Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This article is the most read piece on Yahoo! news this morning.
Last night I heard someone tell the most ugly, racist joke that I've heard in a long while.
And then I read this in the paper this morning:
Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate — one of the highest honors and privileges of my life — I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation’s next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.
More than two decades ago, I arrived in Illinois as a young man eager to do my part in building a better America. On the South Side of Chicago, I worked with families who had lost jobs and lost hope when the local steel plant closed. It wasn’t easy, but we slowly rebuilt those neighborhoods one block at a time, and in the process I received the best education I ever had. It’s an education that led me to organize a voter registration project in Chicago, stand up for the rights of Illinois families as an attorney and eventually run for the Illinois state Senate.
It was in Springfield, in the heartland of America, where I saw all that is America converge — farmers and teachers, businessmen and laborers, all of them with a story to tell, all of them seeking a seat at the table, all of them clamoring to be heard. It was there that I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst. Later, when I made the decision to run for the United States Senate, the core decency and generosity of the American people is exactly what I saw as I traveled across our great state — from Chicago to Cairo; from Decatur to Quincy.
I still remember the young woman in East St. Louis who had the grades, the drive and the will but not the money to go to college. I remember the young men and women I met at VFW halls across the state who serve our nation bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I will never forget the workers in Galesburg who faced the closing of a plant they had given their lives to, who wondered how they would provide health care to their sick children with no job and little savings.
Stories like these are why I came to Illinois all those years ago, and they will stay with me when I go to the White House in January. The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them. For throughout my years in Illinois, I have heard hope as often as I have heard heartache. Where I have seen struggle, I have seen great strength. And in a state as broad and diverse in background and belief as any in our nation, I have found a spirit of unity and purpose that can steer us through the most troubled waters.
It was long ago that another son of Illinois left for Washington. A greater man who spoke to a nation far more divided, Abraham Lincoln, said of his home, “To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.” Today, I feel the same, and like Lincoln, I ask for your support, your prayers, and for us to “confidently hope that all will yet be well.”With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.
Please pray for the safety and security of our President-elect and his family.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sorry I've been lax in updating my blog over the last couple of weeks. Between our middle child's 4th birthday, Nana Lizzie visiting for almost a week, parent/teacher conferences, Veteran's Day, Session meetings, I've been running, running, running.
Baby D turned 11 months old this week. He is *about* to start walking. Another sign that he is my 3rd child? I'm okay with him waiting a few more weeks to take those first steps. The kid is so darn tall and I'm not ready for him to have access to that much more of the house.
Lily turned 4 last weekend. She says she is not "widdle" any longer -- she is a "biggie biggie". I say anyone who still says widdle is still pretty widdle. She disagrees. Touché.
Thomas went to the pediatric dentist this week. He has "shark" teeth growing behind his first row of baby teeth. This means that three of his adult teeth have grown in without the baby teeth falling out. If they don't fall out within the next two months, the dentist will extract them. Poor guy.
Brett is right in the busiest point in his semester -- grading papers, exams and quizzes. He is also speaking at yet another conference next week. He will not be teaching so many classes in the spring, which might allow him to actually get some writing done on his dissertation.
I'm in the thick of preparation for advent, the launch of our new parish nursing program, and trying to do family things like ordering Christmas cards and purchasing gifts. Thank goodness for the internet.
I'm taking Thanksgiving week off -- which means I will not be at Big Church for the first Sunday of Advent. I did this last year and it was good to have a break before the Christmastime madness begins. A dear friend is coming for Thanksgiving again this year, which I am also looking forward to.
Well, we are expecting our first snow of the year tomorrow and we are heading to a Presbytery meeting. The fun never stops! I hope everyone is doing well. Happy 40th birthday to Mike!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
BABY D IS TOO LITTLE TO VOTE! MAKE SURE YOU RAISE YOUR VOICE FOR ALL OF OUR CHILDREN! CHANGE WE DO BELIEVE IN!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
- The kids and I lived through Halloween together. Brett is off gallivanting around Chicago (okay, he's presenting a paper at the AAR). Thankfully, GGF was here and helped corral my kiddos.
- One of the true saints of God died this morning. A life-long member of Big Church and former moderator of the presbytery, we will be preparing for a BIG service on Wednesday.
- I am nervous for Election Day. Brett and I already voted, as he will be flying home from the AAR on Tuesday. I pray that gracious, good behavior occurs on all sides. 'Nuf said.
- Baby D is about to walk. He can stand on his own, but then freaks out when he realizes what he is doing and plonks down on his diapered bottom. He is adorable.
- Lily's 4th b-day is coming up on Saturday. Nana Lizzie is flying in for the occasion. Much excitement and anticipation -- the thing she seems most jazzed about? Well, the kiddie vitamins we use allow two vitamin gummy bears per day at age 4.
- I love that it is 75 degrees on November 2 here in the Midwest. How nice!
- Happy 2 year anniversary to GGF! She has been installed as the pastor at Little Church in the Shadows of the Desert for two full years. Wish her the best by purchasing her new book -- City of Prayer...
- That's all I've got for now. Yay for Daylight Savings Time -- now I am only one hour ahead of AZ!