Reasons Why I Love Doctor Who.

In honor of the new season premiering tonight: some of my American friends just don’t understand.

1. Because bow ties are cool.
2. Because tea.
3. Because Matt Smith.

matt smith
4. Because of good triumphing over evil.
5. Because of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
6. Because fish sticks and custard.
7. Because imagination.
8. Because the Tardis (translated: sexy.)

The Tardis.

The Tardis.

9. Because I live vicariously through his companions. Why don’t I qualify for an intergalactical trip before tea time?
10. Because Rory literally waited for his Amy for 2,000 years. Please.
11. Because the Doctor fixes things. Like marriages and the universe.
12. Because River Song.
13. Because the Impossible Girl.
14. Run, you clever boy.
15. Hello, sweetie.

Peter Capaldi, I believe in you. You won’t let us down.

Cheapening the Story

Over the weekend I went to see the new Hercules movie. I didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t seen any trailers or promotion, and the only thing I knew coming in was that Dwayne Johnson played the hero. I’m a fan of Greek mythology, having been a student of classical literature all throughout highschool. Plus, I’ve seen the Disney version; and we all know that any movie with a musical number has the final word in my book.

(Just kidding. Kinda.)

Honestly…I was disappointed. Granted, there was some sheer entertainment value, and Dwayne Johnson sure doesn’t hurt to look at; but I was left so unsatisfied. The entire premise of the legend of Hercules is based off the fact that he was a demigod: born of Zeus and a mortal woman. It was his god-like qualities that gave him his enormous strength and brought him such great fame. But this modern Hollywood version implied multiple times that he wasn’t actually a demigod, but a mercenary who worked with five others (including a badass Amazonian warrior chick). And that ultimately, his reason for success was that he believed in himself, and that is what made him (and everyone else, the movie informs us), a true hero.

Blah blah blah.

The reason this is unsatisfying as a movie and as a story in general, is because that’s all we get from Hollywood these days. Believe in yourself. Follow your heart. Have faith. In… yourself. Its the age of the anti-hero. And not to say that I don’t appreciate all the stories where someone ordinary or someone facing difficult challenges rises to the occasion and becomes a hero, but now it seems we can’t even have a regular ol’ hero anymore.

Can’t we just retell a Greek legend as it is? It would have been just as awesome if he was, you know, a legit demigod.

But if I’m being totally honest, the issue that is bugging me here is an issue entirely separate from Hercules itself. It’s the fact that we have to tamper with and add our modern nuances to old stories that have stood the test of time. We keep re-writing fairy tales, and changing them around to tell a story that won’t offend anyone. Everything has to be modified: get rid of anything that smacks even slightly of gender issues, religion, race, morality, etc. It cheapens the quality of the story.

Rather than tampering with old legends and stories, why don’t you go write your own. If you want the girl to be the true hero, go write a new fairytale (and I’ll probably read/watch it, because I like that sort of stuff). If you want someone to follow their heart into oblivion, fine. To each his own. Personally, if I’m going to watch an old Greek legend turned into what could have been an awesome action movie, I’d like to see just that. And not some poor 21st century spin on an ancient world most of us can’t even perceive anymore.

Stop messing up good stuff. It’s like sticking your finger in the icing of a perfectly frosted cake. It’s just rude.

Story of Us: Love

Everyone has a story. Followers of Jesus have a unique one…ours is a story of faith, light, grace, beauty, love. All working together for redemption, which is God’s goal for humanity. Not a story of happiness and easiness, or apathy and America, but of world-wide joy in the middle of the terrible pain we face in a broken world. The most important to me is the story of love.

Without love, all is lost. If God hadn’t chosen to love a people who rejected him, and did everything we could to not deserve his love, we would still be without hope. Jesus was of course the ultimate example: and he told us that this is love, to lay down one’s own life for a friend.

But who is my friend? Who is my neighbor? Am I willing to lay down my life…
Because laying down my life doesn’t have to mean dying the death of a martyr. Laying down my life in love is a much simpler, but far more difficult process of choosing to humble myself every day. To that one person who drives you nuts, the lady at church whose gossiping makes you cringe, the person who cut in front of you on the road, and that grumpy man at the store who ruined your day. And even worse for today’s falsely religious “Christian”; to the gothic girl who cuts herself, the pregnant teenager, or the gay man in your class. But in God’s eyes you are no better than any of the human beings that you consider somehow beneath you. We are all equal before him and equally loved. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, man nor woman.

I, however, am so often guilty of a subtle and dangerous hypocrisy…much like the smug Pharisee who prayed “Thank you God, that I’m not like that person.” This is a destructive way to go about living and brings no benefit to the kingdom of God. And all-too-many churches these days are guilty of the same thing. So concerned with going to battle over doctrine or rejoicing in the fact that “we’re not like them…” that we forget the reason we came.

To quote Sarah Bessey (from Jesus Feminist, pg. 105)–

“No formula, no method makes me feel so fully human and alive as the radical act of living loved. Once you taste Love, you are ruined for the empty shells of religious performance and conditions, like going back to fast food after a home-cooked meal.”

Our deeds and words are hollow if not infused with love, and particularly this love that is stronger than we are capable of mustering as mere humans. And “living loved,” as Bessey puts it, means more than just loving on others; it means living with the confidence and assurance that we ourselves have been loved and adopted into the family.

At the end of the day; either I loved my neighbor or I didn’t. God loves me regardless, and I don’t have to do good deeds to earn that…but if I’m being a good steward of what he’s giving me, then it should matter how I choose to go about my day, and whether or not I do it in his name. And he is Love.


Only the Beginning of the Adventure

I’m sitting on a plane in Dallas, about to depart for Chicago before my final destination of Watertown, NY.

My hair is flat, a travesty for a woman currently of the Southwest. My eyes are dark because I haven’t slept in a while. I am anything but glamorous. But I’m on my way to begin something that has been growing silently for the last 5 years…my first album.

I probably shouldn’t make any comparisons to being pregnant because I am all-too familiar with the process of pregnancy and birth and all that it entails…but seriously guys, I sort of feel like I’m about to give birth to a baby that I’ve been growing for like 50 months. With no clue what this will look like or where it’s going to leave me in another five years from now…I am all anticipation and excitement, nerves and stomach pain.

I have to step back from the whole thing and say that it was not of me or any power I had. It was handed to me bit by bit from someone who had this all planned a long time ago. Every song tells a story, is a part of me that I had to learn the hard way. The way of pain and bleeding hearts and inexplicable joy. To share this music is to know that it will resonate with people because it already has, in overwhelming ways: but it comes with the knowledge that I too will be shared and exposed because little bits of me are in every verse and melody. To be blunt, it’s like getting naked in public. Musically speaking. But it’s a privilege.

This is more than I ever dreamed of. Even if only 20 people buy the album, it will still be worth it. Because I will know that I did what I was supposed to do with what I have been given. It’s part of a bigger story.

Off I go. Step 1. Or more like, Step 1000. He knows.


The Truth Hurts

But even though it hurts, it is always worth it. Be honest. Be real. Don’t be afraid to bare your soul when the time comes. Because someone else has felt what you are feeling and needs to know they are not alone.

I have found that telling the truth, without fail, has consequences. Both good and bad. And when you are punished for being honest, it stings. I still believe it’s better to do what you know to be authentic and right.

So hold on.




Being Broken

I wrote a song, a long time ago, after seeing two people I loved dearly trying to deal with hurt in different ways. Both were failing.

One had inflicted pain, and regretted it but couldn’t show it to save his life; the other had been hurt and as a result thought of herself as worthless. He tried to pretend it really wasn’t that bad, because after all he was right as usual. It couldn’t possibly be his fault, in his mind. She went off the deep end, because she saw herself as worthless. Seeking help in running away and finding friends in all the wrong places. Trying to fill a big hurting hole.

Don’t be afraid of brokenness,

Brokenness needs to be loved.

Don’t try to hide from emptiness.

Don’t be afraid of the dark.

We are so afraid to admit that we have cracked…afraid to be exposed and seen for what we really are: hurting, failing, dying people. There is such hope, because there is grace. But it doesn’t change the fact that we are human, and as long as we are alive we will face things that we think we can’t bear and that seem to have no end. Trying to pretend it doesn’t affect you and that you are really OK won’t help anyone, especially you.

Face it, by admitting that you are broken. And maybe you will be for a long, long time. Beauty can be found in brokenness. There is no shame in saying you need help. Fill your life with people, songs, words; things that will build you up. But don’t expect to magically make it go away by just saying “Ok, I’m happy now!” You can’t begin to heal until you first admit that you have been hurt. After that, it’s an upward climb (with rocks along the way, of course.)

I couldn’t say that if I wasn’t always in the middle of it. You might think I’m bipolar, but I have just decided that it is better to feel every ounce of joy and pain rather than trying to stuff it and only feel what I want to feel. I have some big scars on my heart that get re-opened every couple of days or weeks, and start to bleed again. I also have such incredible, overwhelming hope. Most of all, I have a friend and father who doesn’t give up on me; he already laid down his life to prove it 2,000 years ago. I have a dysfunctional family that loves me to bits and that I simply couldn’t live without, friends that constantly lift me up, and a life to pursue music and the art of storytelling. I have such a good reason to be alive.

Don’t be afraid of the dark. Find a flashlight, and keep going. You will make it out.