Saturday, March 29, 2014

The big deal about the Noah movie.

So I just got home from seeing the newest Bible story turned Hollywood blockbuster, Noah.
I swore up and down that I was not going to get so emotionally invested in this film that I felt the need to write a blog post, or even a super long Facebook status.
But hey - here we are.
Disclaimer: this is NOT a review of the movie, by any means. It is only my takeaway, from a faith-based viewpoint. In all, I did not deem it worthy of the harsh critiques and the so-called controversy. Read on to see why.

For the first time in, well, ever, I sat through this movie wishing with all my might that I could've brought a notebook and pen to the theater so I could take down notes as I watched. The theater wasn't all that crowded, so I pushed my shame aside, turned down the brightness on my phone and typed up my notes.

What can I say about this film, from an artistic point of view? For starters, you should know that I am a fan of Darren Aronofsky's prior work. Requiem for a Dream is a sobering (ha!) tale of addiction, Black Swan delves into the psychologically dark side of obsession, and then there's Pi, which I fell asleep during so I can't tell ya anything about it.
But what can I not say, really?! It was beautiful. Breathtaking. Stunning. Visually, it gets 5 stars from me. I had trouble looking away. And let's be honest, 30 minutes in to the nearly 2.5 hour film and I realize I really need to pee. But the movie was just SO captivating that I held it the entire time! ENTIRE TIME!
There were a few moments where I was left absolutely in awe. I'll note a few here:
- The recounting of the creation of the heavens and earth; it was reminiscent of science-based theories, I'll be honest, but it was beautiful to watch. The formation of the solar systems, of the planets and the land and seas - it was incredible.
- All of the flashbacks of the first sin (and the subsequent sins thereafter). Darren Aronofsky has a habit in his films of doing quick flashes of takes - in Requiem for a Dream, it would be quick flashes of drug making. In this instance, it was of the snake, the apple, and Cain killing Able. This happened multiple times throughout the film, mostly when Noah was reminded of the evil that was in the world and why God chose him to fulfill this plan.
- When the final "Watcher" ascends into the heavens (if you see the movie, you'll understand this, but I'm not going to elaborate any further than that..), the shot expands to a view of the entire Earth from space. It's not the normal view of Earth we usually see, but of an Earth completely covered in clouds and storms - that's when you know, the flood is really happening. Even the guy beside me broke the complete silence that filled the theater to say what everyone was thinking, ""

Aside from the artistic, there are MANY theological wins for this movie.
At this point, I figure most of you know that the film is not 100% Biblically accurate, nor was it made by a Christian; in many interviews the director has even said that it wasn't his aim to make a Biblical movie. BUT I won't get into the actual controversy that surrounds it, because that is absolutely pointless - it's a movie based off a Bible story; of course they took artistic license! Of course they embellished it! Why do you think they wouldn't?

My main takeaway from this film was anything BUT the controversy of it not being a Biblically accurate account of the story of Noah.
I saw it as a beautiful, encouraging story of faith. An incredible story of God's judgement and wrath - but also of His unending love, grace and mercy. I saw it as a painful account of the evil that is in this world, evil that will always exist - but that there is always hope for a new and better life. Just as the flood represents death and God's judgement on the human race, the dove bringing back that promise of land - it represents our death of evil, and hope for peace.

I was telling my mom about the movie shortly after exiting the theater. I told her the the controversy was, well, stupid and unworthy of that type of discussion. The REAL discussion that needs to be had is being completely avoided!
For me, I walked out of the theater completely refreshed - this film was a breath of fresh air, compared to all the Christian movies I've seen lately.
All my life, I've known the story of Noah. As a child, this is pretty much a mandatory story to know! But - as children - we are given glossed over, animated versions of the tale. We are taught that Noah built a really big boat, put 2 of each animal on the boat, and then after a whole bunch of days, land appeared and there was a really pretty rainbow. ....And that's about it.
That version of the story has followed me into adulthood. I'll be honest, since childhood, I haven't given the story of Noah much thought. Don't get me wrong - I've read it plenty of times since grade school, but I never put forth any effort into truly understanding it as a whole because of how it's taught to us as children. For me, it was always a happy, brightly colored story of saving animals.

But after seeing this movie? I can no longer look at it the same way, and I'm SO grateful for that. It was an intense and emotional film for me - I was finally realizing the depth of the story. A story that has been glossed over my entire life was coming full circle. God sent a crushing storm to kill off the human race! This is beyond terrifying! We are not taught this as children, for good reason - but at some point, when will stop looking at it simply as a save-the-animals tale.
But amongst the terror of all the death surrounding the ark, we see that God is providing for Noah and his family. It reminds us of God's grace and His love for us. When all of his family thought that the flood meant it was the end of everything, Noah would alway remind them that it was only the beginning... a new beginning. What faith and courage Noah had!
One of my favorite parts of the film is when Ila goes to Noah to tell him to find a new wife for Shem. Ila is barren, and cannot give children to Shem, and does not want to deny him of that. She says to him, "Why would God want to save a barren woman?" To which Noah replies with one of the best lines of the film:
"When I first took you in, I thought you would be a burden. 
But you are a gift. Never forget that you are precious, precious gift." 
I don't know about you, but when I heard that, I couldn't help but think of the immense love that God has for me. He doesn't see me as a screw up, as a sinner, as a burden. God sees me as a gift, a woman that He made in His own image! 

There are a few minor controversies I'll touch on though -
The use of the word "God" was only used once, if I heard correctly. Otherwise, the word "Creator" was used. Excuse me if I'm just totally wrong here but.... what's wrong with calling God "Creator" and only that? Sure, I'm sure their intent when using the word creator was to avoid stepping on toes and being politically correct. But.... isn't that was God is? The ultimate Creator of this world? The Creator of life and everything on this planet? I felt it was an extremely reverent word to use - I did not feel it was even worthy of being controversial.
Also being picked apart was the save the Earth tone of the film. Maybe I'm just too hippy-dippy for everyone else, but I absolutely LOVED this aspect. I don't know what to say other than the fact that Noah saved all the animals! I bet he would've recycled, too. ;)
Near the end of the film, Noah was portrayed a crazy drunk. I do not disagree with portraying him this way, although I can see why some would. The entire premise of the story is to display the faith that a mere human had for the ultimate plan of God. It is an incredible story of faith, I do not discount that. But imagine the burden that Noah must've felt - imagine the hardship he encountered when having to save just his family, and letting everyone else die? I don't know - this film gave these characters real emotions, real reactions, real heartache. The way Noah dealt with this burden once off the ark seemed so raw, and so real. I was incredibly impressed.
The lesson of this movie goes so much more beyond whether or not it's 100% accurate to the Bible. It is so much more than that, and if you can't see that, you need to watch it again and open your eyes to this story. For the first time in my adulthood, the Noah story felt real. And if an atheist directing a film based on the Bible can do this for a lifelong Christian, I have no doubt in the power of this film for believers and non-believers alike.
If you are a Christian and considering passing up this film because it was made by an Atheist, or because it took artistic license and isn't 100% Biblically accurate -- I beg you to reconsider. It's a movie based on a familiar Bible story; a movie with characters that were real, characters that God spoke to! Characters that directly helped God in a plan to restore the world. I don't know why you wouldn't want to see that!

...Or you could just go see Divergent, a movie about an evil government in a dystopian world, with absolutely no Biblical base whatsoever.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Some days I absolutely love the idea of having blog. I love having a place to share my thoughts, happenings in my life, and connect with others. 
I love having a virtual memory book of sorts to go back through and read years down the road. Just today, I took a little stroll through my very first blog on WordPress and was ashamed at the amount of over sharing going on. But it was a blog I started at age 16, and treated it as a (fairly public) journal. 

And now, nearly 7 years later, I'm starting to realize how keeping a blog has shaped me as a person. Having kept it for the majority of my high school years, and throughout the first few years of college - readers who have stuck with me through the long haul have seen me go through bouts of depression, adventures in dating, adventures in major heartbreak and a big leap into newlywed life. 
Having a blog has allowed me to write down my feelings, events - big and small - in my life. 

But now. 
Now, I don't know what to make of this space anymore. 
It's just not me. It's not what I want to do anymore, no matter how much I love this little big community. 
Over the years, the feel of blogging has shifted entirely. To me, it has shifted in a negative way. More and more are jumping into an over-saturated pool of uniqueness and quirky girls with picture perfect lives. 
I think it's that pressure to keep up appearances, so to say, has left me drained. My blog has never been one to display my perfect life, or to display myself as something that I am so clearly not. 

So it is here that I bid farewell to this space, shutter the windows, and lock the doors. 
I've loved having this spot to share my life for the past 6+ years, and maybe this isn't really the end, but merely an extended vacation. Who really knows?
But for now, we're gonna call it quits for a while. 
Thank you for your love and support over the years. You all have truly been wonderful to me. As always, I love (love, love) to chat so if you ever wanna talk, drop me an email and we'll talk. Follow me on Instagram or Twitter! Keep in touch. <3

xo Haley

you can email me at ehaleytyson (at) gmail (dot) com. xo.

Friday, March 14, 2014

03 // a playlist

A photo of my cat just for good measure.

Hey! March is officially halfway over and I'm finally getting around to making my March playlist! I don't know about you, but March has been absolutely nuts so far. All it's been is busy, busy, busy.
Today is my third day in a row of 14 hour work days... can I just say, I'm absolutely exhausted! Kids are tough business, I'll tell ya that.
Also, speaking of kids. Everyone is having babies (literally, everyone. In real life, in blog land, everyone) and it's not okay. Baby fever is impossible to live with.
ANYWAY. Here's the March playlist. Currently it's only available on Spotify, but if I get some more time I'll update this post with the Grooveshark playlist, as well.
It's a big old mix of everything that I've been listening to (a lot) lately. A few favorites from this month's rotation is Far From Any Road by the Handsome Family (it's the theme song from HBO's True Detective) and Drunk On Love by Rihanna. Okay, so Drunk On Love is my JAM. Intro by The XX is sampled for this song and it's kind of silly but Blake and I love it - we listen to it at least twice every time we are in the car.
Enjoy! (and happy Friday!)

xo Haley

Monday, March 10, 2014


01 / / So last week I said, "I'm not going to go a week without blogging again!" And what do I do? I go an entire week without even thinking of blogging. I mean, it's not a bad thing. This isn't my job or anything, so I'm not beating myself up for it too much. But still!

02 / / I saw Mr. Peabody and Sherman on Sunday. It was cute. I watch too many kid movies. That is all.

03 / / Wednesday will mark 2 full weeks of Weight Watchers (omg, I can't. I sound like an old person). Last week, I did really well, most likely because I just didn't want to waste any of the money I threw at WW. I ended up losing around 3.5 pounds (I'm not exactly sure of the actual amount because I got my starting weight wrong and I can't figure out how to change it!). I was so excited about losing nearly 4 pounds in one week that I started out the next week on a good foot.. until this weekend happened. And I ate pizza. And Chinese food. And Fruit Gushers. I'm trying not to beat myself up about it because I can always just start fresh the next day and make better choices. But yeesh. It's hard not to focus on the bad choices I make!

04 / / That's all I've got. Have a good week! See you soon!

xo Haley

Sunday, March 2, 2014


01 / / It's been an entire week since I posted here! What in the what. Trying to not let that happen very often, because I truly love popping in here often and just writing. Buuuut. I've been writing every day anyway (attempting to write a "book", ya know), so I guess it doesn't matter where I write, as long as I'm writing..?

02 / / I've been following the Weight Watchers plan lately - not so much to lose weight but to instill healthier eating habits for myself. Lately I've noticed myself snacking so much during the day and I was snacking on a ton of junk. So, losing weight would be a fantastic side effect (because duh) but I'm trying to not make that my main focus.

03 / / Speaking of Weight Watchers! Church was cancelled so we had the morning to just kind of lay around and do nothing, so we decided to make waffles with our Mickey Mouse waffle iron (the best wedding gift!). We found a good WW recipe, so all in all - fruit, whipped cream, everything - this meal was around 8 points. Not bad for a seemingly indulgent breakfast! We are planning on homemade tostadas for lunch and my dad's chicken noodle soup recipe for dinner (which, I added up everything, and a 1-cup serving of the soup is 5 points, in case you were wondering). Yum! So much good food on this snowy day at home!

04 / / I'm sorting through my clothes and am going to MAJORLY overhaul my closet. I'm looking to get rid of a BUNCH of stuff (my closet is filled to the brim, to the point where clean clothes sit in the basket until I am ready to wear them because there's no room to hang them up!). SO if you live in the area, or are interested in an IG sale (even though, UGH, I hate those things), let me know and I'll send some clothes your way! (I know Jess wants to dig through my stash! ;) )

05 / / My March playlist is coming soon! It's a big mix of everything that I've been listening to, new and old. I'm excited about it! <3

Happy Sunday! Stay safe and warm in this snowy weather!
xo Haley