Too Big For Me

I got pregnant with my first born when I was barely twenty years old. She is now coming up on her 25th birthday this spring and is older than I was when I got pregnant with her. We were chatting the other day about adult life and how different things are when you’re on your own – as she has recently moved into her own place and has a full time job and does all of that “adulting” kind of thing now. She is far from wanting to become a mother, which relieves me. I want her to enjoy her twenties and have the freedom to do some of the things that I was “UNregrettably” unable to do.

 

She asked me: “What made you think you could do it? You know, raise a child?”

My answer: “I didn’t. I didn’t think I could do it. But the alternative was not an option for me. I knew I’d have to figure it out as I went.”

 

As any parent of any age will tell you – you’re never prepared for parenthood. Raising a child is something we only learn to do by doing and even in that, it’s all trial and error and laughter and tears and praying to God we get it right.

 

How often in life do we find ourselves in situations that we feel unprepared for, lacking the required skill-set, the finances, and all the other means to get the job done? If you’re like me, more times than you can count. Every time we experience growth in our lives it’s because we got put in a situation that was uncomfortable, that required us to stretch ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically.

 

At the age of twenty, I experienced my first “really big” situation of being more than uncomfortable, downright scared to death but knowing that I had to find it within myself to figure out how to make it work. It seemed like the birth of my daughter was the first of many scary, get-ready-to grow situations. After awhile, you learn that these are the kinds of situations that, if you embrace them, will leave you better off than they found you.

 

But to be totally honest, I can’t say that I always have that mentality with the first sign of an impending new situation that looks awfully uncomfortable and pretty scary. I wish I could tell you that every time I encounter one of these situations I say “bring it on!” right at the onset but that’s typically not what happens.

 

First is the fear. The fear of the unknown. The fear of being incapable and unqualified. The fear that whatever it is I’m facing is so much bigger than me and there’s no way I can handle it. And the truth is, I can’t. Not on my own. Not without God’s help and the people he places in my life. Then there’s the doubt – usually it sounds something like me asking God what he was thinking and letting him know he got the wrong girl. I have learned that God knows what he’s doing and if there’s a scary situation that he’s put me in, there’s a reason for it. I don’t even try to negotiate with him about it anymore. It never works anyway.

 

After allowing myself to feel the fear and doubt, I pull up my big girl pants and get ready to be uncomfortable for awhile. Most of the time in these situations we don’t know what we’re doing and we feel really inadequate but you know what? That’s okay, that’s the way we are supposed to feel. If we could do it by ourselves we wouldn’t need God and we wouldn’t need the people he sends to help us. We are not designed to be self-sufficient. Knowing this has helped me to accept my inadequacies and short comings. We don’t have to have it all figured out. In fact, we’re not supposed to have it all figured out.

 

A new year is guaranteed to bring new and likely, scary situations into our lives that feel way too big for us to handle. But that’s the idea. That’s life. That’s growth. Embrace the fear and the doubt and then believe that God will equip you with everything you need for whatever situation he brings your way.

I Pledge Allegiance

Conservative Ladies of Washington Meeting at North Fork Farms, October 2020

Today is “National Pledge of Allegiance Day”. It’s a day that reminds me how blessed we are to live in this great nation. When I think of the Pledge, I go back in time to those mornings when I was a young girl in school and we rose to say the Pledge before we started our school day. It’s just what we did. Do they even do that anymore? I think it depends on the teacher. I don’t know that every school does it in unison like they did “back in the day.” 

Today you can almost identify someone’s political leanings simply based on how they feel about the Pledge, the flag or the National Anthem. Isn’t that sad?! It’s not something that unites us as a nation as it once did. People use it as yet another means to divide us. 

Hundreds of thousands of men and women died so that we would be able to stand up and pledge allegiance to our beautiful American flag. Let us be the ones who are committed to honoring their sacrifice and continuing to teach our children, our grandchildren, the children playing in our neighborhoods, about what our flag means and what a privilege it is to STAND UP and pledge allegiance to our American Flag.

This was our first CLW large group event at North Fork Farms in Snoqualmie in October. We started the event with the Pledge. A room of approximately 100 lovely conservative, patriotic women, standing to honor our flag. What an amazing moment it was! This photo gives me so much encouragement for the future and inspiration to keep fighting together as Conservative Ladies of Washington for this great country. 

I look forward to standing with you in 2021. 


The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration. Today it reads:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Section 4 of the Flag Code states:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

The original Bellamy salute, first described in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who authored the original Pledge, began with a military salute, and after reciting the words “to the flag,” the arm was extended toward the flag.

At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.

The Youth’s Companion, 1892

Shortly thereafter, the pledge was begun with the right hand over the heart, and after reciting “to the Flag,” the arm was extended toward the Flag, palm-down.

In World War II, the salute too much resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout.

Source: The Pledge of Allegiance (ushistory.org)

The Time is Now

I was inspired by a video of Kirk Cameron leading a peaceful protest in California of thousands of people coming together to sing carols in celebration of Christmas. Cameron has been outspoken about what is going on in America for years now. It was awesome to see him use his platform to gather people together to stand up and fight for our rights to SING.

For so long we have relied on politicians to do their job as “civil servants” and more often than not, they let us down, they abuse their positions of power and we are left disappointed and discouraged. Over the last few weeks we have seen “the least of them” rise up in this fight for America – the fight to protect our Constitutional Rights…our GOD-given Rights.

Have you even been watching My Pillow guy, Mike Lindell? Wow! Every time I see this guy on video I just want to jump up and down and cheer. Is My Pillow guy going to be the ultimate fighter in this battle to save the Republic? Who woulda thought? You watch him – he has nothing to prove and nothing to lose. He puts it all on the line and it inspires me and gives me hope that ordinary Americans like you and me…and Mike Seaver (aka Kirk Cameron) are going to be the ones to save this country.

Friends, I share this today because as I watch this all unfold and play out on social media I feel so strongly that now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to share the information on your social media about the truth of what is going on in our country. I know it can be scary. I know you may be concerned about losing friends or colleagues. I get it. But we can share truthful information in a way that is simply presenting facts, not pointing fingers, not accusing and not starting debates.

We need to be a resource of truthful news.

julie Barrett

Many of the people in our social circles get their information from MSM sources and we all know that this information is FALSE! #FakeNews We need to be a resource of truthful news. You may be the only place that your Facebook friend sees an article from Epoch Times or The Federalist or Just The News from John Solomon. These are trusted sources and present information in a factual way.

As I watch social media and news outlets sharing information every day that reminds us – we don’t know who to trust anymore. One day some politician seems like a good guy/gal and the next day we learn that they’re a deceitful snake. It is discouraging and frustrating.  I know that NOW  is a critical time for us as “regular ‘ole citizens” to end our silence, to stand up and speak out – in TRUTH and LOVE.

You may be thinking you don’t have a role in saving our Republic, but you do. We each do. Sharing truth is what we have to do. If we don’t do it now, it’s going to be too late. I feel that we are being put to the test. We have sat in our silence for far too long and now is the time. Do we love this country? Are we willing to fight for our freedom?

The time is now.

Contentment is a Choice

Have you ever been stuck in a season of your life? And when I say “stuck”, I mean…it’s your own fault you are stuck in this season.

Maybe it is a season of grief, or depression. Maybe you lost a job or got divorced. Maybe you had an illness that caused life to stop right in its tracks and knocked you down for the count. I know I was stuck in a season for many years and I didn’t realize it at the time, but the reason I was stuck was ME.

You see, I went through a very traumatic season with my 4 children. And I allowed that experience and the events in my life that lead up to that season to define me. It was all I talked about. It was all I thought about. It was all I wrote about. For years!! Finally one day I realized, I was choosing to be stuck in this season. I wasn’t allowing myself (or anyone around me) to move on. And that day I realized that I had a choice in the matter, I stopped posting about it on social media. I stopped talking about it with my friends all the time. The thoughts took a bit longer, but eventually I realized this season wasn’t on my mind anymore.

And suddenly I found I was happier. I’m sure I was more fun to be around, after all, nobody wants to hang out with someone who is constantly hosting their own pity party.

Some days I wake up and I feel like America is stuck in a season. And I do mean STUCK! I want us to move forward with this election fraud stuff – like just get it out there and expose it already!! – and yet, it feels like it’s baby steps forward and big giant steps backwards. We Americans get stuck on certain topics and issues – they consume us and we want resolution. We want justice! And we’re not letting it go until we get it! As Conservative Ladies we’ll be happy when…Donald Trump is inaugurated once again. We’ll be happen when…the corrupt politicians receive justice. We’ll be happy when…the schools stop indoctrinating our children. I could go on and on.

It’s very easy to get nauseated on this emotional rollercoaster we’ve been riding for the last FOUR YEARS!! (The election is just the most recent issue) It’s easy to be discouraged and just tired of it all.

I was listening to Jack Hibbs on Sunday preaching a message titled, The Weary World Rejoices. We are weary but…we REJOICE! I loved this whole message so much but what really struck me was the scripture many of us know so well, Philippians 4:11-13

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to be abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:11-13

Friends, we have a CHOICE. We can live in contentment and joy if we choose. It’s available for us and God wants us to choose it. He wants us to live content regardless if Trump is in the White House or…nope, can’t bring myself to write it. We can choose to live in contentment even in a state like Washington that is not friendly to conservatives. If we can be content in this place and time, we can do the work that we are being called to do.

There is a huge sense of relief and freedom when we come to the realization that we don’t have to live in fear and anxiety but that we can rest in God’s peace and joy. He has a plan. It’s a GOOD plan. I sure would love to see it sooner than later, but that’s not up to me. And so I wait in contentment. I look around and see the amazing women in our Conservative Ladies of Washington group who have connected in 2020 and become such close friends…and I am filled with joy and gratitude. Our group is a beautiful example of blessings in a storm, of light in a dark season.

We can stay stuck in this season. We can let this chaos of 2020 define us or we can make the choice to be content.

We have so much work to do as conservatives – let’s not stay stuck!

 

Light Always Wins

Back in 2013 when I was walking through a particularly dark time in my life, one of my Facebook friends spoke John 1:5 over me as I was getting ready for a court hearing.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Light always wins.

That’s what he told me. I was not a believer at that time in my life, but I was desperate for any shred of hope over my situation. And so I grabbed onto this scripture and this phrase and have clutched it to my heart ever since that spring day in 2013.

I was listening to Lance Wallnau on a Facebook live this week and he was sharing a video from Stephen Bannon’s War Room Pandemic show earlier in the day. The theme that kept coming to me through all the different things that were being shared by both the Bannon team and Lance Wallnau was none other than “light always wins.”

I remember the days during that very long, dark season that a positive outcome seemed impossible. I was truly hopeless. The cool thing about God is that he allows for us to go through these dark, impossible seasons because it’s only then that we are able to see that victory was ONLY GOD. We get the privilege of clearly seeing the miracle of God. And these past victories provide us an opportunity to look back on God’s goodness and realize…YES, HE CAN!

Our past victories provide us an opportunity to look back on God’s goodness and realize…YES, HE CAN!

julie barrett

That is awesome! Looking back on the amazing things God has done – big and small – remind me today that God’s glory is displayed best when we see things as impossible. When we come to the end of ourselves is when God is able to do His greatest work. And that gives me so much HOPE.

Back in 2013 when I was going through a dark season that lasted several years, I wasn’t a believer and what I didn’t have was HOPE. My friends, being hopeless is the absolute worst condition for a human being. Without hope we have nothing. And in my hopeless condition, I did not want to continue living. Yes, I said that. I was truly at the bottom of a dark pit and I couldn’t see a way out. BUT GOD!

I don’t say it lightly – God literally rescued me from the bottom of a pit. I know we’ve all had our seasons of darkness. Some of them longer or shorter, and some of them darker than others. When we look back and see that even during that darkness that light of hope was still there. Maybe it was a just tiny spark – a tiny bit of light – but that is all God needs. Faith the size of a mustard seed.

This season in America is dark. The evil is very real and it’s heavy. We are feeling it in so many ways. We are fatigued mentally, emotionally and maybe even spiritually. We can’t wrap our minds around the amount of chaos that’s going on in our world. It’s coming at us every day from many different directions and it feels like we live in the “upside down.” And yet, I have this sense of calm…that peace that passes understanding. Because I know…

God is up to something BIG. I don’t know what it is but I know it’s going to be a miracle so great the whole world says…ONLY GOD! This mess is so big that ONLY GOD can rescue us.

We have to continue this fight, this battle on our knees. And we can rest in the peace that LIGHT ALWAYS WINS. Be encouraged, my friends, God is going to show up “bigly!”

The Strategy of Fatigue

By Janis Kristiansen, Contributing Writer

Are you tired of all this election stuff? Political ads? Conflict? Tired of the noise? And are you just waiting until it will go back to “normal” and we can get on with our lives?

Maybe the vaccine will calm people’s fears enough so the restaurants, bars, and gyms can reopen, and we can get back to “normal”.

It seems like every election year lasts a long time, and so many people get tired of it and just hold on until the storm passes and things can return to “normal”.

Have you noticed how the governor just keeps saying “three more weeks”. Just a little longer, just a little bit more time. And then, oh no, more “data” has come out, which no one really gets to see or understand, and oopsie, we “are all in this together” and we need “30 more days” and a little bit more time, and then “we” will reassess the situation and see then if the state can be reopened.

This is the Strategy of Fatigue.

Reading the Declaration of Independence, that short but potent document, what brought the American colonists to revolt in July of 1776 was “a long train of abuses and usurpations,”……as a “design to reduce them under absolute Despotism”. Great Britain sent them tyranny and burdens over the Atlantic over a long period of time.

The King of Great Britain “called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures”, quoting the Declaration of Independence again.

The King also “refused for a long time” after more attempts, “to cause others to be elected” to offer representation and protection from the “dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within”.

After trying to address these abuses through reasonable and respectable means, and getting nothing but more abuses from the tyrant in Great Britain, the colonists revolted. They were tired, but realized what was at stake. They wanted freedom. That’s why all of them had made the treacherous and dangerous trip over the Atlantic to get to the new world. They were now not going to let the king take what they were working for, their freedom.

Fatigue is a weapon corrupt leaders can use to oppress the people with very little effort or energy on their part.

Janis Kristiansen

The strategy of fatigue is frequently used by corrupt and tyrannical leaders to wear the people down, so they will get tired, give up, and give in to the tyranny just because they are tired. This strategy has been used for thousands of years, and is designed to reduce people into compliance.

Fatigue is a weapon corrupt leaders can use to oppress the people with very little effort or energy on their part. These despots, while they are abusing their power at the helm, are just waiting for fatigue to run it’s course and the citizenry give up.

For the 16 years my husband was in the WA State House, this strategy was used almost every year. 18 to 23- hours of floor action at the end of session, committee meetings lasting all day because it was a “high priority”, and sessions that were scheduled to conclude in April went deep into the summers. Somehow they frequently needed a “special session” even though every year at the beginning of session they knew what was on the calendar for each and every day of the session.

This reminds me of kids, knowing when the school homework assignment is due, don’t do it, and then plead with the teacher and the parents that they just need a little more time, fatiguing everyone involved.

Putting legislators and staffers through endless meetings with no clear goals in sight, or goals that were constantly shifting and moving which were impossible to ascertain, this was the strategy of fatigue in full view.

We cannot give into the fatigue! We cannot give up! We must continue to tell the truth, wisely conserve our energy and use it only for where it is needed, band together, and continue to stand up for the freedoms and liberties in this nation that we are close to losing.

This is your call to action, even though we are tired. Don’t give up! Get the rest you need, trim your life to the essentials, make time to be a student of American history, and band together with us for 2021 as we give the call to action to be the light in our nation.

What is the first call to action? Read the Declaration of Independence. I recently did. I timed my self and it took 8 minutes.

Standing with you!

Janis

I’m On America’s Side

Politics.

To be honest, it’s never been something I’ve been interested in. Like…at all. No thanks. Not interested in the slightest.

The first time I voted was in 2004 at the age of 29 because I wanted to vote for Dino Rossi as Washington Governor. And I voted for John Kerry for president. That was it. Oh wait, and Rob McKenna for Washington AG…because I was working for an organization that had a PAC and did a lot with politics for business. I was the VP of Finance (don’t ask…if you know me, you know that’s probably the job I am least suited for)

And then I was mad. Dino Rossi won the first count, the second count, but by the time we got around to a THIRD recount, Gregoire managed to eek out the win. And I was done. Something smelled rotten and I didn’t want any part of it. I felt like my vote didn’t count and my time had been wasted.

And then 2015 came. I was in Spokane when Donald Trump came to town. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him. At that point in time, I thought the idea of Trump as president was laughable but made for interesting news anyway. It drew me into the presidential race of 2016. And then I saw it all…all the Hillary Clinton mess. I saw what was going on in the democrat party and it scared me. It scared me as a patriotic American who just wanted to be left alone to live my life and provide for my family and enjoy our freedoms. It scared me as a mother. For the first time ever, I became scared of the future of America for the sake of my children and my future grandchildren.

The corruption was obvious, even to a “non political” person like myself. You couldn’t “unsee it.” The lying, which wasn’t new of course, was now blatantly obvious, on display for all Americans to see…whether they chose to or not.

More disturbing than the lying was watching the 2016 election cycle realizing, the democrats weren’t just going to “live and let live.” I could see the agenda they wanted to push on my children, my family. That scared me.

 As I tuned into Donald Trump’s rallies, I was drawn in by his love for this country. He was unfiltered and abrasive and, to be honest, it was a refreshing change from the politicians that were very scripted and inauthentic. It seemed like it was the perfect time to bring a political outsider into the White House.

Here we are in 2020 and I’m leading a group called Conservative Ladies of Washington. The last few weeks I have done a lot of reflecting about where we are as a nation as well as my vision for this organization. I am not a “political” person. CLW is not a “political” group. This organization doesn’t align with a party, we align on values and issues. We are Americans who may not always agree or see eye to eye on things but can have love and respect for one another regardless.

I don’t believe that “conservative” and “republican” are synonymous. I am sad that there are many within the republican party that do not uphold what I consider to be republican values. It frustrates me to see the “dirty politics” in every party…because I wish that all people in public office should truly be serving “FOR the people”. So where does that leave a gal like me?

I love America. I want to be free to make decisions for my children. I don’t want the government telling me what I can and cannot do.

Julie Barrett

I love America. I want to be free to make decisions for my children. I don’t want the government telling me what I can and cannot do. If I feel like opening a business, I want to be able to open a business. If I want to conceal carry a firearm, I want to be able to do that too. I want to go to church and sing….and sing LOUD (sorry to those around me). I want to pray on the steps of city hall. I want to decide if I will take a vaccine or not. I want the lives of unborn babies protected…because I know that an unplanned life can be God’s greatest gift (she is 24 now and while I did not plan her, God sure did!) I want the saving of the women and children who are sex trafficked all over this country and world to be a priority.

These don’t seem like right versus left issues. And yet here we are: American-loving women like me and maybe you, too, who now have no choice but to stand up and fight. I don’t want to be “political”. The word itself seems to carry such a negative connotation because we have watched for so long as people in politics did not do the right thing. Is that too much to ask? We don’t want to be political, we just want people to do the right thing.

As I continue to put together our Conservative Ladies of Washington  mission statement and defining what a “conservative lady” is, I realize that it’s not about party lines. It’s not about republican or democrat. It’s not right verses left. It’s about God. It’s about being in alignment with God’s plan. It’s about community and connection. It’s encouraging each other to be the strong, courageous woman we were designed to be.

And as each party calls for “unity”, I realize there is really only one way for us to truly have unity, and that’s through the Good News of Jesus Christ. Unity is about winning souls for Jesus. And I am so glad to have such a wonderful group of ladies – whether you are a “believer” or not – on this journey, during this amazing time in our nation’s history.

Give Thanks…And Fight for FREEDOM

In a year that feels like the “upside down”, I’d say that 2020 has made me acutely more aware of the blessings in my life and the things that I have taken for granted. It’s been easy to get discouraged this year, no doubt about it. As I look back, though, I see blessings and abundance in a way that I didn’t before.

I’ve always taken my freedom for granted. I guess I felt like it was a “birth right.” I was born an American citizen and freedom is all I know. I can go to church. I can say what I want. I can own a gun and use it to protect myself. I can pray to my God on the steps of city hall. I’ve always been “grateful” for the men and women who fought to give us these freedoms, but never before have I really had even a remote understanding of what they were really fighting FOR.

As we’ve progressed through 2020 we’ve seen shutdowns for a pandemic that really made no sense or had any rhyme or reason. We watched as our leaders enforced restrictions on us that they did not follow themselves. They’ve shutdown our churches and our gyms and our small businesses (which are primarily conservative/moderate owned). They’ve closed our public schools. This sure doesn’t feel like freedom.

Freedom is on the line.

Freedom is on the line. We have felt it coming for several months. With the current state of our elections, we’re very much aware that the country we know and love is hanging in the balance. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt so compelled to fight for my country like never before.

As conservatives in Washington state, we’re used to losing. In fact, we’ve become pretty apathetic about it. But this time is different. We can feel it. We know that if we don’t step up now, we stand to lose it all. Possibly for good.

America has been so blessed. We have had warriors go before us who paid the ultimate price so that we could have the lives we enjoy so much today. I am not willing to go down without a fight. I am not willing to let those lives lost be in vain. I am not willing to let my children and my future grandchildren pay the price for our complacency.

On this eve of Thanksgiving 2020, I encourage you to reflect on the liberties and freedoms we have as Americans with gratitude. Give thanks for the 4 years of President Donald J. Trump and the huge progress he has made on behalf of conservative policies and issues, both here and abroad. Give thanks for the blessings that I believe God is going to continue to bestow upon our nation in the future.

And CELEBRATE this Thanksgiving  in an act of civil disobedience. Is that would our founders would do? I believe so!

Courage is Contagious

It’s time. We have sat back in our “polite silence” for too long. We have been afraid to offend the easily offended. We have been afraid to lose friends – cyber and IRL (in real life). For many, we have been afraid to lose jobs or clients or promotions.

As a result, we’ve walked on eggshells. We haven’t bothered to pipe up with our 2 cents on really important matters…like sex ed, for instance. We’ll just be quiet and polite and we will vote. And in a state like Washington, that doesn’t get us very far.

The loud voices on the democratic side of our country have made us feel unwelcome in our own society. In our public schools and our places of business, we are treated like outcasts. The things we believe in and value in life – God, family, human life, minimal government, entrepreneurship – are not wanted by the socialist democrats in our society. In our efforts to protect ourselves and our families, we have sat back quietly so as not to “ruffle feathers.”

I have never been one of those people who was afraid to say what I think. If people don’t like me because of the things I believe and the opinions I hold, I’m really fine with that. I’m not for everyone and that’s ok. I realize that not everybody is like me in this way. I know many people care very much what other people think and exercise more caution or restraint in vocalizing their opinions. (I still haven’t decided if this is a fault or an asset…a bit of both, I suppose) I know there are a lot of people who need to be careful in what they say and where they say it because it could cost them their job. I get that.

But now here we are. We are on the verge of losing our country. It’s quite possible that we may lose many of the freedoms that we have long taken for granted.  Many of the jobs and careers we have been so careful to protect, could be gone. The businesses many have worked so hard to build, could close forever. While we know that millions made the ultimate sacrifice for us to have these freedoms, we are now face-to-face with the same fight our forefathers had. I don’t say this to scare you. I say this because I believe this is a very real possibility.

Courage is not negotiable. We do not have a choice. Courage is when you feel those feelings of fear so deep but you know you have to take action regardless of how you feel. Courage is literally feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

Julie Barrett

And here’s the great thing – courage is contagious. If one person steps out in courage and makes a bold statement in truth or takes action for change it empowers other people around them to do the same. “If she can do it, so can I!” And the domino effect of courage is set in motion and picks up momentum with each act of courage.

Our time has run out. We do not have the luxury any longer to sit back and be quiet. We cannot fear “cancel culture” or loss of friends. There is too much on the line. I would rather lose my friends and lose my job than lose the freedoms that we have in this country. And that, my friends, is a very real possibility if we do not stand up and fight.

I want to encourage and empower you to take courage. Exactly one-half of our country (and I’d argue it’s more than that) feels the same way you and I do. We will not be quiet any longer. We will fight back against cancel culture because they can’t cancel us against each other. We will have each other’s backs. We will shop freedom-friendly businesses and we will hire patriots to work in our businesses.

That post you’ve been afraid to share – share it! That American flag you’ve been afraid to fly – fly it proud!

We can be gracious and compassionate in how we “come out” as conservatives. We don’t need to be obnoxious about it. But we must do it…before it’s too late.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9