Monday, November 3, 2014

Why vote tomorrow?

If you're like me, you have to breathe deep and count to ten to relieve yourself from an anxiety attack when thinking about tomorrow's election. I know it seems like our country is stuck in a hopeless rut of slicked back hair and lying tongues.

Yet I've followed the candidates and the issues. No matter how much of a chance I think the people I am supporting have, I'll proudly vote on my convictions. I'm deeply excited to vote.

Few people in the world get to vote. When I vote I am fulfilling the responsibility given to me by such a unique and envied privilege.

Leaders of world powers are rarely hired by "plain old" citizens. When I vote I get to consider all of the applicants, look over their resumes and determine who I know will do the best job.

My parents worked hard to preserve freedom by being active on a local level and voting.When I vote I am preserving that heritage.

People have fought, people have died and people are on the front lines as you read this ensuring your right to darken a couple of circles that could turn the tide of history. I will respect those patriots by not taking my vote for granted.

I plan on my descendants growing up in the best America I can leave behind - when I vote I can look future generations in the eye and tell them I did what was right even when it wasn't popular.

Sure, I have to plead with God to have enough peace to get me through each day. Absolutely I understand that sometimes I have to pick between the lesser of two evils. You bet I wonder if the election process is always as just and true as I hope it is. God has blessed me with the opportunity to live in the best country in the world. She is exceptional in many ways and when I vote I am doing all I can to keep her that way.

Oh, this is just a midterm election but as the revered Ronald Reagan said "All great change in America begins around the dinner table." That's right, it starts with us on a local level which even includes voting in midterm elections.

See you at the polls.

- Trinity

Friday, October 24, 2014

What the Gov. of WY has coming to a city near you...

Watching the news for the last several weeks has turned all eyes on Ebola. The outbreak of the disease was initially a quick news ticker on the bottom of TV screens and has now has average Americans wishing they lived in a bubble. A story that has not been in the headlines is one that may just cause Wyoming residents sweaty palms and vomiting.

Shortly after Governor Mead confirmed his Republican nomination for another term, reports became more frequent about his aspirations to open an international refugee resettlement office in Gillette.

In a September 2013 letter to the United Nations Office of Refugee Resettlement’s director, Eskinder Negash, Mead wrote “The State of Wyoming has elected to pursue a Public-Private Partnership model of a Refugee Resettlement program and to participate in that program through the Office of refugee Resettlement. This formalizes the work of many interested persons and organizations across many years.” He went on to write, “Wyoming will designate a Refugee Resettlement Program Coordinator in the near future.” Today, the leader of that program in Wyoming is Melissa Bartley.

At this point the Governor plans to have the program under the administration of the Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, a direct arm of the Federal Government and paid for by local taxpayers. To the naysayers worried that I’m unwilling to allow America to share her resources, please consider that statistics validate that the monies used for refugee programs in the U.S. subtract from the assistance on the ground to those countries which would actually secure the main burden of the refugee crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in Fiscal Year 2014 8,278 Somalis have entered the United States. They are actually the fourth largest group of foreign refugees to enter America, behind Bhutan 9,134 refugees, Myanmar (Burma) 16,299 refugees and Iraq more than 20,000 refugees, but they are the most important for Cowboy State residents to note. To date, over one hundred Somali refugees have left Colorado (where Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains resides), and moved to Cheyenne.

The FBI has recorded at least 20-25 Somali refugees have left America’s Midwest to join ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Vice President Biden admits that more than 100 Americans have done the same although it has not been reported the number of those American refugees turned ISIS that were part of the UN refugee program.

I was born and raised 20 miles north of Gillette. Our long dirt road was always assumed safe and we kids rode our bikes up and down it all day every day as long as the weather, and our parents, allowed. I remember when the oil boom came through and my parents began restricting the distance we could ride up the county road. That was the first glimpse of restriction I can remember. I can’t imagine the infringement on safety parents would feel not only in the Gillette area but in all of Wyoming if these refugees, lacking sound criminal and/or health records, begin pouring into our state.

The numbers of refugees coming to Wyoming are already going up. These people are already tapping into our welfare, hospital, legal and public school systems. Keep in mind, your opinion didn’t matter on this. Not even city or county officials were consulted. Let me put it simple. 49 other states have refugee camps. 49 other states have major problems.

We live in America. That means we CAN make a change. It won’t be easy and it begins with you. Join me in speaking out by calling the governor and his cohorts today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FFA, Despicable Me, and a purpose filled life

I think it was in a business workshop where I first learned about the aha moment. You may have heard of it, it's that moment when a lightbulb flashes on in your head and you think "Aha!". I've had many such moments and now when I do I think of Gru in the kid's movie Despicable Me when he has a great idea and, in his foreign accent, slowly says...lightbulb. If you've not seen the movie, don't be discouraged this blog will still apply to you (you are just missing out on adorable minions, some great one-liners and a solid storyline).

Last night I had such a moment. I've been working with several FFA chapters helping them to choose their new chapter officers. The chapters I've helped with have the members go through an interview process in order to be eligible to be selected.

At several of the chapter interviews, one of the interviewers has asked something along the lines of how the interviewee will get new students interested in joining FFA. To which the response is a resounding "We like to show them how fun it is."

I better admit a few things before I go much further. I am naturally a systems person. I love people and interacting but I like black and white rules and a lot of structure even better. For me, FFA was a fun place to spend time with friends but I loved some other things about it more. I loved that I was learning about how to be a young voice for agriculture and a leader. I loved the competitions, and winning them :). Most of all I just loved the idea of "Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve." I think once we espouse the mission we are able to fully enjoy what we are doing.

In this aha moment I thought about how this applies to every part of our lives. Currently, our world seems to be a place where everything is full of fun, benefits and handouts - all things that should make you happy. But what kind of people experience true joy? They are the people living with a purpose. They have a life mission - maybe it's not a written statement but they know what they are here for. That's different for everyone I am sure.

This probably isn't news to many of you. You knew already that those living life with a purpose are able to truly understand a passion for getting up each morning. I think I knew that before too. Sometimes I forget to share my reason for living with others. I'm not talking just verbally telling them about it but having a positive outlook, being encouraging and showing them by our actions that there's so much more to life than just seeking a false happiness.

Maybe your mission is one that you're not sure you want to share because, frankly, it's not making you happy. For those of us living fulfilled lives, let's share that passion with others by what we say and what we do. It's a two part display that must remain hinged together. Talking and walking, we can't have one without the other.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When it comes to living life, be in a rush.

Although each of us would like to say that we aren't part of the rat race,
we can't say it plainly with an honest look upon our face.
While talking with an elderly neighbor, currently fighting a fatal disease,
she told me something I wouldn't have expected to hear. So I share with you these:

Rush to be a blessing and to offer all of your help.
Rush to know when to say no, sometimes thinking of yourself.
Always rush to listen without planning what next to say.
Rush to thank God for giving you life for another day.
Rush to admit your weakness and live through divine strength.
In all things, no matter your hardships, rush to offer thanks.
Rush to see how valuable the health you have really is.
Rush to be content and do your best to always give.
Rush to find the good in the stage of life you're in.
Rush to get to know your elders and learn from them.
Rush to give forgiveness and the benefit of the doubt.
Rush to show others by your actions what real life is all about.
Be in a rush to learn that your days are numbered and to live in the here and now,
make sure to take your time and rush to just slow down.

Her advice wasn't taken lightly and hope you'll take it to heart,
rushing to reflect on my priorities and resulting actions was a good place for me to start.

- Trinity Lewis

Monday, September 1, 2014

I still do

The moment I first saw you I thought you looked pretty cool. You seemed like the kind of guy I wanted to get to know better so that I could call you my friend, and I still do.
Every time we spent time together, I counted down the time until the next time we got to spend time together, and I still do.
I would replay our conversations over and over again and remember the sweet things you would say to me, and I still do.
I would write down the things you said you liked so that one day when I got to get you a gift I would know exactly what you would want, and I still do.
I would run your favorite color, college football team, camo pattern, movies, hobbies, songs and kind of pickup you liked through my head so I would know the most about you, and I still do.
When you were dressed up for special events I had to look away to keep from  having the cheesiest smile on my face knowing that you are all mine, and I still do.
When I would see you after work, dirty from head to toe, I stood in awe of a man who understood what real manual labor was like, and I still do.
I was awestruck by the way you treated my family. You respected my dad and even when you didn't agree with him you abided by his leadership in my life. I so respected that and I still do.
I couldn't believe I found a man who would go to Church with me on Sunday and read a Bible with me in the evenings. I treasured that, and I still do.
I loved the way you honored your mother. You helped her down from tall steps and held her when she was crying. I knew that that kind of empathy and thoughtfulness is rare and so amazing, and I still do.
I knew that we had a lot in common. As we began to build hobbies together, I loved the way we complimented one another, and I still do.
Never have I met a man so manly and yet so full of heart. I was astounded by the honor you showed me. That made me respect you beyond belief, and I still do.
The more I got to know you the more I realized that you were the man I'd always dreamed of and in life I would cheer the loudest for you, and I still do.
I basked in the thought of what our future would hold, "Would we find a little place in the country? What about babies?" and I still do.
Two years ago on a sunny day next to a trickling river the pastor asked if I would give my life to you to have and to hold, for better or for worse, forsaking all others. That day I said "I do" and, Justin, I still do.

Marriage is one of the most fun pieces to life I have ever experienced. I couldn't believe my life without J.E. Lewis. Only 24 months. Here's to many more!

- Trinity

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Staying on target

Well, I'm not sure what it is like in your neck of the woods but in our cozy home in Wyoming, Fall is here! The weather is crisp and cool, all of our trees are beginning to stop sending nutrients to their leaves and the vibrant green we became accustomed to this year is now a pretty yellow.
If you've read this blog for long at all, I'm sure that you know my husband is a mighty hunter. I would call hunting our biggest hobby. If he read that he would tell me that I am wrong, hunting isn't a hobby - it's a lifestyle. Okay, he's right! Nearly every year during hunting season all else goes on hold in order for us to get our animals.
This year we are doing something different. Well, my number one man has done it before but to me it is all new! You see, about a month ago he bought me a bow. Archery season here we come! But first it was imperitive that I practiced. I agreed to that not knowing what 'practice' really meant.
He wanted me out there every day shooting at our target. The problem is, I don't have that kind of time on my hands! After much encouragemet from my husband I began making it a goal to get out and shoot every night.
Then another problem arose. When he would stand out to help me shoot, I was so nervous that I couldn't hit the stinking target. You know that phrase "can't hit the broadside of a barn"? Well I was hitting the broadside of our shed and I was supposed to be shooting the target!!!
One day while he was still at work, I took some time off from my work and snuck outside. I began shooting with the intention to continue shooting until I'd hit the center of the bulls eye 25 times. I realized that when I wasn't trying to show my husband that I COULD do it, I was shooting quite well. In fact, I hit the bulls eye 25 times pretty fast - well fast for me :).
The next night I tried to show him my accomplishments but I wasn't hitting the bulls eye. He said he needed to run inside real fast. I picked my bow up, set my arrow in and shot the bulls eye dead in the center. Fortunately he'd been watching me from a long way off where I couldn't see him. He joked with me later that maybe I'd do better archery hunting alone. I sure wouldn't want that because I love our time together but it was fun to joke about.
I need to be careful, I pray your heart is ready for this. Sometimes I think that we as wives do the same things to our husband's spiritual lives as Mr. Lewis and I did with archery hunting. I think that we stand over their shoulder saying things like "Why don't we pray together like such and such couple? Why don't you lead me in devotions every night? Why don't you..." and the list goes on.
I know from research that praying with their wives, the person who knows them the best, is one of the most intimidating things for a husband. Most of the time, our men haven't had leadership in their lives to show them how to be the spiritual leaders in our homes. Let's be attentive to that.
Do you know what made me an enthusiastic archery shooter more than anything else? When I heard my man call his family and brag about what a great job I was doing. Call me proud but that wasn't it. I was so encouraged that I'd recieved the stamp of approval. Are we giving that to our husbands? Maybe instead of saying "Why don't we do devotions together?" we can be thanking our husbands for growing closer to God in the ways that they are. We can thank them for going to Church and Bible studies with us. We can thank them for watching clean TV shows and not being consumed with easily accesable pornagraphic material. We can brag about our men in their presence. Let them know you approve!
Getting on target is so much easier when we know that our biggest cheerleader is actually cheering. I would hate it if my husband compared me to one of those blonde haired, camo covered chicks on the hunting channel. I guess that means I better not compare him to Dr. Dobson.

Just some confessions of a wanna be archery hunter, Trinity.   

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A school prayer

Dear Lord we come to you today 
we humbly bow our heads to say
that we are thinking of our students now. 
Our schools have changed since days of old
when prayer started things and truth was told. 
Now we fear that your name isn't said honorably aloud.  
Be with the teachers for they mold ideas.
On purpose, or not, may your truth they reveal
and Lord be working in them all year long. 
Be with the principal and school board members
help them to know in their hearts and always remember 
that a life without heavenly purpose will always feel wrong.
Most of all be with our kids as they go,
we've taught them your ways so they will always know
that real truth exists and heaven is for real. 
Give them roots in you, to take a stand. 
Give them pride in what it means to be an American.
Give them humility, confidence and zeal. 
Be with the custodians and all school personnel.
Give them love for the students and show them how well
they can make a difference in each and every one.
Bless the parents as the little ones leave
and when things get busy help them to cleave
to this moment in life that is here and all too soon gone.

- Trinity