You know something funny? In the past few months since I made our blog public again, out of the dozens of posts I've written, the one that has been frequently visited and people have spent the most time reading is my post about who I was voting for. Which makes me laugh, because that's probably a pretty disappointing post! There wasn't a whole lot of conflict there. No really outspoken thoughts or anything like that. In fact, I bet most of you agreed with at least some of what I said, if not all. Don't scroll back, but back in the day I was very polarized as to how I felt about politics and world issues.
Motherhood and wifehood and life experience has been very humbling for me. I've realized that I was so wrong about so many things - not the issues specifically, but my whole approach to life. I was so wrong! I was so off. I probably still am, and in ten years will hope no one reads this post because I'll be embarrassed about it, but I won't delete it because I want my kids to see my progress through life.
I get it. Politics are interesting and conflict is also interesting. I haven't had Facebook for several years, but I imagine the last few months have been crazy with all the strong opinions about the election and now with President Trump's executive orders... wowza. I bet it's nuts over there.
While I do have some feelings about these recent events, the truth is, when it comes to border patrol my thoughts immediately drift to our baby gate, and preventing Merit from falling down the hard basement steps again (that happened on Thanksgiving and it was traumatic beyond belief). When it comes to gang violence (this is more of a local issue as we live close to a big city in New York), I think about how my kids treat each other and their friends. When it comes to marriage, I worry that my own marriage needs more cultivating and tenderness, and I try to figure out how to fix that. When it comes to pro-life or pro-choice, I wonder if I am teaching my children that choices always have consequences and consequences always affect other people.
We don't own a TV, I don't believe in wasting time on biased media, so I rarely read popular news sources (rarely in part because I don't know how I ever had time before to delve into the news!), and we prefer classical music to radio programs with angry hosts.
Sometimes I feel like we live in our own little world. My kids wish it was a democracy, but it's a monarchy, striving to be a theocracy. I'm a queen, and I love my king. Our kids are princes and princesses, but when they poop in the bath they become "untouchables". Ha. My home is my kingdom, our friends, neighbors, community members, church members... all are our allying countries that we trade with. We trade cookies on holidays, and phone numbers at the playground. Sometimes they gift us beautiful things, like lessons in tolerance and forgiveness (you should see our pew on Sundays... our ward is very forgiving). We give and receive welfare. Our wonderful Irish neighbor in our old house would snow blow our yard when the snow got too crazy. We had two very pregnant neighbors for a while and brought meals and cleaning supplies to help out with all that hoopla.
The only primaries I worry about are the Primary classes my children are in - are they treating their teachers with respect? Are they learning?
I campaign for better focus during scripture study and staying in their beds during bedtime.
I appropriate funds for date nights and dried mango from Costco.
I wonder what corruption causes the loss of so much dang scotch tape (thievery amidst the peons is my theory).
I do have to punish lawbreakers sometimes, with a short stint behind bars (Ok, no bars but a sentence to sit on our "I'm Sorry" bench in the living room. They generally come back rehabilitated citizens. Many, though, become repeat offenders and we are still working out a justice system that solves petty grievances).
Once in a while we host fancy galas that generally include a birthday cake with a few candles on it, and a special dinner like pizza or sushi.
Speaking of food, our health and wellness committee (me) has passed many bills on healthy eating. Generally the masses are in agreement, though they vote a resounding "nay" on any and all bills that include kale. Luckily, though, their votes don't matter. This is a monarchy, remember?
With a kingdom so vast and so time-intensive, it is hard for me to look above my own ceiling and remember that there is a big old world out there. A world with a crippling fear of terrorism and an obsession with "choice" with a blind eye to "consequence". A world at war with itself. People at war with themselves.
"And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people."
When I let myself peek into that commotion, my own heart starts to fail me. I feel hopelessness, fear, and frustration at who our country chose to be the president, at who the alternative was, and at what changes are already happening in our country.
I have to step back and see the bigger picture - the biggest picture.
God is at the helm.
He just asks me to be the best wife and mother and friend and sister and daughter and queen that I can be.
If I do that, my kingdom will thrive. And everyone knows that a thriving kingdom with good rulers blesses the kingdoms around it, and lifts them up.
I know this to be true because of all of the amazing kingdoms around us that have lifted us and helped guide us to becoming a self-reliant and happy little kingdom of our own.
At times like that, I am thankful beyond words for our own Declaration of Independence (from the fear and confusion of the world).
And our many constitutions that keep us focused on what we can and will do. Things like the scriptures, the words of modern prophets and apostles, good, empowering books, and beautiful music.
I'm thankful that every single day my family pledges allegiance to God by praying together, singing together, studying the scriptures together and reciting our family theme.
Choosing to live by honesty and love and integrity is the only way to find joy. My beliefs may not be your beliefs, but I know that none of us, regardless of our belief systems, have to live in drudgery and fear of the future.
I know that we can all look at the big old mess of this world from our own respective kingdoms and see that the beauty and the goodness far outshine the darkness and turmoil.
Welp, one peon needs a diaper change and the other one (who I sometimes suspect of terrorism) is making high demands of hot chocolate with lunch or she threatens anarchy. And I think this time I may comply with this particular terrorist's demands. It is a snow day after all. ;)