7 Quick Takes: Music, Movies, and the Holidays

So, like most people, I’m surrounded by media. I’m not even talking about social media, of which this is certainly a part. I’m talking about the fact that I’ve watched about 3 movies in the last two weeks and listened to countless hours of music (because Spotify Premium is awesome, and I am not even paid to say that). I wanted to talk a little bit about my experiences with that media in a form used by many bloggers, including one of my favorites, Kendra of Catholic All Year: 7 Quick Takes.

Well, I may not be quick about them, but here goes for an attempt at being brief (haha).

–1–

Ever since my fieldwork supervisor for my mental health placement had this song as the theme for the facility holiday show, I’ve had this song on a fairly regular rotation. It’s such a beautifully motivating song, and it sums up what the best of therapy should be, that you can bring your secrets, scars, and darkness to heal and grow into a stronger person. But for me, it also gets at the heart of what my relationship with God is. No matter how deep my darkness, how great my shame, how painful my brokenness is to me, God looks past all of that. He wants me to “unpack my heart” to him and really be in a relationship with him.

–2–

Speaking of music, I have really gotten on a Christmas music kick. I’m already a Christmas fiend. My family and friends can attest to this; I seriously start planning for our family Christmas Eve snack in September. I have to keep myself from watching all of my Christmas movies in October, because as much as my roommate might like me, I don’t know that watching my 15 Christmas movies on a loop can be borne by anyone.

Me from October 1 to Epiphany
Me from October 1 to Epiphany…

But anyway…after finishing up my Christmas 2015 playlist, I realized that it is about a day’s worth of music. Yes, there is so much Christmas music I like that I could listen to it for an entire day without sleeping and not play a track more than once.

If you're my long-suffering sister and dad, this is probably what you're saying right now...
If you’re my long-suffering sister and dad, this is probably what you’re saying right now…

–3–

Even though twins are supposed to be the same all the time, my sister and I, who are identical twins, could really not be more different in personality. One of the ways this shows up is our favorite holidays. While I go on Thanksgiving/Christmas mode on November 1, my sister is all about Halloween. Her favorite thing to do on October 31 is watch the original Halloween, while I would rather be doing something involving the Reformation, like fake-nailing the 95 Theses somewhere or singing a bunch of old Lutheran songs.

Me, except I look nothing like that and I'm a girl
Me, except I look nothing like that and I’m a girl

But because I love my sister, I decided to watch some Halloween movies with her. I do have to let you guys know that my idea of Halloween movies I would actually watch is something you’d be putting on for the elementary schoolers. I don’t like being scared. For the record, I’m not morally opposed to Halloween or scary movies at all (that’s a post for another time); I just have personal issues with specific types of scary movies and certain ways Halloween gets celebrated.

So if you’re looking for movies that are good for kids or people who really hate being scared, I recommend the following movies:

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (okay, this might be freaky if you’re not a Tim Burton fan, but it’s not so scary that I have to avoid it)

I would recommend the Scooby-Doo animated movies, but those scared the snot out of me when I was a kid (don’t laugh too hard, I was a sensitive kid), so proceed with caution.

–4–

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching any Christmas movies, though. I watched White Christmas with my roommate, and it was her first time seeing it. It’s honestly become one of my favorite Christmas movies. Where else are you going to get a fairly singable musical about Christmas with a touching storyline (and a little romance) that doesn’t involve animation or Muppets?

Okay, I know this picture doesn't do the scene justice, but I can't help but start crying when the general realizes what they've done for him
Okay, I know this picture doesn’t do the scene justice, but I can’t help but start crying when the general realizes what they’ve done for him

What really gets me, though, is the pureness of everyone’s motives. Though Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) maintains that “everyone’s got an angle”, what he, his friend/business partner, and many others come together to accomplish is one of the best examples I’ve seen in a movie of selfless love. He created the tribute to the general because he wanted to make sure that a man who led him and so many other men through a difficult war knew his sacrifice was not forgotten, that there were many people who remembered his hard work and appreciated it, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (if I may be a little irreverent on a Sunday).

–5–

I start actually doing sessions for my fieldwork placement on Wednesday! I’m super excited; I have a game of catch planned, as well as a “favorite things” drumming activity. What I do with the drumming activity is that I ask clients what their favorite (color/food/whatever) is. They then have to say the sentence and play the rhythm of the sentence at the same time. It works hand-eye coordination, communication, and allows the client self-expression with some parameters. I’m probably going to put some fall/Halloween things in that activity, too.

–6–

I’m in a Baroque music performance class this semester, and I’m working on “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion” from Messiah. While I’m a classically trained singer, and can sing it with some facility, I’m not an alto. This song shows me the necessity to work with my chest/regular voice break, because right now I sound like this when I sing down there:

mulan-stomp

So that’s been a lot of fun. If I have time, I might post a recording of my singing (sans accompaniment) on here in the next couple of weeks or so.

–7–

 The last thing that I wanted to talk about is that I would like your prayers for discernment. I’ve felt a pull toward creating some books/materials related to the church year, but I’m not sure if this is the right thing just yet. I have some ideas that I consider interesting, but what obviously, God’s will is gonna get done whether I like it or not. So please keep me in your prayers concerning that.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be talking about another hymn that’s shaped my faith, when I least expected it.

Want to talk about something I’ve posted, or have a general question about me? Send a comment; I’d love to hear from you!

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