how to instill in your children the importance of voting

Voting has always been an important part of our family’s heritage. My grandma, Nanie, was the trusted investigator for our entire extended family, which included five families, all with the same political leanings.

Months before the election, Nanie would thoroughly investigate to determine which candidates in all of the races, from local, to state, to federal, espoused our same belief system in the things that were important to our families. My mom and dad showed my siblings and me the importance of voting, as neither ever missed an election and a chance to exercise their freedom and privilege of voting.

So how do we model the importance of voting to our children or grandchildren?

  • It’s never too early. From an early age, let your children go with you when you vote, if possible. My girls, from the time they were in our double baby-jogger stroller, accompanied me to the voting venue.
  • Express your beliefs and values with your children. Discuss the criticality of voting for those who share your morals and beliefs. What’s most important to you? Where do you stand on life vs. abortion? The Second Amendment? Religious liberties? Taxes? The role of government? What type of candidate do you want to see in the role of leadership? Why?
  • Encourage your children to ask questions. When they are adults, they will have their own opinions, but you can set the foundation for the values you hope they will emulate.
  • Don’t shy away from the hard questions. Your kids are growing up in an increasingly difficult and hostile world. Things we’ve never seen before have suddenly become commonplace. Don’t be afraid to open up the lines of communication, especially with tweens and teens.
  • Go over the sample ballot with them. Our local newspaper prints a sample ballot each election year. Our family sits at the dining room table and discusses the objectives of the candidates, based on public forums, debates, and their websites. Our daughters weigh in on who they would vote for if given the chance.
  • Engage in a mock election. When I taught Constitutional Literacy at our local homeschool co-op three years ago, we had a mock election on everything from the president to the city council. We conducted it like a real election – discussing the candidates’ views on the hot-button issues. Each of my students voted in private. We then tallied the scores and watched in coming weeks to see how closely they resembled the real outcome.
importance of voting 2.png

Modeling truth and aligning your beliefs with the Word of God is critical. When your children are grown, they will make their own decisions. What they choose is not up to you, but how you give them the tools to make the right choices is.

Nanie still thoroughly investigates all the candidates and gives us updates, although now her five children, 11 adult grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren (eight of whom are adults) all live spread throughout the United States. I’m thankful for the time she took then and now to ensure we knew the importance of voting.

Other posts on this blog you may enjoy:

the importance of voting

14 things for girls to consider before dating

why I’m proud to be an American

6 suggestions for getting through the rough times of life

what’s in a name?

proud to be an American

proud to be an american

Our country is definitely in turmoil.

Things have changed radically in a short amount of time. But as we celebrate the Fourth of July – Independence Day – it gives me pause to remember that no matter what has happened, no matter how divisive our country has become, I am still – and will always be – proud to be an American.

I’m still proud to wave Old Glory in its permanent place on the front of my house. I’m still honored to say that I am a resident of a country that was founded on principles of freedom that has a history of patriots giving their all for a noble cause. Some of those patriots paid the ultimate price. I’m still filled with gratitude when I remember that some who sacrificed are my own relatives who came back with scars and permanent disabilities after fighting to keep us free. May their sacrifices never be in vain.

Yes, we live in challenging times. My girls are growing up in a country that is substantially different from the one in which I grew up in. But there is still so much good in our nation if we are willing to look for it, instead of listening to those who would seek to destroy our country both from within and from the outside. There is still so much to fight for. So much worth uniting for and preserving. So much worth praying for.

This is truly the land that I love.

When my great-great grandparents arrived at Ellis Island from Sweden in the early 1900s, they made the right choice to take a chance on this new land of freedom and opportunity.

“My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty”…may God continue to “shed His grace on thee”.

Happy Fourth of July. Have a blessed and safe weekend!

4th of July 1

 

Other posts on this blog you may enjoy:

every life is valuable

tiny miracles

Why I’m proud to be an American

16 must-haves for your next camping adventure

every life is valuable

every life

In recent days, I have been deeply saddened by the turn of events in our country.

Those who know me well know that I am a Christian, a conservative who strongly supports religious freedom, the Second Amendment, and the value of life. I am the granddaughter of a former police officer and the relative of numerous veterans who fought for our country. What happened to George Floyd is awful and the officers responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But the horrific and violent protests will not bring him back.

As disturbing as Floyd’s death was, we as a society need to realize there cannot be a double standard on life’s value. Every life is valuable. Every. Single. One. Including:

The 245 million Christians who are persecuted every year (and 4,136 killed every year for their faith).

The 40 million babies who are aborted each year.

The approximately 4.8 million women and children who are sex-trafficked each year.

Want to know whose lives are important? The elderly, the young, the disabled, the blind, deaf, mentally ill, chubby, slim, couch potatoes, athletic people, the ugly, the attractive, the poor, the rich, the homeless, police officers, military personnel, stay-at-home-moms, white collar, blue collar, and everyone in between.

All life is valuable. All shades of life (and yes, I have friends in every shade) are valuable. Why? Because all life is precious to God. Priceless to a Creator who made us in His own image. Who gave His Son for us.

There is no life that is more valuable than any other.

all live is valuable

 

Happy Memorial Day!

May we never forget the ones who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy. Please take a moment to pray for those who have lost someone in service to our great country.

Memorial Day 2.png

Movie Monday: Indivisible

Movie Monday indivisible

Darren and Heather have a picture-perfect marriage. They are both committed to each other, to their children, and to the Lord.

Michael and Tonya are struggling in their marriage and have been for some time. Michael has anger issues and ignores Tonya on a regular basis.

One day, both Darren and Michael, as well as two other secondary characters in the movie, receive orders to deploy to Iraq. Darren will be deploying as a chaplain and for the first time; Michael and the other characters as soldiers.

Darren came back from Iraq a different man.

Michael came back from Iraq a different man.

One for the better, one for the worse.

What happens in Iraq changes both men forever. Darren sees things, experiences things, and faces loss that he’s never experienced before his deployment.

Can a couple with a strong faith rely on God to get them through a crisis in their marriage?

Can a couple of the brink of failure allow God to intervene?

Indivisible_FinalPoster.jpg

Indivisible is a touching story of faith, love, and patriotism. It details the realities of war, the difficulties our soldiers and their families face, and tackles the difficult topic of PTSD. While I have a grandpa who served in WWII and the Korean War; a father-in-law who served in WWII, and a cousin who served in Iraqi Freedom, I didn’t realize the extent to which our faithful servicemen and women give of themselves – their sacrifices – to keep or great nation free.

There is nothing objectionable in the movie; however, there are some scary parts that would frighten younger children.

Indivisible is based on a true story, and is one you’ll want to watch more than once. I give it a strong five out of five stars and highly recommend it for age 12 and older.

 

Why I’m proud to be an American

In the early 1900s, my great-grandparents arrived at Ellis Island from Sweden as children.

What must they have thought as they neared the shores of their new homeland? Their entire lives were ahead of them.

Lives of freedom.

They and their parents went through the proper channels to become legal citizens, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I’m grateful that I come from a long line of patriotic Americans. As such, it made me stop and think of why I am grateful and truly proud to be an American.

  1. Freedom. Freedom to worship my wonderful Savior, freedom to attend church without fear of persecution, freedom to go where I wish, wear what I want, and eat my favorite foods (even if they are not always the healthy variety!) all without giving it a second thought. So many in other countries will never know these freedoms. praying
  2. Foundation. Our Founding Fathers shaping and forming our great country with a   Judeo-Christian foundation.
  3. Gratitude. My grandfather, father-in-law, and a cousin are all veterans, who fought to keep our freedoms. My other cousin and an uncle are/were in the military stateside. So many others give sacrificially of their lives so we may enjoy the freedoms we embrace today. veteran
  4. Beauty. Whether it be the tallest mountains covered in pines, the sagebrush-covered deserts, the farmlands, or the prairies, America has scenery for just about everyone and every taste. farmland
  5. Individuality. I don’t have to be like everyone else. And no one else has to be like me. In America, we are individuals, each with our own ideas, opinions, likes and dislikes. At the end of the day, what bonds is us our patriotic love for our country.
  6. Voting. What a wonderful freedom to be able to vote for who I want to represent my country – from the city council members, to the county commissioners, state representatives, governor, and the President of the United States. I’ve taken my daughters with me every year from an early age so they can see the importance of voting. As they have heard me say, “you can’t complain about who represents us if you didn’t vote.”abrahan lincoln
  7. Dream. In the United States of America, I am free to dream. Free to dream of my future, my children’s future, and my grandchildren’s futures.
  8. Water. And not just any type of water, but clean water. May I never take for granted the ability to grab a glass of water from the tap or to take a shower.  water

May we always show gratitude for the many blessings we have in our country, and may we remember those who have fought and continue to fight for America’s freedoms.

flag