Fifty Shades of Love…

…because nothing says “I love you” more than a film laced with porn and violence… Happy Valentines Day!

A few months ago, we saw three minutes of porn and violence in the form of a romanticized trailer for an upcoming movie. The movie we actually paid to see was an intense WWII film, based on a true story of courage and unbroken determination. Yet, during most of the movie, I was distracted and disturbed by what I had seen in those three minutes. I wanted to scream. But I didn’t think that would go over too well in the middle of the movie. So I asked God to erase everything about it from my memory.

A few weeks ago, I took my children (whose eyes *see* everything) to a bookstore. My eyes glazed over the cover of this book laced with violence and porn, displayed on a table a few feet from the toy section where children play in this bookstore. I promptly turned it over. I wanted to pull a “Jesus in the temple with the money changers” and flip over the tables, but I held back my disgust and turned a few of the books over instead.

A few nights ago, the world celebrated, applauded and awarded a ‘song of the year’ grammy title to a song about a one. night. stand. I only caught a glimpse of the grammy’s the other night. And for the few moments I watched, while changing channels, this award being given. Sam Smith thanked the ‘man who broke his heart’ for the inspiration to write the song and win the grammy. and My heart broke. We rarely sing of true love anymore. We can not sing of what we do not understand.

If we do not know God’s love, we can not understand, receive, express or give Love. God is Love.

Nothing says “Happy Valentines Day” like a film full of porn and violence. Nothing says “I love you” more than a song about a one night stand.

Seriously?? …Is this what we have reduced LOVE to??

Please do not see this movie. ‘Fifty Shades of Shit’ (which was my original title idea, and my husband suggested I go another direction) Please do not waste your time, your energy or your money. Let’s get one thing straight – this movie is about MONEY. This is not art. This is not sex education. This is not sexual enhancement. This movie was made -and the books were written- purely to make money. Sex and money should never be partners.

My concern and disgust for ‘Fifty Shades…’ goes deeper than the movie or the books. We have a culture of choosing to believe and accept LIES. The lie says, ‘it’s okay to watch this movie, read this romance novel, peek at this magazine, listen to this song about a one night stand, scroll thru some porn…’ The lie says, ‘it’s harmless to invite porn into our marriages.’ The lie says, ‘it’s harmless to flirt, have a fling, have an affair.’ The lie keeps us in denial, ‘making it possible for a “john” to take advantage of a young girl and allow others to abuse her, to view her as his property, to make money off of her used body over and over again.’ The lie whispers to the buyer of the young girl held in bondage, ‘this is okay. there is nothing wrong with this abuse.’ When the TRUTH IS – there are SO MANY THINGS WRONG with this!!!

The TRUTH is we have a choice // don’t hire the prostitute // don’t participate in the cycle of human trafficking // don’t see the movie // look away from the magazine // close the book // turn off the t.v. // stop browsing porn sites // remove yourself from negative sexual conversation // flee from the temptation to flirt, have a fling, have an affair //

The TRUTH is there are many women, children and men in forced into slavery, held in bondage and sexual violence, being used against their will. They do NOT have a choice. WE have a choice. And yet we have the audacity to choose to SEE and applaud this movie and read the stupid books???? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please. no. stop!

We need a ‘Joseph culture‘. We have a choice to flee from sin as Joseph fled from Potiphars wife… even when an opportunity presented itself… even though he probably would not have been ‘caught in the act’. He made a choice to flee. To be faithful to his God. Faithful to God’s Love. Joseph knew the Love of God, so he made the choice to say “No” and flee.

We have a choice to turn away from the images, even when know one else sees. We have a choice to say “No” and stop participating in the abuse. We have a choice to flee from sin and into the Love of Jesus. Wherever you are on the ‘spectrum’ of believing these lies, believing these things are okay… From browsing thru a soft porn magazine to becoming a “buyer” or a “john” caught up in the web of sexual slavery… You have a choice. Wherever you are – His Love is for you. and He is for you. You can choose the Love of Jesus. God is Love and He is for you. He desires to redeem mankind to Himself. To understand who True Love is. Who He is.

Then we will see Freedom Come. We will reject these movies, these books, these porn films, these magazines, the ability to oppress and abuse another human being in bondage. We will reject these lies and know the Truth. He is Jesus.

Please share your thoughts. Please freely share this blog. This is much deeper than a movie or a book series. I am praying for us. For freedom from these lies and for Truth to be known, as our stories rage on… In Him, Leslie

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New Years Eve

 New. Years. Eve.

so…what’s the big fuss about this day, anyway?
it’s like, December 31st. 
*surprise*. it comes every year.
staying up until midnight? 
i already do that like 337 days out of the year.
getting plastered and kissing someone?
welp. that can be done any day – although i don’t recommend it.
watching other people party at the ball dropping countdown in times square? 
boring.
we lived in NYC for four NYE’s and never attended that silly shindig.
listing your new years resolutions that you have every intention of keeping?
you will probably fail.
there can be a lot of pressure for people on the eve of ringing in a new year.
you must stay up late.
you must have lots of alcohol and kiss someone.
you must have your list of resolutions prepped and ready to attack on January 1st.
you must be tuned into the television watching the times square ball dropping party hopping slobber kissing commercial driven countdown…
otherwise…
you suck. 
for us… the eve of the new year is special for a few different reasons other than the ones traditionally celebrated.
it is a celebration of our past, present and future
all wrapped up into one crazy day.
***

Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our past ~ December 31st, 1996 we got engaged.
here’s our super cheesy engagement pictures.
be kind.



Adam proposed to me on new years eve 1996. 
and this wasn’t a simple ‘get down on the knee and ask. sweating. hoping i’d say yes.’ proposal. 
this was an all day affair.
he made me breakfast and then took me on a scavenger hunt throughout the Oklahoma City area and left notes with clues and meaningful gifts at each location. 
he even ‘popped the question’ in the newspaper. but that wasn’t the real proposal… yet.
Adam is a romantic. 
he has always been extremely affectionate and thoughtful.
i am thankful to know how loved i am.

part of the scavenger hunt in front of the dorms at University of Oklahoma, the announcement Adam put in the paper on 12.31.96 and my wedding ring
our engagement announcement in the Edmond, OK newspaper-June 1997
personal fav 🙂 

  

so after our fun day and scavenger hunt ~ we went to Opening Night in Oklahoma City. 
it’s a big nye celebration on a similar scale of times square ball drop. 
well not really… 
but it is a lot of fun.
there are activities, festivities and performances happening throughout the evening.
i thought we were going to see the “Sound of Music”, but he surprised me *yet again* and took me to the Edgar Cruz concert happening a few venues over.
i was onto him when i saw our parents and siblings (previously trying to hide from me) show up at the concert.
so in front of 300-400 people, Edgar Cruz announced ‘there’s a young man in the audience i would like to invite down to the stage’. Adam took me with him and i was freaking out knowing this was ‘the moment’ he would really ask me to marry him.
i said yes. obviously.
after the proposal our families joined us on stage and next we were whisked off in a golf cart to the Fox Channel 25 news area covering the nye opening night action.
we were interviewed and there was a clip on t.v. highlighting our engagement. 
it was super fun and exciting.
similar to our lives now 🙂 …we are never bored.

IMAG3592-1.jpg

love birds + goof balls = us.


and there is something you should know about *my wedding ring*.
it didn’t come from a fancy jewelry store – it came from a pawn/antique shop.
it wasn’t expensive.
it was used – but it shines – and i love it!
my ring reminds me everyday of Adam’s great love for me.
when i see it shine and sparkle, i am reminded of our love increasing thru the years, not fading.
God’s love for us is the same ~ 

it never fades.

we were bought by Him, not at a fancy store, but he paid the highest price with his life and death on the cross. 
*we are used, but shine, for His glory*

Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our present ~ December 31st, 2009 Selah was born.
she just turned three years old!
there will be more to her story later…
in her own birth story blog.
*aaaand… i can sense the anticipation as you wait for this forthcoming blog*
Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our future ~ we dream of what will the next year will look like…
we list our goals and resolutions…
we talk about our dreams, hopes, passions…
we pray for continued wisdom, direction and humility…

i already know i’m gonna fail miserably at many of the new years resolutions i set…
i am perfectly comfortable with my gifts and talents of procrastination, running late and forgetfulness.

but in spite of ourselves, the plans we make and what happens in 2013…
this year we will continue to *surrender *trust and *obey the Lord.
as we do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God 
{Micah 6:8}.

***


i love that in any community, even a blog, we can learn from one another ~ 
What are your New Years Resolutions? 
please share.
and thanks for reading! 

Celebrating 15 years of Marriage!

8.9.97 ~ 8.9.12

*We have been Married for 15 Years*

If you are just getting to know us / our blog ~ you can read here about how we met and fell in love, and read here about how our friendship with each other and our relationships with God are the foundation of our marriage.

We had a wonderful date on our anniversary, eating at one of our favorite restaurants (Northstar Cafe), drinking our favorite beverages (mochas) and walking thru a beautiful metro park (Inniswood Metro Gardens).  We were caught in the rain, but that didn’t stop our fun.  By the evenings’ end, we were completely soaked with rain ~ fully enjoying our life, laughter together and love for each other.

To celebrate our Anniversary early, we took a lil trip to the Pacific Coast and left the wee Babs with the Grand Babs, while we were visiting Adam’s family there a few weeks ago…

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport, OR

Of course, there’s nothing like hiking rocks in skinny jeans and converse 🙂

Adam at the edge of the rocks – such a daredevil 🙂

The “Devil’s Punchbowl”

Exploring Tide Pools

The next morning, we went running 4 miles along the coast.  We ended up with blisters and completely soaked, but it was SO FUN!  In case you don’t already know this about the Pacific Northwest… the weather can be unpredictable. The Oregon coast leans more on the side of being a sweatshirt beach, not a swimsuit beach. It was cloudy and rainy most of the time we were there, but we didn’t care.  We simply enjoyed God’s beautiful creation and each others’ company.  

We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years together holds ~ with God and each other…
We praise God for each day, for the opportunity to love each other, love others and fully live the life He has called us to. 
Thankful. 
There’s nothing better.

the truth is…

i have rather large feet for someone of my stature… i wear a size 10 shoe, weigh 100 + pounds, and i’m only 5’3″… i know, it’s so bizarre.  and that’s on a good day.  those days when i’m really focused on my posture, sucking in (my jello) and standing up straight.  on the rest of the days of my life, which are the majority of days, i’m probably slouched over, closer to 5’2″.  these are the days i typically feel out of proportion.  and with size 10 feet, no wonder i’m always tripping over my self… hmmm.


the truth is… i used to be embarrassed by my big feet, and now i see it as another way God has made me unique.


when i was in high school and college choir, i always sang as a soprano (the melody part, for those of you who don’t know).  i would audition and sing the soprano parts because i thought that was the “cool” thing to do.  because being in choir is. really. cool. (for those of you who don’t know).  i also have a low speaking voice.  i don’t sound like a guy or anything, but my voice is low.  so, although i was good at singing soprano, i was really in denial.  I am an alto.


the truth is… i used to want to be a soprano, but i am glad God made me an alto. God gave me the ability to sing harmony and He gave me a voice that is unique.


one day, P.A. and i really want to go on the Amazing Race.  we keep saying “when the kids get older”… but we don’t want to procrastinate our dreams. and what if the show is off air by that point? what fun it would be to experience running around the world together, competing against other teams.  it would be so. much. fun.  and we would be hilarious.  it is a dream of ours to be on that show.  all the contestants have a story.  our story would be great for the Amazing Race.  we love to travel, love to compete, we are parents, we are married and best friends, we are employed by God.  would our relationship be able to survive the stress? would the Babs have what it takes to win the Amazing Race?  what drama.


the truth is… we would love to experience the fullness of the Amazing Race.  and sure, it would also be nice to win a million dollars.  to be the first team employed by God to win the Amazing Race would be unique.  


i know i have big feet, a low voice, and a dream of experiencing the Amazing Race for a reason.  unique reasons.


the truth is… i don’t look like anyone else.  i don’t sound like anyone else.  i am unique.  i want to embrace the unique characteristics i have and the desires God has put inside my heart.  the truth is i never want to be anything but unique.


and who knows…?  watch out because next season, you might just see the Babs running the Amazing Race…

Marriage as Mirror

One word we would use to describe our marriage

Fireworks


That’s right.  Fireworks, baby.  
Beautiful.  Colorful.  Sparkly.  Fantastic.  Brilliant.  Bold.  Shocking.
and Eye Opening.
and Loud.
And Explosive.
Now when we say “explosive”, that may conjure up images of battles and warfare.  Or two people engaging in physical combat on an explosive level.  But for us, it’s been explosive verbally.  Mostly because of the ugliness that can come out of our mouths.
P.A. is not a yeller by nature, but Les is.  P.A. still gets angry; he just lets it rage beneath the surface until it sometimes does boil over.  P.A. is generally not as easily angered as Les is.  And until we met and were married, we never realized we both had so many reasons to yell and be angry.
Now you might be thinking, “Dang peeps, get a hold of yourselves, you shouldn’t be so angry and yelling all the time.  You need to check Yo-Self!”

And this is true.
And we have.
And we still do.

In the beginning of our relationship as Mates, one thing we realized is that our relationship was like a Mirror.  When you look into a mirror, you see your reflection. You see everything physical… the wrinkles, the dark circles, the pasty skin, the silver gray hairs, the messy hair ( or lack of it ), the root color, the ginormous zits, the flab, the yellow teeth…  And then you fix yourself up and you see the “better you”… after using hair growth or hair coloring products,  putting on make-up or brushing your messy hair, or your teeth, or your… whatever else you brush.  And hopefully, you don’t break brushes, like Les has done. Or break hangers in half, like P.A. has done…

Our Marriage is like a Mirror.

When arguing with each other, it is like looking in a Mirror.  What we are seeing is reflecting back.  It can be ugly.  Mirrors don’t lie.

In the beginning of our relationship, this mirror/reflection made me (Les) even more angry and gave me more reasons to yell.  After one of our arguments while we were still dating, I left.  I ran out of P.A.’s parents house, around the block, and down the street.  This was a rare event.  I usually stay in an argument.  I confront, yell, and want a resolution.  Eventually he found me and we talked calmly, resolving the situation.

When I (P.A.) am arguing with Les, it is like looking in a Mirror. She is seeing everything – spoken and unspoken, every grunt, every mumble, every snide remark, every roll of the eye, or flinch of the shoulder.
Eight years ago, this made me so angry that I once took a hot dog she was eating out of her hands and smashed it up and threw it in the trash beside her. I didn’t want her eating a piece of manufactured, mystery meat known as a “hot dog”.  At the time, she was pregnant with our first child.  Yes, I truly overreacted, because of a lack of control. Not something good to do to a hungry, pregnant woman. I’ve been a idiot – oh I’ve been one alright.

Both of our parents had concerns for us when they witnessed how explosively we could argue.  However, they trusted God and were always supportive, knowing we would hopefully grow thru this part of Marriage.

And we still argue.  And we have matured in our arguments.  It takes longer before I (Les) yell and become verbally explosive.  It takes longer before I (P.A.) wait til my breaking point to expose my feelings. There are times when we both  feel like we want to run away, but we don’t.
 More than running, we want resolution.  We want to grow.  We want to be able to reflect each other.

You can never fully escape your reflection.  It’s who you are.

And we are thankful, that from the beginning of our relationship, we were honest in our reflections of each other.  We challenged each other.  We committed to love .  We reflected the truth when we were being ridiculous.

We are both still very imperfect.  Shocker.  We have our own issues.  And we both challenge each other as we reflect each other thru our marriage.  

Mostly, our hope and prayer is to reflect Christ.
We were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26).  We desire to continue being transformed into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We will always reflect each other in our Marriage as Mirror.  We still have Fireworks in our Marriage.  Our prayer to fight less explosively and to love more completely.  On that note, we will share more of our story next week in “Marriage as Marvelous”.


Noted. By Les & P.A. Babs (Part 2 of 4 Marriage/Relationship Records)