This Year Felt Different

I have always "loved" America. I feel very blessed to live in a free land. 

As a child I was taught that it is a blessing to live in this "promised land." I believe that. 

In the 8th grade I went on an East Coast Trip. I saw the monuments and the battle fields and I went to New York and saw Les Miserables on Broadway. The trip was great, the sights made an impression. Les Mis made a bigger impression. I didn't take political science classes, but I did study French for the next 5 years. 

Then, about ten years ago I had the opportunity to spend 5 months working in Washington D.C. I spent every day associating with people who not only believed in America, but loved American. While there my testimony grew. My patriotism grew. D.C. people don't learn about America from a text book like I did on the West Coast. They learn because it is in their backyard. They see it, they visit it, they remember the stories and the battles because they stand on the ground where the battle took place. It is different there. I liked it. It stuck with me. Since then my feelings about our country are different. They are stronger and more reverent. 

When I think about America it stirs up emotions. Strong emotions. This year as I sat and watched the fireworks my feelings were different. There was emotion, but it was tinged with something I didn't recognize. An anxious frustration that I have been trying to place for the last 48 hours. 

Tonight, I have finally realized what it is. This year, for the first time, I have felt helpless. I have disagreed with most political decisions that are taking place in Washington and have watched as changes have been "passed" that I don't agree with. These changes and decisions have hurt our family and a lot of other families. I feel helpless. I feel like vote or not, I can't do anything about what I don't agree with. I feel like America, this country that I am loyal to, is not going in the best direction. That is why this year felt different. 

This is all personal opinion. I am by no means suggesting a "political discussion." I am not qualified to have a discussion like that. 

I laid awake last night and fought the helpless feelings. My vote is not changing things. Maybe there isn't anything I can do?

Then I realized there is a lot I can do. I can teach my children about America. I can teach them that this is a "promised land." I can teach them how important it is to vote, and fight, and stand up for what is right. More than that, I can teach them to be moral men and woman. I can teach them manners and kindness and patience. I can teach them how to love and work and serve, and how important it is to be a good father and mothers. I can teach them to be true to themselves, their virtue, and their beliefs.  

 I am not a senator, or congressman. I am a mother. Mothers CAN change the world, one household at a time. My vote always matters. 


Family Volley


  1. This is a wonderful post and it sums up perfectly how I feel. Like you, I spent a number of years living on the East Coast and I developed a stronger (although maybe not a different) sense of what it is to be an American. I'm going to cross post this on my blog...thanks so much!

  2. I can relate to this! As I sat at our local parade and watched the war veterans float go by with the AMERICAN FLAG swirling in the breeze, it brought me to tears. I never considered myself a political person. I just trusted our leaders to the point that Americas best interest was at stake. Now I am not so sure! I LOVE this country. I have always felt safe here. But, the past couple of years, especially this past year has been hard. I too, feel helpless and scared of what lies ahead. The Independence Day celebrations were definitely different this year. This is OUR country!! Our Grandfathers fought for this land! We have a loyalty to it! We were given freedom by the blood sweat and tears of our forefathers and by the grace of God. I believe that it is through our trials that we find strength that we never knew we had. I pray that we will pull our strength together as mothers to teach our children respect, loyalty, morals, integrity and faith. It will be our children that lead this country in years to come, and now more than ever we need leaders with VALUES!!!

  3. I know exactly how you are feeling. I feel hopeless to really do much to change the way things are... I LOVE AMERICA... I grew up in the DC area as well and I learned at an early age to really value our Constitution and all that it means. I was feeling really hopeless and I could only find comfort in prayer... The answer I got was so strong and changed my whole perspective... I can pray for my country and my leaders...I don't think that we always realize the power of prayer. I know that I can't do much...but I can pray for America ...and that is what I do! Thanks for such an awesome post! I love your blog!

  4. Lurker, coming out for the first time here - maybe? Anyway, I completely agree with you here. I wondered what we'd be celebrating, if anything, on the 4th of July a few years from now. Will there be anything to be proud of? But you're absolutely right. As mothers, we have the power to shape the future. Love this post!

  5. I'm not american, but still feel helpless with all that is going on everywhere. How do you teach children things are wrong when friends and even other family members are doing them? It's so true that mothers can change the world, and what's so sad is that so many are ruining the family instead. I try to just do what I can do and help my family and hope that we can make a difference somehow, or at least keep ourselves moving in the right direction.
    And I'm big on writing letters about political decisions. Not that it changes things, but sometimes it does. It's better than remaining silent I guess.
    And back in my BYU days, I was in Provo for July 4th and loved it! Hopefully one day we'll be there again. You know how to celebrate!

  6. This was a great post. There is nothing to add to it. I feel helpless and don't think that my vote is doing anything (and I live in OHIO!).
    I love Terry's idea of praying for America! I have never thought of that before...and it is so important!
    Thanks for all of your posts..my husband and I love reading them and trying to figure out our family! :)

  7. Terry,
    You make such a great point. We do underestimate the power of prayer. Not only can/should we pray for our country and its leaders, but we can teach our children to do the same. Thank you for the great reminder.

  8. I felt the same way. My father, both my grandfathers, and my husband all served in the military to preserve the freedoms that I see being trampled on right now. Very upsetting and disappointing. I love your idea about the power of mothers. So true. I can change the world in my own little sphere, and if all like-minded mothers are doing the same in their personal spheres, that will very much change the world! Thank you for that motivating little nugget of hope!



  10. we live in a small unincoperated town in the same county as las vegas. where it seems like not one of our votes count. we are not represented at all. and it stinks. and i feel helpless.

    not only that, but one of the county commisioners lives here (whom none of us voted for) and rules with an iron fist. it's like all the kings men all over again.

    enough said. thanks for putting this up on facebook heather!


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