Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seven Pounds, Redemption, and The Breakup

So, by random chance, I got to go to the movies this weekend - thank you, Grandmaw and Papaw Harper for this opportunity to spend time with my lovely hubby. We went to see Seven Pounds, which just opened up this weekend. I think I probably wasted an opportunity I could have taken to see Fireproof, but oh, well, it was still fun to actually go to the movies and be with my hubby.

Anyhow, these are my thoughts on the movie. Without telling you much about the movie, it is supposed to be sorta shocking and surprising, but I have to say that it was all very predictable and basically a story that could be told in a couple of minutes, instead of 2 hours, so the movie producers had to get creative in telling the story so that it would take 2 hours. The viewer is supposedly involved in a mystery and pieces of the story are given all along the way. I was not impressed with Will Smith's acting - he made this horrible, "life is awful" face the entire movie and that was his acting.

But to get to the main point I want to make, there is a sense of redemption in the movie. I always like to see redemption and God hidden in movies, but the redemption in this movie was not from God, it was man made, and what kind of redemption comes from man? Only true redemption can come from God, so in this sense the movie was sad. Men and women in the movie were judged by the main character, "Ben Thomas's" measuring stick of who were good and who were bad. And yet, God's word says that "All have fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that there is "no one who does good, no, not one" (Romans 3:10).

Several things came to my mind as I pondered. Just yesterday, I sinned. I misused my tongue. I spoke about a haircut I didn't like in a way that caused defamation to the hairdresser. Now, those who know me best, know that the infraction may have been minor, but as I was convicted by the Holy Spirit, I realized it was no minor matter. Thinking some more, I realized that if I was under Ben Thomas's judgment in the movie, he would have passed me over for someone who could be more good than I was in that one circumstance, but we know that one cannot be judged on one circumstance alone - no, we all sin sometime someway everyday!

The second thought I had was a reinforcement of how careful a Christian must be to live out life transparently and genuinely. When I sin, unlike the characters in the movie, I am covered by the redemption God has given me through Jesus because I have accepted Him as my Savior. Even though I sin, I am good all the time to God because He remembers my sins no more, but not so, to the Ben Thomas's who are watching me in the world out there. That means I must be very careful not to not sin, per say, but to act accordingly when I do sin - confess my sin to the onlooker and ask forgiveness. This and this alone changes me from a hypocrite, which we all are, to a righteous man, because then I am acting in God's power and not my own. I am so glad that there is a hope greater and beyond myself, because I could never do it alone.

I know that most of us pass judgment a lot of times on people around us - good or bad, good or bad, we mentally check it off each person in these categories. You often hear in introductions, "This is so and so. He/she is a very good man/woman." There are some who think of me as good, and some who think of me as not good or bad. I like to work to be considered a good person. My efforts are in vain because all of us go in the bad category! When I think of this, I find freedom knowing that I do not have to please man, but God alone. His Spirit will tell me when I stray from His plan, and He has already forgiven my short comings!! Praise God for God and His great Mercy! If and when I get down for feeling like a failure, I don't have to feel that way because God is perfecting me even when I do fail. Only when I work in my strength will I find hopelessness - in God's strength, there is hope.

Later in the weekend, I saw "The Breakup" on TV. At least it was on TV and the curse words were edited out, but this was not a good movie. It is just about as the title suggests a breakup, and there is nothing "feel good" about it. So it was just time I wasted. Thought I would tell you so you could know in case you ever thought about watching it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Filling in the Gap

I'll try to make the update between the time I last blogged and today short, but it has been 2 weeks and we've been especially busy, so we'll see how that goes...

Dec. 3rd - we were scheduled to get a new water heater, but it came to us too dented to install. I made cupcakes for Princess's party - strawberry from scratch

4th - we got a new water heater installed. had some interesting conversations with the plumbers and Daniel was amazed with the details I got from them. I made the frosting and decorated the cupcakes.

5th - Princess's birthday party - we had it at Chick-Fil-A this year, and it was so much fun. I hope all the guests had as much fun as we did. Mom spent the night with us.

6th - Princess is 2 days older than my friend DeLanne's twins, so we went to their birthday party at Head Over Heels Gym - a gymnastics party. It was so much fun that Princess did not want to leave. Then she and I went toy shopping for the special needs child that we adopted for Christmas this year.

7th - We kept the kids at church and had our final small group meeting of the year. I love my life group. Small groups ROCK!

8th - We ran errands most of the day including going to the grocery store - publix of course, and that evening we put together a gingerbread house. Daniel went to church for basketball practice that night.

9th - I awoke to find Princess eating the gingerbread icing! We went for a walk in our neighborhood - the first time since the crime incident and met one of our neighbors. We talked to him for 20 minutes or so and were delighted. Again, my husband could not believe the details, but the neighbor really was an open book. :) Daniel had a basketball game that evening.

10th - We went to see Dr. Darby for the 3 year old and 15 month old (even though he's 17 months) checkup. Princess is 31 lbs and 38 inches, and Pea is 22 lbs and 32 1/4 inches. She has jumped from 40th to 50th percentile in weight and has gone from 90th to 75th percentile in height. He has jumped from 5th to 10th percentile in weight and is currently 75th percentile in height (he fluxes between 50th and 75th). This means Princess is starting to be average sized and Pea is still small. :) Later that night, I met some girls from Life Connection for dinner, and then we shopped for the christmas children our class adopted.

11th - The busy day!! I got up and baked Christmas cookies not from scratch that looked awful, but hopefully tasted yummy. We went to the Mommy Connection at church, and the kids stayed in childcare while myself and some other mommies frosted goodies and then delivered them to the Ronald McDonald House downtown, which was fun and insightful, though we did not interact with any parents or children that day. Later that evening, all 4 of us Harpers went back to church to make Christmas ornaments for residents of a local assisted living facility. Princess enjoyed making all of the crafts since I am a slacker in the crafting area. We left Daddy at church to play yet another basketball game while we went home to bed.

12th - I was hoping for a pajama day, in which we do not have to leave the house, but Daniel called the plumbers back out because we were having more water heater problems. It turns out that the pressure relief valve coming into the house had stopped working and needed replacing - all in all we paid over $1000 due to the plumbing situation, and I had to put on something other than pj's. Daniel took off 1/2 day. Yay! I took Princess to Wal-Mart for baking supplies. Finally finished addressing most of the Christmas cards and placed them in the mail. Did everyone get theirs?

13th - BUSIEST day! I met my friend April for breakfast. Then I went home got the rest of the family, and we went to the assisted living facility to deliver treats and ornaments along with church friends. Then we ate lunch with the Waters family. Then we came home for nap time. Daniel gave me some time to myself, and I went to the mall - can you believe it? The first time I've been in the crazy madness. Then I came home, had dinner with my family, and began baking the Christmas cookies for the neighbors (pinwheels, christmas wreaths, and christmas trees). Thought I had lost my camera and Daniel searched frantically for it while I continued baking.

14th - went to church and then went to my in-laws house and spent the majority of the day there. Princess fell off of the couch at Grandmaw and Papaw's house and injured her mouth, busted her lips and chin slightly. She was in a lot of pain that night.

15th - remembered where I last put my camera - Praise the Lord! Began finishing the last batches of Christmas cookies (Yuletide Linzer bars and Linzer sandwich cookies) and took Princess to see the dentist. She may loose a tooth. Please pray she does not lose her permanent tooth. We are keeping a watch. Finished the cookies and loaded them up for delivery.

16th - today! We went out to breakfast, went to the library since it had been too long, made a few last minute small Christmas purchases, and had a more relaxing normal day when we got home. Then after Daniel got home for work, we delivered the Christmas cookies. Daniel has a basketball game tonight.

So that's what we have been doing, instead of blogging I've been serving and baking... lol. May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white...

I'll post pics later as my computer is having trouble with that command right now. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Princess!

Today is Princess's 3rd birthday. It was a very big day for us. Yesterday, she and I made sugar cookies, which I finished by frosting them this morning. They are carriage cookies. I know they are a little rough looking because I am very much a frosting amateur, however, I am very proud of them, and they taste really good. They are completely homemade.

Shortly after I finished frosting the cookies, Nana came over. Then Aunt Jenn arrived. They decided to give Princess her birthday gifts before we went to lunch. I don't even know if I should go into what she got, but let's just say that Christmas came early, as it does every year for this little girl. As you can see, she got to dress like Cinderella. We have not upgraded any toys from "baby" to little girl, and Princess has been quite bored, so I was very thankful to receive these new play items because I am hopeful that they will get many hours of play. I'm not sure this is good or bad, but even Pea thinks they are pretty cool. Maybe the 3 of us will play "Princess". Just kidding, daddy!

Though they are 19 1/2 months apart, it is hard for me to manage my time playing with them in an age and gender appropriate way. Nineteen and a half months seems to be a lot between a girl and a boy and in early development. Pea is all boy - he likes playing with balls and cars. Princess is a book warm - she likes books and learning.

Back to our day - then we went to lunch. Then Papaw and Uncle Robby came to visit - more gifts. Then Princess and I played while Pea slept. At this point, Papaw and Robby had left. Mom and Jenn were running an errand. Then daddy came home, and we gave her our gift. Then Grandma came over. We played for a little while, and then went to dinner. I know, I was prepared for cookies, but not for dinner - couldn't manage to do both, though I've got tomorrow's dinner planned. :) Then we came home, played a few minutes and went to bed.

Tomorrow we are getting a new water heater. Daniel just showed me the bill, and I was depressed, but at least we will get $300 back from Alagasco. In my dreams, it was going to be less than or equal to this amount, but not so says Daniel. Merry Christmas to me, I suppose! :(

Eating Ribs

The kids ate their first ribs on Sunday. Princess was not too sure of them at first, and then she tasted them. The last pic shows you that she ate all of the meat that she could find. We did not give Pea one on the bone because he is still limited by the amount of teeth he has, though now that I'm thinking about it he could probably do it. I discovered today that he has two more teeth, so that makes a total of 10 teeth - 6 in front and 4 molars (2 on top, 2 on bottom - one set on each side). I am starting to wonder if he has any more teeth to fill in the gaps. Isn't it weird to get molars first? I need to check one of my books. I hardly ever look at the book with Pea - with Princess I lived by the book.

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