Shared How I Struggle to “Let It Go”

disney-frozen_elsa-wide

 

This post is in response to this article, questioning the interpretation of Frozen’s popular “Let it Go.” Firstly, let me agree that Christians should be analyzing EVERYTHING we see, hear, watch, etc in our environment as insidious messages can quickly infect our minds. However, his conclusion is that the lyrics (below), “If there ever was a song that summed up the Disney doctrine of “being true to yourself” and “following your feelings” no matter the consequences, it’s ‘Let it Go.'”

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I’m free!

 

I think like anything we interpret, you have to analyze it within the context. For those of you who haven’t seen this movie this song fits into a major revelation for the eldest daughter, Elsa.

She’s born with a special gift to create snow/winter weather/ice. She has an accident when she is young, and her parents teach her that she must hide, stuff her feelings. This daughter takes this message to heart and literally hides herself from the rest of the world, too afraid of what might happen. This character grows up, and appears to have a clinical diagnosis of a SEVERE anxiety disorder (her life and relationships were clearly negatively affected — unable to even comfort her sister after the death of their parents). Actually, I think that you could argue that this character’s fear/anxiety/insecurities caused a deeper level of selfishness. She was all her baby sister had, and instead of clinging together, she was afraid of her powers so she hid. She thought about herself instead of focusing on others.

Due to this anxiety, Elsa learns to hold on to her reality by controlling everything. She covers her hands with gloves at all times,  and avoids people or anything that would emotionally trigger her. This character believes that the answer to her problems is to be in control.

As someone who has her own share of anxieties/insecurities I really identified with this Disney princess…who for the first time ever…wasn’t presented to the world as PERFECT. The world…especially the Christian communities…still struggle with telling our members that we need to wear a mask…”conceal don’t feel.”

When Elsa has another mistake (while stuffing, not while embracing herself) she ends up running away. She has a moment of transformation where she realizes the previous way she’s been living wasn’t healthy…in her moment of freedom she dips towards the other extreme…but she also learns balances herself.

As a Christian, we need to understand the importance of letting go. Letting go of our insecurities/fears, the messages of this world, and letting go at the silly thought that we can control anything. We need to be surrendered, the way that Elsa surrendered and accepted her gift.

There are so many AMAZING messages in this movie, I would hate to throw it away due to over-analyzing a single portion.

-The romantic cliche of love is challenged.

-The song “Fixer Upper” has amazing truths about real love” You can’t change anyone,  we’re all in need of fixing, yet we can help inspire each other to change.

-Young women should be cautious about giving their hearts away, not everyone has kind or good intentions.

-Familial love is the most important of all.

-True love can help melt a frozen heart.

Those are some of the best messages I’ve observed in ANY Disney movie, and I plan to embrace them. Let alone this movie is filled with GORGEOUS designs, and music that is INCREDIBLE.

Frozen reminds me to “Let it Go” of the rubbish in my life that hinders me as a Christian.

Owned an “Evil” Pink Rifle

IMG_7220edit

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend so anything pink goes, right? ;0)

My firearms enthused husband, is an enthusiast in all aspects. He reads about new products (remind me to tell you about his new favorite…a loudener…yes as opposed to a silencer), reloads his own ammo, researches case law around the US and World,  participates in political events to educate and further our rights, trains himself tactically, AND he builds/designs rifles.

This is currently specifically limited to AR-15’s as AK’s involve more mechanical parts that would not fit in our “Office” but its on his dream list.

The  AR-15 is popular and so there is no end to the types of customization and parts available (unless your finances run out or there’s a mass panic that the firearms will be legislated away), but fundamentally the all require the same basic parts. Husband’s favorite thing is to build these rifles. Someone could easily buy these pre-built at a gun store for a hefty price tag, but he enjoys searching for deals, also knowing that by selecting each part he’s reducing the overall cost for the build, and ensuring its quality. He can also build/design these for others, provided that they put the gun physically together themselves (at least one part) otherwise he’d need an FFL license as a dealer/seller. My rifle is an AR-15, not fully automatic.

Him making the rifles for others was nice…as it is kind of an addicting behavior. Its seriously like grown up Legos, and is very therapeutic for him!

At the beginning of last summer, we were eating ice cream, and husband was daydreaming about his “next build” (there’s always a next build). He starts talking about maybe making an all white one for contrast. Then, he says “what about a pink one?” My ears perk up. “Really?!” “Sure!” It would be nice that I’d have an AR-15 custom built for me, with my specifications in mind!

IMG_7240scaled

Here: I’m going to share about the customized parts, discuss the awful stigma for these beautiful tools, opinion the “pink firearm craze”, and share the experience of my build! 

The Build

Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues with rifles for me is my lack of upper body strength. Therefore, the main goal with this rifle (besides the pink infusion) was that it would be lightweight. It has a shorter barrel (inches) and a nice optic alone. Originally, husband purchased a pink Ergo grip…I loved it! Very comfortable…the only problem is that my pinks were not going to match. So husband searched to find a complete MOE set to they’d all be the same color. There are so many different colors available at this point, and you can even have them painted to have everything match. I appreciated that my colors are a lighter/baby pink instead of a bright fuchsia pink.

The Stigma

The media likes to AR-15 wrongly labeled the “Automatic Rifle” so here are some quick facts: AR stands for Armalite Rifle. The automatic version (firing multiple rounds continuously while holding the trigger vs. pulling the trigger each time to fire one round) is the M16 and is used by the military. For the most part these are not available to civilians without extensive background checks and paperwork filed to the government. Automatic rifles are considered “more dangerous” since they can fire more rounds at once…however this also makes them less accurate due to continuous recoil etc. It is joked that this rifle is the “evil” black rifle due to the stigma. It is one of the main rifles that uneducated politicians like to hold for display (not using correct trigger finger control) to scare other uneducated individuals. They insinuate that it has the “most powerful cartridge on the market” and that it is dangerous and most likely to be used is some sort of mass murder.

Actually, some of the most powerful rifles on the market are deer and other rifles designed to shoot large game. Those need to be powerful in order to cleanly and humanely kill one’s food. Do you really want to watch poor a poor animal have a wound that is painful while she wanders around bleeding profusely, all the while scared out of her mind? Or would it be better for this animal to feel little pain/fear at the end of its life?

Also, one of the most widespread mass murder rampages, perpetrated with a gun, was a bolt action rifle (seen as one of the least harmful/powerful rifles). The problem isn’t the tool or object…it is about the person wielding said object. People need to feel like they can get help for their mental and emotional struggles. I hope I’ll be able to help my community with my Master’s in Professional Counseling soon! :0)

The Pink Craze

Going into a firearms store as a woman can be one of the worst things in the world. These owners tend to have a difficult time remember that we are each different, with different wants/needs and at different phases of our education. When I first began ALL of them encouraged me to get a revolver so much because it was less likely to jam etc that I know HATE the idea of owning a revolver.

At least the firearms industry is getting the idea that women are the fastest growing population of gun owners…and are finally designing firearms and other products with us in mind.

Personally, I love the pink stuff…I like the mix of delicate femininity on a powerful tool..I enjoy the sense of irony. I like the idea of personalizing it, knowing that it is “mine, for me” etc. I understand if you hate the pink stuff, and that they are just trying to seduce us with stereotypes… to each their own.

For the record, I’ve even had male friends admit that they buy guns sometimes simply because “they are pretty” a completely legitimate excuse that can be used by ANYONE, not females alone. Why else do you think the firearms can come in so many styles/colors/ tones? There is artistry in the mechanics, and their simple aesthetic beauty alone can be admired! But, let’s do research for our every day carry firearms…the ones that we are relying on for the protection of our lives and those of our loved ones.

My Experience

I’ve only taken my pink gun to the range once, since I was in a car accident a few days after. But I have some fun footage. I’m fully recovered now…the weather is just cold/bad/post Winter Storm Pax.

IMG_3690scaled

I LOVE that I have a firearm that was personally designed for me with care and quality. Husband used such nice parts/optics that he frequently remarks, “I’m jealous and want your rifle” I mean except that it is pink.

IMG_3670

What other accessories do you think I should add to it? I definitely could use some sort of shoulder strap, and I bet there are other ways I could personalize it in a pink color.

Think I should give it a name for fun? Something like “Lady” something or other? It could be fun.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions :0)

Happy shooting this Valentine’s Day weekend!

Traveled With My Valentine

 

Dormedit

Last Valentine’s Day I shared  about how I met my husband, and how I didn’t like him at first sight.

This Valentine’s Day, I’ll tell the story about one of my favorite gifts received.

Before we were dating, in our “talking” phase he showed up at my window and presented me with one of those stuffed animals with the long arms and Velcro paws and said, “Here’s a hug from your monkey” :0) He didn’t know this, but I’d always wanted one of those from all of the field trips in school.

My husband and I have taken a few trips together: our honeymoon, and a few trips to Nags Head, but for the most part I travel alone. I’ve been blessed and had amazing opportunities to travel on mission trips. Pretty much once a year from 2006 I was able to leave the country.

So what I do, beginning in college, when we were apart, I brought this monkey with me. It’s fun to remember that, snuggle with it, when Florida and Winter Storm Pax have currently kidnapped me.

Sometimes people have toys like this to take out into the country. All of my pictures are just of my sleeping quarters, instead of the exotic vistas. I have more pictures at home, but here are a few of the journeys this monkey has taken with me over the years:

Brazil 2007

ThailandMonkey2009

 Thailand 2009

JamaicaMonkey2010Jamaica 2010

I didn’t bring the monkey with me to Italy in 2011. The teammates had thought it was silly in 2010 that I was “sleeping with a stuffed animal.” In Italy I was unable to sleep well the first few nights :0(. So I brought him to Italy with me in 2012!

When I left for Florida to visit my dad, I made sure to bring him with me. Velcroing his paws around my neck  has helped when there have been extra days spent away from my husband. Hopefully, the storm has moved far enough north, and the airports will be clear, for me to be able to see my Valentine on Valentine’s Day!

IMG_4916

Florida 2014

(Random fact, wordpress is currently my enemy and won’t let me change the rotation of above picture :-/)

Focused on the Heart in February

Image-0001

I’m doing monthly resolutions this year (printables found here), and I’m ready to announce my goals for February. The theme is everything surround the “heart”! This means I’m going to focus my attention on my health and my relationships.

Here are the specific goals:

Relationships

-Seek to encourage my husband more and nurture our relationship by actively praying for him, and planning date nights. We have more time together than when we were first married, but it can be easy to lose focus during our random dinners out. I’ve signed up for Focus on the Family’s Date Night Challenge. We already went on date 1 and it was important for me to have a coach to remind me to “act like I’m trying to get a 2nd date”

-Focus on my relationship with Christ. It is so easy to go on “auto pilot” and coast in my Christian walk. I want to really focus on a relationship, “conversing” during prayer, and taking time to spend quality time with Him in the Bible. During college I used to love to sit outside and spend hours feasting on the Word. I think that’s when I felt the most connected because quality time is MY love language.

-Spending time visiting my parents in FL and AZ this month. I want to be diligent and kind in my conversations with them. Seeking to connect and remind them how I appreciate and love them!

-Being intentional in all of my friendships; seeking to give love instead of focusing on how I feel or receiving love.

 

Health

-Drink more water. This is easiest when there is a water bottle near me that is always full.

-Make better decisions while out at restaurants…like getting the side salad.

-Planning meals and snacks to include fruits and veggies. One of my current favorites is bell peppers, garden style cream cheese, and triscuits. Yum!

-Excercise 2-3 times a week. Really I should just be jogging that much, and doing another stretching type of routine as well. I have a race in April, so I really need to stop whining about the cold and get out there. Maybe this will be easier to relaunch with the warm weather in Florida.

I also found a new monthly resolution printable site here. I like that this one is small enough to include in my scrapbook later.

Any tips or suggestions on these resolutions? Feel free to post them!

United the Female Gun Community on Social Media

DSC_0040_edited

As the popularity of a previous post has verbalized, concealed carry for women is difficult. I go through phases were sometimes I open carry more, but then there are locations where I need to conceal carry (like church). Once you learn the fundamentals it is pretty easy to create the outfit…but I was still excited and wanted to post it on Instagram. Then, I had this really cool idea: What if there was a firearm themed “OoTD” (Outfit of the Day) hashtag on social media?

#AWOoTD or Armed Woman Outfit of the Day

Who: A club just for the ladies this time (sorry guys)

What:  Carrying or with a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun…or even a giant machine gun strapped to the top of a tank. Open carry and concealed carry would be appreciated equally (seriously, ladies let’s be friends in this area even if the guys can’t).

Where/When: Out for a day with girl friends, range trips, grocery store trips, walking the beagle, or even taking your kids to the park.

Why: Concealed carry outfit inspiration, showcase our everyday lives, remind media that the pro gun movement has just as many females (refusing to be silenced).

Concealed carrying is challenging, especially to achieve it while also attempting to feel comfortable, fashionable, and functioning in our fast paced lives. (I’m picturing you mommies who run after the kiddos, you can’t be pulling your cover garments down all day, who’s got time for that ;0)) Therefore, if we use collage photos to show each other how to accomplish this, we could aggregate all of these ideas together. I’d love to see all of the ideas that one of you creative ladies have discovered that hasn’t even crossed my mind.

I once read an article in the UK version of a fashion magazine. The author/photographer came to the United States studying the rise of popularity of firearms among women. I really admired the “everyday” images of her walking her dog, and doing chores at her house. Seeing these photos could reveal our diversity, and how much we care about incorporating these tools for protection into our daily lives. These pictures could help introduce women into the idea of regular carrying instead of feeling so intimidated.

Finally, I was just at a political rally in my state’s capital where we visited the delegates to share our opinion on upcoming legislature. There were many women, but somehow the other sides literally tend to cut us out of the picture. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence skewed this ad/image:

1531816_777169195643981_2103721329_n

Firstly, they are twisting words completely out of context and demeaning a very nice man who sacrifices for Virginia’s gun rights. Secondly, the comments on the Facebook post where this image could be found were awful! This group assumed the stereotype that more women are in the anti gun movement. When these groups do this, they are literally silencing the voices of the women who were there. They tell us that we “don’t count” and basically that we “don’t exist.”

Women are easily the fastest group of firearm owners out there, and we do not tend to be as argumentative with each other over debates like “AR vs AK, or open carry vs. conceal carry” but we are not very loud either. We are pretty quiet. Therefore, I think that if we shared our passions on social media, I think they would have to stop ignoring us.

Share this with your girlfriends and let’s get this social media party started! (I know there is already the hashtag “Women and Guns” but really a lot of those posts must be for the ogling guys as they are sexualized).

Let’s showcase our vibrant community! I’m excited to meet/see all of you! This definitely wouldn’t be possible without all of you lovely ladies out there. :0)