Friday, December 24, 2010

The Help

Not a Christmassy post, but about a book. A good book. A book that penetrated my desire for entertainment and really made me think about what it means to be me. To be where I am from. And where I am now.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is a novel about three women who speak out durring the turbulent 60's in Mississippi. Skeeter, a young white woman just home from college, suddenly discovers that like in Jacksonville is so much less than she wants. And with the disappearence of the woman who raised her, the black maid Constantine, Skeeter begins to comprehend the deadly spires her society is built upon. Aibileen, a stong black maid raising her seventeenth white child, works for Skeeter's friend-- raising a little girl that will likely never outgrow the system that produced her. Pulling in Minny, Aibileen's best friend and the most smart-mouthed maid in the West, Skeeter and Aibileen conspire to tell their stories to a world in desperate need of change.

Pausing withing simple passages, I found myself reassesing things I thought funny, steriotypes burried in my mind, and what I really expect out of life. This is a story about writing-- something I want to do forever-- and the power one can have with writing. Having a voice, something to say, and the means to say it seem downplayed in out information-overload society. At the same time, with great power comes great responsiblity. Resources are given to be used. If I have something to say, I need to say it, whether published by a huge publishing house or simply to this blog.

This is a story about what it means to be human. Coming off Guilliver's Travels, I see the irony and inhumanity more I think. (hmmm... maybe the classics are important?)

And this is a story about how we really aren't so different; a familiar story but something we forget so easily. The author herself quotes her favorite line as We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd though.

In striving to tell those untold stories, the heroines find so much more about themselves. A journey more of us should embark on.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Voyage

* *spoilers ahead**

When the simple previews for this movie made me ache with homesickness, I knew it would be good. Always a fairy-tale princess more than a modern girl, I was instantly captured by the Narnia movies. What so intrigued me about Narnia that other fantasy stories did not have, though, was one Lion and his relationship to his people. I truly believe his words to Lucy at the end of the movie, "This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there." I know Christ better through Aslan, through my longing for a more beautiful, more noble world. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader returned me to that world and continued its excellent tradition.

The actors were superb, Eustace being a particularly well-casted part. He went from this obnoxious, namby-pamby, nancy boy to being worthy to be cousin to kings and queens of Narnia. Very rarely can children actors pull off this kind of character turn around but Will Poulter did so perfectly. 
Georgie Henley wonderfully reprised her role as Lucy. A pretty girl, she still convinced me that she needed to be beautiful—something I struggle with myself. This movie made me rethink my own thoughts of unworthyness and how God does see me as wonderful and indespensible—the way Aslan showed to Lucy that she was. The entire temptation of Lucy was very well written, acted, and heart wrenchingly close to home.
Skander seemed a little lack-luster. Though I admire him in the first movie, he has lost some gumption and failed to lose that arrogance. In every movie, it seems we have to watch Edmund get over himself again. Admitedly, Skander does play the easily-offended young king very well. I think the Witches appearance for him was far more nerver-wracking than the serpent. I wish they had made his temptation more in her direction, but his fear and his batter with that fear were very well scripted, screened, and acted. 

Ben Barnes proved much more likable here than in Prince Caspian and seems to have become a stronger actor, and in that a stronger king. He did drop the Spanish-tinted accent of the Telemarines in favor of the Narnian-sudo-British, a slightly jarring little detail. Still, he commands the screen and the ship beautifully. I would follow this king to the end of the earth as well.

Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg) was a splendid blend of sensitive rodent and warm friend. I especially like how he interacted with Eustace (who did amazingly with the CG work, by the way!). The relationship between the two is so very real and poignant.

Aslan returns, though sparingly, throughout the film, and I teared up every time. This magnificent lion is voiced spot-on by Liam Neeson. Watchful, fierce, merciful, protecting, and very much not tame, he is so much more than I expect every time. 

I loved the cameos by Peter and Susan (William Mosely and Anna Popplewell) and the other actors played their parts to perfection. For a long time, I completely forgot that I was not actually on-board the Dawn Treader with real sea-farers.

Costuming was sparce, but it fit with the ocean-bound crew. Lucy did not need a beautiful skirt or Edmund a fancy doublet. The simple tunic, breeches, and sashes worn by everyone unified the crew and made the film more adventurous. 

The cinamatography pulled me back to my homeland, per say, as it swooped over sea and island, ship and crew. There were a few more gratuitous shots of the ship than needed and a misplaced warning from a sprite on the way to Ramandu’s island confused me a bit. 

The islands themselves were splendid trips into Lewis’s mind. Each had a vivid landscape, interesting characters, and a specific purpose in moving the story forward. The writers did an excellent job of tying the adventures into a continuous ribbon rather than several loosely connected stops, which I felt was an actual improvement on the book.

The story kept many of the spiritual aspects that have been overlooked or cut from previous movies, which pleased me greatly. Reepicheep’s final adventure was filled with meaning and it filled me with longing to be there with him. 
This movie creates such a real, poignant world that I cannot wait to return. I long to be there, the poorest peasent even, and I look forward to when I too can move on to Aslan’s country. Narnia lets me live in this fallen world with hope for mankinds potential and joy in the eternal promise awainting me. The Dawn Treader takes me back again. And that is all I can ask from this movie.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas, Darling

I am looking forward to the end of next week!!! School is almost OVER for the semester, I get to go home and spend time with my family, and Christmas is just around the corner. (Have I mentioned that I love Christmas? Because I adore Christmas.) 

It seems like I haven't been home much this semester-- maybe only once a month, possibly less. After not being home all summer, I feel like I don't get to see my family very often. As excited as I am about the Disney world internship opportunity this summer, I am a little worried about being so far away for so long. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

The holidays are in full swing here at school-- my apartment is gorgeously decorated, plans are almost done for my Christmas party, and I am singing a small Christmas show on Saturday! (White Rhino, 8 pm, come by!)

On top of my personal Christmas Cheer (spread by singing loudly for all to hear...), we decorated our office as a gingerbread village. It's seriously legit- check it out!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas is coming, it's practically here!

No, it's not too early! I love the holidays and they begin with Halloween around here.
I spent Halloween dressed up as Rouge (X-men: Rouge) and dancing to Thriller and the Monster Mash while wearing very high heeled boots. My apartment was decorated in pumpkins, Halloween Beanie Babies and Harry Potter stuffed-things. My snowy owl may return for Christmas as well. :)
And then, a week after Halloween, I cup up that lovely pumpkin and fall was here! With smells of roasting pumpkin, spice-coated pumpkin seeds, and other baked joys filling my apartment, it was time to break out the Tchaikovsky! The Nutcracker Suite and other holiday instrumental tunes were conducted with my wooden spoon whilst the yummy-ness cooked. And now I have four Pandora stations for the holidays. And they are amazing. I have begun making gingerbread and pumpkin bars and putting cinnamon in everything. And I am doing a small Christmas show! Also attending a few larger ones. 

My holiday excitement and celebration may seem premature, but I feel like we have so much to celebrate and enjoy and be thankful for. So I go and spread holiday cheer by singing loudly for all to hear! (Or just hum along with my iPod so not to annoy the less-festive folk.) :)
Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 11, 2010


This is one of Those evenings. You know the ones. Where the moon is calling you to dance and the stars seem to sing (well, the one I can see from here). The kind of evening to grab lover boy and go walking hand in hand around the pond in the cooling breeze, watching ducks settle down for the night.

My mind will not settle for reading. Homework is a hopeless dream. Even writing doesn't appeal to me-- I want an adventure! Tonight would be the night to finally call that one particular guy and fess up. Quoting Buttercup perhaps? "I love you, I know it must sound strange..." (from the book of course.) Should I jet off to Paris, to see the city of lights on a beautiful fall night? I hear this is a good time for Boston. Or perhaps I will walk through some mirror or wardrobe or find a dragon scale and stumble into a magical land!

Alas I must content myself with small adventures here. And not calling the poor boy (who would be quiet shocked I believe. Not that I have his number anymore, I deleted that after
this fiasco. I shall wander around the lake alone, maybe reading, maybe not. I will ignore the mosquitoes and try to find all twenty stars I managed to count that one time. This night will be no different than most, my common sense overcoming my impulsive-buy-a-lot-of-ice-cream-run-screaming-jump-into-the-pool-wander-off-into-another-land-call-a-boy-type of mood. I may howl at the moon once or twice though.  Because.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Of iPhones and Better Days

Last night ended more wretched than most. Bible study was great but then driving home in the dark was no fun, I felt lonely and dramatic when I got in, and was in serious danger of languishing. So I decided to go for a walk and look for stars to cheer me up, hopefully texting a few friends in hopes of loving adoration or some such affection. Both were busy and much more interested in their evening homework than me. Ergo, I began looking up my crush on Facebook on my phone as I wondered lonely-like back to my apartment.
Then I tripped.
And dropped the precious iPhone.
Face down.
On concrete.
 I don't think spiders could create a more complicated web than that of the glass of my screen. Y'all, I felt tired, sick from allergies, and at my wits end.
I called my mom.
I cried out at the soccer field.
And made my roomie leave her movie night to give me a hug.
A friend then tipped me off that my phone could be fixed! For two hundred dollars, the Internet said. I got offline despondently kicking myself and I drowned myself in Harry Potter and went to bed.
(Not going to lie, I felt like this half happened to keep me from admiting to this guy that I like him. Every time I get in the admiting mood, something happens.

This morning, I had little motivation to do my homework-- all that I NEED to do over fall break. I just waited for the clock to hit ten so I could Call the Apple Store and know my fate. The diagnostic was hopeful but expensive. I vowed off cupcakes, eating out, movies, and any but the most necessary groceries as I drove into Dallas bleakly. Then I got there and waited anxiously waited my turn ( trying not to lust after the lovely iPad all the while). I told my story to the genius bar boy nd watched him walk away with my cracked phone, hoping it would be under a hundred to ring up. (the Internet Was wrong about the cost, thankfully). Well, I am not entirely sure what happened next, but ten minutes later, my genius boy appears and tells me his story. He knew how I felt, he sympathized with me as a three month old iPhone user. He told his boss, he examined, he Fought for me. And replaced the screen-- for free! Now that is amazing customer service! I vow to never drop my phone again, but I will always go to that store for my Apple products!

The rest of the day was average: Fortress, shopping for overpriced allergy medicine, and a long drive back to campus. But I got to listen to my favorite Sky Sailing song last. Bliss.
God has been really great today-- despite a broken phone and aweful allergies and sadness with a kid at Fortress, I feel so blessed, so taken care of and loved!

How did your day go today?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weddings and Things

Lazing in the sun, letting the breeze play with my hair, and not having anything to do, any hurry or worry: my present state. Sure, there are things to do, like Spanish practice and laundry and cleaning. Yes, Community groups start tonight and this computer needs a new battery. But this day calls me to reflect and enjoy.

I went to a high school friend's wedding last night and it was lovely, so pretty and elegant, simple but wonderful. At this wedding were most of my high school band friends-- including my two high school exes (let's just assume everyone is from high school okay). Awkward you say? Maybe a bit.

Seeing everyone from high school made me think about my relationships to them as well as how I've changed since then. I would love to go back and tell high-school-Cait to not be such a fraidy-nerd and live life fully! That she is smart, talented, and beautiful and needs to be more concerned on building her friendships rather than her resume. High-school-Cait was a fairly cold, reserved girl with more thoughts than feelings and more eco tendencies than love tendencies. I hope I have grown since then and moved beyond the girl who forced dating relationships to happen while abandoning her friends, the girl who made life work her way rather than learn to go with the ebbing tides. I dance more now. I take my shoes off and run around soccer fields. God has poured blessing on me as I learned to give more to him and take on less of my own life.

And, of course, I have learned to fly with dragons.
But that is another story.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The moon is bright tonight

I have returned from my long sojourn into summer's fields, a land dotted with breakfast cereal and pop tarts, balloons and ball point pens, pencil sharpeners and packed lunches-- the land of children. Fortress children to be exact.
And now I have plunged into the icy waters of responsibility for my own future while holding some of theirs in my over-eager hands. School. Work. Fortress. Friends. Family. Socializing.
Of course, over all this goes God and my commitment to a real, working relationship with him. Life is so much more exciting these days.

Tonight, I wan to tell you about the night though. The nights when I waltz into the apartment and find my loving roommates have done the dishes for the day. The nights when my homecoming seems exciting for more than just me. Nights when we can amble around this beautiful campus and talk about anything and everything. I love the nights.

I love walking out from work and having a cool breeze skirl around my braid, pulling at my careful plait and my airy clothes. I love having clothes that flutter in the breeze. Looking up the the silky sky and finding a shimmering moon hovering above the prisma-color-clouds as a few stars burst from the confines of campus lighting, just for me to wish upon. Nights like tonight. Nights to be alone and write. Or sing. Or think. (go to to see the song I just composed for tonight.) Tonight, I want to be in love. And I am in Love.
Tonight sings of beauty and joy and love.
Tonight is a Narnia all my own.
Tonight is freedom.

Tell me, what do you love best about the day (full 24 hours)? Where is your freedom?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And again...

My roommate invited me to see How to Train Your Dragon again. Of course I accepted. And it is STILL phenomenal. Go see it. Seriously. It still makes me tear up in the same places and still sets my heart longing for the glory and perfection of Heaven and really really makes me want a dragon.

I did ponder this deep desire for a flying, fire-breathing, reptilian friend and thought of what I would do for a dragon. Live in a straw hut, with wooden beds and drawing water to use and cooking over a smoky fire? Absolutely. Live in a cave, with aforementioned dragon, my only water source a cold stream near by? Yeah, I would do that. Give up books, computers, iPods, cars, heating, running water, air conditioning, most social life, and so on? I am pretty sure I would pick the dragon.

Then I wondered if I would give up God, my very heart and life. And that is a resounding no! It was an interesting thought-- give up a relationship with someone I have never physically seen or heard, only received letters from and proof of his existence through the Bible, nature, and other people. But he is so much more than SOMEONE. He is the very reason I exist. While it may feel like I should have been born in Berk, my whole reason for existence is because God decided I should. And then I thought, if I gave up my soul for a dragon, who would get my soul? Satan. And what kind of dragon would he give me? The kind from ancient stories, the dragons that ravish countrysides and eat people with one gulp. A Revelations type monster. So not only would I lose my life to this beast, I would lose my eternal life to an even worst one. King of the universe calling me daughter, loving me, providing for me, without a dragon or two seconds in the company of an awesome killing machine? Going to go with God on that one. 

So even though I want to be part of that world so so very much, I will wait. Because Heaven will be better than Berk, better than Narnia, better than dragons. God keeps reminding me of what he has for me. And that is a promise worth giving my life for.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's mine! Mine! Mine! Mwhahahahah..... *drops said object down a deep dark well*

I have them.
I know I have them.
I have had them since I began forcing my infant sister to play Rajah (Aladdin tiger) and Rudolph and all other sorts of things when I was three.

So God is really really working on those now. A lot of college has been learning that I am not the boss of everyone and everything in my life and I have to roll with the punches. (God gave me an incredibly messy roommate-- I am probably OCD. Like Monk-level if I let myself think about it.) And I thought I learned that lesson! Until everything fell out this past Thursday.

I have auditioned/ interview for more than five jobs/plays for this summer. And I have absolutely NOTHING for this summer. They all loved me. Just not enough to employ/cast me. Effectively killing all my summer plans. Yall, I have had this summer planned for two years!!! This is not okay with me. I cried on the way home and called my mom. She was very very practical. So I cried some more and stole hugs where I could get them. I put on my big girl face and went about my evening, having my mom call me later to console a bit more and work on a plan and remind me that I am only human and that I really do go after what I want, even if it is out of my reach.

All this on top of the fact that we have five people living in our apartment so that we can afford rent and one moved out. We thought she was staying later and instead had literally a week to find a new roommate. Which is impossible. So that had spiraled waaay out of my control too. (Like I ever really had control in the first place.) We found a band-aid solution and I was off to my women's retreat, la de da, fun stuff.

And it was AWESOME! But God really really made me face up my control issues and reminded me that when I hang on so tight to what I want things to do, I cannot hang on to HIM and HIS plans and HIS blessings. Control is a chain that he is breaking, a curse that I do not have to bear.

For now, my living room is strewn with large, packed boxes, my floor desperately needs vacuuming, and we were almost late yesterday. But I am not worrying about it because God is in control. I will vacuum when there is time (tomorrow) and the boxes will go away when it is time (tomorrow). Mess still bugs me. I still want things to go my way. But the beautiful promises of Psalms 107 reminds me that I am never in control and never was. So why should I worry? Why should I freak out? God is in control. :)

(Hey, and for all we know, he put a few dragons around too-- nothing says all those skeptics are right now does it?)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Island of Misfit Toys

So many of my friends are sad right now.
Someone's parents split up.
Someone else is fighting depression.
Someone has dad issues.
Someone's dog is hurt.
Someone is physically very ill.
Someone has some psychological issues.
Someone has financial issues.
Several someones have boy junk.

My life is pretty okay right now. I got some convition on Sunday and my relationships are far from perfect, but life is nice.
I am okay financially.
I have a balanced chemical level in my body.
I have a strong, healthy body that is shedding excess poundage.
My have a strong nuclear family and parents who love me and support me.
Today was the best day of my life so far-- but tommorrow is going to be BETTER!

It's not like my friends have nothing good going on, it just seems like a lot of my close friends are having sorts of crises. And like God has granted me smooth sailing for now so that I can help carry there burdens. I am happy to have burdens to share and it is my joy to pray and listen to and hug and love on these people.

I realize how broken we all are, though, and how this world is so very fallen and far from its Maker. I seriously cannot WAIT for Heaven, yall, it will be better than Dragons!

So for anyone who is hurting today, have a virtual hug *snugs* or go hug someone. I am praying for you. Please tell me if there is anything specific I can pray for you about.

Some of my other friends are in really awesome places right now.
Someone is going on a journey of a life time
Several someones are now engaged.
Someone else is getting to live their passion this summer.
Someone is seeing God's will for her life.
Someone is getting right with God.
Someone is getting right with an estranged friend.
Someone is turning into a new good friend.
Someone else is having a baby.
Someone is getting the financial help they need.
Someone is graduating soon.
Someone is getting to see family soon.
Someone is having an adventure.

I am learning to dream bigger.
God blesses me with great friends
I have new ideas for stories
I have opportunities to be on stage.
Life is grandly beautiful.

Lay your burden at Jesus' feet-- he promised that all who came to him weary and heavy laden would be given rest.
Let me help you carry that yoke.
And let us fly in his promises!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Here There Be Dragons


Doesn't the word just make you shiver?

I looove dragons-- books, comics, drawings, and now movies.

Specifically, How to Train Your Dragon, the newest DreamWorks movie-- This is better than any other DreamWorks movie I have ever seen! It beats Shrek, Over the Hedge, Madagascar, etc.
I honestly almost cried in the middle. And at the end.
And now I really really want a dragon.

My poor boyfriend has been informed that I am leaving him for Hiccough the Horrible, So he may be trying to find a dragon this weekend.

I was amazed at how much I really really wanted to live in that village and ride a dragon-- it's an animated movie! These powerful, intelligent, glorious creatures were so enthralling, even though they were animated lizards (Thanks for nothing, you useless reptile... ). The story was wonderful, the script and dialog perfection, and the voice talent spot-on. Add that to beautiful 3-D animation (I don't much care for 3-D but I forgot it wasn't a regular movie) with water drops, licks of fire, and perfect wind effects.... wow. And the music near to broke my heart-- it was beautiful.
I was sad the movie was over.
I seriously have a crush on Hiccough.
Great Movie, go see.

It's hard, living in this world sometimes. This movie makes me long for fantasy as much as Narnia does. I find myself begging God (Please, please, please, please, pleeease!) for something like a fairy or a talking Lion or even medieval gowns that I am allowed to wear all day and no one looks at me funny.
I need to write, but it's to late to dissappear into my dream worlds.
But I have a dragon book I can read tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not Much about Not Much

There hasn't been much going on today or yesterday.

Yesterday was church, with PreK in the early service-- I remembered why I love those kids, they are so sweet. (pretty sure one little guy is at least as OCD as me... he lines up bean bags and perfers throwing away trash to eating snack!) Chuch was pretty great-- we talked about church unity and love and sacrifice and just what a beautiful picture the New Testement church gives us. I got to sign up for the women's retreat too.

It is so strange to be a "woman" in the women's ministry now. I am used to following after my mom and her friends before heading off to youth ministry. TCAL has a college ministry, but it's small and mostly helping out with other places in the church (like PreK). Or else I am really out of the loop- lol. Anyways, I have met all these wonderful, wise, fun-loving ladies and they treat me like an adult but they also offer advice and a litstening ear and support. It's so great to have this sisterhood, if you will. I love my friends here, but they can usually only listen and relate, they don't have the life experience that is making these new friendships so valuable. So it's wierd to be in a similar ministry to my mom, but I love it all the same.

Oh! And I totally want to get our kids in TCAL involved in serving too-- we need to find some kid-friendly service opportunities. They already love to helpers in PreK, so why not find somewhere for them to begin engaging their talents for Christ?

Today= work all day. Wrote a paper. Now really zonked. Two more hours to freedom!
(I love my job, I do. Mondays are just so very long.)