“..and a time to every season…”

Life-long Friends

As most of you who read this know about me, I am not a young woman. I have been married to my best friend since 1984. We have 6 grandchildren together. And we have two standard poodles who now fill our days with laughter. Life is still stressful and some nights sleep eludes me for most of it, but all in all, we live a blessed life. Are all our relationships hunky-dorry? Nope. Are we financially well-off enough to retire? Nope. Do we have a place to live that brings us joy and a warm bed at night? Yes, we do. Like I said, we are pretty blessed in this life.

I have been dipping my toes back into politics and although I am stimulated by the exchanges and conversations, it also stresses me out. And one of the stressers for me is that I find very, very few people in their 30s or 40s involved. I understand that I am reaching that stage in life where things are simpler. My kids have kids; kids who play little league and take dancing lessons; kids who go swimming at the local gym and are active at their schools; kids who have their friends over; kids with homework and school work and life is messy and noisy and very busy. I did all of that. Our youngest finally moved out last month – we are an empty nest at last. I understand that your time is not your own when you are in the midst of raising a family. I do get it. However, when I attend political functions and all I see are balding heads and various tones of gray, I get concerned. Who are we going to share this brain trust with? Who will inherit our value system and keep this country running?

Meetings…meetings…meetings..

One of the hardest things about politics are all the meetings. And there are endless meetings. Some I attend, but most I skip. Why? Nothing changes. No new players. Blah-blah-blah-blah, is what we hear – ad nauseam. Nothing seems to change because most of the people involved have been involved for decades – and they like it the way it is. To them, if it’s working, why change it??? Well, for those of us on the outskirts, we can see it is NOT working and we want to nudge the system a little – to get it back in sync!! The hurdle in front of me is to be heard – to be allowed to participate in my party at the district level. And so far, their action has been to muzzle me. Why? Well, for example, at our last district meeting when we had endorsements to vote on, my husband and I were the sole “nay” votes. At the point where they allowed discussion, they did not like what I had to say. And I was interrupted by district leaders, trying to explain away the why’s of their patterned behavior. And I left frustrated. Funnily enough, I was thinking I need to get out of this party and my husband volunteers for precinct chair! LOL! I’m feeling like I’m banging my head against the wall, and he’s wanting to get in there and change things from the inside out. God bless that man.

My meeting attitude…

And now we get to ranked choice voting and mail-in-ballots. It about makes my head explode. Have you listened to Capt. Seth Keshel? He has a Telegram account, he’s on Truth Social, and he has a podcast. Well worth your time and effort. He travels the USA exposing voter fraud in each area he is visiting. So he tailors his talk to your particular situation. He was amazing on the fraud in Alaska. He had statistics and figures and graphs and lots and lots of samples. His stories and quotes from his dad were great. But he also offers solutions? Who does that? Not our ingrained political party participants. One of the outspoken members of our combined districts does not believe there was fraud in Alaska. He also did not attend Capt’s presentation. It was open to the public and only 150 or so attended. Pretty sad state of affairs, my friends.

Falling off the edge….

So many people link those of us who think outside the box as crazy conspiracy nuts who are losing our control and focus on life. Well, how many crazy nuts have stood strong against things like mandatory vaccinations and even in Friday’s info dump have been proved to be right??? That now, Johnson & Johnson has been restricted for use because it is known to cause blood clots? Pfizer is now shown, in its own publication, that its efficacy is 12% and shrinks to less as time goes on? That study after study has come out to insist masks did nothing to prevent Covid but may have actually contributed to the length of time it took for this “plandemic” to run its course? That Covid has now been shown to be almost the same as the flu??? I suffered with covid for 6 days in the hospital and lost 70% of my hair, and am still dealing with these weird electrical zings across my skin, as well as diabetes. It took its toll on me and I refuse to get the vaccine, to this day. Just this week my doctor said, “I know it’s stupid to ask you, but you aren’t interested in the vaccine are you?” As I shook my head no, she said, “I’ve had the initial vaccine and two boosters and now they say I need a third. I am declining. Enough is enough.” How refreshing!! It took her three injections to reject their advice, but she is finally seeing the hype for what it was. There are signs in the office to wear a mask, but no one does. Yay! All this brings me back to voting and elections and the common practice of following the guy in front of you. Just don’t! Think for yourself. Critical thinking is not being taught, nor practiced by many these days. Don’t be a “sheeple.” Demand more of your legislators. Demand they keep their campaign promises. And don’t be afraid to dig into the system. You can see, and it is required by law that you see, all the campaign contributions for each candidate. Follow the money – it can be very enlightening. And don’t go by slogans. Look and learn who the people are who want to represent you. When it goes against your beliefs, just say no. Do not pour good money after bad. Don’t perpetuate a model that does not work. Seek change.

Are you?

Don’t let the system scare you, either. It’s too big and too costly as it is. Let’s get this simple, again. A system where each of us can serve a term, then go home and enjoy life a little. There should never be professional politicians. Ever. Look at how long people have held office. It is more than time for a change. Be the voice of change in your local elections. Start close to home. You do make a difference! And even if you are the sole contrary voice at these meetings, it is important that you be heard. They need to know not everyone out there is a sheeple. Stand out from the crowd.

Be the change…stand out from the crowd!

“Open your mouth for the mute…”

I am constantly amazed how people can say one thing, purport to be one thing, and yet are completely different. When the “real’ person comes out, it can be so shocking. We have been experiencing this over the past few years, over and over again. I just wish people would be exactly who they are. I know so many people who change their faces, even their voices, depending on their audience – they have a work self, a homebody, a person for their spouse, and another type for their friends. That must get confusing. I have always been the same, regardless of my audience. I suppose that can be good, or bad.

I’ve always been told to put on clean underwear in case you’re in an accident. So I do. (My mom should be proud I still do that! I almost hear her when I am dressing! LOL!)  I can wear clothing appropriate for situations. And as I have gotten older, I choose comfort over style most of the time. But that does not mean I change the person I am, nor the values I believe in. It just means I dress appropriately for the occasion.

There are people in our larger faith community who dress a certain way, wear their hair a certain way, and always wear a symbol of faith on their person. For them, it symbolizes their modesty and simplicity, and their beliefs. (My sons referred to it as my “Little House on the Prairie” days! LOL!) However, many of these same Christian families do not allow their children to interact with “public school children,” nor do they allow them to play sports on public league teams, or have friends outside of their strict faith circle.  Some do not allow their children to interact with anyone who does not attend their same church. But we are exhorted in the scriptures to live in this world and to deal with others. We cannot learn, being hidden away. “My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!” (Proverbs 1:10)  It is biblically, and scripturally, incorrect. We are not called to be separated from our neighbors, but rather we are called to participate and be the “light” and the “salt” in this world.  The godly are called to be as bold as lions (Proverbs 28:1) There are so many instances where we are asked by Our Lord to involve ourselves in our communities and neighborhoods, for the good of everyone.

We are not instructed to alienate or shame, either. When parents are teaching their elementary-aged children to speak to adults/neighbors like the “Inquisition,” there is a problem. Pre-teen children should not be telling their neighbor adults that they are going to hell because they do not attend a particular church. That is learned at home. When adults act like they reside on a higher plane because of their religious beliefs, they are not being Christ to others, or when they act superior because of their careers and income levels, they are not being Christ to others. When they wear crosses on their chests or the back windows of their cars, but yell, shout, and belittle their neighbors, they are being a false witness to the faith. When they don’t like something their neighbors are doing, and threaten law suits, or offer monetary rewards to make it go away, they are being dishonest and are actually being a briber. And that is not a Christian act. At all.

When we act a certain way in front of our children, we are teaching them. They watch our bodily actions and they listen to our words, and they pay attention to how we treat others. And unfortunately, quite often the adage, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” ends up falling far short. Children are great imitators. They will act and speak just like their parents. If you want to know everything there is to know about a family, talk to their 10-12 year-old. You will know it all. So people ought not to fool themselves into thinking they are making a certain impression in a community. Their false-face is there for all to see. And when they parade through their parishes, the hypocrisy is unnerving.

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

The Lord asks us, so many times, to care for others. For those who cannot care for themselves. I have thought about this a lot lately. What does it mean that someone cannot care for themselves? Quite often we look to the easy example of the poor, the handicapped, the elderly, and the pre-born baby. But as I thought of this, caring for ourselves can often be beyond some of us. We simply don’t know how. And caring for myself means I make sure I have food and shelter; I help myself become more skilled at what I do; I work constantly to grow in wisdom and love. But what if I can’t really do that? What if I am hurting inside and cannot help myself? What if I have never been taught the love of Christ and His forgiveness, and all I am exposed to and see is my neighbor? What if I am one of those who cannot care for myself, one of the needy? What if my neighbor, who says they are a wonderful homeschooling, Catholic, Christian family, is my only exposure to those things? Then my neighbor becomes my school. I learn from watching you, and from interacting with you, just as your children do. What it is to be those things, I learn from watching you. And when you belittle others and exclude the neighbors because they don’t “measure” properly, what sort of example are you? You are a false one. And you are causing people to stumble. Some of those people are your own children. And I am angry. I admit it. I am royally, beyond the pale, mad.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

I am angry because you are being this poor example to my children and grandchildren. You are turning them away from Church. You are turning them away from learning to be good neighbors. They are becoming exclusionary because it is safer that way. When they let you in, or allow you to come closer, you hurt them, again. They are not excluding your children, because this was not caused by them, but they are no longer happy to see them walk up the driveway. They no longer really want your children teaching and interacting with their children. Why? Your children tell them everything you say in your home. They know how you really feel. They share freely what your opinion of my children and grandchildren really is. And this is just wrong. So very wrong. And you are hurting others. You are hurting my family.

When we will be honest with one another? When will we learn to grow and become better people? Just because you want things to be a certain way, does not make them that way. What is, well, it just is. Some things we can affect a change on; others we have to accept. Wisdom is knowing the difference. Temper tantrums, in front of the children and the entire cul-de-sac, cannot change what is. Shame on you. Shame.

I am struggling to not go barging in to situations that are not about me. Being a parent does not stop when they leave your roof. You are always going to be protective of your kids. When my oldest son went into the Army, in my mind, all I could see was my 5-week preemie. In my head, he was not well over 6-feet tall, but barely old enough to be born. And even though my kids are all adults now, I still worry about them. And when others array themselves against them, this mom goes all “shield maiden” on them! (I love the Viking stories and lore surrounding Shield Maidens. They were so awesome!). It is also like being a mother-bear…watch out!

The Christian in me longs for peace. I long to be able to share with these people the error of their ways, in a godly, Christian way. But I have been the victim of these sorts of Christians for more than 25 years. And it pretty much follows a pattern. It is ugly, it is predictable and I am thankful beyond thankful that I was able to extricate myself and my family from that environment and be more of a presence in this world. But I never lost my faith, nor my values, nor myself. Dante says, “The darkest places of hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in a time of crisis.” He is telling us we are not to abandon the world when it needs us the most. We need to insert ourselves into everyday life, as Christians, bearing a true witness of the love of God. If we are to be that “light” and “salt” in this world, we cannot bear false witness. We will lead others to hell. Proverbs instructs us to be people of character, above bribes, and to be honest in dealing with everyone. It is laced all through the Book. Because, “If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.” (Proverbs 25:26)  We cannot become like the world. And we cannot sit back and allow evil to muddy our springs. Sometimes we have to speak up…or in my case, vent!

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

And how are we doing? Have we truly accepted the Word of God for our own lives, thereby being an honest witness of a believer? Is this posturing? Make believe? Are we charlatans? Or are we modern-day Pharisees, praying on the street corner for all to see??

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:5)

I am done venting. I am retiring to my chair where I can drink a cup of tea, and cuddle with my cat, enjoying our spring mix of rain and snow. And I will pray for these people, to be honestly who they are, to be kind before all else, as well as to be a Godly witness and not a false one.

I feel like I went off the rails a little bit in this post. Maybe I did. But sometimes I just want to shout it from the rooftops: ENOUGH! STOP!  And so, proverbially speaking, I have done that. Back to normal, now!