a little bit of everything

Happy Easter Everyone!

We made it! After what feels like 40 years, we’ve finally entered the Easter season. Alleluia! Lent was an especially long and challenging journey this year. Hopefully, we’ve all come out a little stronger in the Lord and ready to embark on the next season ahead of us!

Tonight’s post is a little mix of things that were on my mind that I wanted to include you in! The first one is an invitation. I’ve just started an instagram account, so feel free to find me there under the username theauthorofbeauty. I’ll be capturing and sharing the beautiful moments, people and places along this pilgrimage called life!

Next, is a movie that I’ve been meaning to write about for a long time. I know that people can be pretty particular when it comes to movies, or at least I am. But I think this movie is an exception. It’s just so all around heart warming, I can’t imagine people disliking it. The movie is called The Peanut Butter Falcon. It follows the journey of a young man named Zak who has Down syndrome and wants to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler, despite living in a nursing home. Through unexpected evens, he meets Tyler, a rough and troubled man running from his past, and the two embark on an unforgettable adventure.

I was touched to tears (the good kind) a few times in the movie, because of it’s (indirectly) incredibly profound pro life message. In a world so obsessed with darkness, death and crime… this movie was refreshing, authentic, hilarious and life giving. I was left with a beautiful hope and gratefulness in my heart.

In these long and isolating times, why don’t you go grab a cozy blanket, grab some snacks and watch The Peanut Butter Falcon! Before you know it, you will find yourself immersed in the incredible adventure of Zak and Tyler, wanting the story to continue long after the credits.

Rap it up. Please.

“Let the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord my rock and my redeemer” – Psalm 19:14

That verse right there, is one of my all time favourites. What a simple, clear, beautiful and powerful call to a greater integrity of speech. In an earlier blog, I reflected upon the culture of dishonesty that has swept through society, destroying trust and accountability from the corporate world, to our own homes and families. Not only can our words contribute to a dishonest world, but they can contribute to a culture of criticism.

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WAIT WHAT?

Yesterday I saw something on youtube ( youtube… you bring me so much joy and so much pain) which motivated me to write this post. The show was called Drop the Mic  (I linked the episode I watched with Ashlee Simpson and Christina Milian). Here’s how the shows works: 2 famous people (or “used-to- be” famous people) stand on the stage and have a rap battle. They try to roast (silly synonym that means ridicule, insult, or humiliate) one another on the grounds of personal life, career, character flaws, physical appearance and so on. Then the crowd cheers to indicate their favourite performance, and one of the hosts ultimately disregards the cheers of the crowd and crowns their own favourite performance. Hahaha! I am serious. This is how the show works.

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Alright:

  1. Yes it was funny to hear these celebrities try and rap  (I briefly saw one with Dr. Phil because that’s something you don’t see everyday)
  2. It is interesting to see what celebrities will battle against one another

But honestly, I can’t come up with any other reasons why this show is worthy of watching. It was so hard for me to see these women completely insult one another about very personal things. I am sure a lot of people say, ” It’s just a joke”, but I challenge you on that one. Is it really a joke? There is no way that those two ladies walked off that stage, went home, and felt good about themselves. Especially the woman who lost (Ashlee Simpson). Of course, to help soothe their wounded hearts, they, as with all the contestants, have to talk themselves out of it by saying ” this is just a joke, it’s funny, it’s part of the show”. There is a fine line between laughing at ourselves and others with respect, or insulting and belittling them with disrespect. Tell me one person who thinks those celebrities enjoyed hearing horrible things said about themselves and their personal lives when no one was watching? I am deeply saddened to think that this is what America/North America thinks is funny. We are giving in to a culture of criticism, and calling it comedy.

 Let us not forget:

Words can make our break hearts. Words can inspire or belittle. Words can give life or bring death. Words can free or chain us. 

After watching a few clips of Drop the Mic, it was again so clear to my heart that we must use our words more wisely. It’s not just the show that is wrong, it’s the tendency in our heart to be over sarcastic, play on someones failure, laugh at the other, tear them down. We all do this, in one way or another. Drop the Mic is a larger reflection of what takes place in our own hearts. I pray that we can all receive the graces from Jesus to speak life, peace, joy and encouragement to those around us. May we truly let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to God who is our rock and our redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

 

Whoops!

Baking Tip # 1: Never let dough (containing yeast) thaw overnight with the lid on! Waking up to this doughy-monster-mess on my counter, was hilarious. It looks like it grew legs overnight and tried to walk away! So much for my perfect buns for breakfast….

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Baking Tip #2: When making black bean burgers, be sure to use black beans!! I kept telling my husband I was making these delicious black bean burgers, but used kidney beans the whole time. It wasn’t until they were in the oven that I realized I had used the wrong beans!

Sometimes the whole cooking/baking world can be harsh. You check out a nice recipe on Pinterest and buy the right ingredients, but when it’s finished, it looks or tastes NOTHING like what it was supposed to! Or perhaps your like me. You set out to make a new recipe but make so many mistakes that your left with kidney bean burgers, and monster-dough!!!

Isn’t life a little like this though!? We have areas in our lives where we expect flawless results (diets, relationships, marriage, Church, gym, even cooking). We have this “perfect” vision of how something should be, but in reality, things turn out differently. Perhaps we fail that diet with whole lot of snacking, or we choose the wrong words in the argument with our spouse or our colleague.  We all fail each other in one way or another. We see their flaws, and they see ours.

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Life is always throwing us curve balls, and we are often going to drop the ball. I’m trying to learn to take the road of humility. The road that learns from mistakes, is quick to say sorry, laughs it off and moves on! I think this sort of perspective is in line with what Jesus meant for us. He knows we are imperfect. He knows we make mistakes. He knows we will fail each other. But he calls us out to live a positive, and fulfilling life which includes accepting our moments of weakness and failure, and letting them change us for the better. So whether its failing our colleagues at work, our family at home, or failing in the kitchen with those dang kidney bean burgers… we are invited to see these moments with eyes of hope, and a sense of humour doesn’t hurt either 😉

 

 

Back to Basics

For the past few months, I have been attending weekly speech therapy to help with my very problematic (and painful) jaw. I am required to re-learn a “correct swallowing pattern”. Yup- you heard that right. I have to learn to swallow again! Apparently, I have been doing that wrong for quite some time. When I first heard the orthodontist tell me that, I wanted to burst out laughing. I had no idea that people, let alone adults, could have to learn such a fundamental body process. Needless to say, it has been an eye opening, or should I say mouth opening, process!  Once I have mastered this technique, there will be significantly less stress on my jaw, resulting in less pain ( yahooo).

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I am probably the oldest client there by 10-15 years. I have only seen children or young adults in the waiting room. The funniest thing is, that once I begin therapy, I actually feel like a child again. Whether its making crazy faces while trying an exercise for my tongue or lips, playing games, talking into the mirror, or working on my posture… it’s always interesting. I think every time I have therapy, I find myself laughing out loud! At first, I was embarrassed; sticking out my tongue, puckering my lips, reading like I have no teeth. But the more I attend therapy, the more freeing it becomes.

I have never been a person who liked to stand out, or do crazy things, or be embarrassed in front of anyone. I kind of like to be “put together” and appear to have things “under control”. But speech therapy is teaching me to be more and more free. That doing things that make you feel silly, or being like a child is okay! It can even be really fun. I guess sometimes I get stuck in the responsible adult and practical role… but I want to get better at breaking away from that more often.

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It is my sincere hope that I can keep growing in this childlike freedom and JOY! Life is just too short to be over serious, totally stressed, or hopeless. Although life can be complicated ( and mine feels that way right now), I want to take steps toward this freedom feeling. Here is a little list to make some concrete steps in this direction. Perhaps they are something for you to try, too:

  1. Let ourselves loose track of time. Goodbye clocks and phones and schedules. Take time to enjoy our hobbies & loved ones without feeling a time pressure
  2. Laugh. Really Laugh with those around us. For me this can be done with my day care kids and with my husband (sometimes we make “homemade” jokes… that always works)
  3. “Be a Duck”- My mom always encouraged us by using this analogy. To let (the negative) things roll off our backs  like the water rolls off the feathers of the duck. Not to hold on to the 2-3 negative moments, words, experiences of the day.
  4. Count our blessings- Foster a thankful heart that rejoices in the good, beautiful and lovely moment of our day.
  5. Pray- Sometimes we have areas in our lives that are like chains. Parts of our past, or our character that holds us back from being free. God wants to meet us there, and break the chains. He is there to help us, when we can’t do it alone!