The Heart of Christmas: A Life Changing Movie (Review and GIVEAWAY)

After running around town this morning dropping off our preschooler at a field trip, picking him up from his field trip, then dropping off our 6-year-old at school (she had a delay start), and going back to pick up our preschooler from school I realized that I had driven up and down the same street 6 times between the hours of 9 & 11:30am with our toddler in tow. By the time I got home I felt so frazzled and so behind, I did not accomplish anything this morning (besides driving). That overwhelmed feeling was multiplied as I opened the door and was greeted by the pile of laundry that was dumped on the coffee table while one of the kiddos search for an article of clothing this morning, the Legos that were left sprawled on the floor from the night before, the shoes tossed right by the front door, the fingerprints all over the window from our toddler getting into the markers, etc.  So I rushed to feed the kiddos and started doing the dishes while they ate lunch. After they had lunch and went down for a nap/quiet time I hit my “to do list” hard! So much to do so little time!

First things first, I had been putting my review of The Heart of Christmas off for the past two days trying to find the perfect time to view it and I couldn’t put it off any longer. So I grabbed some laundry to fold (always multitasking) while I began watching The Heart of Christmas.  And WOW! The gift I received having had the opportunity to watch the film is difficult to put into words. 

The Heart of Christmas tells the story of Austin and Julie Locke, who are devastated to learn that their young son, Dax, has been diagnosed with cancer.  With courage, determination and faith, they decide to give Dax one last Christmas – even if it has to be in October.  When the community sees the holiday decorations and learns the heartbreaking truth, what happens next is a miraculous outpouring of care and support.  The Heart of Christmas will touch your heart and bring home the spirit of the holidays. In stores now!

Movie Trailer

 

 

Half a box of Kleenex later and I think I am now able to maintain some composure and share the amazing gift The Heart of Christmas has given me and our family.

The film opens with a mom who is very busy; in fact she forgets that she needs to take her son trick-or-treating that evening, drop her daughter off at an overnight, and that her daughter had a game the next day. She reminded me of someone…but whom? Oh, that’s right, me! Then, while in the neighborhood where she is dropping off her daughter and trick-or-treating with her son she stumbles upon Christmas decorations, the neighborhood is decorated for Christmas, not Halloween. So she inquires about what is going on and it is then that she is told about Locke’s blog and her life and mine change from that moment on.

I don’t want to give too much away, I do not what to rob you of the amazing gift that this movie provides when you view it but I will let you know that Dax’s parents are told, that after exhausting all options and treatments, that he will not live past 6 weeks. As a parent you can’t help but to put yourself in their shoes and think about your own children and all the things you would be feeling if this was your child. Like the fact they would never experience their first kiss, driving, prom, dating…no more Christmases! I became a hot mess when Julie, Dax’s mom, realized that her son will never see another Christmas…one of the most magical times of the year for a child and the child in all of us. What the community does next is heartwarming and beyond amazing.

After viewing The Heart of Christmas guess who is now cherishing those fingerprints all over the window…the legos sprawled across the floor…little shoes by the front door?  Guess who has suddenly found the time to sit down and have a snack with her children and inquire about their days while gazing into their eyes as opposed to running around completing daily chores? This mom! Thank Dax, Julie and Austin, their community, St. Jude’s, Matthew West, and everyone who contributed to The Heart of Christmas…thank you for reminding me what is truly important everyday, not just on special occasions. And I thank God for my family, my sweet babies and their health, and I pray for all the families out their who have a loved one near the end of their lifetime.

To learn more about the Locke Family, Dax, and the what you can do to help please checkout The Dax Locke Foundation.

This is the perfect film to give your loved ones this Christmas because it is more than just a movie, it is a reminder that life is short and how important it is to treasure the time we have and they will thank you for it, trust me!

To be entered into the giveaway for The Heart of Christmas DVD (retail value $27.97)

  1. Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook Page
  2. Like Sling Shot Pictures Heart of Christmas Facebook Page
  3. Comment in the thread stating you have done so and share a favorite Christmas tradition in your community, family, or house.

Winner will be randomly selected Oct 22nd.

 

 

Thought I would leave you wiht this Video by Matthew West based on Dax’s story

There is always a Bright Side

Ever had one of those days? One of those woe is me days? One of those days where nothing is going right, maybe you woke up late which now means that the entire house is running late. The dog puked in the corner, cat missed the litter box, and you forgot to switch around the laundry the night before so those clean clothes you planned on putting the kiddos in are wet.  You forgot to have kiddos make lunch the night before and now you are searching the cushion of your couch for any sign of change so they can buy lunch and you can experience mommy guilt for the crap they will be consuming later in the day. You finally get everyone fed, dressed, out the door, in the car, buckled, and find that you are on E!

I know I have experienced days like that and when I do have days like that I tell myself I have two options. One; complain, complain, complain and make everyone else’s life miserable too by spreading my negativity. Or, I can look on the bright side, there is always a bright side, I don’t care what anyone tells you, there is always someone else who is worse off. So, the bright side is that I have a family that depends on me to get the party started, so to speak, in the a.m. I have k-9 and feline friends. I have a washer and dryer to wash my children’s clothes. I am fortunate enough to live in a country where schools do provide a lunch for children (in this rationale beggars can’t be choosy but I do think that the food served at schools needs to be reevaluated) should their parents not be able to provide food. Lastly, I am fortunate to be able to have a vehicle to drive my children to school, activities, and errands.

Another trick that I find that really helps me when I am having a woe is me day, STOP THINKING ABOUT ME. Stop the pity party before it starts, there is a bigger picture out there, it isn’t all about me. “My Own Little World” by Mathew West expresses this quite eloquently.

 

So, have you had one of those days? How do you cope?

Service, Eat, Love, (Shop), and Praise

This weekend was amazing.  It was one of those weekends where even though it was busy and full of activities I feel renewed and refreshed this morning.  This past weekend I was fully submerged in my community and got to spend time with family and friends, through service and praise, what could be better than that?

Service…..

It all started Friday evening.  Our local playgroup sponsored pizza and movie night at the Beach House, a local family shelter.  For the past two weeks moms in our group have been generous in donating money to go towards the pizza order, made cookies, made brownies, purchased juice and pop, donated napkins, cups, and plates, donated movies, and some even dropped off their own donations  based upon the shelter’s wish list.

So on Friday evening two other moms met at my home and we loaded up one of the moms Jeeps (it was so kind of her to drive, I was initially supposed to drive but my driver’s side windshield wiper fell off and wouldn’t you know it just so happened to be raining. It was a little scary to say the least but everything has worked out) with the donations, picked up pizza, and dropped of everything at the Beach House.  While there it reminded me to be thankful for all I have. Sure there are moments when I wish I had a new computer, a new phone, a new mattress but being there on Friday reminded me to count my blessings.  I have a home, heat, clothing, shower, a bed, and so much more. It also reminded me that in a blink of the eye it could all be gone, and my family could be that family in the shelter.  It felt good to know that I was part of a group of amazing mothers who saw an opportunity in their local community, to give families less fortunate the joy of a family bonding activity in an otherwise less than ideal circumstance, and they were willing to help.

Love…

I started listening to K-love, a Christian based radio station, about two years ago and then I took their 30 day challenge and have been listening to nothing but since January. I listen mostly in the car while driving the kiddos to and from school, after school activities, playgroup meetups, church, and weekly errands. My interest in Christian music all began at a local Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting. Two DJs from Yes FM came in and explained the influence music can have on our children (I will blog more about this in the future) and that was my “aha moment”. Up until that point I thought it was cute when my son sang a Lady Gaga song word for word, I didn’t make the connection between the music and the image that was being portrayed in/by the music. So we made the switch to listen to positive and encouraging music. Now my son sings Matthew West and Casting Crowns songs word for word. So when my family heard that the Come to the Well tour was heading to Toledo we were excited.

It should be known that my mother and extended family have been listening to Christian music for years, decades really. I always thought they were a little crazy or overly religious, what was the big deal?  I thought church was just the motions. I thought Sunday mass was just what you did, just because. It didn’t sink in, the magnitude, the feeling of peace that comes with knowing that Christ loves you know matter what.  I think I was ashamed, guilty, or felt like I didn’t deserve Christ love, or maybe just elementary in my thinking (I will address this more in a future blog). So, it was a crazy journey there but I have finally come to the well.

Eat…

So the evening of the concert my family, my parents, sister, brother, grandfather (who turns 80 in a couple of weeks), uncles, aunts, cousins, my son, and I all met at Tony Packo’s for dinner before the concert.

It was a blast to catch up with everyone over Hungarian food at one of Toledo’s popular establishments. 

Dinner is served

Tony Packo’s has been serving Hungarian food since 1934 and is well-known for its buns signed by celebrities, M*A*S*H connections, and of course the delicious food.

Shop…

So we had a few minutes before the concert, what to do, what to do? Hmm, shop!  Off course! So we stopped into the Swan Creek Candle co. and enjoyed the amazing aromas and the cool antiques on the second floor.  

I took a few pictures of some items I would like for Mother’s day (Hint…Hint for my hubby. No more grabbing the cheap, contents containing known carcinogens candles ten minutes before we have Mother’s Day brunch).

This is my favorite. This would make a great Mother's Day gift.

Praise…

COME TO THE WELL concert was awesome.  It was so much fun being with the extended family, having 4 generations present at such a moving concert was truly a gift from God (and my parents, thank you for the tickets), I felt so blessed and thankful for this night. The concert included, Lindsay McCaul, Matthew West, Royal Tailor, and Casting Crowns.

Waiting

My 4-year-old thought Lindsay McCaul sang beautifully and wanted her CD.  I agreed and yes, Nana got him the CD after the concert and we are so enjoying it.

I was really impressed with the group Royal Tailor, they are a great band for teens and tweens to listen to, I like the positive influence they can have on the younger generation.

Matthew West

Finally Casting Crowns came on stage. I had a difficult time explaining to our preschooler how a concert works. After every song prior to Casting Crowns he asked, “Are they next”?  

All their songs are beautiful and moving but I got teary-eyed during Just Another Birthday.

Thankfully before I got to that point of sobbing, so others could hear, my little prince exclaimed, (and during a moment of silence for prayer), word for word…” I can’t hold it any longer. I have to go. I have to now. I have to go poop now!!”  I guess God even knows when things are getting just a little to deep.

It was an amazing weekend.

Do you have a favorite song or Christian band that you enjoy listening to?