“Wrong? What do you mean wrong? ” You might be asking.
I’d like to ask if you think she actually sinned by making the movie….but I don’t want to be side tracked by conversations about other people making their own choices.
The main point is this….even if you liked the movie, even if you could see that the movie is drawing people to God….is it RIGHT for a director to ask people to strip almost naked and act out sexual scenes for others to watch?
Yes, you are responsible for the choices you make. You alone have to decide where the line is. I remember being told as a teenager that I needed to decide what my dating standards were before I went on a date because in a car was not the time to decide if I would or would not…..kiss, make-out, have sex.
The same goes for actors. I actually asked a potential Christian intern last year what their” line was.” They looked at me in complete bewilderment so I continued. “For example, what do you believe is wrong for you to do on stage…like would it be okay to be naked?” Their response? “I guess I’d do that. Depending on the context and purpose.”
Maybe that is the root of the problem. What happened to us as Christians that some of us think it is not only okay to watch just about anything, but equally okay to actually be the one naked and “having sex.” ?
Is any of it sin?
I keep thinking of “Be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love.” and “never put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” or in Mark 9:42, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”
So, was it wrong for Francine Rivers to allow others to be so naked (granted, she might have had a bandaid on) that to the world she APPEARS naked? In fact, she wanted us all to believe she is naked. Further more, was it wrong for the two characters to imitate having sex, complete with movements and well, more….?
Just in case you think that Francine Rivers didn’t have a say once she sold her script, this is from a recent announcement with Penguin Random House:
“Over the years with other options, the character of Michael didn’t come across the way it must. When Cindy Bond of Mission Pictures approached us, I decided to write a sample script of what I felt needed to be seen. I read a few books on how to write a script, loaded final draft onto my computer, and took a whack at it, never expecting they would use it. They bought it! When D.J. Caruso pursued the job of directing the movie, we worked together on the script. He restructured it and we strengthened scenes. It was a collaborative effort to bring a powerful redemptive story to the screen. I was also involved in the auditions and selection of the actors – especially Abigail Cowen and Tom Lewis, who played the leading roles. They are wonderful!”
In every other interview I’ve seen Rivers seems to be thrilled with the movie.
In 1991, Francine Rivers published a book called Redeeming Love. Since then it has sold over three million copies. That’s amazing for a Christian author....maybe any author.
It had mixed results as a novel, Rivers has a way of writing than can be a little steamy to an innocent mind. The controversy even then was that the book was a “gateway to soft porn.”
For me, my daughter and many of my friends, Redeeming Love was a powerful book. For many of us, the thought that our Lord pursues us the way that Michael Hosea pursued Angel or the picture of Isreal in Hosea was so moving that it brought us to tears. I understand why Rivers is so protective of it. It is a masterpiece.
The popularity of the book made many of us desire a film and Rivers herself longed for a contract. The film was many years on the drafting block for various reasons. When Rivers began tweeting about the film the Christian community went crazy.
And then the film was released.
I heard many people talk about the nudity and (excuse the next graphic language) the sexual movements of couples, considering if those elements had a place in a “Christian film.” I began to wonder if it was “right” for me to watch it.
I decided (giving warning to my friends) that we should see it and then give our thoughts. We didn’t talk about it before we filmed-we wanted the conversation to be raw and real. After watching the video below, I must admit, I wish I had waited a few days. I think the peace maker in me wanted to be pleasant and entertaining, but as I ponder the film I think I would have changed my rating. I give it a thumbs up at the end, but that was too generous. This film needs to come with more warnings than it does. Yes, the subject matter is difficult. Yes, I think Christians should show a realistic picture that sin is ugly and life is not always handed to a Christian all wrapped up in a bow that gives us a happily ever after. Yet…as a director and a Christian, I think some of the elements in this film could have given us that realistic picture without “crossing the line.”
Is it possible that people will know about God’s love from this movie?
God doesn’t need any of this to call people to him.
Is it possible this movie could cause people to sin by watching it?
I believe the answer to that is also yes. Doesn’t the Bible warn us to not be a stumbling block to others?
What is considered “nudity”? (The aurgument is that at one point Michael’s hand covers her beast so that you cannot see…well, you know.) So that makes it not nudity? I disagree. You see too much. It is nudity to me. In fact, I think one of the problems with the movie is that it tries to have a little steaminess with the sex scenes.
I wonder if we have become desensitized to “things of the world?” Arguing that “you don’t really see anything”, or that the people that are acting out the sexual scenes are portraying married couples doesn’t sit well for me. I think we should require more from a film that labels itself “Christian” or one that is supposed to show us God’s holy, pure, and unconditional love.
Before you use this argument on me….I KNOW the BIble is filled with stories of sex, sin and murder, but it isn’t written in graphic detail. Song of Solomon is the exception, but it isn’t written to be steamy and doesn’t include full color video.
Please watch the video below and let us know if you’ve seen the movie or if perhaps the video will help you make a decision. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Join us next week as our discussion goes a different direction. I seriously cannot wait for you to see part two!
Rebecca Leland, Naomi Rogers, thank you for your frank discussion. Thank you Rebecca for filming and your efforts in editing this mammoth job!
I would love it if you would like, share and follow!
Until next time this is just me talking to you from the wings-
My reading goal is 52 books again this year. I’m off to a good start and I’m hoping the changes I’ve made in planning and organizing will help me keep on track because I really really do love reading.
Most of you know that my mom passed away last year. She is going to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery where my dad is. After COVID, things backed up there so the funeral is going to be Monday. That being said, I’ve been doing so much thinking about my mom and what we had in common. At the top of the list is that she loved to read and instilled in me a love of reading as well. Recently, I was looking at her facebook wall where a former student said, “I sure would love to hear her read Charlotte’s Web aloud just one more time.” Me too. Me too.
In that spirit, I would love to tell you about the books I read this month.
Book # 1 One Day in December by Josie Silver
From the Cover:
Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
On a purely surface level, this book was enjoyable. It was a light read full of romance and stars-in-your-eyes love. It was a book you could curl up and escape with. So, that sounds like I liked it, right? Hmmmm. Keep reading.
What I liked about this book: The premise. I am a romantic. I love the idea of love at first sight. I love-love. I love the humor and the realism that sometimes we make decisions based on our friends rather than on what our own heart is saying. The characters were believable and even though there are criticisms I have of those–I still found that they were crafted well. However, I didn’t like the way Laurie’s “best friend” reacted when confronted with the truth. Is it true that women really treat each other like that? (Sorry, I’m being so cryptic; I don’t want to spoil anything.) Also, I got really tired of Laurie always accepting second best and settling. I don’t like the fact that I’m not sure she ever realized that that she was doing that either which seems implausible to me. Someone who had looked day and night for the boy who made her heart beat faster just by looking at her would recognize that something was missing. Once we get to know Jack I didn’t like him anymore. Laurie can do better.
It would make a great Hallmark movie. Some of us will think that means it is a winner of a book. Some of us will think that means it has huge red flags.
Who should read this book? Fans of romance. Read this book is you are looking for a quick, warm story.
“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”
“There comes a point where you have to make the choice to be happy, because being sad for too long is exhausting.”
“New Year in particular is so full of portent and promise, weighted with expectation and hopes and idealism, but then on the flip side it can also be the time when people look for change, or say enough is enough and call time on a relationship that’s run its course.”
Warnings: There is a fair amount of sexual content and descriptive words.
Book #2 The Wedding RInger by Kerry Rea
From the Cover:
A woman who wants nothing to do with love or friendship finds both in the unlikeliest ways in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by Kerry Rea.
Once upon a time, Willa Callister was a successful blogger with a good credit score, actual hobbies, and legs that she shaved more than once a month. But after finding her fiancé in bed with her best friend, she now spends her days performing at children’s birthday parties in a ball gown that makes her look like a walking bottle of Pepto Bismol. Willa dreams of starting fresh, where no one knows who she used to be, but first she needs to save up enough money to make it happen.
Maisie Mitchell needs something too: another bridesmaid for her wedding. After a chance encounter at a coffee shop, Maisie offers to pay Willa to be in her bridal party. Willa wants nothing to do with weddings—or Maisie—but the money will give her the freedom to start the new life she so badly desires.
Willa’s bridesmaid duties thrust her into Maisie’s high-energy world and into the path of hotshot doctor Liam Rafferty. But as Willa and Maisie form a real friendship, and Liam’s annoyingly irresistible smile makes her reconsider her mantra that all men are trash, Willa’s exit strategy becomes way more complicated. And when a secret from Maisie’s past threatens to derail the wedding, Willa must consider whether friendship—and romance—are worth sticking around for.
What I loved about this book:
The main character! Willa is adorable. I am a sucker for an underdog story and that is Willa from top to bottom. She is unlucky in love, a now disaster in business. she has nothing except her family. Rea captures you right away by her descriptive writing style. I truly felt like I was at the birthday party and witnessing every detail of that disastrous event. From the moment I picked up the book I couldn’t wait to see Willa restored! Rea also did a wonderful job of creating the characters around Willa–you see the ones that love her and you want Willa to be able to step out of her own hurt and learn to really see the ones who are with her now.
I also love Rea’s dialogue–she writes so that you can “hear” what the characters are thinking and it is so enjoyable!
Friendship doesn’t always come the way we predict it, but the new friends Rea gives Willa are delightful. I’m hard pressed to tell you if I like Willa or Maisie better. I just wish Rea would write a “what happens next” next story about these two.
Who should read this book? Fans of love stories. Read this if you like books about friends! If you like characters that aren’t quite put together-this may be the book for you!
Warnings: Language. Slight sexual conversations and words.
Book #3 Float Plan by Trish Doller
From the Cover:
* A MUST-READ FOR GOOD MORNING AMERICA, OPRAHMAG.COM, BUZZFEED, POP SUGAR, AND MORE! *
Heartbroken by the loss of her fiancé, adventurous Anna finds a second chance at love with an Irish sailor in this riveting, emotional romance.
After a reminder goes off for the Caribbean sailing trip Anna was supposed to take with her fiancé, she impulsively goes to sea in the sailboat he left her, intending to complete the voyage alone.
But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.
What I liked about this book:
I looked for books in January that were books about December or holidays or escaping. It is pretty cold in Illinois during this time and since books let you escape, I figured why not pick a warm place? I was intrigued about a book who would have such a strong female character who would be brave enough to set sail entirely by herself. I LOVED that she couldn’t. I love that she realistically wasn’t ready to sail alone and yet emotionally wasn’t ready to sail with someone else either. I love the journey physically and emotionally that Anna went on. She became stronger as a sailor, a woman, and a person. I loved that this book had love in it, but that isn’t at all what the book is about. Recognizing that is key. Honestly, even though I was looking for a light-hearted read–I’m so glad this one wasn’t. It was serious when it needed to be and sensitive when it needed to be.
Who should read this book?
Fans of love stories that take a little longer to develop. Read if you are a lover of finding love again stories. If you are looking for a women’s story about grief and survival this one is for you.
“The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea. —ISAK DINESEN”
“But I’m starting to understand how sadness and happiness can live side by side within a heart. And how that heart can keep on beating.”
“Why did you go somewhere I can’t follow?”
“The stages of grief are not linear. They are random and unpredictable, folding back on themselves until you begin mourning all over again.“
Warnings: suicide, self-harm, depression, grief, language, some sexual content
What are you reading lately? I’d really love to connect with you! Please leave a comment, share or follow me!
Until next time-this is just me talking to you from the wings–
During Covid Overshadowed started an Instagram live. Rebecca Leland was our hostess and each week she would invite special guests on her show to talk about something behind the scenes at Overshadowed. We called it, “Spill the Tea.” She would add to the fun by sharing a tea or coffee recipe and other coffee trivia. It was a wonderful way to keep us connected at a time we couldn’t pursue live theater. Bonus: Rebecca Leland is a natural and such a joy to be around.
Recently, she had the chance to be part of the directing team at a local theater. I was curious to see if she learned anything as an actress from that experience–as my mom always taught me, “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge them.” Wouldn’t the world be different if we all stuck to that motto?
As we got together for the latest episode of From the Wings, I was fascinated to see what she learned and see if she could make me a better director from her experiences.
I think we both agreed that an actor walks into the audition process completely unaware of what is going on in a director’s head and heart. I wish there was a way to help make the process seem less personal to the potential cast member. For me, it isn’t personal–I am simply trying to put together the best cast for my vision. You may be the best singer, but if you are 20 years younger than the best option for the guy you might have to play opposite of–then the pairing simply may not work. It isn’t personal against you–it is just a fact that the age difference might make it uncomfortable for the audience to watch. It is difficult for a director to paint their vision for everyone, but trust me when we say, we really don’t want to hurt anyone and we want you to come back and audition again. I find it very sad when I don’t cast someone in the lead part they wanted for a particular musical and then they never audition for us again. They might be exactly right for the lead in the next show, but we will never know because they didn’t come back because they took it personally.
It is easy to “THINK” you know what is in the mind of the director, but unless you ask, you cannot.
Bad mouthing the decisions a director makes shows that you think you know better. Perhaps you do, but your vision is not the director’s vision and by tearing down the choices that a director makes only shows that you do not trust them and it tears down the whole experience for the rest of the cast as well.
The best productions are ones that the cast is unified towards making the production a once in a lifetime experience.
This episode allows you to see just a little of what a directing team might be thinking. Perhaps if we could, “walk a mile in each other’s shoes.” we might come together to make some pretty amazing theatrical experiences!
I hope you enjoy it!
I would really love it if you subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Rebecca Leland, thank you for joining me on the show and thank you for all of your work filming and editing it!
Please feel free to post and share and I’d love to hear what you think about our thoughts!
This past week I settled in to watch the movie, “Being the Ricardos” that is now streaming on Amazon Prime. I had seen trailers and was pretty excited to see it. Why?
Two Reasons- I love stories/movies based on real people. I think they are fascinating as much for the historical truth as well as the creative perspective. Secondly, I Love Lucy. Seriously, I have long been a fan. When I was younger I didn’t care how many times I watched Lucy and Ethel stuff candy in every nook and pocket of their clothes. I watched with great joy as Tennessee Ernie Ford guest starred along with countless other stars. It was hilarious to watch Lucy, week after week, conniving to “act, dance, perform, sing.” Perhaps I was inspired by her.
Later, I watched “The Lucy Show” and again was mesmerized by her flawless attention to detail and her incredible comedic timing. Her facial expressions are entrancing and again, I was inspired by her. Years later I found out that Lucille Ball was actually kicked out of acting school!
In her autobiography, Lucy tells that all the teachers praised a big-eyed blonde in class, yet never cared for her (Lucille). Well, I guess that was understandable because that blonde was Bette Davis!
The acting school said that Lucy didn’t have talent! They kicked her out saying that it was a complete waste of money for her to continue her studies! What would you do if your school wrote you such a letter?
Yet…this would- be actress, that was told she didn’t have talent, changed the course of American TV along with her husband Desi. There is a huge void in the world without her lighting up the screen. This became clear to me as I watched Nicole Kidman portray this icon. (By the way, Kidman did an incredible job she just was the wrong person to play this role.) However, to me, what I really saw was the brillance of Lucille Ball. There was a scene in the movie that Kidman is recreating a scene in “I Love Lucy. “You might be familiar with the scene where Lucy smashes grapes. I can almost see it in my mind even now. Lucy’s facial expressions communicated every emotion and thought that she was thinking in that vat. Seeing Kidman, I was struck with how incapable anyone is when trying to recreate what Lucille Ball did. It wasn’t even close. Sadly, she didn’t seem to have the energy that Lucille Ball was known for and ugh, I’m not sure if the prosthetics made her unable to move her face or if she just didn’t, but how can you play Lucy if YOU DON’T MOVE YOUR FACE??
Don’t get me wrong. I still really enjoyed “Being the Ricardos“, but I also learned why I love her so much. So here is what I learned from loving Lucy then and now.
You cannot copy comedic genius. You can learn from it, but you cannot clone it. There was and will always be only one Lucille Ball.
Don’t let someone else crush your dreams. If I had received the letter Lucille Ball received from the acting school I am positive I would have given up on acting. The world is thankful that Lucille Ball didn’t give up. So, a little known story… I was rejected pretty early at the college I attended. So much so, that I was afraid to really put myself out there. I caved and pursued speech education instead. I didn’t want to be told that I wasn’t good enough and at that time my advisor was trying to talk me out of theatrical productions saying things like, “How would you ever support yourself if you had no husband or he died?” (That’s a whole different discussion for another day.) Basically he frightened me into not trying. I wish I had known Lucille Ball’s story at that time.
Work the details of a scene. I loved the scenes that showed Lucille Ball thinking and visualizing each scene to make sure “it worked.” Details matter, and if you, as the director take the time to work on the details of a scene, it will be more believable to the audience.
You don’t have to be the star of the show. Lucille Ball was once called the “queen of the B movies.” She didn’t say no to parts because she felt that she could always learn something from each experience and that it was a good way to make connections and get her name out. I think many times we miss the best roles of our lives because we want to be the star.
You aren’t too old. Lucille Ball got her own show when she was almost 40. Sure, I’m older than that…but I’m no Lucille Ball…I can wait a few more years!
I’m not sure I can say it enough. Don’t give up, and don’t be lazy. Work hard on the stage and off. Maybe there is one more Lucille Ball out there…if so, I can’t wait to see what she gives the world to enjoy.
Here are a few moments to learn about Lucille Ball in her own words.
Did you watch “Being the Ricardos”? What did you think? Who inspries you?
I’d love to hear what you think! As always, I’d be so honored if you would take the time to share, like, comment and subscribe!
Until next time, this is just me talking to you from the wings–
It seems like a decade ago when the costumers and I were working away on the costume inventory at Overshadowed Theatrical Productions. Debra Schott (our engineer, researching
costumer) looked at me and said, “I fear this COVID is going to wreck our economy and when it is all said and done hundreds of thousands of people will die.”
In my innocence, I laughed and said, “We have modern medicine–we are going to do what everyone tells us to do and it will be over in a couple of months.” She looked at me and said, “I don’t know. It could be a couple of years.” I laughed again. Literally, I thought she was a prophet of doom. She couldn’t possibly be right. We were at a high point coming off of our most successful theater season ever. After 16 years of hard work it was exciting. I couldn’t imagine that it would all be over.
Here we are, years later. In Chicago, they are mandating that you must be vaccinatedif you are 5 years old or older to attend the theater or other inside activities. Of course, you still must wear a mask. You cannot take it off even to eat or drink.
The mandates aren’t the same in DuPage County. Yet, in my theater, I simply cannot make people happy. DuPage county requires masks if you are inside. So, we require masks inside. I constantly get letters asking me why I am not stressing it more? In my defense, it is on my website. I announce it on stage and I have ushers to remind people. Yet, I get letters from people asking me to please talk to the people who don’t have them on and “police” them.
Then, I have the letters from people that say that will not attend if we ask them to wear a mask.
I know, “you can’t please all the people all the time.”
So, what is a girl to do for the future of theater?
I know the restrictions of other countries. I know what happened in New York. I have friends that have died from Covid and I have others who have had a case of Covid that really wasn’t that bad and they recovered just fine.
I understand both sides.
But now what?
What is the future for theater? Will this be the new normal? If we sit in areas that are close together will we ever feel safe?
Honestly, maybe my rambling thoughts are more about my frustration that we simply are not able to respect each other any longer. Is there even a middle ground that we could meet? Part of the problem seems to me that we have redefined truth. The news, reports what it wants to report, with the slant towards what they want us to take away or feel from the report. To be honest, it reminds me of the Bible verse, “And every man did what was right in their own eyes.” That should frighten us all to the very core of our souls. None of us are capable of living in a land where sinful man without truth sets the standards.
Jesus said, “What is truth?”
Seems to me I remember a day in school when reporters were held to a higher standard. We were taught against propaganda, even citing examples of communism and how we didn’t want to fall into that.
Where did truth go? Where did love for my neighbor go? If those things came back would we be able to meet in a middle ground of respect?
Or do we need to be much more aggressive-defending our freedoms?
It is so much to think about.
Sometimes I just want to “do theater.” Make people laugh. Educate. Make the audience feel something that makes a difference in their lives.
I cannot imagine a world without theater. Theater has always made a difference in my life. Somehow, I’m going to keep navigating in a world that is constantly changing and remind myself of one thing: “Faithful is He who calleth you who will also do it.”
“God, lead my steps. Help me do what YOU want me to do. Keep the audiences safe at Overshadowed. Help us to continue to tell YOUR story the way you want us to do. One more thing, help us to realize that how we respond to each other is important too…both to the believer and unbeliever.”
Verses to ponder:
Isaiah 35:4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
If this resonates with you at all, please like, share and subscribe!
Until next time, this is just me talking to you from the wings–
It is that time again when all readers post the list of books they have read over the past year. Last year at this time I shared my very first book list. I set a goal in 2020 of reading only twelve books. I read 20. I was super excited about that and decided I could do more this year. I thought one a week should be a cake walk…..
I read 21.
Yes. You read that correctly. I set a goal for over twice as many books and only read one single book more than the year before. Did I fail?
No. It isn’t a competition. I couldn’t have known in December what distractions would keep me from reading.
I read 21 in spite of all the things that happened in 2021. That’s pretty amazing. Here is the list.
Blackout by Candace Owens N/F 4/5
Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini F 4/5
The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar F 4/5
One to Watch by Kate Stayman London F 4.5/5
All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese F 5/5
Becoming Elisabeth Edwards by Ellen Vaughn N/F 4/5
Shipped by Angie Hockman F 3/5
The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer F 5/5
I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark (Audio) F 4/5
We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels (Audio) F 5/5
A New York Secret by Ella Carey F 4/5
Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo (Audio) F 4/5
Look Again by Lisa Scottoline (audio) F 5/5
Is it Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh F 5/5
Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano F 5/5
Random Road by Thomas Kies F 5/5
High Achiever by Tiffany Jenkins N/F 4/5
Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson F 4/5
At Your Request by Jen Turano (Audio) F 2/5
Beach Rental by Grace Greene (Audio) F 5/5
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty F 3/5
And that is it for this year! My top read was Look Again. I have reccommended it several times. I truely couldn’t put it down!
What about you-did you meet your reading goals? Did you read any of these? What did you think?
January 1st. Everyone is setting goals and picking words and kissing 2021 good-bye. I’m doing a little of that as well, but I also thought it might be interesting to see what blog posts YOU the reader liked the most. It is a great way to evauate what I do and see how to give you more of what you like.
It is a good reminder to me that things I obsess about might be things no one notices or things I take for granted might be the very thing you wanted to talk more about. All in all, it continues to make me better and that’s always a good thing!
So, here are YOUR Top 10 favorite blogs of the last year:
So there you have it. These are the blog posts that people were talking about in case you missed one and want to catch up! and hint….if you want to make sure you NEVER miss a post please make sure you follow me! I only need 8 more subscribers to hit 100!
An interesting observation…none of my posts about books made the top ten. Perhaps I should have the book blogs be an additonal post instead on one of the weekly?My posts about grief and hope were my top ones. Perhaps some of you are in need of hope and healing as well? I will pray for you, my readers, I’m sad to say I haven’t really thought of doing that until now. Another thought is that you truely cared about the pain I was going through. If that is the case, I’d like to thank you again. Writing this blog was so theraputic this year.
Thank you for your likes, shares and comments. I’m hoping 2022 will be a happy, healthy year for all of us.
For now, this is just me, writing to you from the wings.
Megan and I had gone to see “Bring it On: The Musical.” It was packed with girls-all ages. The audience really seemed to love it for the most part. Megan and I–not so much. It was at that point that I felt like I needed to start a blog to be able to warn people not to spend their hard earned money on musicals such as that one. I also thought that surely Megan and I were talented enough to write a musical that was, at least, less trite and that would bring in the people. Full of ourselves you might think…nope…the musical was just really bad and we thought if we found the right topic surely people would come.
Last night, the memory of my vain post popped up on Facebook and Megan commented and said, “Look! Now you’ve done both..started a blog and we wrote a musical.”
I thought about that innocent facebook post all day.
Yes, I did start a blog. You are reading in right now. It is sometimes theater, sometimes reviewing other theater productions or movies or TV. Sometimes it is just my thoughts about life and faith.
It took me a long time to get up the courage to start the blog. I wasn’t sure my writing skills were good enough. I thought I might have plenty to say, but I wasn’t really unique enough. I find that in this culture people would rather follow young and beautiful and I am neither. Nevertheless, I finally started it. It took me awhile to be consistent, but I’m pretty regular at posting one time a week. I decided that I was going to write the way I talk. I want you to almost be able to hear me speaking to you as you read what I have written. I decided that would be the way I would be unique. I know I don’t follow all the rules. I don’t know much about SEO and other things that would probably make it so my posts would be found and be read. Somehow, I have 90 followers now. (That must sound crazy to those of you who have thousands of followers!)
To each of you, I thank you for reading so faithfully.
Would I like more? Well, sure! Who wouldn’t? But, I guess that isn’t really why I write. I write because I have something to say and here is a place that at least 90 of you will read and listen and sometimes comment. That is special to me because writing has been healing for me this year.
I didn’t know that it would take me nine years to grow my blog to 90 readers, but as I always tell my casts…you do it for even one audience member and so I write for even just one.
Now, for that other item, the musical? It was called, “I’ll Be Seeing You.” It is the best thing Megan and I ever wrote. The audiences loved it and people ask us year after year when it’s coming back. Did you know a writer is never happy? We need to do a few rewrites, but it will be back and we can’t wait.
So, what is the point of all these words? Make a goal. Then verbalize it. Then do it. It’s not too late. Find something that makes you healthy and happy and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough.
Hmmm. Reminds me of a Carpenters’ song, “Sing, sing a song, make it simple to last your whole life long. Don’t worry that you’re not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing. Sing a Song.”
Over the years there have been things I liked about Facebook and things that drove me crazy. This time, I’m thankful for the memory.
Now, I think I’m going to go sing a song.
Until next year.
This is just me, talking to you from the wings.
If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that I am somewhat of a planner. I also do a project called December Daily. This is my fifth year. For those of you who are unfamiliar, December Daily is the idea that you document a story, or activity from December 1-December 25. For some of us, we take the title more seriously and actually do document every day which means we end on December 31st. Others actually start Thanksgiving day and continue through New Year’s Day. There are really no rules. I tend to be a copier, so I follow most of what Ali Edwards (the creator of December Daily) does in her blog, using her materials. However, she stops on December 25 so I am forced to be creative on my own. I will say, I’ve learned a lot about many different artsy techniques and my last album looked significantly better than my first one.
Why do I do this? I love stories. I want to leave a record of photos and recorded words that my family might look at and treasure long after I’m gone. It’s a creative outlet, but it is far more than that.
Anyway, I digress.
I didn’t decorate my house this year because I was going to be away for part of December. Decorating is usually one of the stories I tell. About the time I was searching for a story to tell in the place of one of Ali’s–we received a gift of a beautiful Christmas wreath. We hung it on the front door and I started to wonder how I was ever going to make a full spread out of one picture. Then, I started to wonder why people hang them in the first place…so I googled it and wow! I was fascinated.
Did you ever wonder why we hang Christmas Wreaths on our front door?
They are beautiful and have so many styles.
It is a tradition.
Everyone does it.
The word wreath is said to come from the old English word “writhen” meaning to twist, as in a circle or wheel. Wreaths have been around since the 16th Century and the Romans displayed them as a symbol of victory. It’s circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end.
At this point, I was thinking, okay nothing really new here….
We all know that wreaths are mainly made out of evergreens. They last longer, but more than that, evergreen represents life and nature. It reminds us that spring will come soon. (THANKFULLY) It is also said to represent “the wheel of the year.” Cold will pass away.
Now here comes the facts I should have known, but didn’t.
Wreaths were adopted by the Christian faith and are used to observe Advent. Since a wreath has no beginning or end, it symbolizes God’s eternity and mercy, particularly during the Christmas season. How is it that I NEVER thought about a wreath like that before? Also it is said that when made of evergreen it symbolizes everlasting life and God’s everlasting love.
Roberta Hershenson wrote in The New York TImes that for some Christians the wreath represents the thorns worn by Christ on the cross, the berries being His blood. When Christians hang a wreath on their house, it is an invitation for Christ to come into their home. In short, it is a declaration that the home owner believes in Christ.
I think the rest of the world would have to know what the wreath meant for it to be a declaration to everyone, but I love the symbolism. In a holiday that has a tendency to become secular and commercial it is nice to focus on what it truely means.
For me, if I can only have one decoration this year, I’m glad it was a wreath.
What does a wreath mean to you?
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