Tag Archives: kind

Love Is What It’s All About

My word for 2018 is LOVE. I want to love myself, love my neighbor, love my friends, and love my enemies.

I don’t know how I’m going to accomplish this. But here’s what I know so far:

I’m working on self-care. I’m discovering my favorite new things, and relearning old favorites. Reading a great book. Sweating so hard at the gym I can’t think about anything else. Catching up with a friend. Drinking all the coffee. Learning to be more like Jesus through his biblical teachings. Stepping outside my comfort zone into new challenges. Practicing loving myself, because I often don’t think I’m worthy (although it’s been much better lately, I have work to do.)

I’m searching for ways to be kind to my neighbors, not just the people in my neighborhood, you know the people that you meet when you’re walking down the street (shout out to Sesame Street). I’m talking about all humans being my neighbor. I know I have biases and prejudices, but I’m learning to see and understand the world from others’ points of view. And it’s hard. And sometimes I don’t want to do it. But like Glendon Doyle Wambach says, “We can do hard things.” And I’m stepping up.

I’m telling family and close friends, everyone in my world whom I love, that I love them. I don’t care if they find it awkward or weird, I want them to know they are loved. And I love them. We don’t tell the people who are most significantly in our lives how much they mean to us, and I’m stopping this failure to communicate now. If I say these words to you, I mean it. No need to say it back (although it feels wonderful to be told I am loved).

Finally, I’m trying to figure out how to love my enemies. The people who simply don’t care about me and my clan. The ones whose thought processes are entirely foreign to my own. How did Jesus love those who persecuted and hated him? Clearly, it’s because he’s of God, as his son. But humans are made in God’s image so we can love our enemies, too. Right? Someone tell me the secret of how to do this. I can’t figure it out. But I’m going to try.

There’s too much hate and nastiness in the world right now, so I’m going to focus on my love. I cannot control other people, I can only control myself. And I hope that’s enough.

What’s Next?

My blog revolves around raising my boys in the Tampa Bay Area. Mostly it provides an accounting of our weekly activities and milestones, which are similar to other stay-at-home-mom’s experiences. I like looking back to see Henry’s stats versus Elliot’s, and reminiscing over our field trips and vacations.

But growing a kid involves more than just play (which we definitely excel at doing). It requires teaching my boys to be kind to others as well as to stand up for (with) the oppressed. Henry’s middle name comes from the minor Old Testament prophet – Micah – who told the people of Israel what the Lord required of them to do good in the world: 

Seek Justice. 
Love Kindness.
Walk Humbly with God.

Micah 6:8

With this verse in mind, I’ve been formulating an Action Plan for myself to hold President Trump’s administration and the legislative branches of the federal government accountable for their actions. One part of my plan is to compile a list of three issues that matter to me each week. I’m doing my best to do my research, but I don’t have tons of time with two littles. Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
 
Using my issues list, I plan to call my senators and representative’s offices weekly to let them know my concerns (and praises). This is kind of a big deal for me because I HATE to talk on the phone. BUT making your voice heard is a key part of democracy in action, and speaking directly with someone in your legislator’s office is one of the best ways to let them know how you feel about an issue. Your legislators care about what you care about – it’s why they have jobs!
 
Finally, I’m holding myself accountable to doing this by posting here. I don’t care if anyone reads it (although I plan to share each new post like I usually do) because it helps me to write out my thoughts before verbally discussing them with others.

Talking Points This Week:

Vote No for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education (my friend, Rudy, an educator working on his PhD, has an excellent blog post on this topic)

  • No training or experience in education. 
  • She supports school choice privatization schemes, despite a lack of evidence they provide better education. 
  • She’s invested millions lobbying for laws that take money away from public schools.
  • She’s fought against regulating charter schools.

Vote No for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

  • Threat to civil rights
  • Republicans thought he was too racist to be a federal judge.
  • Supports voter identification laws, which are a form of voter suppression akin to poll taxes and literacy tests.

Vote No Against H.R. 193 – Restore American Sovereignty Act of 2017

  • This Bill would have the U.S. terminate its United Nations membership and prohibit the authorization of funds for UN peacekeeping or otherwise.
  • It’s a global world, and removing ourselves from the UN would be disastrous for everyone.

Contact Information for My Senators and Representative:
Sen. Bill Nelson – DC: (202) 224-5274 or Tampa: (813) 225-7040
Sen. Marco Rubio – DC: (202) 224-3041 or Tampa: (813) 287-5035 
Rep. Charlie Crist, FL-13 – DC: (202) 225-5961

This is only Phase 1 of my plan…stay tuned for more.


Miscellaneous Websites I’m Following Right Now:

  • Swing Left – https://swingleft.org/
  • Women’s March 10 Actions in 100 Days – https://www.womensmarch.com/100/
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice: Tampa Bay – https://m.facebook.com/SURJTampaBay/
  • Southern Poverty Law Center – https://www.splcenter.org
Books I’m Currently Reading With My Boys