One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day




Monday, August 7, 2017

Jump in the River

video
Here we are literally jumping into the water from the bridge. The kids didn't think we would do it (especially with our clothes on), but once you've jumped out of an airplane at 13,000 ft, why wouldn't we?  
** side note** This day just so happened to be one of my darkest days while I was visiting, but thank God,  Chrissie was there to say "hey let's jump off the bridge" (isn't that every best friend's advice in time of need) and I was willing to do it, because THEN God was there to refresh me and give me life again.  

I have to give a little history of how the friendship of Chrissie and Lori began to really be able to grasp what our time together has been like this summer.  We met in our 20's and we have fun stories of being young and newly married and moving away from our childhood homes to begin our adult lives.  We have memories of living near each other and living far from each other.  We have lived through trials and triumphs together, but when I think of our relationship, I am remembering the connection we had from the very beginning.  It was, yes, a connection of common interests and basically enjoying each other's personalities, but there was a connection of the Spirit, that we had never experienced before.  Our friendship was based, from the very beginning, on God and the ways we were finding Him together. We were prayer partners, but we were true soul sisters in Christ.   It is for this reason, that this post has to come through the lens of how we view the God we serve and how He impacts our daily life. There are some posts that can be talked about in general terms of our beliefs, but this one cannot be that general.   If you follow In The Moment, then you know that I was able to visit Chrissie and her family, in Portland, for 12 days.  Ahh, as we planned the events of this visit, we knew that 12 days was a long time to be present with each other, which made us less present with our families, but we needed that time even more than we knew we did.  Blessings were in abundance as Chrissie and I were able to live life together.  Going on adventures: we went paddle boarding; we went sky-diving (or as we like to say cloud jumping); and we went to the coast at Cannon Beach, where we soaked up God's beauty and found a place of rest and tranquility among the chaos of life.  I will never forget that log we sat on.  We also lived through some tough days of parenting.  We both wrestled with the darkness that seemed to smack us upside the head, when we didn't expect it.  Hard, scary things we were dealing with, but it was divinely planned that we would be together because it was in each other that we remembered our foundation and found the strength to rise up and push back the darkness. Chrissie and I talk all of the time and someone dear to us has told us that we have chosen to live big lives, so our chaos is going to be big as well, and thankfully 😜 we can beat a dead horse like nobody's business, so we knew that we were both struggling to be spiritual (whatever that means), but when you are Spiritual Sisters, it becomes apparent that something is off when we are actually in each other's presence.  When I arrived, Chrissie and I talked about a barren land because it had felt like we have been camping there for way longer than anyone should.  We already knew this about each other because we had discussed it, but as we began our week together, we knew we needed find that Spring of Life that we both had been yearning for, but couldn't seem to get out of our own way to find it.   A barren land is just what it sounds like: dry, dull, thirsty, empty, and lonely.  Life had beaten us up so badly, that we just laid there like dry bones.  We decided that we would give it a shot, just like we used to.  We would put on some praise music and just start praying, so that is what we did; kind of.  We put on our praise music and then we just sat.  We sat without words and without feeling the presence of God as we once did.  We sat there waiting for God to show up.  It was so uncomfortable and lonely.  We had nothing to offer in the way of beautiful poetic themes, because all of our words had become shriveled and our mouths had dried up.  We had never experience this before, especially when we were together.  I mean, when we lived in Colorado together, I remember we could stir up the Holy Spirit among us while sitting in a parking lot, and we did whenever we needed to.  Where was He?  God we are here, where are you?  Then we started to, not open our mouths, but open our hearts, to let God in.  See, we had built such a strong wall of protection around ourselves, that nothing could penetrate it.  Life has been hard on us, no doubt, and our protection of ourselves had taken us to barren land, where there was nothing growing and there was no life.  We started to confess our hardened hearts and ask for the Holy Spirit to rain down like an oil to reach every dry crack.  We knew it was time to jump in the river where the power of God flows.  That day was the beginning and it didn't just come back the way we had hoped.  We left that prayer room (Chrissie's room because we had to lock kids out) damp, but still not what we were looking for and knew we needed.  Each day after that we found our sacred time to seek God and to jump into the river.  Every time, we got a little deeper and we jumped from a little higher, but eventually we were soaked in the love and strength that comes from spending time with Jesus.  Again, we were facing hard things that were happening in our homes at those very moments, but we were not standing alone in our own strength any longer.  Our minds were green with new ideas and our hearts were full of hope and belief once again.  Our circumstances did not change, but once we decided to jump in the river of life, everything else did.  I want to encourage everyone who is feeling like life has left you alone and there is only dessert land before you, to JUMP!  There is a living water that flows and it is so much better than the barren land.


For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants.  Isaiah 44:3


Laugh more

The Sacred Log



                                                               Foreva eva????









Cloud Jumping with doves into infinity!!!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Other Side of Truth

Social media was blowing up all day yesterday with beautiful pictures and posts about our beloved holiday, Mother’s Day. The absolute truth is that mothers should be honored because,well, I believe moms are amazing. I became a mom almost 18 years ago and it forever changed who I am and how I view my life. Mothers are quintessentially the essence of family,right? That is what I saw so beautifully displayed yesterday during our tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day. But, what if that isn’t true? What if that isn’t the dynamic of all families? I will admit that I’m dancing around this topic because I’m conflicted. I’ve lived on both sides of this truth and what I am really trying to say is that for many, Mother’s Day is special, but the other side of truth is that for some, Mother’s Day is just painful. For those who have followed us on In the Moment, you know that Chrissie and I are moms to several children of all different ages and backgrounds. You may have also noticed that we’ve remained quiet lately. I’ve said it before, but we started this idea of being In the Moment because we believe there is value in sharing life’s experiences in good times as well as in the bad times. Life has been hard lately, for both of us, and this Mother’s Day was not one that was greeted with great anticipation of brunch and flowers, but rather one that allowed us to relate to those who also struggled to watch all of the beautiful sides of Mother’s Day play out on social media or in front of us, in real life. We have shared our hearts with several people and found that right away, there are others who were living in the same space we were, so we decided it was time to be In the Moment with you.



First, here is the heart of a dear friend of mine as she looked Mother's Day right in the face.


Hey fiend – I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you today and I love you. I don’t presume to know exactly how you feel going into Mother’s Day tomorrow, but after our recent conversations, I realized that we have been feeling pretty similar. I’m feeling kind of hollow and numb. Not the way that I want to feel about mothering or Mother’s Day or anything like that. I’m struggling. Struggling with children that act like they don’t want me to love them, but maybe they do and they definitely need me to, but I don’t like their biological mom or sometimes I don’t like them, even though I’m trying to LOVE the whole mess. And two kids who need me to love them and do love me back, but I feel like I have not an emotional drop left for that. And my own mom who won’t talk to me except to spout random facts or weird advice that makes no sense. No accepting of invitations or actual emotional connection. It all rolls together to make me feel kind of icky about this whole Mother’s Day thing. I wish it would just get over with. And my poor husband is trying to love me through this and do kind things for me and I just want to slap him for it. The reason I lay all of this at your feet, is just to let you know that there are others feeling weird about Mother’s Day, just like you are. And I love you and I respect you for all that you are trying to do even if you don’t feel like you are doing it well. I sure don’t. And maybe these low points of ours can be God’s highest points. Maybe it’s ok if we aren’t doing it well. Maybe it’s ok that we are just doing it. Even when we don’t feel it. If He is made perfect in our weakness then his perfection should be shining all over the place!! That’s the only thing I can hold onto. The point of all of this is that I get it, I love you, and I’m praying for you.


I hope her words were as encouraging to someone else as they were to me on Saturday night. Soon after receiving the above message, I got the following blog from Chrissie. I trust her heart when she writes so passionately, so I knew it was time to lay it all out there.

When Mother’s Day isn’t like you dreamt it would be.


You know those friends who conceive their children a few months into “trying”? I am not one of those friends. I have four kids. One adopted, one miracle healing pregnancy, one “oh wow, that’s what it feels like to get pregnant without all of the trying”, and another adopted. My two oldest are my adopted (my newest is my oldest). God placed on my heart many years ago that I was the mom to four kids. I had visions of my family of six. We were loud and active and happy and laughing and together and happy! Did I say happy? But, this is not how my family looks these days. There are so many hard moments, moments I want to run from, moments I want to quit, moments that I question God. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It isn’t my first Mother’s Day or even my first Mother’s Day with all of my kids home. Goodness, I used to dream of Mother’s Day with all of my kids together! This Mother’s Day is coming in a season of dark trials and a lot of sadness. I’ve had to give up my vision of my family, clinging with all that I have, to God’s plan and purpose for my family.  If you are struggling this Mother’s Day, I just want you to know, you aren’t alone. I always ache for those women who long to be mothers and are such blessings by mothering others (including my children). I ache for those women who wanted to conceive but never did, who miscarried, who had failed adoptions, had a child die (oh, Lord have mercy), or had dreams shattered because of real life. Today, I am speaking to and on behalf of those of us who “got what we asked for”, but it isn’t what we thought and it just hurts. You are not alone, you are not wrong, you are allowed to hurt, I’m hurting with you.
Much love,Chrissie


At the end of the day, Chrissie and I both know where our strength comes from and we also understand that life’s challenges move us to higher levels of faith. I want to say that we are both okay and not to worry, but really it would be fine with us for you to just say a little prayer whenever the mood strikes you, because we have also learned that it’s okay to NOT be okay.
Blessings,
Lori 



Thursday, February 9, 2017

When Fear Grips You

This is as In the Moment as I can be right now, but to be honest, I feel like I’ve been in this moment for an extended stay.  Fear!  I have come to learn that there are different types and different levels of intensity to fear.  
Fear, in terms of reverence, is one that I adore!  In my younger years as a Christian, it took me awhile to understand that it is a good thing when the Bible to tells me to fear God!  To be in awe and submission to my Lord gives me confidence and security!  (In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. Proverbs 14:26 ).  Likewise, I also have a clear understanding that I should be very afraid of the wrath of God as it is described in the Bible (For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18).  This type of fear has a place in my everyday life and I understand it.
As a practical application, I know that fear can serve as a fantastic motivator, especially when we are facing a deadline or challenge.  The fear of looking inadequate to others is a fear that keeps me on my toes often.  I see this kind of fear a lot in my children as they face challenges in school and sports.  I love to watch my youngest son transform from a sheepish child, in the car on the way to his football game, into a roaring lion on the field.  He is fierce!  He has fear, but he uses it to propel him into excellence.   This fear is normal and its part of life, as we know it here on earth.
The fear that I want to talk more about is the unnatural fear that some people seem to succumb to, but others don’t.  The fear that grips you on the inside and hijacks your next rational thought and turns it into total chaos in your mind.  This fear hurts and it stunts your ability to live a joyful life!  I would say that it is quite natural for a parent to toy with fear when their teenage child gets behind the wheel for the first time (or the 100th time), but I don’t think it’s natural to live in a constant state of emergency where you visualize your worst nightmares every time they are out.  I believe as parents, it’s very common to lean on the side of worry, when it comes to our kids making good choices or finding paths in life that will make them happy.  If that wasn’t common then why do so many parents spend excess amounts of time and money on things like tutors for AP classes, ridiculously overpriced classes for ACT preparation, and/or club sports that will give our children the best opportunity to excel for college scholarships or at a minimum keep them busy and distracted from all of the bad things they could be doing as teenagers?  What I don’t think is common, is to be so hypervigilant that you suffocate them to the point where they cannot think for themselves, or you lose your peace of mind until the point you hear their car pull back into the driveway after being out with friends.
This kind of fear is one that I tend to wear as a robe, a heavy robe that weighs me down and eventually exhausts me.  I’m choosing to identify it as a robe because a robe is something that not everyone wears, so it’s optional, but it’s also something that I can choose to take off at any point.  Why is it that some people understand what I’m talking about, but others would have no clue what it feels like to have your heart so heavy that it actually aches as you replay different scenarios in your mind of what could be?  Not what is, but what could be! (My child in a horrible accident or living a life of despair because of choices they made!  UGH, it’s exhausting!).  I wish I knew the answer to this in full, but I’m just beginning this journey, so I hope that as time goes, I will have more insight as I progress.  I have 6 kids, all of whom are within the teen years of development so I will have lots of practice.  What I know today is that this kind of fear is common, but not normal.  If I believe what the Bible says, then I know that I have not be given a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7).  That goes directly against what I just explained happens in my mind every single day!  I said earlier that I can choose to take that robe off at any point.  I really wish it was that easy, but I’m determined to live a life that is full of joy and peace, so this is where I am.  I don’t have all of the answers yet, but I have at least identified the problem and I’m not going to accept it in my life any longer.  Somewhere along my path of life, I have experienced pains that were never healed or are still so raw that they’re not yet scars.  I know some of them, but not all.  Those memories and experiences have a direct link to the floodgate of fear.  If you are a praying person, I would ask that you pray for me as I move forward.  I hope to be vulnerable enough to share my experiences as I go.  If there are others out there who are facing this same kind of fear, I would love to hear from you!
Many blessings,


Lori

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Circling Mountains

Deuteronomy 2:3 You have circled this mountain long enough; turn
northward.

I heard this verse preached recently. The pastor talked about
mountains we circle but need to “turn northward” and move on. The
“mountain of negative thinking” was the one that stopped me in my
tracks. I’ve worked hard to overcome the “mountain of fear” and do
fairly well with the “mountain of comparison” (at least I know it’s a
mountain!) but the “mountain of negative thinking”…hmmmmm, I was
not sure I wanted to deal with that one.
I listened to the rest of her brilliant sermon, knowing God was going to
convict me of circling that mountain but that conviction never came. I
was dead set on thinking I “deserved” to have negative thoughts. While
I know my life is blessed, there are some really hard days, “I didn’t sign
up for this” days and I kept thinking “I’m being authentic in my
thoughts and verbalizing those thoughts to my husband and my best
friend”. I couldn’t hear the conviction.
Then I remembered. I remembered that my thoughts become words.
Words have the power of life and death, my thoughts and words set
the tone in my home and I have five people who count on me to be
their biggest fan. I have told them “I am your biggest fan” many times.
How can I continue with my negative thoughts AND be a cheerleader,
an encourager? The truth is that I can’t. I must “turn northward” and
leave this mountain. I am choosing to replace those negative thoughts
when they come, and I know they’ll come, with praise and
encouragement, with joy and love. I am turning northward.

Much Love, 
Chrissie

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Looking for Crayons

My mom, my aunt Judy, a close family friend, Nancy, and my niece Savanna all came for a visit a couple of months ago. It was an extraordinarily good time and they are just super fun people. We laughed a lot about silly things. They told a simple story of how, on their drive, Nancy almost ran off the side of road because she was “looking for crayons”. To be honest, I have no idea why that was so funny, but we laughed multiple times about it. For whatever reason, that phrase stuck with me for quite a while after they left. I realized that I find myself looking for crayons all the time. Being distracted from the path I’m on by a multitude of other things scattered around me. There is no doubt that I am a busy person and we are a busy family, but that busyness cannot be a distraction from my path of peace and joy in this life. To continue with my lovely metaphor, what are those crayons that keep me distracted?

Well last week there was that red crayon that resembled me rushing frantically to get one kid picked up from practice in time to make it to another kid’s game. It stole my joy to show up late at the exact moment he was being taken out of the game, but was there anything I could do about that? My life is full of time frames and expectations, but rushing and being upset because I missed a part of his game was just a distraction from the real goal of experiencing the joy that comes with watching my kid play ball.

Then, there is that blue crayon which represents the worry of having multiple teenagers in the home who need parenting, good parenting that requires being present and in the moment with them. It is exhausting, but let me be clear, the worry is the distraction and my teenagers are my work. I don’t always have peace because raising kids is hard, and sometimes my worry is a huge distraction from the big picture. I worry about kids driving. I worry about kids making poor choices. I worry about their grades in school. I worry about their health. I worry about their social skills, or lack thereof. I worry if I’m doing enough to help them become everything they are destined to become. My path is supposed to be seeking and living peace, but I keep looking for that stupid blue crayon.

I chose a yellow crayon to represent that dreaded term, expectations! Not necessarily my expectations, but those of everyone around me. That yellow crayon of expectation has been known to steal my joy as it determines whether my children and I are abreast of the latest school trends; it takes note of whether I am volunteering for every school event; and it comments about my ability to stay up-to-date on everyone’s dental hygiene. I mean come on! The expectations that everyone puts on me are outrageous at best. I say all of that with the knowledge that I do have a choice in the matter. I could just keep my eyes on the road and stop looking around me. I don’t have to accept other people’s expectations as my own, but it does serve as a mighty distraction to me.

Going down the road of life really has to be about always moving forward. I will admit that I tend to swerve a lot as I seek my peace and do my best to live in joy, but those distractions are real and the only thing I know to do is to pick up my crayons and create a beautiful life, full of color.

Many Blessings,
Lori

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mantras

Lately, I’ve been hearing the word “Mantra” thrown around a lot. One of my most favorite birthday presents this year was a “Mantra Band” with an intentional saying that is specific to me and my life. I’m not going to pretend that I know all of the background and purpose of mantra, but I do know that a mantra is a phrase that is spoken over and over again during meditation to help you be intentional about where you want your thoughts to go. I have also had the experience in my exercise or yoga classes, where the instructor says something like “set your intention for the class” and gives a mantra to think on for that period of time. My thoughts about allowing a mantra to set your intention has become very relevant as we have entered this New Year. I am one who can enjoy a little hype over a New Year’s Resolution or two, but this year feels different for me. Rather than making a list of promises that I might or might not keep, I am setting my intentions for what is ahead of me. The best part about this whole thing is that I have heard the exact same excitement in Chrissie, as we have been talking about our goals personally, as well as, for In the Moment. It doesn’t feel like a resolution because when you set your intention, you decide to step on a path and just move forward. It can be at any time of year or in the middle of any situation you find yourself in. So the New Year hype has gotten away from you and you haven’t done everything you had hoped you would by this second week of 2017, so what? Set your intention, find your mantra, and keep repeating it as you move forward.
When we decided to launch In the Moment, it was because we know that our lives were designed with purpose in mind. It is unthinkable to believe that we have had the experiences of marriage, friendship, raising umpteen kids, and just life in general to keep that all a secret. In the spirit of being vulnerable and “in the moment” we will share a bit about our individual mantras and we sure hope that it inspires and encourages all of you to go ahead and set your intention and keep moving forward, even if you missed that ever important New Year’s Day deadline.

Lori: 2017 is going to be all about “GO FOR BROKE”. I got the following quote from the clothing brand GoForBroke and I love its message so I’m stealing it. “Goforbroke symbolizes the mantra that when you want something, at times you have to go all in. You have to Go For Broke. Too many things in life are mediocre because we are afraid to strive for better. We cling on to what we have in fear of losing our small fortunes for something greater. Death Before Defeat!” There are several things that are floating around my brain where I know this applies to the trailhead that I recently stepped onto. A few weeks ago, McKenna was telling me about her memories of all the houses we have lived in and how she relates her childhood memories to where we lived at the time. She said that when she thinks of her dad, she sees him like he looked in our last house in Springfield. She said that when she thinks of me, she sees me the same, physically, but that I seem sadder and I don’t dance like I used to in our other houses. OUCH! She’s right. Where is that girl? I can’t wait to find her again. The things that I’ve been afraid of are looking me straight in the eyes and challenging me. Yes, I am afraid of failure if I try new things, but I’m also afraid of not dancing anymore. My favorite quote right now is “In order to have something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before”. I don’t know who said it, but it’s spot on!


Chrissie: Purpose. I think this is my word for 2017. I’m not sure I’m happy about it. In fact, I’m a little scared, but I’m learning that being scared can’t stop me from what I need to do. I am scared of failing so I don’t try things. My life motto is “do one thing every day that scares you” but recently a beloved of mine asked me if I really do that. Dang it, I don’t do that, because I’m scared!
I’m tired of being scared. I’m tired of playing catch up with my life. I’m tired of my own excuses. I used to walk with purpose but for the past few years I haven’t. I have all kinds of excuses. They’re legitimate excuses, too! We adopted our oldest child two years ago, he’s 15 now, teenage boys! We have a 13 year old who was adopted at 7 months old and is now dealing with her own adoption issues, teenage girls! I have two littles who are swirling in the storm of transition. All of our kids are busy with extra-curricular activities. My daddy passed away in 2015. I live far away from my family and even farther from my best friend. I am so tired of hearing my excuses, oh wait, did I already say that?
Time for a mental reset! 2017, my year of purpose!

Many Blessings,
Lori

Friday, November 25, 2016

Dividing Lines? Doesn't have to be!

As we reflect on Thanksgiving, we can honestly say that we are so thankful for the gift of relationship. Taking care of people and relationships are among the greatest of treasures here on earth. I’m not sure if there has been a time, since the Civil War, that America has been more divided. It’s heartbreaking to see people hurting so much and displaying such anger toward each other. This is not like watching something on the news that you may or may not be able to relate to. This is in our own backyards; at our workplaces; and in our own families. It’s so easy to have political conversations with people who agree with you, but what if there are people you love that don’t agree with you? Should that change the way you feel about them? These conversations are hard and without the ability to see other people’s perspectives, it will be impossible to move forward in a positive way. This post is fairly easy to be “In the Moment” because it doesn’t matter what side of the election you are on, we are all processing how to move forward at this point. Here at In the Moment, we are divided in our beliefs, but we are united in our hearts. We have always stood on different sides of this line, but it has never been a factor in our relationship. Not even in the past couple of weeks. When the election results were in, we both knew that we had to talk about it so that we could find our common ground in order to be united in our hearts. We have honestly agreed, that we feel for each other and hope and pray that neither of us are being hurt by what’s going on in the world. We will not pretend to have all the wisdom to bring this country together once and for all, but we thought we would take a stab at sharing how we not only coexist with different political points of view, but truly believe we are stronger because of it. The following questions are designed to get a perspective from each side, not a debate on why we voted one way or another, but rather to answer questions through the lens of each side of the coin.

What is one important thing to be learned from this election?

Voted for Clinton: Our media outlets are incredibly divisive and unconcerned about truth. Many people use social media as their primary news source. I didn't realize, honestly I'd never thought of it, that my Facebook feed would look very different from someone who voted for Trump, that social media would push stories to me that would create more division. Neither liberal nor conservative media outlets are focused on absolute truth, report absolute truth, ensure that their clients are hearing/reading absolute truth; they are concerned with ratings. Outrageous, divisive stories increase ratings. We need to be more discerning with our news.

Voted for Trump: There will always be a winner and a loser. I saw so many people be equally upset when Obama won both of his terms and I am looking now, wondering if they remember what it felt like to be on the losing side of the election. I also wonder if those who are so distraught now, realize that when they were so happy that Obama won, there were people feeling just as upset as they do now with Trump. If there will always be a winner and a loser, it’s imperative that Americans learn how to do both with grace.


How is someone supposed to support a president that they don’t trust?

Voted for Clinton: I'll admit, this is hard for me. I don't support him yet. All I can say is the position of the president commands respect. As a patriot, I strongly believe this. I don't trust Donald Trump but I trust democracy, I trust "we the people".

Voted for Trump: I would have to say that propaganda is really a thing, on both sides, so just make sure that what you are reading is full truth, again, on BOTH sides. Also, it’s fair to say that
we have had former presidents who didn’t meet our moral expectations either. After that, I think it really has to be a decision to respect and support the position of President of the United States. If we are no longer debating the candidates, we did that already, then look to what this President can do that will be positive for our country.

How can Freedom of Speech be expressed without dividing the people even more?

Voted for Clinton: It is so important that we listen to hear, as opposed to listen to respond. . Go outside, go talk to your neighbor, hug your kids, and turn off the television and social media. For those whose side lost, find where you can make a real difference, get involved in positive change. For those whose side won, try to understand, people want to feel heard. As Martin Luther King, Jr said "a riot is the language of the unheard".

Voted for Trump: My best answer to this is to put everything you post or say through the filter of “what do I hope to gain from this?” If your answer is to be right, you might reconsider posting or saying it. Freedom of speech is a precious thing, but to me, the real question here is at what cost? If being right is more important than keeping relationships, then I don’t agree with that. I also believe that Freedom of Speech has to be equal on both sides. If you’re going to put your thoughts out on a public forum, then people responding to it need to have the same freedom, even if they are disagreeing with you. I will be honest and say that I have not felt like I have had the same freedoms to share my political points of view without being accused of things that are simply false about me.

What if I think that the people who voted differently than me are evil and stand for things I don’t stand for?

Voted for Clinton: I know some people who voted differently do believe in evil things; some people who voted the same as me also believe in evil things. We need to take time and recognize our friends, loved ones, other people who fight for justice, speak for those who can't speak for themselves, hurting people, wounded people, marginalized people voted differently than we did. We must be willing to listen, to find some common ground. I am committed to the #safetypin project. I am safe if you are LGBT, Muslim, Black, Hispanic, disabled, female, male, afraid, marginalized, abused or voted for the opposition! Let me know what I can do to make you feel heard and empowered.

Voted for Trump: I guess my answer to this is, it depends on how you respond. Evil is among us everywhere and we are never going to agree on everything, but the tone of this question tends to make me think of those unable to carry on relationships with people who disagreed with you.
I believe that this question might be asked from the basis of political social issues that we faced in this election. I think we should always continue to strive for social equality, regardless of what party is in office. My view on this comes from a belief system that people, fundamentally, have one of two views of America.
#1. Our founding fathers, although flawed, have passed down great values and philosophies to be carried out. That we can change as we grow in knowledge, but foundationally, we are a strong and great nation.
#2. America is an unfair place to live where being different brings about hatred. Our founding fathers were bigots and racist and foundationally we are flawed.
I happen to fall into the believe system of #1 where I believe in America. I also think the majority of Americans, on both sides, fall into believe system #1. I think that we have many opportunities to grow and change, but I believe in America to its core. It is the greatest place to live and I think that those who don’t believe in America, really should find a place to live that they like better. I don’t say that to be offensive, I really believe it. This is where riots and burning the flag becomes very offensive to people in category #1. That being said, I will reiterate that we should always continue to strive for social equality.

These questions were answered without the knowledge of the other. We hope that our views of the election, our world, and our friendship can help someone who might be feeling lost in it all.

We hope that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and we want to encourage everyone to be mindful of loving others well!

Chrissie and Lori