Why Trump is an Idiot

Okay, I understand why people like Trump. He’s strong, he knows what he wants, and he’s a successful guy.

But here’s why he would be terrible as president:

He’s immature. He’s never learned the art of diplomacy. He’s not used to talking with reporters or dealing with diplomats, or negotiating with equals. Don’t get me wrong, a guy who knows what he believes is a good thing. But he also has to be polite. And he has to know when to keep his mouth shut. He needs at least an ounce of humility.

He doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer. He’s used to getting what he wants. Again, something some people admire. But I’ve seen too many of these leaders in action to be a fan. Knowing when and how to take advice is a really good thing in a leader. One man can’t possibly know everything, and to make the best decision, you need to get advice from other people. That’s why dictatorships fail so often. One man, no matter how smart, can’t make all the right decisions all the time.

These two major flaws might be the reason that, despite being one of the richest guys in the world, he’s filed for bankruptcy four times. This might also be a major factor in his failed marriages.

Anyway, I’m no expert, but I love watching leaders and taking notes on what they do right and wrong. And, in my opinion, Trump would be a terrible president.

5 Tips for Knowing what Your Child is Doing Online

There’s a lot of bad stuff and people on the Internet. Parents are often at a disadvantage because they didn’t grow up in the same techy world that their children survive in. Read: they often don’t know what’s going on, AT ALL. Since the topic of internet is so broad, here are 5 tips to knowing what your child is doing on social media.

1: Become their friend. At the very minimal, be their friend online and figure out a time each week where you can go to their profile or page (alone or in bed or with your spouse) and catch up on what they’re doing. Like their pictures, put frowny faces on their sad statuses, etc. Be present. Show love.

2: Know their account info. This is a drastic step, since it feels like an invasion of privacy for your child. HOWEVER, if they have nothing to hide and understand that you just want to help (not spy on them), than it’s fine. I had a HUGE objection to my parents having my passwords because I was writing a boy they didn’t want me to communicate with. They also didn’t explain their reasons (other than spying on me) so I didn’t feel they had a right. If they have a huge objection to you having their password, offer to give them yours (if it’s safe) so it feels more equal.

3: If they’re still young and as long as possible, share an account. Make a family FaceBook or Instagram. Everybody who’s old enough has the password, and nobody does anything weird or writes anyone they’re not supposed to, because everybody else sees it.

4: Have computer or internet-enabled devices in a public place like the living or dining room.

5: Lastly and most important: take the time to KNOW your child and what they’re spending their time doing. If you just take an interest, they will be much less likely to get into trouble online, just because you can help them be wise and they don’t feel like they have to get attention online. Most of life is not just lived in the physical world anymore, it’s lived online, and if you want to truly know your child, check out what they do and say online.

I’m not a parent yet. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was a kid. And I do know these tips help kids stay safe on the internet.

Review for “The Artist and the Clay”

This almost made me cry. One of my friends shared “The Artist” with her daycare students, ages 5-9, and asked them what they thought. “Awesomest book ever!” “Total epicness” “She is one of the bestest writers ever!” “I liked her letter to us at the end.” Diana said, “It has already become a favorite for them and we tied it to the scripture too.” -Diana Herzog and the God’s Giants class of All God’s Children Childcare.

This made my day and my night and probably my week, too. 😀 That’s why we do it.

P.S. I got my first book signing!!!! In Nampa, ID, at Pearson’s Twice Sold Tales, on Saturday, Aug 15, from 10am-2pm!!!! 😀

Why I Wrote the Book

Before and during college, I struggled a lot with what I was supposed to do, career-wise. Though prayer and Bible reading, I came to this conclusion: God creates people different from each other, with unique gifts and talents. He did that for a reason, and it’s a good thing. Throughout the Bible, God talks about forming us like a Potter forms clay, and compares us to a body, with different parts with different purposes.

So I thought this idea was worth sharing. But how would I explain this concept to my little niece or nephew? Ergo, the story was born. I was (and still am) exploring my artistic talent, so I started drawing pictures to go with the story, just for the joy of creating beautiful spaces. Matt encouraged me, and I came up with something decent.

I’ve gotten some amazing encouragement from people who read the story, and now the book is printed and available on Amazon.com or from me personally. All proceeds will go towards my next book and a new project called the Genesis! game that my husband and I are working on.

The-Artist_looking-around_stained-glass

Why I don’t agree with Debi Pearl

Blog_Debi PearlHere’s what it says:

The Devil would love to steal your children’s souls. He will not do it through your husband’s TV; he will do it through your dishonor. The boys may have a difficult time with their sexual drives as a result of the commercials, but many young men have survived this in spit of the increased temptation. Few survive an unstable marriage where Mother resents Daddy. Your attitude has done nothing to stop the children’s exposure to temptation. Just think, if you had lower expectations, you would permit yourself to love and honor your husband, and the children would be better for it. When God gave Eve to Adam, he was giving him a helper, not a conscience. Adam already had a conscience before his wife was created.

I am not suggesting that you should have lower standards. In fact, your husband obviously should have higher standards, but your nagging and criticism have the opposite effect of producing righteousness. Ideally, if you could hold your standards hold your tongue, and hold your man, in time you might be able to put forth an appeal to him that does not offend.

As things are today, you will continue towards divorce, or you will get on the road toward a heavenly marriage by honoring your man. It’s a no-brainer.

-Debi

Here’s my interpretation of this: It doesn’t do any good to talk with your husband if he’s doing something wrong. Respecting your husband means holding your tongue. Being a nag will send your children (and your marriage) straight to the devil.

Here’s why I disagree:

1. In the words of my husband, “Both a nagging wife and immoral TV will push your kids away from Jesus.” If your husband claims to be a Christian, but is watching porn or being abusive or even unloving, that will be your child’s example of a Christian. And if you are a nag or unhappy all the time, that will be your child’s example of a Christian. Scary, huh? BOTH have equal potential to drive your children away from Jesus.

2. Being a good “helper” involves rebuke. A good friend will tell his friend when he’s walking off a cliff. Likewise, a good wife (if no one else is around to do it) can remind her husband of what’s right and help along his conscience. Men aren’t perfect, and neither are wives. And sometimes we do dumb things. But I know of so many families who would be so much better off if the husband would listen to the advice of the wife. Unfortunately, human nature and teachers like Debi Pearl have taught husbands that they shouldn’t need to listen to their wives.

3. DON’T BE A NAG. All this to say, I’m not advocating that women continue to nag their husbands about their TV watching habits or farting on the couch. She’s right about that, nagging doesn’t work, and neither does being resentful. But the solution is NOT staying silent. There is a process, as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. Go to him PRIVATELY at first to ask and talk about it among yourselves. Then, if he refuses to listen, take one other person with you, someone you both respect. Then, if he still doesn’t listen, take it to the Church. This means that a wife will be REALLY careful about what battles she chooses, because it has to be for the long haul and she has to be right enough to have everyone “take her side.”

God compares marriage to the relationship between Christ and the Church. Most people use this to say that wives should submit to their husbands as if their husbands were God. But when you think about it, it’s a lot more than that. God listens to the Church. The Church is never silent. and, even though Jesus is never wrong, He also never forces His wife to submit.

No one likes being rebuked or told their wrong, and that definitely should NOT be the only thing that ever happens in your marriage. But once in awhile, there will be a need, and sometimes it falls to the wife as the only person to remind her husband what’s right. 

I Want Your Fears (or Adult Monsters)

The mother of a child is crying for her baby. A monster lurks outside her halo of blankets, intent on gobbling her heart.

But her child peeks out. She hasnt yet learned pain. She trusts in her mommy, who has always kept her safe. “Why do you tremble?” Her innocent eyes see no reply. “The fog is so beautiful, it’s a fairy land!”

When do we learn that the unknown is scary? At what age do we stop trusting the One who holds us safe? Is it when we first fall down and see blood on our knees? Fear keeps us from touching the fire again, but it can also send us to our graves, frozen in dust.

My Father isn’t one to always keep me from running. He even watches me fall sometimes. But He’s always there to pick me up. Always there to teach me better. And who knows how many times he’s kept me from toppling over?

Years teach is fears. Monsters become letters in the mailbox or empty accounts hiding in the closet. But the One who protects us from giant spiders doesn’t grow less powerful with the passing of years.

Give me the worst of your fears. Compare them to an eternity without God. How small are my monsters compared with eternity. Relax. Be at peace. God is on His throne. Trust the One you know.

Adult-Monsters

To My Lost and Wounded 

Tell me where it hurts. All of us bleed sometimes. 

We’ve all struggled for love. Lost in the swirling haze. Darkness and secrets, smoke among tears. Perfect in the sunshine, never showing what you do at night. The darkness of your mind. The shame in desire. 

Put on your perfect face. No one else seems to hurt. Or doubt. Or struggle against overwhelming force. 

Cry in your pillow. Secretly you wish that someone would hear your muffled sobs. 

But God writes pain on your face. What are other people for, if not to help you through the mud. Lift you when you fall down. Two is better than one, He said, because when one falls down, his friend can help him up. 

I see your pain. I understand your shame. Come cry in my arms, wipe away your guilt in forgiveness. Come into the light, dance in sunshine again. 

Simplify: Cleaning out your Closet

I’ve spent the past 2 years carrying my possessions on my back. I now have a massive collection of 3 pairs of shoes and my clothes might be able to fill up a school backpack! (gasp) Now, as Matt and I prep for the next leg of our life, we’ve been accidentally inspiring people to get rid of things and simplify. I’ve done this so much, deciding what to keep and get rid of, so here are my tips for cleaning out your closet.

1. For 2 weeks, put the clothes you wear in one side of the closet (or the clothes hamper). The clothes that are left in the closet/drawers are clothes you don’t wear very often. Some things are seasonal, but look at your jackets/coats. Pick one or two you can wear with everything and get rid of the rest.

2. When buying new stuff, be really picky. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this go with most of my wardrobe?
  • When would I wear this?
  • Is this comfortable enough to walk 2 miles in?
  • Would I wear this for 4 days in a row?

3. “Nice” clothes. How often do you wear nice clothes? I have one “nice” outfit, because I’ll only wear it to weddings or uppidy churches (of which there is an increasingly low number). I’m living proof you can have one dressy outfit and survive. HOWEVER, I know some of you have to wear nice/formal clothes on a regular basis (for work, etc.). So here’s what I do: How many times per week do you have to wear a business/formal/”nice” outfit? That’s how many outfits you should have. Formal shoes should be half that number, at least. Unless you’re a fashion model, people don’t usually notice what you’re wearing, honestly. I also like to leave room for one special outfit that just makes you feel cute, a “date” outfit, so to speak. That’s my church/”nice” outfit.

So how did you do? How do you simplify? What’s your criteria for keeping clothes?

Why Minimum Wage Shouldn’t Change to $15

I should be an advocate for an increase in minimum wage. I grew up in a house where the sole wage-earner got minimum wage, for the majority of my life. My dad never graduated high school, and later went back to get his GED. He never got the education that would help him get a job he could advance in. But I’m not in that camp. I don’t think it would be a good idea.

1. You CAN support a family on minimum wage. My dad worked 2-3 janitorial jobs at minimum wage, my entire life. We had a good life. We didn’t eat out, we didn’t eat a lot of meat. We had to find deals. We never took a vacation. We didn’t really get an allowance. We never bought a new car. But we had a good house. We were able to buy property.

2. Although only 30% of fast food workers are teenagers, the majority (over 60%) of fast food workers are still under 24 (i.e. still in high school, college, or living with their parents). It’s a recent trend. Kids live longer with their parents. Kids used to be considered adults at 15. Marriages happened younger. Kids moved out and became independent at 18 or younger. Now, a surprising amount move out at 25.

3. The turnover rate for workers is 150%. One in eight American workers has, at one time or another, been employed by McDonalds alone. McDonalds (and fast food in general) isn’t meant to be a career. It’s a temporary job, like Walmart.

4. Raising the minimum wage makes the economy worse. Think of how many products or services you use where the people behind the counter or in the factories earn minimum wage. A LOT. All of these things will raise in price. Now, the problem with this is that rich people can afford the increase in price. Poor people can’t. You say, well, “poor people,” the ones earning minimum wage, will now be able to pay for these things, because they will have more money. Yes, but what happens to the jobless or people who work at jobs that won’t increase? It just offsets the problem, it doesn’t fix it. The money to pay minimum wage has to come from somewhere, and it’s not going to come out of rich people’s pockets, as most seem to think.

5. Fast food is unskilled labor, and has distinct implications. When workers get too expensive, machines will take over. It happened with farm workers. In India, there isn’t a minimum wage, and people still work the fields. Machines are more expensive than people, so people still have those jobs, as bad as they are. If workers get too expensive, the logical thing (for management/CEOs) will be to replace them with machines. It doesn’t take much to order and cook fast food. I envision a self-help McDonalds, where the customer presses the button to order and the food is prepared and delivered to the customer in seconds, completely run by a machine. The quality will go down, but that’s happened before.