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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Back to your lives citizens!

Hello from Hilliard! Dang! It's been a while! We're here in Hilliard, Ohio. We live in the same town and ward as Jason's sister, Rachel. In fact, it's about a mile and a half door to door. Jason is working for an insurance company as a contractor right now, but we're hoping that he'll be able to find a salaried position soon. We're adjusting to life in Ohio, it has been a little easier for some of us than for others. Boo started school in October, yes, October is a bit late, but for the program that he is in, he had to go through quite a few tests and a home visit and such. But he's in preschool and he goes four days a week. It's been a wonderful change! He talks more so he doesn't get so frustrated, if you ask him a question, he will answer you most of the time. And his self control is getting better, he follows directions better than he used to, home life with him is so much better! In other news, I turned the big 3-0 just a week ago! I was jokingly calling it "the first anniversary of my 29th birthday". But it truly was a joke, since I don't really care if people know that I'm 30. I'm still younger than Jason and when I wear my glasses (and since I have braces), I look like I'm 15. Adjusting to life in Ohio has been a bit harder for me than I expected. It's hard being back east after living out west for the last ten years! I've had my own way of doing things and Jason and I had our way making our little family function (somewhat dysfuntionally from time to time, but then, whose life doesn't have a little dysfunction once in a while?) and now, we have to re-figure all of that out! Now that we're a little more settled, with our stuff instead of borrowing from Jason's sister and now having most of what we got rid of in the move replaced, things are calming down. Now on to other matters. I will remind you that I am a REGISTERED Democrat, however, I have not always been. I went through what I've decided amounted to an existential crisis, starting when I was about 20 years old...so back in the day! :) I went through a rather extensive period of intense soul searching, and that included spiritual and political opinions. I went through a period of time when I didn't want anything to do with the church that I had been raised in my entire life. I had decided I was going to be a Baptist, they just seemed more open minded than the Mormons that I was surrounded by at the time. I had even started meeting with the Pastor of a local Baptist church and getting ready to convert, I ended up not going through with it, because of various things but the whole experience led me to ask questions of myself and I needed to sort things out for myself instead of just be told what to believe. I asked quite a few questions and on a number of different levels, I already knew the answers. I needed to figure out who I was, why I'm here, and what my beliefs were and are. I knew that I'm a child of God and I'm here to be tested in order to return to the presence of Him again, but I also needed to decide who I was as a human being. That seemed to be harder than the spiritual part! Both of my parents are Republicans and so I just assumed that I was too! No. It took me a while and some studying to realize this, but I am a Democrat. I am for a small military, but anti-war. I am Pro-choice, I do think that those with more should help those with less and those who make more money should pay more in taxes. However, I will say that if you donate that money to help those who need it, and that allows for you to pay less in taxes, then good on ya! I am also for marriage equality and income equality. The issue that I had with realizing all of this was that, due to some of the opinions of the people I was surrounded by at the time, I had difficulty reconciling my political self with my spiritual self. Then I remembered that one of the teachings of the Mormon church is of Free Agency, I have to right and the ability to make choices for my life. I am not forced to believe or feel one way or another. This has been a great thing to remember over the years. You can rant and rave at me and I will listen but in the end, I will make my own choices. Now, that said, I have some potentially harsh words for the remainder of this post...brace yourselves...you ready? Okay, here we go! My issue with the recent election cycle (speaking as a voter in the great state of Ohio, and for at least this election, a key battleground state, thank HEAVENS that's over!) was that it seemed that there were some people who were really trying to force their religious beliefs down our collective throats. Things like supporting candidates who would like to see Roe v. Wade repealed and have no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, thus FORCING a woman to potentially carry her rapist's baby. Now, another bit of religious information. Something else we are taught in the Mormon church is that before we came to earth we were presented two plans. One by Christ in which we would be able to exercise our agency and be given CHOICE and hope that we would make the right choices, but if we made the wrong choice and did not repent, then we would have to live with the consequences of that wrong choice. The other plan was that of Satan in which we would be FORCED to choose the right...there would not be opposition and thus no need to have consequences since we would only have one direction to go. Now, while I would hope that a woman would carry a baby to term and place it for adoption no matter the circumstances, I am certainly not going to stop them from exercising their CHOICE, and I do not believe that anyone has that right to tell a person what to do with their own body. They have their agency and it should be respected! Also, the fact that the Majority stood up and made a CHOICE as to the President of this country should be respected and not belittled in any way! Something else that was bothering me, a few of my friends on FB were posting about their displeasure about the outcome of the election. I hate to break it to you but President Obama is our President and he is our duly elected leader TWICE, not appointed once and elected once. That's fine if you don't agree with the majority, but please do NOT tear down the decisions of the majority for making that choice. More religion coming at you: we, as Mormons have these things called "The Articles of Faith" which are really just short passages that summarize what we believe. One, the 12th one (there are 13)says this: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." So that's fine if you don't agree with him, but you still have to respect the office. And finally, just a little thing. Maybe some people just haven't studied other religions or maybe they have but only superficially, or maybe they went a little deeper and just didn't have the benefit of an awesome Seminary teacher (sorry, another Mormon thing!) like I did when my mom was my teacher. But I also grew very tired of people over this election cycle, and also the previous one, for that matter going on, and ooonnn, and ooooooonnnnnnn about "Obama's father was a Muslim so he's a Muslim." Or, "he quoted the Koran and he speaks of his Muslim relatives, so he must be Muslim..." Well, first things first. Traditionally, religion follows through the mother, whatever the mother is, the baby is. Mother is Christian, baby is Christian. Mother is Jewish, baby is Jewish. Mother is...well, you get the idea! And, as to quoting from a book other than the Bible therefore you must belong to that faith, well, then I must be a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Tibetan Buddhist, since I have quoted at least once from the texts used by the first three religions listed there, and I've read "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" and have quoted His Holiness the Dalai Lama (that is his proper title). I believe that to be a well-rounded person, you need to understand where other people are coming from and what has shaped who they are! Alright, I know that was a little all over the place and took on a decidedly political tone, and I'm not going to pretend that I am not THRILLED to bits and pieces that President Obama was re-elected, though I'm sorry so many seemed so depressed by Romney's loss. But, I hope that we will be able to find common ground once again and work together to heal the divisions in our nation, and hopefully, we'll remember that we are human beings and citizens of this country and we have a whole host of wonderful liberties that other governments do not allow their citizens! I'm looking forward to the Holiday season and celebrating with family and friends! I hope this finds everyone happy and healthy! We'll talk again soon! TTFN! Ta Ta For Now! --Meredith:)

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