Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Post In Which I Sound Super-Spiritual

I hesitate to write this because I know that Twilight has a huge following and a lot of you love the books, and the movie, and the actors, and everything about Twilight, but I will.

After all, this is my blog ... a place where I express MY feelings, beliefs, and thoughts.

So, here goes.

The super-spiritual part is that I really believe that God halted me from reading the rest of this book.

Here's a little background info for you ...

My oldest daughter, K Belle, has always been super-sensitive to scary or dark things. She used to have lots of bad dreams and struggled with fear. We prayed and prayed. We quoted Scripture to her and had her quote Scripture and even audibly rebuke the spirit of fear in her life. She is now 11 years old and for the last year, she has finally found peace. But, because of all these things, we have always been extremely cautious of what we allow her to watch, read, listen to, etc. The reason I even started reading the book was because she said a girl brought it to school and she had read part of it. Not only was I curious about what all the hype was, but I wanted to know what she may have read.

So, I started reading the book.

It was alright. I was never at a point in the book where I couldn't put it down. Of course, I only got to chapter four or five.

Anyway, I went to bed early one night and read a little before bed. Then, as I was falling asleep realized I was actually thinking about vampires before I went to bed. Kinda creepy. And the fact that I was thinking about them in a good way, like it was no big deal that they were blood-suckers, was weird.

Then, a voice in my head said, "Why are you doing this? Why are you reading this? You preach to your daughter about what she fills her mind up with, and then you bring this book and the spirit that comes with it into your house?"

I thought about that for a while and then this ... "Get rid of the book."

And, really, I actually thought about the fact that I promised my blogging friends that I'd read it and give my review as a reason to not get rid of the book. I rationalized that I was just doing it for you all and then I wouldn't read any of the other books.

I understand that the book is not scary and the vampires are not "bad vampires."

However, sometimes I feel that people can take something that is not a good thing and make it appealing and attractive to other people.

It's almost like an infatuation thing that I'm talking about.

First, you get past the fact that the book is about a vampire because the vampire is a "good" vampire.

Second, you actually like the vampire guy.

Third, you don't just like the vampire guy, he's actually attractive and appealing to you.

And lastly, you become desensitized to these kinds of things and just want more and more.

And, I didn't feel like this was a message that I wanted to send to my daughter to compromise in even one tiny little area of my life. I didn't want her thinking, "Well, Mom thinks Twilight's OK, so I'm sure she won't mind "Whatever the Next Creepier Vampire Novel Is Called." Get it?

Now, I say all this as MY thoughts. I know it's not the thoughts of everyone. I'm not trying to be your Holy Spirit here. And I don't think down on anyone who loves the book. And if I've offended anyone of you Twilight fans, I'm sorry, just my thoughts here.

But, for me and my house, this book will not be brought into it. In fact, anyone want a free book? I'm looking to get rid of one.


Patrice said...

Wow, I just started this book also just a few days ago. I too find that I have no problems putting it down and it has not captured my attention like I was told it would.
I actually have been reading a Karen Kingsbury book while reading this one, and it is wonderful!!!

I am only on chapter three, and find my self, oddly in the same position that you are in. No I do not have girls that will be reading this, but I struggle with why I am reading this.

You have given me some food for thought!

Rach@In His Hands said...

I completely respect your decision there Mama Belle! I'm a Twilight fan, but can appreciate other's take on the books.

Now that Twilight is out the door, what will you be reading next?

Mike, Brie and The Three said...

I am with you. I didn't read the book because it was of no interest to me and I saw the movie because we became part of the plans of some friends and needed a night out without the kids.
This is not the only place the the bad becomes appealing. Think about the words on "your" IPOD, the words on the radio. Those songs are catchy and fun because that is how Satan gets to us. He seems fun until he gets you into trouble. So here is my "super spiritual" comment.
Good for you Mama Belle! Thank you too, for being a role model, even if you don't want to be.

atara said...

I'm the first to comment again! I'm an early bird I tell ya! Anyway, I was like your daughter growing up as well and to this day, I do not watch or read anything like that because it does affect me. Bravo to you Momma!

Brandi said...

My dad always talked about incrementalism when we were kids. . . Meaning, taking litlle "not all that bad" steps that lead down a road that you never intended on going. This was my fear with this book. The truth is, I have no reason to read it. . . I mean, what's it going to hurt me to miss a popular book?! I may think differently if I were a youth leader in a group of kids that all read it and I needed to relate and be able to elk the kids through it. . But just for my own entertainment, no thanks.

Thanks for sharing your story as I'm sure mine would have been similar.


sara said...

Good for your for listening to the voice of God in YOUR life and your familys. I have never read the books, but I believe what is right and ok for one can be very wrong for another. And thanks for posting about it! I think peer pressure and even a little blog pressure is very real and Satan will use what ever means he can to deter us from listening to the the HS in our own lives.

Good post today!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

My respect for you has just gone up a notch. That was brave, but it's what you believe and you aren't afraid to put it out there. Bravo!

BTW, I happen to agree with you whole-heartedly. My kids nor I will be reading this book. So thanks for the offer, but no thanks. :-)

Joan said...

Your thoughts are the same as mine. It is what it is and I didn't want to start something that went against what I felt in my spirit.

It's like my mother alwasys told me. Just because everybody's doing it doesn't make it right. If everyone of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?

Thanks for the post and have a blessed New Year!

Amy Bennett said...

I'll be the first Twilight fanatic (and Christian) and comment...I don't blame you at all. You have to do what is right for you. Fear was a real problem in my past and with young girls, I can understand you needing to take a stance if it is an issue and more importantly, listen to the Holy Spirit.
That being said, I do have to say that the book doesn't get good until around page 75 :)...and I have absolutely no desire to read anything about other vampires. In fact, I still hate regular vampires.

RachelQ said...

Thank you Daphne. You are saying the same things that I have thought about this book and the HP ones, and other issues, but I won't go there. I appreciate your honesty and sticking to your convictions on the matter.

Try paperback swap.. I am sure you could get rid of it fast there.

Lula! said...

I love you and your awesomeness...and your honesty and candor and your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I'm so glad we're friends via this blogosphere.

p.s. But you know I still love me some Edward. And that's OK. Now...go read The Hunger Games. No vampires whatsoever. HA! :) Or read Francine Rivers. Anything by her. She loves the Lord & she's my favorite author in the world. Good times.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I was like your daughter when I was little, and then The Exorcist came out, which got so much serious attention you would not believe it. People make fun of it now, but back then, it was not a butt of campy jokes. I never saw it, but I heard all about it, even our teacher talked about it. I was already sensitive to "dark" things, completely repelled by them, and no one in my life seemed to take my fear seriously or help me deal with it. I would say for two years I lived in fear, and long after that I had residual moments of fear. I hate anything to do with spiritual darkness because of 1 John 1:5: "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." There is NO darkness AT ALL? Now--my 16 year-old girl has read the books and really liked them. I had misgivings about it, but at this stage, I am trying to let her make some decisions on her own. But I have expressed to her my feelings about these things, so I know she has thought it over. So far, everywhere I turn, I am definitely in the minority and feel like a cowering Puritan or something. But something in my gut is saying, "No" at least for me.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

...makes me think of that passage in the Bible (which I can't seem to find right now) about the idol meat. For those that saw a problem with it, they were not to eat it...and for those who didn't relate it to idols were free to eat it. Same idea..I think.

You're listening to His voice for you, and that's awesome my friend.

I know what it's like to not support a beloved book...I'm the one who can't stand The Shack *gasp* :)

Love you friend.

Cassandra @ Tripping Around The Sun said...

I think it was well said. I agree with you 100%.

Jeanette said...

I know exactly what you mean. I stuggle with the same things sometimes. I have to simply say no to things of this world regardless of the thoughts or opinions of others.

Twilight was one of the things that I said no to (Harry Potter was another). Like you I don't look down on people who read or watch these types of books & movies.

I just know that for me, it would be a problem and I don't need to bring that into my family.

Blessings to you in the new year!!

Sara@ Butterville said...

Good for you Belle! :) If that is how you feel way to go sticking to your morals and letting us in on your thoughts. I so admire you for that. I get that the book isn't for everyone. Like I said before I like being "lost" in a story. Feeling like I'm part of it. My "real" life story and some "charaters" in it are much more horrible then a blood sucking vampire...they suck the Jesus from me. Which for me worse. The scartiest books I ever read...the Left behind series. I was deathly afraid of being "left behind" and forced to make it through the judgemnets and living in a world with the Anti-christ. (I DON'T read scary books like Stephan King or Anne Rice stuff, I did read a Frank Peretti book, he writes about the spiritual warfare going on around us that was creepy too!
Thanks for sharing your opinion. Sorry you didn't like the book, it's not for everyone.

Aspiemom said...

If I say that I applaude you, that I am proud of what you've posted here, will I get all of the others mad at me?

Rachel said...

Wow - you put into words exactly how I feel about the Harry Portter series (which is also a reason I haven't picked up Twilight). Don't get me wrong - I loved the HP story and devoured every single book the day they came out. But after I started experiencing demonic dreams and going through some serious spiritual warfare, my eyes were opened to what I had already opened my mind too, even though on the surface it seemed harmless. Mine too was a spirit of fear, paralyzing fear. Good for you, mom, for taking a stand for yourself and for your daughters. I believe you will all be better for it in the end. :)

Tracy said...

Glad to hear it! I was sad to see you had even given in to all the hype! That's really all it is...the next thing Satan is using...just like Harry Potter...etc. It is sad that they found a way to reach, even more so from Adults to teens this time! I was so sad to see perfectly good Christan Homeschool Blogging Mommies, become consumed as well! NOt to mention all the talk at CHURCH! We are called to be different!If the world is obsessed with it FLEE!

thedomesticfringe said...

Well, good for you! I've read the first two books and didn't feel as though it was a big deal, but if you felt conviction then you did right. It's very respectable to follow the Spirit's leading and be a good example for your little girl. I actually thought about what age I'd let my kid read a book like this...I still don't have an answere, but it would be older teen for sure.

Praying you have a New Year filled with happiness, blessing, and all things good. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tami said...

I read all 4 books and for me it was not appealing at all. I read them because I love to read and I read them because that is what I do. I read! That being said. The whole concept creeped me out. Not because of vampires. I've read vampire stuff and STephen king stuff but just because of the worship aspect. AS in the girl and the vampire pretty much worshipped each other. It was really weird. So as for me, I didn't like it and I thought the books were poorly written. Stephanie Meyer is by far one of the worst writers I have ever read and I read 3-4 books a week.

The Hat Chick said...

I agree with what others have said here about the ways Satan worms his way into our lives....he does anything he can to turn us, distract us. Glory be to God for giving you the courage to speak out in His name.

glenda said...

I don't comment much but read here regularly. Today, though, I wanted to say, kudos to you, for setting such a great example to your girls. I don't get the whole Twilight Fanfare either.

And funny someone mentioned Francine Rivers, I just picked up on of hers at the library today.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Birdie said...

Way to go Mama B. I think that whatever the Lord speaks to your heart, you should follow it, proved you know it's from Him!
Obviously for you that book had no business in the house.
I'm always reminding my kids that it's important to guard your heart and not everything is profitable. There's a reason the Word says whatever's pure, holy, of good report, etc..., think on these things.

Jen said...

I just have to say a huge THANK YOU! The point isn't that they're horribly terribly bad, but that they are just the next step in accepting evil as good. I'm no straightlaced prude, and I'm a pastor's wife. I cuss sometimes and I think gay people are sadly mistaken in their lifestyles but no more sinners than I am. Jesus died for us all -- and yet I am opposed to these books. I don't want to go there -- I love infatuation like a drug, and I don't want to get caught up in this story about vampires.
However, I did go see "Benjamin Button" and am thoroughly sated with the beauty and love story therein.
Thanks, Mama Belle. You go girl.

Tammy said...

I was a very fearful child for MANY years....and I was well into teenage-hood before I learned to control my fears through my faith in the Lord.

Thank you for taking a stand and sharing your feelings.

I am not a reader and nothing about these book sounds even remotely interesting to me. I am more of a picture book girl. Which leaves me, thumbing through Southern Living and Real Simple. :-)

Blessings and Happy New Year!

Liz said...

Thank you for your integrity and being bold enough to express why you won't read the book. I love what you shared.

12-arrows said...

Thank you thank you thank you. I have contemplated reading the book but just never have felt at ease about it. I love your willingness to open your heart and share. I am very careful what my daughter reads as she too has experienced nightmares and fears the dark. i honestly don't think I could bring the book into my home and have it laying around for her to see that its ok, its just fiction. I appreciate your honesty and your openess. You said just what I have been feeling but couldn't put into words.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Wow! Love your boldness, girl, and your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I have yet to pick up these books, although I've been curious about them. You've given me definite food for thought here...I want to be so, so careful with what I bring into my house, even if it seems like good harmless fun.

southeastcountrywife said...

i have to say i'm cheering to finally hear somebody (christian) have a problem with these books. i've found it quite disturbing and wondered if i was the only person on the planet. :)

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I agree with you too. I haven't read them nor care to read them. There are too many other Christ centered thing to read! We should never have to make excuses or apologies for Not choosing the things of the world! Happy New Year Girl

Life with Kaishon said...

I love that you listened when God spoke! So beautiful!

Rebel said...

I think you did a very wise thing. God speaks to us and it is up to us to listen. You are wise in stating how you feel to your daughter but allowing her to decide. She may read it because of her peers readin' it but it will also make her think while she is reading and see why it can be wrong.
The passage in the Bible that I think was referred to earlier is in 1 Corintians 10. If anyone sees you, with knowledge, eating, will he not be encouraged to eat?
The story of Vampires seems dark to me mainly because they drink human blood and are the 'undead' or 'living dead'. I think make believe ends when it talks of things so not christian. Vampires are not an innocent scare anymore. We read and can watch continuing stories about them on movie channels and vampires are being portrayed to our young as heroes and there are cults of 'wannabe's' out there.
I think you just gave a very good testimonial to the Lord.

Jodi said...

Good for you for standing up for what you believe in!

I had never even heard of this movie until we saw a preview while watching another movie and did not even know that there were books.

I have never had a desire for any type of book/movie like that. Why do people want to put those images in their heads? And people wonder why the world is the way it is today! Take a look at what our kids are watching and reading.

Thanks again!

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

Thanks for your input. I appreciate your point of view greatly. I think despite all the hype I will skip searching for this book in my library.

Sherry said...

I have been out of town, thus my late comment.

Good for you! It's important to listen to what the Spirit has to say to us and then follow!

Legend says vampires are considered to be from the "dark side" and one thing that has power over them to send them to their coffin is the Cross. Anything the Cross is against, I'm against!

Good vampire? Good devil? We must be careful what we entertain and put into our hearts and minds. The Bible says that Satan will come as an angel of light. We must not be deceived just because it looks or seems to be good.

Keep listening and following what God has for you. Your children are watching and so is HE!


Andrea @ Mommy said...

I haven't been by in a while and I've missed you :-)

Haven't read it, and now I definitely won't!

And, are you hearing Casting Crown's "Slow Fade"...cause that sounds like what you just described!

BTW - have you thought about going to Blissdom in Nashville (Feb)?

Mama2hre said...

I visited your blog on "I See What You're Saying" day and I just remembered you mentioned you would be posting about Twilight. I'm so glad you posted and I'm so glad I remembered to check it out! :) I completely agree! The devil uses simple things to twist our thoughts. Since when are blood sucking, shadow dwellers "good", just doesn't seem right to me. I've wondered what all the fuss was about. Now I am CERTAIN I'm not missing anything. :)

Sera said...

This is the first time I have visited your blog. I found your link through FB. Gotta love FB! I LOVE your blog! You are such a great writer! I look forward to getting my day off with a good chuckle or food for thought with your blog. :) I loved the Mr. Smarty Pants pic! :)

I really appreciated this post! Good for you! It is SOOOO refreshing to find someone else who stands firm in their beliefs amongst the pop culture fads. I have been so busy writing and editing that I hadn't really been privy to all the Twilight hype until my 23 year old sister went and saw it and couldn't believe everyone was making such a fuss over such a not-so-good looking guy AND what was simply a movie with a vampire... it didn't matter what kind of vampire it was... it was a vampire. So, needless to say, I decided right then and there that I wouldn't waste my time or money to go see it. Nor will I read the book.

I agree full heartedly with you about watching out what you bring into your home or even watch or expose yourself to as a mother and role model. Our children watch everything we do and learn by our actions.

My hubbie and I felt the same way with the HP books as well. Satan tries to sneak his way in like a wolf in sheep's clothing... so our 4 kiddos won't be reading HP, Twilight or anything similar.

Way to stick to your guns!!! :)