The Blue Ribbon Project

The Blue Ribbon Project

  I have a million feelings right now, a million thoughts and many of them are pulled in a million directions.  I honestly do see all sides of the immigration debate.  I know there are criminal aliens in our country or wanting to get into our country who can and will cause much damage.  I’m not doubting that.  I’m not arguing that.  And I do think that our president has a duty– an obligation– to protect our citizens.  I also think that illegal aliens with a criminal or terrorist background should be deported.  We have to protect our kids.  Our families.  Our American soil. BUT– yes, here comes the but… I also believe that we have a duty to care for the widow, the orphan, the poor, the oppressed.  And I also believe that a huge percentage of the immigrants in our country are just that:  People who need a better life, a better future, a hope, more security, more stability.  I am fortunate to know many such people.  I used to work as an ESL teacher and over the course of 6 years, met hundreds of immigrant families who were… AMAZING.  Families from places like Mexico and Guatemala and Colombia and Iran and Venezuela and Pakistan.  Not criminals, not terrorists, not people who want to suck our society dry… but people.  People who I grew to love.  People who worked hard.  People who desperately want a better life. A few weeks ago, I ran into one of my ex-students (from Pakistan) at HEB.  He was with his family.  He had a beautiful daughter who was about five years...

On the Women’s March and Women Like Me

What about me? I’ve found myself asking that question again and again this last week as I’ve watched my friends pop up in photos on Facebook wearing pink hats and holding signs.  As I’ve sorted through hashtags.  #womensmarch and #notmymarch and #notmypresident and #alternativefacts.  As I’ve read news articles about why the march isn’t for every woman, how it’s only for those who politically agree, about how Christian women shouldn’t go near a march and how ALL women have to march.  I’ve hemmed and hawed, read and re-read.  And still I’m asking: What about me? What about women like me whose politics and ethics and beliefs leave them caught somewhere in the middle of marching and not marching? I have to say that in many ways, I relate to my friends out there holding picket signs, adorned with pink knitted hats, protesting policies and ideas that in some ways make me very fearful.  I’m proud of these women for taking a stand, for peacefully standing up for what matters to them, for standing strong and together and united. Like them, I didn’t vote for Trump.  I heard the comments he made about women and minorities.  I read campaign promises that seemed sure to bring destruction.  I watched with fear as he won state after state in the primaries and watched with a nauseous stomach as electoral college votes began to turn into his favor.  I do not think Trump is the right president for our country, I think his policies hurt women, hurt minorities, hurt men, hurt my children, hurt us all. Like them, I want a different world...
The Long Walk to Kindergarten

The Long Walk to Kindergarten

I dropped my baby off at Kindergarten this morning. And y’all.  I cried.  Which I know isn’t surprising in and of itself, all moms cry when they drop off their babies, right? But this time, it was different. This time, my tears were a mix of nostalgia and excitement and a “we-finally-did-it” relief. Five years ago ago, I dropped my first baby off for kindergarten.  After I pulled out of the school parking lot, I had to pull over the car because I was sobbing so hard that I couldn’t drive home.  I was nostalgic, yes, because Joey had grown up so fast and he was so sweet and precious and full of hope.  But my mama heart also felt so worried for him.  So protective.  I remember watching him walk into those big double doors and having to resist the urge to chase after him, to follow him down that hallway on the long walk to his classroom.  What if he never found his classroom or his teacher?  Would he make friends?  Would he be able to eat his lunch?  And what if some big fifth grader picked on him on the playground? I was also a raging mess of exhausted hormones that day, having spent the 104th straight night up with my three-month-old desperately looking for a way to get the child to sleep.  That morning had been a whirlwind of craziness.  After hours of rocking that baby boy to sleep, he had finally dozed off just as the sun started to rise.  And so, as Joey downed his first-day-of-Kindergarten pancakes, I carried my still-sleeping three-year-old to...

A Conversation With My Son About the Stanford Rape Case

My ten-year-old son now knows about rape. I told him.  I had that conversation, the conversation that made me sick to my stomach, the conversation that I wish wasn’t necessary, the words that I wish my son didn’t know.  But now he knows it all. Because he is ten. Because he will one day be a man. Because he has a sister, a mother, friends who are girls. And because he lives in a world where these conversations need to be had. And so we talked.  I made him a cup of decaf just how he likes it with a huge teaspoon of sugar and lots of milk and asked him to come sit with me on the couch.  I told him I had something hard to talk to him about, something that would be very upsetting, but something that he needed to know. And then I spilled out the details.  One-by-one.  Fact-by-fact. College students at a party who drank too much. A once-promising athlete named Brock Turner. A brutal rape behind a dumpster. A heroic rescue by men who were willing to intervene when they very easily could have turned a blind eye. An attempted escape. An arrest. A conviction. And then I came to the end. “And so, the judge sentenced him to six months in jail.” My son’s eyes darted up.  “Sixty years?”  He looked at me, confused, as if he must have misheard me. “No, six months.” “Six years?”  This time, his brow furrowed. “No, Joey, six months.” “But mom, he hurt her so badly.  He’s so dangerous.  How do we know he won’t do...
A Really Awesome Mother’s Day Gift Idea PLUS Win $30 Gift Card

A Really Awesome Mother’s Day Gift Idea PLUS Win $30 Gift Card

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know about my friend Carli. A former foster kid, Carli found herself six months pregnant and sleeping on the streets with no car, no job and nowhere to go.  She was introduced to my brother in-law (a pastor) and he brought her home to us.  We asked her to come stay in the guest bedroom of my parent’s apartment.  It’s certainly not a nice room, but it’s safe and dry and has given us the opportunity to get to know Carli.  I now consider her a friend.  She is hard-working and kind and smart and funny and we just love her. Carli works hard. Since she moved onto our property, she got a job (at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club) and a car (from a kind donor) and has a plan to start school in the fall after her baby is born (she wants to be a teacher).  She also started a business.  Ambitious, right? The business started when she found an old piece of wire in our barn.  Two hours later, she handed this to my parents: It’s a beautiful wall hanging.  Made out of old, rusty wire. My sister immediately took her to Hobby Lobby and bought her some wire and beads and told her to start getting creative.  And Carli’s business, Twisting Hope, was born.  Since then, her business has grown as she’s made beautiful pieces, come up with a business plan and started to dream big. Here are a few of the things she has made: Amazing, right? All this said, Carli’s baby Isabella is due this...
Top