Monday, July 24, 2017

Look Up!



How often in the busyness of life do we forget to look up?

Have your days been filled with joy lately, or filled with struggle or pain? Have you been looking up, away from yourself and into the world around you?

I'm asking because I have found it more difficult than usual to look up this past week. I know that a part of it is grief. Losing a friend, even one who you release into the loving arms of Jesus is hard. 

But I think it has been more than just grief. 
I think I have been doing a lot of introspective thinking as well. Thinking about where Arlene's education should be heading this fall, thinking about where I want my writing to go, and wondering what God's plan for it all is. 

Some days being patient is easy. Other days I just want to know the answers now!

Here's the thing I've found: God is still calling me to look up, to look to Him for all of my care and all of my strength. It's not just that I might miss seeing something amazing, like as shooting star or a beautiful bird or intricate architecture, it is that I might miss seeing God in all of the details, large and small of my life.

So here is to tomorrow, a new day, where I know I will find His mercy and grace once again.

If you have been struggling recently, look up, see the wonderful things God is doing all around you. And if you've been living a life filled with overflowing joy... look up and share that joy with those around you! Your grace-filled arms might be just the hug they need to help them look up as well!



Friday, July 21, 2017

Collect



Today's Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: collect

five minute friday writing prompt, collect


What do you collect? Seashells, pictures, little decorative spoons? I think most everyone I know collects something, and as a homeschooler, I know a lot of people who collect books! Our oldest daughter collects quotes. She has a notebook full of them, from such a wide variety of people that it often surprises even me!

As a writer I collect words. 

More specifically, I collect first lines.


I think this goes back to my days of writing for newspapers. You always wanted to come up with an opening line that would catch attention. I also liked writing my own headlines. Some people disliked the headline aspect, but I found it a fun mental challenge to sum up a 500 word article in only four to seven words.

So today I continue to collect first lines, or themes. I have a book with a lot of lines/ themes that have yet to be written. When I get stuck, or writer's block tries to creep in, I often go back and look at those first lines.

Recently though, I've been collecting memories.

Life can be challenging. Life HAS been challenging recently. Besides the usual crunch of time due to the 4-H fair, my best friend passed from this life to the next last Friday. I am spending time savoring the memories, remembering the lessons God taught me through our friendship.

So you, what do you collect?




Monday, July 17, 2017

Trust Fund movie ~ A Crew Review

family drama, movie night, jessica rothe,movie review


We received the movie Trust Fund from Mapelle Films to watch for the Homeschool Review Crew. This faith based movie takes the viewer on an exceptionally well thought out journey. Beginning with a flashback to her childhood, this movie follows Reese Donahue, played by Jessica Rothe, as she struggles to finish her first book. As the daughter of a publishing family, she wants to make her own way, but is struggling with adulthood and  her relationship with her older sister.

This movie is an unusual modern day take on the story of the Prodigal Son (daughter.) If you think you know what happens next, and you don't need to watch it, let me tell you that you are in for a surprise with this movie! Reese has come to meet with her father at his office and sees a report that mentions a trust fund for her and her sister Audrey. As Reese's bank account is overdrawn once again, she clings to the idea that she needs to find out more about the money their mother left them.

After quite a bit of conniving, Reese gains access to the funds and opens an account for herself in Italy, where she had recently been for a writing workshop. She fancies herself in love with the man she met in Italy, not understanding that Milo is not all he seems. Once Reese returns to Italy she sets up what she thinks is her ideal world, spending her time writing, shopping, and living with Milo. The story gets deeper as Reese decides to offer her remaining money to Milo for a business investment, not understanding enough of the Italian language, or Milo's business, to realize it is illegal. As Reese become increasingly involved (by her own insistence) in Milo's dealings, she begins to have doubts about what he is really doing. The scenes in Italian add to the viewer's understanding of just how lost Reese is. There are no subtitles, but you can understand her confusion and hesitation to proceed as she comes to realize that these men Milo is dealing with are actually mafia style family leaders. The DVD does offer a Closed Captioned option for viewers for the English parts (the majority of the movie.)

Reese finally comes to her senses and decides to return home. Her father welcomes her with open forgiving arms, but, like in the Prodigal Son story from Luke 15, there is great tension and an unwillingness to forgive from her older sister.

What makes this movie unique is that this is not the end of the story, it is the beginning of Reese's new life, as she learns that even with her father's forgiveness, there are still consequences to face because of her poor choices. The second half of this movie is so well told that you simply must watch it to understand what I mean.

Trust Fund was produced by the husband and wife team of Isaac Alongi and Sandra Martin. Isaac was homeschooled from age seven (back in the 80's) and has been working in photography and cinematography for over 20 years. He shares a bit of his background and how homeschooling influenced him in a post on the Midwest Parent Educators website. Sandra and Isaac have worked together for over 15 years and have been married since 2003.


Besides producing Trust Fund, Sandra Martin has written a companion book, Love was Near. It was inspired by the movie, but instead of following the plot line of the supposed book Reese is writing in the movie, it is designed for ages 12 and up to read after watching the movie. It is designed to help girls think through their lives as the read what Reese was thinking. Several of the Crew families reviewed it as well (we did not.) To read their reviews, click the banner below. 

Also available from Mapelle Films is a group study guide to use to dig deeper into the themes the viewer has encountered while watching Trust Fund. You can find out more about the study guide on their website.

Connect with Mapelle Films and Trust Fund on Facebook and Pinterest


Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer