Dear Chris Evans

chris evans tweet

I skipped over this the other day because I was having a heavy week and I didn’t need to add to the emotion. But I have loved Steve Rogers aka Captain America too much to say nothing, and you are an integral part of that character. So here is my two-cents worth.

Steve Rogers is like a breath of fresh air in a city of smog. In a world crowded with selfish people, and Steve Rogers is selfless.

Steve fights wrong/evil ideologies and beliefs, which usually means fighting people, but Steve has a marked difference. He fights bloody wars and does so without hatred. There are millions of people today who have never actually had to shed blood to protect what they believe, and yet they still walk around full of hatred. They dehumanize those who do not agree with them. To them, mere disagreement is the same thing as actual evil and oppression.

I don’t want to kill anyone, I just don’t like bullies, I don’t care where they come from. (Steve Rogers, Captain America: The First Avenger)

There are actual people in this world who want to kill someone for the mere reason that the person disagrees with them. It’s sickening, it’s cruel, it’s evil. 

Steve is a beautiful example of what freedom actually means. Steve knows what he believes, and he won’t apologize for it.

Captain America Quote 1

He’ll even die for what he knows to be true.

But he will not hate.

There was a marked difference in Steve Roger’s approach to his opposition in Captain America: Civil War, vs the government and even Tony Stark’s approach. They came with anger, blame, and misused the facts.

Steve did his research, he did his thinking, and he decided his answer to them was no. But he never hated. He willingly bled for what he believed in, but he never hated.

That’s one price he’s never been willing to pay.

Dear America, we have a lot to learn from Captain America.

Captain America

Steve Rogers is kind. He gives second chances all the time, even if it means he has to put himself at risk.

Steve Rogers is a gentleman. He treats everyone regardless of age, position, or gender with respect. He treats women like ladies while regarding them as valuable friends and partners in this battle between good and evil. His friendship/relationship with Natasha Romanoff is one of my most favorite things in movie history. Steve builds up the men around him, rather than tearing them down in order to make himself feel more powerful. That is what a truly powerful man does.

Steve is humble. He doesn’t live his life to prove something, rather he proves something every day that he just lives his life. He gives courage for normally weaker people to say no because he said no first, and because he believes in them.

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Steve is the kind of leader that enables everyone else to go higher, faster, and be better than before. He’s the kind of leader that takes responsibility, but not unnecessary guilt. He protects his team even while he trusts them to fulfill the roles given to them.

Steve is the kind of best friend everyone wants. He never gives up on you even while he will also call you on the carpet about your crap. He’s the kind of friend who makes you better.

Steve is not perfect. He makes mistakes, he hurts people, he has good intentions that go awry. Sometimes he has a really bad day and he takes it out on others (essentially the first hour of Avengers.) That’s okay with me, though. Someone doesn’t have to be perfect for me to love them. Steve is a real person. He loves, he laughs, and he grieves. He does his best, he falls down and gets back up, and he tries to tackle the problem right in front of him. He has dreams, he has people he would walk through hell for, and he believes in things strongly. He’s a real person.

the nomad

I could go on and on about everything Steve Rogers is, but now I want to say what Steve Rogers is to me.

Steve Rogers aka Captain America is a hero of mine. For the past 6 years (yes, I got into the superhero game a few years late), he’s been a shining beacon of hope and delight for me. The past 6 years have been so, so hard. Hard, monotonous, ever-changing, exhausting years. But during all of that time, I have been watching Captain America.

I have worn the t-shirts. I sleep under a Captain America blanket at night. I have spent hours talking/writing about this character I adore. I have made new friends because of my love for Captain America.

Dear Chris Evans, the Steve Rogers/Captain America you have played has given me hope. He has encouraged me. I have memorized his/your face. The different moods, expressions, and feelings. I know what he would say in different situations.

I have a favorite Steve smile. It’s not a full blown, knock-your-socks-off-smile. It’s a small, quirk of a smile. It brings a sparkle to his eyes and I feel like I can see his soul. I love that smile. It’s one of my favorite smiles in the world actually. It makes me want to smile and cry all at the same time. And it gives me hope. It has given me delight. It has brought me sunshine on cloudy days.

steves smile

Dear Chris Evans, I know you are not Steve Rogers/Captain America. You are your own person. You have your own dreams, your own hurts, your own fears. You have moments where you laugh, and moments where you grieve. You have favorite places, foods, and stories. There are people that you love. There are things in this world that make you feel afraid and vulnerable. There are empty spaces in your heart that you want to know how to fill.

Chris, I don’t know you. But as a fellow human being, I know some pieces of you because I am the same. And I want to tell you something as another human being.

You matter. Even if you had never played my beloved superhero, you would have mattered just as much. You do not matter because you are handsome (very handsome). You do not matter because you are strong. You do not matter because you can be cute and witty. You do not matter because you are famous. You do not matter because you are rich…

…you matter because God loves you and you were made in His image. And that makes you worth more than priceless gems.

I don’t know if anyone has ever told you that. I hope they have. I hope that in your life you get to discover just how amazing God is, how much He loves you, and that He is the thing your soul is lacking. I hope you find out that Jesus died for you thousands of years before you were born. I hope you discover that even if you had been the only person on Planet Erath Jesus still would have died for you because you mean that much to Him.

I hope and pray you will come to know that.

I don’t know if you will ever read this post. It’d be super cool if you did. 😉 But I wanted to say thank you.

Thank you as a 16-year-old girl who found a hero she could root for. Thank you as a 17-year-old-girl who was lonely and depressed and tired, but always felt a little something when she thought about Captain America. Thank you as an 18-year-old-girl who was struggling to finish high school but still had something to look forward to. Thank you as a 19-20-year-old chick who gained some major street cred at the school where she worked because she watched the same movies her students did. Thank you as a 21-year-old who like Captain America, had experienced broken relationships and broken people, but still kept getting up every day.

Thank you as a 22-year-old-woman who is preparing to say “so long” to a favorite hero of hers, but not goodbye. Steve Rogers is an important part of the fabric of my story and he always will be.

Thanks again, and I’m with you to the end of the line.

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Netflix: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A story doesn’t have to be complicated to be profound.

The best ingredients for a deep, rich story are these: real people, honesty, love, healing, and an understanding of the purpose and potential of stories in general.

Netflix’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society combines all of the above to create a warm and beautiful story full of truth and healing.

……….

Based on a book of the same title, the movie stars Lily James as Juliet Ashton, a lovely young British writer in post-WWII England. She’s beautiful, talented, sought after by a wealthy American, and enjoying the beginning fruits of a long future as a successful author.

And she’s lost.

juliet lost 2

It’s England, 1946. The war is over. People are breathing again. Repairing and painting their homes. Dancing. Starting businesses and families. The war is over…outwardly anyway.

But Juliet still feels the choking dust of the London Blitz. Of the millions dead or missing. Of the years of lack. Of her own trauma and loneliness that she has bottled up inside.

“Do you ever feel like we’ve emerged from a long black tunnel into a carnival?” Juliet Ashton

Juliet is reeling from the experiences of the past years, including losing her parents. She feels overwhelmed with the new joy as she is still holding too much sadness and torment to have room for anything else. She feels guilty for this feeling, which only adds to her sense of being displaced…until…

juliet ashton

Enter, Dawsey Adams, writing from the island of Guernsey, a tiny British island located in the English Channel between England and France. An island that experienced German occupation and all the horrors that accompanied it during the war.

dawsey

Dawsey Adams, a gentle farmer, writes Juliet with a very simple request. He asks her for a book. He came across an old book that previously belonged to her, the information he discovered when he found her name and former address in the front of the book. This letter begins a fascinating correspondence in which Dawsey tells Juliet about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club society begun by a few Guernsey residents in order to cover up a roast pig from the Germans.

Intrigued? So is Juliet. So intrigued in fact that after corresponding for a time, she makes the journey to Guernsey herself to meet this group of people and hear their full story.

……….

I am not a fan of many of the works Netflix has put out. While I applaud series like Lost in SpaceLost and Found, Dragons: Race to the Edge, Greenhouse Academy, there is still so much garbage that Netflix has created. Trashy comedies that mock beautiful people and things, action movies that could be intriguing except…86 f-bombs, really, Netflix? That’s enough to make a sailor blush!

13 Reasons Why has caused damage to the world. The Michelle Wolf special was a fiasco for everyone concerned. Anne With An E lacks understanding and proper respect for the purpose and classic story of Anne of Green Gables.

Netflix is not my hero by any stretch of the imagination. But I loved The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. 

It’s masterful storytelling. You glide back and forth between the present and the past, discovering the true story of the Society as Juliet does. It’s a mystery unveiled only a piece at a time, but you are always dying to know more. As Juliet discovers this story and these people, she begins to unravel the deep well of grief and feeling in her own heart, and she begins to heal.

For years Juliet has been creating this well inside of herself. It’s dark and deep, so empty and full of echoes. And she can’t seem to reach it, can’t seem to fully comprehend it. She cannot grasp what she wants, or what she needs. She cannot enter into rest. She cannot find a place to call home. She cannot dream about her future, all she can do is react.

The members of the Society have grieved as well. They are still grieving, but you recognize a marked difference in their grief versus the grief of those around them, including Juliet. And I’ll tell you what this difference is.

They are not grieving alone, but rather they are sharing the hurt as it comes and celebrating and creating joy even in the midst of it.

There is a life to the members of the Society that draws Juliet in like the tide. She’s been alone for so long, but no longer. As soon as she begins to know these people, she begins to unravel everything inside of her. She begins to laugh, truly laugh. She can see the world. She has a fire burning inside of her. She cries, she cries so much. She hurts, she hurts so much. But at least she is feeling something. And so, the healing begins. Why? Because she is no longer hurting alone.

What brought all of these people together? A story. A made-up story to cover up an innocent get-together that is criminalized by a cruel world. And that made-up story turned into a deeper story. It intertwined several people’s lives as they began to share in a love for stories, and it gave them a place to belong. People to stand with. Shoulders to help bear their burdens. Hearts to laugh with. And a future to share. And they became a story so deep, so compelling, they drew in yet another soul (Juliet) out of the cold and gave her a place to begin the healing.

This story shows people as people like us. People who are hurting from pain and grief no human beings should ever have to bear. The things they have seen and had done to them are WRONG, and you feel the wrongness of it clearly, you cry out with the characters at all they have endured. It also shows the purpose and joy of stories, their power to heal and to connect. It shows how simply sharing your life with people can bring so much joy in the midst of suffering. It shows people giving each other grace despite their flaws. It shows people who see beyond the outer shell to the heart within. It shows what true love can build and the redemption it carries.

And this story gives us permission to grieve over the things that have hurt us. And it gives us permission to let that happen in as much time as we need. And it beckons us to find a people, a tribe to share our griefs and our joys with.

Real stories flow, they are not in separate boxes or segments. One part is deeply connected to another. Grief and joy can be but a word or sentence apart. Healing happens in the midst of the feeling. And sharing your story with others can make all the difference.

potato peel pie

That is what Juliet Ashton discovers. And as Juliet discovers it, so do we.

……….

My friends, I don’t understand everything in this world, but these are the few things I know for sure.

God is real, more real than I ever imagined. He is good, better than any of us have ever comprehended. Tragedy and grief are all around us in this fallen world, and it breaks my heart just as it breaks God’s. God is love, and love conquers all.

Joy and grief are not mutually exclusive. Healing takes time. We are in each other’s lives for a reason. And none of us was made to be alone, but rather to share life together.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society touched me like a warm summer breeze drifting off of the sea. And as I saw this movie, I got to heal a tiny bit because I felt understood.

Friend, your story matters. You matter. And I want you to share your story with the world. I want you to allow yourself to feel, the grief and the joy.

Perhaps in the midst of it you will even decide that you should have a roast pig and begin a book club.

literary society

 

Infinity War Part 1: 4 Ways It Was Awesome

Regardless of it’s reception, no one can deny the major impact that Avengers: Infinity War had on superhero fans around the globe.

A wailing cry went up starting April 27th and I don’t think it’s stopped since. Watching so many people you love like family dissolve into dust is kind of awful (yes, I’m thinking about our sweet baby Peter Parker right now).

I saw the movie and didn’t have much of a reaction (except for my baby Peter Parker because that was just cruel). It was so intense, really chaotic, and kind of disjointed feeling to me. I also know that a whole lot of the people who are currently dead can’t stay dead because their Marvel contracts still have a long life on them. So I didn’t panic when they died, because I know that most of them are coming back.

And c’mon, no one in their right mind actually thought Marvel was going to just kill off our brand spankin’ new Spider-Man? Peter Parker is not only one of the most beloved superheroes of all time, but Tom Holland’s most recent rendition stole the world’s hearts immediately. He’s a fresh new character who we have the pleasure of watching evolve. It makes 0 sense to kill off an asset like that. I mean LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE FACE!!! I have full confidence that we will be enjoying Peter Parker for many years to come.

spiderman

It’s taken me a while to process Infinity War. It is an unfinished story, so I decided to not draw too many conclusions right away. I won’t completely know what I think of it until Avengers 4 comes out May 3, 2019.

I’ve drawn a few conclusions, however, and I wanted to share some positives as well as the negatives I have found. Today we will focus on the positives, the next post will contain the negatives.

I’d love to hear your take in the comments section, so when you’re done reading let me know what you thought of Infinity War now that the dust has settled (oohhh, too soon?) and you’ve had months to process. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

4 Ways Infinity War Was Awesome

 

1. THOR

I was NOT a fan of Thor: Ragnarok by any stretch of the imagination. To me, it felt that Taika Waititi pretty much worked his tail off to literally erase any traces of of the previous Thor material. Old friends and characters were killed off without ceremony. New and very serious threats (Hela) were introduced with no warning or time to feel fear.

And Thor was made a laughingstock so many times. The level of slapstick/downright stupid/crude humor was embarrassing to me. I felt 0 chemistry between Thor and Valkyrie as characters, be it platonic or a potential romance. The Hulk was confusing. I felt like Loki was mocked, etc.

Needless to say, Ragnarok was a deep disappointment to me. But, Thor in Infinity War?

Perfection! The Russo brothers managed to bring back the regal bearing and crazy-awesome might of the Mighty Avenger. Thor is a prince, a king! He’s a glorious warrior with a huge heart and a charming sense of humor.

Though I may not have been a fan of Ragnarok, I know many Marvel fans were. The Thor of Infinity War was a beautiful blend of the Thor from the previous films as well as the good changes to Thor from Ragnarok.

Let’s just say it, that self-generating lightning thing is the bomb…

Infinity War gave me the Thor I always wanted. When he touches down in Wakanda, giant new hammer blazing, I thought I was gonna explode. Yes! Welcome the King of Asgard, the Mighty Avenger!

infinity war thor

2. I Am Groot, I Am Steve Rogers, Rocket and Bucky

When you sit back and think about it, these Marvel movies are totally bizarre. How in the heck have a tree that says 3 words and a tiny raccoon made me cry so much?

Two guys who are biologically pushing 100 are physically only in their late 20s-early-30s?

A fully functional AI android who is deeply in love with a girl who can manipulate matter and minds because she was exposed to a magic space stone?

Yeah, this is WEIRD.

Occasionally we get to see our characters have an out-of-body moment where they become self-aware and go, “This makes no sense.” Like Hawkeye’s beautiful and brilliant speech in Avengers: Age of Ultron . 

city is flying hawkeye

But it’s been a few years since this all began. By now the characters have stopped asking why. The world is getting wackier by the minute and honestly, they’re tired. They are just so tired. Too tired to ask why anymore. They don’t ask, they just do now.

I felt that attitude was beautifully captured in two moments during the chaotic melee of Wakanda. Did that sound negative? Yes, it was meant to, but more on that in the negative post.

Steve and Thor have a cute little bro-to-bro exchange while fighting those disgusting creatures of Thanos. It’s old work buddies catching up. And then the talking, sentient tree we all know as Groot comes up. The old Steve Rogers would have said,

“You know I really miss the days when the weirdest thing science had created was me.” Captain America/Steve Rogers, Age of Ultron

But not the new Steve. He’s been around enough now. He’s too tired to ask why anymore, just rolling with the punches now.

Thor: “This is my friend, tree.”

Groot: “I am Groot.”

Steve: *doesn’t even blink* “I am Steve Rogers.”

work buddies in wakanda

By extension of this same thought, I didn’t think I could handle it when Bucky just plucked Rocket Raccoon up and they turned in an epic, bullet-spitting circle. There was no conversation leading up to this, no introduction, no,

“How is a raccoon wearing armor and shooting a gun that is at least his full body weight?”

Just a natural assessment,

“Small raccoon is causing big-time damage. Partner with small shooting raccoon.”

Audiences who know and love both characters see an even bigger picture as Bucky and Rocket actually have quite a bit in common. They would be good buddies.

But they don’t know any of that. They are just accepting life as it comes and making the most intelligent decisions they can at the moment.

Which makes it all the funnier.

rocket and buck

3. Anything Peter Parker, but especially how his well-rounded movie-watching career saved their bacon.

Again, this is why Peter Parker is gonna be around for years. This boy is GOLD!!!

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Peter already showed his ability to think on the fly in Civil War when he helped bring down Giant-Man using the AT-AT trick from the classic Hoth battle in The Empire Strikes Back. He may be making things up as he goes, but it’s working!

The fact that Tony, Peter, and Stephen Strange were able to rid themselves of Squidface-full-of-himself out there in space just by copying a classic thriller film is just the best thing ever.

And we can thank Peter Parker for it. Every moment that he is in this film is pure delight, with the exception of his slow and devastating decay as he gasps for air in his adopted-daddy Tony’s arms.

no idea tom holland

4. Enter, Captain Marvel

Sometimes the best way to announce something HUGE is to do it without even saying it. To hint at. To put in a quiet, subtle and chills-inducing moment that is surrounded by chaos. A moment that whispers, “…she’s coming…”

The end credits scene with Maria Hill and Nick Fury did just that.

captain marvel

I’ll give a few honorable mentions to some other parts I loved.

-Peter Quill and Gamora’s tender interaction in this movie was what I have been dreaming of since I fell in love with that wacky crew of Guardians back in 2014. It was deep, real love. Two people who know the good and the bad about each other, and they still choose love. I enjoyed their scenes so much.

-Gamora really stole the show if you ask me. Her past is so intricately intertwined in this movie, her scenes with the Guardians, and her scenes with Thanos were packed with powerful emotion.

-Bad Boy Steve. Mmmmmmhhhhmmm. His entrance in Scotland with his best friends/Secret Avengers at his side was kind of a glorious moment for me. That trio are my favorite Avengers, and I desperately want to know more about what they have been up to (more on this in the negative post).

-Dr. Strange heading out to order lunch. It was so crazy normal compared to literally everything else in this movie.

-Tony’s dream where he had to pee. If someone says this hasn’t happened to them at least once they are lying.

-Rhodey hanging up on Secretary Ross while his illegal buddies hang out in the background. I hope Ross dissolved and is accidentally never brought back.

-Loki getting to say the lineWE HAVE A HULK. It just felt right. I am honestly disappointed Loki is never coming back, I think hearing the rest of his story would have been neat.

-The fact that our original 6 Avengers are still standing. I know that every single character left alive was left alive for a very specific purpose. We’ve added so many new and wonderful characters to the mix over the past 6 years since The Avengers was released in 2012, but I have to say, I am deeply excited and curious to see why we were left our original 6. There is something meaningful and powerful there.

So, what were the good things you felt about Infinity War? What moments made you laugh, or just touched your nerd soul in the right spot? What character interactions did you enjoy the most? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Other posts you may like…

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Exactly What It Needed to Be

The Ultimate “ASSEMBLE” Collection

Wanda Maximoff’s Room: Backstory in Less than 3 Minutes

 

Timeless Series Finale: The Hearts that Change History

If you are a #clockblocker, have a #clockblocker friend, or live within a 500 mile radius of any #clockblockers, you have probably heard the news by now.

Timeless is getting a series finale, and the fans are getting closure.

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This is a rare gift that most cancelled shows never get. Sure, they may get a few follow-up movies, which are often a bigger disappointment than if nothing had been done at all!

I do not fear that in the case of #Timeless If there is anything our show creators have proven, it is that they understand proper storytelling and know how to make the most of whatever time they are given! I have laughed, I have cried, I have had a roiling stomach full of anxiety in the 26 episodes we have had the joy of watching.

There is no way this series finale should have happened. No way. And yet, here we are.

never tell me the ods

The passion of Timeless fans has blown me away (and honestly, scared me at times ;)). You do not quit! Who hires a helicopter to fly over ComicCon? WHO DOES THAT?

Clockblockers, that’s who.

We have 2 more episodes to complete the beautiful saga of Lucy, Wyatt, Rufus, Jiya, Flynn, Denise, Conner, and *gags*, Emma!

This show has touched us deeply. The characters are real people, who are carrying wounded hearts and fears just like we are. They are going back into some of the best and the worst moments of history, and being given a chance to make a difference. As they have evolved as characters, they are changing not just the past, not just the present, but the future as well. And they are changing each other.

We can learn so much from these characters. These ordinary, flawed people who were called to a place to heroism not by choice, but by circumstance, and they chose to take on the responsibility. They didn’t do it perfectly. They made plenty of mistakes, they broke hearts, they hurt themselves and others. But there is one thing that they haven’t done, and that is given up.

Sure, they have considered giving up. That’s only human. But something or someone always drew them back into the fight. We have seen them grow into kinder, stronger, more capable people even as they are being broken in new ways and facing harder obstacles.

I believe this show has touched so many hearts because most of us want to make a difference. We see the compassion and ferocity of Lucy’s heart and we say I want to be like Lucy when I grow up. We see Wyatt’s protective spirit and feel drawn to defend those in need. We see Rufus show up to work, terrified every day, and still, he keeps showing up. And we say to ourselves, If Rufus can do it, I can too. 

We’ve seen Jiya embrace the terrifying and come out as a warrior. We have seen Denise take a ragtag group of hurting people and draw them under her wing of support and strength. We have seen Conner transform from a selfish slimeball to someone with a team/family mindset. We have seen a broken and hurting man, Flynn, rediscover the truth of who he is in his heart. Someone who loves and protects.

Ordinary people, doing the extraordinary.

These are the hearts that change history. It is my desire and hope that all who have watched this show will walk away changed. That they will face obstacles and keep going. That they will treat everyone with kindness, whether they agree with them or not. That they will protect those in need of protection. That they will have grace for their mistakes and determination to continue. That they will find people to connect with and face life together, just like our Time Team has.

I already believe these things, as a daughter of the King of Kings and an ambassador of His grace and light. These themes are life-changing, my friends. World-changing! So let these things take root in your heart and be encouraged.

These are the hearts that change history.

Here’s to you, #clockblockers!

war to end all wars

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I am offering a discount to all my Timeless fan store products, this discounted link is valid thru Sunday! Celebrate your favorite moments and characters with a fun tee or mug!

I have US and EU options! You all are amazing, see you when we all show up to #saverufus!

https://teespring.com/stores/timeless-fan-store?pr=TMLS

 

Copy of _discount thru Sunday#timeless

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Exactly What It Needed to Be

I’ve heard some talk floating around the internet that Marvel’s latest instalment, Ant-Man and the Wasp was “mediocre” following the massive movie event that was Infinity War.

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My response to that?

you don't get it

Y’all don’t get it.

Ant-Man and the Wasp was NEVER meant to be Infinity War. The same way the Captain America movies and the Iron Man trilogies are vastly different, it’s like comparing a watermelon to a grape. If you want a watermelon, you watch Infinity War. Neither one is “better” than the other, they are two different stories. You are welcome to have a favorite, but don’t try to compare such different fruits.

 If you want to take on an entire watermelon, go watch Infinity War. If you want some refreshing grapes, go watch Ant-Man and the Wasp. 

Okay, now I’ll back up my argument with something a bit more substantial than fruit. Here are 3 reasons why Ant-Man and the Wasp was exactly what it was supposed to be. *Spoilers ahead*.

1. Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne are still fairly new heroes.

If you’re expecting Scott Lang, Hope Van Dyne, and Hank Pym to be gallivanting around with the other Avengers, guess again. That little trip Scott took to Germany to join #TeamCap was AWESOME, but it really was an anomaly, same for Peter Parker. Scott Lang is still a newbie hero, and while he may be older than our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, he’s still developing. And Hope Van Dyne make walk around with great confidence, but we have only had 2 movies to get to know her, she’s still a work in progress as far as the audience is concerned.

I know our Marvel universe has been building up to this climactic, dramatic place where Infinity War is raging, but as a character, Scott is still fairly early into his character arc, as is Hope. If you compare this second instalment to Iron-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the best Marvel movie to date), and Thor: The Dark World it’s not that far off. Ant-Man and the Wasp are still building up to the place the other heroes have already come to after years of fighting.

This makes sense as newer characters like Peter Parker, Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne ARE the future of Marvel! Once the dust settles on Avengers 4 most of our older heroes will have been killed or hopefully retired. We have to be left with somebody!

I loved the lighter tension of this movie. Infinity War was exhausting to watch. I didn’t mind the fact our villains weren’t bent upon world domination or mass genocide. I loved the fact that Ghost got a redemptive arc. Sometimes you want to see the “bad” person saved. If someone had gotten Thanos turned around centuries ago we wouldn’t be in this stupid mess now.

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Lighter, that leads me to my next point.

2. Ant-Man IS SUPPOSED to be lighthearted and funny!

Something I love about the Ant-Man movies is how down-to-earth and approachable they are! Scott is a cereal and Skittles kind of hero, and I love that. It sets him apart from Thor’s stateliness, Steve’s intense moral compass, Tony’s champagne and AI world. Any elegance or class Scott lacks Hope fills in beautifully as she creates this beautiful gravity to these stories.

I love Luis and co. I LOVEEEE CASSIE! I love the playful creativity and freedom of these movies. In what other Marvel movie would it be completely normal to take out a goon with a massive Hello Kitty pez dispenser.

pez dispenser

Where else do you get to see a giant ant play the drums? In what world can you carry all of your matchbox size vehicles in a lunchbox?

Btw, have you considered the fact that it was literally on someone’s to-do list AT WORK to “go purchase matchbox cars for Ant-Man and the Wasp“? How do I get that job?

I don’t know about you, but I needed every single laugh I got out of this movie. It wasn’t cheap humor. It wasn’t degrading humor. It wasn’t chock full of inappropriate humor. This was the hilariously crazy mixed in with the adorably normal and I loved it. I needed it. 

Laughter is good medicine. Ant-Man and the Wasp was good for my health.

3. The personal stakes were HUGE for these characters.

No, they weren’t trying to prevent a worldwide genocide, but that doesn’t mean this mission didn’t matter.

Can you imagine knowing the love of your life, the beloved mama you lost has been trapped in another realm for 30 years? And after grieving her tragic loss for years, you find out that maybe, just maybe you can ACTUALLY get her out??? That would be fire burning inside of you that you could not quench!

Can you imagine losing your parents violently, and then existing between two realms for your whole life? Being used for horrible things because you are “special”, but ALWAYS being in pain? Knowing you are going to blink out of existence in just a few weeks? Oh! The loneliness, the terror, the torment, the grief!

Can you imagine losing everything, your wife, your child, your freedom, regaining part of that and meeting a partner you want to spend forever with, and then losing it all again? And if you had a third chance? Wouldn’t you put everything you had into keeping that third chance?

This movie was huge when it came to personal stakes. Hank Pym was determined to get back the love his life, his true partner. Good thing, since the number of people who actually like him he can count on one hand. I can’t imagine the pain of being separated from a loved one that way, the agony he must have felt.

Hope wants her mama back. Her family fell apart when her mama disappeared. She lost both parents that night. All sense of security, joy, hope, laughter, gone! I know how it feels when your family is shattered so I can imagine how she feels. Not to mention, she had actually met this guy who is warm, funny, great with kids, and somehow complements her beautifully, and then she lost him too. She’s done losing people, she’s ready to get somebody back for a change!

Scott has worked his rear end off trying to re-establish his life so he can have a future that includes his daughter. I’m not a parent yet, but I know enough to know there are few motivators as strong as the motivators parents have. Plus, he found this amazing woman who he can have as both a superpartner, and a life partner. Yeah, he’s motivated.

This movie was hugely focused on partnership. Hope and Scott, they have a rhythm, a balance as partners. They need each other.

hope and scott

Janet and Hank, they belong together. They are better together.

This movie was about restoration. Restoration of partners. Of families. It was about healing a shattered little girl who had been in pain since her childhood. It was down-to-earth, it was funny, it was wacky and unexpected.

This is EXACTLY the movie I needed after the year I’ve had. EXACTLY the movie I needed after Infinity War. And the folks at Marvel knew that.

I hope you can laugh and enjoy yourself as much as I did. I hope you see the sweet heart and messages of restoration and healing in this movie. I hope you go home lighter.

4. Bonus…this movie is Giant-Man sized in terms of impact for Avengers 4.

The horror of that mid-credits, Infinity War tie-in scene settled in my belly like cold quicksand. The thought of being trapped in the Quantum Realm with literally no one on the outside to help Scott scared the living daylights out of me. Until I thought about it…

…and then I realized. What if Scott is actually the key?

I have a theory, one that I quickly found was shared by other Marvel fans. What if the Quantum Realm could somehow be connected to the Soul Stone where half of the world plus half of our heroes were sent after that dreadful finger-snap? If so, Scott could travel between worlds, perhaps even be the key to free those lost. And since Scott wasn’t one of those “taken”, he can still get out into the real world. Perhaps even bring vital information back to the remaining Avengers and Captain Marvel when she arrives. Every single hero we had left standing at the end of Infinity War serves a very specific purpose.

We haven’t even gotten to the potential possibilities presented by the “time vortex” Janet cautioned Scott against.

This is exciting stuff. Scott has proven himself capable in the Quantum Realm before, and as Marvel has taught us time and time again, nothing is ever insignificant. No hero is too “small”. And everyone has a vital part to play.

So, was Ant-Man and the Wasp mediocre?

Absolutely NOT! It was precisely what the Doctor ordered.

antman and the wasp gif

(Did Dr. Strange see Scott being a key player in the 1 scenario out of billions where they won? I guess we’ll find out next May).

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:

Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper

Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game

Civil War: Why Vision Needed to Fail

Wanda Maximoff’s Room: Backstory in Less than 3 Minutes

If you’re a big Ant-Man fan, check out these awesome L-A-N-G tees! I have an entire ASSEMBLE collection, but I definitely need to add in a few heroes such as Hope.

*Available for US and EU buyers!

US TEE

EU TEE

_Hi, I'm Scott._

When You Are Sitting Inside of an Exploding Firework

In July of 2015, I sat on the steps of our family friends’ home in the country and enjoyed a hearty 4th of July celebration. We had grilled hotdogs, grilled chicken, potato salad, watermelon, all the classic goodies! It was a comfortable temperature outside, lots of groups of people chatting pleasantly, playing with sparklers, just enjoying being free Americans having a good time.

Of course, once the sun started to go down, the fireworks began. Fireworks can be so much more fun up close. Can be is the key phrase here.

This particular batch of fireworks had a bit of “attitude”. For a while, all of the fireworks went off without a hitch, they shot in a proper upward direction and exploded in the sky where they would burn off and do no harm to innocent bystanders. I think we were being lulled into a false sense of security.

Then we got to the “fiesty” batch. First a firework sped off across the ground and started showering a lady’s parked car with little explosions. Lucky, the car was unharmed and we got a good laugh out of it.

Next, a firework sent little explosions over to an entire line of parked cars and started a small grass fire underneath our 15 passenger van. Again, the vehicle was unharmed, and people continued to laugh, even if they were getting a bit jumpy.

The steps I had enthroned myself upon on were further away from the drama surrounding the driveway and road. I was surveying the scene with distant amusement, withdrawn from the chaos and quietly chatting with the people sitting with me.

My poor little sister had had enough of the firework tantrums below, so she came up to the porch where I was to finish out the festivities from a “safer” vantage point. I remained seated on the steps with a friend and a bunch of small children who found the step seating to their liking. The sky was growing a bit darker, and there were a few fireworks left.

And then it happened.

The meanest rocket yet was lit, and it shot over to the left of the driveway, into the air several yards above the porch steps. You know that split second of delay that happens when a rocket is shot off, it reaches its destination, and then there is a breath before the explosions begin?

That moment was a mix of slow motion and fast-forward all at the same time. I saw it light, go flying, and stop right in front of me…wait a second…that’s gonna explod…

firework explosions

I am not a screamer by nature. Sometimes I literally have to force my body to scream just to let go of some pressure, and it’s an actual labor for me. I DO NOT react naturally.

There was no forcing of this screaming. It was flowing out me like Niagra Falls. One moment I was chilling on the porch steps, the next moment I was surrounded on all sides by a fountain of blazing green fire that was popping and exploding! It was like being in the middle of a massive lightsaber battle where I didn’t have so much as a toothpick, much less the Force.

The friend I was seated next to was clinging to me and screaming like a banshee. The tiny children who had shared the steps with us were also shrieking and crying.

I’m sure it only lasted a few seconds, but when you are literally taking a firework shower, it feels like an eternity.

I ran a lightning fast evaluation of the situation in my head as I sat there, screaming and surrounded by alien green fire. It was one of the most bizarre, practically out-of-body experiences I have ever had. It was like my mind was separated from the rest of me and I was casually observing this chaotic scene while my physical body was screaming bloody murder.

So, I did a mental evaluation. Fight or flight told me to run. My mothering instincts told me to grab all the babies around me and shield them. But I quickly came to the one and only conclusion…

…there was literally nothing I could do but wait the firestorm out.

I couldn’t run. I couldn’t jump. I couldn’t even help anyone else around me. I just had to sit there and outlast it.

There have so many instances since that day when I have felt the exact same way I did July 4th, 2015. In fact, I feel like I have been living inside of an exploding firework for the past 3 years. Everything blowing up around me and there is literally nowhere to go, and practically nothing I can do. Just stuck in the misery.

If you ever wonder why people turn to alcohol, sex, drugs, and any other number of vices or addictions to deal with their pain, I’ll tell you why. Because when you are hurting so badly you just want to make it stop. You want to escape from the chaos, you want a place where you feel something other than sorrow, fear, or anger. There are days where you get desperate enough you feel like you would do anything to make the pain stop, that’s why some people commit suicide. They get low enough and don’t see any other options, then the devil whispers lies in their ear that they believe are their own voice. And tragedy happens, a hurting person ends their precious life full of potential, and they never get to see beyond that moment.

Escape. We are wired to want to escape. We are wired to want to fight. We are told that if we don’t DO something, nothing will ever come out right in the end.

There is a time to fight with everything you have in you. There is a time to run and escape a fire. There is a time to get up and do something…

But here is a truth I have learned about life in the past 3 years.

Quite often, the very best thing you can do is simply sit still and wait.

We human beings think we can control so much of our lives. We keep up this illusion of control until something like a natural disaster, a death, or a change in circumstances quickly reminds us that so much of this life is outside of our hands.

That thought strikes fear into the heart of so many people. It has done the same to me before, but it does not have the effect on me that it once did. What changed for me?

I have an intimate relationship with the One Who truly has the power to change, and I KNOW that He is good. I “knew” it before, but I KNOW it now!

At that moment where I sat surrounded by green fire, I had to let go of every human thought about what I had the power to do. The truth was if I had tried to move, run, grab someone, anything, I would have been horribly burned.

Have you tried to fight against an impossible circumstance and been utterly burned out? Or gotten burned? Have you tried convincing a bullheaded person of something true and only managed to give yourself an ulcer and a headache? Have you fought for something that you may eventually have gotten, but you destroyed your health/relationships/life in the process?

We strive so hard to change things that we cannot change. We spend so much energy worrying over things we cannot control. We scream and we rage, we ache and we panic, and rarely do we sit still.

I am a fighter, so I understand all of the above. I understand it perfectly. However, I have a novel new idea to present to you all.

Sitting still and waiting is one of the most effective ways to fight an impossible battle.

I love a God of grace. A warrior God. A God of peace. My Heavenly Father wages battle on my behalf 24/7. He sees all, He knows all, He loves more broadly and deeply than I can even fathom. He has a plan for everything. He has unlimited resources. And this God, my God, tells me, “Baby girl, just rest. Daddy’s got this.”

When I sit still, I accept a universal truth that there are things beyond my control. I let it go.

let it go

There is an incredible freedom to be discovered when you drop the weight of a burden you were not made to carry. And it’s only after you drop that weight that you can enter into rest.

Rest. So many people associate rest with laziness. WRONG! Have you ever seen an alligator resting in the sun at the zoo? It’s unmoving like a statue carved out of granite. You might even squint your eyes to make sure it’s not dead. It’s so still you can’t even connect this lazy lizard with the stories of the lightning-fast attacks gators make on their prey.

I warn you, never underestimate a still alligator. Take it from a nature-doc nerd. Never. Underestimate. The. Speed. Of. A. Resting. Alligator. Or you might die. While that gator was resting, it was recharging. It’s aware of the world, but it’s not concerning itself with every little problem and detail. It’s preparing…preparing for the moment when it’s time to move.

And when it’s time to move, you will never see it coming.

I know the misery of being caught in a place where you feel sad every day. Where it seems like the bad news just won’t stop. Where you just want the pain to stop. Where you can’t imagine how anything is ever going to be right again. I know how that feels, and it sucks.

But I promise you, you can survive it. You can outlast it. You can fight it. And you can do all of that, by sitting still and resting.

It’s easy to lose your perspective when you are in the middle of the firestorm. The heat is as close as your right-hand pocket (thank Jesus I was not burned). There are things blowing up all around you and it’s easy to believe that it will never end.

But I promise you, dear one, I PROMISE you! You can outlast this firestorm. Because you are more enduring than the storm. It may be blazing and bright and hot, but you have patience. You have stamina. Your life is not defined by this single storm, your life is going to be an entire collection of journeys, storms, seasons, experiences, and people. You have a future beyond this moment. So hang in there. Let go, and rest.

Was I killed or maimed in that firework shower? No, because while an explosion of green fire may be terrifying, it burns quick and hot and then all that remains to haunt you is a little smoke. When the dust settled my friend was practically in my lap, the children were crying but unhurt, and parents were rushing over.

And I laughed.

laughing gif

Yes, it was that hooray-we-won’t-need-to-use-our-medical-insurance-tonight laugh. I have already visited the emergency room in that particular town on a different occasion and I do not recommend the experience. You could have taken the amount of adrenaline I had flowing and created a seventh Infinity Stone.

But I was alive and unburned. A bit smoky, very done with fireworks for the evening, and miraculously, my pants were still dry. It was a great story afterwards, and I remember that evening fondly.

As for the other firework showers in my life, they haven’t all ended. But that’s okay. Because I am resting. I am waiting. I am recharging. And when the moments come to move, to act, to fight! I will be ready. I am ready. Because I am laying down that which I cannot carry, and resting. The time may come to move before the storm is even over, but I will actually have the energy to face it now.

I know my life is bigger than this firestorm. I know that the same God who kept an entire staircase full of people safe and unharmed during a firework shower is on my side and He is working on my behalf. He’s bigger than any storm, and I draw my strength from Him and rest in His peace. My life is in this moment, but I also know it is beyond this moment.

Be still, and rest. Let the fire burn out before you do, your time will come.

Happy 4th of July, may everyone have a safe and joyful holiday!

IMG_E7727

 

Star Wars: Kelly Marie Tran and the Ladies of the Galaxy

 Some may wonder why we are so loud about the shameful treatment of Kelly Marie Tran (Rose in The Last Jedi), after all, Star Wars is just a fictional world and Rose was not the most popular character, the movie itself was highly controversial. Many people expressed negative views on the movie that had absolutely nothing to do with sexism, racism, or anything else inappropriate. I have no problem with these people. Negative opinions are not evil, the evil can come in with how they are expressed.

But it was revealed that Kelly Marie Tran was targeted by one specific hate group of men who have also targeted Daisy Ridley, and have announced that their next target is Kathleen Kennedy. They were delighted that they caused Tran to leave Instagram. These men are disgusting, lustful humans with evil hearts. The kind of men who like a woman to be scantily clad and submissive to whatever their sick minds can conjure.

Star Wars has created female characters that make my heart as a woman soar. The women of Star Wars are warriors, politicians, mothers, wives, pilots, inventors, mechanics, artist, and so much more. They do not always fight with physical weapons, often they fight with their words, their compassion, their influence, their hope. They mobilize those around them and make things happen because they are energy constantly in motion. They are beautiful, strong, intelligent, hopeful characters who bring so much color to the story of Star Wars.

I am a woman. I know what is in my heart. The strength that God put there, the beauty. I know I have the heart of a warrior, I feel the tenderness of God in my heart. I want to change lives, to bring hope, to bring life.

So when someone so viciously attacks a woman who played a character that actually represents these things I KNOW to be true about women, it hurts and angers me deeply. Not just on her behalf, but on behalf of thousands of years of women who have not been treated with respect, love, and given value. It hurts me on behalf of my little sisters, my mother, my friends, my future daughters.

Kelly Marie Tran, you are precious and beautiful, my dear. Created in the image of God and He delights in you. I pray that you may find Him and know the truth of who you are.

And, Gentleman, please don’t dismiss these posts as nonsense. I love men, I delight that they are in our world. Heck, fellas, we women GIVE BIRTH to men all the time after we have MARRIED men. Women have fought for their men since the beginning of time. But there are deep wounds felt by millions of women. There are ways they have been hurt, physically and emotionally. Misused, misunderstood, undervalued, squashed, and damaged by the men in their life.

That is not God’s heart. That warrior spirit you men have? He gave you that spirit to protect and help those around you thrive. If you love the women in your life enough to value ALL of who they are, to cheer them on, celebrate them, enjoy them, and share your life with them, you will have a life overflowing with happiness and love from women who feel treasured. The love and joy of a woman who is treated like a treasure will knock you off your feet.

I celebrate Star Wars because I feel like in many ways Star Wars celebrates who I am, and no one, no matter how acidic or evil, can take that away from me.