Hila Fay’s Sunday Conversations

Daddy (talking to me): Man, I got a crick in my neck!
Hila Fay: Me, too, Daddy! I gots a cricket in MY neck! It’s right here (points to the back of her neck)! See, Daddy? See da cricket in my neck?

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(Daddy is outside weed-eating around her swing-set and Hila Fay is standing on a small cooler watching him)
Hila Fay: YAY DADDY! GO DADDY! You can do it, Daddy! You can win da boo (blue) wibbon (ribbon)! I BELIEVE in you, Daddy!

Failure to persuade my kid

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You know those moments when you try to influence a kid’s decision by the inflection in your voice?

Me (as dull, flat and quickly as I can make it): Hila Fay, you-wanna-go-to-the-farm-with-you-daddy…

OR

(As excited and happy as I can be)
You wanna go for a WALK with MOMMY!?!?!?!

Hila Fay (puts a finger to her chin to emphasize her thinking): Uhm, I go to farm with DADDY!!!!

I have NO chance of winning in a contest with her dad!

Oh, well. At least she ate two more of my homemade brownies and told me “Dees are NUMMY, Momma!”

I reckon that’s what I get for having a Daddy’s girl. Perhaps next time I’ll bribe her with a promise of popcorn when we return.

At least my nephew, Zander, refused to go to his Momma today when I was holding him! Gotta take my victories where I can.

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World View vs Biblical View: Marriage

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I just read a post by a fellow blogger entitled, “Role Confusion and the Modern Woman” and started writing a comment but as I kept writing and writing (and writing) I thought that maybe this was getting a tad long for a mere comment. Since the questions that she raises are good, thought-provoking ones I thought that instead of commenting I would write my own post in response.

In order to fully appreciate where I am now, one must understand where I came from. Before I met Chuck and got married I led the “ideal” feminist life. While still in my early twenties I worked for a Fortune 500 company jet-setting and leaving my mark on the world. (For the complete story on my transformation take a look at my three-part series: The Farm: Part 1, The Farm: Part 2, and The Farm: Part 3). Now I am a part-time stay-stay-at-home wife; going to work two days a week, selling Pampered Chef on the side, and relishing every moment at home with my baby girl.

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(Our “duck faces”)

I think that part of the confusion of a woman’s/wife’s role, like Lindsey touched on, is the “feminist” view that our generations tend to be indoctrinated with. The denotations and connotations of words like submissive and housewife have become completely garbled up. I touched on this in my Submission is Strength post but, since I am on a role expressing unpopular views (like about modesty) I figure I’ll go ahead and expound a bit.

In Genesis 2:18 we are clearly told the reason of woman’s creation. It says, “Then The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'” (ESV, italics added). First, we were created to be a “helper”, second we were “fit”-we were expressly made and customized (like a pair of couture pants) for our husband! What attention and detail our God gave us!

The problem that seems to grate most is that pesky word “helper”, or “help-meet” in some translations. Before that spur under your saddle digs too deeply, pause for a moment and read Proverbs 31:10-31. REALLY read it, don’t get overwhelmed at all that she does but rather look at the woman that she is; at her qualities or characteristics. Here we have a woman who could easily put all those “feminist” views to rest.

The P31 woman is business-savy (what!?!): vs 16a, “She considers a field and buys it; …]”. She is compassionate (vs 20) and fashionable (vs 21-22). She is hard-working (vs 15) and dignified (vs 25). She has a sense of humor (vs 25) and is well thought of by everyone (vs 31). She is loved by her family (vs 28) and known for her kindness (vs 26).

Now, tell me, exactly what part of this woman is weak? Yes, we are called to submit to our husbands but this does not equal “lesser than”. Is an employee “less than” their boss because they submit to authority? Uhm, no. Each is an equally important member of the organization. The feminist view has contorted the true image of a godly wife and turned her into a voiceless pansy when in reality she is anything but.

So why, then, do we tend shun the biblical role of wife? I think that, at least for me initially, it was a culmination of multiple factors. First, I didn’t truly understand who this P31 woman was. Second, part of me dreaded the responses and looks that I would (and still) get from those who equate choosing to be a housewife (in the capacity that I can) with “wasting” my degree or life. Third, self-doubt; how can I be a “productive member of society” while sitting at home making muffins (even if they ARE really good)?

I wish I knew an instant cure to helping women feel confident in their role as a “helper”. Unfortunately, there are moments when I will see the world’s view of myself, remember who I was, and begin to doubt. But, it is during those moments that God will show me the rightness of His plan. It may be something simple, like the freedom of my schedule allowing me to pick up feed for the mules saving my weary, hard-working man an extra trip to town.

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Or, on one of the days that I do work, Hila Fay wrapping her arms tightly around my neck telling me that I’m “‘posed” (supposed) to stay home with her. Sometimes, it’s the way Chuck wraps his strong arms around me when I’m there to greet him after a long day at work, or the way Hila Fay will shout out, “BEST. DAY. EVER!” when we go for a walk.

I may not get paid in monetary terms or promotions for the work I do around the house, and my voice may be a minority-a whisper in the midst of a roaring gale. But I KNOW that the only way for my marriage to buck the growing trends of divorce and to truly be a happy one, is to follow His way. God has allowed our marriage to overcome odds that in this world’s view should have torn us apart. Yet, here we are. We celebrated our eighth anniversary this past February, Chuck really is my best friend, my face still lights up when I think, write or talk about him AND I still get butterflies when he steals a kiss.

Now, if you’ll forgive me it’s my day off and I have some coloring to do…and then maybe I’ll make some muffins.

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Protecting Your Marriage from the Devil’s Lies: Part 1

March 4, 2013 501 For several months the ladies at my church have been talking about doing a Women’s Bible Study.  Finally, last month we decided that we would start on April 20th and that it would last for four weeks.  I was terribly excited, and extremely nervous because it was deemed that I would be the one not only to lead the Bible Study but, to write it as well.  We had the idea to do our study on protecting our marriages.

I have read  Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets You Free, at least five times (check out my review of her book if you’re interested in learning more about it) and am greatly influenced by it.  In her book, Ms. DeMoss points out how we let lies influence us and, sometimes, control us.  She points out that every sin begins with us believing lie.  When our church’s women’s leader suggested that I somehow incorporate some of Nancy’s teaching into our study I started pondering and throwing things around in my head.  How could I possibly tie together exposing lies with protecting marriage and still keep the material completely original so that my sense of writer’s honor is not bruised?  For several weeks I made notes of thoughts that came to me, scripture I read that had ANYTHING to do with marriage, wives, and/or husbands.  I also listened to podcasts from influential preachers (John Piper has some GREAT apps that allow one to read/listen to his sermons, read past article and search through his blog posts) and read their blogs and sermons they had posted on their websites and jotted down relevant thoughts.  Then, in my typical procrastinating fashion, the night before our first class I began to gather my notes and attempt to turn them into something that the women could both enjoy and benefit from.  As I started writing God showed me the direction that he wanted me to take, and honestly, I didn’t fully understand just how intricately He wove everything together until the study yesterday.  God has given me a clear message to share and I am giddy with anticipation to see it all come to light!

Since not all of our ladies were able to attend the Bible Study, and in case they miss a week or some people would like to attend virtually, I decided that each week I would post a summary (Note the use of the word SUMMARY. These posts will in no way be totally inclusive.  I’ll not be able to accurately communicate the discussions that spurred as a result of a thought or verse, or the movement of the Holy Spirit that causes a speaker/teacher to digress) of what was discussed.  So, without further ado, here it is:

Protecting Your Marriage from the Devil’s Lies: Introduction

In order to create an impenetrable defense one must first understand the adversary.  Sports teams spend countless hours reviewing tapes of opposing teams so they can create the most effective game plan possible.  In times of war, military leaders and top political figures gather in their war rooms digging up every iota of information on their enemy in order to make the most effect tactical decisions.  Armies continually adapt their methods as warfare evolves.  There is a reason that modern day soldiers no longer ride gallantly out to battle wearing full coats of shining mail and sitting astride fierce destriers.   War has changed, dramatically.  Our armies have to make adjustments if they want to survive or to have any hope of winning.

The expression “The best offense is a good defense” is often attributed to 19th century Prussian military theorist Carl Von Clausewitz.  The saying is genius is its simplicity.  If one’s enemy cannot ever wound them, then the enemy has no hope of winning.  On the other hand, a country could have the most sophisticated weaponry money can buy, but if their adversary is able to overwhelm them the game is lost.

Corrie Ten Boom stated, “The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.”  Our enemy is all around us.  His weapon is deceptively simple and yet far more powerful than we could possibly fathom.  He does not herald his presence with giant flashing arrows or update his status on a social media site.  No.  He captures us with his lies. He has had plenty of time to hone his skills and is quite effective at it.  We know our enemy: he is the oldest enemy of mankind.  He has had many names throughout history: Beelzebub, Lucifer, Angel of Light, Murderer, Satan, Devil.  His name may vary, but his weapon is always the same.  Sometimes it is used in a quiet whisper.  Sometimes it is shouted out-loud. It does not matter what the method of delivery is the result is the same: a lie has been told.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her book Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free says that, “Every problem, every war, every wound, every broken relationship, every heartache-it all goes back to one simple lie.”

John 8:44b (ESV)  “[… [Satan] has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan’s weapon is part of him; it both defines and describes him.  In truth, our only real hope of victory lies not in direct battle, but rather in protecting ourselves with the best armor possible.  Our armor is more than just carrying around God’s Word, it is using it in our DAILY lives.  As Christians we are God’s soldiers.  God does not force His ways on us but rather lets us choose.  However, He despises those that ride the fence.

Revelation 3:16 “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit (some versions say “spew” or “vomit”) you out of my mouth.” (ESV)

In my mind, there are three types of Christian warriors:

The “Someday Soldier”

-This soldier leads their life according to their own rules.  They know of God, and believe in Him, but are “not ready” to live for Him.  They think they have plenty of time to “get things right” and are quite content as they are.

The “Sunday Soldier”

-This soldier puts on a very good show.  They go to church every Sunday.  Oftentimes they even teach a Sunday School class or hold an office.  Whenever they are in the presence of their fellow church members they behave impeccably.  However, when they are at work or a ballgame or surrounded by their “unchurched” friends they turn into a different creature.  They cuss, gossip, and have even been know to throw temper tantrums when things don’t go their way.  They participate in conversations that are crude and demeaning.  In fact, many people that know the “Sunday Soldier” would be surprised to find out that they even attend church.

*In my opinion, the “Sunday Soldier” is one of the most destructive things to Christianity.  Outsiders view them as hypocrites and often use these type of Christians as their excuse for not attending church.

The “Saintly Soldier”

-This is the type of soldier that we should all strive to be.  Most of us know people that fit into this category.  Usually they are  the members at church that exude a quiet confidence in their life.  They may not be the most outspoken but they are often-times the most respected.  They are the ones picking up the slack when everyone else disappears, and most times do it without even letting anyone else know.  They begin their days absorbed in God’s Word and kneeling to Him in prayer.  They don’t talk about how much they love God, they show it.

As a high school English teacher I was shocked to discover that the students who came from “broken families” or single parents were quickly out-numbering those that come from parents that had been married their entire lives.  Divorce and/or having children before marriage was/is quickly becoming the norm.  According to studies, about 75% of Americans claim to be Christian.  That’s around 234 million people.  Of those millions of people identifying themselves as Christian, approximately 45 million are married couples.  If we take just the “Christian” Couples who both claim Christianity AND attend church on a regular basis (according to a study conducted by Professor Bradley of the University of Connecticut) then there are 17 million of those couples divorced and/or in the process of divorcing.  To put that in an understandable perspective that would be about the populations of Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arizona and Kansas all added together!

*Note, there is a VERY distinct reason that I became an English Major-it is as far away from Math as I could get! When I originally taught the class I underestimated the total number of divorced Christians and, to save anyone from making my mistake again, I’d just like to remind everyone that 17 million couples means 34 million individuals.  Just sayin’.

Through God, with God and because of God-we can buck this trend!

Ephesians 2:1-7:

1 And you were dead in trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-3-among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-6-and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Christ Jesus gives us the power and the tools to protect our marriages, but His armor does no good if we rarely (if ever) wear it; and in the same way, there is no use wearing protective gear on our chest if we leave our head exposed.  We need to look at any area that may be unprotected and shield it from our enemy’s attacks.

There are four essential areas that need to be protected.  I ask that you think and pray about these as we get ready to delve into the “meat” of things.

1. Protect Yourself

2. Protect Your Husband

3. Protect Your Relationship (bond, marriage…however you want to word it)

4. Protect Your “Next”-this will be the legacy that we leave behind and what we do to help stop the divorce trend. This could be your children, your sister, your youth group…however the Lord leads you.  I’ll explain this more later.

Please pray for us as we continue through this journey!

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Modesty Rules

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Image from promgirl.com

Earlier I read an article on Yahoo! that talked about a school district where parents were all in a tiff because the school was choosing to enforce its school hours dress code at its EIGHTH GRADE Spring Fling dance and therefore strapless gowns were not going to be allowed. This blog post may make me extremely unpopular, and may prove me to be a prudish mom-BUT, I’m gonna say it anyway. GOOD!

There are PLENTY of beautiful, modest dresses available for those young ladies. In fact, as long as my daughter lives in my house she will cover up all of her “assets”. I will, though, do my best to help her understand that her body is a gift from God meant only to be seen by her husband. I will be willing to spend countless hours helping her find a dress that makes her beam in delight, twirl like a princess and STILL honor our Heavenly Father.

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Related Post:
A VERY good post about modesty from my friend over at Faith and Madness (highly recommend following her)

I Really Should Get Up…

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I should be up rotating laundry and putting up the dishes, but instead I’m lying here listening to Hila Fay softly snore. Her hand is draped over my chest and every once in a while her fingers lightly flutter in reaction to the dream world she’s entered. Yes, I really should get up. My floors need swept and bills need to paid, but I’m a bit afraid you see.

I’m afraid that tomorrow she’ll grow up and not want my snuggles anymore; or that she’ll realize my kisses don’t actually have magic in them that heals all her boo-boos away. I’m afraid that she’ll realize that I don’t know everything or that it’s actually not “cool” to kiss your momma good-bye.

I’m afraid that one morning, all to soon, I’ll wake up and my baby girl’s impish, mischievous smile will give way to the slow, steady smile of a young lady. That all of her Barbies and Legos will have disappeared, only to be replaced by novels and make-up.

I’m afraid that our worlds will flip-flop. Instead of her saying, “Mommy, play with me! Mommy, watch dis! Momma-Momma-Momma, I need a hug an’ a kiss.” It’ll be me pleading, “Hila Fay won’t you sit with me? Hila Fay go for a walk with me. Hila Fay, how ’bout spending some time with me?”

Yes, I really should get up….or maybe not.

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Turn a $5 Tote into a Diva-licious Bag

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I have a love/hate relationship with gift bags. They seem like such a waste of money yet are so convenient and appeal to my lazy side (cuz, you know, it’s just so much WORK to cut wrapping paper and tape it around the present). A lot of times I’ll try to find an alternative that will work to “cover up” the gift but can be re-used as well.

I found this cute tote at Walmart for $5. By itself it was already cute, but then I got the idea to take my faux bedazzler (the one I got had higher reviews on Amazon but don’t ask me the name, I’ve forgotten already) and “bling” it out. I used 5mm pink rhinestones for the name, outlining the monkey and randomly placing in the center of some of the bigger hearts. I used 2mm white rhinestones for the heart by the name & some of the smaller hearts.

NOTE: When you buy rhinestones for your “bedazzler” make SURE they are actually supposed to be used in a gun and not stickers or you will try to put the stone in the grabber and it will melt, leaving little strands of melted plastic all over. Then you’ll realize your error and be forced to try and peel the itty-bitty sticker backs off of each and every rhinestone and hand place all those minuscule jewels in e-x-a-c-t-l-y the right spot because you’re a perfectionist with CDO (which is OCD in alphabetical order) and cannot stand for them gems not to be perfectly lined up. All of this will take approximately 27.5 hours instead of the quick half hour project that it would have taken if only you’d read the product details before impatiently placing your order.

It’s a good thing that kind of stuff NEVER happens to me! O_o
*note the extreme sarcasm in that last sentence and see the post on Origins of a 2% to see why this type of stuff is normal for me!

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Hila Fay’s Conversations with Daddy

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I’m laying in the recliner trying to rid myself of a migraine. My wonderful hubby is outside working on my vehicle while Hila Fay alternates between playing & “helping” daddy. My heart melted as I listened to Hila Fay talk to her daddy.
(Note: Hila Fay says most of her “L”‘s like “W”‘s. I wrote the conversation exactly as it sounded to me)

HF: Are you handsome, daddy?
Daddy: Me? Naw.
HF: Well, I tink you handsome daddy!

*pause in conversation as I hear some metal banging & hubby grunting*

HF: PUSH, Daddy, PUSH!
Daddy: *grunt*
HF: YAY DADDY! You my SUPER DADDY, huh, Daddy. You my Super-Daddy!

*HF comes inside, goes to fridge then rushes back outside*

HF: Here, Daddy, I got you a Koow-aid. Your bewy told me it was REAWY thirsty!
Daddy: Thank you, baby.
HF: You welcome, Daddy! You’s REALLY thirsty, huh, Daddy! I know cuz you bewy told me so!

*Conversation inaudible as Hubby uses an air wrench to put the tire back on*

HF: (jumping up & down clapping) YAY DADDY! You did a good job! *pause* Uhm, daddy? You better clean up you toows (tools) cuz you made a MESS!

*conversation fades as Hubby walks back & forth putting his tools up. Hila Fay must realize at this point that it means nap time is almost here*

HF: Uhm, Daddy? I full of ni-ni. Are YOU full of ni-ni? Cuz I sure am!

Hila Fay’s obvious adoration for her daddy warms my heart. The two of them complete my world and I thank God for them.

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My Prayer for America

My daughter’s latest obsession wavers between “Piglet’s Big Adventure” and “Toy Story”. She watches them constantly, quickly throwing out “‘Gain Momma!” as the last scene begins, even before the credits or the big “The End”. It’s gotten so that at any random moment I’ll find myself randomly humming one of their tunes or quoting a line from the movies (which leaves most people without toddler/Pre-school aged children looking at me as if I’ve lost my ever-living mind and trying to nonchalantly shuffle away).

It seems as ever since I’ve had Hila Fay my whole world view has changed. I catch myself doing the strangest things, almost as if I no longer have any control over my own body and the filter that goes between my brain and mouth has been stolen. A couple of weeks ago I was buying a soda at a gas station, when the attendant asked if I needed anything else. Before I could stop myself I snatched a cookie off the display and in a sing-song voice said, “Swiper no Swipey!” three times while the cashier looked at me as if I’d grown a third eye. So, it really should come as no surprise that when major events occur, like the craziness of this past week, I see Piglet and Woody analogies all around me.

As event after event was brought to light, first the marathon bombing then the ricin letters to political figures and the explosion in Texas, I wondered if the world had crazy, (“Somebody’s poisoned the waterhole!”) Never, in my life, have I seen such tragedies poured one on top of the other. The thought of my daughter growing up in a world surrounded by such malice and grief scares me.

The amazing thing about America is that just as quickly as the news reports that something devastating has happened, we begin to hear about the people rushing toward the scene instead of away. As one reporter said, “Americans doing what Americans do best. …]”. As I mulled that statement over, I thought of little Piglet upset because he believed he was too small to be of any help. Yet, when lovable Pooh was in danger Piglet raced in to “…do what [he] does best.”, save the day. We expect our policeman and fireman, our military and EMT’s to be there but immense patriotic pride floods over me as I watch countless everyday citizens right there in the thick of things not hesitating to help.

Our country’s history is filled with instances of citizens coming to each other’s aide. We put all affiliations aside and stand shoulder to shoulder (or, in today’s time, keyboard to keyboard) and tell the world to “bring it” because we are AMERICANS. We are a country built on comradery and rebellion. We may fight amongst each other, but like any family if someone else comes in to pick on or take advantage of another we will fight back in any form available to us.

Some fight with anger and vengeance, doing everything in their power to find the perpetrators and make them pay. Others fight by not letting the enemy win. They get up, forcing themselves to a quiet defiance by doing the very thing that was trying to be prevented; like going to work and conducting business as usual. Some Americans fight back by throwing themselves into the recovery. They run to the scenes, fighting flames and saving lives. They pick up debris and make mass amounts of food to feed the empty bellies.

This. This is the America that fills me with pride and lifts my chin. This is the America that I really wish we would see during campaigns when our politicians are busy name-calling, twisting truths and slinging mud. We fight back hard because we love hard, yet we also forget easy.

The news will move on to newer more current events (like who married/cheated on/divorced whom) and our united front will be forgotten as we sling insults to and fro because we simply cannot understand how to disagree with another person’s thought without insulting their being (and usually their intelligence, favorite football team and momma). Instead of sitting down with the realization that we all love our country but, just as in parenting, we have different ideas of the best ways to protect her; we complain about the opposing party and refuse to budge our stance.

To all the heroes of this past week, on behalf of those of us who really wanted to help but were unable; Thank You. To those of us that think the only way to deal with members of the opposing political parties or views is to demean and insult them; Stop it! All of this ridiculous bickering achieves nothing good, it only causes the divide to deepen. And, quite frankly, it takes your credibility away. All of your Facebook rants and name calling just causes people to snarl in disgust and remove you from their newsfeed, you aren’t changing any minds you’re just causing people to take you less seriously. You want us to believe in you? Fine take a note from Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, “Be Nice” or Thumper’s Dad, “If you ain’t got nuffin’ nice to say….don’t say nuffin’ at all.”

To our elected officials, see my previous point to my fellow ranting citizens then throw in a good-sized dose of the heroes courage and tenacity. Quit pointing fingers, twisting facts and gloating in each other’s downfalls. Stop leaving behind messes for others to clean up, covering up your “malfunctions” and worrying about what so-and-so is doing and start finding solutions, biting the bullet and concentrating on your own behavior.

Despite the atrocities of this past week the best side of many Americans shone brightly. True courage and selflessness was highlighted as everyday citizens, policeman, fireman and military (and, yes, even some politicians) worked together to save lives, protect others and bring closure to a weeping nation. This is what we, as Americans, do best. We rally. We stand together with Ole’ Glory proudly waving behind us, unifying us and reminding us of our proud heritage and promising future. We come to each others aide. We weep at the pain we see engraved in our neighbor’s face and we believe in “the American Dream”.

It is this side of America that I pray my daughter grows up to be a part of. These qualities of bravery, kindness, hope and empathy: these are the footprints I pray we leave behind for our children, our nieces and nephews and for our grandchildren. I pray that we once again remember our daily childhood pledge of being “[… ONE nation…]” and join together to create the country that our forefathers envisioned. I pray, for the sake of every member of our future generations that somehow we remember that WE are the UNITED States of America.

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