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28 Pounds in 6 Months

So I’ve been trying to lose weight since I had Charlie… which was almost 8 years ago.  It’s been hard, but I finally managed to do it this past year. 

I’ve gone through various phases where I work out really hard, and I eat a little healthier than normal, but nothing really seemed to stick. 

My problem is that I’m a snacky kind of person.  Our kitchen is literally in the middle of my house which means I’m constantly walking through it to get from one room to another.  And I love snacks.  And I love delicious things.  And I have no control over myself if you put a basket of chips with salsa and queso in front of me. 

Several years back right before I got pregnant with my first child Owen, I managed to lose 30 pounds.  Instead of my usual afternoon nap after I got home from a long day of teaching, I decided to start walking on the treadmill.  I would even wear ankle weights under my pants while at school so I was secretly getting in a little bit of a workout while chasing around my kindergarten class.  I gained a little weight with Owen’s pregnancy but lost it all almost immediately.  I thought I was just super lucky or whatever.  Turns out my thyroid blew a gasket and there was actually something medically wrong with me.  I had an overactive thyroid which meant rapid weight loss which was great.  But it was also accompanied by a resting heart rate of 120 bpm, dizziness, and other not so fun symptoms.  After a radioactive treatment I now have hypothyroidism which does the opposite and if not medicated correctly can make it difficult to lose weight.  Anyways, I kind of blamed that for a while for why I wasn’t losing weight. 

This past year, I finally decided to get serious about my health and stopped blaming my thyroid for what was really my unhealthy eating habits.  I was introduced to a free app called My Fitness Pal.  I put in my goal weight, and the app gave me a daily calorie goal to stay under.  Ya’ll… it gave me 1200 calories.  1200 calories felt like nothing.  By the first couple of meals, I was already out of calories before dinnertime ever arrived.  It was rough.  I started having to make some tough decisions with what I allowed myself to eat.  I had to start thinking about food as “fuel” and not just delicious things I wanted to shove into my mouth.  Did I want to eat my calories for the day or waste drinking them by having that 150 calorie can of Dr. Pepper?  The first couple of weeks were really hard and I didn’t feel like the scale was reflecting my hard work.

The nice thing about the app though is if you work out, you can earn some more calories for the day.  And since I like my food, working out has become almost a daily habit.  We have a walking trail literally right when you walk out my front door and cross the street.  I was already walking my dogs about a mile every other day if not more frequently because we have a puppy and she needed to burn some of that naughty puppy energy.  I started walking them one mile, and then would go on another mile by myself after dropping them back at the house.  Eventually I figured since I could walk 2 miles, I’d run at least part of that. So, I started running half a mile, then walking the dogs the other mile.  I am not a runner and have never really enjoyed running, but slowly over time I would add on more walking and running to my routine.  Now after almost a year I can run 3 miles without stopping.  The dogs still get their mile walk in of course. 

After several weeks, the scale did start to show some results and the hard food choices and daily exercising became more of a habit than a daunting task.  I lost 28 pounds in 6 months and am fitting into my “someday” clothes that I’ve been holding onto for years.  It has not been easy, but eating healthier and working out more has become easier every day. 

I am not a person who enjoys lifting weights or really going to the gym in general, but some of the workouts that I do enjoy are walking or running.  I do like doing the rowing machine at our house as long as I’m watching a show and forgetting I’m actually working out.  There’s a super fun cardio dance class at the gym that I do genuinely enjoy.  I have also taken over the yard work at our house and the rental property.  I like to save money, but also you can burn a ton of calories mowing and weed eating.  Workouts that result in a task being accomplished like yard work or any other similar type of workout that feels productive are my favorite kind. 

Now I do have my cheat days here and there, because let’s be honest… life would kind of suck without a few sprinkled in here and there.  Dr. Peppers do make their way into my hand once in a while because sometimes unsweet tea just doesn’t cut it.  Overall once I made healthier eating and regular workouts more frequent, they became habits.  If you are struggling to lose weight like I was, I hope that the app can help you like it did me.  You just have to do it. If I can do it, you can too! 

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The Beauty of Baptism

This past weekend I had the absolute honor and privilege of watching my husband get baptized and then turn around and baptize our two sons. It was such an amazing experience to watch my husband lead our family spiritually through baptism. It is my greatest wish in life that our children would give their hearts to Jesus and to live out a life that demonstrates that decision. Over the past few years all of our children have come to make the decision to give their hearts to the Lord. Harper made the decision to get baptized a couple of years ago, and the boys decided recently they wanted to as well.
We do not believe that baptism is what saves you, but a relationship with Jesus. Romans 3:3 tells us “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 continues on “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” And finally Romans 10:9 states “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The Bible lays out salvation very simply for us. Confess and believe.
Baptism for us is an act of obedience. Jesus himself was baptized. He also commands us to do the same. To us, baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith. It’s celebrating the decision we have made to follow Jesus.
After my boys and Tim were baptized, there was a pair of teenagers. One of them baptized his friend. After they walked behind stage, they both stood there embracing each other crying. I hadn’t lost it up until that point, but that’s what did me in and the tears from my eyes started flowing. I have no idea what their story is, but it was evident God was moving and working in a mighty way in their lives. My kids got to witness this moment as well and as we left church that day, Owen told me that he wants to baptize his friends some day as well.
I have loved getting to watch my children grown in their faith and I look forward to what the future holds. I know God is starting a work in each of them and he’s got great plans. I pray that my children will continue to live a life that points others to Jesus and his saving grace and that they will never doubt how much God loves them.

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Church: Broken, Messed Up People Welcome

I did it and I survived.  I went back to the gym for the first time in months.  Summer can be hard to make it up there but also a great excuse not to.  The gym has always been a bit of an intimidating place for me, especially when I feel I’m not at my best physically.  I don’t know what most of the machines there do and it often seems like everyone else there is a pro at them or at whatever workout they are doing.  I typically fumble around and try to pretend I know what I’m doing and somehow manage through.  Today after a couple of months of missing my cardio dance class, I ran out of excuses and forced myself to go.  I stood in the back and fumbled through the motions, but I made it.  And I left the gym better for it. 

I couldn’t help but think that my same feelings about the gym can be so true for people regarding church.  I kept telling myself that I’ll work out at home.  I’ll hold myself accountable, and once I’ve gotten my act together a little more and have lost a little more weight, then I’ll feel ready to show up at the gym.  I don’t want to look like I’m struggling. I want to put my best foot forward. I like to feel and look like I have my act together, but that is usually not the case.

There are people who also share my same gym struggle but in regards to going to church.  The truth is that you don’t have to have your act together to go.  You don’t have to fix those things you’ve been trying to hide before you can go.  Just do it.  Show up.  There’s a good chance that someone sitting a few rows over just cursed at their kids on the drive over.  There’s also a good chance that someone sitting near you is struggling with a porn addiction.  Someone in there is hiding an affair from their spouse.  Someone in there is a gossiper.  Someone else in there has an alcohol addiction.  The church is full of broken, messed up people.  It’s the perfect place for me and it’s the perfect place for you because the truth is that we are all a little broken, and all a little messed up.  That’s the great thing about God though.  He already knows our brokenness.  He already knows how bad we are and despite all of that, he still loves us anyway and he wants to meet you right where you are at.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the messy. 

So if you’ve been waiting.  If you’ve been debating. If you’ve been too intimidated. If you’ve been making excuses. Just go.  Just show up.  And leave a little bit better because of it.

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Enough is Enough

You could feel the heaviness in the air at drop off.  Parents hugging their kids a bit tighter, holding on to them for just a moment longer before sending them off into the school building.  The day after the massacre at Robb Elementary, parents everywhere were putting on brave faces as they sent off their most prized possessions into what used to feel like a safe place, but has now turned into a potential war zone. 

I could never come close to imagining the heartache, brokenness and grief the families are experiencing as they are laying their precious children to rest.  I grieve for them as they left the school empty handed to homes with empty beds, an empty chair at the kitchen table, a pair of shoes left on the floor to never be worn again.  I grieve for the parents who rushed their babies out the door that morning because they were late and didn’t get that last goodbye hug.  I grieve for the parent that snapped at their kid on the drive to school and never got to say they were sorry.  I grieve for the parent who instead of making summer plans, is now making funeral arrangements.  It’s hard to watch all the stories and interviews about what took place.  I find it hard to look at the pictures of the precious lives taken.  But I do.  And I must.  We must remember each innocent face.  We must feel a sliver of the grief these families are experiencing to realize we must do something. 

But what can we do? Pray.  Yes.  Absolutely.  Pray for the families.  Pray for the community.  But also pray for change.  America has become a breeding ground for monsters and we can no longer be complacent with how things are.  I live in Texas.  Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong state, or country or whatever because I often feel like a fish out of water.  Our state is so progun it’s getting ridiculous.  You can open carry just for fun.  What I’ve seen a lot of growing up in Texas is this whole macho manly thing about gun ownership.  It goes beyond just the have a gun to protect your family.  It’s become a whole identity for people.  People who feel the need to parade around open carrying their weapons need some mental help in my opinion because it’s typically to feel cool, intimidate others, or perhaps overcompensate for a lack of something in their pants. Moving on. 

I do not think that we should ban all guns.  I absolutely 100% think we need to ban assault rifles.  At the very least, stop making them. Stop selling them.  When has a civilian even needed an assault rifle to protect themselves or stop a bad guy with a gun?  You’ll have those who will say well I could have stopped it if I were there with my gun.  Well guess what?  You.  Weren’t.  There.  And you won’t be for the next school shooting or the one after that.  Even the cops have a hard time taking down these shooters because they have military grade equipment.  We as average citizens should not be able to out-gun our own law enforcement.  The security guard at the grocery store shooting in Buffalo shot the gunman, but it did NOTHING and the security officer is dead. The gun problem is not solved by more guns.  Unhinged, evil, people are purchasing these mass killing machines so easily.  We have to make a choice on what we value more.  The lives of our precious children or our “rights” to own any type of mass killing machine we choose because our 2nd amendment says so.  Your freedoms should never trump the safety and well being of others. 

We are raising our children in a scary time.  We sat down with our 9 year old and 7 year old the night of the shooting.  We didn’t want to tell them about what happened. We didn’t want to scare them, but we worried the things they may hear when they went back to school the next day so we very much glossed over any specifics and just told them there was a shooting at a school far away from here.  The gunman is dead and we don’t have to worry about him.  The truth is we don’t have to worry about him.  But there are hundreds even thousands of potential other “hims” walking amongst us with deadly weapons easily accessible at any given moment.  My five year old who still puts his shorts on backwards half the time is being taught at school how to hide and what to do in case of an active shooter.  “What if I’m in the hallway?” “What if I’m in the potty and can’t get to my classroom?” Explaining to my children how to stand on a toilet and hide in a stall from a shooter is something I never dreamed of having to tell my kids.  “If you hear sounds that sound like a bunch of popping balloons, run the other direction and hide.”  What are we doing America? Why are we allowing our children to grow up in a society that values their gun freedoms over the lives and protection of our children. 

It’s time our lawmakers start taking these issues seriously. I pray that the conviction of the Holy Spirit take a hold of these politicians and law makers that are more concerned with lining their pockets with money from the NRA and other pro-gun lobbyists and start taking the gun epidemic more seriously.  We need stricter gun laws.  We need more rigorous background checks.  We need to stop selling military grade weapons and protective gear to civilians.  We need to stop pretending that Jesus was some machismo, gun toting dude that would care more about his right to bear arms than to stop the plague of violence against our children.  Jesus doesn’t care about your dang guns and your dang rights. 

From a Texan who wants to see her children survive elementary school. 

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Open Letter to Governor Abbott

Dear Governor Abbott,


I am a mother of 3 and working mom. This past year we made the tough decision to keep all 3 of our kids home and do virtual learning through our school district. With so much unknown about the Corona virus, we found it in the best interest and safety of our children to keep them home. That was not a decision that we took lightly. This past year has been extremely difficult for all of us trying to balance the countless zoom calls and assignments while trying to manage my husband and I’s work schedules.

I have to say that I am very impressed with how well our school’s managed to safely allow students to return to the classroom this past year with their many safety protocols such as social distancing, temperature checks and most importantly masks. These protocols have helped keep the kids at school as safe as possible and have stopped I’m sure what would have been countless outbreaks of the virus.
Being comfortable and reassured with how well the school has done keeping the spread of the virus under control, we made the decision to send our kids back to in person school this fall. BUT, then YOU decided to recklessly and negligently not allow schools to mandate masks. There is proof that masks help control the spread of this virus. All the dang hand sanitizer in the world isn’t going to stop a virus that is AIRBORN.

I’m just trying to wrap my head around such a reckless decision. Adults can get vaccinated, yes. But children under the age of 12 CANNOT. You are leaving our unvaccinated children open to a known deadly virus when you can implement a simple safety protocol that would help protect them. WHY would you not do everything in your power to protect our kids? I’m so sick and tired of people like yourself being more concerned with politics than people. Our children deserve better than this. They deserve to go to school in a safe environment. Parents deserve to send their children to school without worrying each day while they are there if they are being exposed to a virus that could potentially kill them or disable them for the rest of their lives. You claim to be pro-life, so start acting like it.

I am begging you to take a stand for our kids. Mandate masks for at least the grade levels that are not eligible for the vaccine yet. It is the most responsible thing you can do to protect our children.

Signed,
An Exhausted Mother Who Wants to Protect her Children

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The Lie They Keep Believing

     What the hell did we just watch unfold yesterday? The world watched in shock as the capitol was stormed by Trump supporters who did so at the very command of our very own president.  We were all shocked.  Surprised?  We shouldn’t be.  This moment has been building up over the last 4 years when Trump originally never agreed to conceding if he lost to Hillary.  He has been building up the conspiracy that this election would be rigged before the election even happened.  There was never a scenario in which he lost fair and square.  This man will never admit defeat.  He will never admit that he’s wrong.  Because that’s who Donald Trump is and he’s convinced so many of his blind followers that his lies are truth. 

I am so sickened at the actions of some of my fellow Americans yesterday.  It was embarrassing to be an American.  To watch as Trump literally tried to overthrow or government was scary to say the least.  It took a literal attempt to become a dictator for many of his loyal followers to finally start distancing themselves from him.  The smart ones at least. They are realizing this is a moment that will go down in history as a shameful time for our country and they are definitely not on the good side. 

And then you have those who still can’t acknowledge that what happened yesterday was the direct actions of the president.  And those who say “well those weren’t actual Trump supporters who stormed the building.” “It was Antifa trying to impersonate Trump supporters.”  My sweet delusional friends… I pity you.  You have believed the lies of this man for so long that you cannot fathom that you got played.  He literally held a rally in which he told his followers to march to the capitol.  He has constantly made false claims about a stolen election and how they need to “keep fighting.” His followers and their pathetic militia followed his orders.  He let them do his dirty work.  And guess what?  People died because of it.  People died to defend the honor of an honorless, self-serving, pathetic, evil human being.  And guess what else?  He doesn’t care.  He doesn’t care about those people, or their families who now have to grieve the unnecessary lost life of a loved one for the sake of NOTHING.  For the sake of a man who will never know or acknowledge their lives even existed.  Don’t forget the law enforcement officers and others who were injured trying to protect the very democracy our nation was built on.  You want to pretend to be pro-law enforcement, but then can’t even condemn the actions of those hurting and fighting with them yesterday.  Your hypocrisy is showing. 

One of the hardest things for human beings to admit is when we are wrong or when we make mistakes.  It’s like it’s built into our DNA.  Nobody enjoys admitting their misdoings, or mistakes.  Nobody enjoys being wrong.  As a Christian, that is such a huge thing.  Our salvation is built on the fact that we are humans.  We are going to mess up.  We are going to do stupid, evil, unkind, unwise and at times hurtful things.  Sometimes these things are intentional sometimes they are not.  BUT Jesus.  Jesus came to forgive us from all these things.  And why? Because he knows that we are going to screw things up over and over and over again and that’s ok.  But what does he require of us?  Admitting that we’ve sinned.  Admitting that we need to be saved from our sins and we can’t do it on our own.  For those Christians who are still supporting this man.  It’s time to acknowledge that what he is doing is wrong.  It’s time to denounce his behavior and call it out for what it is… sinful. 

For years, I’ve watched many of my Christian friends support this man.  They have portrayed him as a godly man, who desires nothing more than to save our nation and make it great.  Nothing about what has happened over the past four years is great.  It’s shameful.  And when we as Christians start confusing evil with good, what kind of witness are we being to the world around us? I’ve seen pastors endorse Trump.  Now? Radio silence… How can you still support him after what unfolded yesterday.  The world is watching.  The lost are watching.  And as a nation that claims to be built on Biblical principles, our integrity and morals are on trial.  But there’s good news.  There is an opportunity for redemption for our nation.  Being a person of integrity and morals, you can still stand up and admit that maybe you were wrong.  Maybe the lies you have allowed yourself to believe over the years are in fact lies.   What a witness it could be to show your neighbor that you, as a Christian are capable of being wrong, and admitting it. 

There is so much healing to be done in our nation.  Trump has sewn hate and discord for many years and our nation is so divided.  Friendships have ended.  Family members have stopped speaking to each other.  Why? Because we’ve been taught to hate.  We’ve allowed it to be who we are and how we function.  We’ve been made to believe that one side is better than the other.  That the other side is the enemy.  Well let me tell you… the enemy is sitting back and smiling at the work that he’s done.  The work that we’ve allowed. I’m sure he’s proud.  It’s time for repentance America.  It’s time for confession.  It’s time we have the humility and integrity to admit that we are human and we make mistakes.  Having Donald Trump as our leader was a mistake and I hope as a nation we can learn to see that.  We can heal from this.  We can repent from this.  We can move forward and start rebuilding what has been broken.  Jesus help us because we can’t do it on our own. 

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Peace out 2020

Dear 2020,

Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.  But seriously, I think most of us agree you can go ahead and leave now.  We are ready to turn the page in this weird chapter that has been the last year. 

-Sincerely,

A very tired working, virtual teaching, mom

2020 has definitely felt lonely at times.  Being as socially distanced as we have been has been difficult and often isolating.  It’s hard to not feel like an outsider when it seems so many around us have continued on with semi normal lives.  There’s been a lot of heartache and grief for so many. I’ve seen loved ones lose beloved friends and family members. I’ve witnessed marriages ending in divorce, families being ripped apart, loved ones losing their jobs, and homes.  It’s hard at times to remember that this is just a season.  Seasons come and seasons go.  I think we are all ready for this season to go.  It’s my hope and prayer that 2021 is a new season.  A season in which we love a little harder, give more grace, have more patience, and show more compassion to the world around us.  You never know what heartache and pain someone may be hiding behind their mask.  The waitress you were just rude to may be struggling to pay past due rent.  The person you just cut off in traffic may be driving to a loved one’s funeral.  The customer service associate you just screamed at on the phone may be in the middle of an ugly divorce.  Imagine if we assumed that everyone we interact with on a daily basis is dealing with some invisible battle and we may be the one positive interaction in their day that gives them a little glimpse of who Jesus is.  What a year 2021 would be if we all made the decision to display undeserved grace and compassion to each other. 

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Where Do We Go From Here?

This week has been stressful for everyone.  There are people who are upset and disappointed.  There are people who are overjoyed and relieved.  The question is where do we go from here?  In a nation that has been so divided the last four years, it’s hard to imagine how we move on.  How do we still associate with the people who are angry… the family members that might not be speaking with us, the friends who don’t want to continue friendships because of the results of this election. 

Four years of divisiveness.  Four years of neighbor against neighbor.  Four years of Democrats and Republicans against each other.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say my heart was full of relief and joy at the results of the election.  I don’t hate Donald Trump.  I hate what he has done.  I hate the hate that he has caused.  I hate that we let hate seep in and divide our country.  I want more than anything for our country to start being kind to one another again.  I want to recognize each other for the fellow human beings we are and not the political party we are associated with. 

Where do we go from here? What do we do now?  We love our neighbor.  We love those that we have considered enemies.  We start seeing the other side as people that Jesus also came to live and die for.  Jesus doesn’t care about your political party.  He cares about your character, your integrity, and how you treat your fellow man.  He cares that you love that homosexual neighbor that makes you feel uncomfortable. He cares that you love your Muslim neighbor who wears a veil over their face or a scarf over their head.  He cares that you be a living, breathing, representation of himself to the lost and dying world around you.  Pray for those that are unkind to you. Pray for those who you disagree with.  Pray for Jesus to open up doors in families and friendships that have been damaged. 

2020 has been a hard year for everyone.  I strongly believe that 2021 is going to be a year of healing and reconciliation if we put in the effort. 

We do not have to change the world every 4 years with an election.  We each have opportunities every single day to make life-changing, world changing differences in our communities and with the people that we come in contact with every single day. 

Be the light in this dark world.  Start volunteering.  Start giving.  Start praying.  Start believing in change.  You have the power to make a real tangible difference every single day.  That’s not the government’s job.  YOU have been called.  YOU have been commissioned. 

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Just Be Considerate

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last six months of dealing with new way of living because of Covid, it’s that people have a very hard time being considerate.  These last several months have been challenging for everyone in many different ways.  We’ve been very blessed in that my husband works from home and being a small business owner, I can arrange my schedule as needed.  This has allowed us to stay pretty socially distanced from the outside world for a while.  We really bunkered down for several months when everything first went into lockdown mode.  It wasn’t fun, but at the time we figured it would be for just a short while.  Well, here we are with the rest of the world about 7 months later and things seem to be getting worse not better. 

We have decided to keep our kids home for the time being and do virtual school.  This has been a real challenge with both Tim and I working and having 3 children on three different schedules.  I currently have 12 alarms set on my phone, just to keep me reminded of who has a Zoom call next.  We’ve still managed to miss some classes as well as assignments.  Let’s not even talk about specials.  My kids have really missed out on what a normal school year would be and it’s been really hard as a parent knowing the socialization, friendships, and experiences they are missing out by not being in person. 

When Owen was just four years old he ended up staying in the hospital because of what we thought was asthma, but also he had pneumonia. It was very hard watching my baby being hooked up to several machines and on oxygen.  At the time we didn’t really know what was causing him to be so sick but his oxygen levels kept dropping.  I can remember driving him to the emergency room at the direction of his pediatrician since his oxygen levels were dropping throughout the day.  He was falling asleep in the backseat as we drove and I remember shouting his name trying to wake him up as I drove because I didn’t know if he was passing out from lack of oxygen or if he was just falling asleep from the exhaustion of feeling sick all day.  Those next three days were a bit of a whirlwind but thankfully he got better and we were able to go home.  Having gone through the experience of my baby being so sick and not being able to breathe properly, I know that I never want any of my children to have to go through something so scary and unknown and I will do anything within reason to protect them. 

Every family has decisions they have to make during these strange times.  We are doing our best to make the safest decisions we can for our children, because I’d rather them miss out on some normal experiences than be stricken with a virus that could essentially kill them or cause damaging health issues for them the rest of their lives.  The challenge is that we do have to find a balance.  Six months of near isolation had started taking it’s toll on our family.  Our kids hadn’t seen friends in months and rarely had left the house. 

We recently decided to invite just a few friends over for outdoor playdates with masks.  Our children were overjoyed to get to play with their friends.  The masks weren’t even an issue for them.  For the first time in months, Tim and I actually went on a few dates.  We got a babysitter to come after the kids had already gone to bed so there really wasn’t any indoor interactions and we got to go out to dinner at a restaurant on a patio.  It was wonderful. 

I know to some people we sound crazy, but that’s ok.  Our children are our responsibility and it is our duty to care for them the best we see fit.  Now that this virus seems to not be going away anytime soon, we have slowly ventured out a little more with the kids.  We want them to still be able to have a normal childhood, even though they are currently living through a historical pandemic.  A couple of weeks ago we took them to a farm that also had a pumpkin patch.  Our family wore masks pretty much the whole time we were there unless there were no other people anywhere around us.  One thing that was pretty frustrating to me though was the amount of people who would get so close to us without a mask on. I don’t know why, but we seemed to be a magnet for other children.  My kids would go to pet a goat that had no other children around it, and then all of the sudden we were swarmed with unmasked children right up next to our kids. I’m not sure how we gave off the vibe of “please come really, really close to us and invade our personal space,” but for some reason people couldn’t read the room.  Our whole family is masked walking around with a bottle of spray hand sanitizer the whole time.  Next time I need a shirt that just says “Back away.”  I even asked a 10 year old kid to please step back a couple of feet while waiting in line because he was literally inches away from my youngest.  He looked at me as if I were speaking another language.  Some of these kids acted like they didn’t even know there was a pandemic going on. 

We also took our kids trick or treating.  It was nice to see that most people were actually trying to socially distance on the street and it was nice to see all the creative ways to socially distance giving out candy.  My kids had a blast and just for a moment, even though they were all wearing masks, it seemed like a normal Halloween.  Something normal for once. 

The next day I saw a post on a mom’s group where a mom was upset because her child’s teacher saw her while out trick or treating and gave her a hug.  She was unmasked, didn’t ask for permission, and then coughed while hugging the child.  The mom was understandably upset as I also would have been.  There were so many comments on her post and many of them telling them mom she should have just stayed home if she wanted to prevent such a thing from happening. This got me really upset.  Just because other people choose to be inconsiderate does not mean that our children should not also get to enjoy normal childhood experiences. 

This also goes back to the mentality that people who are sick or have health issues should just stay home if they are scared of getting the virus.  It’s super frustrating that people feel so entitled that they should get to live their lives while others should just suck it up and stay home.  If we could all be considerate of the people around us, it would make life more pleasant for everyone.  Be considerate and wear a mask.  Be considerate and stay 6 feet away from people that are obviously trying to social distance. Teach your kids to stay away from people who are trying to socially distance.  Be considerate of the families that are trying desperately to give their kids a sense of normalcy in a world that is anything but normal right now.  It’s hard for everyone right now and everyone is trying their best to live normal.  A little inconvenience for you could mean the world to someone else.  Just be considerate. 

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Even if You’re Alone

            A few years back my husband Tim and I attended a peaceful protest at the Texas capital to speak out against the unjust treatment of refugees and immigrants at our borders.  We made the decision to take our kids with us.  We made signs, talked with them about why we were going to this protest and the importance of it. 

            If there’s only a few things that I ever manage to instill in my children it is to always stand up for what is right… even if you are standing alone.  Jesus himself has spoken on the issue of taking care of the weak, oppressed, the foreigners, the widows, and the orphans.  The way that we have treated refugees is wrong.  After posting a photo of our family at this rally, I received a long message from someone I know, but am no longer associated with stating their disgust for us including our children in this protest.  I have no shame in teaching my children to do what is right.  This is a proud parenting moment for me.  I will never be ashamed for teaching my kids to show up, and speak up against the wrong that is happening in the world around us. If someone has an issue with my choice to instill these values in my children, then they are the ones with the issue.

            Doing the right thing has never really been popular.  You will get criticized by anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with you.  That’s OK.  It’s not our purpose on Earth to be liked by the most people.  It is our duty to love the world around us and to point them to Jesus.  I will always do my best to show my kids what it means to love big, show kindness and compassion, and to do what is right even when it’s hard.  The world will never be your friend.  People will try to tear you down, criticize your actions and bring you down to their level.  Standing up for your beliefs and convictions sometimes means that you feel like you are standing alone, but when you’re walking in righteousness with the Lord, he will always be with you. 

Zechariah 7:9-10 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

My little cuties learning what it means to stand up for others.