Saturday, December 19, 2015

Kara Views: Thor: The Dark World, Part 2

Aaand we're back! Onward to the second installment of Thor: The Dark World... (Again, internet being dumb-super-slow, so hopefully the rest of the pictures will be incorporated later... sorry if that makes it hard and/or boring to read! But hopefully you can slog through. If it helps, I have confidence in you.)

If you don't recall the first part (now with pictures!), you can read it here (do it do it do it). Ok, time to jump in.

Back on earth again, Darcy is ranting to Ian that no one will call her back, not even S.H.E.I.L.D. (Ian: What’s shield? Darcy: Secret. Shut up, intern, I’m venting here.), and then leaves another message for Selvig before seeing the news report about him on television. Gotta love Darcy. ;)

Heimdall and Thor talk in a bar (? I think?) that Malekith will return. Heimey will not go against his king’s wishes, but Thor says that Odin is blinded by hatred and by grief. Heimey agrees to do whatever Thor asks of him. Thor says it will be treason of the highest order. Success will bring the highest exile and failure will bring death. Thor acts to save Asgard so Malekith doesn’t destroy it. There are ways off Asgard that don’t use the Bifrӧst Bridge, but there is only one who knows the way. Loki.

Thor visits Loki at his cell. Loki is mistrusting and wants to know why, after all this time, Thor comes to him.
Loki: Have you come to gloat? To mock?
Thor: Loki, enough. No more illusions.
The sheen fades and we see a broken Loki. Unkempt, furniture smashed, injured, grieving. He wants vengeance and Thor admits a common interest there. He tells Loki he can have his vengeance and afterward this cell again. Thor also says he can no longer trust Loki, and that if he is betrayed he will kill him. He no longer has hope that his brother is “still in there.” There is a cut to Fandral telling Thor Loki will betray him, to which Thor answers, “He will try.”

They walk together down a hall, Loki is clearly excited to be out. Now we come to one of the best exchanges in this film:
Loki: This is so unlike you, brother. So… clandestine. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather punch your way out?
Thor: If you keep talking, I just might.
Loki: Fine, as you wish. I’m not even here. (He shifts into a simple Asgardian soldier in full armor) Is this better?
Thor: It’s better company at least.
Loki: Still, we could be less conspicuous. (He shifts back to himself, and changes Thor into Sif) Mm, brother, you look ravishing.
Thor: It will hurt no less when I kill you in this form.
Loki:
Very well, perhaps you prefer one of your new companions, given that you seem to like them so much. (Thor returns to his own form, and Loki becomes Captain America in full costume) Oh, this is much better! Woah. Costume’s a bit much. So tight! But the confidence. I can feel the righteousness surging. Hey! Wanna have a rousing discussion about truth, honor, patriotism? God bless Amer- (Thor stops his mouth and puts him against the wall and he returns to his own form) What? (he follows Thor’s gaze at a pair of guards passing by) You could at least furnish me with a weapon. My dagger. Something! (Thor puts something in Loki’s hands, we hear metal) At last, a little common sense. (He holds up his hands and we see they are in handcuffs.)
Thor:
(smiles) I thought you liked tricks. (he chuckles)
We keep going back to the planning table as we see their conversation and how it actually plays out. Jane meets Loki. She has a penchant for slapping people. At least Loki deserves it. Odin gives the order to stop Thor with any means necessary. Sif threatens Loki before he leaves with Thor: betray him and I’ll kill you. Moments later, we see Volstagg threaten Loki if he betrays Thor as well.
Volstagg: If you even think about betraying him –
Loki: You’lllllllll kill me? Evidently there will be a line.
Loki and Thor are taking a ship from the hall (one of the villain's abandoned ones) to escape, and Thor has no idea what he's doing. Push the button/I am. Hahaha. Loki keeps telling him what he's doing wrong or that he should do something. This leads us to “Shut up, Loki," which is one of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard Thor say. It just seems so out of place for Mister Proper Speech. And we get to hear it again! Thor turns the ship around in the hall taking out most of the columns.
Loki: I think you missed a column.
Thor: Shut up!
Jane is collapsed on the floor but tells Thor she’s ok when he asks. Asgardian ships are following and shooting at them. Loki is being a very diligent commentator. “Well done, you just decapitated your grandfather.” Thanks for that, Captain Obvious. I preferred you as Captain America.
Loki: This is a tremendous idea. Let’s steal the biggest most obvious ship in the universe and escape in that! … It’s brilliant, Thor! It’s truly brillia-
(Thor hurls Loki out of the ship and jumps out with Jane in his arms, into a skiff piloted by Fandral.)
Fandral: (laughing) I see your time in the dungeon has made you no less graceful, Loki.
Loki: You lied to me! (he smiles) I’m impressed.
Nice one, Thor and Fandral. Nice.

Now the boys are fighting. Shocking. Ahahaha, Loki calls it out. Even their mother wouldn’t be shocked at their fighting. Loki tells Thor to trust his rage. Loki apparently loved Frigga. Good to know.

Meanwhile, Darcy and Ian are pretending Ian is Erik Selvig’s son so they can get him out of the mental hospital. Selvig embraces Darcy and won’t let go until she tells him it’s “getting weird now.”
Ian: Are you alright?
Selvig: I’ve had a god in my brain. I don’t recommend it.
(A flock of birds swirls around Selvig, Darcy and Ian as they leave the hospital. The birds then disappear into a portal.) WELL THAT WAS VERY 'THE BIRDS.' NO THANK YOU. Selvig, at least likes it, because it proves the world is crazier than he is, and he dumps his meds in a trash can.

Jane wakes up on the ship and has demon eyes. She knows Malekith is near. She whispers his name, which is creepy.

Battle scene. Thor and Loki and Jane approach Malekith and his army. Thor still does not trust Loki, as is right, especially since as soon as his handcuffs are off, he pulls his dagger and stabs Thor, kicking him down the mountain. Saying he never cared about Frigga or any of them. He cuts off Thor’s hand as he reaches for the Mjӧlnir. Um, No?

Loki takes Jane and gives her to Malekith. Thor is shown grasping his bleeding stump of a wrist, writhing on the ground in the background. Malekith kicks him over, and raises Jane into the air. He begins to remove the Aether from her as we see the worlds aligning and the Aether doing its work of creating darkness in her mind. She falls to the ground and Thor shouts “Loki! Now!” Ah, yes, I recall. Loki gestures toward Thor whose illusion fades and he stretches his arm (which is completely fine) out to grab the Mjӧlnir. Loki covers Jane as Thor strikes the Aether still hanging in the air with lighting from the Mjӧlnir. It is shredded but not destroyed. It begins to reassemble itself. Malekith seems to have control over it. Yep. It soars into him. Now he has demon eyes. (Like he needed to be any creepier.) One of the soldiers throws a disintegrating bomb and Loki throws Jane out of the path, which means he is sucked toward it. Thor flies by, saving him. They fight the soldiers of Malekith as he gets away on his ship. Loki is surrounded but does fairly well for himself. Thor is being pummeled by the large beasty thing like what we saw in the prison at Asgard. Loki stabs it from behind. It turns and pulls Loki onto the spears. Loki activates the imploding bomb. Loki is dying, and Thor is sad. He hadn’t actually given up hope, now, had he? He says he’ll tell their father what Loki did to save his people, the people of Asgard. Loki says he didn’t do it for Odin, and then Loki dies.

Side note: Is it bad that I still don’t trust Loki enough to believe that he’s dead? I mean, I know I just watched it, but I can’t remember how this ends, and yet I still think he’s gonna resurface…

Jane tells Thor what she saw – Malekith on earth. Thor comforts her that by finding the Aether, she kept Malekith from finding it that much longer. Their tender moment is interrupted by her terrible ringtone, which she answers. It’s Richard (Chris O’Dowd has a name!) and he’s adorable. She keeps him on the line so she can find the portal. Nice job, scientist. Thor and Jane get in the car they find (her car from earlier?) and they go to the apartment. Ah, yes, Thor hanging Mjӧlnir on the coatrack. Haha.

Selvig is thrilled that Loki’s dead but at least he has the courtesy to say he’s sorry.

Oh crap Loki. That soldier doesn’t look like Loki, but I bet you it is. Dang it. He tells Odin a body was found and Odin says “Loki” confirming to Loki that Odin expects him to fail. Boo. Loki and his grudges.GRR.

Of course the coordinates lead to Greenwich. Everything happens in England (see: Doctor Who). They go to Greenwich and start setting up the thing (that no one explains and Ian and Darcy don’t understand) and Malekith’s ship arrives. Screaming, running people, concrete being torn up, you know: the usual.

Something creepy’s going on with the sky. Ah, hello Thor. Malekith is now integrated with the Aether so it’s subject to his will. Great. Nice play by Thor to use the portals. Darcy and Ian get moved by the thing and two of Malekith’s soldiers appear. Ian screams like a little boy. Darcy grabs him and they run.

People in the library are taking pictures and video of Thor out the window instead of running for their lives. Jane calls them out. They point out that “Thor’s out there, with his hammer and everything!” Silly humans more concerned with getting footage of Thor than running for your life. Nice commentary there, writers/directors/producers.

A battle scene ensues between Thor and Malekith as well as the British army? and other ones? that takes us between portals constantly. Ian saves Darcy by using the low gravity to hit the alien soldiers with a car.

And here we have my other favorite interaction:
Darcy and Ian appear through a portal while kissing.  

Jane: Darcy?
Darcy: (drops Ian) Jane!
Erik: Ian!
Ian: Selvig!
Darcy: Mew-mew!
Thor’s Mjӧnir zooms by. 
If I didn't love how she says "mew-mew!" so much, I'd say she really needs to learn the word.

Thor winds up in a tube station, gets on to go back to Greenwich, we have the funny mini-scene of the woman falling against him as the tube starts up – and his cheeky little smirk.

We’re out of time! The Aether is encompassing Malekith’s ship and up into the other worlds. Thor takes the sticks from Jane. He can get close enough. Jane looks (rightly) worried. 

Thor, intelligently, throws the sticks at him so he thinks it’s a weapon – he catches it and loses limbs to other areas.
Malekith: The Aether cannot be destroyed.
Thor: But you can.
Classic hero-to-villain line.

Thor runs at him as he stretches his hand out for his hammer. He defeats Malekith, but falls to earth. Jane runs to protect him from the falling ship. Selvig does the trick one last time and the ship falls on Malekith on his homeworld instead. Thor will be ok. Darcy turns to kiss Ian because why not? The world’s been saved.

The scene shifts to the apartment (Jane's) a couple days later. Darcy reassures her he’ll come back, though last time it was two years… Jane says Thor had some things to work out with his father. After all, he did commit treason on his way out.

Odin talks with Thor in the throne room. Thor says he cannot be king, but he will protect it with his last breath. He says he’d rather be a good man than a great king. He tells Odin he doesn’t do it for Jane, that whatever he does is
Odin: One son who wanted the throne too much, and one who does not want it at all. Is this to be my legacy?
Thor: Loki died with honor. I will try to do the same. Is that not legacy enough?
Odin refuses to give his blessing. But then he says: If I were proud of the man my son had become, even that I could not say. It would speak only from my heart. Go, my son. (Finally, some caring coming through... I think.)

Aaaand, then we see Odin is actually Loki in one of his illusions. Great. (I TOLD you he’d be back!)

The credits roll.

Credits scene: This is obviously a teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy. Though why Sif and Volstagg are there doesn’t make sense to me. The Collector is creepy. The tesseract. Right. So he’s going to keep it safe. Uh, right.
The Collector: One down. Five to go.
So he’s collecting them for the evil guy? The red one I can’t recall the name of right now?? What the heck?

The music swells as the rest of the credits roll. This stuff is so … it makes you want to DO something. It’s like … motivational music. Thrilling in the best way. Then it slips into what sounds like loyalty-to-country-slash-funeral music for Frigga. Sad/soothing. I like this kind too. Good job, composer(s) and musicians.

After credits scene!
In the apartment, everyone (Darcy, Ian, Selvig, Jane) putzing around. We hear thunder. Thor appears on the balcony and Jane rushes out to meet him. They embrace in a kiss.*

Then, randomly, we see birds flying out of the warehouse and a giant lizard thing appearing next to it and chasing them. Guys, Jurassic World isn’t in the Marvel world. Wrong franchise. (Haha, yes, I know, it's one of the things from Malekith's world that escaped and is harmless or something. Still it looks like a Jurassic creature and a mistake of which world we're in - but it is funny.)

OK! That’s the end of my take on Thor: The Dark World! *whew*

*End note: The end scene of Thor and Jane kissing is Chris Hemsworth and his wife, Elsa Pataky, who’s the same height and build as Natalie Portman, as she (Natalie) was unavailable to shoot the additional scene. How sweet. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Kara Views: Thor: The Dark World

Because movies (especially like this) are long, sometimes (like now) I will opt to break it into a couple (or more) posts. This one will be two.

I have seen Thor: The Dark World before, but it’s been a while, and I had not seen the rest of the Marvel movies leading up to it when I did. Then, about 6 months ago, I decided to start with Iron Man and watch them in order of release (skipping only The Hulk with Edward Norton). About a month and a half ago I watched Iron Man 3, which brings us to today. I’m really mostly watching it again since I now have more context for it and may catch more references this time around (don’t hold your breath), and I also really want to watch Cap 2, which I won’t do until I’ve seen this again. Plus, who doesn’t love a little Zac Levi? (That’s right folks, he’s in this one.) ;)

The Marvel music begins (listen!)
  with the Marvel pre-credits logo rolling and what began as an “I’ll-watch-this because-I’m-making-myself” has turned into an “I-can’t-wait-for-this-to-start.” The type of excitement you feel in your chest because the anticipation has grown so high. Music goes a long way fast, people. Good composers are not appreciated enough. I am seriously grinning where moments ago I looked like I couldn’t be more bored.

Ah, Anthony Hopkins with the intro voice over. “Dark elves…” will never cease to make me think of The Lord of the Rings. Sorry not sorry. And hello, Nine. Oh wait, I mean Malekith. Right – he’s evil in this one (like most other things he’s been in). Good to see Christopher Eccleston anyway, even if he’s an evil alien-god-type creature.

The Aether looks terrifying. It’s like blood that floats through the air. Oh this is history, right. Ok so Odin’s father Bor fought this war against Malekith. You have to admit, even in alien tongue, Chris Eccleston has a great voice. Very commanding. Terrifying. The dark elves fall because Asgard takes the weapon from Malekith, who then sacrifices his people to keep the chance to rebuild his homeworld.
Odin: And the Aether was no more. Or so we believed.
Bor: Bury it deep where no one will find it. Yeah, that’ll work.
Loki in chains, still smirking as always. It’s in these moments that I see why people find him appealing. Of course Tom Hiddleston is, himself, but Loki is evil. Perhaps not the same evil as Malekith, but not good like Thor, or even Odin.

Odin, for having been a fairly good father, is suddenly very harsh and mean with Loki. Which, given what happened in Thor makes some sense, but taking and raising Loki as a son to then simply yell at him (literally) that his birthright is not a kingdom (though he was born a prince) but rather was to die seems to be going a bit overboard.

Thor and his friends are in battle on Vanaheim presumably to “fix what Loki has done” as Odin said, and we get our first glance at Zachary Levi taking over the role of Fandral.

Side note: I just remembered we’ll get more Darcy in this movie, and I cannot wait. I love her.

Uh, giant stone looking giant thing. Not good. Of course, as were only about 5 minutes into this movie, I’m sure Thor will beat him. Probably easily. Yup. One swing of the hammer.
Thor: Anyone else?
Cheeky.
Fandral:

 Oh, you.






Seems the peace is nearly won and Thor thanks the leader there saying he can come to Asgard later. Heimdall takes them home.
Odin: You must think I’m a piece of bread, that needs to be buttered so heavily.
Ooh, son, don’t tell me I should be there, you did just fine without me.
Odin warns Thor of his confused and distracted heart, and Thor immediately mentions Jane. Odin tells him that the lives of humans are short, and he should embrace his victory and prepare to ascend the throne as king.

Celebrations. Men with arms around multiple women and drinking to celebrate success of the battle. This is what it is always like in these historic type settings in movies. Um, probably for historical reasons?

Meanwhile, on earth, Jane is on a date. Why is Jane on a date? But that guy… (who is he? … ah, yes, Chris O’Dowd.) I like him, but he certainly won’t win out against Thor. Poor guy. OH, poor guy! Poor cheated on guy. Aw. :(


DARCY! Yay! I love that she just sits down and starts eating. She never stops talking, does she? Jane says she better have ReASONS for interrupting. Oh, she has reasons. She mentions the “science-y thing” and that it seems to be malfunctioning but that the readings are ones that Erik was talking about. Wait, I can’t recall if Erik (Selvig) got… er… fixed? or not. Is he still under Loki’s spell? Or is he crazy because he has been?

Repeating sea bass isn’t gonna help, Jane. Give up. Go with Darcy. Good girl. Thank you. Bye O’Dowd. Good luck with the next one.

Darcy has an intern. Hilarious. He’s adorable. Darcy is a crazy driver, as you would expect. Not sure where they’re going. Maybe to their lab to check out the “science-y thing.”

Oh, I’m recalling as Jane calls Selvig, that he’s nuts in this one. Yup. iTV news with the story. We are in London, after all.
Darcy: Come on, this is exciting. Look! The intern is excited!
Ian: Ian.
Darcy: (ignoring him completely, speaking to Jane) Do you want the phase-meter? Look dude, I can’t be bothered to remember who you are. I’m just excited there’s an intern, ok? OK. (my insertion)
Jane: No.
Darcy: Bring the phase-meter. (chucks the keys at Ian) The toaster-looking thing.
Ian: (mostly to himself) Yeah, I know what the phase-meter is.
Oh Ian, don’t worry. I bet you’ll get her in the end (he does, right? I can’t recall)
They walk toward an abandoned building.
Darcy: (to Jane) The intern says it’s this way.
Ian: Ian, my name’s Ian.
Makes you wonder how long Darcy’s had him around. Too funny. She’s like Fandral in reverse. Poor Ian. Now there’s a floating truck. Weird. I forget what this means. Portal? It’s very Doctor Who. Or, ahem, Portal. And now we’ve lost the phone. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don’t. Now you tell me.
Jane: I haven’t seen readings like this since…
Darcy: New Mexico? (smirks) Gimme your shoe.
Car keys in the portal. Good idea Ian. Good grief.

Um. Jane just got sucked through a wall. Not good. She shouts for Darcy, but of course she’s likely on another world now. Hey, that looks like the Aether. Not good at all! I’m didn’t remember that this movie was this dark. Oh, things are coming back to me now. This is NOT GOOD. Jane collapses and we see Malekith’s ship floating in space and it seems he is waking up out of a deep slumber.
Malekith: The Aether awakens.
No crap, dude.

On Asgard, Thor comes to speak with Heimdall.
Heimdall: You’re late.
Thor: Merriment can sometimes be a heavier burden than battle.
Heimdall: Then you’re doing one of them incorrectly.
Haha. Nice jab, Heimey.

Heimdall and Thor discuss the convergence and Jane. Heimey (yes, I'm calling him that from now on) says he can no longer see her, at which point we cut to her being enveloped by the Aether. She awakens in the middle of the warehouse and rushes outside and starts yelling at Darcy. And uh, it’s not raining on her. Weird.

Thor’s here! She runs to him, leaving Darcy in the rain, and smacks him. Haha. Twice. Ok, gimmicky, but whatever. This is the sappy part. Not gonna lie, sappy as it is, I do love it. I am a chick-flick girl, after all.

Seriously, this could just be a post of the things Darcy says which crack me up. Which is about 99% of her dialogue. One more interaction, and then I’ll try to stop.
Darcy: (interrupting said cheesy moment with Thor and Jane, pointing to sky, addresses Thor) Is this you?
The rain stops.
Jane: Uh, we’re kinda in the middle of something here.
Darcy: Um, I’m pretty sure we are getting arrested.
Jane: (to Thor) Hold that thought. (She heads toward the police.)
Darcy: (to Thor, poking his chest and grinning) Look at you! Still all muscly and everything. How’s space?
Thor: Space is fine.
Seriously. Laughing out loud and bothering my neighbors.

Jane blows up the whole (little) area when the policeman tries to take her arm. It’s the Aether, and it’s creepy. Thor runs to her and helps her up. Then they are beamed up (sorry, don’t know what else to call it) by Heimey (not Scotty haha, ok sorry) to Asgard. At least this time Darcy sees it happen so she knows Jane’s not exactly lost.

On Svartalfheim, his homeworld, Malekith discovers that the Aether has indeed woken, but is no longer there. He declares his intentions to make Asgard pay and to reclaim his world.

Jane is being cared for on Asgard as Thor looks on. Oh, that girl, the nurse talking to Thor… she’s from Doctor Who too. She was in the Library. Sorry, chute. Back to the movie. This nurse tells Thor Jane won’t survive the amount of energy surging through her. Jane proves her smarty pants brain by knowing what it is they’re doing – even if they use a different name for it.

Dear old dad (Odin) says to send her to earth for their doctors to deal with her – that is, until she can’t be touched without her body (the Aether, really) defending itself. Ah, yes, now Odin will help. As it’s related to the Aether. Apparently, it can take host bodies and uses their life force to bring darkness. And the book Odin has doesn’t give instruction for removing the Aether. Great. Also, Odin believed the Dark Elves were all killed by Bor, his father, which we know isn’t true, and that the Aether was destroyed, which he now knows isn’t true because it’s there, in Jane. Super smart, aren’t you, Odin.

Malekith’s servant Algrim is very true. He will sacrifice and destroy everything for his leader’s cause. Always good to have a loyal servant.

Loki in prison. His mother visits him, how nice. But he is ungrateful and rude to her.
Loki: …I was born to be a king.
Frigga: A king? A true king admits his faults.
Touché, my lady.

He tries to touch her hand and she disappears. She was only there as a projection or perhaps she can appear and disappear like Loki can. In any case…does that mean she’s projecting in, or that he’s imagining her there? Odin did say he’d not see her again. Perhaps not in physical proximity.

Thor and Jane talk on a balcony. He’s always the protector of Jane while sort of guarding her with his stance. He explains the convergence of the worlds to her. All I can thing is that her hands are tiny compared to his. It’s sort of funny.

Ew. Down in the dungeons someone has just pulled a heart out of someone (or maybe out of himself), and the guy looks like he’s gonna explode…so his heart was a grenade pin? Yep. He’s some kind of fire being. Trying to escape. Prisoners dying by being forced against the cages’ electrical-magical barriers. Who is this guy? He looks sort of like Malekith’s armor, so maybe it’s Algrim? Or one of their race at least? In any case he kills a couple guards and frees other prisoners, but does not free Loki, despite their touching moment staring at each other. Loki suggests the real way out for him.

Fandral’s making the jokes while trying to subdue the prisoners. Loki sitting in a corner reading like he’s a content as anything. Thor comes to help get everything under control Odin gives instructions to his army to deal with the issue. Frigga obviously has a plan and tells Jane to do everything she asks, no questions.

Cut to Heimey running up the bridge because he’s amazing and could see the ship even though it was invisible. Nice but not quick enough. Sorry Idris. He does manage to crash it, but as it was only a decoy, the others come quickly behind it. Just like that, they’re at war with Malekith.

Many are dead in the halls of Odin, and the guy we saw in the prison (not Algrim, turns out he’s with Malekith) walks into the heard of the palace and disables the shield. The ships fly directly into the building. So much damage. Fandral and Thor react to the dust falling on their heads in the dungeon. Loki looks smug, and not at all surprised. Creepy as usual.

Malekith apparently didn’t lose all his people because there are many of them fighting for him now. They have a weapon that seems to disintegrate whomever it hits. Malekith saunters in, heading toward the throne, and destroys it with a disintegrating bomb thing. We get a shot of Loki as the only one still in his cell. Odin realizes that Frigga will be attacked in her rooms. Malekith walks into her chambers and they fight. Jane hides as she has been instructed, but Malekith knows she has the Aether, and he wants it back. But of course, Frigga has projected her there so she is safe. Frigga dies at the hand of Algrim, and Thor arrives a moment too late. He attacks Malekith, but he gets away. Odin and Thor grieve over Frigga and Jane enters the room.

The scene shifts to Frigga’s funeral. It is a somber moment, but there are few tears. She is put out to sea on her berth, and arrows are shot to light it aflame as it sails over the waterfall. She turns into starlight and is drawn into the heavens of Asgard. Loki is informed, and after the guard leaves him, we see the slightest emotion from him as he throws all his furniture with one swift movement of his power.

Erik Solveig is teaching the details of the alignment to... the mental ward, and we get our Stan Lee cameo.

The Aether calls to Jane. She sees it taking over all of Asgard. Her eyes look like a demon’s. But when she blinks it clears and she’s herself again. She’s brought before Odin. Fandral tells the King
that they are all but defenseless. Thor comes to discuss his plan with Odin, which involved Malekith taking the Aether from Jane and destroying it and him when it is vulnerable. Odin would rather use every drop of Asgardian blood to wipe him out than risk losing against Malekith. Thor asks him how he is different from Malekith, and Odin says “because I will win.” Ok, then.

Until next week....

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Kara Views: When Calls the Heart

I recently finished watching season one of this Hallmark Channel Original series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shout out to Stephanie who gave me the kick in the pants to start watching it! I had begun once before but had trouble getting into it, and gave up. She encouraged me to keep going and I'm so glad I did. It's cheesy, old-west-y, Hallmark-y goodness. This will be a long post because of the inclusion of the season one background information.

**Note: This show likes to change scenes OFTEN. So, while I'll try to keep it clear that we're changing by not just having one big body of text, I apologize in advance for the back and forth and back again nature of this. It doesn't make for good writing. But it is what it is. I'll try to still make it worth reading - and not give you a headache in the process!

Season one synopsis from dove.org:
“When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.
Here come the spoilers, so you're ready for season two.

There are several characters I love who deserve more space than this, but for getting-going reasons, I will just give you the major plot points that are important to move forward. When/if we encounter these other folks, I'll fill you in as we go. When we ended season one, Mr. Gowan (head of the mining company, and thus, basically the whole town) was being as evil as usual and worrying all of us that he will do something dastardly to ruin our lives. Elizabeth decided to stay in Coal Valley instead of taking a teaching job back home near her rich family. Abigail was falling for the lawyer Bill Avery who's helping with the case of the mine disaster. Or, she was until she found a picture of his wife and child in his room when he asked her to get something for the judge. AND, Mountie Jack finally (!) told Elizabeth how he really felt (she's the one!).


So now, we move on to season two! Episode one is "Trials of the Heart." Woah, we've got an hour and a half to go on this one. Ok. GO.

Well if the credits are any indication, Elizabeth's going home and it's going to seem very ... Downton Abbey. Not sure I'm ok with that (much as I loved Downton).

Oh, I forgot how adorable Jack is. He's super adorable. And he's teasing her already. Ah, new love. Haha. Of course, in the middle of the most adorable (read: cheesy) riding lesson every, we are treated to Mr. Gowan meeting the new judge. Ew. Gowan gives me the creeps.

Shoot. Jack's ex-fiance is still here. Forgot about her and that she was gonna stay. Miss Rosemary LaVeaux with her giggles and false friendliness. She's super annoying and frustrating.

The lawyer arrives, and is a woman. How shocking for this town and time. Good old high strung Florence is gonna hate this. Yup, she does. She wants to hire someone else who won't lose. Good ol' Jack welcomes Miss Samantha (Sam) Madison and says he's grateful she's here. Keeper of the peace, that guy.

And why, why (!?) is the judge friends with Gowan. The last judge (who was known to be cantankerous) has recently left under strange circumstances.
Judge Parker: You didn't have anything to do with that now, did you Mr. Gowan?
Gowan: Man got bit by a rattlesnake...
Judge Parker: Yes, in his room!
Gowan: (smirking) An unfortunate situation. Because I did it but don't want to get caught. 
(I will sometimes put words in their mouths. Hey, if the shoe fits...)

Sam Madison (the lawyer for the widows) seems suspicious of these men. Rightly so. And the judge isn't playing nice with her. Only with Gowan and his lawyer. Ugh. At least the widows are being friendly with her now.

Jack checks in with Elizabeth and Abigail about Madison and the judge.
Jack: Let's just say... I have heard he has a unique interpretation of justice.
Oh crud. 

Abigail has a confrontation with the judge who's playing poker with the defendant (Gowan). At least it gave Abigail and Bill Avery time to clear the air. I wondered if it was that his family had died. Sheesh. Glad that's cleared up. Now they can go back to their courting in peace (for now... I expect Gowan will shake things up somehow. It always seems to be him).


And of course, Elizabeth and Rosemary (Jack's ex), are cooking together at Abigail's cafe for the afternoon so Abigail can have some time with Bill. Jack walks in on them fighting (well, Rosemary's very passive aggressive and Elizabeth is her blunt self) about who's the better cook. Those of us watching know Elizabeth burns most things. When they notice him standing there, he just says, "You know, uh, I'm really not that hungry after all," and tries to leave. Good luck, Jack.

Nope. Both ladies are going to make him try it. Yikes. Good man, as always he eats Elizabeth's - and doesn't grimace. At least she admits she's not a great cook.

Ah, what's this? A telegram? Elizabeth, your mother's sick. Come home as quickly as you can. SHOCKING. (grr.) Jack is gonna go with her to ensure a safe journey. He insists. How gentlemanly. But I smell issues with the rich family coming on...

Mr. Sweeney, who we've never heard of, is apparently going to testify because he knew Noah (Abigail's deceased husband). Gowan's report is a forgery. Again, shocking. But for some reason, I don't trust this guy. One witness with no paper report... they'll need all the luck and prayer they can get. I'm concerned about this witness. Especially with his reaction to "oh, you'll only pay me for this with food." I mean he seems ok with it, but... I don't think he really is.

In Hamilton, Jack and Elizabeth run into a "friend" of hers as they get off the train. Jack is making me laugh out loud.
Elizabeth: Very upper crust. Her family's been around forever.
Jack: Like the plague.
Haahaha. You go Jack.

A random girl walks out of the train station and sees an article in the newspaper about the upcoming coal mining trial, looks concerned, and walks off. What is that about? Weird. WEIRD.

Now, we see a motorcycle coming into Coal Valley and all the young boys are fascinated. Who's this guy? This show has taught me to not trust anyone. Good grief. And he's already flirting with Rosemary. Oh my.

Hamilton again, and we meet the family. Oh Julie, her little sister. Naive but sweet. And Viola her older sister. Not super excited to see her sister. Good times. Ah, it's because we all know Jack has kissed her. Scandalous! Viola seems like a peach. (Smell the sarcasm?) And her father, Mr. William Thatcher, is exactly as you'd expect him to be. Don't upset your mother with anything which of course means, don't even think about Jack. *rolls eyes*

Jack and Elizabeth meet in town and he says she owes him another kiss to pay for horse riding lessons. She kisses him on the cheek and says, "Consider it a down payment." We then get to see Daniel Lissing's adorable dimples. Nice perk to this show.

Trial time in Coal Valley. Gah. Gowan is evil and Judge Parker seems to be in his pocket. Gowan's counselor is a suck up and creepy too. Yuck.

Back to the big house... sisters talking about Jack... and we run into CHARLES? Who the heck is Charles?! Shoot. I smell love triangle (numero dos). Blech. Just let these people be happy, people! Charles is a handsome devil, I'll give you that. And of course, they haven't seen each other for several years. And he works for her father. Her parents are too proud of this set up.

Jack meets Tom, his brother at a bar in Hamilton. You've grown. You too. Aww. But of course Tom's a troublemaker.

Mr. Sweeney's up at the trial, and he is a liar. He gets on the stand and says the opposite of what he said to them in the cafe. He's been paid off. Gross. So much speculation. So much lying. This is so irritating. I knew that Sweeney was bad news. And he's running away! Coward.

Rosemary and the motorcycle stranger are talking about the trial and she wonders why he's interested. Yes, good question Rosemary. Why IS a stranger interested in the mine trial. And does he have a connection to that strange woman we saw earlier? Hm...

We now follow a lovely walk in the garden at the Thatcher's house. Aw, Charles and Elizabeth grew up together. Great. (He really seems nice...) The truth of it - C: Elizabeth, are you ruling out coming home? What exactly is keeping you there? Something other than teaching? E: Yes. He's very special. Charles at least takes this well and says they can remain friends, that nothing will stop that (not giving up, are we chap?). Her father is spying and hoping they'll get together, but her mom knows better than to get hopes up prematurely. She's also lightheaded. Not good.

Back at the trial, the judge overrules a request for a mistrial and calls for closing statements. Oh! The mystery woman shows up, finds the mystery man, and is looking for "Mr. Sam Madison"... let's hope she's a witness. Hugs to the lawyer, good, I think this is good. Oh crap, was Noah cheating? No! Oh my. She's Clara Stanton. Peter Stanton's widow. Peter was the son. We did NOT know he was married. And we have the original report! Hooray! That's right Gowan, rub your eyes. You've lost. Thank goodness the judge isn't crooked enough to throw things out without cause. Seems this might actually be ok. (That's Gowan to the left there. Grim, huh? Sometimes I wish he'd be redeemed but I don't expect it will happen.)

Gowan and his counselor are trying to figure out how to get out of this, and literally have a conversation about how to prove the girl was lying (she wasn't, which is clear from their conversation). Pay whatever it takes. Ew.

Back to Tom and Jack in the bar in Hamilton. Tom got in a fight and put in jail. "No big deal..." and he's a drinker. Great. And he owes people money. Aaaand of course they get thrown out just in front of Elizabeth and her sisters. And also of course, Julie has a crush on Tom, because he's male and he moves and she just met him.

Gowan's lawyer is trying to bribe the judge. Parker says it's a federal crime, and is told by the lawyer to think of it as future poker game winnings. He tells the lawyer he's very clever. Ugh.

Abigail and Clara (Peter's bride) bonding over the only picture she has - of their wedding. How sweet. And heartbreaking.

HOORAY THE JUDGE MADE THE RIGHT CALL. But now the mine is shut down so no one has jobs. And Gowan is lying about his part in it. But it can't be proven, and Gowan too is an employee so he's out of a job... but I bet he's not done yet. That's scary in it's own right.

Still don't know who mystery man is...and Clara won't entertain the thought of staying. Something's up...

Oh yeah, the judge gave his bribe to Abigail. Nice.
Judge Parker: Mrs. Stanton, this is for the widow's fund. (He opens the bag slightly so she can see how much money there is.) And if you tell anyone, I'll say you're a liar.
Cheeky. ;)

Now we're gonna be a saw mill town instead of a coal town. Ok...? The mystery man, who's name is Leland Coulter, asks for a guide to help him find an office for his mill. Abigail made me laugh by rolling her eyes at Rosemary's jump to be Coulter's guide. Also, now Abigail can move on with Bill. New life. New start.

Jack brought flowers to the party for the mother. Sweet. He's not just an escort for your daughter, lady. He's in love with her. 
Hoity-toity sounding Aunt Agatha: William who's the man in the suit?  
William (Elizabeth's father): Elizabeth's Mountie friend. I hate him simply because I don't know him and he's obviously not rich, and so I am going to keep pushing Charles Kensington at her.
Ew. Charles arrives and he brought flowers too - and they're more fancy than Jack's. Elizabeth introduces them and then is whisked off by her mother to talk to her aunt. This conversation ensues:

Charles: So, the life of a Mountie must be dangerous. Especially on the frontier. Jack: Yeah, it has its good days and its bad days.
Charles: I'm guessing having to escort Elizabeth to Hamilton was one of the good days.
Jack: That wasn't an assignment.
Charles: Oh. So she asked you to come.
Jack: Well actually, I insisted.
Charles: (looks uncomfortable) Well, I'm glad you did. She can be rather
          independent.
          Jack: Ha! Yeah, I've noticed. even if it isn't always in her best interest. (brief pause) So, 
          working with Elizabeth's father must be interesting.
          Charles: He's really taken me under his wing. Sometimes it feels like I'm the son he never           had. Take that, Mountie. (Charles walks away.)  

dun dun DUNNNN

The dinner conversation revolving around horses (boring) and Jack's being thrown out of a "drinking establishment" (uh, oh for Jack) ended up being quite entertaining. Even for Aunt Agatha. Nice.

After a joke from Jack regarding dessert, Aunt Agatha is quickly starting to become a favorite of mine:
Aunt Agatha: Your Mountie has a very nice sense of humor, my dear.
Elizabeth: He isn't my Mountie, Aunt Agatha.
Aunt Agatha: (raises eyebrows) Oh, isn't he?
Dear old dad brings Jack a drink while they all watch Charles and Elizabeth play the piano together. Jack is trying to be as polite as possible, without backing down from Elizabeth. Her father is playing the "she follows her heart instead of her head" card. Not fair. She deserves money? Is that what you're saying dad? Jack for the win.
Jack: I'm sure you don't have to worry about that sir. If she follows her heart, I'm sure she'll be just fine. 
In Coal Valley, Rosemary and Coulter are flirting again. Ok if Rosemary goes for this Leland Coulter guy, I might grow to like her. Also, just like that we're changing the name of the town? I mean I get that it's weird to have a town that doesn't do coal be called Coal Valley, but that seems abrupt. The trial just ended an hour ago (I'm estimating in-world time).

Oooo, Jack pulled out the "Miss Thatcher" to say goodbye at the Thatcher's party. Not good. Poor Jack. Poor Elizabeth.

Shoot. During a brief encounter between Coutler and Bill Avery we see that Bill has a packet of what looks like counterfeit or bribe money for something we don't know yet. WHY. He JUST got back on our good sides. I don't know if Coulter saw it or not.

Ok I like Hope Valley. Good choice on the new town name, people. Gowan buddies up to Coulter after the name reveal. Coulter, don't trust Gowan! Gowan says he's staying in town because it's such a good town, and he'll take advantage of any opportunity he can. Taking advantage indeed. Gowan is so evil! Yuck!

Aunt Agatha with the advice for Elizabeth who's realizing she missed home more than she thought.
Elizabeth: I didn't realize I missed it here. And how good it is to see everyone. Even Viola.
Aunt Agatha: Viola? Let's not go overboard. 
I also love that Aunt Agatha is the one encouraging her to tell Jack how she feels so he doesn't confuse her need to be with her family for a change in heart. You go, Aunt Agatha!

Elizabeth rushes to the Hamilton train station and says she doesn't want to part that way, giving him a kiss on the cheek to "take with him" as he goes.

Next episode: "Heart and Soul"
42 minutes

Introducing: Kara Views

If you know me much at all, you know I am an avid reader. I mean, I have a page dedicated to what books I'm reading (and have read) on this blog! But I watch a fair amount of tv and movies too, and I love re-watching because many things just get better with time. Due to this mass amount of watching that occurs, a couple of my dear friends often get random texts of me wondering what's happening or getting frustrated or scared for characters on said program. Or they get random quotes that are funny or profound. These often become part of our regular conversations. Sometimes they've seen the show/movie, sometimes they haven't (in which case I do my best to not give spoilers). About a month ago, I asked on Facebook if anyone would care to read a blog post of me watching these shows. The response was pretty positive given my expectations (haha), so I'm gonna go for it - even if it's mostly for me (and so I don't text those two quite as much).

These posts will be titled "Kara Views: (Name of Show/Movie)" and I will not make ANY promises for how often they will appear. ;) I will also try not to post so many in a row (if I'm in a binge-watching streak) as to overwhelm anyone who actually decides to try reading these.

I'll tag them with "kara views," "television" or "movies" as appropriate, and probably the name of the program as well. If there are several seasons, I'll try to include that too.

Head's up: a few I will likely start with are ones for which I have seen a season (or two) already, and I will not be going back to re-watch those for this project. I will give a (spoiler-y) synopsis enough to move on to whatever season I'm watching. I won't start in the middle of any seasons.

If you don't like the current choice of topic, that's cool, but don't give up. I'm an equal opportunity watcher - though there won't be any horror, and nothing too extremely suspenseful. I plan to start with a Hallmark show (Season 2 is calling), and am thinking I'll be posting about a Marvel movie or two very shortly afterwards.

That's the gist, folks. Enjoy! ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I needed that: Elisha and the widow's oil

Last week I began a new study through my Bible app for my daily devotions as I needed a mental break from studying Joshua, but still need something daily to keep me on track. the study is called "Elisha: A Tale of Ridiculous Faith." It's been good, but it's also been a weird mix of "yeah, yeah, I know this story" and "oh,  I don't remember that part at all... wow." Then, yesterday, it hit home.

I've been at my not-so-new-anymore job for almost 7 months now. I know a lot about how to do it, and about what needs doing. I also haven't had enough experience with some of the tasks, which means some days fly by in happy busyness, others creep by while I try to decide what to do next, and others are overwhelming and stressful as I feel I don't have enough knowledge and/or bandwidth to make the decision on what should be done first or how it will get done at all.

Now, please hear me. I am still so glad to be here. I am still so confident that this is where God led, and that hasn't changed. I am making friends and enjoying my coworkers, and like very much having a set work day! ;) But, my mind is very detailed (which is good for my job) which means it also over processes when I can't quite wrap my head around something, and feels overwhelmed when I don't have time to process as much as it would like. It also means I can internally talk myself into thinking I am failing miserably because I can't keep to the ridiculous schedule I've made up - even when I don't really know the best way to do that yet as I've not yet been here a year. On top of this, I'm still figuring out some personal stuff at home as well. So, I've had a few days of being super overwhelmed and trying not to let it show (at least not as much as it's actually happening - I know for sure I'm terrible at keeping my feelings hidden).

Then, yesterday's devotional was on the widow with the small jar of oil. It begins:
Do you feel overwhelmed with too many responsiblilties and challenges facing you at every turn? Do you feel like you've run out of options and you're doing life on empty? That is likely what the wife of the prophet that died in 2 Kings 4:1-7 felt. 
Wow. Now, as I read this, I was not feeling this way, but I have in the last few weeks. It's happened a few times, and it's been bothering me. I thought, "but WHY am I feeling this way? I shouldn't be feeling this overwhelmed when I haven't even been here a year!" As I processed, I realized that some of it is still leftover burnout from my past experiences. And I also have not connected at church much yet, so I am missing those parts of life that help keep me going. Thank the Lord he has given me friends at work who love him and who like me enough to hang out and be goofy and build me up. We have good discussions about all sorts of things, and because of that I have not completely lacked what I am in need of from a life group experience (camaraderie, spiritual encouragement and challenge, friendship, small-scale corporate worship).

The devotional later says:
Maybe you can relate to the widow in that when you don't think you have enough, you feel desperation and focus solely on your limitations. God sees your problem much differently from the way you do. 
...God specializes in doing a lot with a little and this story is another prime example. The world may see this as illogical or ridiculous, but God doesn't. God took one jar of oil and multiplied it so the widow could pay her debts. During those times when you feel overwhelmed and you've run out of options, remember that what you have is all God needs. God has given you everything you need.  

That's my prayer today. God, please help me to remember that YOU have given me everything (everything!) I need. And that even if it doesn't feel like it, it is enough for what you will do through me in my life and for me in my life. Thank you.

Devotional content from the Bible App from Pastor Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On Weddings

(This is a bit heavy, especially for having not written since June…sorry in advance.)

If you’ve just stumbled on this blog, or it’s the first post you’ve ever actually read, or you just haven’t been in touch with me AT ALL in a very long time, know this: I’m single. As the day is long.

Most of the time, I’m ok with that. Most of the time, I’m super glad that I didn’t jump into a relationship/marriage/what-have-you and end up regretting it. I know I’m glad God saved me that heartache. I’m glad he has allowed me to become who I am – who I wouldn’t be if I had gotten married before now; if I had even been in a serious relationship before now.

But there’s a weird juxtaposition going on between being genuinely thankful for what God has done (and is doing) in my life right now, and where I still hope to be – and I’m not getting any younger. Some of you are chuckling now, because you’re older than me. Some of you are older and married, some are older and not married. Some of you tried that route and it hasn’t been good or didn’t end well one way or another. I hear you. But the truth is, I am (as we all are) getting older. And when that happens, and you’re a person who wishes to be married and hopes for children, there are thoughts that occur to you. They are not super fun.

Sometimes they’re just that – thoughts. You have them, you process them briefly, you move on, and that's enough. Sometimes, though, they get stuck in your brain and they start to monopolize the cells up there and keep you from moving on. Oh, sure, you can (mostly and usually) still function: get up in the morning, work, eat, exercise...but your brain is constantly playing the scenario of sad lonely single you in your head. And of course, it is always played against the people in your life who have what you want. You’re genuinely happy for them. You know their lives aren’t perfect. You know there are hard things and sometimes even horrible things that some of them are walking through at the moment. Still, they have joys you don’t have, and blessings you desire. And that’s hard.

This past weekend I was at a wedding. It was beautiful, it was joyful, and it was full of celebration. I am so happy for the bride and her groom. I pray for years of happiness, and that their marriage is truly fulfilling and that they are able to grow together as they grow older. I sat with my parents and grandmother for most of it (and I love them. I had no qualms about going into it that way. I knew I'd be with them). But on the day, I felt very alone. Why is that? Why could I not focus on the joy of the newlyweds? I mean, I did, but there was a constant tinge of sadness beneath it as well. I was (and maybe still am) grieving what I don’t have. Grieving and fearing that I may never have it.

I honestly pray that last line doesn’t come true. I ask (ok, sometimes it’s more like beg) God that he see fit to pair me with a spouse, that he let me be a mother, help make a home. But I can’t honestly say that I know if that’ll be true or not. I haven’t heard him make me any promises other than that I am his. And at the end of the world, that’s enough. It really is. And I know that in my head and in my heart – but right now, and for the past several weeks, and probably the next few as well, it doesn’t feel like enough. I feel incomplete and lonely. I feel left out. I feel unattractive, and like I must not be good enough for some reason (I could give you plenty, but I’ll spare you that part of my inner dialogue).

I don’t have any upswing at the end of this. I don’t feel like it’s that much of a downer, so I do apologize if that’s how it comes off to you. It’s just facts. It’s not happy, but it is factual. So, for now, that’s where I leave you. Learning to keep resting – intentionally – in what I know to be true, and trying to find a way to feel like that is truly enough.

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Crazy Life

Time for an update? I think so. I can’t really believe I haven’t written since December! The past 3 months have been a little crazy in my little life. Since Easter (April 4 & 5), I worked my last week at The Compass, moved to Minneapolis, started my new job at the Evangelical Free Church of America, finished unpacking and organizing (except for the books and movies – they’re shelved, but that’s it) and got my new driver’s license, and am getting a new car next week (hopefully – and that isn’t partially broken!). That’s a lot.  I still haven’t settled on a new “home church” but am close. I miss friends, family, belonging. Some mornings I wake up, walk into my living room and think, I’m in Minnesota. Woah. I still can’t completely believe it. My beloved cabin is only 1.5-2 hours away now instead of 8. Yes, I am a lucky girl.

Next up: finish getting a car and... get a library card! ;)

Ok, so I bet you’re wondering how this all came about. Well, for the past couple years I have felt restless – I have prayed for clarity, peace, calm, and many of you have prayed with me. Several months ago, on a very bad day, I decided (thanks to prompting from my mom) to just see if there might be something to apply for at the EFCA in Minneapolis. There wasn’t, but there was a “give us your email and we’ll let you know if anything opens up” box – which I completed. I didn’t really think about it again after a day or so, partly because I was pretty sure if I ever did hear from them that it would be something for which I wasn’t qualified. 

Fast forward to March 12th. I received an email notification for an administrative job – a perfect fit. I was shocked. I prayed, and since I was at work, decided to ignore it until after our big event on Saturday morning. I could NOT stop thinking about it. I asked God to get it out of my mind until Saturday unless He wanted me to do something sooner. I couldn’t get it out of my mind! So, Friday morning before I went in for an extra day of work to prepare for the event, I completed the application. Friday afternoon while I ate a late lunch I saw that I had an email response – a form letter asking for completion of a few more questions, which I did. The event on Saturday went well, I worked Sunday too since one of my coworkers was sick and two others were out of town, and Sunday afternoon I crashed.

Monday MORNING I received a phone call asking if I could interview that week. I did a Skype interview that Friday, at the end of which I was told I’d be sent some assessments on Monday. I actually received the first one that afternoon, which I completed. On Monday morning (now we’re at Monday, the 23rd) I got the other assessments, which I did that night right after work. Tuesday around 11a, they called to ask for a second interview. I let my boss know what was going on and she gave me her blessing to follow God’s apparent leading, and that she’d be praying. That Friday, March 27th, I was in Minneapolis for my first in person (but second) interview. It went very well, and I felt like I was already joining the team. I had to remind myself all the way home that it was not for sure, but even my brother was lamenting already how unfair it was that I’d be moving only a couple hours from our lake. ;) I told him it wasn’t for sure, we didn’t really know that, and he confidently said, “Yeah, but you’re moving to Minnesota.” It made me smile. I had been told I’d hear by the end of the week – likely nearer the end.

In the meantime, Trinity International University (my alma mater) had called me for an interview for a position I’d applied for about a week prior to the EFCA job due to the urging of a friend and more prayer. It was something I thought I could do, but I didn’t know if it would really work, or even if it was the right idea. My interview was to be Tuesday, the 31st, so I stayed with my friend Alicia on campus from Saturday night through Monday. Monday I worked from a desk near her office. At 8:30a I got texts from 2 of my references saying they’d just talked to the EFCA. WOAH. By 10a I had a job offer, which I accepted via phone – and would accept officially via email a few hours later. It had been two weeks and two days since I’d HEARD about the opportunity.

Clearly, very clearly, this was God’s plan. I cancelled my interview with Trinity, called my parents and told my closest friends, and my boss – who were all excited for me. Tuesday first thing I submitted my notice. The week following Easter was my last. It was a good place to be and I learned a lot, and I love people there, but I cannot explain the peace that exists when you are living in God’s plan – it has been chaotic and crazy and fast, but it has been good.

I have learned a ton in my first two months here. I have made connections with people here, and some of them are becoming friends. I look forward to settling into a church (which is hard in the land of 10,000 lakes during the summer) and getting into a small group. My apartment feels like home, though it will more so once a few friends have been there, which is happening soon as friends from Illinois come to visit. I will also feel more settled once I reorganize (properly) my book and movie shelves and get a library card so I can get … more books!

Thanks to all of you who have prayed, all of you who have been patiently waiting for the details of this update, and those of you who have listened lovingly and kindly to the moments when I’m freaking out (DMVs and driver’s knowledge tests are STRESSFUL)! God has blessed me richly, and most of it is because of you. God is good, and my story is proof!

I promise it won’t be as long again before I write… at least, I hope not! Until then...