Sunday, June 29, 2008

MOVIE: THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO

Yesterday our Net Flix movie came. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. This was another of my choices. The one before it was also mine, Whale Rider. A gripping Maori film. Well, I liked it. It was a gentle movie. If Phil wants real gripping, action packed movies he needs to get busy and order some. I just ordered three more, just like this one, movies that I've never heard of, gentle, heartwarming movies. This movie was based on a true story of a woman who, with her wit, determination and writing ability, entered contests and won.
Early on, we see the milkman--we saw him a lot--telling her he couldn't deliver her milk because she couldn't pay. Just then the mailman brought the mail and she opened up an envelope that contained two dollars winnings from a contest she had entered. She paid the milkman and got her milk.
All through the movie she won things. A freezer, a Triumph car, which she had to sell but she sat in it a lot, enjoying it while she had it even though she didn't drive.
She even won a frenzied shopping trip where she loaded her cart with things like button mushrooms, caviar and capers, sides of bacon and steak. She rejoiced in each item and helped the kids rejoice in them too. They had a feast with all the things she had put in her cart but her disgruntled husband refused to join in the fun. He opened a can of spam and ate it cold out of the can.
What I liked most about the movie was that she was happy. She had ten kids and an alcoholic husband. She could barely keep ahead of the bills and she was happy. She was happy about little things and big things and she taught her kids that they were important and valued and she was happy they were hers.

My favorite line in the movie--her pessimistic husband, who drank his way into the family's near ruin was criticising her for being happy--I should have made Phil back the DVD up so I could quote it exactly but she said something like: "I just want you to not ruin things when I am happy."

I've been thinking about the movie ever since. She was happy no matter what. We all have things we are sad about. Children we worry about, husbands who left us--mine hasn't but if I keep ordering grade B movies, maybe--diseases, deaths of loved ones, lost jobs, lost loves, lost lives--or so we think, bad hair, bad shoes, bad attitudes, etc. Why can't we be happy, like this woman was, anyway? Yes, we are sad about sad things but can't we be happy about little things, like she was?

The scripture, "Man is that he might have joy," keeps coming back to me, again and again. Our Heavenly Father wants us to have joy, to be joyful. Here. Now. Even with the tough times. We knew we were going to face tough times when we came here and yet we "shouted for joy" at the opportunity to come.

My wish for all of us today: for you, who are sad today, for you who are happy today, and for me, who might or might not be sad or happy today, is that we might find joy in our lives. Not when things get better, not when the trials are over, but right now. I wish we might have joy in our lives like the woman in this film.

Find something to be joyful about. You are a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves you. That's a biggie, isn't it? That's worth a whole bucket, overflowing with joy, every day. What a miracle that we have that knowledge. He loves us, he watches over us. No, he does not stop the bad things from happening but he helps us to have the strength to live through them.

And he wants us to be happy.

And we will, won't we? Sure. We can do that. We can do anything because after all, we are children of Heavenly Father.

9 comments:

tearese said...

I wanted to see that movie when I saw it once, but we never got it. I did see whale rider though, and i liked it.

Catherine said...

Haven't seen that movie. The only movie it reminds me is 'The Pursuit of Happyness' a really beautiful movie about a father who, after being fallen down with the loss of his entire material life tries desperately to get back on his feet for the love of his son, to offer him security, happyness, and pride. Great feelings and teardrops.
But you know, Lynne, I don't think willing being happy is enough to be. Sometimes, sadness overhelms all other feelings, and even willing to get out of one's pain isn't enough. The most optimistic person have certainly a weakness once in his life, and all the best will doesn't change his mind at that time.
We're human, with our weaknesses, God can help, time too, but courage and determination lack sometimes.

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Love the post, Lynne. My 10 year old is NOT happy - or so she says. I am often trying to convince her that it is up to HER to be happy, and that is why we are here. I suppose I am not always happy, but this is a great reminder to TRY to be.

Karen Deborah said...

I want to see that movie. I heard about her story. Attitude of gratitude. count your blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done.

Kathy said...

Beautiful writing Lynne. I need to start a list of movies to see. Jerry sleeps through most of them, so he doesn't care what we watch!

As one who did not know joy for a long, long time, I appreciate what you wrote. Ten years now, of knowing joy, I still have ups and downs, sad and happy; but knowing and seeking God, Provides the joy.

Astromom said...

Actually I've read the book, I was moved by it, I've never seen the movie though, try the book too if you like. I think I will rent the movie, my husband likes movies, but doesn't read so much this way I can discuss the book with him because its a movie now.

tearese said...

ps in response to your comment on my blog: I live in Logan and grew up in Cedar City...Utah is what I was talking about!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i loved the whale rider!
excellent movie!
the other i have never heard of.
HUgs Laura

happy mommy said...

I loved this movie! So glad to see that someone else did. I admired her sweet happiness in all her struggles, too.