Friday, September 9, 2011

Speaking of Dreams...

American was founded on the dream of our Founding Fathers, that a nation could exist where people were free to work for their own dreams and live in peace, free from the oppression of any government - including their own. They weren't a group of men acting out of hatred.

On September 11, 2001, over 3,000 Americans were murdered by a group of men who believe - to their very core - that it is their destiny and duty to their god to destroy us off the face of the earth. They still believe this, and they are still trying to destroy us. They are not fighting for freedom, they are fighting for control. They will never be negotiated with. In their book, we are going to be on the losing side of the Final Battle.

But, by the grace of God, our nation is stronger than they are, and we stand for freedom from such malicious violence. But, because standing for freedom will always make us the enemy of any world power fighting for control, we can never stop fighting for it.

Now I'm going to bring out the soap box and say a few words: We cannot shy away from securing our borders or fighting terrorism because we're afraid of offending certain groups. This isn't about legal status or freedom of religion, it's about protecting anyone and everyone living in America - What meaning do any of our Constitutional rights have, if we can't live free from fear? It is our most basic right - THAT is what peace really is. And it's JOB NUMBER ONE to secure our nation's borders and protect our citizens. Read it in the Constitution. If anyone has a problem with that, consider moving to another country.

Okay, I'm done now.

The point is, remember September 11, but most importantly, remember why our freedom is so precious - above all things that we hold dear in this life - because without it we could lose those things in an instant. That is what that day reminds us.

(This is my brother-in-law, Adam Steinmetz, who serves
as an officer in the Air Force - We are proud of you!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Field of Dreams

Sorry if you're bored, but this is another blog post about me (believe me, I would rather have other things to write about)...If you are, skip to the end and read the last paragraph. But trust me, this is a happy blog post!

When I was in college, I thought the best thing that could happen to me would be to land a job with a top advertising agency and live in a big ol' city like New York (Sing it!...Somedaaay I'll beeee livin' in a big ooool' city...) Of course, I planned to get married and have kids too, but I wanted to pioneer the new frontiers of high-tech advertising, I wanted to go new places - It was my dream, and I sped through my degree in less than 3 years to get there as quickly as possible.

But, two things happened when I was in my very last year of school that changed my mind. I truly believe it was by divine design.

First, I spent a week at the home of a friend, Travis Sorensen, and his wife and three kids. My plan was to help them out by watching Travis and Leslie's kids for a few days so they could get away for a while and celebrate Travis' graduation. What really happened was that they helped me, and they'll probably never really know how much. Not just by giving me a place to stay when I needed it, but by showing me what I really wanted, although I didn't fully realize it at that point. Their 3-bedroom house was in the middle of a field of dirt and rocks (which was in the process of becoming a neighborhood), but it stood for something beautiful to me.

I realized that summer that what I really wanted was to build a home, not a career.

(By the way, it was a good thing that I realized this when I did, because that was the summer I met Ben. But that's not the second thing that changed my mind.)

The second thing was that I went to New York City to interview for that big important job as an account executive for a top advertising agency. New York was definitely exciting, but it was busy and crowded and just so...phony. I was surprised how much I missed Idaho's big open spaces and North Georgia's tree-covered mountains. I realized that living in a big city was definitely not the life for me.

So a few months later when Ben asked me to stay in Idaho and marry him, I didn't feel for a single moment that I was giving up my dream. I had already given it up, and I was happy about my choice.

And, of course, I've never regretted it since! My life has just gotten better and better, and my new dream has gotten bigger and bigger. When I picture it, it looks something like a big, open grassy space with trees all around and a house full of books and kids. I guess we'll see if I ever change my mind about this one...

I'm gonna live where the green grass grows
Watchin' my corn pop up in rows
Every night be tucked in close to you
Raise our kids where the good Lord's blessed
Point our rockin' chairs towards the west
Plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows
Where the green grass grows