musicals, review, theme

Beautiful Themes in The Greatest Showman

Have you seen The Greatest Showman? If not, then you should! Not only is it a beautiful, colorful cinematic display, but the music is inspiring and the choreography is spectacularly woven through the beat of the music. I have seen it twice and it gave me goosebumps both times.

One of the things I loved about this movie was a couple of running themes throughout. The first one was the theme of inclusion. Taking the marginalized and neglected and giving them a place to belong…a home to call their own and a family to care for and love them in their uniqueness. While some would argue that they were exploited…and indeed, it was that to some extent because of the misdirected focus of Barnum, but the circus became a place of belonging for the performers. A place of safety. A place they could be who they truly are and still be accepted.

This inclusiveness is the gracious way Jesus demonstrated in His life. He called fishermen and tax collectors to be his disciples. He talked to women because they were important. He went to the home of sinners and ate with them. He welcomed children into His lap. He healed the outcasts and touched the untouchables. He loved each and every one, just as we should.

The beautiful theme of inclusion should be a running theme in our life. 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

The second theme I saw was the theme of the prodigal losing his way and returning home. Poor Barnum. He had such dreams of being significant. Of being someone that people respected and looked up to. In his success, he lost his way. He had everything – a family, money, a great house, a group of people who relied on him and loved him. And yet it wasn’t enough.

Barnum wanted more. He wanted to earn the respect of high society…those who looked down on his father and him his whole life. He wanted to prove his worth to these people who considered anyone different to be beneath them. So he took his wealth and sunk it all into promoting a world-class singer, making a name for himself. He is seduced by the glamour and the fame.

Yet when tempted by her, the singer, he wakes up, stands firm and returns home –  and loses everything in the process. She walks out on the tour and he loses his money, his home, and ultimately his family. The circus building burns to the ground and he is utterly lost.

There is a scene where he is drinking alone in a bar during the middle of the day. His troupe walks in, surrounding him, reminding him of why he started the circus, reminding him of the family he created and the home he had provided.

He was welcomed back into the family with open arms and loving hearts. And the rejoicing!!!! Whew! What a dance of celebration!

And don’t worry, the family is reunited as well. The wife is a beautiful picture of the Father figure in the prodigal story. She is there to tell him all she ever wanted was to be with him. To have a place in his life. To be loved by him.

And isn’t that a beautiful picture of God and His desire for us? He just wants to be in relationship with Him. To love Him and want to be with Him.

So if I haven’t totally ruined the story for you, I urge you to go and see The Greatest Showman. It is well worth the money! Let me know what you think about it!

one word, resolutions

A New Year, A New Start

Don’t you love the beginning of a new year? It is as if the slate of the past year has been wiped clean and the pristine slate is ready to be filled with new possibilities. It is energizing…hopeful.

The reason I’m so excited about this year is because I have completely turned my life upside down. The first of December I gave my notice at work at the elementary school where I was secretary. I know it probably is ridiculous to do so since the money was good, but sometimes it is not about money. It’s about quality of life.

So my plans for this year center around the One Word I have chosen for 2018.

CULTIVATE: prepare; grow and maintain; to try to acquire or develop; tend

VERSE for 2018: “You see, God blesses the ground that drinks the rain and then produces a bountiful crop for those who cultivate it.” Hebrews 6:7 from The Voice

I love having a word for the year that envelopes everything I choose to do. It forms my decisions and helps me to focus on what truly matters. This year I want to cultivate my life in a way that honors God and others.

I want to cultivate: 

  • spiritual health: read through the Bible, pray (really spend time listening), Bible journaling
  • relationships: spend quality time with husband, kids, family, and friends- date night, 1 night a month having friends over, reaching out to family and friends I’ve neglected
  • self-care: eat well, move every day (walk, yoga or dancing where no one can see me!), rest (reading, Netflix), play (1 afternoon a week to do something fun for me – see a movie, go to the library or museum, read in the park)
  • home and garden: Simplify (get rid of stuff I don’t need, use or like anymore), cleaning schedule, create beauty inside and out (huge plans for flowers in my neglected garden)
  • finances: budget, spending freeze, research Amazon store?
  • writing: write 2 books this year, bog 2 times a week, keep up the newsletter, write some short stories and submit, query agents
  • lettering/art: create something at least once a week, learn digitizing, possible Bible journaling course?, open Etsy store again?
There are so many possibilities, and now that I have time to explore the gifts God has given me, I’m excited to see what doors He opens and closes. 
What new plans do you have for the new year? Do you have a One Word? Resolutions?