Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

COURAGEOUS: Honor Begins At Home

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)

Recently I was privileged to participate in an advanced screening of Courageous ~ the latest movie from Sherwood Pictures. You will remember Sherwood from their life-changing movie a couple of years ago called Fireproof.  And after what I saw in Courageous, I think God is using another movie to deliver a powerful punch.

In Fireproof, Stephen and Alex Kendrick reminded us that marriage is a covenant. In Courageous, they remind us of the importance of fatherhood. Courageous does deliver a powerful punch and more. It’s convicting (smacks hand to forehead ~ that’s the word I was searching for when I was filling out the comment card after the movie!). Like Fireproof, it makes you think. But the real question is, how will it make you act?

Some might ask why we need a movie on this topic. Don’t fathers know how important they are? Don’t mothers know how important a father is to her children’s lives? Of course, children know how important fathers are, right? Apparently not.

The Bible tells us that God created a man and a woman and told them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22). The man wasn’t told to plant his seed and the woman would take care of the rest. God created a family – with a mother and a father. God placed the father at the head of the family (1 Cor. 11:3; Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:25-29). He is there to lead, to guard, to guide, and to protect. The father has a vital role in the success of a family.

Now back to Courageous… the Kendrick brothers introduce us to four police officers and we hear about their experiences with fatherhood; whether it was as fathers themselves or their relationships with their own fathers. They did a good job depicting families that exist today – families with two parents, a divorced family and a single man. One of them grew up without a father, but had a father-figure as a mentor. One is a so-so father, another is a good father, and still another is just a weekend father. We see how their individual situations have shaped their views of fatherhood. We also see varying degrees of faith, and journeys toward developing deeper faith. A little later in the movie, we are introduced to another father who really brings a lot to the story.

The major themes running through the movie are that honor does indeed begin at home and that every home needs a father. Courageous hits us hard, right out of the gate. This movie is not a chick-flick (but ladies, you may want to have a tissue or two…). But, like one of the other attendees at the screening said, of the four movies Sherwood has done, this one outdoes them all in terms of acting, action, cinematography, message, and story.

Throughout the movie we see situations that many families face on a regular basis – busy schedules, feelings of inadequacy, fear, a need to forgive, anger, and more. More importantly, we see how to handle some and not to handle others. When tragedy strikes one of the fathers, it sends him on a journey to discover what God says about fatherhood, and he eventually confronts his own mistakes as a dad.

While you may think that this alone is enough for one movie, Sherwood Pictures takes it a couple steps further. After discovering what God wants a father’s role to be, the other men want in. They put it into practice and vow to hold each other accountable. Now here’s where you expect the typical Hollywood ‘happy ending’ – so not the case in this movie. There’s more excitement to come when one of the fathers truly needs to be held accountable for his actions.

This is a movie where there is no typical Hollywood ending; but there is resolution. Each man in this story is taken on a journey; and each has a different path with a different ending. The solidifying factor is that they all commit to the journey, all are held accountable, and all find the true meaning of fatherhood.

Be prepared for a couple of amazing ‘Daddy-Daughter’ scenes – they will tug at your heart and leave a lasting impression. But also be prepared for some intense moments – remember that the main characters are police officers.

The movie initially received a rating of PG-13, but that rating has been surrendered, leaving the movie currently unrated. The initial rating was for some violence, as well as gang and drug references. These things are certainly understandable in a movie dealing with officers of the law. One thing I noted, and appreciated, was that some of the necessary violence was implied and not directly on camera. For instance, in one scene you see the police officer tackle the ‘bad guy’ on the ground. When he loses the advantage, you see the ‘bad guy’ throwing punches but you don’t see where they land. The cuts, bruises, and blood are mostly left up to your imagination. This is especially helpful in one of the defining moments of the movie. That being said, parents need to be aware that there is some violence; and there are scenes involving drugs and gang activity.

The emotions I experienced during this viewing were many. To quote Larry the Cucumber, “I laughed. I cried. It moved me.” But that does over-simplify things a bit. Alex and Stephen Kendrick have a God-given talent for being able to insert humor at just the right moment; and at just the right level.

Thank you Alex & Stephen Kendrick, Sherwood Baptist Church, the City of Albany, and the many people involved in making this film. I believe it will change many families. Most importantly, thanks be to God for the inspiration, talents, and abilities of these men and women.

Now, Don’t Let Go of the Wheel   —   See. The. Movie! September 30th, 2011. Buy tickets, buy a show time – do it opening weekend. Show Hollywood what types of movies really matter! For more information, visit Courageous online.

NOTE: I know there are some fatherless homes that can’t change the way they are right now for a reason. I have been there, and I understand. This is a movie review and not a judgment. However, there are some families in this position that can change, and should. See the movie. Pray about it.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie

… seek the Lord, even if it means you’re standing alone.


* Images provided by

Lessons in the Kitchen

We homeschool. That doesn’t mean that we have just moved a classroom into our home. It means we learn at home. And there are many additional important lessons that can be learned while at home. Don’t get me wrong, we still learn the required subjects, it’s just that we can also learn by living our daily lives.

Today we have new neighbors moving in across the yard. They are moving into a house that is owned by the same landlord who owns ours, so we had a little notice about the move. I wanted to take the opportunity to teach my daughter a few things about hospitality and generosity.

Yesterday we got out our paper and rubber stamps and made welcome cards. We had fun creating together, learning that bringing a smile to someone else is fun.

Today, I decided that we should make some brownies to take over with our cards. but then I remembered something else. I have been couponing for about a year now, and one of the things I learned when I first got started was to always give back (thanks, Claire!). I also remembered what it was like for the first week or so when we moved in – difficult to find everything necessary to put a meal together. So, I combined the two ideas and decided to create a ‘meal basket.’

Diva and I got together and made some brownies. We doubled the recipe so the kids could have some later too, so I took the opportunity to reinforce some math as well. Since she is working on fractions, I asked her how much flour I would need if one recipe called for 2/3 c, then I told her that I had already added 1 c of flour and asked how much more I needed. It was fun, and I let her lick the spatula at the end!

While the brownies were baking, we made some biscuits – I forgot to take a picture of that – oops! Then we took the bottom of a cardboard box and covered it with tissue paper. We inserted two square paper plates for the bottom and began to fill it. We added spaghetti sauce, pasta, biscuits, some peach jam I made last summer, the brownies, and the cards.

While it certainly isn’t everything they’ll need, it is a good start to a home-cooked meal. I am so grateful to God for these little opportunities to model true Christian behavior to my daughter. I hope and pray that these lessons don’t get lost over time. I pray that she will fondly remember spending time in the kitchen with Mama, practicing fractions, learning baking skills, and loving thy neighbor.

Now if I can just contain her excitement as she continues to look out the window eagerly anticipating her new friend’s arrival – you see we found out they have a little girl just about her age…

This post is being linked to Titus 2sday over at Time-Warp Wife

Who Am I?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… Back in October, just one day before I was to move, my computer broke. It took forever to get it fixed and then I couldn’t seem to get internet access. So, I have spent most of 2011 trying to play ‘catch-up’ with everything internet-related; in addition to everything else in my day.

So, when I read Linda’s post over at Prairie Flower Farm I thought it would be a good opportunity to get started again. Linda asked a series of five questions to help her readers get to know each other a little better. Here are her questions with my answers:

1. Would you rather be knitting, crocheting, hand stitching doing embroidery, sewing using your sewing machine or all of the above? I think I would prefer to be using my sewing machine as I am not really very good at the others. In fact, just today I was unpacking and arranging my patterns and fabric. I got an itch to begin working on some sewing projects. I know my daughter is waiting for a skirt or two, as is her doll…

2. Do you have any kind of crafty or sewing thing that you are working on now? My biggest project right now is making my house a home for my family. Then I will begin working on some cards and the above-mentioned sewing projects.

3. Do you like to cook from scratch or do you use prepared food? I prefer to cook from scratch. We decided a while ago that we wanted a healthier life style and eliminated artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. We also have a lot of food allergies, so it just makes sense to prepare everything from scratch and really know what’s in it. Unfortunately lately, I have not been as creative as I usually am because my health has made it a bit difficult. I have trouble doing many things that baking requires, so I have had to keep it at a minimum for a bit. I am praying that will change soon.

4. Will you have a garden this next summer……what will you grow and will you start your own seeds? I hope to have a garden this year. We moved to a place that does have a little land and our landlord gave us permission to have as big of a garden as we wanted. However, we may not be able to do all that we want. We don’t know anyone with any farming equipment and we’d have to start from scratch by digging up all the grass. We just might not be able to handle it this year. Though, I will at least get some things in pots, if nothing else. I guess I should get started with some seeds soon.

5. Do you live in the city or on a farm which would you rather if you could? Neither. We live near a small town but do live on about a half an acre and are about an hour from the major city near us. We do have a big town about a half hour away. All that said, I would prefer to live on at least a farmette. I’m not sure how I would do with a lot of animals, but I would like a larger garden plot, some chickens and maybe some goats.

Hop on over to Linda’s to get to know some wonderful ladies – thanks, Linda!


I know – two posts in one day when I have only posted sporadically in the past!

I was recently over at To Love, Honor and Vacuum and Sheila is doing a month-long challenge on simplifying one’s life. Like my last post, this is something that has been time perfectly (isn’t God good that way?) for me and my family. As we organize, pack and move (then do the same in reverse order) simplifying is something we need to do. We began with yard sales and actually raised a little money while de-cluttering the house. Now that the move is imminent, we have begun donating truck-fuls to a Rescue Mission and Salvation Army. It feels good knowing that our things will be helping others in addition to helping us pare down.

So I thank Sheila for doing this during the month of October – Simplify Your Life Month!

Fall Challenge Week One

Today begins Week One of Courtney’s Fall Challenge to Make Your Home a Haven. The challenge for the week was to get a candle and light it each day this week. Every time you see your candle’s flame say a prayer for peace in your home.

We are in the midst of a major transition at our house right now. One morning about two months ago we received a phone call from our landlord informing us that a realtor was coming over to photograph the house in order to list it for sale. Needless to say we were a little shocked by this news. However, we figured that we had plenty of time, given the economy and the asking price of the house. On September 20th we were told that we had 30 days to move.  Anyway, later that day, we were asked to try to find a new address by October 1st, but that we would still have the remaining three weeks to move out. It has been a very busy and stressful two weeks. We just confirmed our new home last night and will sign the lease tomorrow. Talk about cutting it close!

So, our house is not much of a haven right now. We have empty shelves and packed boxes. We have limited closets and no decorations. We have a tired Mama. I have two children who don’t understand how much work is involved in this move. Haven is not a word I would use to describe the house in which we currently reside.

But I have faith that that will change. We have a new beginning awaiting us – a new chapter in our lives. I am a different person moving into this new house than I was when I moved into this one. I have new tools, techniques, that I can put to good use in making my new house into a haven.

That being said, I knew which box was holding my candles. I didn’t go out and buy a new one, but I used one I had in the box. I placed it on the mantle this morning. As I was running around cleaning and packing today, I saw that candle’s flame dance frequently. I kept praying that my new home would be a peaceful haven. I look forward to lighting more candles in my new home.

Come along and light some candles with me…

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