Tag Archives: Sam Worthington

A Shack-Inspired Birthday Reflection

Ever since I saw The Shack this weekend, I haven’t been able to get its themes out of my head. Frankly, would I even want that? Nope. I think it’s great that the story sticks with me so much!

The Shack is a heartfelt story about a man, named Mack, who is lead back to life by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Literally, they appear in a shack in the woods and spend the weekend with him. Whether you’re Christian or not, it’s a good story that can reground the best of humanity within you: being good to one another, forgiving those who do wrong against you, and spreading love.

Every time I read–or now watch–The Shack, I feel like a child again.

And, especially now in my life, it’s a message I need reiterated to me.

I have found myself, especially in the past, in seemingly hurricane-like chaotic years, not focusing on love–or trusting in God–as much as I really should’ve been doing. Since Choy, my beloved feline companion died, events have transpired that have shaken me. Frankly, they’ve taken me, unwillingly, a bit away from focusing on God. My belief in him has still been strong, of course. It always will be. However, I realize in hindsight that I was going through the motions of living a strong faith; specifically, I focused on my worries rather than putting my trust in Him. It’s amazing how we can get lost in our own battles, and our fears of the future, and forget to put our trust in God–to trust things will work out the best way they should.

Truly, it’s hard to put your trust in something you can’t see. And that’s the theme of The Shack: God is always with you, his love will guide you, just let him show you the way. (Or, for those who prefer, let “her” show you the way.)

This year, as my birthday approached, I’ve been feeling more emotional as of late. Last year, I spent my special day at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, watching my father go in for melanoma surgery. Mom and I left my dad late that night, after we knew he was safe, settled and the surgery was successful. On the way home, we stopped at Olive Garden and I blew out a candle in an apple crisp dessert.

A simple, small, somewhat melancholic birthday that fell right in place with the rest of 2016.

But it’s not that specific day itself that makes me bittersweet about my birthday, it’s how the year went after dad’s surgery. That landmark moment seemed to catapult my family and I into a variety of stunning developments that grew me into a stronger Katie today. In part, I wish that some things didn’t happen; mom’s brain bleed last April, for example. But, for the most part, I’m happy for how much I’ve grown out of my shell. For example, I’ve found a hidden talent in bookkeeping that I could hone to subsidize my writing career and support my family.

All in all, even if my birthday feels a tad bittersweet, I still remain stubbornly optimistic to see the good that this new birth year brings.

I fervently aim to finish my book and get it out to agents by the time I go to New Orleans, but I am also, now, looking forward to pursuing this bookkeeping career. (If I’m being honest, I wasn’t entirely set on it until now.) I’m excited for Dan, the boyfriend, and I to get engaged and set our combined goals in motion. And I aim, with God’s help, to let my life–and the lives of those around me–be as little stressed as possible. (Especially after the taxes are completed! Hah!)

I impart this wisdom to all of you: hope is never gone, love never leaves, God never deserts you, unless you let it go yourself. As the infamous Dustin Pari says: “#NeverGiveUp!” 


For more birthday reflections and ramblings, check out my companion Youtube video, and, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, subscribe to my channel and blog!

Dual Wield Review: Everest + The Intern

This weekend I saw two movies that were phenomenal in their own ways. Everest and The Intern. I’ll admit: I had been more anxious to see Everest than The Intern. However, both entertained and spoke of values that we, as human beings all, identify with.

Everest 

Take a look at Everest’s trailer here:

“You, my friends, are following in the very footsteps of history. Something beyond the power of words to describe.”

– Rob Hall

These first words in the trailers set the tone of the movie beautifully. Everest is based on the true story of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster. Now, I remember hearing about this catastrophe around the time that it happened. I don’t remember exactly when that was, I only remember my seven year old reaction: “I’m never climbing Mount Everest.”

Basically, the disaster goes as follows: on May 10-11, 1996, Everest was full of climbers — numerous teams and some solo adventurers– all attempting to reach her summit. A fast moving blizzard surprised all of these mountaineers… and eight people lost their lives. To date, it’s one of the worst disasters ever recorded on the mountain, only surpassed by 2014’s 16 fatalities and 2015’s 18 — both from avalanches.

The movie itself caught my attention this summer. It looked like a good action movie. I completely forgot that it was based off of a true story. I just wanted to see a movie about travel, adventure, and pushing yourself to the limit. All of these themes are present in the movie. However, it strikes harder and deeper than one would expect. Maybe it’s the added element that these people existed that makes the move stick in our minds. I think that it’s definitely a strong draw.

Everest, in its way, reminds me of Titanic. Minus the Jack and Rose plot, the actual historical context of the movie is fairly accurate… and definitely hits where it hurts. That’s the reason why I’ve watched the movie so often. Not because of the romance, but the disaster, and seeing people fight for their lives. That’s the reason why I enjoy action and suspense stories, in fact: the fight for survival.

Everest is all about extreme survival. Climbers trapped in harsh conditions. Some choose to let go, others fight for as long as they can — some survive, some don’t.

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When Everest first came out, I saw a few critics giving negative reviews. Their reason? “It has no plot!” I strongly beg to differ. What critics see as a lack of plot, I see as an effort to make a movies as real as possible. For Hollywood standards, Everest did a heck of a job. They successfully made a movie, respecting the memories of these amazing adventurers. Heck, the director took the cast and crew to the base of the Himalayas, hired a professional climber, and actually filmed the whole movie on a neighboring mountain.

When I see filmmakers make an effort to tell a good story (especially if it’s based off of a true story), I admire them. So, Everest is very worthwhile to see just for that reason: it’s real.

Warning: There are graphic moments in Everest; the filmmakers respectfully show the effects of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. A man vomits blood. People freeze to death. It’s highly emotional and real, like I said. Some things are hard to watch. So be prepared for that.


The Intern

Now, for a change of mood.

Take a look at The Intern’s trailer:

For those who are in need of inspirational life-stories, The Intern is a rollicking ride. It reminds me of my favorite dramedies like Dan In Real Life and Love Actually. It’s the kind of story that speaks of life’s little challenges: growing old and following your dreams while also valuing family time. These challenges are embodied in Robert De Niro’s Ben Whittaker and Anne Hathaway’s Jules Ostin.

What’s most compelling about this movie is when Jules and Ben start working together. There’s a bit of time where the writers establish a reluctance on Jules’s part to accept Ben’s wisdom and help, mainly due to his age. Eventually it does happen, though. Ben and Jules find respect and friendship in each other. Ben finds his drive again and Jules finds a way to love her business, but be less stressed.

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Ben finds his way into the hearts of all his colleagues. They benefit from his wisdom in various ways, whether it be de-stressing Jules or teaching the other interns a classy way to dress. The theme I picked up with this movie is to respect all walks of life and help others. You never know where help will come from, and with whom.