Monday, January 17, 2005

The Rock Wall

I went rock climbing this weekend. An absolute first for me. But before you get to imagining me scaling sheer cliffs and ropes and people yelling "I won't leave you behind" I'll tell you it was only one of those rock walls you find at the local gym. For $5 I provided at least twenty minutes of entertainment to the masses of sweaty bodies running on treadmills around me. Why entertainment? Well, I'm not really in rock-climbing shape - and that may be the understatement of the year. Not only that but the harnesses they strap you into pull up right under the thighs; making parts of my body even bigger than they already are...if you know what I mean.

But I tried it. That's the real victory. I actually tried it and I learned two important things.

1) It's a lot harder than it looks. Yeah, it seems like there are plenty of places to put your feet and hands but until you get up there, you don't realize that some of those "stones" that have been bolted to the fake wall are just round nubs. How do you get a hold of those slippery little suckers? Plus, you might be able to see a place to settle your foot...but those little stones are much farther apart than they seem. It's sort of a vertical Twister board...flexibility counts.

2) It's a lot scarier than it looks. Okay so I get partway up the wall and all of a sudden I realize I can't go anywhere. Not up. I can't reach anything above me to pull myself higher. Not down. Because I can't see and I'm at this point clinging to the wall. Then I make the mistake of turning around to look at my family on the ground below. Big mistake. Huge. I'm up a lot higher than I had thought and mild panic sets in. Now I'm in a harness and if I just let go the thing will let me swing safely back to the ground. That's the theory anyway. And I watched a dozen pint size kids let go at the top of the wall and enjoy their ride back down. But there was this powerful force of self-preservation that kicked up. Letting go seemed to be the last thing in the world that made sense at that moment. Clinging to the wall seemed reasonable. Letting go? Just plain crazy. Every time I got to that spot on the wall where I got stuck, I had a little mind battle to convince myself that it was okay to let go. Scary stuff. But very cool, too.

That's when I realized that rock climbing is a lot like walking with God. It's harder than it looks because to whom much has been given, much will be required. It's not always easy to walk in love, to offer forgiveness and lay down our own lives to receive the life God has for us. And it's scarier, too. God seems to always ask me to let go when I want to hang on. He tells me to trust Him, rather than myself and to believe His word even if the whole world is screaming something different. Scary Stuff. But very cool, too. And I wouldn't trade walking with Him for anything in the world. It's too much of an adventure to miss out on.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Television and me

I love to watch TV. Now it's not like I don't like to do other things. I also love to read and scrapbook and chase after my kids, but in the evenings, when I want to relax - I love my television. I made a big deal out of the Alias premiere the other night so I felt like I needed to come back to that thread. But I have to tell you - LOST is giving Alias a run for my primary affections.

I'll start with Lost. I am so intrigued by this series. There's so much we don't know and I care about these people and what happens to them. The troubled doctor, the beautiful girl with a sordid past, the bad boy, the lost boy, the pregnant girl...

Then there's Alias, with a history that you practically need a Cliff's Notes cheat sheet to keep up with. I liked it...I really did...but it's probably mostly out of habit because I was kind of irritated that they made me wait for almost eight months to find out how a story line turned out and then wrapped it up with a tossed off two-line statement. Ughhh! You can't spend three seasons looking for the Rembaldi artifact and then say, "Oh yeah. We found it and gave it to the US government"!

But all in all, for television that engages you, Lost and Alias are worth the time. Of course, for those of you who don't want to be engaged and simply want to laugh or veg out - I'll leave you all the masses amounts of really bad sitcoms out there nowadays. There might be a couple of decent ones out there but for the most part - they're really bad, and some of it quite disturbing. But somebody must be watching them...

probably not you all though:-)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Are You Happy?

"Evangelical Christians are the happiest people in America"

That's the quote from the Today show this morning. Their idea of happy is basically "contentment with one's life" so it's no surprise to me that Christians are more content than non-Christians. So if someone walked up to you on the street and asked, "Are you happy?", how would you answer?

I'd say yes. Not that things are perfect. Not that things couldn't be made easier. But I am content with my circumstances. I lost my father just a few months ago to a cancer that took him in just weeks. I miss him terribly. But one thing that I have learned from this tragedy in my life is this - God is God. Sounds simple I know, but I have peace just knowing that somebody is in control of things - even if I don't always understand. Knowing God is in control keeps me from swirling into some pit of despair and helps me look up and see all that I have been given. All that I have to be thankful for.

So does knowing God make you happier? More content? More joyful? Happy is a funny word because happy is more of a "mood" word. We can feel up or down on any given day. But "content" - now that's a word that tells more about what's going on inside of our hearts. Paul said in Philippians, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Wow!

And to be honest, I think that is what people often see in us that makes us look different than the rest of the world. Christ in us - our hope. Here's to happiness!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Alias Premiere

Well we are just hours away now from the season premiere of Alias. This show, created by JJ Abrams has what they call a "cult" following, which means that even though the audience isn't huge, it's devoted. The show delayed it's season premiere till January (most likely to give it's star - Jennifer Garner more time to make movies) and it lost it's Sunday night slot to Desperate Housewives. But it's back now and it will be paired with Abrams' other hit show, Lost, every Wednesday. It's all about marketing baby! Obviously ABC hopes to hook the audience show bases together. Doesn't matter to me since I love both shows. I think I like them because while both have a lot of mythology to the shows - with Rembaldi on Alias, and well, who knows what on Lost - they have depth not often seen on network television. People today often drop in and drop out of their favorite shows. If you do that on Alias, you'll be lost instead of entertained. I like a show that makes me watch, makes me think and makes me carve time out to sit and watch.

So if you haven't checked it out - tonight 9 pm EST

Sunday, January 02, 2005

A New Year

I love New York! Well, I only spent a couple of days there, but truly, there is no other city like it in the world. My fabulous husband took me there to see a show for my birthday last week - we saw The Producers. The actors were wonderful and it stirred up in me that old longing for the limelight. I always wanted to be an actress. Years of high-school, college and community theatre and well, I never continued in that direction. I have no regrets of course. I love being a wife, a mom and a writer. But just like there is no other city like New York, there is nothing quite like being on stage. But a new year should make us look forward, not backward, so that's what I'm going to encourage you to do. What is ahead for you this year? I've always loved making New Year's Resolutions - I'm a complete sucker for them. Even if I'm not able to keep them all the time, I feel compelled to try again. So I'll share a couple of mine with you...

1 - Journaling - I want to keep up with my journaling because for me, it draws me closer to God. I was appalled when I took it out the other night and found that the first entry was 1998 and I haven't even filled a third of the book. I used to journal every day. I miss that time with God.

2 - Eat healthy - It's not really about dieting (thoughI certainly wouldn't complain about losing weight). It's more about the fact that I just need to choose healthier foods...which brings me to...

3- Exercise - I am so out of shape! I want to get into a routine of exercising that I can just be consistent with. This one will probably be the hardest for me truth be told...

Those are my top ones for the moment. I'll let you know periodically how I'm doing with them. For now, though, have a great week!

ALIAS COUNTDOWN! - 72 hours until the Season Premiere.