October 9, 2020
September 25, 2020
September 10, 2020
August 20, 2020
August 6, 2020
July 23, 2020
July 9, 2020
As tempting as that sounds, it’s unwise. Of course, Christians must remember that our ultimate citizenship is in Heaven, not with any country on Earth. Thus, we must avoid placing any nation-state on a pedestal and should acknowledge America’s unavoidable imperfections.
On the other hand, God chooses to place each individual in a particular place at a certain time in history. That means He intended for Americans to be Americans. And patriotism isn’t a sin. We can genuinely love and appreciate the beautiful aspects of America – past and present – and also admit its failures – past and present. We can hope, pray, and work for constructive change and also decry illogical, unnecessary destruction. It’s not a matter of either/or; it’s about both/and.
And for the sake of our kids, we must stay engaged and find that middle ground.
I have only a few vivid memories of growing up in the 1970s – but every one of them is tinged with angst. I recall President Nixon’s depressing resignation speech. I watched coverage of Americans evacuating the US Embassy in Vietnam. I heard about gas lines and 20% interest, packed up my belongings as my parents’ house was foreclosed upon, and fretted over Americans held hostage in Iran. My parents didn’t talk with me about any of it, so I absorbed the general malaise that hung over the nation. And I entered into young adulthood with a very unhealthy, skewed view of America.
The chaos of current events certainly rivals that of the ‘70s. And it has stressed our kids. Children and teens are resilient; they can come through trying times with hope for the future. But they need our example and guidance to do so.
It’s our job to listen as they express fears. It’s our job to answer their questions as best we can. It’s our job to show them a broader, historical perspective and to direct them toward seeing things from God’s point of view. It’s our job to pray with and for them, maybe now more than ever before.
When our current turmoil passes – and it will – you’ll want your kids to emerge clothed in optimism, hope, and peace. “So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6.9)
Photo Credit: Dome Poon
June 25, 2020
We did have our spring formal, and we did hold a (live) graduation ceremony. Both events looked somewhat different than originally anticipated, but the ceremony was beautiful and the dance was arguably better than a “normal” one. I survived the initial shock I felt about the elopement – we are thankful our new son-in-law is a very good man who loves the Lord – and we’re currently planning a July reception. My husband is still ensconced in the basement, and our other daughter’s life hasn’t yet returned to any sense of normalcy. But she’s gearing up for a new adventure at Bible college this fall, and we’re fervently praying it won’t be hindered.
I haven’t yet owned my new identity as a “retiree.” In fact, I still feel strange about no longer keeping daily learning logs for the girls. But perhaps all the uncertainty, upheaval, and change with which I’ve dealt over the last thirteen weeks will actually facilitate that process. I’ve certainly had much opportunity to remember Proverbs 3.5 in recent months, and that’s as good a lesson as any to continue applying as I go forward from here.
Photo Credit: Rays of Bliss
April 14, 2020
March 31, 2020
As I write, our nation is consumed by COVID-19. It’s the only topic substantively addressed in the media, and related posts of all sorts – from data to rants to irreverent memes – abound on Facebook and Twitter. As testing increases, many results come back negative, some positive. Of those who contract coronavirus, some have no symptoms, many feel horrible for a time but recover in rather short order, and some become seriously ill and even die.
In particular hot-spots, medical personnel are stretched to their limits, and the governors of many states have enacted executive orders limiting freedom of movement to greater or lesser degrees. Most institutional schools are closed, leaving parents to figure out homebound learning on the fly. Workers who can do their jobs via virtual means have been sent home for the duration, computers in hand, but hundreds of thousands of others have been furloughed or laid off, spiking unemployment claims and jeopardizing their financial security. Some who’ve been deemed “essential” and must continue working worry that their health and that of their families may be at risk. Small businesses struggle within narrow profit margins to stay afloat, the stock market has tanked, and Congress recently passed a multi-trillion dollar “rescue” plan. People are either petrified or livid, sometimes both.