I must say this year's season finale was definitely better than last years' show. Last year we found Jack and Rebecca embroiled in one of their biggest fights yet. This is where we, as the audience understand Rebecca wants more out of life and Jack wants her to acknowledge that he and the kids are enough. This leads to a temporary separation where Jack lives at Miguel's house for a while. This year, however, Rebecca is the first person we see in the beginning scene, walking down the aisle to her vow renewal with Jack for their forty year wedding anniversary. It's like it was meant to be. However, there is one person missing throughout all of it-- Toby! The groom for Kate's wedding is missing in all of her dreams of her parent's ceremony. Kate figures out she needs to "make room for Toby" in her life and let go of her dad's influence.
Personally, I found it a bit disturbing that Toby does not appear in any of her dreams. If she is getting married and the man she is supposed to marry isn't in any of the dreams about wedding, then what does that say about their relationship?
I love that we finally got a chance to learn a bit more about Toby's background with two divorced parents fighting over alimony payments and concerned about his health. Their concern does not go unfounded even with Toby's protests because in the final scene where Toby is struggling with depression again. The last sequence also reveals Kevin with new lady Zoe (Beth's cousin) on a plane visiting what we think is Vietnam, as well as Randall, aged about ten years, visiting Tess and asking her "You ready to see her?" with an uneasy Tess replying "I'm not ready yet."
So Fogleman and gang have presented us with three new questions to ask ourselves as we wait with great anticipation for next fall: Why is Kevin going to Vietnam? Who is the "she" Randall and Tess are going to see? and, why is Toby struggling with depression? Feel free to comment below with your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you have to say. Here are my thoughts:
1) Tess is going to see Beth who has recently split from Randall due to the tension of having Deja around.
2) Toby is struggling with depression because either their dog Audio died or they lost another baby.
3) Kevin is going with his new wife (yes, I said it) Zoe and they are going to Vietnam to visit a child his uncle had while he was at war, or visiting his uncle's tombstone.
It's questions like these where we come to love This Is Us more and more.
And in classic, "worst case scenario" fashion for season three: "Fogleman never answers our questions and it becomes another show like Lost. Go!"
As I mentioned in my last post, I, in partnership with biblestudyexpo.com, are featuring two Christian authors on my blog. Yesterday I featured Michelle Cushatt. Today, meet Carey Scott, author of the book Uncommon. For more info, please visit her website at www.careyscott.org. Below are her interview questions:
Do you travel much?
I'm such a homebody, so I don't travel a ton. When I do speak in different cities though, I have a great time meeting new women! They can be crazy-fun and they love me well! But I'm always ready to get back to my home and family because they love me even better... most of the time.
How do you spend your time when you're not writing?
Gosh, when am I not writing? LOL. I've had 3 books published in 4 years, including Uncommon which released in July of 2017 and Unafraid releasing July of this year. Writing keeps my crazy tucked in, so it's actually something I really enjoy doing. When I do step away, I love watching my daughter crush the volleyball, listening my son wow me with his scientific knowledge and watch movies with my husband.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I would be a dive master. I love the ocean and everything in it. I've been scuba diving since I was in high school, and that was a long time ago.
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I love the big hair bands of the 80's. Like a lot. When I'm having a bad day, I turn up the stereo and sing at the top of my lungs. It changes my mood almost immediately. I love it. Also, I have a sword -- a real sword -- that I pray with sometimes. Maybe it's the weight of it in my hands or holding something to symbolize the battle... but it helps me feel like God is with me and I can overcome anything.
Were you good at English?
I was! I've always been good at writing, but not all writing is the same. I had to learn how to write non-fiction and express myself succinctly. Finding the shortest, most powerful way to say something took practice and patience.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
My husband is very proud of me. He's my biggest fan and brags on me all the time. My mom worries because when I write I bleed onto my keyboard and she knows it's hard to be so vulnerable. My friends always wonder if the stories I tell are about them. I feel very supported by my tribe. They make what I do... doable.
What is the most amusing thing that has ever happened to you?
Too many to mention, actually. But I'll tell you what my family finds the most amusing about me -- ordering food at a drive thru. For some reason, it stresses me out. I feel pressure. And it makes me nervous. I forget what everyone wants, I order the wrong items and I can't make up my mind. I cannot explain why fast food ordering unravels me. LOL. And while it hasn't always been this way, it is now. And my family laughs every time.
What is your favorite movie and why?
I love The Help. Seriously. I watch it all the time. I think I appreciate the boldness it took for the characters to write the hard stuff. I love the courage it took to be real in a world that glorifies the fake. And the shift in confidence in each of them encourages me to be brave.
What process did you go through to get your book published?
My first book, Untangled, took over a year of my agent shopping it around to different publishing houses before it was picked up. During that time, it changed titles and direction. And it was brutal to continue getting a "no" from one house to the next. When I finally received a "yes" ... I kinda freaked out. I had a crisis of confidence, afraid I couldn't actually write this book. But I did. God continued to show up. That's when I discovered how close I feel to Him when I write.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Hopefully working on another book, continuing to speak to women around the world, visiting my kids at college, enjoying my husband more than ever... and finding God in every bit of it.
Welcome to the christian Women Speakers blog expo! In partnership with biblestudyexpo.com, I am featuring two Christian authors and speakers who have blessed my heart tremendously with their teaching. The first is Michelle Cushatt, bestselling author, podcast host with Michael Hyatt and a woman with a powerful testimony. Below are some interview questions regarding her new book I Am (found at www.iambook.net) so you can get to know her and her work better:
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
I usually write on a topic I’m neck-deep in the middle of wrestling. That means, I write in spurts. As God is teaching me a certain truth, I might write and write and write over the span of a few days. Then, I let it ferment for a while. I do additional research, prayer, study. As God opens my eyes, ears, and heart to understand more, I’ll return to the book and edit, revise, or add accordingly. Writing isn’t a black-and-white process for me, as it really takes places in the trenches of my real and raw life.
How do you find or make time to write?
Good question! Some days, I have no idea. :) As of right now, I still have three of my six children living at home, which means my day-to-day parenting responsibilities are significant. In addition, I lead a mastermind for Christian women in leadership, record a podcast, coach numerous leaders and communications, and travel and speak around the world. I’ve discovered that for me the best way to tackle big writing projects is to schedule one weekend a month to hunker down in a hotel or AirB&B away from home and write like a mad woman. I can get more accomplished in those three to four days away than I can get done in a whole month at home while juggling work, marriage and kids. My other secret writing window? 5:00 in the morning, before anyone else in my family is awake.
What book are you reading right now?
Only one?! I’m actually reading about 6 or 7 books right now! A couple of my favorites include The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning, Making Sense of God by Timothy Keller, and The Question That Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey.
What do you to relax on a weekend?
I read as much as possible, work in the yard, or go for a walk, hike or run in the mountains. Oh, and NAP. A perfect weekend always includes a good long nap.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Such a great question, and one I contemplate often as someone who's survived cancer three times and has no guarantee of a long life. In truth, I feel quite grateful with what God has already allowed me to experience and accomplish. My forty-six years of life have been quite extraordinary, and I savor the gift. However, I would still like to see my children’s children someday and be a “Mimi.” I’d also like to hike a few more Colorado 14er mountains and travel to Israel. Israel has long been a dream trip of mine, and it just hasn’t happened. YET.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I loved, loved, loved the Little House on the Prairie series. In fact, I’m pretty sure I read through every volume at least three or four times.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I sat down to write my first articles, stories and books because I needed some way to make sense of the complexity, confusion and suffering of my life and faith. I had so many questions, things I didn’t understand or know how to reconcile with the God I grew up believing. Writing was therapy, a means of unraveling all the knotted emotions and doubts, and helping me to see Truth. In short, writing helped me find the presence of God in the middle of the mess.
When did you decide to become a writer?
It wasn’t so much a decision as an accidental stumbling. Well over a decade ago, I was leading a women’s Bible study at my church that grew from a handful of women to over 80 in a very short amount of time. As a result, I needed to find a way to stay connected with each woman. It was impossible to touch each one at our Tuesday night Bible studies! Thus, I began writing weekly devotional emails to the group. This became my way of personally investing these women that I loved. Over time, those emails became blog posts, then articles and eventually books.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Oh, I have so many favorite authors, so many who have deeply impacted my spiritual life and writing life! Corrie ten Boom was, perhaps, my first female writing hero. Her story, ruthless honesty, and absolute faith in God in spite of the unanswered questions were fuel to my teenage faith. Since then, writers like A. W. Tozer, Brother Lawrence, Charles Spurgeon, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C. S. Lewis, Philip Yancey, Henri Nouwen, Jill Briscoe and Dallas Willard have continued to fuel that fire and have helped me navigate the deeper waters of faith and life. These authors wrote (write) with a humble and courageous honesty about their humanity. I'd like to think I’ve borrowed a bit of their bravery as I strive to write with that same authenticity.
Tell us something about yourself not many people know.
I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and hold an active nursing license. I haven’t practiced in two decades, but I keep my license “just in case.”
Las Vegas. The perfect place for people to let loose, see the sights and party with their friends. Except on this episode of This Is Us, we find out this is the thing Kate and Toby lack the most- friends. Kate even says they had to "scrape the bottom of the nerd barrel", so they had enough people to make it to their bachelor/bachelorette party. It was nice for Beth and Kate to share a tender moment together. Watching them interact, I was reminded that Beth and Kate, although they are not close and barely spend any time together, have something in common- the loss of a child. Beth lost Deja and Kate lost her baby. They can bond over this loss.
Finally, we learn something about Toby-- Toby has a brother! We also know that he and his brother are far apart in age (ten years) and that has placed a permanent wedge between the two's relationship. Toby, disclosing his inner nerd and penchant for Dungeons and Dragons tells Randall and Kevin "It's sad to hear your six year old brother tell you, 'I don't want to play with you anymore,' and he means it!'"If I didn't love Toby enough already , he has given yet another reason to love him more!
Lastly, we get an intimate glance into Beth's life. All along Beth is portrayed as a hard nose strong, woman that keeps Randall's family intact. However, we see the toll being the strong one takes on her,thrust in a role i'm not sure she ever wanted in the first place. Randall's gesture of the candy and the note that said, "you're all heart," reveals Beth has just a big (if not bigger) heart than Randall. After all, who opens her heart and home to a complete stranger? To be a foster mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Only a strong woman could be up for the challenge. And, if next week's previews are any indication, Deja isn't the only person Beth and Randall open their homes to welcome.
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