Just Thinkin’ about Civic Action

I have joined the Resistance. I’ve knitted these hats and sent them off to be worn by participants in the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on January 21.

My “civic action knitting” is largely symbolic, but I hope these hats will join thousands of others to make a powerful statement in favor of women’s issues and against misogyny.

Each of us who has a voice must step forward and speak against all forms of hatred–racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia–whenever and wherever we can.

Just Thinkin’ about Water

It’s snowing again and I’m crabby. Friends across social media have been making the same complaint. This has become one of those winters. We here in southern Idaho enjoy a temperate climate and don’t usually get this much snow. What we do get usually melts within a couple of days. This year, though, the storms seem to be on the every-other-day plan. One storm after another has come along before the previous snow has melted into the ground. The snow blower has gotten quite a workout this year.

I shouldn’t complain. I am warm. I have food in the pantry. I am safe and well-fed (perhaps too well). I have plenty of reading material and projects around the house to keep myself busy. An NCIS marathon is running on television, so my Mark Harmon fix is not in danger. Many are not that fortunate.

Snow turns into water, an important resource in this high desert, agricultural area. If this weather continues, farmers in the area can look forward to a better water year, following a season or two of drought.

The topic of water has been on my mind a lot lately. The Bible study I attend has been following the theme of water throughout the Bible. It is a universal theme. According to Come to the Waters by Judy Record Fletcher, there are more than 800 references to water in the Bible.

As I think about this life-sustaining resource, I think about the 663 million people worldwide who do not have access to clean water.* I pray for them.

I think about children who cannot go to school because they have to spend their days acquiring water for their families. I pray for them.

I think about the children of Flint, Michigan who face severe developmental damage due to lead in the water. I am angry. The situation was entirely preventable. I pray for them.

I wonder how many other communities across the United States face similar situations. I pray for them.

I think about how I take water for granted and how often I waste it. I pray for forgiveness.

There must be something I can do. I pray for guidance.

I can become more conscientious about the water I use. I can look for ways to be less wasteful.

I can educate myself. When pertinent, I can ask my local, state and national representatives to take action to ensure our communities safe, ready and affordable access to clean water.

Water is a precious resource. As I look out the window at the continuing snowstorm, I give thanks for it.

* http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation

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Just Thinkin’ About Calendars

Shopping for a new calendar has become something of an annual ritual for me. I spend hours paging through the many options, searching for the perfect one. I am often tempted to buy several, but finally settle on those with the right size spaces and the best pictures.

When I was teaching, that meant a weekly planner for my home desk, a monthly version for the bathroom wall, a small one for my purse, and a lesson planner for my school desk. Since retiring, I have simplified my life. I now keep two monthly calendars, one in the bathroom and one on the desk. My system seems to work, for now at least.

As I hang my brand new 2017 calendar adorned with cute puppies, I look at the fresh pages with anticipation. No commitments, no mistakes, no bad days; only possibilities.

Of course, a few commitments have already been made. 2017 will see a couple of weddings, Monday bowling, Saturday  morning coffee with friends, and Wednesday afternoons at the elementary school reading with second graders.

What will I write on the rest of the squares? There is something inviting, perhaps even exciting, about those blank spaces. I hope to write something positive in each; and while I’ve lived long enough to know there will be some days when I wish for do-overs, I will strive for the positive.

I wish you 365 fresh new calendar spaces on which to write your positives for 2017.

Happy New Year.

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Just Thinkin’ about Cinderella

The little girls in my extended family (ages almost two and almost 3) are getting princess dress-up outfits for Christmas this year. Before heading to the sewing room, I hesitated. Would I be contributing to the perpetuation of a myth that needs to go away?

Far too many little girls grow up believing in the myth that the handsome prince
will one day whisk them away to a happily ever after where he will provide for and protect her. Continue reading “Just Thinkin’ about Cinderella”

Just Thinkin’ About Getting Started

The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”                                                                                                          Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist philosopher, 600-531 B.C

For the past few weeks I have felt shock, sadness and despair as I’ve watched and listened to news of the world around me. This time of year the news always seems darker than usual; but this year, for many reasons, it’s downright sad and scary.

The other evening as I listened to yet another discouraging news report, I felt utterly helpless. What can I, a retired school teacher, do to help fix what’s wrong? At that moment, I heard a small, quiet voice. “Write, Donna. Start the blog. Just do it.”

The next day I opened the next book from the ever-growing stack of books I plan to read. The title? If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg. As the title suggests, the author takes an in-depth, thoughtful look at Matthew 14:25-33, in which Jesus walks on water and commands Peter to get out of the boat and come to Him. It’s a story about taking a step of faith.

With the turning of each page, the voice I had heard the evening before became louder and more insistent. “Start the blog, Donna. Do it now.”

It became clear to me that now is the time to begin the blog I had been considering for quite some time. Now. No more procrastinating. I need to get out of the boat and take a step of faith.

So here I am, at the beginning of a new adventure. While I don’t pretend to believe you will agree with everything I say, I hope a few words here and there will resonate with you. Perhaps you will be moved to read a book or two; to think about new ideas; to try something new; to start an important conversation in your community. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll be encouraged to get out of the boat and set off on your own adventure.

See you along the journey!

Just Thinkin’

O.K. Now I’ve done it. The idea of writing a blog has been rattling about in my mind for several months now. God seems to be nagging me to just do it. Thinking I was ready to begin researching the process, I signed up for a WordPress account so I could explore the site and perhaps take a beginner class on blogging. Suddenly, here I am, staring at my “first blog post.”

There’s nothing quite like jumping in before you think you’re absolutely ready. But then, are we ever really absolutely ready? I guess I’ll learn as I go.

Beginning today is a leap of faith for me. (More on that in my next post–after I’ve learned a few things about the process of setting up a blog.) You are welcome to join me as I set out upon this adventure.

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