COVID-19 · Faith · Peace

Code Orange and Peace

Peace.

It was an unexpected feeling as the inevitable restrictions were announced on Friday.

But there it was. I felt peace.

We are now in Code Orange in Manitoba, Canada, which means gatherings are limited to 5 people. Our family size is seven, which means that for the foreseeable future we will not be invited out. Or dining out. Or doing anything… out.

Schools are trying to distance students further apart and distance learning at home has become an option again. Everything is reducing capacity.

Joy.

Unexpected, completely unexplainable joy. That is how I’m feeling in all this.

I can’t explain why I have no fear, other than the fact that I truly believe that God’s got this. I believe that the events I see unfolding before me are for a reason and I TRUST him.

I trust him.

Winter will soon be upon us and winter in Manitoba is LONG. Put us in lockdown and it may be unbearable.

Yet I look around me and I see a family of shining faces that fill my heart. I see cupboards that are full. I have more than I could ever need or want and yet… it’s not this which gives me peace.

My peace is in Jesus.

“Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘you are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.’ ” Psalm 16:1-2

I have NO good thing, apart from God.

How could David truly mean this as he wrote this passage?

He had lots of good things! He was king, for crying out loud.

I have lots of good things! Yet, although I do have many good things, I understand exactly what he means. You see, if my joy, peace and hope, rest in the good things I own, then to be honest, I would not have this peace.

Not at all.

Because every thing I have or own can be taken away. My family could die in an instant. Poverty could strike and we could lose everything we own.

But I have one good thing that cannot be taken from me, no matter what happens: Jesus.

Why am I writing this today?

It’s because, dear friends, there are so many Christians today that are afraid. They are anxious about the economy, terrified of either the virus or the restrictions, fearful of the elections happening in the states and they are scared into a corner, feeling helpless and hopeless.

Am I saying that we just need to pretend everything is ok? Of course not! Peace isn’t saying that everything is OK!

Am I saying that we should just ignore what’s going on in the world? No! We are called to watch and pray.

The problem is, there are a whole lot of Christians doing mostly watching (watching the news, social media, conspiracy theory’s, etc..) and not a whole lot of PRAYING.

Because, church, this is our time to SHINE!

When everything is dark, that is when we see the stars the brightest! No one goes outside and stares at the black sky and says look how much darkness is upon us. We see the stars. The beautiful, magnificent stars.

And we praise God, in awe.

Today let’s shine. Speak kindly to a stranger. Encourage someone who is downcast. Love your enemies (ESPECIALLY those who are voting for the OTHER candidate 😁), and PRAY.

So that whatever happens in the world, there will still be little lights, glowing beautifully in the darkness.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold for me to the word of life.”

Philippians 3:14-16

Canada · Justice · Politics

Will our Politicians Please Grow Up?

I rarely post about political matters. Partially because they frustrate me and my voice doesn’t particularly stand out in the crowd when it comes to the the way my country is run. Quite possibly, the actual reason I avoid the topic is that I really don’t know enough about politics to get into heated debates.

For that reason, other than voting, I usually keep a large distance from politics.

Like, Grand Canyon, large.

But I love my country.

So, once in a while I get really passionate about the deep flaws in our system.

Mainly, wondering how it is that we have created a system that elevates corruption, while the wise people among us are silenced. When will society finally get so tired of the false exteriors and games our politicians play, that we will once and for all address the superficialities behind campaigning in the west?

Federal Elections are coming up in Canada. Our elections are like child’s play when compared to the grand election campaigns that take place just south of our borders. But it’s still politics, mind you… and it’s as predictable as a cheesy hallmark movie.

Every single election inevitably leads to the media leaking out new and “shocking” information about the terrible past mistakes of our leaders.

It’s politics… time to vote…. out comes the the dirt that NO ONE CARES ABOUT on the candidates.

Every. Single. Time.

Now, I’m personally not a fan of our current Prime Minister. He seems incredibly self-focused, inexperienced, and has all of the qualities of a typical “yes man” most of us cringe at. And he spends our money like it’s going out of style.

Yet the “racist scandal” (if you could call it that), that littered my google news feed this past week, literally had me rolling my eyes.

Someone released a picture of Justin Trudeau at a dress up party, themed Arabian Nights from almost two decades ago with his face painted and the world goes ballistic.

Wait a minute, you’re telling me that he dressed up at a costume party? And now he’s racist? Am I missing something?

Here’s the gem, people, that has everyone’s knickers in a bunch:

In the middle is our beloved Prime Minister.

Face palm.

Yeah, I guess it would be bad taste...

And I would agree, entirely inappropriate….if it were taken at the legislative building in 2019.

Did you know that our society has changed since 2001?

This was not racist at the time, the same way, using the “R” word to describe those with special considerations was not wrong in the 1930s. And the same way that “Indian” was once an acceptable way of addressing our Indigenous people in Canada.

Are we really going to hold people to a standard 20 years from now that they didn’t even have at the time?

And, even otherwise, is the assumption that everyone is the same person today as they were 20 years prior something we really want to believe as a society? That people don’t change their views and grow up eventually?

Twenty years ago I was 11.

Please, no one bring up the lame jokes or the fashion that I had back in middle school (we called it junior high back then) and assume that I still dress and act that way.

I wore bugle boy jeans for crying out loud! And lip gloss! I parted my hair down the middle and had never heard of a hair straightener.

Thank GOODNESS times change…

So are we really assuming that Justin Trudeau hasn’t changed since then either?

As much as I dislike the guy, this was the most pathetic attempt on an attack of his character that I ever have seen.

Actually, it makes everyone in Canadian politics look really bad. And what makes things even worse is when they actually address this immature child-like bickering, as Leaders.

Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, issued a statement condemning the act.

Seriously?

Do you want to gain my respect Andrew Scheer? Then stand up for your opponent! Nothing reveals a wise and capable leader like someone who is willing to expose all those silly political games and refuse to play into their hands.

Because Justin Trudeau is a lot of things…but racist wasn’t on my list of insults towards him.

I have a list of about 30 things that I am more concerned about with our current leadership, than what he dressed up as in his 20s.

I care about the lack of funding when it comes to hospital staff and public school educational assistants.

I care about the waste of money in every area of government run services.

I care about the unborn who are being aborted up until full-term in Canada. There are no laws regulating abortion in Canada.

I care about the lack of security at our borders.

I care about the rate of unemployment and the unsustainable cost of our welfare system if it keeps rising.

I care about the environment that we are destroying.

I care about the lack of funding and space for those needing nursing homes.

And many other things!!

But you know what I don’t care about? Your silly political games.

No one cares about Justin Trudeau’s dress up party.

Grow up Politicians! Refuse to even address such trivial things. In fact, please begin to dismiss these lame-attacks entirely. You have far more important things to be doing – you have been given the reigns of leadership to an entire nation!

So please, would you stop playing games?

You have a country to run.

Family

That Poor Survey Woman…

A couple weeks ago Statistics Canada called me on my camping vacation to participate in “month two” of my four month survey – mandatory by law – of course, or no one would sit through a second (or honestly even the first).

The survey topic? Work and Employment.

Which quite honestly hit a few nerves on the first week for this mother of five. Even on a good day, asking a mother who has worked from before the sun rises most mornings for absolutely nothing in return other than the well being of her family, “if she has done anything in the past week that qualifies as work” and then EXPECTING her to say “no” is not only insensitive, it’s foolish.

Being asked that after a week of sleepless nights and VERY difficult behavioural issues with a couple of children and what can you expect, but a very, very emotional and upset response?

The questionnaire, which is repeatedly done for four months, asks questions such as:

Have you done anything qualifying as work the past week?

Are you currently looking for work?

Why are you not looking for work?

With the childcare available in Canada, what is keeping you from wanting to work?

All of the questions above, taking into consideration, is a slap in the face to a stay at home mom.

And suddenly I snapped.

“Pardon me,” I cut in sharply, “But I would like to let you know that this whole survey is really offensive to me! I mean, I know you personally didn’t make this survey,” I told the poor lady on the phone, “But what right do you have to ask a hardworking mother of five, why I’m not sticking my kids in daycare to make money?!? What right does someone have to assume that is a sensitive or appropriate question?!? And that mothering doesn’t “qualify for work”, but working in a daycare does? What right does my government have to make me feel useless for choosing my own children over a job that makes money?”

And yes, I did pity the poor woman as she stumbled and stammered out a compassionate response about this survey “not trying to put down hard working mothers” but desperate to get my point across I continued:

“Seriously,” I said, “I would like you to make a note of this on my survey. That this survey is inappropriate for countless reasons. Because quite honestly, I believe the purpose in asking these questions four months in a row is to put on some pressure on those who are “unemployed.”

The survey woman paused and said, I kid you not, “Well, I’m sure as soon as your kids are in school you’ll be able to finally get a job. No one is saying you are lazy.”

At this point, I began to cry, because I was heartbroken that our culture has drifted so far in just a few short years.  My grandmother would’ve never been expected to “return to work” once her children were in school. Because the things that she did in that day and age were valued.

Growing a garden and canning has value.

Making homemade, healthy meals, has value.

Volunteering has value.

Disciplining children and helping with homework has value.

So does cleaning, organizing, and mending clothes.

Someone has to drive those kids to sports, music lessons and social events.

Babysitting for others. Blessing neighbours with baked goods. Taking meals to younger mothers who’ve just had a baby or families who’ve lost loved ones.

These things have value!

And if I do something that “qualifies as work” in Canada…all those things I just mentioned, will be pushed off onto someone else or not done at all. And we wonder why everyone is depressed and anxious! Why neighbours don’t talk anymore? Why people suffer their hardships alone?

It’s because somewhere along the way, someone decided that mothering and running a household doesn’t have value!

Dear Canada,

I wonder if we decided to value mothers, how much less we’d spend on the foster care system, on juvenile detention centres, on prisons, on mental healthcare. I wonder if families would stay together, if divorce rates would drop,  if children were given a safe place to grow up?

I wonder if we defined importance, not by monetary value, but by character and ethics, what types of people would be honoured most highly? I wonder if we’d see through the cracked foundations we are so quickly and carelessly pouring for the next generation – if we’d really stop and consider what the effects are of our face-paced, workaholic world… I wonder if we would change.

Would we value mothers, if we slowed down enough to see them?

Why not do a compulsory survey about the despairing effects of distracted parenting? Of workaholism?

I believe the results would be staggering.

Maybe, just maybe, getting more civilians into the workforce to pay taxes isn’t the answer to our countries reckless debt and spending issues. Maybe, it all comes down to those cracked foundations we’re building on. Maybe it’s not about the money. Maybe it’s about the people.

Sincerely,

A Mother who does Valuable Work at Home

Uncategorized

Don’t Blame a Selfish Generation on the School System (or the Government)

Sometimes a post or a comment can trigger a string of thoughts. Often I just ponder them throughout the day, but, once in a while – if I have the time to sit down and write – a new blog post is written. A few months ago, I noticed a paragraph that got posted a few times on my feed by different people and so even though I often skip long status updates, I ended up reading this one through many times. And each time I read it I thought, hmmm…it’s very interesting how whoever wrote this felt the need to both write off an entire generation of people and blame the government for making them that way.

Here’s the post:

R.I.P. Canada You are too soft. You raised the cost of living so high that both parents are always at work, rather than spending time with their children. You took authority out of schools. Parents were told ‘No you can’t discipline your kids’. Well, Canada You shall reap what you sow, and we have lost a percentage of next generation adults as the soft approach turned them into rude, selfish, disrespectful humans who have no respect for people, property or authority…

(Ok I deleted a big section of this long-winded rant, but I left the conclusion for you 😜)….

Things need to change! Copy & paste if you have the guts too!!!”

Now, I would agree with some of the thoughts behind the post, but today I’m not writing about politics or my concerns about our current government’s shortcomings. Today I want to address a FAR more important issue that’s damaging households and families in every background and social status across our Country.

Let me start off by saying this:

Fellow parents, it is not the governments fault or the school system’s fault if our children turn out to be selfish, disrespectful and rude. It’s OURS. If all our children are really turning out that bad, we just have to look in the mirror to see who’s really at fault.

I hear again and again that “both parents HAVE to work in order to survive these days” and I have to tell you, in the most respectful way possible, that this simply isn’t true!

I got pregnant as a teenager. I got married at 18. My husband was making only $24,000 a year when our first son was born. And you know what? We have been living off of one income for the past 12.5 years.

Was it easy? No. No it wasn’t.

What teenager wants to go from living in a wealthy home in a nice neighbourhood, to living in a mouse infested trailer in the trailer court? What woman (or man) wants to be stuck at home all day with a baby because there’s no money for a second vehicle? What teenage new mother wants to stop wearing makeup and buying new clothes because she can only afford the used ones? Or go without internet, satellite, or a smartphone (gasp!) and settle instead for a landline.

Not very many – I assure you. Not very many are willing. But don’t tell me it’s not possible! I’ve lived it.

But here’s the thing: my baby boy couldn’t care less whether he was laying on designer sheets, in a fancy house, with a well decorated nursery – or a plain white sheet, in a used crib, in a trailer.

All that mattered to him was that he was being loved and tenderly cared for.

Now don’t get me wrong….I’m NOT saying you need to homeschool or stay at home and live on one income to raise good children. But you do need time. And it’s not the governments fault that we haven’t made time for our kids.

It’s our own busy lives that do that.

If us parents would be really honest with ourselves, all that stuff we buy for “them” is really not for them at all!

It’s for us.

The fancy themed bedrooms with matching decor, the name brand outfits bought for that perfect photo shoot, the outrageous Pinterest birthday parties, with the perfectly decorated cakes (as I gulp…guilty over here 🙋🏼‍♀️) …all these things never were really for them in the first place. They were for us. To boost our egos. To make up for what we fear we lack. Social Media and Pinterest have only fueled this struggle for parents because deep down we want our kids to have the best childhood! We really do!

Yet, I look at so many children and do you know what I see? Emptiness. Sadness. Disconnectedness. The result of parents not giving them what they deeply wanted and needed all along.

Parents: All your children want is YOU! From day one. This is why the new fancy toy set you just bought for them remains in the corner a few days (or hours) later while they whine and cry at your feet…they didn’t really want it in the first place. They just want YOU!!

Twelve years have gone by. My husband went back to school for a college degree and got a job in a field he loves. Four more kids have been added to our home. My oldest boy is in grade 7 and has been in the public school system now for the past couple years. My husband is making a lot more and we are living in my dream home in the country. But we still are making “sacrifices” so that I can stay home. And somehow, looking at the relationship that we have with our kids, I no longer see them as sacrifices. I willingly give up a finished basement, a shiny new vehicle, or a perfectly manicured yard to finish raising my children well – to have them feel safe and loved and connected. To have time to teach them to work hard, to volunteer, to cook and clean.

And I don’t worry about the negative affect of the school systems policies, because I’ve done the hard work at home. No matter what happened at school, I know my boy can come home and talk about it with me, feeling safe and loved. It wasn’t up to the school to raise him.  It wasn’t up to his coaches to teach him respect, or up to his Sunday school teachers to teach him about God and morals. It was my job! And unfortunately not all parents understand this!

Parenting is a hard, draining, often uncertain and lifelong commitment. It’s a parents job to teach respect and morals. And in Canada we still have so many opportunities and freedoms to do so! You know the best way to change your country? It’s not simply changing the government. It’s raising the next generation to be confident, caring, compassionate, hardworking individuals who believe that their most important job in life isn’t the one that pays them to be there, but rather their responsibility to the lives around them.

You want to change Canada? Then do!

But don’t try to change it by copying and pasting some whiny rant against the government. Change it, one person at a time, by taking responsibility for what’s happening in your own home.

Politics

The Prejudice of the ‘Tolerant’

I woke up this morning to see a barrage of news articles about President Trump’s inauguration. It may be that I’m young and never bothered to paid much attention to politics until the past few years, but the one-sided screams of those claiming to be the most tolerant were more deafening than I had ever heard them before. In fact it was so blatantly obvious that the articles shouting “Our Anti-American President” (Globe and Mail) and “Donald Trump’s presidency will be ‘hopelessly conflicted’, corporate governance expert says”(ABC news) were completely biased, that I felt compelled to respond. Now… before you call me a narrow-minded Trump supporter, I would like to share a few thoughts on the election – which I’ve been completely silent about, while the media could focus on nothing else.

I am Canadian and wasn’t qualified to vote during this controversial election, and with my Canadian ‘lets all just get along’ attitude, I was actually really, REALLY glad that I didn’t have to. Because to be honest, after much thinking about who would be the best, or as more suitably stated – who was the lesser of the two evils – I realized I couldn’t make that decision.

I wouldn’t have voted.

There. I said it. Most people would disagree with my decision. Both candidates were corrupt; an embarrassment to the country. I felt sick to my stomach whenever I heard Donald Trump talk in his disrespectful and proud tone, and Hillary lied through her teeth constantly, covering up her mistakes with more lies. I’m also extremely pro-life and she’s extremely pro-choice. That is enough to lose my vote. It was a lose-lose election and my conscience wouldn’t have allowed me to stand for either candidate.

Now I am NOT AT ALL the type of person who just doesn’t vote. In fact, I have been such an advocate that we all NEED to vote, that I even voted once while I was in labor (Bahaha!! True story!)

I was embarrassed to read the opinions of some of my fellow Conservatives; many getting on the conspiracy bandwagon, making racist comments about immigrants, and a few even hailing Trump as a saviour. He’s not a good man. He’s just not. He’s not a man I would want my children around. He’s not patient, he’s not kind, he’s boastful, he’s easily angered…basically if you read the definition of love according to the biblical passage in 1 Corinthians 13, he’s everything that love is not.

Yet, the more the mainstream media began to speak against Conservative voters, calling us racist, bigots, uneducated, and basically every other thing I stand against…the more I saw why people wanted to vote for Trump. They weren’t voting Trump in, they were voting the Media out. You can not lump all Conservatives into one group and accuse them of stereotyping, without being stereotypical yourself. And here, the left leaning Media, who truly saw themselves as being the most tolerant of all people, were being very, very narrow-minded. There are MANY reasons that people voted for Trump, and I can assure you that most of them had nothing to do with race, or gender or fear mongering, as we were accused of.

CBC News was one of those who took the left leaning stance, from column headlines stating, “Concerned Canadians eyeing Trump’s swearing-in with apprehension” and “Inauguration to usher in a ‘ringmaster president’ and much uncertainty: Chris Hall” And my favourite, the opinion article they published titled: “The U.S. descends into brutality as the real life Archie Bunker is sworn in as president” by Neil MacDonald. You can read the full article here.

Don’t know who Archie Bunker is? Neither did I. Apparently I don’t watch as much racist garbage as Neil MacDonald does…nor do I stereotype a whole group of people according to what a television show portrays them as.

Archie Bunker is quite simply a character from a show called “All in the Family” that aired in the 70’s. Oh…no wonder I hadn’t heard of him, I wasn’t even born during the time it ran. MacDonald does a fair job in explaining that in the show, Archie was a Conservative, racist, and quite simply a jerk. MacDonald refers to the shows racial slurs as humorous, and since I’ve never watched an episode, I’ll have to take his word on that…Isn’t it interesting though, that I, being a Conservative do not find racist jokes humorous at all? Hmmm…He goes on to explain that Archie’s educated and LIBERAL son-in-law, Micheal, who’s not racist at all, really puts light on the distinction between Conservatives and Liberals. Wait. What? You’re basing your entire belief about all Conservatives based on this T.V. show?

He goes on to say: “Conservatives reading this will at this point have already stopped reading, having decided that this is just more lying by the dishonest elite media, which is in the thrall of the elite radical left.”

So, I guess based on these stereotypes I must not be a true Conservative then, am I?

“But wait!” You may say, “What if he personally lived in a Conservative town and learned from bad experiences that they were all racist? Then he’s not being stereotypical!”

Here’s a direct quote from the article: “In Bethesda, Md., where I once lived, I cannot remember having met a single social conservative or gun advocate. The Tea Party was regarded as aliens. Those people lived in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Bethesda, where they shun liberals in exactly the same manner, avoiding any social contact, despising from afar. And this is their moment. They’re not just ascendant, they’ve beaten the living daylights out of liberals, urinated on their bruised bodies, sliced off their ears and poured sugar into their gas tanks.”

This my friends, is stereotyping at it’s finest. Neil MacDonald said he had not met a SINGLE conservative where he lived, yet he seems to know them all so well as he goes on to despise them from afar.

This garbage was published on CBC, who by the way has just happened to receive $675 million dollars in pledges from who else but the Liberal government. If that doesn’t scream out bias, I don’t know what does. Still, there are those who deny that this government-funded news source is biased at all. Think about how much power the media actually has. Egged on by the media, the Liberals actually have been lead to believe that Trumps Presidency means the end of America’s values.

And just what values do Americans believe in?

Peace – Ironic, though that the angry mobs of Liberals that are ‘protesting’, if you can call it that, have created more destruction and chaos than the man they are calling the agitator. He’s literally done nothing as president yet.

Freedom of Speech – But wait….what’s all this news I hear about Trump supporters being brutally attacked? Where’s their freedoms? And I begin to see why the Republicans voted the way the did.

Democracy – or ‘rule by the people’ as it means in the greek language. We all get to vote, a president is chosen by ALL the people, and we all accept whoever is elected. Here’s where the ‘not my president’ slogan really confuses me. Ironically, it was also used by Democrats toward president George Bush. Could it be that the Republicans are actually more true to democracy than the Democrats themselves?

Yet, the media has managed to create more division then ever crying, ‘But Trump didn’t win the most popular vote!!’ Hmmm…and here I thought the Conservatives were supposed to be the uneducated ones. The Electoral College is used in the election for a very good reason, and if you don’t understand why exactly it’s so important, you can watch a short informational video here.

It turns out that the only thing that’s Anti-American is the mainstream media itself.

This isn’t an article to bash Democrats. I will never lump all Democrats into the same group. Not all Liberals are stereotypical, not all Liberals are for gun control, not all Liberals support abortion, not all Liberals are for raised taxes…just like all of us Conservatives have different beliefs and reasons for the way we vote, I know you do too.

I just wrote this because the media has been encouraging this division and its time for them to stop. Just stop. Call your people to stop the riots. Stop the name calling. Stop the fear mongering.

America, I’m cheering for you. Come together as a people, united under one nation and stop tearing each other down. Republicans, Democrats, you are not enemies, you’re on the same team. Start acting like it. Don’t attack those different from you, LOVE them. Find someone who voted opposite of you and do a random act of kindness…shake their hand, talk to them, listen to why they believe what they do. You might be surprised that you actually agree on somethings. If all else fails, buy them a Timmies…oh wait, you’re not in Canada…I guess Starbucks will have to do.