Emily began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20's, and recently released her first book, Yielded in His Hands (eLectio Publishing). She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to freelance write. Believing she has been forgiven of much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power. If you would like to connect with Emily or learn more about her book, you can visit her website: www.emilyrosemassey.com
I have always really enjoyed going to the movies with friends and family, creating memories indulging in overly buttery popcorn, over-priced candy and soda and some quality entertainment. But as I have gotten older, I have to admit, I don’t go to the movies all too often anymore. One of the main reasons has a lot to do with the “quality entertainment” part.
Obviously, as a Christian, I am cautious and hesistant of what types of movies that I watch. Not out of prudence or judgementalism, but simply as a means to guard my heart. I am a firm believer that what you feed your soul- what you listen to, what you watch, watch you focus your mind on- affects the way you respond and interact with the world.
After all, the Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) to:
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
So needless to say, I am excited any time I hear of solid faith-based movies that will be released in theaters. And it just so happens that there is one releasing today! LD Entertainment, the same production company that brought us the faith film RISEN, and the same director (Sean McNamara) as the faith-based film SOUL SURFER (one of my favorites!) is releasing another film that is based on a true story, called THE MIRACLE SEASON! The film stars Helen Hunt (TWISTER was another favorite of mine when I was a kid!), William Hurt, Erin Moriarty and Danika Yarosh.
This new film is based on the inspiring true story of West High School girls’ volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
And because I got the privilege of viewing this wonderful story in an online screening a couple weeks ago, I can boldly say…
…YOU NEED TO GO SEE THIS FILM!
The cast is extremely talented and authentic in their deliveries of sharing this true story (Danika Yarosh, the actress portraying Caroline, was delightful!) so much so, I found myself wanting to be friends with the real people being portrayed in the movie.
I felt like I was right there in Iowa watching the story unfold. Being from a small, Midwestern town myself, I could totally relate to the small-town charm and support that you see from the whole community banding together to cheer on this volleyball team and the families represented, especially Caroline’s father Ernie.
What was so genuine about this film is that during the credits, there was real footage of the actual people from Iowa- the volleyball team, school, family members. You see how much they were involved in the making of this movie to keep the story in tact. From costumes to the way the volleyball court’s floor was painted, the filmmakers stayed very true to this telling of this beautiful real-life story.
(l to r.) Ernie Found and William Hurt on the set of THE MIRACLE SEASON, an LD Entertainment/Mirror release.
Ernie Found (center) with Nesta Cooper (#18) and other cast on the set of THE MIRACLE SEASON, an LD Entertainment/Mirror release.
The writers who wrote the script were very intentional at honoring those involved in this tragic and triumphant story. The director spent some time with Ernie Found to ensure the film would capture the heart at the center of it all. Throughout the film, you discover that it was Ernie’s faith that helped him get through such deep loss.
“You want to honor the people who had passed by talking to their surviving family, asking ‘What was this like, tell me your experience,’ so you can get it right,” says McNamara.
And “get it right,” they surely did!
I think about the struggle we live in today with finding quality entertainment for the whole family to enjoy, and I see how a movie like this that is based on a true story just reveals that our God is such an incredible author. Only the Creator of the Universe could pen something so extraordinary, and LD productions does a fabulous job reflecting it in THE MIRACLE SEASON!
Watch the new trailer BELOW: THE MIRACLE SEASON is available in theaters everywhere today! I highly recommend you go see this amazing film!
I wrote about my birthing experiencing with my son, Isaiah, just two weeks after he was born. He wasn’t a great sleeper (and almost 3.5 years later, we occasionally have our issues…Lord, thank You for Your grace!), so I found myself awake all through the night…a lot. I must have had trouble falling back asleep the night I wrote our story of his birth. Sleepless baby and sleepless momma. Man, those were some tough nights. But we survived, thank You Jesus!
Now with my second son, James, it has taken me over a month to sit down and write out our story of his birth. It must be because we actually sleep at night! Even with the time change last night, he STILL slept for 6.5 hours straight! He is my little sleeper…praise the Lord!
GOD HAS BEEN SO INCREDIBLY FAITHFUL TO US WITH JAMESON.
From the moment my water broke to these last several weeks with him finally here with us.
HIS GRACE, SO INCREDIBLY TANGIBLE.
For the whole pregnancy, I was fully mentally prepared to hold our new precious baby boy in my arms around 38 weeks, since that is when his older brother graced us with his unexpected presence.
But to be completely honest with you, that didn’t happen, and the last month was extremely stressful, confusing, and exhausting.
I cried. A lot. I was moody. A lot. I was tired. A lot.
I started to have time-able/ pattern-forming contractions around 37 weeks along with baby boy #2; I was getting even more anxious for that special day to come when we would finally meet our newest blessing.
But that cycle of “fake outs” lasted for over 3 weeks. God bless my poor husband! I never really knew when it was “go time…”
…until a little after 6am on February 7th, 2018, just as Paul was headed out the door for work telling me to keep him updated, I gasped as my water broke while lounging on the couch!
No more guessing if it was “go time!” Ha! Grace! Paul called my mom to let her know the news because she offered to drive over an hour and a half to come watch little man AKA Isaiah. Grace!
Because a friend of mine offered to be present at the birth to photograph the joyful day (Grace!), I hopped in the shower and got glammed up, of course!
I assumed that it would be awhile before contractions began, since mine never started with Isaiah after my water broke with him…Pitocin is the devil…
…but before I could finish my shower, they started to amp up. Grace! And they were definitely the real deal this time! Yikes!
Trying to get baby James to kick with a chocolate long john!
I dialed (do we still use that word for cell phones?) the on-call midwife and let her know what was going down and we decided to meet at the birth center at 8am, just in time to get stuck in rush hour morning traffic! But by the grace of God, we were able to stop by Chick-fi-la for FREE chicken biscuits for a quick breakfast (eating in between contractions that were now starting to get pretty intense) and STILL made it to the birth center on time, not having to deal much with traffic whatsoever. Grace! Grace! Grace!
We pulled into the parking lot at 8am on the dot, shortly after the midwives arrived, and made our way to the room. Less than 10 minutes later, my mom arrived to take little man to the waiting room for a bit to play with their blocks. Grace!
I was able to joke through the contractions and make the midwives laugh a few times before it was game-time, which came MUCH sooner than I had anticipated.
The contractions intensified very quickly, so much so that I didn’t even want to lie and relax in the giant Jacuzzi tub that was just filled up for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was ready to push soon and hold that precious little peanut.
Not really knowing what position would be most comfortable for me because I didn’t have much time to decide, I made my way to the bed and laid down on my left side. Paul knelt by the bedside and held my hands and I used them to brace myself through each contraction. Before they got too close together, he asked if I wanted to listen to some music on his phone. I immediately said, “The Undoing by Steffany Gretzinger.”
God’s peace filled the room. Again, I could tangibly feel God’s grace.
When I could, I sang and hummed along and looked into Paul’s eyes and told him how much I loved him. It was an absolutely beautiful moment with him, something so completely different than what we experienced with Isaiah’s birth that left us dealing with much anxiety and trauma in the weeks following.
In an instant, all of that was redeemed. Grace!
We really were such a great team together. Team Massey!
When the contractions became pretty unbearable, I found myself making an “O” sound to get through them. It really was the only thing that seemed to help me stay focused through the pain.
The midwives were so encouraging through it all, and kept reminding me that I was almost there and that I was doing such an awesome job.
It was very quickly time to push, so I made my way up to my knees and braced my arms around Paul’s shoulders. He told me later that I almost made him pass out when I accidentally had him in the sleeper hold! Hahahaha! Funny, but not funny for him, I’m sure!
Then suddenly, when I didn’t think I could take another second, at 9:40am (yes, that’s right, an hour and 40 minutes after we arrived at the birth center) they told me to pick up my baby who entered the world.
The birth center’s 1,000th birth, might I add…so cool!
“We did it, we did it!” I said with joy filling my lungs. Sooooooooooo….much GRACE!!!!!
We were discharged from the birth center, both momma and baby healthy and thriving. It was so nice to be able to head home and start our life together as a family of 4. On the trip home, both boys were snoozing and stayed down for naps for a couple more hours for us. Grace!
A miracle, really!
The whole day was just perfect.
I’m really still in awe of it and just how good God is to us. He truly is a redeemer and a giver of good gifts.
So here I am, almost 5 weeks postpartum, and signs of postpartum depression/anxiety/rage or insomnia are no where to be found! Praise God! My milk supply has been overflowing, and we have no need of formula supplementation like we had to do with Isaiah. And thanks to an awesome lactation consultant that we saw 2 weeks postpartum, I am, able to have success with breastfeeding this time around. A major answer to prayer that just ties the whole experience together with so much GRACE!
I’m so thankful for God’s grace, my friends. It is truly all-sufficient and is carrying me through this new season of motherhood in such a beautiful way. It doesn’t mean everything is easy by any means, because we surely have had some tough toddler days as Isaiah goes through some mega emotional development right now (ah meltdowns!), but God’s grace is my ever-presen help to see me through it all.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV).
And this momma will gladly boast in my frailty because Jesus’ gracious strength is so much better than my own.
Check out more of my blogs on www.emilyrosemassey.com! Also, visit my website for more information on how to stay connected with me, as well as info about my book Yielded in His Hands- now available on Amazon.com!
Did you happen to read Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” in grade-school? I don’t remember too many details of the book, but I do remember it impacting my little heart now decades ago. That's why me (and other millennials like me) have been greatly anticipating the release of Disney's adaptation of the this best-selling science-fantasy novel. The re-telling of this classic story is said to take audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love.
I was able to catch a press screening of the film earlier this week, and it has taken me a couple days to really collect my thoughts about the movie.
The stellar cast (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling to name a few), awe-inspring special effects, and vividly colorful costumes and make-up definitely drew me in right away.
But what impressed me the most was the young, up and coming actress, Storm Reid, who plays the main character Meg Murry. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Miss Reid will become a role model for young girls all over the world. She portrayed the awkward, middle-school heroine with such beauty, wit, vulnerability and strength. The desire to find and rescue her father who has traveled through time and space and is trapped by a darkness called "The It," and restore her family drives her to risk everything, including her life.
[caption id="attachment_1139" align="aligncenter" width="765"] Storm Reid is Meg Murry and Levi Miller is Calvin O'Keefe in Disney's A WRINKLE IN TIME, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L'Engle's timless classic directed by Ava DuVernay.[/caption]
That act of selfless love is nothing short of beautiful to me- a love that I know has been shown to us through Jesus Christ.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13, ESV).
Although the book is not considered a Christian piece, L’Engle, who actually used to teach Sunday school at her church and wrote a devotional on grace later on in her life, wove Christian truths throughout the book. There are actually many scriptures quoted throughout the novel as well as mention of Jesus being a “great warrior of light.” Ultimately, this book is about the powerful force of good over evil and love triumphing in the end, a message believers proclaim and live by.
“What if we are here for a reason? What if we are apart of something truly divine?” is echoed in the movie by Dr. Murry, Meg's father, as he tries to explain his theory of time travel to colleagues at NASA at the beginning of the movie. He wanted to bend time with his mind and shake the Universe's hand.
The "divine" and the "hand" that is mentioned should be God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth..the Creator of the entire universe...
...but sadly, Disney's "Wrinkle in Time" paints another picture about the Creator of the Universe. Sadly, but not surprisingly, they remain silent about God.
Where Miss L'Engle highlighted Christian truths and even mentions Jesus Christ in her book, sadly, Disney erases them completely.
But they were not silent on new age and eastern religion culture.
Meg, along with her younger brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin, have all been chosen by messengers of the Universe ("the Mrs's") because they saw light and hope in them. They were being called on to be warriors for the Universe. Lines such as you must "become one with the Universe" and "have faith in yourself" echo loudly in the film, which brings a false message of hope, light, and love. Yoga and highlighting the Hindu "third eye chakra" exercise were also a part of the film, expressing the idea that you have the power within yourself to see into the future, perhaps, becoming your own savior with no need of anyone's help, including God.
[caption id="attachment_1145" align="aligncenter" width="740"] Photo courtesy: Still from Film Trailer[/caption][caption id="attachment_1144" align="aligncenter" width="745"] Photo courtesy: Still from Film Trailer[/caption]
I understand that this story is fantasy, and that it is not particularly a Christian work, but subjecting children to these other spiritual exercises that people actually practice is dangerous in my opinion. And yes, it is my opinion, but my faith in God had to filter a lot while viewing this film. To me, if the film-makers and screenplay writer were going to ignore the mention of God or any form of Christian themes that the author put in the book, don't highlight other faiths or spiritual exercises.
If you are a Christian and plan on going to see this movie, just know that the message of light vs. darkness, hope and love, good vs. evil are not our definition of those things. None of those things exist a part from God.
God is light. God is hope. God is good. God is love.
We are not our own savior. We are not our own answer. We cannot "become the Light" and defeat darkness (another line from the film) without the light of Christ.
If you plan on taking your children to see this movie, I pray you take the time to explain Biblical truths about our Christian definitions of light vs. darkness, hope and love, good vs. evil . This film will definitely spark that conversation.
I can appreciate this film for the sake of the art and creativity and for the fact that it shows the importance of family and the strength of selfless love. Yet, I pray people that watch it remember that it is just fantasy and it's message of hope, light, and love pale in comparison to real hope, light, and love found in Christ alone.
A Wrinkle in Time, in theaters now.