Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dear Hope, I have lost you.

This year I voted early, on Halloween and dressed up as an elephant. It was a companion costume to my 9-month-old, who wore the family elephant costume that all my babies have worn. Four years ago, my now 5-year-old son wore the same baby elephant costume as I walked him house-to-house with a Mitt Romney yard sign taped to my shirt.  

When I compared these two Halloween nights and thought about the past four years and the palpable difference in energy surrounding the two elections, I began to wonder, what went wrong?

Today is such a contrast to Election Day 2012, when I was upbeat and positive about the events of the night and the future of our country. Four years ago, the women of SWARM were very involved in the election and this year, we are all at a loss for words.

I actually envy those at the polls today with a strong conviction for their candidate. For me and most of my friends, it was like having to play a really horrible game of "Would you Rather?" where all of the options make you sick to your stomach. Heads or tails, we all lose. That is what keeps going through my mind. It’s depressing. 

I think that in both parties, a lot of Americans feel this way. For me, as a mom, a woman, and an American, today is a sad day. Besides the obvious difference in candidate selection, I was at a loss for words as to why today feels so drastically different than Election Day 2012. In conversation this morning with my fellow SWARM ladies, one of them said “On this day four years ago, I was so excited. At least I had hope.”

That was it … it is HOPE, or the lack of hope.

The hope that one of the candidates could bring good change. Hope that my values are shared by those on the ticket. Hope that tomorrow brings a new day, a better future, a better America. Hope that at the end of the election, America wins.

Sadly, I have no hope in today’s Presidential Election outcome. I have no hope that either candidate aligns with my values or shares my vision for this country. I have no hope that we have good decent nominees that will serve America honestly and in good conscience. I have no hope that the next four years will be any better than the last eight. 

So now, with the 2016 Election results just hours away, I stand confronted with the realization that

I have lost all hope, so I must go and find some.

I must find some hope for those that deserve it. Hope for those who sacrificed for our freedoms, hope for my usually optimistic father who texted me and said “I don’t think I can vote for anyone this election,” hope for my friend who cried at the polls as she struggled with how to cast her vote, hope for the ladies of SWARM who build me up continuously, hope for those who have prayed for America, and most importantly, hope for my kids.

I am not sure exactly how I plan to find this hope. I am sure it won’t be easy. I’ll start by getting on my knees, asking God to guide the newly-elected President and other officials. I’ll ask God to help me see the good in America and not just the despair. I’ll ask God to keep America in his care. Then, I’ll get involved where I can, make an impact when I can, and slowly make a spot for myself and my hope to reside for the next four years.

Here’s to HOPE for America. May we remember your motto- “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

“And sometimes, against all odds, against all logic, we still hope.”- unknown
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” - Shawshank Redemption
“Hope is the only thing to save you from despair.”- CS Lewis
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”- Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games
“My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.” -  Abraham Lincoln
“We want to create hope for the person … we must give hope, always hope.”  - Mother Teresa
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee.”- Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SWARM Recommits

I will go ahead and take the liberty in saying, I imagine you all have had similar post election depression. It's been a rough few days. I have gone back and forth between crushing anxiety and despair to fiery righteous indignation. Sometimes even choosing to land on numbing indifference. What can I say? It hurts less. 

I take heart in knowing that we, at SWARM, did everything in our power to steer this country toward truth and liberty. I have no regrets. I knew that gathering my friends together to promote truth was the right thing, but it was scary. It was unnerving to think that a few could combat the many, so why did I feel so directed to try? I am grateful to my core for this experience, as I have been able to witness first hand that through small things, great things shall come to pass. 

Seeing the strength, passion and protective nature of women come together in such an uplifting fight for truth and the protection of our families and country was sooo....COOL! We did it; we reached people, we softened hearts, we opened eyes, we changed votes, we got people talking!!

The vote didn't go our way, but in the end, we believe that the Lord is in charge. Mitt and Ann Romney fought the good fight, and in the end we can see that they were an instrument for good in the Lord's hands. That is certainly a bigger responsibility than any job in the oval office.

For better or for worse, we truly care about what is happening and what will happen in the world around us. The question now is, with our new found political activism, understandings and connections, how we can best serve?

Certainly we need to be diligent in our quest to fight the liberal media. It may seem a moot point right now as they have certainly done their job to get Obama elected. But consider this: 

In the book, The Naked Communist, there are a list of goals set out by the communist party as far back as the 1950s. Goal 20: Infiltrate the press. Gain control of key positions in radio, tv and motion pictures.

It is not by coincidence or happenstance that the media is biased. It is by design. Once you understand an evil, you can begin to fight it effectively.

I highly recommend the documentary, "AGENDA: The Grinding Down of America" (below). It is an eye-opening account of what has been happening, and how we have arrived in the America we live in today. Information is power. 

An additional mission statement for the new face of SWARM would be to empower and share information and ideas about how best to fortify and strengthen our individual families. To help each other best recoginze how to strengthen their own strongholds at this time of uncertainty. I have to believe that one of the reasons we have been asked to endure these challenging and uncertain times, is because it will be a time or renewal and strengthening of our homes and people. It will mean a stricter adherence to the teachings found in the scriptures and the promptings we may receive in our prayers. I, for one, would love the input and resources of our group to help and support not only me and my family, but as many people as possible in this worthy goal. The enemy's agenda right now is to destroy the family. In fact, Goal #40 from the Naked Communist is "Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce." Anything we can do to strengthen families across our nation will be the single most significant thing we can do to combat the evil in our land today. Our strongest defense will be an impenetrable home.

I know our wounds are fresh and our hearts are heavy. But now is the time to do all we can to make a difference not only politically--but spiritually as well. There is so much good to be done right now and I think it behooves us to figure out how best to be apart of it. As much as I'd like to go to bed for four years with my fingers crossed, I think there is much work to do. 

If there was ever a time I truly felt like we, as Women for Truth, were "Christian Soldiers" it would certainly be now! Onward, ever onward as they say! 

As a final note; A powerful quote by Harold B. Lee:

"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.

This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail. I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges.

I plead with you NOT to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through."


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A post Election letter to my Children - & why your mother cried all day!

As she fell asleep lying next to me tonight, Betty, my five-year-old, got tears in her eyes (mostly just exhaustion) and said she was sad Obama won. I laughed as she was mimicking her mother, who, at the start of the day, hugged her good morning and began crying telling her Romney lost and her mother was sad. In this moment, I realized I needed to write down my thoughts for my children on this post-Election Day, why I am so sad today and why I will keep fighting tomorrow.
I voted for Mitt, but it wasn't because he was Republican, I hate being labeled into a box. I wasn't even voting for Mitt per se- no doubt he would have been a great economic leader, which is what this country so desperately needed. I was voting for more than a man. I voted for the idea that reward comes with hard work, not handouts. That people are the solution, not the government. I voted with the notion that our President should be held accountable for his actions, and that on 9/11/12, a US Ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack, and that our current President blamed it on a video.  I voted because Obama apologized to terrorists and to the world for our First Amendment and the right to free speech. I voted because I belong to a religion that has seen much hatred, and cruel videos and musicals, and yet I believe it is a right for others to speak, so I peacefully ignore those cruel words and videos and musicals. I voted because God leads this nation and the Democratic Party removed his name from their political platform. I voted because I believe contraceptives are a choice and not a right; and even more that women should pay for their own and not expect others to do so. I voted for the unborn who are killed by partial birth abortion. I voted not to pay for abortions with my tax dollars. I voted for economic recovery and for that silly belief that if you can’t afford it- you shouldn’t get it. I voted for Capitalism and the American Entrepreneur. I voted against redistribution of wealth and the thought that the government can decide who has too much and who deserves more. I voted against a President that seeks to divide (class warfare, war on women, race divisions), and voted to Stand United with my fellow Americans, no matter their race, gender, or financial worth. I voted for the belief that this nation was founded on principles that need to be embraced, not “fundamentally” changed.

I voted for you, Betty & Blue. I voted so that you would be able to grow up in the America I have been privileged to know. I write this so that you know that my vote was not in vain. I realized today that I stood with 48% of American voters, united for a better tomorrow. I will continue to work and serve, and pray so that each year that 48% grows. I learned today that being humble to the Lord and working hard is difficult and tiring, but it’s the only way. I learned that I must make sure, as your mother, that you learn about America, the good and the bad. I learned that America is only as strong as her people. I learned that I am strong. I learned that women are much stronger than men (well that-I already knew)! I learned that even though the outcome is not what I had hoped, fought and prayed for, that a victory was won because of the liberties that allowed me to say I VOTED.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We're Heard it All Before

Listen to how President Obama uses the exact same phrases to make the exact same promises he made FOUR YEARS AGO! Your time is up, Mr. President.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

20 Days

When I was around twelve, I had a teacher who came to class with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. Smart teachers know, no matter how good a lesson may be, we always hear better with treats.

He passed the plate around saying “Dig in!” and you don’t have to tell a bunch of kids twice. With cookies halfway to our mouths he interjected, “You should know, that I have left one ingredient out.”


“Yes, just one of the ingredients was skipped, and I’m wondering if you can tell me which one it is.”

Should have known it was too good to be true. Cookies in the middle of the day? Just for the heck of it?—we were going to be tricked into learning, I could feel it.

After a bite or two the results were in:

Not good!
Is this a joke?
I don’t like it!
Not cool…

The teacher then asked us what ingredient we thought he had skipped.

Hello?! The sugar! They taste awful!

The general consensus around the room was that a major key ingredient had been left out. How else could one explain the level of distaste?

The answer? Salt. One tiny teaspoon of salt was the only missing ingredient. An ingredient one would not immediately associate with the sweetness of a cookie. There’s so little salt required compared to the amounts of other ingredients. Surely their failure or success would be more likely contributed to the larger quantities of butter, sugar, flour, or chocolate chips.

The lesson struck me then (especially since he made things right, with backup cookies with all their rightful ingredients), and has stayed with me even now.  

In the collective story of our lives, we may see ourselves as that teaspoon of salt. It’s easy to think that the things we do don’t always matter and that if we didn’t do them, no one would notice.

I’m just a teaspoon of salt in the cookie dough of life.

Yeah, you like that? That just came to me. Remember it, cuz we’ll come back to it.

20 days until the most important election of our lifetime.
I do not err on the side of the melodramatic. Our world as we know it hangs on a dangerous precipice.

The current powers that be, ever so slowly and methodically, have led us down unknown paths. The stage has been set these last four years for a different America to emerge.

-We have stopped harvesting natural resources from our own land.
-The national debt is 16 trillion dollars.
-We are now printing money, with nothing to back it up.
-Unemployment has been at an all-time record high.
-We were told the deficit would be cut in half in two years. Three and a half years later, the debt has grown to a number larger than the amount accumulated under all past presidents, combined.
-Foreign relations have been weakened. Our allies don’t trust us, and our enemies see our new vulnerability.
-The president went seven months without meeting with his Job Council.
-The current administration is involved in one of the most blatant and sickening cover-ups we have ever witnessed (Libya).
-Four Americans were murdered, one of which was a U.S. ambassador. This hasn’t happened since 1979.
-After this terrorist attack, the president boarded a plane to a fundraiser, and then the White House went silent for 15 days with no press conference.
-Our credit rating as a nation, which some said would never be lowered, has been lowered twice in three and a half years. Not once. But twice.
-“Obamacare” was initially promised not to raise taxes on the middle class by “a dime.” It has now been discovered that it will not only raise taxes significantly, but will cause such a strain on businesses that many are taking precautions now, and taking full-time employees down to part time to prepare for the extra cost.
-Gas prices are at an all-time high.

And before I hear the excuse one more time that the President “inherited such a mess, what do we expect?” Obama told the American people he could turn things around in two years, and had a super majority for those two years. Instead he bailed out GM, added trillions to the debt and is calling his economic recovery plan historic.

In many ways the economic situation in the early 1980s was as dark, if not darker, as the one that Obama faced when he took office.

Under Reagan, the economy grew by an average of 5.6 percent for the first three years from the bottom of the recession, unemployment dropped by 3.8 points, and inflation was cut by two-thirds.

Every president inherits or comes into obstacles. It’s what they sign on for when they apply for the job. Do you think Bush anticipated four airplanes being flown into buildings in the largest scale terrorist attack on the U.S. to date?

Bottom line: The blame game is lame. Quit it already, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Our current President has his own agenda for America; that much is clear. And until he secures these last four years, he has resorted to diversion; finger pointing and just flat out lies.

The sci-fi geek in me keeps thinking of a scene from Batman when Alfred tells Bruce Wayne, “Some men can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Just food for thought.

But it has been amazing to see so many of us in the last few weeks start to walk out of the haze of deceit and recognize what is truly happening. There has been a passion for our country catching like wildfire around the nation. We are waking up and noticing that our inheritance is quietly being stolen from us.

And to add insult to injury, the newest strategy is to go forward like the American people are stupid:

Let’s just call the other guys liars.
Let’s just tell them it was a YouTube video.
Let’s tell them the unemployment numbers are going down.
Let’s tell them we saved the auto industry even though we ultimately rewarded them for bad business practices, with consequences we have yet to fully see. It will hopefully cloud the fact that we sank 90 billion into green energy companies that are now mysteriously bankrupt.
Let’s keep telling them we fight for the middle class while we tax them for Obamacare.

Or my personal favorite: Let’s get America riled up about Mitt Romney wanting to cut funding to Sesame Street.

Reminds me of the SNL skit where the actors are being sold a book with a concept they can’t quite understand: Only Buy Things We Can Afford.

And just in case you’re curious, this year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will receive 444 million dollars in taxpayer funding. Yeah. You read that right. If we want it, let’s pony up and donate more to keep it. Crazy concept, right? But I digress.

Twenty more days and the power will shift to us. No more commercials, no more rallies, no more news speculations, no more polls, no more debates. Twenty days and we the people will decide what kind of America we want to live in and whom we think shares our vision.

Maybe the goal of saving our nation seems a task much bigger than us. Perhaps we stay home on Election Day because we doubt our own individual power and influence. Perhaps, if I may, you feel you are but a teaspoon of salt in the cookie dough of li---okay, okay, it was clever once. You get it.

But the truth is we need you. We need each other.
Together we are stronger than the powers that wish to destroy us.
Let’s come together in 22 days in the collective effort to take our country back. You think you don’t matter? You think you can just sit this vote out and no one will be the wiser?
Lest I remind you that the 2000 election came down to a little over 500 votes?

United we stand, divided we fall. Don’t doubt how much each of you is needed on November sixth.  Our right to vote is the great equalizer, as everyone’s counts the same.

This election, vote for your America.


Chick-fil-a and Labels

It’s becoming impossible in today’s society to not be labeled. Even when it comes to where you eat lunch. A year ago, if someone would have told me that by sipping my Dr. Pepper from a Chick-fil-a cup while eating nuggets meant I was anti-gay, I would laugh. If five years ago, I was told by putting a Romney/Ryan yard sign up in my yard meant I was racist, I would have called you crazy. What if instead of being anti-gay and racist, it just meant I was hungry and worried for our nation’s economy? How crazy is that? One man’s freedom of speech has turned into a war on anyone who wants some waffle fries. Whether or not you agree with Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy’s stance on biblical marriage, it’s important to remove the media hype and know what he really said.

His initial comment came in an interview about WinShape Foundation Marriage program, not once did the interview talk about gay rights or gay marriage.

"The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners. It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added. Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position. "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized. "We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

I don’t even know what happened to make the above statement turn into such a controversial subject. I’m not talking about people lashing back with their freedom of speech, because that is the beauty of the first amendment. If the backlash ended there, I would be fine. I’m talking about a war against anyone who wants to eat some chicken minis, or small business owners who open a Chick-fil-a. Boston and Chicago Mayors threatened to ban Chick-fil-a from their cities because of Cathy’s comment. I just read that a college in North Carolina is trying to ban Chick-fil-a from their campus.

I don’t want government leaders to decide what businesses can go up in my neighborhood. It may be a business I don’t like or support, but let the people decide. If Americans don’t want to support the business, then it will fail. Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the ACLU of Illinois, tells Fox News that the ACLU opposes the idea of denying permits to Chick-fil-a because if the government in a liberal community can block businesses that oppose gay marriage, then it sets a precedent that governments in conservative communities could block businesses that support gay marriage, he explained: I am okay with people (not gov’t) deciding not to support Chick-fil-a because of their “biblical marriage” beliefs. I have loved ones who are gay and will never eat there again- good for them, it is their right, just like it was Dan Cathy’s right to support “biblical marriage”, and your right to agree or not, and my right to have a lunch where ever I please without being labeled.

I just wish that eating a Chick-fil-a sandwich would be just lunch.