I watch a lot of movies. When David and I were first married we out to see movies at least once a week. 15 years and four kids later, trips to the theater now happen about once a year. (Which might further explain the Les Mis freak out of the previous post.) These days, though, Red Box and Netflix keep us well supplied with movies, and once the kidlets are in bed and whichever ball game we are watching is over, we put on a movie. Or two.
I have a certain gift (annoying habit?) of memorizing movie lines. David has the same skill, and we will frequently have a competition to see who can go the longest speaking solely in movie lines. David usually taps out after he has exhausted all VI Episodes of Star Wars with a few choice Rocky gems thrown in for good measure. I, on the other hand, have a much larger repertoire, so I always win. This is good, because I’m fiercely competitive.
Anyway, I have found that there are a few movie lines which can be used to describe my life.
“I guess I’ve read Pride & Prejudice about 100 times and every time I read it I worry that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are not going to get together…”
– Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail
At least twice a year I read Pride & Prejudice from cover to cover, only stopping to eat and sleep if absolutely necessary. I don’t know what it is about the story. I read other Jane Austin novels, but not in a freakishly obsessive way. For some reason, though, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Collins manage to completely reel me in. David knows it, too. When he sees me sit down with the book he mumbles something about, “See you in two days,” and lets me go.
“Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?” – Princess Leia, Star Wars
At the wise age of 14, I made a list of all of the qualities that my future husband would have. On the list was the fact that he would be 6’2” tall. Five years later I became really good friends with this guy. He was only 5’8” (and a half), so I knew he could in no way be my husband. This removed all of the awkwardness that comes when being around a Potential Husband, so we easily spent time together, laughed together, prayed together, and served together. He quickly became my very best friend, and I could not imagine my life without him. He asked me to marry him and I said yes, without reservation.
“Are you crazy? A man in a really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! Gimme a pen, I’m signin’! You’re signin’! We’re all signin’!”
– Lenny Haise, That Thing You Do!
That Thing You Do! is the story of a 1960’s garage band with a replacement drummer. The band records a hit record and makes it big. It’s a pretty simple plot, but I have seen this movie more times than I am willing to admit. It has been well established that I am a total geek, but if I actually counted the number of times I have sat and watched the movie, let alone the number of times it has played in the background while I clean the house, play cards, or fall asleep, I would probably have to stop and re-evaluate my entire life. I have too many other things to do today, so let’s just say I’ve seen it a few times. Anyway, this line comes at the point in the movie where a man in a really nice camper approaches the band about being their manager and helping them get noticed. Although things seem a bit ridiculous, the band agrees and their lives are completely changed.
This line is the one that so often resembles my life. There have been times when my choices or situations have seemed absurd but the outcome has been amazing. For example, deciding to spend a summer working at a horse camp in Northern California. I had never ridden a horse, didn’t own a pair of boots, and wasn’t very fond of the Northern California foothills. But I went anyway… and met David.
Another example would be choosing to open a coffee shop in a small mountain town where the majority of our clientele would be youth who couldn’t exactly afford to buy coffee. We gave away much more than we ever sold, laughed at the idea of making a profit, and had to close the doors less than a year after opening them because neither of us have a mind for business. But during that time we got to know so many awesome people and built relationships that are still solid to this day.
We do not live in the movies, and our life does not come to a tidy conclusion with a snappy soundtrack playing in the background. Sometimes our absurd choices leave us flat on our face.
But David and I have chosen to live by Faith. I don’t know if chosen is the right word to use, because we sometimes feel as if our life is not necessarily our choice. It is a life we feel called to live, directed to live, and at times forced to live. We don’t have a huge income – David’s a pastor and I am a freelance writer – but things work out. We homeschool the kidlets, which at times can be frustrating and exhausting, but more often than not is incredibly fun and rewarding.
We live our life walking alongside young people and trying to help them see Jesus. This is not easy, and so many times can be heartbreaking, but when it’s what you are created to do, it’s worth it.
A lot of times people turn to movies to escape their real life, but that’s not how it is for me. I love to watch movies that help me realize the awesome parts of my life. Good Will Hunting makes me think of the broken kids that we have seen and known who are now living pretty incredible lives. Spanglish makes me appreciate the fact that marriage isn’t easy, and to have a lasting one requires us to make intentional choices to love each other. And Tommy Boy helps me realize that it’s okay to be who I am, that sarcasm is always appropriate, and that Chris Farley in David Spade’s coat will always get a laugh.
I have tried and tried to think of a clever way to end this post, but I am left with nothing. So I will turn to the one movie that never lets me down.
“Have fun storming the castle.” – Miracle Max, The Princess Bride