It’s not about blame

Facts that are more comfortable to overlook:

  1. In the 1800’s, American Indian Religion was outlawed.  American Indian’s spiritual practices went underground as did much of the culture and traditions. 
     
  2. The Indian Religion Freedom Act passed in 1978 (Um, that was 31 years ago. Not that long ago. This also means American Indians were the last ethnic people group to have their civil rights acknowledged)
     
  3. In the 1970’s, 40% of American Indian women that went for a routine hospitalization (i.e. having tonsils removed) were non-consensually sterilized. 
     
  4. Many American Indian children were forced to go to boarding schools.  Their hair was cut, their name was changed from their Indian name, they were forced to wear English clothes and were whipped for speaking their Native language. One person said, “We went in the door Indian and came out English.”
     
  5. Canada, New Zealand, Australia’s governments have all made a formal apology to the aboriginal people of their country for what happened. America has not. 
     
  6. In Oklahoma, every April, children participate in a ceremonial ‘land run’ to remember when the Sooners claimed family land. And while this is an important part of Oklahoma history, it is also the day people groups were once again displaced. 

 

People ask why were are adopting from Jeremy’s tribe. These are not the reasons. But hearing about these fact moves me.  It moves me teach my child to embrace their culture and treasure traditions so they do not become lost.  It also moves me to advocate for them should I ever need to. 

For many people, this information is difficult to hear. A sense of shame and guilt is quick to rise. Followed by defensiveness and statements like, “How long do we have to apologize for this? Isn’t in the past?”

It’s not about blame.

 Read # 2 and #6 again. It was not that long ago. It is still happening in subtle ways.

It is about awareness.

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We are Adopting!

We are very excited to announce that we are adopting! We are beyond excited! Here are a few basic details:

-We are adopting from Jeremys tribe

-We are open to either a boy or a girl

-We do not know how long it will take 🙂 That is everyone’s first question 🙂

 

You can read about it a little bit further and how we shared our news with our church in the post below or by clicking here

Purpose

Last week, we had dinner with our pastor to share a few exciting things with him. In the process, we started talking about how different life is today than it used to be. He called me a few days later and asked me to share my story at church. So I did:

When Pastor Steve called me last week and asked me to share my story about how purpose has played a role in my life, I just kind of laughed. When I was 15, my youth pastor asked me, “When you are 80 years old and look back on your life, what will you have to show for it? If you can indentify the people you have influenced and affected, then you will have lived a life worth living.” I took that to heart and that mindset has influenced many of the decisions in my life.

A few years ago, the standing joke was that I never went to church. My husband Jeremy was very involved in church – he was there every week. I made it maybe once a month. At the time, I was working for a social service agency and used my job as a convenient excuse. I told myself, “I don’t have to rush to be involved in church because my job is very demanding, and I have found purpose there, so I’m fine.” The problem was, without getting involved in the church, I had no reason to go.  So I didn’t. The few times I went were more out of obligation because it was the ‘right’ thing to do.

Once we started attending Passion, I wanted to do better than I had before.  I became convicted that having a job with purpose was not enough. So I got involved at church. I started working in the sound desk to run the screens and got involved in Fuel, our college and career group.  Something amazing happened – I discovered that I loved it. I began to look for creative ways for services to be better, I became very excited when services went well. I had become personally invested. No longer did I begrudge coming on Sundays, but rather looked forward to it as the highlight of my week. As I found a purpose and a reason for being here on Sundays, other things started happening too. I often left services feeling challenged to live life better -not because it was the right thing to do, but because my relationship with Christ was deepening and growing. Our marriage became stronger, and life long friendships have been made. Healing took place, and new dreams were set.

One thing that I am starting to figure out is that “Purpose” is a journey. God has been doing some work within myself and my husband over the past two years and preparing us for an exciting adventure. I’ve realized that not only am I called to have purpose at work and within the church, but at home as well. We are getting ready to adopting our first child. We are beyond excited. We feel like God is leading us in this new direction for a reason. We often wonder, “Who is this child that God is going to bring him/her into our lives?  That He would want us to parent them?” I know that I know that I know that this is God orchestrated. I am not sure what this will all look like in the end. What I do know is that living with a purpose in all areas of life is so much better than with none.

 

On a personal note, it was an honor to share our story this morning. A little intimidating and my voice was shaky the entire time, but truley an honor. I’m so grateful that people can see how God is working in my life and shaping me into what He has called me to be!

A little hope, a little change


President Elect Barack Obama and future First Lady Michelle Obama:

large_barack-michelle

 

A little change can be good. I watched the news as the polls closed and Obama swept the country. I was in awe as his win was announced. I watched as he gave a phenomenal acceptance speech. Favorite quote from the evening, “While we breath, we hope.”

I teared up as I realized I was watching history unfold, and I had a part of it. 

It was a very interesting election. People were passionate on both sides. People cared deeply about their party and took a vested interest in the future of the country.  Regardless of how you feel about Obama, he moved people to action, resulting in an astounding number of new voters.

 

Two interesting facts regarding this election:

  • Nine states flipped from red to bue. That is a pretty big swing. Usually there is a state or two , but nine?!?
  • The NAACP was formed in 1909. It will be their 100 year anniversary when Barack Obama takes office.

I found this picture and thought it was fitting:

november-4-20081

 

A little change is good.

People, history just happened. The story of our country just changed. 

Nov. 4th

vote

Today is the day where America votes for our next President.  I woke up early and went to the polls. The lines were not too bad – 40 minutes or so. Everyone was respectful and it went well.  

 There was a very elderly man ahead of me in line today at the polls. He stated he was 96. He voted. It’s that important to vote that even 96 year old men who can barley stand and waiting in line to rock the vote . That says something.  It is a right, but more of a responsibility. Go vote people. 

Facebook Conversation

Me: I finally figured out who I am voting for

Jess: Who?

Me: Can we still be friends when I vote for Obama?

Jess: Communist

Me: Ha! I don’t even have a response for that. You… you… person who likes old men. (that sounded so very different in my head)

Jess: haha ya I have a thing for wisdom and experience. So  be honest you’re voting for Hussein bc he uttered the words ‘head start’ last night aren’t you 🙂

Me: You know me too well friend -too well

Me: Among other things. But yes, he uttered head start and I immediately rushed to the tattoo shop to have ‘Yes We Can’ put across my forehead