Like so many others, I was reeling a bit after our brutal 2020. The world seemed to go completely mad overnight. But I've lived a long time, and when I actually took some time to look back, I realized that it really wasn't "just overnight."
When I was in grade school, a nike missile site was installed across the highway from our neighborhood. I participated in air raid drills and felt the anxiety of the adults around me as the Soviet Union posed a very real threat. I experienced the great unsettling and sadness of my nation when President Kennedy was shot. When I was in college [late 60's / early 70's] communities were tense with riots, gas wars, Vietnam, and "I am woman" being shouted from the rooftops. The world seemed pretty dark to me, but life in our little corner continued. Bob & I married in 1972 while he was still in dental school. During the summer following my first year of teaching, I watched in dismay as the Watergate hearings flooded the news. Then Bob completed dental school and we were off to Vandenberg Air Force Base to serve for two years. We were anticipating the arrival of our firstborn. It was then that I realized I was living with an ever-present undercurrent of fear. The undercurrent bubbled to the top right after Rob was born. I was overwhelmed with the responsibility of adulthood and parenting in a crazy world. But God woke me up to His very real presence in my life, and I began to view the world from His point of view.
God's Word and His presence began to be woven into the fabric of my daily life. We settled herein Wisconsin Rapids to start Bob's Dental practice. Kate, Jeff, and Tim each arrived on the scene, and our little family grew. During that time I was growing personally, too—growing in assurance that God was real, and incredibly interested in my everyday life. The world got crazier and continued to disappoint in so many ways. But I chose to look up to my God; to look in to my family; and to look out to my neighbors. I focused my time and energy close to home.
I saw and heard things happening in our country that truly disturbed me, but I was in that crazy, busy season of raising our family. Not sure exactly what to do, I allowed my everyday realities to consume my life; I thought the country would eventually "level out."
And I wasn't alone. In general, I think my generation missed many opportunities. Looking back, I can see that I was wrong not to let my voice be heard when things disturbed me. I was wrong not to speak up to the RIGHT PEOPLE at the RIGHT TIME in the RIGHT WAY. I've repented for not speaking up. [To "repent" simply means to turn 180 degrees and walk in the other direction. That's what I'm doing today.] I also asked for and received God's forgiveness. So now it's time to move forward, one step at a time.
Bob & I prayed, asking God where in the world to start. As always, He is faithful to give wisdom and guidance when we ask.
So here's what happened:
- Bob ran into Blake Schultz. They found they shared same thoughts and feelings about what is happening in our country. They both wanted to do something to make things better—but what?
- Blake invited Bobto a meeting on Constitutional rights at Hotel Mead, hosted by the Freedom Fighters of Portage County. He came home with some resources, and one of them was a website where I stumbled on a link to the Constitution Alive video series with David Barton and Rick Green. Bob & I started watching it and loved it. It was fast-paced and engaging—the most "un-boring" history lesson I ever had!
- Blake & Judy started coming over once or twice a week. We talked about various things we could do. Here's a snapshot of our first whiteboard session - listing options of things we might consider doing:
- We decided the best place to start was to make sure we understood the constitution. We began to watch Constitution Alive and talked about what we were learning.
- Bob & I also looked into volunteering for the Convention of States and US Term Limits, but I was torn about getting involved. On one hand, I wanted to volunteer and make a difference in the government of our community, the state, and the nation for the sake of my kids and grands. On the other hand, I knew that I am primarily called to disciple; to build up the body of Christ. I wondered if there was something God would have me do that combined those things.
- The Director of the Wisconsin's Convention of States called to answer questions one day while Bob & I were watching Constitution Alive. When I told her what we were doing, she said she loved that series, and told me that Rick Green was just completing a new series specifically for the church. After the call, I hopped right on the link she gave me and found Biblical Citizenship for Modern America. Wow. It was hot off the press! In fact, Rick was uploading each session as they completed it and he was still posting. Amazing! I signed up as a "Constitution Coach" so I could host a class.
- I was SO PUMPED to find teaching on the biblical, historical and constitutional foundation for our freedom! This is what I'd been praying for! We shared the Biblical Citizenship class with Blake and Judy, and we all realized immediately that this could be a great first step for us.
- We decided we would start a Facebook Group to see if there were others in our area who'd like to take this journey with us. We wanted to gather a non-partisan group of Christ-followers, and we wanted to be clear on our purpose so we didn't get side-tracked. Here's our whiteboard session as we finalized the name and purpose of our group:
- I designed a logo for our facebook group, and then we launched!
It's been exciting to see how many people are interested in being on this journey with us! I think it will be quite a ride!
Contact me if you are interested in being part of our Facebook Group —Citizens Engaged - South Wood County.