Three Ways Frozen’s Elsa Taught My Daughter to be a Strong Woman

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Hi followers and friends. It’s December 1! Can you even believe it? I am still in shock over how fast this year has passed. Anyways…I have a fun post up on Red Tricycle about Disney princesses and how they influence our kids personalities. Would love some views, comments, and shares! This was a neat article to write and I really got to explore a more childlike side of myself while writing about my preschooler’s take on femininity based on Elsa’s character in Frozen. Hop on over and check it out. I promise that you’ll be super entertained!

As always, thanks for your faithfulness to read my words. I don’t take your loyalty for granted. I appreciate you!

Here’s a bit from the article:

“As you very well know, strong women are in dire need these days. The Elsas of the world need to rise up to their full potential and fearlessly behold their strength in the face of ice-cold circumstances. Take this challenge from my spunky three-nager and repeat these words out loud until you believe it: “I know I can!” Then sing your way into victory! (You know you want to.)”

What’s your fave Disney princess? Do you see some of her characteristics in yourself? Leave me a comment (after you have read the piece) and let me know for some good ol’ fashioned fun. 🙂 Happy Thursday!

(Read more…)

Photo Credit: Paul Green 
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Shared on Mom Life Monday’s Blog Link-up 
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Childhood Fears as an Adult

The physical darkness in front of me doesn’t negate the heavenly Light I carry within me.

I am a grown woman with a childhood fear that just won’t let go. I am the mom who makes her kids have nightlights in their rooms because I’m scared that they might get scared in the middle of the night.

Am I a fearful person? Not really. I am very into confronting your fears and living on the edge. After all, the Bible even says in 2 Timothy 1:7, (and I quote this verse often to my tribe),
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

But when the room is pitch black, all of the blood rushes to my head and I instantly blurt out whatever expletive or shrieking sound I can muster to get someone, ANYONE, to turn the light back on.

I thought that maybe this was a major problem and I needed some counseling or something. I even considered forcing myself to sleep in my bedroom without the bathroom light shining in from down the hall to somehow face my fear head on.

Then it occurred to me recently as I was struggling with letting my youngest sleep (per her request) without a night light- The physical darkness in front of me doesn’t negate the heavenly Light I carry within me. Aren’t I called to be the Light? To be a flickering flame shining HOPE in the night hours? A glimmering speck of FREEDOM that guides the captives out of their gloomy cells?

My three year old knows this truth better than I do it seems. She sings songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me” to herself in her bed at night. What a picture of faith. She is worshipping the Light Giver even though her eyes only see darkness. That image preaches itself.

If I force her to have that night light, I would be enabling her to be afraid of the dark just like I have been for too long. I would, in essence, be passing my fear onto her.  Notice, I didn’t say that I want her to constantly live in bright, well-lit places and never encounter darkness at all. I think, many times, this is where we miss it. (I know I did!) But the cool thing is, my fear of the dark has actually introduced my heart to the safety of the Light. However, always living comfortably in the warmth of the sun by no means instills a longing for more light. In fact, it leaves you hot and a little presumptuous that life will always be full of sunshine.

No, the nighttime seasons make us long for the morning rays. I want my kids to experience the dark because it is in those moments when they will come to realize that the Light never left them. Isn’t that what hope is, after all? A knowing that the darkness will not fully overtake us because we have a Savior who lives inside of us and to Him, “the night shines as bright as day.” (Psalm 139:12)

 

Home Sweet Home

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Home. There’s nothing like it. It can be a feeling that certain memories conjure up. A picture from when you were 5 that takes you right back. Smells from the kitchen during Christmas-time. Whatever home is for you, you know it when you feel it.

My childhood house was sold a few years ago. I was a married adult with 4 kids when this happened. I had been away from the house for 12 years. Yet, it hurt to say goodbye. And everytime I go back to my hometown, I get sad when I pass by this place I called home for so long.

Is it because of the structure,  paint color, or swimming pool out back? Yes and No. I miss that house because of what it represents. 

You see, the structure provided stability to my ever-wandering teenage self. It gave me a foundation to hold on to when boys broke my heart. I may have been a restless soul but I never left without the possibility of return. It never even occurred to me to leave it for good. Yet I did drift away for many years, forgetting how amazing that strong house had been to me. That’s what a good framework does, though. It gives you a solid covering but never forces you to stay under it.

The paint color throughout the house, well, it changed almost as much as my whimsical personality. And I loved that. The more paint that went up, the more freedom I felt to be me. I was, after all, the carefree one with a variety of hairstyles/colors to show for it. Each layer of paint stood for a season in our lives, good or bad. My bedroom was a sunny yellow though, because that had always been my favorite color. The yellow stayed on my walls because, despite the different seasons, I never forgot what made me “me.”

Lastly, the swimming pool in the back yard stands for too much to put into words. Afternoons laying out on a float listening to country music on the radio. Night swims with my high school friends. Deep conversations barely heard above the chirping crickets. Laughing with my sister as we joked about past crushes and how our lives turned out so differently than we thought they would. Mom and dad holding hands on the porch. This pool was an escape, a welcomed time of rest and play, and a distraction from the haunting reality that life would inevitably throw our way a few years down the road.

Home. It’s more than just a word that evokes an emotional response. It’s a way of living that you get to keep in your heart long past the day you move out. A knowing deep down inside that those doors and fences were meant for you to continue to grab hold of even after you leave. They have erected themselves anew in my grown up soul. And no matter where I live, those walls are a part of me. Because those people are a part of me. And no amount of new paint can ever change that.

Some may call this nostalgia or say that I’m just homesick. But I say, forgetting where you come from means you don’t really know where you are going.

photo credit: Wooden door and wooden sleigh via photopin (license)

A Time to Reminisce

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Who doesn’t enjoy a trip down memory lane from time to time?

I have been in a very sentimental mood for the past 2 weeks for reasons that I talk about here and here.  And my ability to care about keeping up appearances has definitely gone in the trash with my mascara streaked tissues.

It’s healing, this looking back and remembering what used to be. It really is. I’ve gone through so many pictures of my childhood and teenage years that my bed has become an enormous scrapbook of cluttered memories.  I cry and cry at the fact that those remembered times will never be the same again because my view is now distorted by major loss.

But after I cry, after I grieve the “never will be the same agains” of my past, I feel like I can breathe just a little bit easier than I could before the tears fell.

Like I can finally take a full breath without falling down from lightheaded-ness. And then I try to be productive for a few hours before the next wave of “what used to be” crashes in on me.

Ya know what I’m learning about the mourning process? It’s okay to be a fragile mess for a while and I don’t have to apologize for it. 

When I give myself permission to be a basket-case and watch sappy chick flicks that I used to watch with my sister and drink hot tea because it was her favorite pastime and listen to our favorite beach trip songs and read old letters just to see her handwriting and relive years past through Homecoming pictures, then I can begin to heal.

I’m not living in denial of the devastating facts involved in my present reality. I’m just choosing to enjoy the heartwarming truths represented in my past reality a little bit longer.

And as I long for what once was, I become more and more grateful for the lifelong affects my sweet childhood memories will have on me. I am eternally grateful for the tangible things that point to happy times.

So I reminisce with purpose, one could say. Tomorrow will come soon enough and I am even better prepared for what may come as I reflect on the joys of yesterday.

“Memory is a way of holding onto

the things you love,

the things you are,

the things you never want to lose.”

The Wonder Years

 

photo credit: SISTERLY. via photopin (license)

Comfort Food

photo credit: Kraft Dinner. Canada's national food. via photopin (license)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most nostalgic meals of my childhood would have to be macaroni and cheese…with hot dogs in it. My dad even had a song he would sing when he was making it to get us excited about the very simple and inexpensive dinner.

“Macaroni and cheese (macaroni and cheese),

that’s what I like (that’s what I like)!”

He would sing each phrase and my sister and I would echo them back in similar fashion. Over and over and over again… My dad could make a song out of anything. In fact, I’ve been told I do the same thing.

What’s funny is that he was trying to get us excited over this dish because it was all we could afford at that time in my young life. We weren’t rolling in the dough by any means. Did my sister and I even notice the slim pickings, though? Nope. We never cared that it was a cheap, quick fix meal. In fact, we loved eating it (even if it was 2 or 3 times in one week!)

I have such great memories of my dad singing cheerily in the kitchen. I remember helping him stir the pot with the noodles and gooey cheese. All I can do is smile when I think about those times.

And, isn’t that really what life is supposed to be about anyways? Being positive in the midst of the not-so-positive situations? Turning little into much by serving it with LOVE?  My parents may not have had a lot of money at that time but they were happy. We were happy. 

So, I gladly make this warm and comforting dish for my children in an effort to somehow, someway, show them that life is in the living, not in the having. And I can only pray that they will look back on these days of frugal living with their own little ones and pass on the gift of macaroni and cheese with hot dogs in it.

 

A Different Kind of Gratitude

I have the privilege of writing for the amazing blog, FLOURISH, today! Come on over and check it out.

It’s all about being a child again…

photo credit: Cute little thief via photopin (license)

Here’s a snippet:

I love this time of year. The vibrant colors of Fall and the crisp, cool temperatures invite me to take a walk down memory lane. The smoky scent of burning leaves always puts me in a nostalgic mood. I feel like a five year old again.

There is just something about the holidays that awakens the childlike heart within me.
There is so much excitement to be had, so much giddiness to take part in; and so much happiness to be found.

Remembering….

Click here to read more: A Different Kind of Gratitude