Allegiant…Sprinkled With Divergent and Insurgent

As you are aware from yesterday’s post, I was reading (and subsequently finished) Allegiant, the third installment in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. My mind has since been bouncing around processing her approximately 1,500 pages of writing…but I would like to record a few themes here and the way the story affected me.
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From the dedication, the mother-daughter connection was evident. It was the most powerful connection for me in the series, with the second being the love shared between two main characters (both of whom share in voicing Allegiant). Without spoiling the story, (and if you read these books, I urge you not to read summaries or talk to others about them too much prior to reading them) the connection between Tris and her mother, especially as Tris discovers her mother’s strength as well as her own, brought out the most emotion for me.

Fear is also a major theme, as well as cultivating bravery. I enjoyed the journey, which caused self-reflection and a great deal of thought. I am still pondering. (And, I wish I knew what my fear landscape would look like.)

Faith is also expressed–though not necessarily in the religious sense of faith. Rather, the characters find faith in themselves, in each other, in their strength and relationships. This faith leads them to trust and to love more deeply.

The theme of forgiveness is paramount through Insurgent and Allegiant. Tris’s acknowledgement of forgiveness in Insurgent as well as her discussion and pondering about it in Allegiant are notable. Without this theme, I’m not sure I could’ve continued in Insurgent (which held less pull for me than the other two books in the series, but is necessary in understanding character development).

Speaking of continuing, I almost stopped at the end of Insurgent. I had heard from friends who were upset by the third book or the ending or whatever. None of them went into detail (and my son cautioned me after finishing Allegiant sometime last November not to discuss the ending with anyone until after I read it). I was glad I took his advice.

Though many of my friends vehemently oppose the conclusion of Allegiant, I felt like Roth did what was necessary as a writer to be true to the characters who spoke through her in this series. I wept through the last forty pages or so, and laughed a few times, as well. I found the ending beautiful and poignant.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have read the series or if you plan to read it. 🙂 Till then, much love!

Forgive and…forget?

I’ve been pondering the gift of forgiveness lately…and one morning lately, I wondered if “true” forgiveness involves actually forgetting the wrongdoing (or whatever action called for forgiveness).  Can you forgive and still hurt inside your heart?…or inside your head?  Can you remember the pain and still consider yourself to have forgiven those around you?  Do you try to remember and hang on to what hurt you, like tying a ribbon around your finger?

I don’t have answers yet, but I certainly welcome your thoughts.

As always, sending hugs your way.

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

So, I read this morning about the break-up of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez…and his comments which basically said that he had no idea what was going on in his life.  Now, I generally find much better things to do with my time than to follow the ins and outs of celebrity relationships (which, quite frankly, I think should be minimized in the media if publicized at all), but I am often puzzled by what makes relationships work and not; I am also fascinated at how a relationship between two people can have such far-reaching effects–even through generations–and how the day-to-day choices that pull a couple together or pull them farther apart are really just that, choices.

I know within my own marriage relationship, I make a choice each day whether I’m in it with all my heart.  Some days, when I do put all my heart into loving and helping my husband and our children, I feel like the pay-off of growth and happiness and joy within our home is so worth the work, effort, and sacrifice.  Other days–those self-absorbed, me-minded days–you know the ones I’m talking about–I find the discord in our home to be a broad sea that I’m floating in, having left my oar ashore.  I know I need to do something to get back to that sea of tranquility that brings me those peaceful, happy moments–but what?!?!?!?!

Actually, many answers occur to me–forgiveness (being at the forefront), trying to find something my husband did for which I am grateful, or remembering why I fell in love with him (or why I married him, etc.) helps.  I have also found that when I put his needs above my own, and when he does the same for me, that we are able to connect in ways that we don’t otherwise.  He helps me; I help him.  Sounds simple enough, right?  But in the quest for “finding ourselves,” sometimes we lose this ever-important piece of our life’s puzzle.

So, not just in marriage or motherhood or fatherhood or dating–but in all relationships, if we as individuals would work to put a little more love in our hearts and worry more about others than we worry about ourselves, the world could be a much better place.

One Truth About Marriage

Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography

I have been acutely aware of the feeling of forgiveness lately.  I have noticed it before upon an altercation with my husband, who–for all intents and purposes–I love with all my heart.  Still, as two people living together with various stresses, varied interests, and myriad responsibilities, we can become short with one another, argue, and hurt one another at times.  Those occurences are part of marriage.  The longer I live, the more I am sure that “chick flicks” are exactly that–films for women [who need to fill a void or want a diversion from reality].  But life is not a movie, and marriage is not perfect.  He doesn’t apologize with a dozen roses every time we disagree.  The children don’t disappear or magically put themselves to bed (not to mention the fact that our home doesn’t have a nanny, butler, chef, or housekeeper) when we “need some time to talk.”  Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble of “life is great all the time once you are married and you always pull together and love each other and sex is always great and dates are always romantic and no one ever needs to forgive because a screen writer says so.”

So, a few weeks ago, my dearest darling said something that hurt me.  And I thought I was over it.  But guess what?  I wasn’t.  And this morning, during that fantastically inspirational time between waking and sleep, where (if one of the kiddos doesn’t come in demanding to make an Iron Man cake at 5:17 a.m., which is what happened yesterday) I find myself figuring out solutions to issues and resolving concerns and pondering on which topic to blog (you should really try using this time if you don’t already), I was thinking about how I was feeling a little less than connected to my dearest husband.  I was longing for that feeling again…and the thought came, “Forgive him.”  Seriously?  Could my issue with connection be that simple?  Could I just knock down my wall that I had spent the past few weeks painstakingly building, let it go, and move forward into the abyss of forgiveness and love?  I could.  But will I?  The choice is mine alone.