My Week in Gratitude:
Saturday: I am SO thankful for Tommy Rosen and all of the loving people who shared incredible and inspiring wisdom-packed interviews to provide the 2015 Recovery 2.0 Conference. This has been a great, great gift.
Sunday: Thankful for the inspiration and motivation I received last night at the regional huddle. I was touched by a story of deep forgiveness. I was elated to hear the words of people from China and Angola who are following Jesus. I was brought to tears by the story of a prostitute in Los Angeles. I was empowered to reach out in my own neighborhood and be a light to the people who live close by. I was loved on, and encouraged, and told how great the Steps videos came out, and blessed with yet another opportunity to do what I do best.
Monday: Grateful beyond measure to have made it through those first 72 hours and to know that there IS hope here…there is a light at the end of this tunnel, there is a season of new beginnings on just the other side of this season of challenges. And I am thankful that I have enough faith and trust in God to know all this with complete certainty. Thankful that He has shown up for me so many times that I can fully surrender to this process and trust in His unending goodness.
Tuesday: Back to being thankful for this conference!! Today, Gabrielle Bernstein just NAILED IT, man. She spoke straight into my heart and she did it with such realness and authenticity…I am just floored and cannot get over how much this conference has impacted me.
Wednesday: The astounding inspiration that came to me in the shower this morning. While I have always been one of those who does their best thinking in the shower, today was nothing short of mind-blowing. It was as if God was piping the ideas right into my brain. I started to feel like there were so many awesome thoughts that I wouldn’t be able to remember it all in time to write it down, but NOPE, it all came pouring out on to paper just as clearly as it arrived in my mind. It was SO GOOD…like unbridled clarity on what all of this crap has been for. I have never before been able to understand how my particular path could be of help to anyone else, and now I know *EXACTLY* how it is supposed to help. Now I just need to align all the elements, pray my heart out, and do what I need to do.
Thursday: So astoundingly grateful for my husband. He is my best friend in this world. He knows every single piece of me and he loves me anyway. Sometimes I can’t believe all the things we have survived together over the last 11 years. We’re not perfect, but we’re a pretty incredible example of giving each other grace and forgiveness. I love you so much, Hunny. (Oh…here come the waterworks!)
Friday: As much as it really sucks to go through, I am thankful that unhealthy relationships have a way of ending themselves. That’s all I want to say about that.
Now….let’s get to the good stuff.
Let’s begin with this IG account filled with sexy men reading books, appropriately called “@HotDudesReading“.
I tell ya….God was not going to let me get through this week without coming to full acceptance and trust in His timing. I may feel like I waited too long to listen, but the reality is, that I waited exactly as long as I needed to.
Thank you, Lord…thank you, thank you, thank you.
The little girl from the original Missy Elliott videos (Alyson Stoner) made a tribute video for Missy.
Check out the BuzzFeed article here.
Be still my heart.
WHERE IS THIS PLACE?!?!?!?! I want to be there.
Now I couldn’t leave the internet this week without commenting on all this 50 Shades of Grey madness. I follow a huge variety of blogs and media outlets, and basically all of them – from the most religious to the most secular – share the opinion that this movie needs to be boycotted for one reason or another.
Here’s a flat truth – I won’t be seeing it in theaters, but I will be seeing the movie. My husband and I have come to enjoy this little game where I read books and sort of summarize them for him as I go, and then when the movies comes out, we watch together to see how close they resemble the print version. This will be no different.
But you see, when the news broke that 50 Shades was coming to theaters, I was confused. I had indeed read all three books in their entirety and could not, for the life of me, figure out how they were going to turn these books into a movie fit for regular theaters. Maybe a late-night Cinemax version would have been more appropriate? I don’t know…but I was perplexed. (I mean, honestly,, have you read the books??? Its blatant erotica with an underlying message of fixing broken people. They are very easy reading…it took me less than a week to get through all three.)
Now then, I have read some truly astounding erotica – what comes to mind is A.N. Roquelaure’s (aka Anne Rice) Sleeping Beauty series. And I mean, if you want to read some erotica, that’s where I would point you. I think I read that series during my own personal sexual awakening and I’ll tell you, I have never forgotten it. Probably never will.
My point is, that between my own sex life and what I had previously read in books, there was absolutely nothing that took place in 50 Shades that surprised me. As for the writing itself – I mean, I had prior experience in the genre with Anne Freaking Rice for crying out loud – so its no shocker that I feel it certainly could’ve been better, but I don’t think E.L. James was going for any literature awards here. So sure, it wasn’t the most intellectually stimulating of stories, but I didn’t hate it.
And for the record, contrary to what the blogosphere would have you believe – there was a plot to the story. I will agree that it wasn’t all that great of a plot, and many of the things that took place were too obviously foreshadowed, but there was indeed a storyline. There was also a whole lot of sex, and by the time I got about 3/4 of the way through Book 2, I had started skimming over those bits. They were too repetitive and had become boring by that point, but I was interested enough to see how the rest of the whole thing played out so I read all the way through to the end of Book 3.
Then it was over and I figured I would not hear any more about it.
But a few months later, talk begins about a movie adaptation and I even said to my husband “I don’t know how they’re going to do that unless they make it an adult movie” and I really didn’t think it would actually happen.
Yet…here we are, on release day. It happened.
Which brings me to my opinion here – why the hell didn’t this internet firestorm take place when over 100 million people were reading the books???? Why does it take an effing movie adaptation to get anyone interested in talking about something? Especially in a case such as this, where the books are undoubtedly far more racy than the movie could ever be?
I have to wonder, does the world think that books carry no weight anymore??? Does it not matter two bits that every single one of the 100,000,000+ brains that read the story have their own imaginations and have already created a detailed visual version of it? Why do you think there was such a flurry about who would play Christian Grey?? Because every one of those readers already had a picture of “Mr. Grey” in their minds, and there is no actor who could be all of those different men. To this very day, the Christian Grey that lives in my brain does not have a human equivalent. I still have not seen this person in celebrity form or in my day-to-day life.
And yet – when the story was being created inside the minds of those who read the books, nobody batted a freakin’ eye. Nobody wrote passionate blogs about the anti-feminist message or the underlying story of abuse or even the quality, or lack thereof, of the author’s writing! Nobody gave a shit! It was just another wildly popular book series that you either did or did not read, and that was it. There was nothing more to it. All the sudden they decide to make a movie and the whole internet has their panties tied up in knots.
WHY??? If nobody cared when the world was consuming the books like candy, then how come it matters so much now that there’s a movie version? Is the story not the same? Is the sex any more prevalent? (I’m willing to bet that the opposite is true actually. and the movie-sex isn’t even slightly as x-rated as the book-sex.) And perhaps most quizzically, has anyone actually noted how the story goes??? [SPOILER ALERT] Its certainly true that Christian Grey enters the tale as a womanizing, contract-wielding, and deeply-damaged sex freak. But, unbeknownst to apparetnly everyone, it doesn’t end that way! Little Anastasia transforms him into a loving, heart-sharing, and protective husband and father. Did you know that??? Have any of these crazy blog posts mentioned that little facet of the whole deal??
SHE IS NOT THE DAMAGED ONE – HE IS!!! This character who has been painted as some mistreated, innocent little angel abducted into the life of a wealthy, sadistic creep is the one who maintains her friggin’ “inner goddess” from beginning to end. It is him who goes through the emotional whirlwind of losing his long-held identity as the one in control by falling in love with an unassuming hardware store clerk. She is herself from start to finish. He is the one who changes the person he has always been to fit into her world. And as it turns out, he loves her enough to do it!
But because the dude starts off by acting out explicit BDSM fantasies with perfectly consenting adult women, critics the world over have branded him as a bad guy without acknowledging the way his character develops across the whole story.
Now like I said before – it is definitely not the best series I’ve ever read – its not even the best series within the genre that I’ve ever read. But the way the world has reacted to the movie is annoying the hell out of me. These books have been around for three years now (and I believe I saw them still on the bestseller shelves at B&N just last weekend) but only in the last couple months have people gone out of their minds condemning them.
Why? Because now there’s a movie. Because now its possible to consume this tale in a couple of short hours with zero actual commitment of your own and absolutely no mental exertion as would be necessary if you were going to actually READ. Now all the lazy idiots of the world who can’t be bothered to engage in the reading of a full-length story are free to witness the whole thing via the mindless numbing of staring at a screen. (As if they don’t do enough of that already…)
So yes, I find it absolutely ridiculous that everyone is having such a heart attack over this. You people should have started your anti-50-shades campaign back in 2012 if you actually cared about how it was going to impact our poor, impressionable society. Though I suppose you were too busy worrying about how things would turn out between Edward and Bella at that time to care, huh?
GEEZ man…..get over it. There is SO MUCH WORSE SHIT in this world to care about than a stupid movie!
WHEW. I really had to get that off my chest.
I won’t even get started on the yoga pants thing….
CURRENTLY READING / STUDYING:
All the same stuff that I posted about last week.
I have a much more relaxed pace of reading this year and its glorious.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!!!
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