Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Miss Evie

Miss Evie turned 2 on New Year's Eve.

And what a two years it has been!

This girl has changed our lives, for sure.

Sometimes I look at her and can't believe how God has blessed us.  

I do that with all of my kids, but her arrival in our family was a very different journey from the others and all of the bumps in the road to making her a Shaw makes her all the more precious.

New Year's Eve was not only the second celebration of her birthday, it was the first annual celebration of the finalization of her adoption.  I think December 31 has become my favorite day of the year.

This one above is such a precious picture.  I gave it kind of a washed out effect to play up the natural light already there and up the sweetness factor of the love between these sisters.

Happy birthday, Miss Evie.  You are loved beyond human ability to measure.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Movie Review: Boyhood

Last night, John and I watched the film, Boyhood.

It is the story of a boy (duh) and follows him through his formative years, from about 3rd grade to going off to college.

What makes this film unique is that it was filmed, a little at a time, over the course of those years, using the same actors throughout.  

It had lots of bad language and things that make it inappropriate for kids and people who can't hear a story if it is wrapped in bad language.

(I have a similar problem; I can't hear a story if it is wrapped in bad grammar.)

It was, I'm afraid, an all too familiar story in America: single mom, there/not there dad, drunken step-dads, "poor choices," bad advice, drugs, pre-marital sex, heart-breaking consequences.

On the other hand, nothing ever seems that bad.  Many situations that could have been tragic were merely sad bumps in the road of life and everyone moves on, moves forward, makes the best of things as they come.

Toward the end of the movie, the main character has just graduated from high school and he asks his dad - who has turned into one of the most steady, positive influences in his life - what it all means.  If we're just going from one life event to the next and if by the time we're 40 we have no more idea of what it all means than when we were 18, what good is it all?  

A good question.

His dad's answer?  I can't remember exactly what he says, but it's basically, "D***ed if I know."

And yet, impossibly, the movie ends on a positive note, the boy's life seemingly full of possibility.

And the secular world claims that Christianity is based on faulty reasoning and wishful thinking!

The movie is well-done, the acting convincing, the characters engaging.  I'm sure it deserves any awards it receives.

But it is flawed in the same way everything is flawed apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

If we are only working to be as comfortable as possible before we die, then we should all just quit right now.  

If, however, we are working for the glory of Someone bigger than ourselves, Someone who created us and planned for us, Someone who has called us, Someone who equips us to do what we are called to do, Someone who has gone before us, Someone who will call us to our true home when this life is done, only then does anything make sense, 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Reading List

One of my goals for this year...

(Notice I say "goals" and not "resolutions." This distinction is important as a goal is always there no matter how often I fail, but a resolution is broken as soon as I fail.  And I will fail.  But I'll try again because my goal will always beckon and never shame me for failing.) to read more books.  I do read and always have, but more and more I find that my attention span doesn't last long enough for me to finish a book.  Non-fiction has always been particularly hard for me to get through.  

So, I go play on the internet - pinning pretty pictures on Pinterest takes much less attention than following an argument or even a plot through a couple of hundred pages.

I was killing time before picking up a kid from basketball practice the other day and picked up a book from the sale rack.  It is called 

and is the story of two girls from the University of Iowa who went to New York City in the summer of 1945 to find work and ended up as couriers on the sales floor of Tiffany & Co.

It is a fun, quick read and a lovely picture of a brief moment in time.  They see many celebrities, like Judy Garland on her honeymoon with Vincente Minnelli, and meet a few; go "clubbing" at the Stork Club and La Martinique; eat lunch at the automat; watch the parade for General Eisenhower from the steps of the New York Public Library; and have all sorts of other adventures, only some of which make it into their carefully edited letters home!  

In a completely different vein, I am also reading 

by Jen Hatmaker.  She takes the five women named in Jesus' lineage and encourages women to see themselves as our Creator sees us, not as others see us.  I'm only two chapters in, but so far it's very encouraging.  

I'm always leary of books like this because authors can so easily use Scripture as proof texts for their own agenda, and someone like Jen Hatmaker can do it while making me laugh (although I don't think she has done it.  Not yet, anyway.).  It takes a level of discernment I hope I have.

My list of books to get to is long and only getting longer, but hopefully this year I will be diligent in using what down time I have to knock out a few, learn something new and extend my rapidly dwindling attention span.