Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Is it just me, or do dads get a bit of a bad rap even on Father's Day?

Father's Day is a day for celebrating fathers, right?  For acknowledging all the wonderful things they do for their children day in and day out, and for thanking them...you know, like really thanking them for all the blessings we've received from them.

Right.  So is it just me, or is there really a very stark contrast between how we celebrate Father's Day and how we celebrate Mother's Day?  Because I feel like there is.  I really do.
I've had the impression for several years now that Father's Day was probably only made into a holiday in an attempt to be fair.  Like, you know.  Mom had a holiday, so dad must have one too...though we really couldn't care less.   

I can't explain it exactly, all I know is, in the last couple churches I've attended, I've noticed a distinct difference in how we celebrate these two holidays. 

Mom gets all the encouraging words.  All the "You're the best!" "I'm sorry I've taken you for granted so much!" type stuff.  While dad gets more of a "You're great" but "let me also encourage you to work even harder at being the dad I know you can be!"  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

On Mother's Day we show humorous little videos depicting how much moms do on a daily basis to keep their homes running smoothly.  Humorous videos with of course a touching moment at the end where everyone realizes how overwhelmingly amazing mom is and how helpless they would be without her.  Which is all well and good, except I've also noticed that in the process of trying to make mom look really good we have a tendency to make dad look really bad.  Have you ever noticed that?  Dad can't do anything right, but mom does it all splendidly.  I think it's supposed to be funny, but I'm afraid I fail to see the humor.

So mom gets an entertaining, humorous, and "YOU ARE SO AMAZING" video for her holiday, while dad gets...


A boring slideshow with forgettable pictures, and tons of heart-felt words that you never remember because the presentation itself just isn't all that compelling. 

(You can definitely tell which holiday gets the most amount of thought put into  it.)

Oh, and then there's the prayer.  On Mother's Day I'm pretty sure the prayer consists of thanking God for all the things our mother's do for us which we tend to take for granted.  A lengthy, heart-felt acknowledgment that our mom really is one of the biggest influences in our lives for good.  That we love her.  That we want her to feel loved, and appreciated, and that she really is the best!  You know.  We gush about the sacrificial love she shows every moment of every day.  The multi-tasking and endless amount of energy she expends for the good of her family. 

And don't get me wrong!  Mom deserves this praise!  She really does! 

But what about dad? 

I confess, I was getting a little heated in church the other day because while praying for our fathers, it seemed to me that the main thing coming across in that prayer was "and please help those dads who aren't quite up to the mark.  Help them to rise to the challenge and be the dads they were meant to be."  Like wait!  Hold on a second!  I thought this holiday was about THANKING our fathers.  Showing them how much they're appreciated and how grateful we are for all that they do.  Because they DO, do a lot!  They do!!  Dads show sacrificial love just as much as moms do.  They're concerned about their kids.  They pour into their lives on a daily basis, and they are just as capable as the moms of taking their job seriously.  I'm telling you, there are a lot of good dads out there! 

So why can't we take this one day of the year and really appreciate them instead of falling back on the notion that we have to call forth true fatherhood, and get dads back to where they're supposed to be?  Fatherhood may well be under attack in this day and age.  I'm sure there are a lot of fathers who aren't doing their jobs.  But hey!  There are a lot of moms in that boat as well.  And I think as a church we're not helping matters at all by continuously assuming that the main thing about dads nowadays is that they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing. 

Just look at all the Christian films out there about fathers.  What is the pervading message of those films?  "Dad's on the wrong track.  Dad needs to change.  YAY, HE GOT OUR MESSAGE!  DAD'S A GOOD DAD NOW!!  Score one for us!" 

Effective?  Eh.  I'm not so sure. This message has been repeated hundreds of times over--ad nauseam--and I'm beginning to wonder.  Does watching a film about a dad who does a complete turn around call forth more effective parenting from fathers, or does it merely cement in our minds the notion that every dad is failing and every dad needs this message?!!! 

What is our true opinion of our fathers? 

Because it feels to me that we as the church are not calling forth the best in our fathers.  What we're really doing is assuming the worst of them.  We take it for granted that nine times out of ten dads are failing in their responsibility and in our attempt to call them up higher, all we're really doing is pounding it home to them that we don't believe in them.  That no matter what they do they can always do better.  And do you have any idea how discouraging such an attitude is?  That doesn't encourage anyone to be a better person, that simply convinces them that they're never going to be good enough.

In conclusion, please forgive the ranting style of this post, and also accept my apologies if I came off a bit too strong in some places.  I don't mean to be offensive in any way, but we all have our subjects and I'm afraid this is one I can get just a little bit carried away on.   (See this post and this post for further evidence of that fact.  ;)) 

In conclusion (yes, that would be conclusion the second), I just want to say, let's quit the bandwagon of trying to make better fathers and instead look our fathers in the face and say "THANK YOU!"  Because no matter what the world says, there are still a host of great dads out there and they deserve our respect and our gratitude!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Some Very Exciting News!!!!

Hello everyone! 

I've been rather silent this past week.  Perhaps you've noticed.

And I wanted to assure you, it's not that I've been meaning to ignore you all.  Really.  Truly. 

It's just...


Things have been happening to me. 

Exciting sort of things, you know?

Okay.  Let's cut to the chase.

This past week has been one of the funnest (I know.  Bad grammar.  Get over it.) weeks of my life!!


I met someone, guys!

See the source image




See the source image

Well, two someones, actually.
See the source image
But oh!  It's just too wonderful. 
How shall I ever begin to tell you???

Okay.  I'll not leave you in suspense any longer.  The two someones ARE...

NATALIE AND OLIVIA!!!!  Two of the bestest friends a girl ever had!! :)

Look!  It's the three of us.  Together.  In person.  Eeeeeeeee!  *happy dance*
Would you like to hear from them??  Yes? Well good! Because you're gonna get the opportunity.  Say hi, girls!
Hi, fwends!  This is Olivia.
And this is Natalie. *waves*

[The following is the post we wrote together while we were still together. Alas we are not together anymore. *sobs*  But let's not dwell on such sad subjects.  Let's move forward.]  

[Olivia's words will henceforth be written in purple, Natalie's in blue, and mine in peach.]  
Natalie:  Well, I guess someone should explain how this grand occasion came about. Anyone volunteer?
Olivia:  I shall try my hand at it.  Alyssa invited us to her house, and we came, and here we are on our last full day together (by the time you read this, the Fellowship will have been broken).
Natalie:  Staaahpppp. *cries* I don't want to leave!!!! *hugs you guys* Alyssa, can I just stay forever?
Olivia:  Can I second that request??????!!!!!!!
Alyssa:  Weeeelll...I don't know about forever...
Olivia:  Okay, FINE, then!  Gosh!!
Natalie:  I guess she wants us to get out of her life and shut up.
Olivia:  She must not love us anymore, Natalie. *cries on your shoulder*
Alyssa:  Oh really, girls.  You are so over dramatic.  *eye roll* 
Olivia:  *sigh*  Well, whatever.  As we said, this is our last full day together, so we need to go do super-cool things you wouldn't understand--
Natalie:  Government secrets, you know.
Alyssa:  Interrupting.  Uh, rude.
Olivia:  As I was going to say, we need to go, but we thought we'd give you some mini (and we mean very mini) reviews of all the cinematic delights in which we've been indulging this past week.
Natalie:  Speaking of indulging....should we mention all the cookies and brownies as well?
Olivia:  Oh, no.  Most assuredly not.  We have our images to keep up.  Onwards to the movie low-down!
~ Day One ~
- The Donna Reed Show
This was fun!  I should not be sorry to know it better.
This is one of my very favorite TV shows! However, I haven't time right now to go into detail on why I like it so much so...that's all for now.  Just watch it sometime and find out for yourself. 
We only watched one episode, and Jeff was grown up. I like him better as a little kid, but it was still fun to watch.
- Penelope
Johhhnnnyyy. And Penelope. and Johnny with Penelope. This movie was ADORABLE. <3
Okay, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie.  I was worried it might be a bit weird for my taste.  But it was actually really fun and the romance was soooooo sweet!!  Yup, I liked it.  :)
This is one of my very favorite movies, so it made me so happy that they liked it, guys.  You don't even know. :)
- Bella
This was a really sweet movie.  Jose was the BEST!!!  Liked him so much. 
I adore this movie so much and it made me immensely happy that they loved it, too. (And yes. Jose is the literal best. :) :) :))
~ Day Two ~
- A United Kingdom 
Well, not a very productive day movie-wise, I must say. *shakes head*  But I was happy to have gotten to watch this one, since I've been wanting to for a while, and it was new to all of us.  I didn't thoroughly love it, but I have a feeling it might grow on me with a second watching.
This was good, but probably not one I would watch over and over.  I liked the characters, but at the same time I didn't get as emotionally attached to them as I would have liked.  Still good, though.
Same. The couple was adorable and the story very good, but I didn't LOVE this movie or anything. I liked it. (But there was too much confusing political stuff. *cough*) (Or maybe I was just too tired to absorb it. Whatever.)
~ Day Three ~
- BBC Robin Hood 
What I want to know is, if the Sherriff's strong room was that well protected, how did he ever manage to get anything out of it?  ;)
I always love Robin Hood.
We didn't get much of this watched, but it's always good to see my babies again. <333
- This Beautiful Fantastic
*switches intercom on*  "Silence."  I LOVE THIS MOVIE.
I've seen this before, but it was grand seeing it with my fwiends. :D 
I've been wanting to see this ever since Natalie and Olivia reviewed it on their blogs, so it was super fun to be able to watch it with them.  I wouldn't say it made it to my favorites' list, but it was quite good.  (Vernon was my favorite I think.  :))
- Newsies 
*can't decide which lyric to use*  *has identity crisis*  It was so much fun watching this with Natalie and Alyssa. :D
Same.  I had a lot of fun watching this.  It made me want to watch the original movie again though.  
- Napoleon Dynamite
This was gold.  I loved it. xD
This was cheesy.  I hated it.  JUST KIDDING!! It was actually pretty hilarious.  And we've been quoting it ever since.  ;)
I was so afraid of what they'd think of me after watching this movie, so I'm super relieved they enjoyed it. We've been quoting it at each other and even one of Alyssa's brothers who watched it with us. Fun times, y'll.
~ Day Four ~
- Belle 
Another good movie.  Man, there's just too many good movies in this world. I could have used more of John and Dido together but I guess you can't have it all. 
Yay, Alyssa finally got to watch this one!! :D
It was such fun watching this one with Olivia again, as it was the first movie I ever watched with blogging friends--her and Eowyn. And now we got to show Alyssa, too. It's such a beautiful, moving story. <3

~ Day Five ~
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Umm.....I was curious to watch this again, as I've seen it before a long time ago and didn't care for it very much. I liked it slightly better than I did the first time....*hem hem*.
Yeahhhhhhh . . . watching it through someone else's eyes does drive home how truly terrible it is if you take it seriously.  I mean, I still love it dearly, but . . . yeah.  We kept telling Alyssa's little brothers who were watching it with us that Adam is NOT a man to be emulated.  ;) ;)
Yeah, don't take it seriously.  Just don't.  You'll ruin all the fun of it if you do.  ;)
- The Man Who Invented Christmas
I'd watched this once before, so it was fun watching it again with Natalie and Alyssa and Alyssa's family.  It's really quite an excellent movie, I think.
I've been wanting to see this since it came out, and it was quite enjoyable and quotable and altogether delightful. And Dickens' relationship with his characters was fantastic. "I'm going out.....ALONE." xD (Also, Alyssa's dad has a reproduction copy of the original publication of A Christmas Carol....it was SO cool to see after watching the movie. It felt like a piece of the movie come to life. :D)
I really enjoyed this movie.  It was surprisingly good, and better than I expected.  Dickens' interaction with his characters was hilarious and very creative.
- Priceless 
Very good, indeed.  It was pretty intense and kind of difficult to watch, but I'm glad I did.  *has inarticulate, emotional feelings*
I've been obsessed with For King and Country lately and just watched Priceless myself for the first time. It's super intense and serious, but I love how the story is told and the hope it offers. I'm really glad those two ^^ like it as well. :) 
- YouTube clips of Jesse and Michelle from Full House
So adorable!! <3 <3
I'm so glad these two started fangirling over them, too!  I discovered these clips a month or so ago and quietly died from the sheer adorb.  I NEED THIS SHOW IN MY LIFE.  (But my library doesn't have it. *scowls*  What library doesn't have Full House???!!)
~ Day Six * ~
- Sarah Plain and Tall
I always like this movie and it's always good, but I think it was a bit too quiet of a movie for when we watched it, since we were already rather tired. 
It was sweet, but it was a little too much like Love Comes Softly. I was kind of hoping for something different. And, like Olivia said, it kind of put me to sleep. Almost. :P
Like Love Comes Softly, Natalie?  Now, now.  That's going a bit too far, don't you think?!  ;P  Seriously though, I really do like this movie (and I think it's much better than Love Comes Softly...'hem), but I guess I can sort of understand where Natalie's coming from.  And yes, it was rather putting us to sleep that day, I have to admit.  CALEB IS THE CUTEST CHILD THOUGH!  I love him so much!  <3 <3
* We also started watching some Boy Meets World episodes, as well as Doctor Thorne.
~ Day 7 ~
(more Boy Meets World and Jesse + Michelle)
~ Day 8 ~
- Doctor Thorne 
I really liked this one. I didn't love it--some aspects of the story and characters seemed hard to connect to--but overall it was fun to watch a sweet, new-to-me period drama. Frank and Mary were super sweet and Dr. Thorne was awesome. Can't wait to show this one to my mom. :)
I enjoyed this, though I had some quibbles.  Tom Hollander as Dr. Thorne was probably the best thing about it, but I also enjoyed seeing some other familiar period drama faces and meeting some new ones.  I was a little confused by some of the "artistic choices" -- the costumes were rather weird sometimes (as Alyssa says, "too many flowers" ;)), and some of the actresses' line delivery was weird too, and some other stuff.  BUT, again, I did enjoy it.  
Ditto to a lot of what Olivia said.  It's hard to describe it exactly but there are definitely some things about this film that could have been improved.  Still it was fun watching it together and it's definitely grown on me since the first time I saw it.  (But yeah, seriously.  Too many flowers.  ;))
- Boy Meets World
This is pretty much my favorite TV show at the moment, so it was really fun to be able to share it with my friends.  :)
I'm low-key obsessed now. This show is so fun. (Stupid sometimes, yeah.) I can't stop laughing when we watch it. :D 
Love it!  The quotability is strong with this one.
All of us together:  Aside from movies, we've had fun engaging in Many Deep Talks (mostly after midnight *cough cough*), reading each others' writing, singing and playing the piano, playing with Alyssa's little siblings, eating, running thither and yon, attending a dance, attending a Sight & Sound show, taking pictures of ourselves like the vain hussies we are, using far too many Napoleon Dynamite quotes, and, of course, laughing, laughing, laughing.  

I'm trying to think how to wrap this post up.  And of course, I'm blanking out.  (WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME????)  Basically to keep it short (since Natalie and Olivia are waiting for me to finish this so we can all publish our posts at the same time) this past week WAS AWESOME!!! So much fun.  I can't even begin to tell you!  I love these girls so much and I miss them tons!!!  Thanks, Natalie and Olivia, for being the most amazing friends ever!!! 
Okay.  That's it.  Feels like a really lame way to wrap up such a momentous post, but I'm just going to go with it.  (For once in my life I'm going to try and conquer my habit of overthinking things.  ;)) 
The end.

P.S.  Try and get to bed before 3:30, girls.  T'would be a smart thing to do.  *wink*

P.P.S.  Check out Olivia's and Natalie's posts, too.  They're mostly the same as mine, but we all put our own spin on the beginning and end (and their endings were better, *cough cough*).  Also they have fun pictures to go with the movie reviews so yeah...I think you'll want to check that out.  ;)