Sunday, November 29, 2015

Outsmarting a toddler is no simple task, but it does fuel the creativity. Parents: 1 Toddler: 1,205. (When you pray for a wise child, God sure delivers) #toddlerlife #obsessedwothperfume #dadlife

via Instagram

Friday, September 11, 2015

There was good on 9/11

September 11, 2001, was quite a day in our history.  It was the day that we knew we would never forget.  It was a day that challenged the very fiber of our Nation's being.  It was a day that I remember almost minute by minute.

I remember sitting and wondering how calculated were these attacks, are they going to fly a plane into Pantex.  I thought this, and looking back what a shallow thing to think about in a moment of hysteria.  My mind went to me.  I even chided myself  at that moment. There were going to be thousands of families who would have empty seats at the dinner table that evening and forever. Families were going to grieve, and here I was, worried about my safety.  I remember having this internal dialogue with myself while I sat and watched the buildings fall in complete horror.

I found myself seeing the world differently, and fully all in the same time.  I could no longer feel like this isolated person who didn't care about others.  Because, I certainly did care about others.  I cared deeply for others.  My heart was hurting.  My soul wept for the families, for the broken and lost families.

This was the moment.  This was the moment that, what I am today, began.  I watched up on the TV the comradery of our nation.  I saw us united by tragedy,  Churches overflowing with people.  The connectedness and love being seen.  Everyone feeling like it was our duty to appreciate our neighbors.  We felt the melting pot of humanity was the tie that bound us together.  We were a strong nation that day and the months after.  We could not have been a more solid people.  There was an electrical current or love that seemed to keep us sane in the midst of an insane time.

We were intentional in our outpouring of support for our nation.  It was a time when there was a sense that we could accomplish anything.  We were united for a brief moment in history.

I loved that 9/11 brought that out in us.  What the heck happened.  We could not be more divided, and divisive.  We have gone back to throwing stones and being total jerks to one another.

It didn't take long, but those brief moments have shaped me, some would  say naively, into the person I am.  I believe we can work together to solve the problems that plague our society.  I think we can do it.  I believe it because we did.  We just have to get past ourselves to do so.

That's what changed our nation.  We thought of others even before ourselves.

Let's go back to that moment in September and discover ourselves again.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

#ClaireMusings: women in society

Since becoming a father of a little girl, I see the world very different.  I see what society is telling our daughters, and who they would like to mold them to be.  It's sickening.  Women/girls are hated by society, and we buy into it like it's an actual reality.

Women are strong.  Women are tough.  Women are equal to men.  Those are not the statements that we hear in our culture.  We typically hear that women are property or are less than men.  It's just really disgusting.  It happens in The Church even more than I think we realize, but then again aren't wives supposed to submit to their husbands?  I mean it's like the ladies can't get empowered or see their worth from anywhere. I was so proud of my Pastor that past weekend when he said, "Women and men are equal, God created them from one another."   That seems like it should be common knowledge, but it's not and that's why I am so proud of that statement.

We have a Presidential candidate that has said some repulsive things about women. I mean, has said the most misogynistic things, and is leading in the polls.  IS LEADING, by a HUGE MARGIN!  We start to believe when we follow blindly.

Today I was scrolling down my Instagram feed and saw this little gem:

This is a local high-priced boutique in Amarillo Texas.  It's usually associated with fashion brands, but today the store just didn't choose wisely.  Just what I want to get my daughter for Back To School; socks with self-proclaiming  character flaws. Having my daughter wear these like a banner, telling the world that she's a brat or trashy... is well trashy. 

You can look any number of places and see how devalued our society from every angle tells our girls how to look, how to dress, and how little worth they have.  It's up to us, dads included, to make sure we don't let the world tell our daughters who/why they are, but we must fight against the grain to ensure our daughters have a platform that will propel them to their individual excellentness.  

Friday, August 07, 2015

It's not about downtown

If you live in Amarillo, it's been quite a show at the City Council lately.  I mean, it's like watching the Real Housewives of Amarillo.  The cat fights, backbiting, name-calling, pandering, and puppetry has just gotten ridiculous.

The storm started as the plans for the catalyst projects to create a place to go and things to do in Amarillo.  Everything was going great, it's been over 10 years of planning until the news of a ballpark was unveiled.  Actually, it's being called an MPEV (Multi-Purpose Event Venue).  It is so needed in our community.  The critics claim it's just a ballpark... It's more.  The other two projects are a convention hotel and a parking garage.  The convention hotel is a much-needed space.  There is no facility in Amarillo to have a large (200+ people) convention. There is also nothing for them to do, in the off chance that someone wants to host a large convention with crazy transportation requirements, once they get here.  It has all just been a big mess, and very divisive,

Both sides of the issue point to other with accusations of being owned by donors and those that stand to make money on the downtown development.  Personally, I think the new councilmen are owned.  And I will tell you why.

What I am about to say might sound a little conspiracy theory-esque, but please know I do not subscribe that way of thinking.

But, mark these words:  I just observed some things, heard some things, and see who the puppeteers are and what their goals are.

(1) The MPEV is a vehicle to a large goal.  The goals are to stir up division and strife within the citizens of Amarillo.  ( I think it's safe to say that's working.  I have never seen people in Amarillo be so mean to each other)

(2) Perpetuate the strife.  You will see the strife and divisiveness continue.  Downtown revitalization is the vehicle.

(3) A new leader will be platformed.  One of the newly elected city officials will become the new mega-star and will run in the next mayoral election.  I bet you can guess who.  Watch and see how 2 of the new councilmen are creating antics while the other has public decorum (at least publically).  Research who was new candidate's campaign staff.

(4) Councilman becomes mayor.  This is where the plan is a gamble.  But if they platform and discontentment grows this is the next step.

(5) The push for single-member districts.  This is the final goal. I am sure you are asking why?  How does this benefit them?  It doesn't if you look at it with rationale.  Progress is never made or wielded when you divide the power.  Look at Congress.  The people that want single-member districts are behind the new councilmen. The main reason is power.  Never underestimate the power of bitter loser.

Yes it's a big plan, and yes I could be wrong, but look into this stuff.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

bread is essential

In my work, I am always seeing the world through two different channels of help.  I see the most well intentions folks who are really just wanting to make sure the crowd is taken care of with their help. A group of concerned citizens who are part of something larger than themselves. It's always intriguing to see even in the smallest towns in the Texas Panhandle. It's a vantage point where I can see the very best of people.  It feels like such an honor to see these things.

I was visiting a pantry and I was talking with the director and he shared with me that they have been doing this for over 35 years.  I asked what is the biggest misconception people have about what you do?  He immediately went into a story about how when he first started he would get so mad because there were people who would get help and not say thank you.  He said, "If I was in their shoes I know I would say thank you to those helping me."  I was puzzled and it must have registered with him because he just blurted out,  "No, I realized I had just put the wrong expectation on them."  He explained that after a while the people would come back and they ones who didn't say thank you, or seem grateful, would begin to make sure they were heard.  They would go to every volunteer and thank them personally.

He realized just what was happening.  When they had first come to the pantry they were in survival mode.  They were so desperate to meet the needs of their families that they could only just do that. Their needs had put blinders on them. They were obviously grateful, but they were just so focused. Later, as their emergency situation became less desperate they could see things they were blinded to earlier.

How many times have we helped someone and got offended because they didn't seem grateful enough?  I know I have, and after hearing this perspective it's majorly shifted my thoughts.  When you help, just do that.... HELP. If you think the person is ungrateful, and you get offended I think we miss something.  I think we should question our motives.  There are people so desperate that they can't see anything but surviving.

There is a great quote from Gandhi that has always made me think, "There are some people in this world that are so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread."

If we meet people's physical needs, it opens them up to spiritual ones.  I think in the arc of life, invested time after time in others is befitting our intentions.