Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sundays through the Seasons

Happy April! With a new month comes a few new changes:

I've deleted my "Mondays for the Military" page. This is not to say that I will never have "Mondays for the Military" posts again - this is just an acknowledgement of the fact that this isn't (nor has it been for quite a while) a regular feature anymore. But if you ever want to read those posts from the past, just scroll down to the "Labels: From Days Gone By" section in the sidebar and click the "Mondays for the Military" link.

Speedbo 2012 - the month-of-March-long endeavor - is now officially over. You might be wondering how I did... Well, I can tell you that I didn't finish my current WIP. However, I did log 7,500 words! It may not seem like much, but it's progress nonetheless. After the first couple of weeks I got sidetracked by life and such, and I wasn't sure exactly where to go with my manuscript after writing a critical scene. But yesterday I found some Scripture verses that helped me organize my WIP and give me a general idea of where I might go from here - a blessing indeed! April won't bring much writing time. As my last month of classes, it's going to be papers, tests, and community service hours - oh my!! But summer's right around the corner, so hopefully you'll see some more green on that progress meter I'm keeping in the sidebar soon!

Also, some of you may recall my past "Sundays by the Sea" devotional posts. Today I'm launching a new devotional series: "Sundays through the Seasons." I'd like to do more devotional posts again, and I think this seasonal theme should go nicely with my blog's overall theme and leave plenty of topic ideas open. Hope these posts encourage you! The first devotional in this series is below:

"Love Makes Us Real"

What better movie to watch during spring break (or any time during the spring season) than one about a cute stuffed bunny who ends up becoming a real rabbit? Yes, my family and I watched The Velveteen Rabbit (two different versions, actually - an animated one and the one directed by Michael Landon Jr.) this last week.

Shared in sweet simplicity, this story about a boy and his toy is a beautiful story about the transforming power of love. Here is a stuffed bunny who's future stretches before him bleak and hop-less. He can't do anything on his own. He needs a young boy to imagine him to life - and he lives in fear of being abandoned and unloved one day.

Over time the boy comes to love the velveteen rabbit as he plays with him and takes the rabbit everywhere he goes. In the animated version, it is the boy's love that changes the stuffed rabbit into a real rabbit. In Michael Landon Jr.'s version, it is the rabbit's love for the boy (in addition to the boy's love) that finally changes him. Combined, the message declares that loving relationships are what make us truly "real." The Velveteen Rabbit is a helpful and heartwarming visual of the message of 1 Corinthians:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I can remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

(Verses 1-3; emphasis mine)


The velveteen rabbit is burned (or supposed to be burned) along with the other items the boy touched during a case of small pox, in order to get rid of anything that might recontaminate the boy or others. But the bunny comforted the boy during his illness and showed him love, and so his trial through fire, so to speak, finds him transformed into a real rabbit - safe, with a new life.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away....

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

(1 Corinthians 13:10, 12)

The velveteen rabbit discovered just how amazing being loved and loving can be. He was once just a stuffed rabbit - but then, because of love, he became real.

This Easter (and in every season), the story of the velveteen rabbit serves as a great reminder of the love that sets us free and gives us new life - a real life in which we love others because we were first loved by God.



(Velveteen Rabbit movie cover image from MichaelLandonJr.com.)

6 comments:

Amanda Stanley said...

Happy Palm Sunday, my friend!! Oh, I just love this devotional post - it actually made me a little teary. It's crazy because God kept echoing that same scripture in my heart yesterday and today - about having and doing all these "good" things but if we have not love we're nothing. So seeing it here and having your beautiful take on it only confirms it's something from the Lord :)

*blushing* I've actually never seen the Velveteen Rabbit (maybe when I was little, but I can't remember...) but it sounds very sweet and will have to make sure to catch it soon :)

I must say I really like the new devotional name of "Sundays Through the Seasons" - goes perfectly with your blog! I'm so looking forward to them!

And, CONGRATS on all your progress on your WIP!! Gosh, I wonder what path you have our friends walking now... ;) I'm sure it's wonderful and will keep you in prayer concerning it! You are such a talented writer, I know He will have you finish it in His perfect time! May He continue to bring you all the inspiration you need :)

And, WOW, you're gonna be graduating soon?? How exciting!! Yes, we DO have a lot to catch up on! :D

Talk to you soon, dear friend!
Blessings,
Amanda

Kav said...

I always get goosebumps just thinking about The Velveteen Rabbit. I haven't seen either version of the movie but I've read the book more than once. Think I'll pull it out and read it again this Easter week.

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Happy belated Palm Sunday to you, as well - and happy (almost) Easter to you and yours! :) I'm so blessed that God used this post to emphasize those verses in your life! Thank you so much for your sweet words, dear friend. :)

Don't feel bad - the Velveteen Rabbit is definitely aimed at a younger audience! But I do think it has a great message/story for all ages. :) I hope you enjoy it if you see it!

So glad you like the new devotional series name! Thank you for your enthusiasm!!

And oh, yes - I haven't written a ton since you last saw our friends, but there have been some interesting new developments... ;) Hope I get to share them with you soon! I'd love to hear your thoughts!! I really appreciate the prayers and the support!!

Looking forward to talking more with you soon!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Kav,

Such a powerful story, for sure! Hope you get a chance to re-read the book this week. :) Happy almost Easter!

~Amber

ryan stark said...

7,500 words is a lot more than 0! I also really enjoyed the Corinthians passage--the tongues of angels. As a philosopher of rhetoric, I have often wondered about angelic languages, or the angelic language, or whathaveyou.

Amber S. said...

Prof. Stark,

True! ;) Thank you for the encouragement!

And yes, that passage in 1 Corinthians is beautiful! That is interesting to think about the "tongues...of angels." We know that angels were able to communicate with humans...so I wonder if they have a different language, as well? Or is this just a reference to grand, lofty speech? I'm afraid I don't know very much about angelology!

Anyway, thank you for stopping by! :)

~Amber