Courage and Kindness..the Cinderella Movie

cinderella-glass-slipper-goodAs our “girl time” activity of the weekend, my daughters and I went to see the new Cinderella movie.  Since I know the Cinderella story backwards and forwards, I was ready to huff, puff, roll my eyes and noodle neck at all the gushy “love at first site” stuff.

Surprisingly, I did NOT roll my eyes, but there must have been dust in the theater because my eyes got a little misty.  Not to mention, God used my time off my cell phone to minister to me.

The new Cinderella movie gives us a little background into the character of our princess, whose real name was Ella.  We get a glimpse of Ella’s seemingly perfect childhood and her pivotal life circumstance that changed everything, the death of her mother.

We all have pivotal life circumstances that when we reflect on them, we can see the how the trajectory of our life changed for a season or perhaps a lifetime.

When Ella’s mother was on her death bed, she asked Ella to promise her one thing:  To Have Courage and Be Kind.

When Ella’s father remarried her stepmother, Ella discovered something we in real life have known a VERY long time….having courage and being kind ain’t easy. With some folks and in some situations, it is nearly impossible.

It was refreshing to see Ella, who was given the name Cinderella by her stepsisters, desperately wanting to give up. If it had been easy for her to keep looking for the best in each situation she faced and then handling her challenges with kindness and grace-filled strength, there would be no lesson.

The lesson is in the struggle.  The lesson is in having courage and being kind, even when you are not feelin’ it.

It was Cinderella’s kindness and courage that won the Prince’s heart.  Unlike in the animated movie, their first meeting was in the forest in plain clothes, not at the ball.  However, just like in the animated movie, when the Prince saw Cinderella at the ball, he was in love!

Ok annnnnnd since we all know the story….. they all lived Happily Ever After. Right?

Yes, but not before Cinderella did the most courageous thing anyone can do…she FORGAVE.  Instead punishing her  Step Mother for mistreating her, Cinderella forgave her.

Cinderella and her Step Mother both endured pivotal life circumstances.  It was how they handled the cards life dealt them that made the difference.  Cinderella could have easily become bitter like her Step Mother but she chose to be better.

So I left the theater wondering how I can be BETTER instead of bitter about my own pivotal life circumstances.

Surprisingly, my answer came from a princess but the original idea came from the King of Kings.

Have Courage –Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

and

Be Kind-Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Have Courage and Be Kind has become a new mantra for me! I love it so much, I created a printable for my desk! Want one for yourself?  Click HERE

Have Courage Be Kind Printable

Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday-Karate Kid

One of the things on my Summer Bucket list was to take my girls to see Karate Kid. On Saturday night, our entire family, (including grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and 1 college aged cousin and her friend), went to see the Karate Kid! What a treat! I remember going to the movies to see the original Karate Kid 26 years ago and it was great to watch my girls experience the 2010 Karate Kid.


As we all know, the Karate Kid is the classic underdog story. Jaden Smith played the main character just as Ralph Macchio did long ago. Jackie Chan starred as the Kung Fu Master living as a maintenance man, Mr. Hung, in the updated version. In the original film, Pat Morita played the loveable maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi. Although several critics have said that the new “Karate Kid” is way too long and lacks the humor of the first film, I really enjoyed it!

After working with eighth grade girls at my church, I have quickly learned that the humor from my childhood DOES NOT EXSIST for these girls. So the lack of humor may have been on point and totally realistic for today’s youth. In 1984, school was fun. Now, kids are expected to perform 2-3 grade levels above where they are. The youth of today, have access to so much—cell phones, my space, facebook, texting. When I was young, I did not have a cell phone and nobody I knew had one either! When someone wanted to call me, they had to call my home phone (aghast!). That usually meant that my Mom or Dad answered the phone! So, they KNEW who I was talking to and they would so politely clear their throat at 9pm to let me know that phone time was officially OVER! A 14 year old girl in our town committed suicide this year after she received harassing text messages from “friends”. This IS a different time.

So, without the classic humor from the first film, and not as many classic one liners, the 2010 Karate Kid still portrayed a message. When Mr. Hung (Jackie Chan), is teaching Jaden (Dre Parker), how to practice Kung Fu, he has him repeatedly put his jacket on and take it off—“wax on, wax off”. When Dre has finally had enough, Mr. Hung shows him how what he has been learning really IS Kung Fu. I just loved it when he said “Kung Fu is everything, it is how you put on the jacket, how you take off the jacket, it is how you treat people”. WOW!

Isn’t that a wonderful lesson for our children and for us? Your life will have ups and downs but it is essentially how you go about your day to day mundane tasks AND how you treat people that makes the difference.

1 Corinthians 9:19-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.