My Mississippi is…

HOT! Talk about the dirty South, come to Hattiesburg, MS! Skyscraper size pine trees, tons of pine needles and heat, heat, HEAT. But this is the place of my childhood. It is a place with:

the sound of the buzzing locusts in the trees around dusk, 
the warm air surrounding you and moving ever so slightly, 
friendly people who don’t know a stranger, 
food cooked with tons of butter and heavy cream, 
lots of slow, lazy conversations
the best iced tea in the world,
fruit stands where ice-cream, crawfish and designer shoes are sold

My cousin just finished a family history project for his junior year and we spent last evening sitting around discussing our family genealogy. My grandfather has been collecting records for his family and he brought out a plethora of documents for us to go over. Some were last wills and testaments, some were letters between sisters, some were county documents, some were poems and dissertations written by ancestors. We learned so much! We learned that my grandmother is actually named after a saloon girl my great-grandfather fondly remembered. My cousin learned that he is most likely related to one of his best friends. We learned that we have both sharecroppers and plantation owners among our ancestors. We learned that we had family fight in both the Revolutionary and the Civil War. I learned that my great, great, great grandparents came from Scotland, but settled in Franklin, where I live now, before moving south to Mississippi. 

Mississippi may be the poorest state and not very pretty. And it may have a bad reputation due to its past, but it is a place of heritage and home. The word Mississippi is beautiful to say and write and for me it will always be a place of iced tea and history.

Did they mean to….

change the story, yet add a new point to think on? While I am on the subject of Prince Caspian, I was amazed at the liberties they took w/the script and story-line. My brother-in-law, a Narnia purist and screenwriter himself, will not be pleased with how far they got from the original story, but they did provide some more thought provoking moments whether it was intentional or not. What surprised me was that, Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ stepson, was an advisor on the the film and yet it still was dramatically different than the book.  I have always felt that Prince Caspian is the chronicle most like a bedtime story b/c it has the least amount of action, so I wondered how they were going to make an exciting full-length film from it. My wondering was answered by a barrage of new action scenes, an interesting flirtation and a macho-tension plot b/t Peter and Caspian.

“I’m supposed to be king.” -C
“Oh yeah, well I’m the High King.” – P

The latter two additions I could have done without. 
But what they did do that was interesting to me, was reverse Peter and Susan’s roles from the actual story. In the book, Susan was actually being the “doubting Thomas” and Peter, while unable to see Aslan, wasn’t feeling abandoned and in need of proof so he could lead.  In the movie,  Peter’s confliction about his inability to see Aslan and his admission that he wished he could just have some proof struck a chord with me. Whether the writers meant to or not, they painted an accurate and interesting picture of how many of us react to God’s presence in our lives when things are tough.  We wish He would “show up” and prove to us He is there and cares. If we are really truthful, what we really want is for God to come in and fix-it, to save the day.  Like I said in the post before, I want that. I want Him to come save the day and fix whatever is hurting me or the ones I love. 
But what is faith, if it is not in the things unseen?(Rom. 8:24)  And endurance through difficult situations increases our faith and produces character which in turn produces hope (Rom. 5:3-5). It felt like the writers used Romans 5:1-5 and Romans 8:24-25 as a model for Peter’s struggle in the movie. Who knows? But it did put some situations in perspective for me.

Gifts today:
~ a special  lunch with one of my dearest friends
~ an intense Yoga session
~ getting Baby J’s bed
~ dinner w/my mom and dad
~ special time w/  the Lord
~ my sweet husband

The Great Lion…

The Lion of Judah has always been one of my favorite names of Jesus.  It denotes strength and honor and power and majesty. I have long had a tender spot in my heart for Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis’ contemporary and friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, chided Lewis that his stories were too blatantly allegorical, and Lewis in turn chided that Tolkien’s were not. The character of Aslan is not one of Lewis’ creating though. He is THE Lion and there is no mistaking that. Lewis did not want there to be any mistake though. I am paraphrasing a story that Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ stepson, told:

A little boy who was reading The Chronicles of Narnia was crying one night in his room. His mother came and asked what was wrong and he told her sorrowfully that he loved Aslan more than he loved Jesus. Either the mother or the child wrote this in a letter to Lewis, who responded by saying to love Aslan is to love Jesus.

Aslan himself tells the Pevensie children on their last trips to Narnia, that it is their time to get to know him in their own world. Sometimes I feel like I seek Christ in this lion form. I watched and wept jealously as Lucy sought Aslan and found him in Prince Caspian on Friday. She was faithful, she was sure He would be there for her and yet when He came roaring in,  you saw the fear that it might not be him. Yet, even though she feared that, she went to Him anyway and was rewarded for her faith by getting to throw herself into Him and be held by her Lion. 

It felt a little silly, but I cannot help but long for my chance to fall into my Lion’s arms and tell him how much I love Him. I want Him to come save the day, but like He told Lucy, “Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.” The way my Lion rescued me, when He brought me out of darkness and made me His own, is not the way He will “rescue” me from life’s troubles. In a sermon I heard Andy Stanley preach about what God does promise us, he said that God does not promise that we will rich or safe or successful. In fact, He assures us that “we will have troubles in this world” but that He has overcome them.  What He Has promised us is grace and mercy when we approach His throne, approach Him. I saw a not-so-subtle vision of that when the Lion rolled around and cuddled a little girl who had been seeking Him desperately.  I desperately needed to see that.

More about Aslan later, right now my gifts are:
~grace and mercy
~ my sweet, sleeping husband who loves me so well
~my beautiful son doing flips in my tummy
~a beautiful day, doing nothing with dear, dear friends

In case you didn’t know….

I have an amazing husband.  I am so blessed by the man that Chad is.  Not only is he super hot ;), he teaches me new things every day. It has been a tough couple of weeks for him, but he has stayed faithful. I need to brag on him right now, because he has shown amazing patience and strength AND I want everyone to know how wonderful he is! And the mother lion is coming out in me – I get super mad when someone messes w/ my man, because he is so wonderful, especially when it is for NO GOOD REASON!! If I am like this about my husband, what in the world is going to happen when my son comes along???  So I am going to be a little cheesy and write and ode to my husband. 🙂

My Chad is:

amazingly talented
extremely creative
loyal – even when people don’t deserve it!
He waits on the Lord
He has a heart to serve by whatever means he can
He is really a little boy at heart – especially when it comes to chocolate chip cookies and milk and baseball
He is a good man
He is a peacemaker
He is the love of my life!

Actually, he is Chad’s AND mine

So, I am not a good blogger. A sweet friend told my posts are LONG and they are! 🙂 I am not consistent and I absolutely cannot keep up w/ my amazing husband’s blogging skills. But I figure that I will hopefully keep up with my new little friend’s life when he gets here. My sister does an AMAZING job of sharing Audrey w/ the world here and Nathalie shares her new experiences w/ her little friend here and then my new friend Heather (the Supermom) blogs about her way cool family and their hilarious escapades and sweet moments here

Since I am 85 days away (OMG!! It sounds so far, but really isn’t!) I will probably still be a poor blogger, but when I have some inspiration the whole world will hear about him. BTW, even though the little widget says “Jennifer’s Baby”, he is actually Chad’s too! 🙂