Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Finding Father Christmas

People are always offering me suggestions on how to deal with my rheumatoid arthritis, and for the most part I am very grateful. I've tried Noni juice, flax seed, giving up all dairy products and fried food, and none of it worked. Some of the ideas I get just don't seem workable, how do you incorporate ginger into your daily diet in a quantity to make a difference? On Sunday, I attended the fall memorial service that the hospital puts on for the families of all those who have passed away in the last six months there. I'm in charge of coordinating the program, so I needed to be there, regardless of the fact that I'd spent the entire weekend in bed. But the Lord blessed me with the service. Jesse and I haven't attended our church in several months because of different issues, so we haven't had the opportunity to connect with the new pastor. I've met her through work, and she's an extraordinarily nice woman. After the service, she mentioned that her son has RA and isn't on any medications at all. He went on a diet that included giving up beef and feels terrific. The pain had been so bad the last few weeks, giving up beef sounded like no big deal, so Jesse and I planned meals without it. I haven't had any since Friday, and I feel better than I have in weeks! I went from taking 12-16 ibuprofen and 6 vicodin a day to 4-6 ibuprofen and 3 vicodin. It's a huge difference. I don't know that this would work for everyone, but I'm so glad that it's working for me. The pastor said her son also lost 15 pounds, and I'm so all about that too!

Finding Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn is the story of Miranda Carson who has traveled to London on a whim at Christmas time to find her father. The only clue she has is a photograph of a man dressed as Father Christmas with a crying boy on his lap. The photo has the studio's name and address on the back, so Miranda goes thousands of miles and halfway around the world to find a connection to someone she can call her own. First off, let me say that I am not normally a fan of Christmas books. They tend to be treacly and precious, and novellas often try to pack too much story in too few pages. This book shattered all of my preconceived notions about holiday novellas. Gunn creates a charming story with heart and great characters. Miranda wants so much to know the truth, but when she finds it, she tries to run from it. While she comes to know the truth and character about her earthly father, she also recognizes God's hand in her life. The book is the first in what should be an engaging series. The ending isn't too neat; illusions are shattered and lives will never be the same, but just as the message of Christmas is hope, so too is Gunn's book. There is a reading guide in the back, so it would be perfect for book clubs at Christmas.

We watched Meet the Robinsons this weekend on DVD. What a terrific movie! The reviews made it sound like a movie about a little boy who had been adopted by an unusual family and the message was to accept all different sorts of families. But that's not the theme at all; it's to let go of the past and keep moving forward, not allowing yourself to become bogged down by bitterness and regret. Great family movie, we'll be buying this one!


Larry said...

I love Christmas and "celebrate" year round ... thinking of the birth of Jesus. By the way, I am posting a Christmas site based on the new book "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts" which emphasizes a stress-free Christmas. It is
-- check it out.
PS Christmas is not a day on the calendar but a frame of mind.