Han Shot First

Google the phrase “Han Shot First”.

Go ahead.

I’ll wait.

Did you notice that there are over HALF A MILLION results that are related to this phrase?  A half a million people are very bothered by a controversial change that George Lucas made in Star Wars: A New Hope. Han Solo and Greedo (a bounty hunter) are sitting in Mos Eisley’s cantina. Greedo is aiming a blaster at Han not knowing that Han is aiming a blaster at Greedo underneath the table.  In the original version, Han Solo shoots Greedo.  In the 1997 theatrical re-release, the scene was modified to show Greedo shooting first and somehow missing Han at what was essentially point blank range.

Fans were furious.

I’ve read, but cannot confirm, that George Lucas intent was to show children in the audience that Han Solo really had no choice and had to retaliate.  His intentions didn’t matter to the legions of Star Wars fans.

I was unaware of this controversy until recently which surprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about.  Not in relation to Star Wars but in relation to honesty…or lack of it.

We like to rewrite the truth.

My three year old gives me a rewrite when I ask him to clean up a mess I saw him make.

My 10 year old does it when I asked him if he folded a basket of clothes…and he clearly didn’t.

My 14 year old does it when I ask him if he has any homework.

I’ve done it. I’ve witnessed friends and coworkers do it. Celebrities, politicians…all rewriting the truth to make ourselves look and feel better.

Except we don’t.

And just like George Lucas, we’re not fooling anybody with our rewrite.

2010 Blessings

2010 has been a strange year.  Lots of ups and downs, turning over new leafs, making big decisions and making new discoveries.

I’ve promised my friend, Charlene, that I would make an effort to be more positive, so taking a page from Sweet Annie’s book, I decided to post some blessings from this year.

  • After three years of having a wonderful in-home sitter in our old neighborhood, we found a wonderful, affordable daycare/preschool for Ben that’s within walking distance from home.
  • Josh got the teacher he wanted for 5th grade. I’ve talked with Mr. V. several times and I am thrilled that such a teacher exists.
  • Rick decided to go back to school to earn his Master’s degree in I.T.  I’m immensely proud of my husband for always looking forward and striving for goals, no matter how hard. I hope our boys have their eyes focused on their dad and pick up a few pointers.
  • It’s not very often in life that we have our path revealed for us early in life.  I think I’ve witnessed this with Jacob. We’re blessed with another awesome teacher who saw something in Jacob and 9 other students and launched their school’s first ever Lego Robotics team.  In these past two months, I’ve seen my eldest child come alive in a way I’ve never seen before. He’s learning about the vast field of engineering, programming, working with a team, learning to problem solve and as you can see  here, the rewards of hard work. 
  • I’ve learned and am relearning the importance of grace.
  • As I listen to friends and acquaintances talk about family issues, I’m reminded how lucky I am that I have in-laws and parents whom I love, a brother I adore (along with his awesome wife and adorable kids).  None of us are perfect, but I know how lucky I am to have them.
  • I operate on my own quite a bit at work and to be honest, feel pretty invisible a lot.  I’m thankful for a few ladies I work with who pop by to say “hi”, drop off a bit of chocolate on my desk and sang “Jingle Bells” to me on one particularly challenging day.
  • Thankful for an affordable gym membership.
  • Thankful that Rick hasn’t pointed out that I didn’t use the gym last month.
  • My friend, Trav, who reminds me to keep my eyes on the prize…being the best mom I can be for my boys.
  • Health Insurance
  • A working furnace
  • For this website.
  • That God hasn’t given up on me.

Here’s hoping that 2011 will be a year of growth, positive life changes, and an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else.

What 2010 blessings are you thankful for?

What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Looking For Joy-A Guest Post by Annie Schrader

Today is a guest post  by Annie Schrader of  Sweet Annie’s Kitchen. I had the pleasure of working with Annie a few years ago.  Her blog is fantastic. Show her some love by paying her a visit here

Joy is a curious thing.  Without it life feels empty, sad and sorrowful.  Right alongside these sad words live heartache, grief, and loneliness.  I used to not give it much thought.  My life growing up was easy.  I had parents who loved me unconditionally, but more importantly, loved each other and modeled that to my sister and I.  We didn’t have a lot financially, but we never wanted for anything important.  For the most part I enjoyed school, had good friends, and was involved in a lot of activities.  Life just sort of happened, and I was happy.

That’s pretty much how things continued for me until last year when life’s circumstances got in the way, and I found myself in a peculiar spot.  I had stepped blindly into a time in my life where my day was simply a means to getting to the next one.  For the first time in my life, something  unfamiliar happened to my stress-free, perfect little world, and I couldn’t figure out how to get back.

I couldn’t find my joy.

It didn’t take me long to realize I needed to find that sweet little emotion, or I was going to sink fast.  I remember sitting at the table one morning, feeling pretty desperate for some happiness.  And let’s face it…as much as I wanted to be really spiritual and find myself deep in the promise that “He will fill me with joy in His presence,” I didn’t rightly care.  My discouragement had clouded any promise I had previously known to be true.  However, my thought process told me that if I couldn’t find joy in the big aspects of my life that weren’t able to be changed at the moment, I needed to focus on the small things.  So this is what I wrote…

I love the first Starbucks cup of the holiday season, days where it feels like you’re living in a musical, 10 million fireflies, the rare occasion of eating breakfast out, songs that bring back a memory so vivid that it feels like you’re living it all over again, and peacock feathers.

I finished typing it out and instantly smiled.  Because along with each one of these tidbits of joy, I created a picture in my head that brought even more joy to my weary heart.  When I thought of that Starbucks cup, I thought of my mom and my sister who would share in the excitement over holding that pretty red paper cup in their hands, filled with coffee.  Feeling like you’re living in a musical made me chuckle as I pictured myself bursting into song at the sight of snow on the ground.  Ten million fireflies gave me a feeling of exhilaration because it was my favorite song to run to at the time.  The rare occasion of eating breakfast out made me think of how much I love sitting across from my husband, sharing food and life together.  Vivid memories from songs was a reminder of extremely happy moments in my life.  And peacock feathers…well…who doesn’t love a peacock feather perfectly placed amongst the curls in your hair?  It was as if those few wonderful moments of my morning were enough.  Enough.  The rest of my day actually saw some joy, and so the next day, I did it all over again.

I love the smell of brewing coffee, the song that gets you through the last half mile of your run, my freedom because of others sacrifice, a perfectly made bed, the gravelly voice of Bon Jovi, and really passionate people.

These simple thoughts allowed small amounts of joy to slowly creep back into my life.  And the more I practiced finding joy in the small things, the stronger I was at fighting back at some of the difficult things I was going through.  My perspective on my life slowly came back into a normal view where I was able to see a bigger picture.

Joy is a remarkable thing.  With it life is full of happiness, humor, refreshment, and delight.  And right alongside these brilliant words lies triumph.

Long Road Ahead

The family and I just returned from a weekend spent at my sister-in-law’s home in another state.  The official purpose of the trip was to have our niece taking our family photos and to visit with her family (we typically only see them two or three times a year).

I did, however, have another motive.

Deep down, I couldn’t  help but think that when we were finally able to get away from our routine and unplug from our daily lives, that maybe God would reveal something to me (to my husband and I) that we weren’t listening to before.  Kind of a strange thought, but it’s true so do with it what you will.

God didn’t disappoint.

I’m not free to divulge details and actually, the details don’t matter.  It will take us at least two years before we can even start the next chapter of our lives anyway.

The big takeaway for me this past week came as I sat in my sister-in-law’s backyard on Friday night.  The adults sat in lawn chairs underneath white icicle lights draped on pergola.  We roasted marshmallows for s’mores while the kids played “Ghost In The Graveyard” in the dark.  Just a simple night but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’m not living the life I want to be living.

That thought kept coming back to me time and time again throughout the weekend. It was accompanied by another thought.

What’s stopping me?

As I spend these next few months sorting through these thoughts, discussing them with my wonderful husband and then start the long journey of heading towards our new destination, I want to ask you:

Are you living the life you want to live?

What’s stopping you?