Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

We had big plans to celebrate the 4th of July this weekend: a minor league game, fireworks, church, pool and a cookout followed by backyard pyrotechnics with friends tonight. Somewhere in the midst of our revelry K & P contracted what I am hoping is a fever bug. (I am sure it has nothing to do with the 2 hours we spent in the pediatrician's office last week.) 

So, for the second year in a row I have spent Independence Day on my sofa while febrile children sleep upstairs and fireworks erupt overhead. Sadly, I can hear them but not see them.

Our cable is out (another casualty of the backyard digging) so I am in a quiet house reflecting on independence. I have started to write patriotic things, but cannot quite find the words to capture my feelings on God and country. 

I love living in the United States and the rights and freedoms associated with such. I am exceedingly grateful this is the time and place in history God chose to write my story. I am keenly aware that the life I live in this place has been fought for and defended by the great sacrifice and blood of brave men and women.

But, frankly, I am afraid I have become a stereotypically disconnected, lazy American. Before children I listened to talk radio, read political commentary and watched the talking heads try to sort out the issues on television. Somewhere along the way, amidst sleeplessness and diaper changes, I checked out. It started to all feel too stressful to fret over national issues I could do little to influence when I had my hands full in my daily life. 

I lost faith that there were really voices trying to inform the public. Instead, they all seemed to have an ideological or financial agenda. Frustrated by the lack of time to sort through it all I just gave up. What difference is this little housewife in Georgia going to make anyway? 

I am not encouraging this way of thinking, just putting it out there. I really don't want to be a part of the uninformed masses, blindly and complacently muddling through...but, truly, when there are children to raise, husbands to love and countless needy people/ministries within your local community how do you keep up with things at a national level?

With only 24 hours in a day, how do you decide when/how to make room for political in light of all the eternal/spiritual opportunities to invest your time--and a family that needs you irrespective of taxes, elections and border control? 

I pray for our country and I vote--but, otherwise, I feel disconnected. God wired me to be a passionate crusader, but there seem to be plenty of battles to fight on the home front and at a local level to even begin to think more broadly. Is it enough to trust that our Sovereign God has it under control and He'll call on me and impress it upon me to act if I am needed? 
Would love to hear your thoughts.


Kelly @ Love Well said...

Honestly, I think you have to choose your battles. It's impossible for one person to do everything. And right now, your plate is probably full just raising your sweet kids and doing the many other things you do to influence your immediate world. It's my opinion, but I think Christians have gotten sidetracked over the years by the political arena. I believe Christians can be called by God to influence that sphere. But most of us are called to focus on what's before us. We should stay informed, be grateful beyond measure and act where God calls us. And He doesn't call us to do everything.

Amy said...

I echo your sentiments exactly. You wrote beautifully and succinctly what I too have felt as a mother of young children in this world.I agree with the above commenter that God calls us each individually - at different times and phases of our lives. What he has called you to do right now is exactly what you said - raise your children, love your husband, and invest in people and spiritual opportunities around you....and by doing this, YOU are investing in America.
(Even as you sit on the sofa, with the fireworks crackling overhead.)

Thanks for a wonderful, thought-provoking and encouraging post.

Bill & Jenn said...

Love that you wrote on this tonight.... Our pastor JUST preached on this last night!

I agree with the comments above.... God is using you in your home and in the various ministries you are involved in.

The point that our pastor made that really kind of put things in perspective for me is that we, as citizens of heaven, are not to lose focus of what our "goal" here on earth is---> We are to be pointing others to Christ.
Politics, which are very partisan and competitive and combative, are not the best route to accomplish our "goal." Of course we should make informed voting decisions when we are called to, but we should not be counting on laws and legislators to bring about "good" in this world. Only God, by changing peoples' hearts, can do that.

I'm not sure why, but I felt like that kind of took a load off me and my politically disconnected and uninformed self. I guess it just makes me refocus-- I am a citizen of heaven first, and an American, albeit a proud one, second. :)

Happy 4th!

Colored With Memories said...

i echo your comments! i usually try to stay somewhat informed via my husband, but ultimately feel disconnected from the political arena! i'll be anxious to hear more of what your readers allow!

happy 4th!


psm260 said...

There is a season for everything . . .

Laura said...

I struggled with these same thoughts recently, and recently God did impress on me to do something and I wrote emails to several political figures about a certain issue. And that was it. I'm now back to knowing very little about what is going on and mainly raising kids and doing some local things in my community. I think that you are right, when God wants us to act and we're in the midst of raising kids, God will let us know that it is time to do something and then let us get back to doing the very important job of raising kids.

mary katharine said...

I think what Kerry said about staying connected via her husband is too important to not address. You know there are not enough hours in the day ... or are there? We can't forget that every struggle we face really should remind us of how great life would have been inside the garden gate. We are pulled this way and that by all of the many blessings we have ... whether that be children or jobs or even church type activities. Life is about a balance and finding that balance, I have discovered as of late, is a constant daily, even moment by moment struggle ... regardless of what season we are in. I think it is important to stay informed as mothers because we have children and they we are the ones around them the most and we need to be able to help them to learn what is right ... to be discerning and able to defend their beliefs/stands in life. We may not be able to be "active" or as active as our once pre-motherhood days, but I do think we need to remain knowledgeable. Our husbands can help us with that. I don't think there is a separation between church and state (or state and life ... however you want to say it/think about it). As a mother of five, whose husband is full time Army and gone a whole lot, I find it very difficult to balance it all, too, but as an Army wife, not just a Christian wife, I see it as so important for Christians to "pay attention" and I see the effects of us not. (disclaimer ... please ignore all grammatical errors:)!!)

Anyway, just my quick thought on it.