Just a January Update

Life updates, in no particular order, just to get them out of my head:

  1. We got a dog.  A cute little terrier (from a shelter) who we named Ziggy.  We think he's a border terrier mix, but must've been mixed with a small breed because he maybe stands a foot off the ground.  He's probably the best Christmas gift we've ever given the kids... they're all smitten, and happily taking him for walks, letting him lick their cheeks, playing on the floor with him, etc.
  2. I just got back from Istanbul on Thursday.  I flew there (alone) to sort out boxes, sell appliances & extra furniture, and prepare our items for shipment by barge.  It was a busy week there, but productive.  It will be nice to have everything we own in one place again.
  3. In the days leading up to my trip, I realized that it would be the first time I'd be alone for longer than 8 hours, since nearly 10 year ago.  I tried to use my time wisely, kind of like a personal spiritual retreat.  It was wonderful to see friends, speak Turkish again, eat baklava, and have so much uninterrupted time to think, pray, and plan for this next season of life.
  4. One of the things I was able to do there was to stay with a seasoned mom who has four kids about a decade ahead of ours.  Watching her stay "busy at home" was very challenging to me... I've always known that her house is super-clean, but now I know why-- she works at it nearly all day every day!  It was instructive to me to see the thorough job she did, constantly tidying, wiping down, and preparing for the next thing.  I've continually grown as a homemaker, but I still have a long way to go!
  5. This election cycle has been very interesting... the "anyone but Romney" rise, then fall, has happened to a variety of people (Bachman, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and now Santorum seems to be on the downward swing) over the course of the election, except for Ron Paul, whose numbers continue to rise but not in a sudden way.  It is interesting that the others have all risen without sticking...  and yet, still, Republicans remain uncommitted to Romney.  The establishment clearly wants him as their candidate, but no one else does.  The party clearly needs an overhaul.  The George H.W., Bob Dole, Cheney, Rumsfield, McCain crowd all want Romney, but they're all over 70.  The person they all want least (Paul) is the person who can bring the most principle and the most youth to the party (despite the fact that he is closest of all the Republicans to their age).  I am definitely in the Ron Paul camp, and am currently frustrated with the party.  We need to once again be the "small government, low taxes, humble foreign policy" party... how far we have drifted!  All the things Bush said but did not do are the things that Paul has lived, and has consistently promoted for 30 years... and yet, these are things that now, the party elites are balking at.

    They do not like him because they can not control him.  They do not like him because he is unwilling to say what he does not believe.  They do not like him because he dares to hold opinions that vary from their own, because he dares to even question the mistakes of recent Republicans.  We need to be an intelligent, thinking party, and instead, we are being controlled by the rich elite within our party.  It is very discouraging.  I will never vote for Romney.  I could not ever bring myself to vote for someone who I believe will say anything to get elected.  Even Obama at least seems to believe what he says, but that is not true with Romney, nor Gingrich.  Both are political opportunists, and will never have my vote.  Ron Paul is a man of principle and vision, and he has my support, both financially and politically.  I encourage you to take a fresh look at Congressman Ron Paul and consider the direction of our party.  Fellow Republicans, do not let our party be co-opted by smooth talkers and profit-focused opportunists; let our party once again be the party of ideas.  Consider Ron Paul.
  6. This is the longest I've gone being neither nursing nor pregnant... and I don't know how all you ladies deal with these hormones.  Good grief; it's basically as if I've had none of it for 10 years, and reentering the world of cramps and headaches and PMS has not been a delightful experience for me.
  7. Doug & I are doing a Bible-reading plan together this year, where we read the same book 20 times before moving on to the next-- we've started with Philippians, and I am most shaken and challenged by this verse: (3:3) "glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh."  This seems to be the central verse for me as I've read through Philippians-- again and again- to live is Christ,  have the mind of Christ, our citizenship is in Heaven, rejoice in the Lord, I can do all things through Christ, My God will supply every need.  Essentially, the boiled-down nugget of truth at the center of all of this is "glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh."  I want so desperately for that to be true in my life.
  8. My husband is amazing.  He blesses me in more ways than I can enumerate.  I am so thankful for him.  He's currently enrolled in an evening MBA program, so my computer time has been severely curbed, which is good for all of us.  :)  Thus, my blogging has slowed down significantly.
What else?  Oh I'm sure there are more updates I am forgetting, but at least this gets them out and stops the endless blog-avoidance I've been doing as I felt like there was too much to say.  Here's a life update, anyway.  I've got more Bible study thoughts to share, when I have time to write.  

Blessings to you & yours...


BETHANY said...

I just read Philippians 3 right before getting online. Challenging, for sure! We studied the first three verses at church on Sunday and will tackle the whole chapter tonight. I love that book because it's both challeninging and encouraging.

Cat said...

It's good to hear an update! Glad things are going so well for your family! Congrats on the new little dog...he looks quite cute. We just added a second dog ourselves, three weeks ago, a Border Collie, and he's been loads of fun.

Politically, I couldn't agree more. It will be interesting to watch things unfold this year, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

I just want to ditto the "my husband is amazing" stuff! My husband is amazing too! Last month, he said "We should adopt", and now we are on a whirlwind of international adoption paperwork! I have never seen him so joyful, so focused, so overflowing with love than now. He has been so patient with me during my times of doubt, and supportive of me when I'm upset by the process and working so hard to support his family.

Here's to the amazing husbands!!! They never get enough credit :)

~ Z.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess, Could you comment on why you support Paul over Santorum given that Santorum aligns more with evangelicals on social issues?

Rachel B

Jess said...

I don't think Santorum does align more with evangelicals on social issues. Would you share what issues in particular you are talking about?

Anonymous said...

In Ron Paul's book, Liberty Defined, doesn't he come across soft on marriage? I admit I have not read the book, but my understanding is that he does not insist marriage be defined traditionally (by the Bible). In other words, States can decide how to define marriage any way they please. Given that the large majority of our social problems come from the break down of the nuclear family (hetero and otherwise), isn't it a sigficant flaw not to clearly define a problem and advocate the solution (i.e. mothers and fathers married to each other caring for their children)?

Would love your thoughts particulary if you have a different understanding. Certainly none of the candidates are perfect and I have had difficulty sorting through and ranking the problems of each. Rachel B

Jess said...

Ron Paul is a constitutionalist so he's not goign to advocate changing our constitution to define things and use it as a political document. He believes marriage is a personal/church issue, and that the gov't should stay out of it.

So while he personally does "insist marriage be defined traditionally (by the Bible)", as he is a devout believer, he doesn't believe in imposing that on the country by altering our founding documents.

It is true none of the candidates are perfect, but one has a consistent, several-decades-long record of voting against taxes, for small government, and a personal commitment to Christ. Ron Paul has stood by one woman for 53+ years, served his country in the military, and delivered over 4,000 babies which fuels his commitments in all of these areas. He gets more donations from active-military members than all other candidates combined. He is a rock-solid Reagan conservative.

It is true, and he admits it, that he's not always the clearest communicator, but he is the sort of man who would've been elected back when we chose people for ideas. He is thoughtful and operates out of principle, not out of what is politically "smart" or what is most practical/achievable for the moment. He is an ideas man of principle and vision, which is exactly what is needed for the "bully pulpit". We should not elect someone who less than a decade ago has espoused wildly different ideas-- which includes both Romney & Gingrich. Santorum has until the last 2 weeks come across as mealy-mouthed and like he has a chip on his shoulder and I have not looked into his positions, seeing as how he sat at 3-4 % or less until so very recently.

He is the only one of the four, besides Paul, that I could actually bring myself to vote for, and even that would (I think) be a "hold your nose and vote" rather than a delight for me.

I am not interested in supporting a candidate like Romney who says he is in line with evangelicals on social issues but said, "I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose" less than 10 years ago. That is a serious LACK of a conservative set of values. It's a lack of a core and signifies that it is a political heart, and not a conservative heart, that beats in his chest.

I am not interested in supporting a candidate like Gingrich who says he is for "family values", raked Bill Clinton over the coals for infidelity , but is now on his 3rd wife. It doesn't matter how well you communicate, or how smart you convince everyone you are, if you are a serial hypocrite and liar.

NO, give me the man who has faithfully served his country, faithfully been married and raised a family for the last 5+ decades, faithfully served patients and gave his medical services charitably in order to help the less fortunate (rather than raising taxes on others in order to do it). Give me the man who has faithfully voted to uphold the constitution. Give me the man who has faithfully worked to support our founding father's warnings that we avoid foreign entanglements, and to heed Eisenhower's warnings against becoming overly dependent on military growth. Ron Paul's the candidate for me, and I think, the candidate for America.

You might enjoy reading Voddie Baucham's thoughts on the matter:

Unknown said...

Jess, could you do a blog post on #4? I've been intrigued by what you wrote about your friend's being busy at home and always preparing for the next thing. Could you give some examples of this? Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree with your perspective on Gingrich and Romney and would have a difficult time voting for either of them if my vote matters by the time the primary gets to Texas. However, I will still GLADLY vote for any of the candidates over President Obama!

While I do understand and respect that Ron Paul is a constitutionalist, moral issues such as marriage or the lack thereof are not just private affairs. Government programs grow when families breakdown and society at large suffers (higher taxes, crime, etc.) Additionally, the Democratic party uses these societal needs to justify growth in government and their own power through more agencies/bureaucracies and programs. One recent example that comes to mind is government paid and sponsored preschool and afterschool programs.

I am still not sure I support Santorum over Paul, but Santorum does not mince words when it comes to the importance of one man married to one woman raising their family in love. I think that is important.

Rachel B

ps, I second the request for a blog post on #4. I recently quit my job to stay home and I would love to dive into that more deeply.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are in dire need of a solid house cleaning. I agree -- I find Ron Paul the best potential Republican nominee. I'm a Democrat and plan on voting for Obama (unless God changes my mind), but I can completely understand why Republicans would be a bit weary of Gingrich and the like. (I have no animosity towards those who vote Republican and believe that a good Republican President is better than a poor Democrat.) If you lean toward a more states' rights approach, Ron Paul is the best bet. I even like many of his stances -- marriage being a personal issue rather than a governmental, more Internet freedom, being married to the same wife for decades. It will be interesting to see what happens.

sandra said...

I have a random list of questions about transitioning from life overseas to life in America. Maybe I'll send it your way someday. I find the entire process fascinating. Hope your crate arrives safely without many extra fees. hugs.