Gravity

I saw the movie Gravity on my birthday and I really liked it even though it totally freaked me out.  Being an English teacher, I’m cursed with never actually enjoying a movie, a book, or a song without looking for the hidden message behind the story.  Gravity was no different.  In the midst of my heart palpitations, I was drawn to the juxtaposition of beauty and danger that the movie kept referencing over and over.

The Earth from space is glorious.  Breathtaking, even.  Probably one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen (if you ever get to see it from up there).  But, space is also incredibly dangerous.  People are not meant to survive there.  There is no oxygen, no air pressure, no gravity.  Without the protection of a space suit, you would be toast.  In the movie, these dangerous, life-threatening situations kept occurring, but always in the background was all of this beauty.  The sun rising, the mountain formations, the blue of the ocean.  Truly breathtaking stuff.

It made me think about life here.  In our lives, terrible things happen.  Sometimes we have to dig deep and figure out a way to survive.  A way to go on in a productive manner and put our best self forward.  At times, you can’t even pinpoint the terrible thing that’s going on in your life; it might just be the daily tasks of life itself that you are having to survive.  Life is hard and there are moments you feel like you are drifting through space with nothing to grasp hold of.

But, then I think about how beautiful our backdrop is.  Yes, there are moments of struggle and loss, but if we can step back and look at the big picture, we can see how God really is in control.  How He has created the entire universe and everything in it.  How our lives are just a tiny speck in His plan to bring life and glory to Himself.  It’s hard to see it when you’re drifting, though, you know?

Gravity provided a helpful visual.  Yes, your struggles are real and they are intense and in no way do you need to ignore them and just say, “Well, everything will be okay.  I’ll pretend this isn’t happening and let God work it all out.”  No, I think He wants us to face our struggles and deal with them so that we can grow and mature as believers, but He also wants us to remember what’s in the background.  He has created a beautiful life for us with blessings abundant and needs provided for.  The immediate struggle is temporary in the big picture of life.

The Lord loves to redeem us.  That’s why he gave us Jesus Christ, but he loves to redeem us over and over by gently reminding us of what He has done.  And, boy, do I need that redemption on a daily basis.  It’s so easy for me to focus in on myself and my world and forget about the reason I’m here.  Jesus Christ is my gravity.  My gentle pull that reminds me of who I belong to and who I really am.  He is what keeps me grounded.

Colossians 1:15-20

15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Lord, let this truth seep into my soul, so that it’s not just words on a paper or an idea in my head.  But, something that I live out on a daily basis.  Remind me of my background:  all of the ways you have provided for me, love me, and redeem me.

31

My 31st birthday was on Tuesday, so I have been doing some serious celebrating this week.

Monday, we went to Mellow Mushroom with the Holmes’.  The food was delicious, but Bennett was a disaster.  We didn’t meet at the restaurant until 6:30 and he usually eats dinner at 5:30, so he was NOT happy when we got there.  He wouldn’t sit in the highchair without screaming at the top of his lungs, so I’m trying to hold him in my lap which is just not working.  All of us took a shift walking him around the restaurant so we could all eat a little something and hear each other talk.  Not the greatest start to my birthday week, but there was pizza involved, so I wasn’t too sad.

Tuesday was my actual birthday.  Michael took me to South on Main, a cute, new Southern restaurant downtown.  The meal was tasty, but the greatest part was the apple turnover served in a jar.  What?!?!  I’ll take two, please.  The cocktails weren’t too shabby, either.  Hello, mint julep.

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After dinner, we went to see Gravity.  One word–intense.  Is it weird and irrational that I’m afraid of dying in space?  The thought of just drifting with no way to stop yourself, no way for anyone to find you or hear you, just drifting until you run out of oxygen and suffocate.  Utterly terrifying.  Yeah, that movie made that fear super real for me.  You should go see it.

Friday night, we had friends over for a fire pit party.  It was all the joys of camping without having to sleep on the ground.  Perfect!  We cooked hot dogs and s’mores and sat around the fire talking.  Could not have asked for a better party.  So thankful to have such a great community of friends who wanted to wish me a happy birthday.  I definitely do not deserve people like that in my life.  Especially this little booger picker.

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My husband attempted to draw Prince’s face out of icing on my cake.  Yes, that Prince.  I think the resemblance is striking to be honest.  He totally captured his androgyny.  All of that aside, I’m sure you’re wondering what Prince has to do with a fire pit.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  This is how my husband is.  He locks in on one thing about you and harps on it and then, before you know it, it becomes the theme to your birthday party.  I am a Prince fan, don’t get me wrong.  I think he’s a musical genius.  However, would I purposely have a Prince party theme?  Probably not.  That would be weird, but Michael decided that Prince was the theme of the night and ran with it.  It’s one of the things I love most about him.  Word to the wise:  don’t tell him you love something unless you REALLY love it because it will probably be the theme of your funeral if you’re not careful.

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The fire pit was still smoking when we woke up Saturday morning.  That was a crazy, hot fire.

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On Saturday, we went to lunch with my parents at Chuy’s.  Yummy Mexican food!  Thankfully, we did not end birthday week the way we started it and Bennett was a very well-behaved, patient, sitting-in-his-seat kind of toddler.  He did make a mess of himself with the refried beans, but that’s to be expected.  I was just grateful we could all sit at the table together and not have to take shifts entertaining him.  Success!

Whew!  What a week!  30, you were good to me, but I’m excited to see what 31 will bring.

Natchitoches

If you’re wondering how to pronounce that word up there, allow me to help:  nack-a-dish.  Yeah, I know.  What the what?!  It’s actually a pretty quaint, little town.  Super old, lots of history, very southern.  I recommend it if you need a place to stay on your way to Mardi Gras.

This past weekend we went to this quaint little town in Louisiana to see my cousin get married.  The wedding was beautiful and intimate–just family.  So, by “intimate” I mean “really loud”.  Those two things are the same when you’re talking about your family, right?

I was super excited about going to this wedding because I love my family and it makes me happy to see them happy it’s where Steel Magnolias was filmed!!  Steel Magnolias is my favorite movie of all time!  And that’s not just because my Grandpa is in it for 1.3 seconds.  (It’s true!  You can see him at the Christmas party where Drum announces that Shelby’s pregnant.)  It’s because it’s the best, most quotable movie EVER!  You know you can’t argue with me.  “Shelby, drink your juice.”

This is Julia Robert’s house in the movie.  They’ve made it into a Bed and Breakfast, but it was for sale.  Hmmmm….anyone want to move to Natchitoches with me?

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Funny story behind that dress.  On Saturday afternoon, we’re starting to get ready to go to the wedding and I realize that I’ve left my wedding clothes in the car back in Arkansas!  Ahhhhhhh!  Panic ensues.  We go to the local mall, go in 5 stores and find nothing.  Finally, I go into Banana Republic and find this adorable number.  Unfortunately, it’s stupidly expensive.  Good news!  The sales lady says it’s 30% off and my mom signs up for a Banana Republic credit card (which she’ll immediately cut up when it arrives in the mail) and saves an extra 15%.  Cha-Ching!  I’ll have to start leaving clothes behind more often…

Steel Magnolias house-check.  New dress-check.  Cousin got married-check.  Successful weekend!