I have HOPE

Seven seeds of HOPE. I find HOPE in the space in-between, in God’s natural world, in friendship and fellowship, in the giftedness of children, in We the People, in parents on school boards, and in improvements to higher education.

I often write about many concerning and alarming topics that I see happening in the Government school system, and I realize that what I write about may feel, to the reader, as a very gloomy prospect. It is not with a sense of defeat that I write though. I have such tremendous HOPE, and I want to tell you why.

God has placed me between two very contrasting worlds.

The PRIVATE SCHOOL world and the PUBLIC SCHOOL world.

I live in Woodbury, MN but my kids attend private schools in Roseville, 25 minutes away. Concordia (CA) is a Christian High School, and North Heights (NHCA) is a Christian Elementary & Middle School. Our family still interacts regularly with the friends and families of ISD#833 because we attended their public schools for 10 years prior to 2021.

On one extreme I personally get to experience the wholesome world of Christian education through my children. On the other extreme I remain very connected to the public school district I live within, and it can feel very sterile and unfriendly by comparison. Because I bounce back and forth between the public and private school experience on such a regular basis, the differences are not only seen clearly, they are felt very strongly also. It’s like shifting a car from 60 mph in 5th gear, to 20 mph in 1st. You can FEEL the speed change and the engine working harder.

I will write more about this later in November in my article, “One Foot Each in Two Worlds.” For now, let’s talk about HOPE !!

Seven Seeds of Hope

I’d like to share

I find HOPE in the space in-between.

In the book I am currently reading, “so how do i parent this child?” the authors, Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks Godby, ask,

“Is ‘hurry’ the story of your life? You’re always going somewhere, getting somewhere, late to being somewhere. As if the most important things in life are always in the next moment rather than the present one.”

Sometimes you have to LOOK for hope before you can FIND hope.

I FIND hope when I put down my phone. I find hope when I look at the world around me with fresh eyes. I find hope during that moment of space in-between hurrying from one thing to the next. Since the city of Roseville is a 25 minute drive from my house, and middle school begins an hour after high school, Chris and I initially viewed this as a problem to be solved. Two years later though, after accepting our new normal, we find the time spent “in-between” with our daughter is a precious golden nugget of opportunity. The reality is, parents have such little time with kids while young and interested in our company. Once they spread their wings in the teenage years, life changes and they are no longer by our side all the time.

I find HOPE in God’s natural world.

Roseville has some beautiful parks that I visit just about every week before and after dropping the kids at school. Central Park is just a couple blocks away and spans three city blocks. My daughter and I sit down with our books at the arboretum fountain to read and write stories. Even in the winter we enjoy walking the boardwalk, and we pay attention to the changing condition of the bog through all seasons.

Many deep thoughts have been written to paper during my time in this garden.

I like to run from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center past the Ball fields, around the lake and back the other side. It is where I escape from technology to the inspiration of nature. It refreshes my mind and fills me with HOPE. The Lord has got this. He has always had this. Humans want to control the maker as if clay could control the potter. But it’s just not necessary. God has a plan we could never comprehend, because even the oldest and most wise of our population are really just infants in knowledge.

But intellectual human tactics aside, what is the one motivation every living creature has the innate drive to accomplish? When a pine tree is stressed, it drops more pine cones upon dying. A dandelion transforms into fluffy light wisps that carry it’s seed far away. A fish lays her eggs and a male fertilizes them. Why? … to survive. Every living thing is built to survive, to reproduce, to pass on it’s seed and carry on until the end of time.

Somehow humans want to fight against nature.

Some think humans are unique and that procreation is not necessary for the survival of OUR species. Some think gender exploration among children is normal and natural. But to produce no fruit is neither natural nor is it found in nature … because it means death of a species. Some defy nature through rejection of the baby they growing inside. Some think male-male marriage is the same as male-female marriage. Some think humans are above the natural order of life, and that we know better than nature.

The natural world could never survive under those motivations, I am sorry to say. It is worth considering the consequences involved in teaching our young children that the gender rainbow is normal and natural. It is not.

God created a living, breathing, miraculous world that plays out in front of us every single day. If we stop to pay attention we’ll experience it. It beats to the rhythm of God’s drum, God’s light, God’s beginning and God’s end, and there is much to be learned through Christ who gives us LIFE.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Revelation 22:13

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I have HOPE in Friendship and Fellowship.

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. When I am sitting in the pew at church – my daughter and son on one side and my husband on the other – I am surrounded by hope in the congregation and the message being preached up front. Scripture, surrounded by fellowship, fills me with the most tremendous hope of all.

What is Friendship?

When you are a child, FRIENEDSHIP IS laughter, interaction, openness, innocence, togetherness, sharing, optimism, trust …

It’s easy to recognize friendship when we see it. People are stronger and healthier together, and the positive energy that spills out of them can be contagious.

FRIENDSHIP IS NOT a phone, an app, or a “like”. It does not brag or boast or blame or shame or judge.

It is actually my kids who have taught me the most about friendship. Even as a pre-shooler, my son was driven by the delight of meeting and making friends. We lived in the Mac Groveland area of Saint Paul back then, and when walking to the park, my son always took along two toys. I quickly realized that these two toys represented a friendship offering. The plan, all along, was to share his second toy with a new “friend” … whoever that might be.

FRIENDSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP, especially one in the body of Christ, is a source of pure joy.

I have HOPE in creative giftedness.

The CREATIVITY and space given to artistic expression at Concordia Academy gives me hope. I have hope that more private and home schoolers are doing the same, and I have hope that we can bring the Arts back to public schools. Creativity can weave itself into every subject, even into Western Civilization, Scripture and Health. Classic literature is packed with creativity and meaning. The more quality books, the better.

Giftedness is more than just a child’s talent though. It is the internal motor that drives who they are. To see what is “right” about a child is to see their giftedness.

I have HOPE in “We The People”.

Link to article by The Daily Signal HERE

Once I realized how little control the principal of any MN public school building actually has, I became much more interested in understanding politics at the state level. I attended my first Republican Caucus in March, became a delegate, and attended my first Republican State Convention in May. It was there that I was able to help steer the party, as a representative of my district, in the direction I believed would support development of the strong family unit and a strong local governing body.

America is a Republic, which means it is a government of and by the people and their representatives.

The Government School System no longer operates of the people, by the people, and for the people. Big government has taken over, and we need leaders who will honor the wishes of the people before the government. “THE PEOPLE” includes PARENTS, and does not exclude parents from the classroom, board meetings, or curriculum.

I have hope in THE PEOPLE, and that begins with fair and secure elections. So I begin with Kim Crockett, who is running to be the next Secretary of State in Minnesota.

Kim Crockett for Secretary of State

“Minnesota needs election laws that inspire rock-solid confidence so when the votes have been counted, we can all look at each other and say, ‘That was fair, and I trust the outcome’ … Americans are tired of division; ending that division starts with fair and secure elections. Then we can focus on a better education for our kids, ending violence in our streets and making daily life affordable again.”

Star Tribune Opinion Exchange by Kim Crockett 10/28/22 (View her website and this article HERE)

The Governor of MN works closely with the Minnesota Department of Education and PELSB to create State wide policy on curriculum and teacher licensure in our public schools. Dr. Scott Jensen and Matt Birk have drafted a plan they call their “Plan for Educational Excellence.

Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor

A Plan for Educational Excellence when he is elected Governor of MN .

“We need to fund our KIDS, not failed institutions. We also must empower PARENTS in curriculum and school decision making … We must empower parents to make the best decisions for their kids, inside and outside of the school. Too often, our children are being subjected to political indoctrination. Let’s get back to the basics of education and leave the hard social issues at home!”

Dr. Scott Jensen For Governor, website (View HERE)

Ryan Wilson for State Auditor

Schools and local governments are essential, but they will do better with a State Auditor who shuns cronyism and political favors. Partisan politics has no place in the auditor’s office—transparency is not partisan, accountability is not partisan, math is not partisan. As your next State Auditor I will shine a light on our government so Minnesotans can decide for themselves whether their government is serving them well.

Ryan Wilson for State Auditor, website

The Support Our Schools Plan Ryan has put in place covers three main components: Begin OSA audits of school districts, something that hasn’t happened for 20 years; Offer performance audits, a type of audit common in other states, to help schools identify spending inefficiencies but also to help schools assess the educational impact of various programs; and Facilitate the sharing of best practices between school districts.

Support Our Schools Plan

“The Support Our Schools Plan will shine a light on school spending so that local decisionmakers, parents and teachers can ensure the resources they have are being used efficiently, with achievement in the classroom as the end goal.”

Ryan Wilson for State Auditor, website schools page (See his full plan HERE).

There are three Senate Districts in ISD#833 SoWashCo. Dwight Dorau is running in my senate district 47. Dwight refers to the Minnesota State Constitution, Article 8 Section 1, which says that the state legislature has the responsibility to fully fund our education.

Dwight Dorau for SD47 Senate

At the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum on September 12th 2022, Dwight was asked, “If elected what would you do to ensure that the funding of our public schools adequately keeps up with inflation and growth?”

“I’ve been out for about four months now knocking on doors. I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors, and whenever education comes up, it’s not necessarily about inflation. It’s not necessarily about how much the spending is. It is mostly about parental choices and options. So, we may never know the exact amount that we need to have, and that’s a debate that very common sense, logical legislators can have, but I don’t think that’s the top issue at this point as it comes to education.”

Dwight Dorau for SD47 Senate, LWV forum Minute 12:20 (View HERE)

“Education is one of his top issues, and on his website he says, “As a current public-school educator, as well as a graduate of public schools, Dwight understands the crucial importance of public education in Minnesota — it’s our greatest legacy. He will ensure our public schools remain competitive and have adequate funding, while also ensuring parents are able to choose from alternatives that best meet the learning needs of their children.” (View HERE)

There are five House of Representative Districts in ISD#833 SoWashCo. Kelly Fenton is running in my House District 47B. Her website bio says, “Kelly Fenton served as State Representative for Woodbury from 2015-2019 where she advocated for lower taxes, safe communities, and strong schools. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Canvas Health, which provides mental health and substance use care, and is a former teacher. 

Kelly Fenton for House District 47B

Kelly talks about Strong Schools on her website,

“Every young person in Minnesota deserves an education that gives them the opportunity to succeed and thrive. We need schools focused on academics — not politics — and recognize parents’ fundamental right to be involved in their child’s education.”

Kelly Fenton for House, website (View HERE)

I have HOPE in Parents on School Boards.

The future of School Board Elections depends on “We The People” to elect leaders who represent our values, respect our families, and serve with a humble heart. I have hope that this can happen now because of PARENT GROUPS like Minnesota Parents Alliance who have stepped in to organize and help future school board leaders win. So many parents are stepping forward with the determination to protect the innocence of our children, and to be around that energy is exciting!

Power to the Parents out there who believe in children and the public school system with such strong conviction that they recognize and prioritize the election of quality school board members.

Rebecca Friedrichs with For Kids and Country says on her website, “State and national unions control teachers in a culture of fear — using intimidation, isolation, and ignorance to keep us captive, so most teachers have no idea how the unions actually spend our dues. By overpowering the teaching profession, state and national unions have transformed our schools. Their negative impact is felt from outrageous sex education curriculums normalizing anal and oral sex for children, to activist teachers converting children into social justice warriors, to multi-million dollar attacks on school choice.” (View website HERE)

Now is the time to break away from destructive patterns that are growing in the public schools. PARENT organizations who support PARENT candidates are creating a more level playing field to counter the monopoly that teachers’ unions (who don’t support teachers or children) have had over school board elections.

Minnesota Parents Alliance is “Parent Led and Parent Powered.” Groups like MPA have grown out of the energy of the 2021 election when hundreds of parents ran for school board for the first time ever. It was a brilliant business idea at a critical moment, because now school board candidates who are not endorsed by the teachers’ union have more of a fighting chance.

MPS’s Mission “Minnesota Parents Alliance educates and empowers Minnesota parents to effectively engage in their school community as strong advocates for academic achievement, equality, and parental rights.”

2022 Parent Endorsed Voter Guide – “Minnesota Parents Alliance identifies and endorses school board candidates across the state who are aligned with our mission of prioritizing academic achievement, equality and parental rights in their school district.” (View the Guide HERE)

I have HOPE in improvements to Higher Education.

More Colleges and Universities are stepping up to the challenge of fighting indoctrination with truth and holding firm to their Christian foundation. Here are a couple that give me hope.

The University of Northwestern

In Minnesota. This school believes in life-long learning.

“The relentless, lifelong pursuit of truth, knowledge and wisdom is central to the calling of each person who is committed to following Jesus Christ.”

The University of Northwestern website (View HERE)

Hillsdale College

in Michigan. This school does not take taxpayer funding which allows them to remain independent and stay true to their original mission in support of “civil and religious liberty.” (See their website HERE)

Grand Canyon University

in Arizona. This school teaches their students to be Effective Communicators, Responsible Leaders, and Critical Thinkers. (See their website HERE)

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS who “excel in language proficiency, understand how the written word impacts others intellectually and emotionally, and are challenged to employ new venues and modes of communication.”

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.”

Psalm 19:14

RESPONSIBLE LEADERS who are grounded in the reality of the world, accept the consequences of choice and strive unselfishly to help others meet their highest potential through servant leadership.

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

Matthew 20:26

CRITICAL THINKERS who “work to master clarity and logic in thought. They ask questions and pursue knowledge to avoid the blind acceptance of ideas, searching for solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15

In concentrating on what is good and right and true, I find hope. Hope is truly what drives me.

by JAiME for SCHOOLS on November 4th, 2022

REFERENCES:

Book : “so how do i parent this child? Discovering the wisdom & the wonder of who your child was meant to be” by Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks Godby

Book : The Holy Bible -Revelation, Psalm, Matthew and 2 Timothy

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