Archive | July 2012

Beautiful words from a survivor of the horrific movie theater shooting in Colorado:

A MINIATURE CLAY POT

July 22 – a note of explanation

I’ve tried to leave this post just as it was originally written because it was a heartfelt response after a very traumatic experience.  But I’m sometimes clumsy with words and even when I think I am writing clearly, there is always the reader who doesn’t know my heart or doesn’t hear the words the way they were intended.

I feel as though a few people have taken what I said and twisted it. When I wrote my post on Friday, I had a grand total of eleven blog  followers. Yes, eleven. I generally post on facebook and have had a loyal little group of readers that numbered thirty or so. That is who I generally write for.  People who know me  know that I dislike talking on the telephone. I’d pretty much rather clean a toilet than spend time on the phone. I…

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Amen!

Destined For Change

I had a conversation the other day with a dear friend about receiving government assistance. She expressed how she felt like being on state assistance somehow negates all the good things she does for others. It was sad to me because she is a wonderful person whose family happens to be going through a rough time right now. My family was there not too long ago. When I asked why she felt negatively about it, she told me “People hate you for using it”.

She is right. There are a lot of people that HATE other people for “taking their hard earned tax dollars.” I see statements like that all the time. This being an election year, there are tons of debates about these “entitlement” programs. So much negativity is spewed out of peoples’ mouths about these programs’ recipients, it’s no wonder some people might feel ashamed for using them…

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Judging Tomorrow’s “Value” on Today’s “Prices”

A few years ago, things were hard. We were barely making it, if we were making it at all. Financially, emotionally, relationally… It. was. hard.

We thought we we going to lose our house. We didn’t.

We would wake up and check the driveway to see if our vehicles we still there. They were.

I had a great fear of answering the phone and door, or opening the mail.

Then things got better. A lot better. We caught up on all those bills and we paid all of our debt.

Right when we were breathing just a bit easier, Chad was laid off. then we found out that we were expecting…. again. he got another job. Although he was earning 60% of his previous income, we were hopeful. After 6 weeks, he came home in the middle of the day, laid off again.

I went in the bathroom and cried.

What were we going to do now?

I’m pregnant.

My husband is unemployed.

I felt very hopeless.

My thoughts were running through every possible option we had. Some of them were not, um, nice.

It took me a while, but I realized that I was judging the value of our tomorrows on what was going on today. Life is always evolving and changing. Things never stay the same. Just because Chad is unemployed today doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow. I look down the road to 6 months from now and wonder how we are going to survive with another member of the family. Why am I worrying about that now? I don’t have enough information to know for sure what our life is going to look like in 6 months. I only have today’s information, and it’s not a good predictor of our future.

I’ve learned that things can change for the better and they can change for the worse. The only guarantee I have is they will change. I should only be judging today’s value on today’s prices. Tomorrow will be a brand new today, and the price just may have changed.

Not Ashamed

Things often don’t turn out the way I plan. More often than not, they don’t even turnout the way I would like. If they did, I wouldn’t have fallen in a hole in Nicaragua. My husband wouldn’t be unemployed. I wouldn’t be a stay at home mom. Since I never dreamed of having kids…. I wouldn’t have four!

We don’t know how the unemployment thing will turn out, but each of those other situations? They turned out okay. My kids have been joy in my life. Being a stay at home mom, serving my family, has blessed us beyond measure. That hole in Nicaragua, ironically, opened my eyes and my heart.

If things went according to MY plans, well I guess I would be missing out on a whole lot of joy and experiences.

So without shame, I will now “publicly” state that shortly after Chad’s first bout with unemployment, we found out that I am expecting.

Yep. You absolutely read that right. We were surprised too.

Yes, to answer your question, we DO know how this happens. 😉

I was surprised when Chad took the news better than I did. My kids love the news so much that I am tired of the word “baby”. (I might be a bit cranky)

I don’t know how this will turn out, but I do know that things have a way of turning out better than I ever plan… Even when things don’t go according to my plans. This will be no different.

To all my friends whom I have confided in these past several months, thank you. Thank you for being there, for calming my fears, for loving me and for keeping my secrets.

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Happy 4th of July!

 

The Declaration of Independence

Action of Second Continental Congress,
July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pre-tended Offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized Nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

A Little Help From My Friends?

 

Many of you know that I have been sponsoring through Compassion International for over 3 years. First there was Maxwell from Kenya, then Yuri from Guatemala, then Uwamurera Agnes from Rwanda. Finally, Sofia from El Salvador was added to our family. Although we do not financially support Sofia, we do send her money for her birthday and Christmas, and we also keep in touch with her through letters and pictures. 
 
We have been very blessed in being able to build relationships with these kiddos and be the voice that tells them “you matter, poverty will not win”.
 
I have faithfully followed all the Compassion blogger trips. Through these posts and the letters I receive from our kids, I know that sponsorship makes a difference. Not only does it make a difference in THEIR lives, it makes a difference in OUR lives. We live simply so they can simply live.  
 
We feel such a powerful connection to these 4 loves of ours. (although we will only have Uwamurera for 3 more months, she is graduating from the program!) although we live many miles apart, our love and prayers for each other bridges that gap. We have had a hand in changing their lives, and they have changed ours. 
 
When Chad was laid off from his great paying job in April, 2 friends stepped in and offered to pay our 3 sponsorships for 2 months. (remember, we don’t pay for Sofia) this was an incredible blessing! Although things were more tight financially than they had been in a long, long time, I was determined to not lose our sponsorships. I’ve seen other kids on the Compassion website who have been waiting for over a year for someone to choose them. I did not and do not want to send my kids back into that pool and into the frame of mind that not only were they not chosen, they were given up and they don’t matter. 
 
Chad quickly found another job. He loved it. Unfortunately, he was laid off after just a month and a half, due to a lack of work. We are positive that this is a temporary situation. Unfortunately, we have cut all that we can. Our monthly bills are the necessities. Electricity, gas, water, phone, garbage, mortgage. We don’t have car payments or credit card bills. Right now, we are also faced with the extra expense of COBRA for Chad. With his diabetes, we can not afford to go without. 
 
Again, I do not want to give up our sponsored kids for a situation that we believe in our hearts to be temporary. I have prayed and wrestled with this, and I have come to the conclusion that it is not the answer. 
 
So, friends, I am coming to you. Can you help? Sponsorship is $38 per month, per child. ($114 total) it doesn’t take a big donation to help though. <strong>$2, $5, $10, it all helps</strong>.
 
If this was for me… I wouldn’t ask. But it’s not for me. It’s for these kids that need to know they are loved, and that they matter. it’s hard to admit that you need help, but for these kids, half a world away, I will do it.
 
In the past, friends have donated to me through pay pal. (dixonfam6 at msn dot com) if you want to give in a different way, please email me. 
 
Forever grateful for you, friends. Thank you so much for your prayers and your consideration. Your kindness won’t go unnoticed, these kids will know of your generosity, by name.