Life’s Messy. Clean It Up!


My mailbox has been flooded with emails from people seeking counsel who are scared and angry about all that is going on in our country and in our families.  They’re fearful of the direction we’re taking as a society, fearful for their children, and fearful of being stripped of everything that makes them Americans.


Because there are so many, and because right now my commitments are heavy, I can’t address these things in one-on-one conversations as I typically do.  So I’m going to address the concerns here as best I can.


Know that I’m not an attorney.  I am a doctor, but not a medical doctor or a psychiatrist.  My degree is is philosophy, theocentric business and ethics.  I am, always have been and will be, a simple woman struggling on her spiritual journey through life like everyone else.  And the authority to whom I go before tackling or responding to anything is God in prayer.


I will be speaking frankly about matters that impact large numbers of us.  Some won’t like what I have to say.  Some will.  Others will be outraged and feel compelled to blister my ears.  I’ll be frank.  You’re welcome to respectfully disagree.


You’re not welcome to be verbally abusive, and if you are, I won’t read what you write, so the greatest good that will come of rants is the release of stress you feel in posting.  Respect is the key word.  For you and for me.  For all.  And with that said, let me address your concerns.


Life is messy.  And we make it more so by the choices we make.  We think of choices only in terms of being those things we decide to do.  But what we decide not to do, and refusing to make a decision at all is also making choices.


We often are confronted with a challenge that we don’t want to face.  Maybe it cuts down to the bone or makes us uncomfortable, so we avoid it.  That’s making a choice.  It’s choosing to ignore a problem.


Now what happens if we have a hot water heater that goes out?  It starts leaking water.  Okay, if we ignore that, what happens?  It floods the floor.  If that floor is concrete, the impact might not be too bad.  But if it’s carpet or wood, we’ve got a bigger problem.  The carpet gets soaked, water creeps up the wall.  If we continue to ignore the problem, the carpet and walls mold.  Now we’ve got a bigger problem.  If the floor’s wood, it buckles.  We have a hot water heater that’s out and a buckled floor:  a bigger problem.

But if when the water heater goes out, we address it right away, we minimize any damage.  And there’s the lesson:  you can’t ignore problems and not suffer stiffer consequences.  In other words, you reap what you sow.  Ignore it, pay the price.  Handle it, and you pay that price.  You choose which price you pay.


The water heater challenge is the same as all the challenges written about in the emails.  Let me share my perceptions, starting with the broadest and winnowing down to the up-close-and-personal.


Our country.  We’re in an identity crisis, of two minds, and therein lies the host of all our problems. On the one hand, we have those who embrace traditional values.  On the other, we have those who embrace progressive values. The two have co-existed in our nation for a long time because each side exercised civility toward the other.  That’s gone now, and there’s a propensity to shove down the throats of others what one wants.  Coupled with corruption and greed, it’s dangerous to our republic.  And we all know corruption and greed are running loose in our country.  We need a major broom to clean it up.


We also need a better understanding of how we got in such a fix so that we don’t end up right back where we are.


In my humble opinion, we have several contributing factors:


*   Many citizens have never read the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, though they’ll cite snippets from it all day long.  The Declaration of Independence  doesn’t grant us rights.  It states that our rights are endowed by our Creator. Here’s a snippet from the Declaration of Independence:


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”


(Read the whole thing at:


Endowing and securing are very different things–and we citizens have allowed the difference to get muddy.  We’ve done so largely through our decision to ignore, to do nothing, to permit government to do what it would, and because we have, like the water heater that went out, we’re suffering more damage.


Freedom isn’t free.  Liberty isn’t free, either.


From the very beginning (as you’ve just read in the Declaration of Independence), America was founded on  the spiritual principle of citizens’ rights being endowed by our Creator.  Going back, we know the first book printed in this country was the Bible, and it was printed by the government to promote literacy.


There have always been strong spiritual bonds between America and God.  At least, until the last few decades.


Now  we have a president who says we’re no longer a Christian nation.  We have jihadists with ties to groups who have murdered our citizens holding conferences in Illinois hotels.  We have organized groups attempting to remove God from everything possible–our schools, our government buildings, our offices, and I daresay before long our private lives and homes.  We’ve allowed it to happen.  We’re reaping the consequences.


Not so long ago, families went to church, they prayed together, they stayed together.  Were there exceptions?  Of course.  But the majority of American families were engaged spiritually.  Today, they’re not.


In a discussion not long ago, one went on so excited about being a missionary to Africa.  My reaction was when are you going to use missionaries here, at home?  I got a blank look, and then the man laughed.  But I wasn’t being funny.


Right now in America, for the first time, we have more single-family households than married households.  That has a significant impact on our children, our adults, and our society.


Single moms, bless them, are struggling all too often to be all things:  mother, father, provider–all of it.  Something’s got to give.  And because mom comes home dragging and then does dinner, deals with the kids’ challenges, does the house, pays the bills, and on and on, she’s exhausted.  What gives?  Too often, spiritual instruction, guidance and direction.  Far fewer attend church.  TVs, CDs and video games have become child caretakers.  Keep ‘em occupied for a few minutes of peace.


Easy to see the challenges and easy to see the need for respite, but the bottom line is that kids aren’t getting what they need spiritually.  Fewer parents are living it, so they can learn by example.  Fewer parents are teaching it, or providing an environment where it can be taught.


Proof of this lack in our society was evidenced in a street survey done recently by one of the major networks.  On the street, they asked random people to name the Ten Commandments.


They couldn’t do it.


Since we have taken our collective morals and ethics from these, we see a gaping hole where our foundation used to be.  If a society is spiritually bankrupt (rampant corruption and greed, lack of morals and ethics, ignorance of the basis under which society functions) then our water heater is out and we’re flooded and molded.


There was a time when spiritual matters were reinforced in schools and publicly.  We had the Commandments posted in classrooms, we prayed in school.  Government meetings began with Invocations–when Congress convened the first time, it began with a three-hour prayer.  But today we hear separation of Church and State, and many adopt it as part of our foundation.  It isn’t.


The separation of Church and State does not appear in our Declaration or in our Constitution.


By our lack of objection, our apathy, by not tending to our water heater, most don’t realize that, and accept that it is rooted in one or both.  It’s not.


Perhaps more would realize this and rally against removing our spiritual foundation from our government and by extension our society if they read the documents.  But Civics is no longer a requirement in schools.


The result is that most students never read either document, never study the history of our nation.  They don’t know what is in those documents, so they take whatever they’re told at face value.  And unfortunately too many who oppose our roots are the only voices being heard because they’re the only ones talking.


Civics should be required in all American schools.  American history should be required in all American schools.  But unless those who believe that insist–and, in my humble opinion we should insist because this is the study of how our government is structured, how it works–civics will remain an elective–at least, until it disappears, and odds I fear are that it won’t take long until it does.


As I write this, text books are being rewritten.  They’re reportedly banning words like American and founding fathers.


Why?  Because “people of the United States” gives us a less arrogant and more global feel.  Some say, a more European feel.  Founding fathers?  Because it’s too gender-biased.

Not to be glib, but good grief.  The goal of making men and women the same isn’t going to work.  Why?  Because we  aren’t the same.  To deny it assures only that we’ll have a generation or two of totally confused people who can’t tell up from down.  Women are built different, they address challenges and triumphs differently, they face conflict and resolutions differently.   There’s a reason we’re different and it’s apparent.


Americans are Americans.  We founded America for a reason.  We declared independence for a reason.  Why deny who we are to make ourselves more acceptable to others?  Political correctness is the cited rationale.  In my humble opinion, it’s flawed to the core.  But unless Americans tend to that water heater, we’re going to find ourselves no longer us. And we’ll have ourselves and our ignorance of who we are perpetuated and unchallengeduntil we truly are no longer us.  Then changing back will be impossible, short of a second Declaration of Independence and war, and that isn’t apt to happen because too few know too little of civics and history, and are too apathetic to willingly pay the costs of individual freedom:  the costs of liberating the American spirit.


By tearing our foundation out from under us, by not investing in our spiritual lives and teaching it to our children, by not investing in even reading the Commandments and Declaration and Constitution and remaining ignorant on its tenets, by not requiring civics and history be taught, by not speaking out strongly against corruption and greed, by embracing apathy and disengaging from events by ignoring them, we’re reaping exactly what we’ve sown.  And recognizing it brings us to a critical point.  One where we must choose to continue on this path and live under whatever restrictions are imposed or to actively engage and direct our course.  It’s our call to make, and each of us make that call.



We are three-dimensional human beings:  spiritual, emotional, and physical.  And we’re under attack on all fronts.


So let’s take a look at that.  Spiritual matters are based on a foundation.  When you rip out the foundation of a house, the house collapses.  In many ways, that’s exactly what’s happening to us.  We’re not feeding our spiritual selves, when we fail do to so, we diminish the integrity of the structure.  We lose our moral compass.  It’s like muscles we don’t exercise.  Use or lose it.  The muscle is still there, but it’s weak, and we pay the consequences of that in a million ways.


Our rights are granted by our Creator.  The Bill of Rights (the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution)  guarantees us rights.  The first Amendment reads:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”



(Read the whole Bill of Rights at:


Note that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.


That’s not a suggestion or a recommendation.  It’s a blatant directive.  So why then are  Christians being persecuted in the United States when doing so is a direct violation of the First Amendment?  Why is it being quietly endured?    Particularly as we see concessions being made for other religions that are perceived forbidden by Christians?  (I’m referring to the school in Virginia where concessions are made for Muslims, to corporations providing prayer time for Muslims but not for Christians or members of other religions.)


Simply put, it’s happening and being endured because we’re allowing it to happen and enduring it.  When and if we choose not to do so, we’ll take action to change this.  And frankly, I hope we don’t wait too long.


There is a faction of radicals rooting in this country.  These are not peaceful people who desire to co-exist.  Their foundation is based on the belief that all must convert to their faith or be killed.  That’s not peaceful coexistence, nor is it a type of spiritual warfare Americans are accustomed to or one they embrace.  So it’s difficult for many, particularly those who aren’t engaged in spiritual matters, to understand the explosive potential and very real ramifications of allowing this movement to go unchecked.  Americans have rights, but their rights cannot infringe on the rights of others.  That’s the part that gets forgotten far too often.  That infringement.


Whether or not we’ll awaken to this before or after crisis, I have no idea.  If before crisis occurs, America and Americans will continue to be proponents of freedom of religion.  If after, it won’t.


Events over the past few decades and particularly those occurring now do not bode well for that freedom.  And before you say I’ve gone off my rocker, understand that in a recent article we learned that by executive order $23 million went to people with ties to Hamas relocating to the US, with the U.S. taxpayer paying their expenses until they get on their feet.  This while Americans are unemployed and skipping meals to make ends meet.


Unless Americans engage and raise their voices demanding their religious rights, I fear it and many other freedoms and personal liberties will too soon be no more than memories for those old enough to remember former times.


America is a nation of immigrants.  The difference in our society then and now is that then when people immigrated, they embraced our culture and society.  They became Americans.  Now that isn’t the case.  Even those in America illegally protest in the streets asserting “their rights.”  What rights?  Rights are afforded to citizens.  Those born here and naturalized citizens.  But citizens.  Non-citizens have rights in their native countries.


But the muddying of this too we have tolerated to our own detriment and to the detriment of all those who immigrated legally, did the work and made the effort to become citizens.  Our lack of respect to them is equal to our lack of respect for the gifts of citizenship provided us by all birth to those who fought and died for it since our republic was born.


The bottom line on spiritual matters: Trust God, get to know Him, invest in learning His laws and teaching them to your children, and love your country enough to insist on the freedom and rights granted to you by your Creator and the government charged with securing those rights, given its power to do so by the consent of the people.


Remember your rights aren’t granted by the government but by our Creator.  The government’s job is to secure them.  If it isn’t doing so, it’s our fault.  They function with our consent.


Government running amok, not representing the will of the people–that’s not the government’s fault.  We have the law, the tools needed to bring it in line.  We haven’t.  That’s our fault—and our problem.


Once again we’re back to choice.  We can choose to not tolerate, not be politically correct but morally and ethically and spiritually correct, or we can choose not to be.  It is our call to make and we each make that call.  We object, or agree, or ignore.  Regardless, we choose.  And we reap what we sow.


The good news is we can change our minds and elect not to continue to sow what we’ve been sowing at any time.  God’s there, waiting for us to embrace Him.  The government is there.  I can’t say it’ll eagerly embrace citizens asserting their opinions or rights, and recent evidence proves they don’t much care for it.  They’re name-calling and attaching insulting labels to those who dare to speak out.  But there are those pesky rights that are laws of the land to contend with and they back up the citizens. If we insist our leaders abide by them, they will or they’ll be replaced by those who do.  If we don’t insist, we’ll get more of the same.  More greed, more corruption, more rights removed from us. This too is our choice to make.


We’re a resourceful country.  We’ve made, in my opinion, some wise choices and unfortunately some very unwise choices that are seated in corruption and greed and in disregard or apathy.  Choices that carry consequences, and  in this simple woman’s view, we’re paying the price for those unwise choices now and we’ll continue to pay the price for our decisions, actions and inactions.





Everyone who’s run a household knows you can’t spend more money than you make without consequences.  Thomas Jefferson warned the same thing for our government.  Yet Congress continues to spend beyond its means.  We pay for it.  That’s not a wise choice, and it carries steep penalties we’re experiencing now.


Everyone who has been the head of a household, or even responsible for themselves, knows the value of rules and self-discipline.  Rights carry responsibilities.  One can’t be embraced without incurring the other, and yet more and more people place blame elsewhere and absolve themselves from personal responsibility–or try to do so.  More and more exercise little or no self-discipline.


It doesn’t work.  We see that now in so many ways I’d need a book just to list them.


An unwise choice is in blaming others, in not stepping up and being accountable.  In accepting personal responsibility.  We see it all the time in our leaders, and in our homes.  It’s crippling us as a nation and it’s destroying our homes as refuges of serenity.

In the past years, we’ve seen Republicans and Democrats voting their party, not their conscience.  They promote the party, defend the party, protect the party.  The problem is that while we function under a two-party system, we are all Americans and we’re not all members of either party.


Leaders elected represent us all.  If our leaders would vote for their country,  then many of the challenges experienced would cease to exist.


But make no mistake, our leaders pledge allegiance to their parties because we the people don’t demand that they instead pledge allegiance to America and Americans.  We tolerate, and the blame for that is ours.  If we insist their decisions be made on the basis of the good of the nation, then they will react to our insistence and do so.  Otherwise, they’ll be invited to seek other employment–and they know it.


You know, our founding fathers were very astute.  But the idea of a career politician was repugnant to them.  Serving your country was something you did because it was your duty.  Then you went home and got a job and worked for a living.  As farsighted as they were, they didn’t see the career politician, and more is the pity.  Because if we removed the eagerness to keep their jobs, the hunger to be re-elected from the equation of leadership, we the people would be better served.  We would have leaders not seeking power and personal gain, but truly leading out of a passion for making our country stronger, its people more secure and wiser.


Again, we choose.  If we don’t like what we have, that’s our responsibility to accept or change.


An unwise choice is in the largest transfer of wealth any nation has ever experienced.


We don’t make much here in America anymore.  We buy from other countries.  That’s an unwise choice.  It takes our wealth and relocates it to other countries who don’t afford us the same privilege.


Yes, we do sell some products overseas.  But they’re taxed much higher.  We outsource.  Send jobs elsewhere.  We endure enormous trade deficits.


We do these things thinking short-term.  We’ll save this much.  We’ll have higher profits.  We’ll look better on our reports to stockholders.


The problem with that is the results are short-term.  Long-term, we’re once again, cutting the foundation out from under ourselves.


Why does a country so rich in resources and in ingenuity with the capability of being self-sustaining deliberately and willfully make itself dependent on others?


That’s a fair question.  Yet this simple woman has yet to hear an answer that makes sense for America.


We need our wealth here.  We need our jobs here.  We need to take care of our own by assuring they have jobs to go to upon graduating.  Helping others is fine.  But as any mother can tell you, if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not going to be in a position to take care of anyone else.   So when will we do this?


Who knows?  We aren’t doing it now.  Just recently, over $2 Billion that was released out of the stimulus fund–you know, the one that we had to urgently enact to keep unemployment below 8% (it’s now 9.4% and that’s with fuzzy math enacted) and to create “shovel-ready” jobs that we haven’t created–isn’t going to do spit to help Americans since over half of it is going overseas to foreign countries.  That provides no release–and no stimulus to America or Americans right now.


I know no mother who would permit her own to starve to feed another dessert.  But in a real sense, that’s exactly what we’re doing.


Again, our choice.


There are an entire host of unwise choices, and it isn’t necessary for me to point out each and every one.  You know them.  You’re living them.


The fearful part is that our children and our grandchildren are living them and the consequences for them will be far more difficult than they are for us.  Why?  Because they’re not being taught our history, the ideals, the values, the traditions of our nation.  If those rewriting text books have their way, they won’t even recall a time when we were called Americans.


Deny the old what they need to exist, indoctrinate the young, and what you’ve got is a transformed nation that has no memory of the land of the free our founding fathers created and we Americans embraced. They’ll have no founding fathers.


Those who embrace traditional values have been silent for a long time.  So long that the only voices heard have been those who oppose our traditions. The responsibility for that is ours, not theirs.

Now, much is happening on many fronts that we strongly oppose and we’re silent no more.  That’s confusing to some, an irritant to others.  Those opposing that which we advocate are outraged at our “disrespect” in exercising our freedom of speech.  Of course, they have removed themselves from experiencing what we will experience if we let them enact what they wish as they choose.  (I’m speaking specifically of the proposed health care reform here.  We’ll be stuck with the turkey (God help our seniors) but Congress will be exempt.  It will retain its option of choosing from its current twelve (12) options for health care.)  This “exemption” applies to other things as well.  Members of Congress not paying taxes, bouncing checks, getting sub-prime plus personal mortgages.  That’s our problem and we’ll pay for it too, but we’re also to blame for permitting it without enacting stiff penalties and consequences.


One would have thought we’d have learned the lesson in sub-prime mortgages, but we didn’t.  We’re doing the same thing now, putting ourselves in the same position with “cash for clunkers.”  One day, I pray we awaken.  Fiscal responsibility is crucial.  The alternative is collapse.


We’re emotional about these things, and grateful we should be that we are.  An absence of emotion about not only the course of our very lives but the way in which we’re allowed to live them is worthy of emotion.


But that isn’t a license to despair.  It isn’t a harbinger of the death of hope.


The news isn’t good.  That’s the bottom line.  We can wallow in self-pity that our choices have put us in this position or we can do something about it.  In this country, one person has the power and authority of one.  That goes from the top down and from the bottom up.  If you’re not exercising your share of that authority, then don’t complain.  Do something about it.


It’s easy to get bogged down in feeling small and helpless.  It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed that you give up, toss up your hands and then bury your head in the sand.  But here’s the thing.  Sooner or later you have to lift your head.  And when you do, you’ll have had no part in what you see there.  If you’re an American, you have a vote.  Use it.  You have freedom to express your opinion and have your voice heard by the leaders you elect–they do work for you.  Use it.




Whether you’re talking about your country, your city or your home, adults, you’re the leaders.  Take control, set the example, do the right thing because it’s the right thing.  Take responsibility, exercise discipline, be fiscally responsible–and insist that your public leaders do so as well.  Let them hear from you–often.


The best you can do for yourself, your kids, your family and home, your city and state and country is to take personal responsibility for yourself, your actions and deeds.  In doing so, you become a living example.  Not just one that spouts platitudes, but a person of substance who lives their convictions.


Right now, to be totally blunt, we lack true leaders.  We lack those who embrace traditions and values and ethics and responsibility and self-discipline and respect.


But if we are or become or strive to be better at those things, if we remember our roots, the source of our rights and afford respect and proper positioning of those critical things in our lives, we will resolve many issues.


The fix for our ails begins at home.  In your home and in mine. Seize the reins, take control, and do what’s right.  So what if it’s not popular or you’re ridiculed for it?  You’re being ridiculed anyway.  Every time you swallow another mouthful of that which violates what you stand for, you’re silently ridiculed.  And self-ridiculed because you knew it was coming, and you didn’t stand up.


I realize this is long, and I apologize for that.  But as I said at the beginning, my mailbox has been flooded and the phone’s been just as busy.


Repeatedly we hear, “but these are complex issues.  The answers aren’t that simple.”


They are that simple.  The issues are complex, not impossible to resolve.  They’re intricate but not difficult if your moral compass is intact.  You want solutions and to resolve them?  Then choose to do so.  Let the change begin with you.


Focus not on the problem but on the solution.  Once identified and understood, continuing to harp on the problem doesn’t do anything to fix the problem.  It’s the same for those who’ve suffered and never get past it.


Not minimizing their challenges, but in constantly reliving the past, we’re stealing momentum from our futures and we’re certainly not seeing the good in our present, or addressing what we need to address.


The saving grace in all that’s wrong is that there’s a lot right.  So long as we have life, we have the opportunity to shift and make different choices.  We can choose to change.  We can start today to embrace those things we want present in our lives.  We can shun those things we don’t want in our lives, too.


If we stumble and fall, it’s okay.  We can choose to embrace or shun again tomorrow.  We can learn and grow and make change upon change and choice upon choice day after day after day.


You see, America was built in such ways.  Americans have defined America in such ways.


It isn’t making the wrong choice that hurts us.  We try and fail our way to success all the time.


It is indifference that is the greatest danger to us and to our country.  Taking our gifts of freedom and liberty for granted.  Blindly following like mindless sheep.  Considering what is happening too boring, too annoying, too much trouble to care.  We skip speeches that impact our daily lives to escape into a game or a movie.  I love movies and games, too.  But I live my life before and after them so priorities must be set.  How they are set is our choice.  Life is messy.  Sometimes, very messy.  But it is our life, and if we don’t like the mess, we can clean it up–and watch the ripples.


From personal experience and investment, that is the best advice I have to offer.

Start at home, not in the building, but inside you, where the real you lives.  Do what you can do, identifying what most matters to you and then pray.  A lot.  Be lavish with it.


It isn’t necessary to be elaborate, just sincere and genuine.


One of the most valuable lessons that we forget to remember is that we’re bound by the natural world in which we live.  But those of us who believe are not bound by our own limitations.  We serve a God who knows no limits, has no boundaries, and He is with us always, in all we do and don’t do.  He’s there when we’re on top, enjoying success, and when we’re as low as we can get, our knees scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel.  When we’re lost in the darkness reaching blindly for a door to the light, He takes our hand, guides us.


We live in the natural.  But we serve the King of the Supernatural.  We have limits.  He has none.  And walking with Him, we can move mountains, alter our positions, our circumstances, face our fears, our shortcomings.  We can change our world.


We choose, dear ones.  We choose wisely or unwisely. We do our part as best we’re able and rely on and trust Him to do His part.  We fail.  He does not.

The bottom line in all things is that He gave us free will. That’s the freedom endowed by our Creator.


What we do with it is a different matter. Yet again, we choose. If our lives are messy.  Clean them up. How?


Grab a Bible and a broom.


It’s that complex.


And that simple.❖

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