Inklings

International Inklings Day: Where It All Started

(Welcome to Inklings Week 2020! You can find all the posts here. Be sure to also follow the International Inklings Instagram account here. Hope you enjoy!)

This all started in April 2014. I was reading Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship for the then monthly Inklings Series. These two pages caught my eye:

 

But I admit, the idea didn’t come to me right then, but here’s what I wrote in my discussion on the book:

First off, I think there should be an official holiday on May 11th (1926). This was the day Tolkien and Lewis first met. All I’m saying is there could be some epic Middle Earth and Narnia mashup shenanigans happening. Or maybe we can all have a pint for the boys :). If these two weren’t a part of each others lives, we wouldn’t have LOTR or Narnia. What a dark and dreary world that would be.

Here’s from Diana Glyer’s Bandersnatch

And so we kick off another fabulous week celebrating all the Inklings! As today is International Inklings Day, I hope you get to read some Tolkien, Lewis, or both. If you want to read a little more about how their first meeting went (of course at a tea), you can read about it here.

This year we’ll have a lot more posts too, so be ready and Happy International Inklings Day!

Love and Faith

It isn’t fair

© 2019 Marvel

“It isn’t fair. It shouldn’t have to be you.”

In Avengers: Infinity War, Vision says this to Wanda as she is about to destroy the Mind Stone (which will ultimately kill Vision, who she loves) before Thanos can get it; and thus allowing him to complete his quest for all the Infinity Stones and his mission to snap away half of life across the universe.

After she is able to destroy the stone with her powers, Thanos uses the Time Stone to undo what she just did and take the stone for himself. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Thanos is able to complete the snap and people start disappearing.

After everyone disappears, Cap only manages to say “oh, God.”

Isn’t that how so many of us feel right now? Watching and reading updates on COVID-19 and worrying about health, jobs, life. I know I do. And it isn’t fair. It’s awful. While there have been some inspiring stories that have come out of this time (and incredible humans!), there are still many (too many) that are heartbreaking. On top of that, here in America there continues to be so much division. Sometimes the only words I have are “oh, God.”

But then comes Avengers: End Game. One thing that struck me this time around (I watched both this weekend) was that each person had a different reaction.

Thor decided to not care, or at least tried his best to convince himself of that. Nat worked nonstop because to pause would mean she would have to accept what happened. Clint, unable to accept that his family was gone, dared not to hope (“Don’t do that. Don’t give me hope”), and instead turned to his own sense of grief-filled justice to fill the void.

Each reaction was valid, because grief is like that. Like our current time, grief is something millions are experiencing in new, strange, and different ways. Each one is valid.

But then comes the ending. As Cap looked upon Thanos and his army approaching, maybe thinking this would be his last stand, he gets a small static of hope. Then it becomes clearer and clearer. And then…the mystic circles of Dr. Strange brings that long awaited hope. Hope in the forms of hundreds of people joining the fight to save Earth. To save humanity.

Watching it again, I cried. Granted, I cried in the theater, but with everything going on right now, it hit a little differently. True, we aren’t fighting a Titan bent on destroying half of the universe, but we are going through a time many of us have never experienced. We feel helpless. We’re tired (for staying at home all the time, I’m exhausted). We’re stressed (how many of us worry, among many things, about our parents and grandparents?). And many have already experienced the grief of losing loved ones.

How we fight will look much different than the Avengers (staying home, helping those around us in any way we can, sharing good news, checking in on loved ones, praying, comforting, loving), but this too will pass. It won’t last forever, so hold on. I say this for myself as much as for you. We’ll look different after this to be sure. Our way of life will have new pieces it didn’t before, much like life changed after 9/11, but we will get through this. Together.

“Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

(If you want to cry at one of the scenes from End Game, check this out)

Love and Faith

How We Can Pray for Each Other

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.” Colossians 1:9

While reading Colossians 1:9-14, it struck me how helpful it is to guide my prayer life for fellow believers. It’s the perfect playbook and now more than ever, I’ve been reminded of just how important it is. So I thought I would share it with you all! Know that I am praying these things over you too. I pray for you…

  • To understand God’s will
  • To gain spiritual wisdom
  • To please and honor God
  • To bear good fruit
  • To grow in the knowledge of God
  • To be filled with God’s strength
  • For endurance and patience
  • To stay full of Christ’s joy

May you stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
Colossians 4:12

Book Reviews, What To Read

What to Read: Historical Fiction

(I’m sharing more book recommendations as we all work through these unprecedented times. You can find all the lists here. I also post daily-ish Instastories if you want even more recommendations. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Libby, the library’s app to get ebooks. Stay safe everyone!)

I could probably make this list 100 books long since this is my favorite genre, but I decided that probably wouldn’t be helpful! But if you like historical fiction, here’s a few!

Happy reading! 

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 1:9

Book Wisdom, Inklings, Love and Faith

Wisdom from a Marsh-Wiggle

From the 2002 Edition from Harper Collins

One of my favorite characters from Narnia is the Marsh-Wiggle Puddleglum from The Silver Chair. He’s such an endearing doomsdayer, who is also quite brave, even if he doesn’t think he is. If you aren’t familiar with this Narnian story, it’s the tale of Eustace and his school mate Jill Pole as they are called to Narnia to help find King Caspian’s lost son, Prince Rilian. Before the adventure in Narnia starts, Aslan shares four signs Jill must remember, the last one being “you will know the lost prince (if you find him) by this, that he will be the first person you have met in your travels who will ask you to do something in my name, in the name of Aslan.”

As are all the Narnian tales, it’s fantastic and has one of my favorite scenes of all the books. It’s when they finally encounter the lost prince. But they don’t realize it at first, due to the enchantment. When he is tied up for the night (he was tricked into believing it was for his own good) on the Silver Chair, it is the only time he is in his right mind and free of the enchantment and so beseeches Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum to free him from the chair. They hesitate as they have no reason to believe him and think he really will harm them if they do.

I love this scene. As Rilian cries out Aslan’s name, Jill and Eustace still aren’t sure if they should free him, even though it was the last sign given by Aslan. Puddleglum’s response?

“Oh, if only we knew!” said Jill.

“I think we do know,” said Puddleglum.

“Do you mean you think everything will come right if we do untie him?” said Scrubb.

“I don’t know about that,” said Puddleglum. “You see, Aslan didn’t tell Pole what would happen. He only told her what to do. That fellow will be the death of us once he’s up, I shouldn’t wonder. But that doesn’t let us off following the sign.”

For Puddleglum there is no question as to whether or not they should follow through with Aslan’s instructions. What comes after isn’t their concern, but only that they follow Aslan.

I can’t help but relate this to my life. When God calls us to do something, He doesn’t show us what will come after. He simply calls us to obedience. We see this throughout the pages of the Bible. Abram being called to a distant land, Moses called to go before the most powerful man in the world at that time, Daniel and the Lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace, Jesus’ disciples leaving family and security to follow a man who called Himself the Messiah.

What God calls many of us to today looks vastly different from these stories from the Bible, but He is still calling his Church to share His love to those who don’t know it, to stand up against injustice, to be bold in our convictions, and fight for the least of these. How that plays out looks different for each of us, but when God calls you (and me), may we remember Puddleglum and that no matter how scary something might look (“that fellow will be the death of us”), may we trust in God’s sign more than the unknown.

Book Reviews, Inklings, What To Read

What to Read: Books About the Inklings

(I’m sharing more book recommendations as we all work through these unprecedented times. You can find all the lists here. I also post daily-ish Instastories if you want even more recommendations. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Libby, the library’s app to get ebooks. Stay safe everyone!)

If someone were to ask what books I recommend of Lewis and Tolkien, my answer would be all of them ;), but I thought it would be fun to share some books I recommend that are about Tolkien, Lewis, Middle-earth, and Narnia. Not so shockingly, I have a rather large collection to pull from. There are a couple I still need to read in the list below (like Planet Narnia), but if you are fans of Tolkien and Lewis, I recommend checking some out!

Have you read any of these? Pass along any of your favorites too!

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Reviews, What To Read

What to Read: Young Reader/Children’s But Also Fun For Adults

(I’m sharing more book recommendations as we all work through these unprecedented times. You can find all the lists here. I also post daily-ish Instastories if you want even more recommendations. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Libby, the library’s app to get ebooks. Stay safe everyone!)

Another favorite genre of mine! What would you add to the list?

May you all be finding hope and peace during these crazy times. If there’s anything specific to pray for, please let me know!

You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.

Psalm 119:114

Book Reviews, What To Read

What to Read: Sci-fi and Fantasy

(I’m sharing more book recommendations as we all work through these unprecedented times. You can find all the lists here. I also post daily-ish Instastories if you want even more recommendations. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Libby, the library’s app to get ebooks. Stay safe everyone!)

Y’all know I love my Fantasy, but I’m also always game for a solid Sci-fi book too.

Do you find yourself getting more reading done during these times? It depends on the day for me. But this week I got caught up for my book clubs, so it’s been good so far.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Love and Faith

Finding Freedom

Ready to go (at some point in the early 90s).

“But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12

Growing up in California, we’d often spend vacations up north in Yosemite (or Lake Tahoe) with my Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We’d rent a cabin and the cousins would usually spend the days getting into some sort of mischief. We’d feed deer, we’d watch bears try to sneak into locked trash cans, and several times we went horseback riding.

I have always loved horses and so I’d be front and center, ready to go. For those of us who were in the front and weren’t afraid, we were allowed to gallop in the open valley at the end of the trail. There was nothing quite like galloping on a horse when I was that age. Such freedom!

What freedom there is in letting go. I trusted the horse and so I didn’t fear falling off or that the horse would do something he wasn’t supposed to.

If only I could let go of things in life that easily as an adult. But God is faithful and reveals when I’m holding onto something I don’t need to. Especially with everything that is going on today. I can’t control a virus, travel bans, much needed medical equipment, the economy. And it’s scary, but it’s also drawn me to prayer and His Word like few times before in my life.

What do you need to let go of? What’s holding you back? What is God waiting for you to let go of?

  • Fear?
  • Control?
  • Your dreams?
  • Past sin?
  • Your hopes?

There’s freedom in trusting God and I pray today you experience it like never before.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

Book Reviews, What To Read

What to Read: Suspense, Thrillers, and Mysteries

(I’m sharing more book recommendations as we all work through these unprecedented times. You can find all the lists here. I also post daily-ish Instastories if you want even more recommendations. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Libby, the library’s app to get ebooks. Stay safe everyone!)

Some of my favorite reads are in this category. They’re fast paced and the good ones keep you guessing!

What are some of your favorite thrillers?

*heads up on some language

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19