Diary

Saturday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Saturday morning, friends! I know it’s a holiday weekend, but I still wanted to write a personal update today.

The first week of school is behind us. Here’s the obligatory First Day of School picture. I have a 10th grader, a 4th grader, and a 7th grader. {HOLD ME!}

First Day of School 2015

It’s been odd, starting before Labor Day. We got all geared up for going back to school, but before we could get our new routine established, we found ourselves on a 4-day holiday again! I think it’s messing with the kids more than the adults. They are all out of sorts.

I know that I’ll be happier once we get a full school week under our belts. NOT that I’m complaining about the four interruption-free days I had to work and get the house in order. That was glorious. And NOT that I’m complaining about a holiday weekend. I’m enjoying a the last few lazy days of summer, but it will be nice to get onto a predictable routine.

Earlier this week, I went to see War Room with a couple of girlfriends.

War Room Movie: My Thoughts

I didn’t know anything about it except that it was supposedly about prayer, so I went in with no expectations whatsoever. I’m always a bit nervous going to faith-based movies because I’m never sure I’m going to like the way Christians are portrayed or agree with the theology presented. As the movie got started, I could see that it was going to be pretty in-your-face evangelical, so I immediately started to get a bit twitchy.

Let me just put it this way. War Room doesn’t hold anything back. Sometimes the faith-based movies can sugarcoat the Gospel (Mom’s Night Out, anyone?) but this one almost went to the other extreme. They laid it all out there, that’s for sure. And yet, by the end, while it was contrived in parts, and the melodrama was a bit much at times, I felt that they did a good job at presenting the Gospel accurately and depicting characters that many of us can relate to. It basically calls people to make prayer a priority, to turn back to God (if they’ve wandered), and to seek Him in prayer.

It is pretty heavy-handed with the proselytizing, and I expect it will be a turnoff to some, but for me personally, it was very convicting. I left the theater with a renewed commitment to making prayer a bigger part of my daily life.

I definitely would have toned it down in some parts, given a choice, but it’s refreshing to see a movie in mainstream theaters that takes the Word of God seriously and seeks to proclaim the truth no matter what the cost. If you’re interested, you can see more about it in this trailer. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to know what you think.

In other more superficial news, I went to the mall this week to take advantage of the gift card sent to me by The Walking Company (cannot WAIT to show you my new boots!! I’ll be styling them into one of my 26 Days of Fall Outfits this week.) And I made the mistake of parking so that I had to walk through Bloomingdales and right past their denim department.

Y’all. I never walk PAST a denim department. I have a terrible weakness for denim. I started browsing, and before I knew it, I was in the dressing room.

dressing-room

I tried on a bunch of styles, but for the first time in probably forever, I left empty-handed. There were a few contenders, but nothing was really calling my name. I took pictures of everything, though, and I don’t mind sharing them, but that should probably be its own post.

Ironically, when I got home, there was a box from DL1961 on my doorstep. They sent me a pair of jeans for one of my 26 Days of Fall Outfits, so I’m really glad I didn’t buy anything at the mall.

Finally, I’ve been reading up on the Syrian refugee crisis, and it’s dreadful.

Sorry, if you didn’t have whiplash yet, you will now. Only I would write about the first day of school, my reflections on a faith-based movie, my latest shopping extravaganza, and a tragic humanitarian disaster in one blog post.

But the fact is, while we go about our (for the most part) care-free, happy lives, people are suffering. They are suffering in our neighborhoods, in the cities nearby, and all over the world. It’s easy to feel helpless and brush it off because we think we can’t do anything about it, but there are things we can always do. We can always pray. That’s not a copout. I fervently believe in the power of prayer. We can volunteer our time. (This is something I need to do more of.) And many of us can give financially (or materially).

World Vision: Donate to the Syrian Crisis

One organization that I trust with my financial donations is World Vision. Whenever there is a humanitarian crisis going on that I want to donate to, I go to World Vision. I know quite a few people involved, and I believe that my money is well spent with them. They have a whole page on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and how you can help.

  • $15 can provide a blanket to a refugee.
  • $50 can provide a refugee with food for one month.
  • $55 can provide a family with clean, safe water using a water filter.
  • $100 can help provide a learning program for refugee children, preparing them for school.
  • $250 can help establish a safe space for children to play and begin healing from trauma.
  • $325 can provide newly-arrived refugees with the basics they need to survive their first month.
  • $3,875 can keep a Child-Friendly Space running for one month, providing a safe place for 120 children to play.

Make a one-time donation through World Vision HERE. Or, go even further, and set up an on-going monthly donation for disaster relief in Syria.

I am not affiliated with World Vision. I just want to help, and this is the best way I know to do so. They have people far more equipped than I who are on the ground in Syria and working to assist them from afar, but they need resources to continue to do their work. I’ve made a donation, and if you are able, I’m encouraging you to do the same. How does the saying go? No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. This is my something. I hope it blesses someone today.

If you want to understand more about what’s going on in Syria (I admit that I was woefully ignorant of the history) this is a pretty good synopsis.

On that note, I have hungry kids waiting for breakfast. I can’t help but think, after reading about the atrocities going on in the world right now, what a blessing it is to be able to walk into my kitchen and open a cupboard and see a plethora of choices. I think I’ll be extra grateful for the little things today.

Whatever your weekend plans may hold, I hope you enjoy them!!

Join the Conversation

14 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Coffee Talk

  1. Thank you for this post! I am compelled to share that as a fellow Christ follower, I believe we have a biblical responsibility to look square in the face at the realities of human suffering and persecution around the world and in our communities and decide what we are going to do. And that all begins with prayer. So appreciate you using your voice, Jo Lynne, in this and may God bless you and your family.

  2. Girl, I’m so glad for social media, because if not, Philly would be impossibly far from Seattle, and I just love getting to know you through your blog. Not to sound stalkerish. 😉

    My challenge as a believer is to always see Christian media/films/books as though I were looking at them through my husband’s eyes, or the eyes of my sister, or any other nonbeliever. In most Christian based fiction and films, I really feel like they’d roll their eyes. Because, often, I want to roll mine. They are intelligent, amazing people, who happen to have a blind spot. It kills me that they have this blind spot, but I feel that the only way for me combat the blindness is to pray for them and love them where they are. It’s God’s job to change their hearts; it’s mine to represent the truth of Jesus’ love for them as much as I can. I don’t say this in a sugar-coated way, but I think, as evangelicals, we can “should all over” ourselves and others, and while I love the Gospel, believe it’s Truth, and try to live according to God’s purposes and plans for me, I fall short every day. What I try to demonstrate is that by His great, unmerited love and favor, a slob like me is forgiven, and extended grace for another day. And if He can use/forgive/love me, then he can use/forgive/love anyone.

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to hijack the post.

    On a lighter note, I wore this poncho in olive yesterday with white cropped jeans, brown/black flats, a black tee, and transitional necklace, and my husband told me I looked “very fashionable”. LOL. You’re helping me to fight the frump. Yay!
    http://www.qvc.com/Layers-by-Lizden-Marvelush-Cowl-Neck-Fringed-Poncho.product.A267185.html?sc=A267185-SRCH&cm_sp=VIEWPOSITION-_-1-_-A267185&catentryImage=http://images.qvc.com/is/image/a/85/a267185.001?$uslarge$

    1. You’re hilarious. I am thankful for the internet too. I have made so many friends through this blog.

      “It’s God’s job to change their hearts; it’s mine to represent the truth of Jesus’ love for them as much as I can. I don’t say this in a sugar-coated way, but I think, as evangelicals, we can “should all over” ourselves and others, and while I love the Gospel, believe it’s Truth, and try to live according to God’s purposes and plans for me, I fall short every day. What I try to demonstrate is that by His great, unmerited love and favor, a slob like me is forgiven, and extended grace for another day. And if He can use/forgive/love me, then he can use/forgive/love anyone.”

      YES. THAT. xoxo

  3. Thanks for this post. I can relate to so many of your possibly unrelated blog topics today. The things going on in the world are so overwhelming and I feel so small. Thanks for reminding us how we can help.

  4. Enjoying your posts everyday this week! Especially want to thank you for recommending “She Reads Truth”. I have been looking for a good devotional and this website has so many awesome studies. I’m into the Daniel study right now and really enjoying it. Thank you Jo-Lynne for this blog!

    1. Yes, I’ve been reading a few things on it, but I hadn’t seen this one. Thanks for the link. I think it just goes to show, Christians really want movies they can relate to. I hope these guys keep doing more.

  5. What a thoughtful post. I haven’t heard of War Room but El Paso is the last place new movies come so I will probably get to see it by next summer. I need to be reminded to pray and to let go and let God. I can worry just about anything to death. I will read more about the Syrian refugee problem from your link. Thank you for providing it. I was amazed at the stats I saw this weekend of refugees fleeing into Germany. Glad you didn’t buy any denim and were surprised to find some denim waiting you at home. I think the jeans that arrived are the ones you paired so magnificently with the white poncho. Well done, my friend. Thank you for this post.

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