New Year!

January 3, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in Holidays, Inspirational | 21 Comments
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Happy New Year Friends!

We truly believe this will be our best year yet!

Hil and Liz throw one awesome party! It has something to do with being a blogger, I think.

We celebrated with 80-something of our “closest friends.” He’s my closest friend.

She will always be my celebrity-sighting coffee buddy. Watch out universe.

These two are some of my favorites, too.

I hope this year is the best for you all too!

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Just Call Me Ebert (or Roepert)

April 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Inspirational, Movies | 12 Comments

The way it has been going the past few days it seems that I may have a career brewing in movie reviews.

Wrong. I am just catching up on some much needed down time. This new non-working gig rocks. Let me bask in it for just a few more days until my life returns to a more normal existance.

So back to my obsession with my Netflix. I am on a quest to watch more classic or classic-book based movies.

Shout out to Ben, Woot, woot!

The latest viewing pleasure came in the form of Les Miserables, the 1998 version with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman. I am a bit behind, I am aware. I knew not the story or the background of the musical, the book, or the movies. It was high time I opened myself up to this great story.

I have been reading some reviews of the movie and it seems that while some people were upset by the adaptation of the screen play for the most part it was a well-accepted interpretation of Victor Hugo’s book.

For a person of faith the themes in the story are remarkably insightful.

The themes of redemption and forgiveness are poignantly portrayed through the charachters in Les Miserables.

One of my favorite quotes begins early on in the movie by the Bishop:

Bishop: Now don’t forget, don’t ever forget, you’ve promised to become a new man.
Jean Valjean: Promise?  Why are you doing this?
Bishop: Jean Valjean my brother you no longer belong to evil. With this silver, I have bought your soul. I’ve ransomed you from fear and hatred, and now I give you back to God.

That is a poignant reminder of what our God does for us on a daily basis. He saves us from ourselves and the decisions that we make which serve to only turn our lives into ruin and detriment. Our own bad judgements, our own faults, our own wrongs, they have been ransomed and paid for. We have been given back to God. The Bishop’s portrayal of a man who is willing to forgive even in the face of the ultimate betrayal is a poignant reminder of the love and forgiveness that God exercises toward us, even in the moments when we are at our worst.

That one act of forgiveness sets in motion a series of events which transform the lives of not only Jean ValJean, but also on many others. He uses that momentous lesson in his life to change the lives of an entire town, rescue the lowest of the low by societies standards, and make the difference in the life of a child.

The compassion and the love that he shows those in his life is the most ultimate reminder of the love that God shows to His own children. Just as God does, ValJean loves the orphans, the sick, the prostitutes, and even those who seek to harm and destroy him. He refuses to see the innocent wrongly accussed, even at the risk of his own freedom. His patience is infinite, his love abounding, and his generousity is limitless. He refuses to seek harm against his enemies.

It makes you believe that we can be changed, that our lives can make a difference. Like the Bishop, who set out to make a difference in the life of only one man, he ultimately changed the world for the better for so many others through him.

We all need to be reminded that on a daily basis the small decisions we make actually make a difference in the lives of others for many years to come. Hopefully our decisions will effect others for the good. It is our own choice. It is our own responsibility.

Happy Easter

March 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Posted in 20 Something Bloggers, Friends, Holidays, Inspirational | 5 Comments
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One of my favorite bloggers so eloquently captured her feelings on Good Friday. To remember why we celebrate this day, go read Jess’ post from Good Friday.

So beautiful!

Climbing on the Words – Good Friday

A Random Act of Kindness in a Crazy Week

December 14, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Posted in Inspirational, Life | Leave a comment

I can’t believe I made it to Friday! One week down, one more to go until we get the heck out of dodge! In the midst of a week of mishaps I was the recipient of a random act of kindness.

Recap:
Monday- knitting party; Loving my new found activity already. Thanks to some very patient teachers and a donation of needles and yarn to my good cause, I am well on my way. So I have pulled out many rows, hey, I am trying and I am finding it to be a great stress reliever and way to unwind at the end of the day. Stayed the night with D- always fun, though I have no idea what time we finally made it to bed. We did the talking in the dark a room away thing. Always a good conversation with that girl.
Tuesday- still not home to see hubby and the kids. A friend from out of town stopped in and all the girls went to eat yummy Mexican. Amz and I devoured a whole bowl of cheese almost by ourselves, I still have not regretted it. Yes, it was that good.
Wednesday – got to work, ready to head out for the afternoon and my car decides to die – Great!
A borrowed car and a tow truck later, I found myself in the line at Starbucks to grab an apple cider and piece of coffee cake to go and sit and wait for Daddy to finish his meeting so we could go home. I was on the phone with a friend when I placed my order. I drove around, tried to hand the guy my card, and he says to me, “You don’t owe me anything, the guy in front of you paid for your order.” I am pretty sure my only response was, “What?!” On the other end of the phone, my friend says, “Someone paid for you, that is so cool.” It literally turned my day around in the matter of two seconds. I forgot about the car bill, the tow truck, and the overwhelming urge to break down and cry. For that second, the world was a good place again. I literally almost forgot where I was I was so astonished. Then I thought, well, I could make someone else’s day too. I said, “Can I pay for the person behind me?” He said, “Sure, you are the 5th person to do that.” How cool is that?! Now, I have to say the very moment that it came out of my mouth I thought, “Please God, don’t let the guy behind me be the gopher for the whole 5th floor from the Children’s Hospital doing a coffee run for the entire Nursing staff!” There is always that danger if you choose to pay for the car behind you. I was momentarily worried. After all, I knew that I had a big mechanic bill looming. All was well though and my bill actually came out a little cheaper – God at work. That was many cups of happiness for many people.
Thursday – Woke up before the dawn to take hubby to meet his ride to work at 5:30. Came home, got dressed, went about my day. Worked all day, left, drove across town to pick up hubby at his work site and then we drove to the mechanic. Cut off an arm and a big toe to pay for my car and then finally drove home. As we were driving down the highway I said, “Do you realize that exactly 12 hours ago we were on this same road just starting our day?” Depressing to think you have literally been at it from sun up to sun down.
Friday – Back to normal, thank God. Ready for the weekend. Ready to babysit. Ready to go see Katie on Sunday! In exactly one week I will be packing to go on Vacation!!!
I feel like singing “New York, New York” over and over again. Don’t be surprised if you hear it many times next week.

If You Just Believe

December 13, 2007 at 12:01 am | Posted in Inspirational | Leave a comment

I spent last Saturday night babysitting some super sweet kiddos. After we had played, the little girl, I will call her “princess”, wanted to watch The Polar Express, YES! Seeing as how I can quote line by line most kid movies, I was amazed that I have not yet seen this one. Any movie with a song by Josh Groban should be enough for me to rush out and buy it for myself. He seriously sings like an angel, but that is for another time. I was so glad I had a chance to catch it.

In fact, I was more excited that “princess girl”! I fell in love with this movie. In this day in age where movies like Shrek have such unkid-friendly (yes, I am aware this is not a word – but this is my world) themes and jokes I was surprised that this one was so enjoyable. I did enjoy Shrek but I am a grown adult. I would not want my young children watching most of those things in that movie. Anyway, I had a few great quotes from the movie which I think should get some recognition. Think about them, they may be from a kid’s movie, but they are for the big kids too.

“The thing about trains… it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.”

That is so true, sometimes we don’t need to be for certain where we are going in life, in relationships, in our careers. Sometimes we just need to jump on board full force, no holds bar, all on faith. Most likely, the journey will take you to somewhere magical.

And my favorite one yet:

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”

So true, I could not even begin to name them all. Love, friendship, laughter and faith are just a few of my favorites.

Good Job Tom Hanks.

A Lesson In Acceptance

December 1, 2007 at 3:36 am | Posted in In the News, Inspirational, Thoughts | Leave a comment

So, I heard about this on the radio today and suprsingly enough it made me tear up. I know, hold your gasps and pick your jaws up off of the floor.

This video was taken at Fenway Park during Disabilty Awareness Day. Apparently they did a lot of great things for kids with varying disabilities. They had a guy sing the National Anthem and about half way thru he gets tickled and begins to stumble over the song. I mean, really, it is not an easy song to sing, much less in front of a huge crowd!

When he had a hard time finishing the song the crowd jumped in to help him out. What a great lesson in empathy. People could have been rude, they could have laughed, they could have embarrassed him, but they helped him make a moment to remember by helping him out. They even gave him a standing ovation.

I bet he will never forget that! I wish everyone in the world treated people with disabilities just like this! If they did, the world would be a better place!

This is why Kids RULE!

November 1, 2007 at 2:07 am | Posted in Inspirational | Leave a comment

My Momma sent me this. It was fantastic- she knows the depths of my heart and soul so well and how much it would touch me to see this. I wanted to share it with everyone else too. I dare you to read it and not tear up- if you don’t you are the tin man.

Sidenote: the fact that you never get to old to feel like a kid is a good thing- they are the most decent form of the human race. I also love it that my Momma still says, “Night night, tuck tuck”, it makes me feel like it has not been THAT long since I have been a kid.

The Story of Shay

At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: ‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?’ The audience was stilled by the query.The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes in to the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’ Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father’s joy at his son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!’ Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’ Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball … the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’ As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’ Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team. ‘

That day, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

May you have a Shay day.

Swimming Star

October 14, 2007 at 11:52 pm | Posted in Inspirational | Leave a comment

Get out your kleenex! I love this!

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3694038&affil=wkrn

Ana’s Story

September 30, 2007 at 11:55 pm | Posted in Good causes, Inspirational | Leave a comment

Last Friday I was actually home to catch Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jenna Bush, daughter of Pres. Bush, on 20/20. Hubby and I sat riveted to the whole show as she talked about her personal and private life and her latest internship with UNICEF.http://www.unicef.org/Diane mostly wanted to talk about what most people would think a journalist would want to talk about: her dad, her mom, her life as the President’s daughter, her famously tough grandmother, and her new engagement. But she brought light to an issue that was near and dear to her heart, working with children who have been stricken by AIDS and poverty.
I think hubby said it best when he said, “I had no idea she was doing such good things, if you left it to the press I would have thought she was just another drunk party girl.” It is interesting to me that if she had not come forward herself to talk about her work with UNICEF that infamous picture of her sticking her tongue out at the press might have been our lasting image of her. I would not have known she has devoted the last few years of her professional life to inner-city school kids as a teacher. In a world of Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons it is nice to see young people using their stature in this world to actually do some good by bringing to light issues that we need to change.

I was most proud of her because she went to work with UNICEF as an intern with no stature and no agenda-she just went. She went through the same process I would have gone through as an intern, she received no special treatment, she did not use her dad’s name- she went on her own merits. When Diane Sawyer asked the families she had worked with for months if they knew who she was, they only replied, “Ms. Jenna”. When she informed them that she was the daughter of the President of the United States they were awestruck. She went, she got her hands dirty, she did the work she was called to do and she wanted no fanfare except to bring light to the situation she wanted to see changed. How inspiring. Shouldn’t we all be challenged to do more in this world? To pass on some of the blessings that we have been given? Isn’t that the best way to spend our time on this earth?

She has written a book, Ana’s Story, about a young teen mother living with AIDS who especially touched her heart. I have already ordered her book – it should be excellent. Bravo to her for making a difference in this world! Bravo to her for setting a good example. Bravo to her for being a responsible human being!

Baptism

September 28, 2007 at 1:04 am | Posted in Church, Inspirational | Leave a comment

Last Sunday, our church had over thirty people baptized in the first baptism service in our church’s history. It was defenitely the biggest one I have ever seen! Some of our kiddos who are such awesome helpers each week in Kids Gathering got baptized! We all laughed, cried, and cheered as we watched Moms, Dads, husbands and wives, Grandpas and grandkids come together to begin thier new lives together! It was such a great day to share with our church family!

Check out all the baptism pics at:

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