Monday Challenge…… #AndAChildShallLeadThem

It’s Monday and I’m weary and tired. And sad about the world we are living in. And I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to pour good back into this world that seems so broken and unfair.

So today I decided to share a book I just read.

And I encourage you to read it.

No matter where you fall on the debate about refugees.

No matter if you voted for Trump or Hillary or wrote in Jesus.

No matter your feelings towards Muslims.

Let’s all take a moment to breathe and reboot.

Here is a link to where you can find Malala’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Am-Malala-Education-Changed-Readers/dp/0316327913/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485833975&sr=8-2&keywords=I+am+malala

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On Inauguration Day: A Snowflake’s Perspective…..

The following was begun on Inauguration day as I recorded my thoughts:

So here we are. Most if not all of us didn’t expect this day to ever come. But now that it’s here, what do we do? The first thing I did today after waking up at 8am, even before my feet hit the floor, is to open my devotional app on my phone. The lesson talked about God breathing life into all of us. And used the story of Genesis.

God breathes life. Such a powerful image. An image that transcends the events of today. And lately with each breath, the Lord has given me a spirit of hope. Hope that maybe things won’t be so grim after all.

But I realize that even though I feel a tiny glimmer of hope today, many are feeling despair. My words today are for you. One thing that comes to mind is a video I saw of Betty White this week. Katie Couric was interviewing her on her birthday and asked her what she thought we ought to do in these troubling times as our nation seems to be so divided.

Her response, “There is nothing I can do about that right now but I can do my best in my little circle. So if I do that maybe you’ll do your best and we’ll get through this…..You can’t change this, so just put one foot in front of the other and get through it.”

May I also suggest that when we put one foot in front of the other, if we see others stumbling along the way, that we bend down and pick them up?  Without thought of their background, creed or social status.

And when you are called a “liberal snowflake,” remember this: snowflakes begin their life miles above the earth’s surface. And as they fall they never lose their delicate shape. Even after falling to the ground. And in their singularity, they are one of the most beautiful elements of creation in their intricacy.

And a bunch of snowflakes together? Simply breathtaking.

In the dark of night under a moonlit sky all those snowflakes come together and sparkle.

So for the next 4 years, let’s focus on what we can do….sparkling in the darkness.

And remember dear snowflake, you are never alone. 😉

Cheers!

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This is a sign I made to hang outside our house as a symbol of hope and peace…….

#WeWillStopMarching……

The following post is inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine regarding the Woman’s March and wondering why some women in the US feel like they are second class citizens even though they aren’t required to veil their faces, freely drive cars and speak their minds without fear. Here is my response:

Yes, while it’s true that in some countries women are required to veil their faces, are not allowed to drive cars, and are unable to speak their minds without fear. But women’s rights are not a 0 sum game. We are a great country, but what’s the matter with wanting to be better? Why can’t we fight for better maternity leave (and paternity leave) because “well, at least we don’t get burned with acid or shot in the face for trying to get an education.

In my opinion we can stop marching when we have equal maternity/paternity leave options at every job, when we are no longer shamed for breast-feeding in public, when we aren’t blamed for being raped because we were tipsy at the time or we had a tight skirt on. We can stop marching when it’s a given that if we are pregnant and get on a full bus, someone will give up their seat for us not because they have to, but because it’s the decent thing to do.

We will stop marching when the Brock Turner’s of the world are held responsible for their crimes. We will stop marching when we no longer have to walk in a group when we are out at night.

I, as a disabled American woman, am grateful that I live here and not in another place in the world where I would likely just be shut away because being disabled is considered a shameful thing. But what is wrong with wanting to be better? Just because our culture doesn’t shut away those with disabilities (in the same ways other countries do, but that’s another topic I could write reams about ), doesn’t mean that we are perfect or that we are above reproach.

If you want to learn about why people marched, I am humbly asking you to seek out a woman (or man) who marched and asked them why they did it. And keep an open mind.

Cheers!

PS: For the record I do think it unfortunate that women who were pro-life seemed to feel excluded from the event. At the same time I also know that abortion rights were not the only reason people marched.

So Now What……

“A less destructive but still negative consequence of politics-as-business is the institutionalization of perverse incentives. “Politics as showbiz for ugly people” used to be a funny truth; now it’s frequently a repellent one. Gratuitous provocateurs and flat-out crazy people get more coverage than sensible, thoughtful, earnest policy makers. Vacuous cleverness trumps boring sincerity.”

-Mary Matalin,* co-author of “Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home”


I stayed up till 4:30 Wednesday morning in utter shock as I saw my country elect Donald Trump. I awoke this afternoon with fingers crossed, hoping I had just had a bad dream.

Nope. It happened.

Crap.

It’s real guys. Trump will be inaugurated in January and will become the 45th President of the United States.

So now what? What can we do? Well, I’m giving myself a day or so to grieve and reflect. And I made a list of what we can do to build up our communities post election……

1. Show love to everyone. No matter if you disagree or not. No matter what your beliefs.
2. Be kind.
3.Eat some ice cream and take a rest. No need for a bowl, just grab a spoon. Then take a breath and a rest.
4. Plant flowers in your yard or your neighbors yard or local park. Literally make the world a more beautiful place.
5. Listen to your friends who are on the fringes. Let their words wash over you and lend an ear to their hurt. Ask them how you can help them heal.
6. Turn off the TV and internet. Go into a quiet space and pray or meditate.

This list is in no way complete, just a few things I thought could help us all heal.

Take care!

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*Matalin was a registered Republican and worked as the personal assistant to George W. Bush while he was in the White House. She recently switched parties from the GOP to Libertarian after Trump’s nomination.

I Will Fear No Evil…..For Such a Time as This

Our church is going through a sermon series on Psalm 23. Each week our pastoral team breaks down one part of the psalm to focus on. All of this is to emphasis how much God loves us. This Sunday we focused on the following passage: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

As someone who lives with anxiety, I have a lot of fears. Among the ones I’ve talked about in the past we have 1. Large Open Spaces 2. Loud Noises  and 3. Math. One fear that I’ve never mentioned is this; living in a society where I am no longer free to do and think and say as I wish.

As a child in our household history was a topic that was widely discussed. Specifically the Holocaust. I suppose it was because I’m the daughter of baby-boomers whose great uncles served in WWII. We read books on it and even went to a couple museum exhibits on the topic. By the time I reached high school you could say I was pretty well versed on the subject.

But all this education on the Holocaust had a draw back. Perhaps if I didn’t have anxiety, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but ever since I can remember I’ve been grateful that I live in a country and time where this hasn’t happened. Because I knew that if I lived in Europe 70 years ago, I’d be in fear for my life as a person with a disability.

But lately I’ve begun to worry that conditions in this country are ripe for something like the Holocaust to occur. Especially considering Donald Trump is still in the running.

Statements made by Trump eerily echo those made by Adolf Hitler in the 30’s and 40’s. Both men singled out a minority group as a scapegoat for the countries problems. Both asserted that said minority group should be specially marked so others know who they are. Both men have followers who accept, without question, the ideology spewing from their mouth.

Up until last Sunday, I struggled with fear at the prospect of Trump becoming our next president. But then that afternoon, the Lord reminded me of the bigger picture. Reminded me that He’s bigger than any problem and He’s ultimately the One whose on the throne. And He reminded me of the passage in Psalms that tells me to “Fear no evil.”

I was also reminded that although I’m just one person, I could do something to help. Like Esther from the Bible, I could speak out against harmful ideologies and people who are in a position of power. And I can refuse to let fear guide my life and choices. And maybe, like Esther, I was put here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NIV). To encourage people to live life without fear, despite what is going on around them. And to help those that are experiencing discrimination and persecution.

If you are also anxious about this presidential election, have no fear. Remember that you have a voice, you matter and you can make a difference.

“For such a time as this.”