Monday, February 27, 2017

Life Lessons Learned from Fantasy Tag

I have been tagged! And tagged with the best kind of tag, one that involves STORIES AND FANTASY. Only my favorite things of ever!

As I mentioned last week, February is Fantasy Month thanks to our brilliant Jenelle Schmidt. To celebrate this fun month, she created the Life Lessons Learned from Fantasy Tag. And my dearest Deborah O'Carroll has tagged me for this awesome thing! Obviously I couldn’t pass that up. Fantasy is only my breath and blood!



1.) Link back to Jenelle's Blog

2.) Use the “February is Fantasy Month” image above

3.) Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course

4.) Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going


What Fantasy Has Taught Me

Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R Tolkien

Oh, the lessons I’ve learned from this powerful story! Really, the lessons are endless, because every single time I reread the books or watch the movies for the 299384 time and counting or just immerse myself in anything Tolkien related, I glean yet more wisdom from his extraordinary works. I could make a list as long as Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor about what this story has taught me. But there’s one particular thing that always stands out.

No matter who you are, how small and unimportant you may feel, you can still do big and powerful and hard and amazing things. Frodo was just a little hobbit. He had never gone out in the world, had never had any adventures or experienced great evils. He was just Frodo Baggins of the Shire—a small, kind, and seemingly simple soul. But when the need to destroy the Ring came, this small hobbit, who hardly even knew about the world, volunteered. He did what had to be done, when no one else would. He stepped outside his little life in the Shire and faced evil and pushed on and on and on. Not because he was some great warrior looking for glory, but because, as our dear Sam reminded us, “There is good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” Frodo and Sam and all the Fellowship fought just for the sake of good. Not because of who they were, but because it was the right thing to do.

I often feel so unimportant and inadequate. But when I think of this story, it reminds me: We are all called to do hard things and fight for the good. We just have to take the initiative and do it.

(Like I said, I’ve learned a lot from this story. Ahem. Moving on!)


The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis

More stories that have such an endless source of wisdom. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’s allegory of Jesus’s sacrifice for us, even the most treacherous of us, resonates so deep and far. Aslan’s death brought an even deeper understanding of the Cross for me, gave me an illustration of what Jesus went through, helped me understand the power of His death. And it made it personal. Aslan sacrificed himself for Edmund, just as Jesus gave Himself for me. It takes my breath away every single time.

The Last Battle provided a clearer and more real picture of what Heaven may be like. It made Heaven feel real, feel close. Sometimes my little mind can’t imagine such a place, or wrap around the idea that one day I’ll actually be there, for eternity. But this story brought it to life and causes me to look forward to it and yearn for it every single day.


Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire series
by Bryan Davis

Yet another that is just packed full of beautiful allegories and immeasurable wisdom. For this series, it’s really the characters that have taught me so, so much.

Sapphira taught me that no matter how lonely and long hard times can be, that God is always, always right there with us, and we can endure because of Him.
Billy taught me that disobeying God does…not go well. God has set His commandments for a reason, and they’re there with our best interest in mind, whether we think so or not.
Walter taught me to keep a light spirit, no matter how difficult things get.
Bonnie, sweet Bonnie, is a constant reminder of what I want to strive to be. For years, I often ask myself the question, “How would Bonnie act or respond in this situation?” Her sweet, humble, and selfless spirit is something we should all strive to be.

I know there are 239984 other lessons this series has taught me that I’m not thinking of right now. But basically, READ THESE BOOKS. It’s my favorite series of all time. Yes, FAVORITE.

Peter Pan
by J.M. Barrie

Honestly, I think Peter Pan has shaped my personality. It has been such an integral part of my life from childhood to now. There are probably things I’ve gleaned from it that I haven't even realized. But one I’m largely aware of.

Peter Pan taught me that, yes, we do need to grow up. We can’t live in our childhoods forever, and ignore the big, wide world that’s out there. BUT. But but but! That DOES NOT MEAN we shouldn’t have child-like wonder. Do you think for one minute Wendy lost her wonder of the world? She forever remembered her time in Neverland. She was a storyteller, a dreamer. Yes, she chose to grow up because she knew she had to, but, I firmly believe, she kept remnants of Neverland within her to her last days. And that’s why Wendy is one of my top favorite heroines. She made a responsible decision, one many of us (a.k.a ME) might not have made, but she also knew this world is not about school and work and the daily grind. It’s so, so much more than that. It’s about dreaming and wishing and smiling and finding the beauty. Just like a child.

Peter Pan taught me that I do need to grow up, but I never have to, nor should I, lose my child-like wonder.


Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood #1)
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

This story is an absolutely gorgeous allegory about how Jesus still loves us even though we’re such ugly, selfish beings. About how we push Him away and push Him away, when all He wants is the best for us, to love us. About how His love transform us, if only we’d stop resisting, stop feeding our selfishness and satisfying our worldly wants, and just accept Him.

I read this for the first time many, many years ago, and the story resonated with me, and continues to each time I reread it. It encompasses the beauty of our relationship with Jesus into words.

This whole series is filled to the brim with beautiful messages, so perfectly woven into the stories you don’t even realize it until you close the book, breathless from the powerful story you were just given. One of my favorite series of all time.


The Ilyon Chronicles
by Jaye L. Knight

This is a spectacular fantasy series about living in a world where worshipping God is forbidden. It really highlights the trials Christians face, but how it’s always, always worth following Christ, no matter how difficult the road is. This powerful message ran so deep within me. Yes, as Christians we will be persecuted. It is not an easy walk. But no matter how hard the trials are, how long and tiring the road is, we have endless HOPE. We have a God so, so much bigger than the naysayers on this little earth.

This series has shown me how important it is to stand up for God and stay strong in faith. It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
& Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland is like Peter Pan in that it basically raised me. To the point that Wonderland’s nonsense tends to make way more sense to me than the real world. NOT EVEN KIDDING. I often feel like the world and people in Wonderland often think the way I do. As my mom has said, she imagines my brain looks a lot like Wonderland. 100% accurate. Hey, I never, ever claimed to be normal.

Ahem, ANYWAYS. I’m sure you’re asking, “What life lesson could she have possibly learned from this nonsensical story?” Well, here it is: It’s okay to be a little mad. In fact, I highly recommend it. Because the world is mad. (Mad as in “full of nonsense”, not “angry”, just to clarify.) We don’t live in a normal world. Life is crazy and spontaneous and odd and sometimes (oftentimes) doesn’t make sense. We can’t always have perfect routines and live utterly ordinary lives. Life doesn’t allow that. And why would we want it to?

To quote the White Queen, “…sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Indeed it was the White Queen and not Alice who said that. #Trivia) I think that’s a very good practice. We shouldn’t live in boxes. Life is so larger and more wondrous when we allow ourselves to think the impossible, to have a little nonsense now and again. There is a time and place for being serious, but I enjoy life much, much more just making light of things and laughing and being a little mad. Life’s too short to take everything seriously.

~ ~ ~

I am sure there are dozens upon dozens of other life lessons I’ve learned from countless books. These are just a few prominent to me. Fantasy has never been just an interest, it’s who I am, it’s what has shaped me and raised me as a person. I firmly believe I’d be entirely different if not for the countless stories—books, movies, and TV shows alike—I’ve grown up on, immersed myself in for all my life.

Because fantasy isn’t just “made up entertainment”. It mirrors the truths of this world to help us better understand them. It portrays our trials as dragons and helps us learn how to face them with as much bravery as our beloved heroes. Real, good, whole fantasy teaches us to endure and be strong and love deeply and have faith and courage.

It’s so, so, so much more than “made up entertainment”.


Katie Grace @ A Writer's Faith | Skye @ Ink Castles | Jameson @ Lovely Whatsoevers | Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings | and ALL who love fantasy and want to partake!


Tell me, O adventurer, do you read fantasy? What is one of the biggest life lessons from a fantasy story you’ve learned? Have you read any of these books? Let us flail over all the fantasy things! And don’t forget to check out Jenelle's post to see all the fantasy fun!


  1. Yay! You did the tag!!! :D

    alskjflskjdfkajsdlfkjsksj ^_____________^ <333333333333 *hugs entire post*

    I LOVE THIS SO MUUUUCH! Yes yes YES to what you said about LOTR and Narnia, excellent points about DiOM and Heartless... (Still haven't read Ilyon but I shall!) And I never thought about Peter Pan and Wonderland in those ways! :O But it's so true!! So lookie there, you're showing me new and wonderful fantasy truths from what you've found in fantasy things! :)

    I love love LOVE all the things you said about Fantasy mirroring truth and teaching us all those good qualities. Just... just... I HAVEN'T WORDS!!! *hugs this entire post* Thanks sooo much for sharing your thoughts on these things! Fantasy is just the absolute BEST and shows so much truth and wonder! I totally agree that I would not be who I am either without them! ^_^

    1. YESSSSH. I could not resist this tag. It's the best!

      MEEP. I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I had the BEST TIME doing this tag! This was literally one of my favorite posts to write. o.o GIMME ALL THE FANTASY BOOKS.

      Lol! I'm probably the only one who gleans wisdom from Wonderland. XD I get my life lessons from strange sources, I can't seem to help it. *grins*

      FANTASY IS DEFINITELY THE BEST. I love how it has shaped both of us so much! Gah! Just...FANTASY.

      Thanks so much for tagging me with this! And your sweet comment!!! <3

  2. Lord of the Rings and Narnia!!! YES! Totally agree with you, those two series have had a huge effect on the person I am today.
    Thank you for sharing how they've shaped you too, it's always cool to see how others have been moved by one's favorite stories.

    1. SO MUCH YES TO LOTR AND NARNIA!!! I am right there with you! I don't know what my life would even be without them. LotR/The Hobbit especially. They've done so much to shape who I am!

      Oh, I had so much fun doing this tag. ^_^ And I agree, it's wonderful seeing how stories impact others.


    I've gotten about half way through Resistance but I don't have the book so I've only been able to read it whenever I see my cousin and I can read as much as possible in the short amount of time because I can't borrow her kindle for a few months. :P BUT IT IS SO SO GOOD.

    Lord Of the Rings and Narnia go without saying of course, they're just so epic. And the Tales of Goldstone wood are all so beautiful and eeek. I recently read Veiled Rose AND IT WAS SO AMAZING. I cried about five times.

    1. *beams* ALL THE PRECIOUS BOOKS.

      AWK. Resistance is so epic! The whole series is. That's so exciting you're getting to read it! But I'm sorry you can only read it here and there. At least you are able to read it some! IT'S SO GREAT.

      Yes and yes! LotR and Narnia are just...GAH. What would the world be without them?? I shudder to even imagine. TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD. There aren't even words to properly describe my love for those books. Oh my gracious goodness, Veiled Rose is my FAVORITE of the series! I do not blame you crying. It's just... *collapses* THAT BOOOOOK.

  4. It's been SO long since I've commented!! WHY. I've been so busy, and I missed this blog! I can't wait to go back to you last post and read your short story.

    And yes, FANTASY CAN TEACH SO MUCH. As can lots of other genres of fiction. I feel like a lot of people these days think fiction is a waste of time because it's not real. But fiction is a large part of my life, and I will forever love it. (especially fantasy <3)

    I MISSED YOU AND THIS BLOG, CHRISTINE! I will try to comment regularly again and hang out around Musings of an Elf more often. Can't wait to see further posts once again! *huggles*

    1. EMILYYYYY. *TACKLES* IT'S SO GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU!!! But do not even worry about not commenting! I absolutely understand being busy. I've been super behind on blogs lately myself, and not always commenting. Life just happens sometimes!

      YESSSSS. Exactly! I can't stand when people say reading is a waste of time. I mean, sheesh, even movies can be beneficial! Stories are POWERFUL. I cannot understand people who don't see it that way.

      I'VE MISSED YOU TOO. I'm so happy to hear from you! *huggles back*

  5. Thanks for the tag, I am notoriously bad for not doing them. I'm going to try though. Lovely book choices, I have somehow still not read the original Peter Pan.

    1. Oh, girl, I understand! Most of the time I never get around to tags... Do NOT feel pressured to do it whatsoever!

      *LE GASP* SKYE. YOU MUST! It's such a delightful read! (Though, again, I understand! There are sooo many classics and things that like...EVERYONE in the world has read but me. I'm the worst about not getting around to certain books. *shakes head*)

  6. Of the ones on your list I've only read tLotR, Narnia, and Alice in Wonderland.
    I love how fantasy is something people never really outgrow, especially the really good ones like Narnia, which are supposedly kids' books.
    Who was it that said fantasy isn't an escape from life, but into it? That's one of the lessons I hold dearest.
    It was Tolkien who got me started writing, although at the time I had no idea that real people wrote books, and I started with fantasy. Even now that I'm writing mostly historical fiction, people have noticed similarities to fantasy in my writing style.

    1. Well hey, those three are some of my absolute favorite EVER, so! :D

      YESSSH. Honestly, the older I get the more and more I learn to appreciate fantasy and fairytales. Though, really, there never was a time I DIDN'T appreciate it. I'm just more aware of my appreciation now...if that makes sense.

      OH. The "Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality, it's a way of understanding it" quote? That's a Lloyd Alexander quote, and one of my favorites!

      I was writing a year before I was immersed in the world of Tolkien, but it was his stories that introduced me to my love of fantasy, and I haven't turned back. What would we do without Tolkien? I don't even want to think about it!

  7. I love fantasy. And YAY I'VE READ ALL THESE BOOKS BESIDES RESISTANCE! Most of them on recommendations from either you or Tracey.
    Peter Pan. YAAASSSS. Be young at heart. And Alice in Wonderland. All of it.
    I don't think I could live without fantasy books.

    1. Fantasy = LIFE!

      You have? THAT'S SO AWESOME!!! And AWK. That makes me happy when people read books base on my recommendations. ^_^

      Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland... *clutches heart* I just can't with those stories! <3

      Oh man, I hear ya. I can't imagine my life without fantasy. o.o It'd be vastly different, and not for the better!

  8. The first book in The Chronicles Of Narnia series, The Magician's Nephew, inspired my SO MUCH! It helped me realize the importance of symbolism. In the book, Aslan symbolizes God. It talks about how Aslan "sang" to create Narnia! So beautiful!!!!! It's probably my favorite example!

    1. The Magician's Nephew is amaziiiiing! ALL the Narnia books are. One of my top, TOP favorite series of all time!

      I did so love how it symbolized God creating Earth. It was fascinating. GAH. I just love those books!

  9. *Nods* as you talk about the lessons to be learned from Tolkien and Lewis and then...

    *gasps because I'm still not past the fangirling stage of reading "Resistance" yet* (But then, will I ever be?) SO glad you mentioned "Resistance" and YES. I too am blown away by the sheer inspiration those books give me to continue living for Christ boldly.

    This was a really great post! :)


      Oh man, Resistance. I fear you will never be past the fangirling stage, no. Because THOSE BOOKS. They are so inspirational to be bold and courageous in our faith. Gracious, I just can't with those books.

      I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you! <3

  10. The Last Battle!!!! The end of that book is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read in my entire life. I so agree with you that it helped me wrap my mind around how wonderful heaven will truly be. Lewis is my favorite author of all time and that is one of my favorite of his books.

    1. I 100% AGREE!!! I felt the exact same way about the end of that book. I've reread it so many times, but I will never, ever forget the first time I read it and how it blew my mind and took my breath away and just sdjlfjsldjf. THAT BOOK. Lewis is amazing. Purely amazing.

  11. These are all wonderful books and wonderful lessons. I really need to read Bryan Davis... I keep hearing good things about his books. But that's the only one on your list I haven't read. :)

    I love all the things you said about fantasy mirroring real life and inspiring courage and an enduring faith. Like G.K. Chesterton said, "“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” And as C.S. Lewis also said, "Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage."

    1. I could probably make 12 more lists with more books about all I've learned! There's just so much, and so many great fantasy stories out there. AWK. I just love them! And I loved this tag! Thanks for making it! :D

      *le gasp* You've never read Bryan Davis's books??? :O JENELLE. YOU MUST. I think you'd love them! They're so epic. And he comes up with the most mind-boggling, tangled plots. I don't know how he does it!

      Aww, thanks! Those quotes are the BEST. That Lewis one is one of my favorites. Of course...I say that about ALL of Lewis's quotes. XD I also adore Lloyd Alexander's quote, "Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality, it's a way of understanding it."

  12. I really love your perspective on Peter Pan. It's always been a story close to my heart. ^ ^

    1. Yay! Another Peter Pan fan! "Close to my heart", that's exactly how I feel!

      Thanks, girl! <3

  13. I love your view on Narnia! It's my favorite book, and you totally NAILED the Christian's perspective. I LOVE the part in The Magician's Nephew when Aslan created Narnia. <3 O_O

    1. Thank you! I love Narnia so very much!

      That part was so amazing. C.S. Lewis was just a genius!

  14. Yes. Yes to all of it. So much yes. I love how fantasy can convey such powerful truths in a way that sticks, in a way that cuts right to the heart.

    (I normally leave you longer comments, but you've said everything that needs to be said!)

    1. "I love how fantasy can convey such powerful truths in a way that sticks, in a way that cuts right to the heart." <---THISSSSS. YES! Now *you've* said everything that needs to be said! Lol. You're a master at putting all my many, many rambling thoughts into the perfect, concise sentence.

      Just ALL THE YES. Fantasy is amazing. <3


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