So, You Dont Like the President?

Michael and I have been watching The West Wing.  An old co-worker of mine highly recommended it and every few months since then I’ve checked to see if Netflix had added it to instant streaming. They finally have and we are growing quite fond of the show (although I often disagree with the politics).

It has got me thinking a lot about the president.

Not necessarily President Obama. All US presidents.

As far back as I can remember negative characterizations about the president have been a part of my social landscape.

On a recent road trip with my family, my sister reminded me that when we were kids we would close our eyes and duck our heads when driving through Clinton, OK, refusing to even look at the town in protest of the president. On that same trip, we drove under an over pass where a man was holding a huge sign that said HONK IMPEACH OBAMA. (I’m not sure how many honks it takes to impeach a president, but I will be looking that up on Wikipedia today.)

I don’t even need to share an anecdote about old George W, I’m sure you can think of your own.

We live in a country where free speech is a right and a value and we put it to use.

Now, I would like to pause at this juncture and say that I love free speech. I also believe that all publicly elected officials need their fair share of criticism. Everyone needs to be challenged in their thinking and debate on issues is healthy.

That being said, maybe we should stop complaining so much about the president.

Now, I’ve never personally been president, but if the visible aging that seems to happen to all of them is any indication it is a really hard job. The weight of responsibility, the magnitude of decisions that have to be made, the number of lives in your hands. I don’t think that anyone who hasn’t been president could ever understand.

Like I said, I’ve never been president. And that is exactly why I’m am very careful about my attitude toward him (or maybe her, someday). It’s very easy to sit back and and point out everything you think is wrong about the way someone handles something that you don’t have to deal with. Being president is hard. I’m sure there are plenty decisions they each face that they wish someone else could make for them. Many, we may never even know about.

The other thing is, the president is just that. A president. We don’t have a dictator. We don’t have a king. We have a president.

If you are mad at the president for not doing everything they said they would during the campaign then you may have had unrealistic expectations. Presidents don’t get to do whatever they want.

It’s like when a candidate for high school student class president tells you they are going to eliminate math class and make lunch twice as long. You know they actually can’t do that, right?

Don’t get me wrong, the President of the United States is important and they do influence policy, appoint judges, command the military and decide which Thanksgiving turkey gets pardoned, but they just can’t do all the things they said they would in the campaign. There are those two other pesky branches of government after all.

So here is the deal. You don’t agree with the president? Fine. Tell anyone you want. You think the policy he is pushing for is ill advised? Great. You should say that. You have ideas on how things could be handled better? Please, tell everyone you can.

But, do it with respect. Debate ideas, challenge policy, advocate for your views but don’t trash people.

Usually, if someone disagrees with you it’s not because they are a bad person. There is no one right way.

Maybe the guy you think wants to reward people for not working is motivated by the real suffering of families where all able bodied adults do work as hard as they can in jobs that just don’t pay enough to keep up with the cost of living. Maybe the guy you are mad at for wanting to control women’s bodies isn’t a woman hater after all but just honestly believes that a fetus is a separate life that deserves protection as much as a newborn.  Maybe the president you think is anti-Christian because he doesn’t support prayer in schools is actually passionate about religious freedom and knows that you wouldn’t want your child to have to participate in school prayer in an area that was predominantly Mormon or Muslim. In fact, maybe that guy feels that true prayer in schools happens when students of faith pray individually or with a friend and not from and empty government mandated ritual.

The next time you open your mouth to criticize the president please remember that he is a person and is worthy of all the respect that entails. You may disagree with his actions or ideas but you simply cannot judge his heart.

So, if you want to tell me why you disagree with the president, bring it on. Want to vote for someone else? Great.

But I swear to you right now, send me an email forward or post on Facebook an article, full of unrelated pictures taken out of context, that claims President Obama canceled the National Day of Prayer and then invited Muslims to pray at the Capitol (and in fact joined them), and I will never respect anything you have to say about the president again.

 

Thank you, Mr President, for doing a job I wouldn’t ever want to. I don’t agree with your approach to several major problems we are facing, but I trust that your motives are not to ruin the country. If I am dissatisfied with your actions I will respond by engaging in political discourse and voting to reflect my views. I pray that God would lead you in your decisions today and that you don’t end up in the situation room. May God bless America.

 

[If you, by chance, actually thought that National Day of Prayer story happened, please know that not everything on the Internet is true and then take a moment to read this article.
Oh, and by the way, the new gold dollar coins actually do have "In God We Trust" inscribed on them. You can stop throwing them away.]

I Want to be Good

I want to be good.

More than anything else, I want to be good.

I want to be a good person. A good friend. A good Christian. A good mother. A good wife.

I want to be good.

It sounds so noble.  Almost like I’m bragging.

What do you want most? Money? Fame? Success?

Not me. I just want to be good. Look how pure I am.

But you don’t have to look very hard to see the darkness.

I want to be good… For me.

I want to be good so I will be valuable. Worthy.

I want to be good so that people will love me. So that God will love me.

I’ve recently, through a rather miraculous series of events, gotten the privilege of being a stay at home Mom.

And now the real pressure is on. No job description. No quarterly evaluations. No lazy coworkers I can smugly compare myself too.

I want to be a good mom and a good wife.

But why?

Do I want to be a good wife so I can bless my husband? Do I want to be a good wife to honor God?

Sort of.

I want to be a good wife, which will in turn bless my husband which will make him love me.

Don’t get me wrong, he loves me. But I want him to love me more.

And if he doesn’t, I want to be damn sure that its his fault, not mine.

I want to honor God so he’ll love me.

Does he love me already? Yeah.

He has proved so faithful in my life and says he loves me. But I want him to REALLY love me. The way you love someone who deserves it.

Silly, right?

How long will I be stuck on lesson one?

Sure, I can say all of the right things.

God loves me because he made me. He chose me.

Jesus paid my debt. In him I’m righteous. In him I’m worthy. In him I’m good.

But, seriously, there is no way I believe that.

If I did I wouldn’t be trying so freakin hard to be good.

I wouldn’t spend so much time think about how I could be better and how much people will like/love/appreciate me then.

So here I go again. To the Cross.

Lord, please remind me that you love me and it has nothing to do with how good I am. Please remind me that in you I am righteous and that doesn’t come in degrees.

Lord, I’m sorry for thinking the Cross wasn’t good enough and you needed a little help from me.

Please, let me approach the relationships in my life with love and grace that flows from the love and grace you have given me. Not as negotiations where performance is traded for love.

God, I know it’s taking me a long, long time but I really do want to get to know you and to rest in your grace.

Lord, I believe. Help me believe.

My Name is Allison

My name is Allison.

I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a co-worker and an employee.

I like to tell the truth.

I don’t have it all together and am somewhat annoyed by those that seemingly do.

I am constantly being pulled different directions by my inner health nut and sweet-a-holic, runner and couch potato, organizer and slob.

I care about people a lot but kind of suck a friend.

I’m a nerd and a drop out.

I hate reality TV and love LOST.

I like to look at animals but not touch them.

I’m into a lot of weird hippy stuff, but probably not enough to please the crunchy’s.

I am a follower of Christ and struggle constantly to figure out what that means.

I am insanely conservative and shockingly liberal.

I am fascinated by science, especially biology.

I would like to say I’m a recovering performance-a-holic, but am honestly not sure I’m recovering.

I fight hoarder-ish tendencies with a vengeance.

I don’t always finish what I start.

This is my blog.