Since we now have cable television for the first time in almost two years (just got it last Thursday), we gathered in our living room to observe this historic moment. Dave is doing research for the next week, so he was able to be a spectator right along with me. So were the kiddos, but at 19 months and 4 they obviously could not appreciate the magnitude of this event. (They did enjoy hurling wooden pirate figures at one another, however.)
The kids also provided their own soundtrack during President Obama’s speech, so I wasn’t able to hear or intelligently digest everything he had to say.
But I’ll share a few thoughts on my overall impression. Nothing cerebral. Just one mom’s random reflections (a mom who happened to be up a lot last night making repeated bathroom pit stops as a 28-weeker preggo and/or waking up to tend to a toddler with a cold).
The speech was inspiring. President Obama has always been eloquent. I’m not ever going to argue with that. He comes off as intelligent, propitious, and presidential.
Of course, he promised a utopia. But I’m not going to fault him on that. That’s what politicians do, especially during fluff speeches like an inauguration address. It’s part of the job description – to give Americans something to believe in, a leader to believe in.
And I do still believe in America, even though I don’t agree with many of the changes the President and the new administration want to push forward as we begin this new chapter in our country.
Yet, as the cameras panned over a series of red-white-and-blue flags blowing in what I imagine was a bitter wind, a lump grew in my throat and it wasn’t the result of the hormonal cocktail pregnancy serves up inside of me.
It’s cliche; it’s sappy, but I’m proud to be an American. Very proud. And I feel more than a little blessed to be a citizen of this great nation.
I certainly agreed with President Obama when he said we must return to the truths of our founding fathers, that we must remember the God-given promises that all are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
However, I’m not so sure if we’re on the same page when President Obama said that America’s forebearers faced crises we can scarcely imagine. Um, like nuclear weapons? As President Obama encouraged, “The world is changing, and we must change with it.” I hope the administration will heed these words of wisdom.
What rang the most true to me is when the President said in the beginning of his speech that, “We have chosen hope instead of fear.”
Whether you agree with President Obama or not, he is our 44th president. The torch has been passed. We have a new administration. Our government and individual citizens face new challenges. A lot of Americans are coping with uncertain economic times. We have troops defending our freedom and the freedom of all peoples overseas. There’s a lot happening in our homeland and abroad.
There’s also something big happening this Thursday, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of it during our new President’s speech.
Two days from now a much smaller crowd than the 1.5 million gathered today will be hitting the pavement, bearing the cold, and preparing to defend the life of the unborn. These people come from all walks of life – old and young, men and women. Some are religious; others are not (I’ve always believed that abortion is at its core a human rights issue, not a religious one). But they all will be joined together in mourning the “slaughtering of innocents” (another phrase I actually heard above my kids’ banter during the President’s speech that made me immediately think of the victims of abortion even though I took the words out of context).
These people will come together at our nation’s capital to March for Life, to fix their eyes on hope rather than the fear that President Obama will move forward with his promises to broaden abortion rights. I can’t be there on Thursday, but my prayers will be marching heavenward.
On all fronts – from pro-life issues to war and peace – I believe we must all do as President Obama urges Americans to do: We must choose hope over fear.
God bless America.
A Prayer for Government
a handful of courageous men
in a moment of danger
pledged their lives, fortunes and honor
to proclaim a nation whose citizens’ rights
were based, not upon the nod of king
but upon creation at Your hands.
Grant to our administration
a ministry of service to all, not the few.
To our Congress, the upholding
of public interest
not merely a welter of competing
To our judiciary, a wisdom in interpreting law
grounded in principle, not expediency.
Pour Your Spirit out upon our people
so that they may become active
in the affairs of government
that they may not confuse dissent
that they may use their mighty power
for the healing of differences among nations
with justice and mercy and love.