Monday, December 17, 2012

This is me. This is what I believe.

It seems to me that we are a country that wants to have it both ways. The have your cake and eat it too mentality.

* We mourn the senseless killing of school children but refuse to change gun control laws. I'm not a hunter nor do I shoot for fun but I still don't see why ANYONE in this country needs to own a semi-automatic assault weapon. I've seen posts saying that the teachers should be armed. Really? Where does that mentality stop? Because you know when the next shooting happens it will be at a hospital or a day care center. Do we arm all those workers too? How about the 15 year old taking your ticket at the movie theater?

And while we are talking about regulating things, how about rules for the media? Instead of competing for ratings, respect the family and friends of the victims instead of ambushing them looking for quotes or photos, clogging up their streets and churches you send one person -- for all of you (like the AP) -- and let them grieve in peace?

* We are a country founded on religious freedom, as long as it is our religion everyone is following. The theme of "put God back in school" has been popular. Sorry, I believe in God but don't ever recall praying in school. We said the pledge of allegiance but that was all I heard of God in school. Two recurring themes in the Bible are for people to teach their children/next generation about God despite what people say around them. The other is that not everyone will follow God and that's ok. He's not happy about it, but (if you believe) when the time comes and we are all judged He will sort it out. We are encouraged to share our beliefs and not be scared to voice them from the mountaintops, NOT to force them down people's throats.

* We mourn the loss of the unborn, but shun those alive and in need. You fight for an unborn child to be saved and then once it's parent can't afford food or clothes or can't find a job, turn your back because they're "mooching" off of the system. That's not pro- life, that's pro-birth.

* We cry for parents that leave their children too soon due to undiagnosed conditions and cancer but refuse to fund programs that would have found it in the first place. How does that make sense? As any of our parents have told us, money doesn't grow on trees. If you want to play, you have to pay. Literally. You want better healthcare? Better schools? More police? It costs money. The dreaded T word -- taxes. We have all seen the alternative and very few seem happy with it.

* We are a country that prides ourselves on being "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We could not be a more divided nation short of a second civil war. I've already covered the under God part. There is no liberty for those enslaved to bills, or mental illness, or any other number of things that we fall subject to. As far as justice? I don't believe the victims families of Newtown will ever feel like justice has been served.

We are a nation that rallies together when tragedy strikes. We donate our time and our money, we organize food and coat drives, and we pray to God on behalf complete strangers -- act as many would term Christian.

Imagine what an amazing country we would live in if we did that everyday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Stand - I'm failing

It's been almost two weeks. The first night went well as I already posted. Since then, it's been all downhill. No trying new goods. Instead I get "that looks yucky" and "I think there's bugs in it."

And to make matters worse, when she doesn't eat, her brother watches and (usually) wont eat either.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas is for giving

Despite my complaints, I know that I am lucky. I have two healthy children, a roof over my head, food on the table, and are relatively debt-free. I do my best to give to others during the Christmas season and want to teach my kids to do the same. See, they're a bit spoiled. They have three sets of grandparents and aunts and uncles who all hear "I like Jake" and next thing you know there's Jake plates and t-shirts and toys and books. Admittedly, sometimes I'm not much better.

This year I'm starting a new tradition with the kids. They will be receiving a letter from their Elf, Jack. The letter is from Santa looking for their help to give him toys for other children who don't have as much as they do and to put the items in a special sack he has sent. Once they're collected, I plan on donating them to a local church.

The letter is kind of cheesy, but here it is in case anyone else wants to use it. Obviously, Santa still needs to sign it. You can get your own Santa sack here.