Sunday, September 25, 2016

Leaf Season

Everyone has a favorite season. Each one offers a completely different feel. Spring gives the new flowers, summer the warm sun, fall the leaf colors, winter the snow. In a calendar year we experience the four seasons, and it reminds us of the beauty of God's creation and the passing of time. It also keeps life interesting, and the seasons hail the coming of important days throughout the year.

Fall is definitely my favorite season. The cool, crisp air, the wearing of sweaters, the trees changing colors. Everything about it is so refreshing and exciting. Not to mention the best holidays are around the corner like Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is always such a relief after really hot summer days. I always look forward to the cooler weather and calm breezes that fall brings. 

Fall also has many food traditions and customs. Apple cider, apple pie, apple crisp, apple turnovers . . . did I mention fall brings apples?? One of my favorite traditions growing up was going to pick apples in an orchard. It was so much fun to choose all the different kinds and climb the trees, or even better be lifted by someone taller to reach them. 

Then there's pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds. And of course leaf season! Red, orange, and yellow leaves all in the brightest forms. As a kid I always jumped in the piles of leaves my parents raked up, or pick out the best ones and save them in a book.

Fall used to mean back to school for me like it does for so many. Now that I'm out of school, I like fall even better. Haha, just kidding, sort of. :) But sometimes that means new clothes or new shoes, or just old favorites that make you feel warm. It also makes you think of fall break and going home for the holidays.

Fall to me is just filled with so many traditions, good foods, and beautiful weather and countryside. And as the days get colder and darker, today marks exactly three months till Christmas, awaiting the coming of Christ's birth. Let us be grateful for all the little moments in life and the joys that life has to offer. Sometimes it's just the simple things that make us happy.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Based on the true events of January 15, 2009 in New York City, Sully is a movie about the heroic moments of the crew on U.S. Airways Flight 1549. 

In my opinion, this film was really well done. I remember when this event happened in New York City, but it kind of goes out of your mind after all the news is over. I am really glad someone made this into a major motion picture to capture those heroic moments of Captain Sully and his crew. 

One of my thoughts going into the movie was how will they turn a few brief moments in the air into a great film? Well the filmmakers and actors achieved that excellently. I think the most effective means of doing so was splitting those moments into flashbacks of the actual event leading up to the full-blown scene of the plane landing in the Hudson. 

I also think the plot was well designed by having different perspectives of the event. From the cockpit, to the passengers, to the bystanders, to the rescuers, to the airport towers, the plane landing was captured from every angle. This was a very well-used plot device, as well as the film's good casting and witty dialogue. They also made the cast look a lot like the real people, which is always a nice thing too.

My favorite character was the First Officer Skiles. He didn't get as much credit as Sully, but his job was equally important, and I liked his clever comments throughout the film. One of the best lines was at the very end of the movie when one of the investigators asks him what he would do differently if he had to go through that plane ride again. Skiles says, "Yes, I would do it in July." 

There's something about seeing an event turned into a movie that brings the situation to life if you haven't experienced it. For myself, I appreciate much better the incredible way in which Sully saved all those 155 lives that day in 2009. It is great to see the stories of unsung heroes, who should continually be remembered for their bravery. 

I would recommend this film as a tribute to the miracle that happened that day.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Never Forget

We can all remember where we were the day of September 11, 2001. It was a day that everyone will never forget. I was only in elementary school, and I remember being sent home early. I remember the chaos and uncertainty and sadness of it all. Our country had been attacked, and many lives were lost.

There are so many amazing stories of that day, as well as tragic ones. There were some who escaped the tragedy, and surely thank God every day for that miracle. But many did not make it out of the towers, and we remember them very specially in our prayers. We also remember their families, who are still suffering from that loss.

We never forget the heroes who ran into danger in order to save lives. The New York City policemen, firemen, and emergency responders. They knew the risks and the cost, but they went in anyway. They saved many lives, and some lost their own in the process. 

That day was a tragic day for our nation, but at the same time, some of our darkest hours can also be the greatest moments for our heroes. Our country continued on that day. We saw the sacrifices and bravery of so many. Despite the tragedy, people pulled together. Despite the loss, many were saved. It taught us to guard our freedom and liberty more closely, and to stand together with our country against her enemies.

We will never forget the sacrifices of countless individuals on that September 11th fifteen years ago. We pray for those who were lost, and we remember those who gave their lives.

P.S. Don't forget our active duty military still fighting in the Middle East, and send your letters to the Troops!

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Waiting. That is one of the hardest things for everyone to do. Yet, it seems like one of those things that impacts all parts of our lives. We have to wait in traffic, we have to wait on lines, we have to wait for food to cook, we have to wait on people, we have to wait on important decisions.

It can be so difficult when we just want to have things now. We want answers to problems, or immediate gratification from something we are trying to accomplish. I know I am the worst at leaving projects unfinished because I just want to see that end result. And we wonder why can't things in our lives just move a bit faster?

But, why are we in such a rush for everything? We live in an age that wants everything yesterday. Things have to be done faster, more efficiently, and more advanced than ever before. Progress is good, yes, but the rat-race mentality can get to us sometimes, and you wonder why so many people are overly stressed.

Waiting, when we accept it well, is a wonderful way to grow in patience. St. Teresa of Avila says, "Patience obtains all things." Surely we have experienced this in our lives, that when we waited for something it was all the better upon receiving it. I think waiting also goes along with the virtue of perseverance. You are willing to make sacrifices and keep trying in order to obtain what you desire. 

When we become so impatient during times when we have to wait, I think we are focused too much on the future. Having to wait for someone to give exact change at the grocery store, can make us ask questions like doesn't that person know I have somewhere to be and my time is valuable? You almost want to give them the extra money, just so you can check out sooner. 

But what about God's timing? He is the author of time. We have to remind ourselves that part of His providence is His timing. God cares about each moment of our day. They are all significant. Maybe he wants us to wait in lines because if we got out a moment sooner, we could have been in an accident. Okay, maybe it's not always that drastic, but God is active in our everyday lives, and sometimes He just wants us to wait. 

Ultimately, our whole lives are a kind of waiting. We are waiting in anticipation of what we hope will be ours one day, that is eternal life. And that will be one unending day. No more waiting. Only the eternal "now." Maybe all those times we have waited will be the most valuable to God because instead of getting frustrated, we used them as opportunities to grow in hope, trust, and love of God. 

So next time you are stuck behind someone driving really slow (one of the most frustrating moments of my days) just choose to be patient and say a little prayer that you can accept all the trials sent to you as from the hand of God.