Lost the Plot

I’ve been in a mood lately. Well, actually I have been in several varying moods lately, but this one in particular has been to listen to a lot of the music from my childhood/teens. Most of the music is Christian stuff, since that is all we could listen to when my Mom was monitoring. 😉

But thankfully, growing up in the mid-late eighties and nineties means Christian music was actually pretty good (at least I think so!) and contained, in my opinion, some pretty amazing, revolutionary lyrics depending on the song/band. My personality tends to be drawn towards sad stories in books, music, and movies – but I am also drawn to really serious, heavy stuff. Not heavy metal music, but heavy lyrics. Lyrics that call unto the deep places in us that we bury and hide and distract ourselves from far too often – places that when sparked produced butterflies in our stomach and a tightness in our chest.

One song that popped up on my playlist today from 1996 was exactly like that. It touched a deep place in my spirit as a 13-year-old girl and it continues to reach me as a nearly 30-year-old woman: Lost the Plot by the Newsboys. Despite this band having way too many cheesy or funny songs, this song (and handful of their others) is powerful and moving and leaves me with a reverent and healthy fear of the Lord once again.

Have you heard it?
No?
Remember the song, but not the words?


(Below are the words, since that is the whole point.)

With all the media hype surrounding political and social changes, it can become confusing why we’re really here. Our happiness, the American Dream, and society’s acceptance of us are not the point of the story we’re here to live out. Though Christ calls us to love, he calls us to direct people to Him.
He is the story.
He is the plot.
He is the happy ending.
Allowing ourselves or others to live in our comfort and sin leaves us comfortable, distracted, and apathetic. Grace is a means to enter the throne room. God’s kindness is so we can be led with grace to repentance.

Grace is not our reason to live comfortably, while we ignore the voice of our Shepherd for the lure of our culture.

May we not be so easily distracted.
May we remember the greatest story ever told.
May we not become a free-range sheep.
May we remember that Christ is not Santa Claus – our happiness is not the plot.
May we remember his sacrifice.
May we remember the joy of our salvation.
May we remember our first love and count the days until His glorious redeeming return.

When you come back again, would you bring me something from the fridge?
Heard a rumor that the end is near, but I just got comfortable here.

*sigh*
Let’s be blunt.
I’m a little distracted.
What do you want?
Headaches and bad faith are all that I’ve got.
First I misplaced the ending then I lost the plot.

Out among the free range sheep, while the big birds sharpen their claws.
For a time we stuck with the Shepherd, but you wouldn’t play Santa Claus.

*sigh*
Let’s be blunt.
We’re a little distracted.
What do you want?
Once we could follow, now we cannot.
You would not fit our image, so we lost the plot.
One we could hear you, now our senses are shot.
We’ve forgotten our first love – we have lost the plot.
Lost the plot.
Lost the plot.

Yeah when I saw you for the first time, you were hanging with a thief and I knew my hands were dirty and I dropped my gaze. And then you said I was forgiven and you welcomed me with laughter. I was happy ever after – I was counting the days.
When you come back again, we’ll be waitin’ for ya.
When you comin’ back again?
We’ll be ready for ya.
Maybe we’ll wake up when – maybe we’ll wake up when – you come back again.

LIES.

Let’s be blunt.
We’re a little unfaithful – what do you want?!
And are you still listening?
Cause we’re obviously not!
We’ve forgotten our first love – we have lost the plot.
Why you still callin’?
You forgave – we forgot.
We’re such experts at stallin’ – now we’ve lost the plot.
Lost the plot.
Lost the plot.
Lost the plot…

When you come back again, could you bring me something from the fridge?
Heard a rumor that the end is near, but I just.
got.
comfortable.
here.

 

 

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The Human Condition and Les Miserables

I went with a friend last night to see Les Miserables the movie.

It was riveting!

The entire movie was very theatrical from the constant singing to the way the sets were arranged, but what made this movie stand out from a regular play were the camera angles and close up shots focusing right on the character’s faces as the height of their emotions were portrayed. It was breathtaking. Seeing the literal pain etched into Fantine’s face as she sings about her agony and then trying to remind myself over and over that that wasn’t really the embodiment of the character Fantine, but an actress (Anne Hathaway) playing her character. It was hard to convince myself at times. She was so believable. So 100% immersed in the character. If she doesn’t win an award it will be an outrage. It wasn’t just Anne Hathaway/Fantine either…. the actors who played Marius, Javert, and Jean Valjean were equally mesmerizing. I seriously felt emotional as the beautifully penned words of Victor Hugo came to life in those 3 hours.

This isn’t meant, however, to be a movie review.

This book, the play, the movie – it all speaks to a place deep inside each of us. It calls us with a whisper and a cry and reminds us of something we all share and yet try so desperately to hide: our raw emotion. The human condition.

We all feel things – some more deeply than others, but the feelings are there nonetheless. They’re real and vivid and sometimes so thick and heavy that they become tangible. Not all of us have lived through the agony Fantine experienced – some of us have. Not all of us have lost family/friends to death like Marius – some of us have. Not all of us have known the outright injustice of life and its cruelties like Jean Valjean – some of us have.

So why do we try so hard to pretend like we are so strong, so impenetrable, and so emotionless?
Why do we express a fraction of the love or affection we feel for someone, and then make a joke or laugh nervously afterward? Why do we pretend like words or the absence of communication doesn’t hurt us deeply? Why do we act like other people’s responses to us don’t matter even slightly?

Maybe I am just overly idealistic, but how would our relationships be if we allowed ourselves the freedom to express our hearts, and allow others the grace afforded to express their hearts? Even if that emotion is raw, or strong, or scary… it is still being felt and, therefore, is still valid and worth acknowledging.

I will be the first to confess… I have cared about people deeply and been afraid to express the depth of my care for fear of “scaring someone off” or expressing my care prematurely. I have been blown off, ignored, taken for granted, etc and I have been afraid to tell someone when they’ve hurt me, for fear that I will be seen as a high maintenance friend and then discarded. I have been perpetually trapped between how I feel and the fear of those feelings not being understood or received well.

Our society/culture prolongs this dance we play with each other, but wouldn’t it be refreshing if we could just talk openly about how we feel about each other? If we could simply have a conversation about a hurt, have our feelings acknowledged, and then move on better and closer to those people instead of distanced by our wounds? If we could just look at someone we care about and say “I love you” or some other sentiment and not be worried about any negative repercussions to such positive and life-giving words?

One of the last lines to one of the last songs in Les Mis says, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
God is love itself.
God is not holding back His love. He is not holding back Himself.
When we allow ourselves to open up our hearts despite our fears and trepidation to really and truly love someone and express that love to them, we will find God in those beautiful moments. God in the flesh in this world is us choosing to love each other deeply and unreservedly and it is just about the only way to make this fallen world a little more beautiful…

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Turning 29 and Celebrating 4.

So….. exactly one month ago I turned 29.
I am currently living out my last year in my twenties – that is so strange to say!
When did I become so old?

What might have been an uneventful birthday due to a lack of planning and an overly busy summer for us and everyone else we knew, my birthday actually turned out really well! 🙂

First of all, I created an Amazon Wish List and posted it on my Facebook. When I did this, I was just feeling a bit brave and a little obnoxious, but it turns out that my friends and family actually loved the wish lists and I got lots of amazing presents because of this list! I am totally doing this every year. 🙂

I seriously got TONS of books that I really look forward to reading in the near future, plus two necklaces! Chad got me a new phone for my bday (desperately needed! haha) and I also got various cards, gift cards, and even an end table from my brother Matt and his FIANCE Anne that is designed to look like oversized books! (I’d been wanting this forever!)

Here is a pic:

Secondly, we were out-of-town for my actual birthday in Branson, MO to celebrate four years of blissful marriage, so we had plenty of fun activities to do in Branson on my birthday!

Here are some trips from the drive down to Branson…

Coffee beforehand:

I tried to get Chad to just smile at me while he was driving and this is what I got… (he makes me laugh so much!):

Finally, we got to our hotel, which was definitely a bargain since we were low on vacation funds, but it was mostly comfortable. 🙂

When we went out the day of my birthday, we already had mapped out what we wanted to do… We wanted to get breakfast, then see The Dark Knight Rises at the genuine Giant Screen IMAX (this ended up being a big Branson FAIL because the IMAX lost power 45 min into the movie!), and then we’d have dinner and then see this show recommended by Chad’s cousin called The Haygoods.

Let me be clear here. When Chad said that his cousin Taylor recommended “The Haygoods,” I immediately conjured up images of rednecks in overalls making music on whiskey jugs, corn cobs, and banjos!

I. could. not. have. been. more. wrong.

This was THE BEST show I think we could have seen in Branson!! AND one of the best shows I have EVER seen! It was 6 siblings playing tons of songs we already knew in their own style with amazing talent, dancing, lighting effects, stunts, and so much more….Here are some pics!

Opening song:

They could each play several instruments and would keep jumping back and forth between different ones per song!

A lot of their instruments would light up like this!

A lot of stunts like back flips, playing on top of the piano, instruments lighting on fire, etc… 🙂

One of my favorite parts where Dominic came out and played “Unchained Melody” on the sax! So beautiful!

This was also in my top 3 favorite parts of the show…. this one guys came out and started tap dancing on top of a table….

THEN…

A bunch of them came out and started tap dancing in Combat boots and street clothes!!
It seriously felt like a scene from RENT or something!! SO urban and so awesome!

Oh, and then the sister randomly starts playing the drums! She could play over 12 instruments!!

Here is a promotional video of the Haygoods show:

And another one that really gives an idea on what their shows are like, though we didn’t hear this particular song the night we went. 🙂

It was seriously the best! Chad and I were both hoarse from screaming and cheering and these were only a few pics of 100 or so pics that I took that night!
The Haygoods really helped make my birthday amazing. 🙂

The rest of Branson was spent celebrating our Anniversary with other shows, shopping, eating funnel cake sundaes, attending The Price is Right Live (Branson edition), and more. 🙂

Dolly Parton had a show called “The Dixie Stampede” that is set up almost exactly like Medieval Times… There is a dinner served to you that you have to eat with your hands while you watch a show where you have to pick sides and cheer for your side… in this case it was the North vs. the South. :p

I didn’t find out until after I took this pic that you’re not supposed to take pics of this event… so that was my last pic for this. 😦

Then we decided to do this brand new thing in Branson where they have a mock set up of The Price is Right! It is a LIVE show instead of televised, but you can still win real prizes! We didn’t win anything big, but Chad’s name got called as an instant winner to be able to spin the wheel and get your picture taken with the host and ladies. Everyone else had to pay $$ if they wanted to do this! 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO OF CHAD SPINNING THE WHEEL!!

When we got back from Branson, some of my dearest friends and favorite women in Kansas City wanted to throw me a birthday get-together. We went out to eat at Ingredient and then back to Maria’s house for quality time, coffee, tiramisu, wine, chocolate pie, and more! So blessed to have these wonderful friends in my life! 🙂

Maria:

Anne and Melody:

The Plaza at night…

Anne and Rachel representing France! 🙂

Yummy!

All in all, turning 29 and celebrating 4 years of marriage was wonderful! 🙂

Turning 70.

I put together this compilation for my Granny to celebrate her 70th birthday!

YouTube has told me this video violates their copyright laws. I exercised my rights as an American citizen to dispute this claim under the Fair Use policies that amend the copyright laws, but it will probably will only protect this video for a short period of time. YouTube will most likely deny my dispute, which will cause this video to disappear in one month.

Since I am being such a rebel, line-pusher in order to bring my Granny some semblance of happiness on her birthday, you should watch this video and comment. 🙂

Enjoy!

One a side note, while I was making this video for my Granny, my husband Chad was making THIS VIDEO and it is sooooooooooooooo weird and funny! 😉