Swish DK in (listing them becuse color names are awesome): sugarplum, big sky, lotus, bark, gulfstream, amethyst, hollyberry, jade, and dusk: 

The edging isn't finished yet, and I have some ends left to weave in, but it's mostly finished.

So yes . . . I love yarn. I love the feel of nice soft yarn on my fingers, I love looking at and choosing and working with colors, I love picking pretty patterns and watching them get turned into reality with my fingers and a crochet hook and time . . . time during which I might be drinking tea and other comfortingly hot things, or listening to music, or watching something, or even just sitting and crocheting to relax.

That is all I have to say just now. Have a lovely Friday night, whether your idea of that includes yarn or not!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Promise of Resurrection

At a camp I was at this summer, there was a lake. One night there was worship music by the lake after dark. In the dark, the lake frightened me, it looked like such a big empty expanse of black. And, for various reasons right then, I felt like I was about to get pushed into that frightening empty darkness. So I prayed, and God spoke to me. He did not say that I wouldn't go into that place, that it wouldn't hurt or be scary or surround me and take me back to a state of mind I was in once and never wanted to return to. But He did say that, if that happened, if I fell into that lake and drowned in it (figuratively), then He would pull me back out of that lake and He would bring me back to life.

And I cling to that promise. I can try not to fall in, I can try not to go to that place in myself again, and I am trying. But the thing that comforts me most is not my efforts not to go there, but God's promise that He will rescue and resurrect me regardless. That He who has brought me out of the darkness before has the power to do so again.

Now, go read Ezekiel 37:1-14.