Family Night Movie Review: Little Women 2019 version

My amazing friend Michelle knows how much I love Little Women so she just gifted me a new copy, published by Usborne Books and More. Go here to get it! It’s so pretty!

OK, so I feel rather late to the party on this one. I’ve been waiting since this movie’s Christmas Day 2019 release to watch it. That’s been ever since my little sister’s review of it on Facebook, when it first came out. With all of the stuff on my plate, I forgot to notice it being in a local theater. Sometimes I feel like I really do live at the end of the world, living out in the country, 8 miles from an international border. Sigh. (Note: I have since moved and no longer live in the boonies. I started writing this post months before I published it.)

I only go by one movie theater regularly to drive the 20 minutes “into town.” That theater doesn’t show new releases. By the time I finally realized that Little Women had been showing at the closest Cinemark, which I can’t see from my regular driving route, I had a day left to watch it and I already had stuff planned. So then I had to wait for it to be released as a DVD. Noooo!!!!

Oh the agony of more months of waiting time!!!! Finally, I noticed it had been released and then…promptly forgot about it, amidst the craziness of topsy-turvy pandemic life. Then, after hearing girlfriends chat about it during a picnic, I finally got around to renting it on amazon, and watched it twice. We watched it once for date night and loved it so much we then showed it to the kids for a special family movie night. Whew! Was it worth the wait?

Before I dive into that, just so you know, I have to preface any more of this review with saying that I am a huge Little Women fan, such that I have thoroughly studied the book and its author, Louisa May Alcott. So, if you want to walk down memory lane with me, read the next few paragraphs. If not, and you just want the review of the 2019 movie already, skip to the line I have in bold, below, that says, “Here’s what I loved.”

My Memories of Little Women

I have fond memories of my dear mother reading the LW book as a bedtime story to my sisters and me when we were tweens. This happened when we lived in upstate New York, a lot closer to New England (the setting of the story) than AZ. My mom had one of those cheap paperback mini-abridged versions that has text and black and white line drawings alternating every page. I can picture us in one of the bedrooms of the two story house with the sloping ceiling, darkness outside the window, snuggling into bed while she read aloud, feeling light and warmth from both her voice and the book.

I was fascinated by these four sisters who resonated with my own sisterly life. They seemed the same in some ways, with the fighting and arguing, yet were different too, since they lived a hundred years ago. First off, there were four of them, not three. Then they had things like corsets, long dresses (the era of 70s maxis was before I turned 8), ice skates, and pickled limes. All things that I thought were old-fashioned. I had never been ice skating yet so that seemed extremely quaint. The March girls also had a curling iron. Santa brought us one for Christmas, the winter after Mom read the book. I wondered if it would ever burn our hair like it did when Jo used it with Meg’s, when they were getting ready for the big ball.

I loved hearing about the girls’ brotherly relationship with the quintessential boy next door, Laurie. Laurie sounded so fun! Then on many occasions, I listened to my grandmother tell of her short-lived acting career. It consisted of the one time she was in a school play, which was Little Women. She took pride in the fact that she got to play the most elegant Amy. Wearing a long gown with a hooped skirt, she had fun watching it bounce up every time she sat down. (Grandma was an excellent seamstress and dressmaker so she was into fashion.) To top off all these yummy, nostalgic feelings for the book, I’ve always identified with Jo’s strong desire to write.

Then, as a teen, I devoured the classic on my own for my honors English class for a book report. I loved the book even more. When I was pregnant with Baby #2, I got with my sisters–in-law for a special viewing of the 1994 movie version with Winona Ryder over a holiday break. I love that version. Let’s just say that Christian Bale = the perfect Laurie, forever more!

Oh, and the music soundtrack by Thomas Newman for that version! Especially the opening theme song. It just sounds like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled up together. So glorious!

I was so excited to share the movie with my daughter (Baby #2) when she was old enough to appreciate this pioneering, original girlish coming-of-age story. We watched it as a whole family when she was maybe 12? We borrowed it from the library and promptly lost the DVD after the screening, so I was forced to buy a new copy to give to the library and keep the library’s scratched up version for myself. When DH recently brought home a brand new copy of the 1994 version from Walmart, finding it in the bargain bin for only $1, I was elated! I could finally watch it without the skipping and not fret about due dates. (It never occurred to me to simply buy a digital copy online.)

Even later as an older mother, and not a “little woman” anymore, I love the book. I have enjoyed finding out the depth of Louisa May’s character and her family relationships. The following books about Louisa have captivated me over the years:

Marmee and Me, a biography of Louisa and her mother by Eve LaPlante

You can read my review of that book here.

My Heart is Boundless, a collection of Marmee’s letters

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This past summer, I finished reading this bio of Louisa to my kiddos.

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So, all that is to say that I really, really wanted this movie to be faithful to the book! I had high hopes for it, but was skeptical because of how tempting it is for modern movie makers to add their own agenda to classic works.

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Here’s what I loved about the 2019 Little Women movie:

-the hairstyles

-the costumes.

-the cinematography

All three of those are so gorgeous! Although the hairstyles were anachronistic. I don’t think Jo (Louisa May Alcott in real life) ever wore her hair with wispy bangs and a tousled, shabby chic criss-cross updo. But that’s OK, I’d rather look at fun hairstyles than staid buns any day.

-the wholesomeness of it all. It is so easy for movie makers to corrupt and mock wholesomeness. None of that happened here. The freshness, the wholesomeness, the goodness of the classic story was all preserved. No potty jokes, no vulgarity, no sexual innuendos, no bad language. It was so refreshing to watch a great family movie with nothing offensive!

Here’s what I didn’t love:

-The casting!

It was all wrong! Jo is not supposed to be blond! This version has a blond (maybe even close to strawberry blond) Jo. She looks kind of like Megan Follows. I kept thinking I was watching Anne of Green Gables, what with Saoirse Ronan’s delicate nose and freckles, similar to Megan’s. Emma Watson was swell as Meg (older sister Anna in real life), but Soarise as Jo and Florence Pugh as Amy (May in real life) were not the best fits. They are great actors, I just wouldn’t cast them in those roles. Having, as my sister said, a buxom 30 year old with a husky voice playing 12 year old prepubescent Amy was not quite right.

Then there’s Beth. She’s not supposed be blond either! (In real life Beth was Elizabeth) The artificialness of her bleached blond hair was so out of place. And Laurie! Although he was good-looking, he looked like he was 12 for the whole movie! He just didn’t seem mature and manly enough. Christian Bale of the 1994 movie has spoiled us all. We will never have a better Laurie. The only actors that seemed perfect for the roles were Bronson, the girls’ father, and Hannah, the housekeeper.

-Taking out the huge Christian element of the original work.

In the book, Little Women, Pilgrim’s Progress by British author John Bunyan is a major overshadowing theme for the whole work. This is because in real life, Louisa’s parents were Christian and read that book to the Alcott girls. This makes sense, since the book has been one of the most widely read books, next to the Bible, in the English language. It was such an influence of Louisa’s life that she used it as a major theme of Little Women. Such that the first chapter is called, “Playing Pilgrims,” because she portrays the fours sisters pretending to be pilgrims. I’m not referring to the pilgrims we talk about at Thanksgiving. I’m talking about devout Christian people who are following Christ because they want to get to heaven, like the character Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress (although the Thanksgiving Puritans wanted that too).

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The Alcott girls would pretend to carry their “burdens” on their backs and climb the stairs in their home, pretending to go to heaven. The only acknowledgement in this latest movie to this Christian element is displaying that chapter heading, “Playing Pilgrims,” on the top of the page of Jo’s manuscript of Little Women at the end of the movie.

Marmee also gave the girls each a copy of the New Testament for Christmas one year in real life. That shows up up in the book as well, in the first chapter. You can see literary analysis of the Christian element of LW chapter by chapter here and read a summary here.

-Adding a modern feminist spin to the book.

This comes in the form of pronouncements about marriage. Yes, Louisa never married, but it wasn’t because she was against marriage because she thought it was bad for women. She wasn’t interested in it for herself, but…that doesn’t mean she thought all women shouldn’t marry because she thought it negative. That message subtly is brought out in this movie version however, with statements by Amy and then with the frame story ending. It shows Louisa talking to her publisher, bargaining with him about the financial terms of the publishing contract. He tells her to have Jo get married at the end of Little Women.

She agrees, saying something like, “I sell my main character into marriage, and I get the copyright.” I could be wrong, but after my years of studying Louisa, I’m pretty sure there’s no record of her bargaining with him like that. As far as I can tell, the only thing she stated about Jo getting married was that she would not have Jo marry Laurie. I do grant though, that Meg’s character, which is married off, just as in the book, promotes marriage as the right path for her. So the movie does say marriage could be the right path for some women. I just wish it went that way more in the movie. Amy never said what she said about marriage in the book, however true the words are, for the time period of the book’s historical setting.

-Marmee’s character was diluted. In real life, she was a huge mentor to Louisa. Encouraging her to write was the major way she mentored Louisa. She gave her gifts to write with, such as blank books, pens, and ink. We don’t see that in the movie at all. Another thing we don’t see is her passing on her Christian faith as we do in the book. We don’t see her using her Christian faith as a basis for her guidance. That’s so unfortunate, as we all need Christ and we all need to see faithful mothers pointing their children to Christ, especially if it’s in a beloved classic. In the book she reminded her daughters to use the New Testament to guide their walk as pilgrims, in order to overcome character flaws and achieve their goals.

Here is an example, quoting from the book:

Mrs. March broke the silence that followed Jo’s words, by saying in her cheery voice, “Do you remember how you used to play Pilgrims Progress when you were little things? Nothing delighted you more than to have me tie my piece bags on your backs for burdens, give you hats and sticks and rolls of paper, and let you travel through the house from the cellar, which was the City of Destruction, up, up, to the housetop, where you had all the lovely things you could collect to make a Celestial City.”

“What fun it was, especially going by the lions, fighting Apollyon, and passing through the valley where the hob-goblins were,” said Jo.

“I liked the place where the bundles fell off and tumbled downstairs,” said Meg.

“I don’t remember much about it, except that I was afraid of the cellar and the dark entry, and always liked the cake and milk we had up at the top. If I wasn’t too old for such things, I’d rather like to play it over again,” said Amy, who began to talk of renouncing childish things at the mature age of twelve.

“We never are too old for this, my dear, because it is a play we are playing all the time in one way or another. Our burdens are here, our road is before us, and the longing for goodness and happiness is the guide that leads us through many troubles and mistakes to the peace which is a true Celestial City. Now, my little pilgrims, suppose you begin again, not in play, but in earnest, and see how far on you can get before Father comes home.”

Marmee had them each tell her what their “bundles” were. These were the burdens that so easily beset them. Then Jo asked what their help was to carry these burdens. Marmee replied with, “Look under your pillows Christmas morning, and you will find your guidebook.”

The guide was the New Testament, “that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived.” (from Chapter 2 of LW.)

Here’s a great blog with explanations of how the theme of Pilgrim’s Progress plays out in the whole book.

OK, so enough of what I didn’t like.

Here’s what I’m not sure if I liked or not:

The way the story was told. Here’s what to know if you are going to watch it, especially if you watch it with your kids.

This version is told as a frame story with flashbacks. It’s soooo confusing. We have three layers of Little Women going on here. First, this movie’s version of the story. Second, Louisa May Alcott’s book version of the story, the original story. Third, Louisa’s real life, which the story is largely based on. It’s all intertwined together in this movie.

If you don’t know the original story, you will be totally discombobulated. The back and forth scenes eventually meld together in the climax where Jo claims that she’s sick and tired of women being treated as only objects to be married off. Ironically, in the same scene, she declares that she will marry Laurie, even though she already told him no.

After that scene there are no more flashbacks, as I recall. From that point on in the film, it’s only one time stream. Up until that point, to help you know where you are in the story, here are some tips:

1. The “current time” scenes are shown in cool, blue tones, and the time seven years earlier, which is when the book takes place, is portrayed in warm, yellow tones. At least that is what the video below claims. I didn’t really notice such a clear demarcation.

2. The hairstyles change somewhat. In the present, Jo’s hair is long. For some of the earlier time scenes, her hair is bobbed. Amy, as a preteen and young teen, has bangs in the earlier scenes, and no bangs in the scenes where she is an adult.

If this is the only version of the story you know, you are greatly missing out on the wonder and endearing nature of the original story in book format. You are missing out on the depth and richness of Louisa’s real life, her hard work and heroism, and her family’s thick philosophical heritage. This heritage is partly based on their Christian faith, which was a springboard for her father’s idealistic life and revolutionary educational ideas, branching into Transcendentalism.

My two boys, ages 11 and 15, lost interest in the movie after about 45 minutes. Probably because they didn’t understand the story line. But my 14 year old daughter, who I have never been able to get to read the whole book, was glued. I told the boys that if they can talk about the movie with girls, they will be more likely to impress them. Hopefully they will take that teaching to heart as they get older and of dating age. I’m going to convince my older batch of boys to watch it, the ones of marriageable age.

So, whew! That’s my take on the 2019 movie version of Little Women. I give it 4 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend it for your next family movie night, especially if you have teen girls in your home.

Little Women fans unite! May we continue to learn from and enjoy this classic girlish story about coming of age as Christian young women! I dare anybody out there who has beaucoup bucks to make a movie that is as faithful to the book as the much-loved BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is for that book. Put ALL of the Christian references in the Little Women book into the movie, especially Pilgrim’s Progress, pretty please! Then we will have an even more amazing movie!

BONUS FEATURE

Now, because I just can’t get enough of LW…here are some fun things to know about Louisa, LW, and the Alcott family:

-Laurie’s character is based on two people, Alfred Whitman, a family friend who had fun with the girls as the “neighbor boy,” and Ladislas, a Polish young man who Louisa met while she was traveling in Europe as a nurse and companion for an invalid girl. Doesn’t that name just sound delicious? I love saying it. “La-dees-las.” I want to call him Laddie for short. He sounds like a wonderful sport of a guy and idealistic too. Having been part of a revolutionary uprising in Poland, he was cast out with his buddies. Then he met Louisa in Switzerland. They immediately felt each other was a kindred spirit.

-the Alcott family was a lot poorer in real life than the March family in the book

-Anna (Meg) had two boys, not twins, and not a boy and girl

-In real life, it was Louisa who went off to serve in the war as a nurse. Her father came and got her after she got sick. In the movie, the dad goes off to serve in the war as a chaplain, and Marmee goes to get him when he gets sick.

-In real life, Louisa got to go to Europe before May (Amy) did. This happened before she wrote Little Women. This is when she met Ladislas. Ladislas was quite a bit younger than Louisa. Some suspect that they fell in love but there is no record of that.

-In the book, Louisa has Laurie/Ladislas propose to Amy at Vevey, Switzerland, the place where Louisa met Ladislas in real life.

-Louisa/Jo clashed with May/Amy, just like in the movie and the book.

-May/Amy married Ladislas/Laurie, and sadly, died shortly after giving birth to a daughter, Lulu. She stated in her will that Louisa was to be the guardian of Lulu. It just seems like such a poetic turn of events that Louisa ended up raising Lulu. In that way she was able to give Lulu everything she had always wanted to give to May, for despite their fights, they dearly loved each other. It’s also comforting to know that her motherly heart was fulfilled in taking care of Lulu, when she had no biological children of her own.

-Anna’s husband, John (John Pratt in real life, not John Brooke) died when their two boys were still young. This tragic event motivated Louisa to write Little Men. Louisa gave the profit from that book to Anna and the boys to live on.

Little Men incorporates Bronson’s radical (at the time) educational ideas

-One of these radical ideas was to stop painting the windows on schoolhouses white, so that sunlight would come through the windows and the children could look out through them.

-Louisa would not have become the amazing author she was without the encouragement and mentoring of her mother. Inspired mothers inspire inspiring writers and leaders! We have Abigail May Alcott to thank for giving the world the gift of Louisa May Alcott, her daughter. What would the world be without the gift of Little Women? Not as joyful, for sure. Thank you Abigail May Alcott! It just makes me wonder what classic books we as mothers will inspire our children to write.

For some fun LW resources, like cookbooks of the LW recipes and paper dolls, go here.

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When Have You Felt the Power of Jesus Christ?

I just love this last week’s episode of Don’t Miss This for Come, Follow Me, about the Book of Mormon. This past week’s reading was about the Savior’s visit to the people living in the Americas, after His resurrection, in 3 Nephi 11. At the 41 minute mark, Emily Belle Freeman, in the video above, tells this sweet story of a time when she felt the power of Jesus Christ in her life. It brings me to tears every time I listen. Then she also tells the story of her friend who passed away this past year from cancer. Her husband played music in their home to flood her life with the comforting influence of the Holy Spirit. The song below was one of them. When I first heard this song over ten years ago it also brought tears to my eyes. It is just so sweet! May we all find moments, even lengthy periods of time, when we will dance for Jesus, even amidst tears of sorrow. Because of Him, all of our sorrows are never permanent.

I love that 3 Nephi 11 describes the Savior’s voice. It was not harsh. It was small and quiet. So in order for us to Hear his voice, we have to put ourselves in places and positions where we can hear and feel gentleness, quiet, and peace. That means eliminating distractions. When I have done this in my life, I have definitely felt His love and peace. There is nothing else like Him and His influence. He creates beauty where there is ashes, hope where there is despair, forgiveness when there is hurt, healing where there is pain, and joy for sorrow. I invite you to come unto Him and see and feel for yourself. Read the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ with an honest heart and you will feel His Spirit. You will know the power of Jesus for yourself.

These are they lyrics to the song, I Can Only Imagine

This is the story behind the song.

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Some Fun Little Women Resources You Might Like

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-the cookbook above

-the website for Orchard House, with some links to video tours, some for a fee. Since the pandemic, the director of OH has been conducting some Facebook Live videos, found here.

-this documentary, with the trailer above, about Orchard House won an Emmy, produced by Jan Turnquist, the director of Orchard House. Jan is featured below in a fun lecture.

-this podcast interview that Sarah Mackenzie did with Jan. Jan clears up some confusion about the book. Little Women and its original sequel, Good Wives, were published separately, but eventually in the United States, they were put together in one volume. In Britain, and elsewhere, they were published separately.

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-this PBS documentary about Louisa is good, more for adults, not children

-you can get another Little Women Cookbook here

Little Women Cover

-you can get Little Women paper dolls, from the authors of the above cookbook, for free

Meg is here.

Jo is here.

Beth is here.

Amy is here. (The “Amy” link is not working, as it takes me to Beth. Hopefully, that will be fixed soon!)

Long live Little Women! If you missed my review of the 2019 movie, go here.

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Face to Face With Elder and Sister Rasband

I absolutely loved watching this Face to Face fireside with Elder and Sister Rasband last night. The story at about the 31 minute mark about the suicidal young man who had a stranger reach out to him, which turned his life around. Such a sweet story!

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Happy Birthday President Nelson!

Today is President Russell M. Nelson’s birthday. He is 96 years old now. I love these videos about him. He is truly the man that God has chosen to lead The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for today as the president of the Church. He prepared the Church for the pandemic. I blogged about that last May. Here are the changes he has made since becoming president of the Church. Over here, he shares his birthday message. I haven’t had the joy of meeting him in person, but I testify that he is a prophet of God. When he came to Arizona, with his wife, to speak, I felt so blessed. It was an amazing experience to watch and hear the livestream. Happy birthday President Nelson!

This is a speech he gave at BYU a year ago.
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Don’t Miss This: A Miraculous Story About the Power of Prayer

This BYU Speech by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon has a fun story about the power of prayer involving her daughter-in-law.

This is my first blog post in our new home, back in Utah. Nearly five years ago we moved to AZ. Oh how I love where we lived! Long story short…my husband and I decided God wanted us to move back, after he lost his job last Thanksgiving. So we are here!

The longer story involves many prayers, tears, the roller coaster ride of expecting a job to come through, then having hopes dashed, and months of waiting. Our prayers and fasting have been answered in the way we hoped. What seemed impossible has now happened and I am thrilled! I had to make some trade-offs: lots of acreage for little, a bigger home for a smaller home (which equals less storage), and living in a pretty much silent neighborhood (aside from birdsong and the sound of the UPS truck crunching on my gravel driveway to deliver Amazon boxes) to living in a bustling neighborhood. I can actually see cars driving outside my front window and people outside.

The upside is I traded living in pretty much a cultural wasteland to living close to a smorgasbord of educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities. I traded neighbors who aren’t very neighborly for neighbors who are, and I got a prettier home with the white cabinet kitchen I have always wanted! Yay! Plus I got a new flat-top stove and shiny new fridge in the deal. Double yay!

The cream and cherry on top are that I also get to live much closer to half of my adult children, both in college, as well as lots of relatives, and long-time homeschool friends. Instead of driving my kiddos 90 minutes one way to a homeschool group that I love I only have to drive 10 minutes max. Triple yay!

I know that prayer to our Heavenly Father in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ is the answer to ALL our problems. Prayer and scripture study got me through this long journey of my husband’s unemployment, waiting for a new job and a move to Utah. Our prayers won’t always be answered the way we hoped, but they will be answered in the way that is best. It is is so comforting to know that God is at the helm.

The above talk by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon includes an ah-MAZ-ing talk about the power of prayer. She tells of a miracle that happened for 7 days in a row of her daughter-in-law receiving exactly what she wanted through prayer, regarding something inconsequential, in the case, what she had for dinner.

You can read the talk here, or watch it above. I quote Sis. Cordon, below, quoting her daughter-in-law, because this is exactly how I feel right now.

After that prayer my heart felt light and unburdened, and I was grateful for such a mindful and loving Father in Heaven.

In my case I can say, “After this experience of months of prayer my heart feels light and unburdened…” Actually I can say that I felt “unburdened and light” during the experience, whenever I would pray. During those long uncertain months, exacerbated by the pandemic, the anxiety of the unknown left, everytime I knelt in prayer and poured out my soul to God. I knew God was watching over us and preparing the perfect job and place for us to live. I testify that God lives. I promise you that as you pray to Him in the sacred name of Jesus Christ you too can feel a light and unburdened heart. You too can have prayers answered.

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The Power of Spiritual Moms Who Know It

I loved last week’s episode of Don’t Miss This by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman, above.

David points out, around the 33 minute mark. that moms tend to have a “covenant” relationship instead of a “consumer” relationship. Yes! That is because mothers give their lives up for their children, just as Christ gives up His life for us. Fathers do too, but in different ways.

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Are you Questioning the Pandemic: The Numbers, the Shutdown, and the Forced Masking? If So, Read On!

Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky. Photo Credit: massie.house.gov

I listened to an interview today, with the guy above, in the podcast below. He’s Congressman Thomas Massie, from Kentucky. With both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT, living off the grid on a cattle ranch, he sounds amazing, as an engineer, entrepreneur, and a statesman. I loved hearing his refreshing voice of reason regarding the pandemic. Thank you Tom Woods for interviewing him.

What to do? Well here’s what one woman is doing!

I am copying and pasting the following in italics, from my friend Larayne’s blog. (If you are a Utah resident, I highly recommend you go to that link and read about the upcoming legislative session in Utah. Contact all the legislators and ask them to fight against extension of the State-of-Emergency and Health Department overreach of power.) OK, here are Larayne’s words:

Hey…wait a minute.

Are you questioning the state-of-the-world right now?
Do you feel that something is wrong with the way our government is handling COVID?
Do you have that nagging feeling that the numbers don’t add up?
Do you “know” social distancing and lockdowns and forced masking is wrong but you don’t know
what to do about it?
Are you troubled knowing your kids will not have social opportunities at school or church
because of social distancing measures and 24-7 mask requirements?
How are you impacted by social isolation? How long do you think it will take your family to
recover? Will they ever gain back the ground taken?
What are the spiritual, emotional, and psychological effects of constant mask use? What are we
doing to our culture? What will be the long term consequences?
What do you think about the explosion of mental health disorders in America since the
lockdown, an issue that was already overwhelming our current system?
2-3 years of wearing masks is almost an entire high school experience. The same time period is
almost lightyear-leap for the development of small children. How long will it take our children to
recover their social skills? Will they be normal functioning adults?
Are you uncomfortable mandating the COVID vaccine on the entire population?
How many of our elderly have died alone, without family, during the time that we’ve been
“protecting” them from coronavirus? Would you want to spend 2-3 years separated from your
loved ones over a fear of illness, only to die alone before the threat disappeared?
If you’re waiting for masks and social distancing to eventually go away, how long do you think
that will take? Why do you think a virus will disappear?
Are you uncomfortable with the way government has told you who and what was essential,
where you could go and under what conditions? Do you feel liberty is hanging by a thread as
government and “experts” dictate how we can live our lives based on fear and unproven data?
YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Please contact us at unmaskthedata.com (Coming soon!) to get involved with local efforts to
change the course of our state. We need everyone to preserve liberty & our family culture.

Go to Larayne’s blog. If you’re in Utah, support the events, share the flyers, and, contact all the legislators. If you aren’t in Utah, I hope Larayne’s example inspires you to find likeminded people and events in your state to support.

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My Assurance of Deliverance from God

I’m feeling so happy right now!

First, a girlfriend mailed me a care package that arrived this past week. Shout out to Michelle W.! She’s amazing! She included books by the Duggars, because she knows how much I love them. The box also had a book about gypsies, because we are both fascinated by them, as well other stuff, including positive affirmation signs, and food, to help with the current transition I’m undergoing (more on that later in this post). Plus some Pioneer Woman shelf liner! She also knows how much I love Pioneer Woman goodies!

Second, some other girlfriends came over yesterday and showed me amazing acts of service. I’ll never forget these gifts of time and love they gave to me.

Third, my wedding anniversary is tomorrow; we are celebrating 29 years!

Fourth, we had a wonderful family time over zoom tonight, with most of my kids, sharing family photos and reminiscing, to celebrate our family’s birthday, aka our anniversary. Four out of my seven kiddos are out of the nest, as well as the state, so this was definitely a treat to be together! Truly this was family joy at its best. Everybody talked, we saw at least one picture of everyone shining with a bright smile, looking his or her best, and nobody left feeling hurt or offended. For an evening, it felt like the old days when all the kids were home and we’d have jovial Sunday nights together.

Fifth, we have been delivered by God from bondage. My new favorite scripture I discovered today reminded me of that.

My current favorite scripture is this, from Alma 58:11:

“Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our adeliverance in him.”

Today as I did my Come, Follow Me study with my children and husband I noticed this scripture, after one of us read it aloud. I’ve read it dozens of times but it has new meaning for me now.

“I just felt that!” I thought. I shared with my family that I remembered that the Lord has visited me just in the past few months “with assurances” that He would “deliver us.” God indeed did “speak peace” to my soul and did grant me “great faith,” and “did cause” that I “should hope for our deliverance in him.”

The day before Thanksgiving, last fall, my husband lost his job. Thus began a quest for him to find new employment. I’m rejoicing that after an 8 month long roller coaster ride of searching, applying, and interviewing, he has a new job! In Utah! So we are moving back, after being in southern AZ for almost 5 years. This is such an amazing blessing for us! Wahooo!!!!

With unemployment on top of the pandemic, this past year has been interesting, to say the least. It’s been hard. What kept me going was my absolute faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ. I showed this faith with daily habits of personal scripture study and prayers and our family scripture study and prayers.

Many a night I would kneel in prayer, after everyone else was asleep. I poured out my stress, frustration and disappointment, after hearing my husband tell me he got another “no.” I was so tired of getting my hopes up for a job, and then plummeting down because of the “no.”

Around May or June, I experienced a sweet assurance after one of my many tearful prayers. I felt the Holy Spirit come to me and assure me that by Sept. 1, my husband would have a job. I felt peace. I felt hope. I knew I could go on. Things would change.

And yes. It finally happened! My husband got a job and we have been delivered from his underemployment. We’ve been delivered from that limbo state of not knowing where he’d be working, where we would be living, or how we were ever going to have more income than what was coming from his temporary job at Walmart, so that we can keep doing the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps. I’m so grateful!

So…if you feel yourself stuck, if you feel lost in a state of limbo, even if you feel you are in bondage, I testify that God can deliver you. Not only that, but however far away that deliverance is, in the meantime you can rest in the assurance that it IS coming.

Dh brought these home on his last day at his temp job at the grocery store to celebrate that we had finally ended our quest for a new job. I forgot to get a photo when they were fresh, so this is the next best thing, where you can’t see the roses drooping. I feel like we’ve conquered Mt. Everest!
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Hope from a Modern-day Esther, for Such a Time as This

Phyllis Schlafly
Photo Credit: Breitbart

Wow! This past week, I listened to this inspiring video below done by my delightful, smart curly girl friend Audrey Rindlisbacher. Audrey is the wonderful woman behind the Mission Driven Mom website and podcast. Thank you Audrey for creating this interview! It was so powerful!

Audrey recently interviewed Anne Schlafly Cori, a daughter of Phyllis Schlafly. If you don’t know who Phyllis is, let me introduce you. She was a wife, mother of 6, and a stateswoman who showed how to create a grass-roots movement to defeat bad (bad because it was anti-family and anti-liberty) legislation that was sweeping the USA in the 70s.

Phyllis never held political office, yet she wielded tremendous power. These videos show some of her many public appearances, demonstrating that she was an intellectual force to be reckoned with. I firmly believe God raised her up to be like Esther of old, in the Bible, for “such a time as this” to save her people.

I actually had the pleasure of hearing Phyllis speak in person. It was January 2010. She came to Salt Lake City and spoke at the annual Utah Eagle Forum Convention. This was a highlight conference that I looked forward to attending every year when I lived in Utah. I still remember her outfit. It was this snazzy plaid burgundy and pink jacket and matching skirt. It definitely popped! I took a picture of her speaking using my hot pink Motorola Razr cell phone. Alas, the photo has disappeared down a black hole amidst cell phone upgrades, moves, my techy-illiteracy, and distraction from mothering/homeschooling 7 children.

So back to Phyllis…I was impressed with how charming and articulate she was at her age when I heard her speak live. I’ll never forget the moment I walked past her in the restroom during this event, after the speech. It was held at the Larry H. Miller Conference Center of SLCC. As she approached close enough for me to touch her, I thought, “Wow, there’s Phyllis! Say something….ask for her autograph…smile…say hello! She’s famous! Do something!” Uhh, unfortunately, all I could do was awkwardly smile at her. To which she broadly beamed a most magnanimous smile back, just for me.

Then the moment was gone. I left the restroom and she continued in the other direction to be about her business. The only other somewhat celebrity encounter I’ve ever had in a restroom was with Peggy O’Mara, former editor of Mothering Magazine, at a La Leche League Conference in Chicago in 2008. I wish I had been prepared for that fleeting chance moment with Phyllis. I could have thanked her and asked her questions.

At the time, I really didn’t know how amazing she was. I hadn’t studied her devotion to motherhood and homemaking, her determination, her scholastic record, her leadership, or the fruits of her life. If I had, I would have overcome my shyness and spoken to her. Just watch the video above with Audrey or listen to it in podcast form here and you will learn how amazing she was.

She truly was like Esther of the Bible. She felt a call to defeat the ERA (the Equal Rights Amendment). That she did! Relying on her heart, along with facts about the family, marriage, and women, she proclaimed that the ERA was a misleading amendment. Arguing with logic and persuasion, she calmly showed that the ERA would hurt women instead of help them whenever she debated with feminists. She graduated from Harvard Law School after age 50, showing that women can “have it all” if they do it seasonally. She reared her children first, and then when they were no longer needing her in-home, day-to-day influence, she went to graduate school and became a lawyer.

This is called “sequencing”, something I heard back in my La Leche League Leader days when I encountered the book with that concept as the title. Armed with her legal education, Phyllis passionately and logically defeated ERA-proponents in debates. She held her own, always with a cheerful smile, and always elegant. She rallied her followers of homemaker moms and their supporters to vote down the ERA when it was put to the states to vote on after being passed by Congress.

Phyllis gives me hope! During this pandemic crisis, it’s easy to succumb to thinking that we are helpless. Phyllis lived during a different time, but she definitely faced a giant of a crisis that threatened the mental and physical health of the family, of women, men, and children. She stood up to it squarely, rallied supporters, and did not back away.

Hollywood has recently released a mini-series based on the life of Phyllis. It’s full of lies. Please get your facts straight about her. She did not have a contentious marriage. She did not leave little children to go to school or pursue a career. Watch these videos above and below and learn more here, at realmrsamerica.com.

May we each follow her example, following whatever God calls us to do to defend home, marriage, and family or whatever else is sacred to God, especially liberty.

This involves getting the training we need, studying the facts, doing our homework, putting our faith in God, acting diligently on the daily duties we owe to God, and letting the results be up to Him.

Here’s a book Phyllis co-authored, published in 2001. The amazon description gives a great summary of what she stood for. I’ve copied and pasted the description below.

“Forty years have passed since the so-called women’s movement claimed to liberate women from preconceived notions of what it means to be female – and the results are in. The latest statistics show that as women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy. In The Flipside of Feminism, Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly provide readers with a new view of women in America – casting off the ideology that preaches faux empowerment and liberation from men and marriage. Their book demonstrates that conservative women are, in fact, the most liberated women in America and the folks to whom young people should be turning for advice. Their confident and rational approach to the battle of the sexes is precisely what America needs.”

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