Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Election Day: Reasons I Considered not Voting for my Husband (and why you should consider voting for him)

Most of my blog posts go unwritten in the busyness of life.  However, some days come with events too special to go unnoticed.  Today may be one of those days.  Two years ago, my husband, Preacherman, decided that he wanted to attempt to make a positive difference in our community and he filed to run for city council in our city ward.  At that time there were a lot of things that hung on the results of that election.  We were in the process of looking for a home to purchase to pursue the adventure of foster care.  The results of the election determined whether our new home could be located anywhere in the city or limited only to our ward, approximately one-quarter of the city.  As it turned out, he lost the election by 10 votes to a long-time Augusta resident and city council incumbent.  He accepted the defeat (not something either of us do exceptionally well).  He is probably extremely grateful that I worked that fact into today's post on this special day.  We moved forward with the roller coaster of events in life and bought a house in a different ward of the city. Then last fall happened.  Our city mayor won an election in November and prepared to make a difference at the State level, turning her mayoral duties over to the city council president, one of our ward 1 representatives, thus vacating a seat on the city council in ward 1, the ward we now reside. Preacherman received the appointment to the city council seat in December and has been actively serving since that time.  That brings us to today.  Election Day.  Today he is on the ballot again for city council.  Today across our city voters will take to the polls and make decisions for the future of our community, hopefully in record-breaking numbers.

Later today I will make my way to the voting place and I will cast my ballot.  Many of you may find it odd that I would even consider not voting for the man I pledged my life to almost 16 years ago.  Let me explain.  The same reasons that have expanded my love for Preacherman are the very reasons that I would consider not voting for him.  The very things that drew me to him are the things that people will use to attack.  We can all agree that personal attacks hurt.  There are many people that look at my husband and make initial judgments based on his size and his lack of a smile.  (Hint:  Guys that play offensive lineman don't shrink to a punter when they walk off the college football field into the real world.)  I see his size from a much different perspective.  It is the man that holds me tight each day and promises to love me with tenderness for a lifetime.  It's the man who envelopes his children with a father's love and protection.  It is the man that offers comfort to hurting people.  People mistake the lack of a smile for evidence that he isn't happy or he is mad. But in reality, he is a very genuine guy and has never felt comfortable in his "picture" smile.  I promise if you hang around him for any amount of time, you too will see the genuine smile that he possesses.  A smile far better than any "picture" smile.  The smile that lights up his face, his eyes and the world around him.  Especially my world.

Preacherman is passionate about the things he loves and cares about.  He is passionate about Jesus and it shows everyday as he seeks to be light and salt to the world around him. He is passionate about truth and integrity, even when it's hard.  He is passionate about his family.  He is passionate about the success and the forward movement of our community. That passion produces a deep preparation and consideration of issues.  That passion and preparation produces a confidence in his stance on those issues.  In college, Preacherman would be the guy at the library on Monday night preparing for the test next Monday.  The desire to be prepared didn't change when he left the college campus.  Whether it's preparation for a sermon, a presentation, a meeting or simply the gym the next morning, he excels in making it priority.

I've come to understand in life no matter where you serve there will be people that do not like you. There will be people that would rather see you fail than encourage you to succeed. There will be people that will take joy in your pain instead of sharing in your grief. There will be people that will make initial judgments and spread information based on more rumor than fact.  There will be hurt. Most of us prefer to avoid situations that may cause hurt to us or those we love.

If I were to not vote for my husband, it would be for purely selfish reasons.  A lot of them. Raw. Real. Reasons.

Several years ago, I stood in a church kitchen and presented an idea to my husband - in the midst of a couple friends - he responded, "I'll support you whatever you decide." I still remember the look of unbelief on the faces of our sweet friends.  It was a mix of unbelief and confusion trying to assess whether he was serious in his reply.  I think they still look at each other and use that line with fond remembrance.  The same holds true today.  Only today, it's my turn to say, "I'll support you." Tonight we will gather with friends to celebrate the future of our great community.  Tomorrow in victory or defeat we will look forward to the positive differences we can make in the future of our family, our church and our community.

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 Reading List

1) Clutter Free - Kathi Lipp
2) A Dream to Share - Irene Hannon
3) Her Valentine Hero - Gail Gaymer Martin
4) Small-Town Dad - Jean C Gorden
5) Sweetheart Bride - Lenora Worth
6) One Special Christmas - Irene Hannon
7) Home for the Holidays - Irene Hannon
8) Leaving - Karen Kingsbury
9) Learning - Karen Kingsbury
10) Longing - Karen Kingsbury
11) Loving - Karen Kingsbury
12) Jenna's Cowboy
13) Emily's Chance
14) Megan's Hero
15) Sabotaged - Dani Pettrey
16) Mission: Motherhood - Martha Perry
17) Taken - Dee Henderson

Book Review: Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp

There are a lot of resources available on clutter.  I've skimmed some, read some and left it at that.  Kathi Lipp's book Clutter Free is a well written handbook on clutter, not just to address your current state of clutter, but to address the issues behind WHY you have clutter.  I have found the techniques and insight in this book to be life-changing.  If you are a tub-buying stasher, you may want to avoid this book.  It will challenge your tub buying stashing efforts in a BIG way - i.e. stop buying tubs!  By the time I reached Chapter 6, I thought Kathi Lipp had some sort of secret access to the thought processes of my mind and shopping experiences.  The book is 25 chapters long with three worthwhile appendices.  The first appendix provides you information you need to get started with Kathi's Three-Box, Two-Bag System.  No, you are not going out to buy new tubs for this system!!!  Although I actually found I had some empty ones that work nicely for the process.  I'm an easily distracted individual when I'm cleaning an area.  The three-box, two-bag system helps me to stay focused and in the same location as my clutter I'm attempting to clear.  Appendix 2 helps you address paperwork clutter and Appendix 3 helps you learn to pack for vacation and business trips without more luggage than you can carry, pull, load and check at the airport.  The 25 chapters will help you identify how much your clutter is costing you, why you buy the things you buy, why you keep the things you keep and approaches to get rid of stuff.  I've recommended this book to many friends.  I don't plan on giving up my copy anytime soon.  If you are ready for a life-changing read - order this book today, it may save you from multiple more costly purchases later. Find it today on Amazon.

I received this book for free in exchange for this review.