Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Passionless Patriot


The Fourth of July is just a few days away. We're all going downtown on the third to attend our city's big fireworks, which we've never done before. We'll be at an event hosted by the hospital foundation -- Doug's employer. It should be a good time (for the kids anyway -- I'd rather be on my sofa with some colorful cotton yarn and a good old movie). We're having family over on the Fourth -- a big spread of food and (if I know my husband) about 2 hours worth of fireworks that may or may not bring the city police to our house.

I'm having some difficulty, however, summoning any feeling whatsoever for this holiday. I love seeing family, and I'm glad for the opportunity for my kids to enjoy a truly huge (professional) fireworks display, but I'm not at all feeling patriotic. I feel rather poopy about the whole thing, to be honest. Am I alone here?

In the last six months, there's been change, change and more change, but I don't believe that I have heard of one accomplishment from this administration that I have been pleased with. Not one. That's awfully hard to believe, considering how many changes have been made. In fact, I mentioned to my husband the other day that I would like to find a temporary residence, out of the country, for the next four years (how 'bout a villa in Italy?). Believe me, if we were wealthy, that would be a serious possibility. I'm not normally one to get going when the going gets tough, but I'm feeling veerrry helpless these days. It seems as though changes are being made single-handedly with no goals being met except "The Ones." Does it not seem as though we have all been transported to a different time and place? Wasn't our country created in such a way as to prevent that from happening? How can so many mindless people be in one place at one time? No one in Washington apparently has their own mind, or any guts.

It feels like the life is being sucked from our independence. The principles upon which our founding fathers created this nation appear to be trampled like flowers on a playground. Sadly, I'm not certain Americans today know how to fight for freedom. We've always had it. We're like frogs set on the stove in a pot of cool water. Slowly it's being brought to a boil, but not fast enough for us to feel the heat. We haven't felt a threat great enough to cause action -- maybe because we don't know what to look for.

So sorry to be a downer today. I don't mean to pollute your patriotism. Just wondering if I'm all alone here at my pity party. I think if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he might party with me.

"I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive." -- Thomas Jefferson



  1. Well, I don't have anything to say to cheer you up but just wanted to share what someone shared with me the other day. The frog metaphor isn't really true. A frog, gradually heated in a pot, will get more and more active and will try to jump out! I like to look at my children and my friends' children and have hope for the future.

  2. I'm glad to hear that frog doesn't just sit there and get boiled! Maybe there is hope for us after all. At some point we're going to get moving!

  3. You are certainly not alone in how you feel, Barbara. I have been meditating on this upcoming holiday, too, and it just feels different this year ... I am not happy about the direction this country is going, and I feel helpless about what to do. We can pray, that is certain. And never give up on what we believe in and always stay true to the founding principles of our country. Even if it doesn't feel like we're making a difference, we are in the sight of the ONE who matters most. God bless you!

  4. Barbara, I don't have any words of cheer for you either. I just wanted to let you know you're not alone in your feelings. In my heart I *know* my family has much to be thankful for but I just can't muster up the excitement, passion and joy for this holiday.

  5. Sarah, You are so right. And He will be my star this Fourth!

    Michelle, I think fear is overshadowing my gratitude. Thank you for sharing your feelings -- I think we're in the same boat (and I'd gladly move over for you, honey).

  6. First time commentor here.

    Among those I know, you are not alone. We, especially us moms, see and hear what Washington is up to and it does break ours hearts. But not our souls. Our hope lies with Him in Heaven. Until then all I can offer you is prayers for peace in your heart but, also prayers for our children. They will see more of this in their day then we will.

    A very good friend, priest of ours has told us in very direct words. We will see more suffering. He sees this as a good thing though. Our hope lies with Him.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    God bless,

  7. I'm thankful that I'm not one of the blind ones, yeah? Christ is our only hope.

    That said, we were discussing the 4th and what we'll do for our first in HI. Nothing beats the celebrations of when I was a child and I am not certain I can give the kind of memories I have to my own children . . . but I'm trying. When I was a kid, there was the hoopla of the booths (sellers, painters, food), the parade and the grilled salmon, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and ice cream. Then, of course, the family fireworks. Some years we bothered to mingle w/ the crowds on the beach (Bainbridge Island) and watch the fireworks put on by Ivars in Seattle.

    We think we'll have fantastic food of some sort, and, watch (from the beach a few blocks away) the fireworks here. It's a start. For me, we may just try to have a day where we don't let in or out any negativity.

    I may even have a glass of wine.

  8. You know, we've never been a big fourth of july family, but I do like to think about what this country was founded upon--freedom, especially religious freedom. Reading the declaration of independence is always a good thing to do, and a good reminder that no matter how much "Change" we had so far, there are still certain truths that are "self evident" and "unalienable."

  9. Frankly, I prefer to keep my opinion of this country's politics as far away from my "partying" as possible.

    You've heard, perhaps, about Minnesota's brand new senator?

    I rest my case.

    That said, I love our country with all my heart and we should not let a bad politician (or two, or a hundred) sour us on who we are in Him.

    Now pass the hot dogs & beer and let's get started! :)

  10. PS. And providentially, the 4th falls on a First Saturday this year. What a great excuse to get to Mass.

  11. Somehow I have never associated celebrations of the Fourth of July with the politics in D. C. I think of it as a holiday to thank God for this country and to enjoy summer. That said, I must agree that I can see the evil on the horizon. It's very close now. We will have to choose whether to follow our Faith or submit to the lunacy. That means there will be great suffering for us. We will "weep for ourselves and for our children," but we will pray too. Perhaps it's all we can do but the rosary is the great weapon of our Blessed Mother and we should use it.

    Thank you for giving voice to your feelings on this situation, Barbara. We shouldn't hold back on our concerns. In fact, it would be un-American to do so. ;)

  12. Oh! I forgot to say I agree with Margaret and I'm gathering my husband and children to go to Mass in the morning.

  13. I have the same feelings that you all have, but I am not going to let this bring me down. Those who I know who were excited for the "change" are now starting to realize what the "change" is really about. I know that there are still many who stand by all of this craziness, they are the ones we need to talk with and pray that their eyes finally become opened.

    With God all things are possible.... Happy 4th everyone!

  14. And let's not forget we need to get involved in politics and not let these people take over our country and children. It is so easy to sit back and let someone else fight the fight. There are no do overs.

  15. Elizabeth,
    Thanks for pausing to comment. Our hope is in Him and in heaven. And I continually remind myself that I am first a child of God, a Catholic, and then I am American.

    Childhood Fourths were without worry, weren't they? Have a good one. Cheers!

    Emily, Those truths that are self-evident are the ones being trampled upon, don't you think? It's just so frustrating.

    All true, it's just the abundance of bad politicians that gets me down. How can there be so many in one place at the same time? Maybe it's a disappointment in mankind in general that I am feeling.

    I have never before associated politics with the Fourth. It's the direction and the alarming speed at which we are moving that has me worried.

    Amy, I too "hope" that the "change" will be recognized for what it is before it's too late.

    It's so frustrating to fight when your cries fall on deaf ears. Don't you think? Does anyone in politics really care what their constituents think?

  16. Barb...you are not alone...and that's all I'm saying.

    For now.

    God bless you and God bless America!

    We sorely need it...

  17. not alone. at all.

    very sad and scary. seems history is repeating itself - hitler style. and that freaks me out. some people i speak to really help me see what our Catholic role is here, and that puts me at ease... but as soon as i'm back in the comfort of home and i click on all *THOSE* emails [you know the ones] - or see those Youtube videos, i sink back into "oh no" mode. i get very angry at all the stupid leftists. and they are. stupid. havent a brain of their own.

    I know we have to pray and pray for conversion for our prez... but it's all out of obligation, it's not heartfelt -- it's very difficult. but i think that will suffice.

    May God have mercy on our blessed country. and we are blessed. we just need everyone to rmbr that.

    anyway, happy 4th!

  18. Oh, thank you for giving voice to my exact feelings. This isn't my country anymore. I also feel like having a temporary residence somewhere else. This will be an interminable 4 years. The first 150 days seems like a year. I have no energy for fireworks and celebration, although I will be attending a family party for the event and in part because my border patrol son is in town on leave. I thank God for that good news in my life. Knitting and a movie sound more my speed though if he wasn't here. Thanks for letting me cry out my feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

  19. I'm with you. Wish I had some comforting words...it really is challenging to be "in the world but not of the world," isn't it?

  20. Kimberly, Thanks. It's good to "see" you.

    Shelly, Yes, it is hard to have heartfelt prayers when you don't feel there is any hope for them.

    I will remember your son in my prayers. Enjoy your time together.

    Barb, you are so right. We have to keep our eyes above -- it is a constant battle.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!