First off...happy August! I really cannot believe it's the eighth month of the year and Christmas will be here before we know it! While growing up, I recall people talking about life going so fast once you were out of high school. At the time, I was stuck in chemistry and physics classes that crawled by so I didn't believe them. But, boy, do I now!
The tenth of this month marks two and a half years since our last day in Damascus. My heart has been aching over what the government continues to do there. The day before Ramadan, they decided to be even more cruel if you can believe it. I cannot even imagine that Syria is the same place I traveled to and loved. Which, in a way, it isn't. The people then feared their government and all was calm. Today, while they may still have this fear, many have chosen to speak out in spite of it. With hopes for a better, freer future. I admire their courage.
Secondly, I hope my friends observing Ramadan have a beneficial month as you reflect on God and what He has blessed you with yet others in the world lack. Some of them your brothers and sisters in faith. Like Somalia. Ugh, again heartache seeing those starving people on television and Wafa's blog posts. Heartbreaking.
Thirdly, today is the third and Zach is three months old! My dad reminded me that his grandfather would have been 111 years old today as he was born August 3, 1900.
Fourthly, my brother in law's brother has been visiting the area for the last few days. Juan is from Venezuela and it's his first trip to the USA. He doesn't speak much English, but thankfully Will is great at both languages and can translate. Really, smiles and hugs don't need any translating and Juan is a fun-loving, pleasant, loving 18 year old. I've enjoyed seeing him while he's been in North Carolina. Will hasn't seen his little brother since Juan was about 8....younger than Michael! Can you imagine? Of course he's talked to his family and seen Juan via Skype, but still. It's so cute seeing Juan and Will together. They have similar facial expressions and even walk the same!
Lastly, I have two questions for you.
1. I just finished a book about a family who took a year to travel around the world. They visited about 40 cities concentrating on southern Europe, South Africa, India, Cambodia, Laos and Australia. They avoided South America, the Middle East (except for Turkey), most of northern Europe, Russia and most of the USA since they are from California. I was curious if you could take off for a trip around the world for a year, what are the places you would most definitely want to visit?
2. I keep seeing how much fear drives the news. I've been hanging out at my parents' house recently and while feeding my baby nephew, I'll sometimes watch CNN to see what's happening in the world. For days last week, you would have thought the world was coming to an end if Congress failed to extend the debt ceiling. As if the USA keeps the world going and if we defaulted, life as we know it would come to and end, aliens would invade and we'd all be their slaves. (I think Amber's post influenced that last bit..sorry.)
I've read articles about the Norway terrorist and see how often fear drives people to do evil things. They fear Muslims. They fear immigrants. They fear the end of civilization as we know it. They fear the extinction of white people. Why so much fear?
That got me to wondering what YOU fear. Do you fear the same things? If so, why? I think we all have our own personal fears so who is brave enough to share some of them? And how do you deal with your fear? Do you feed it by listening to even more doomsday news stories (or preachers!) or do you handle it by denial - what exactly? What are your fear-busting remedies? Any recommendations?
Or maybe you think it's a good thing to fear because it keeps up from getting too complacent? What are your thoughts on fear? Healthy? Good in moderation?
Do share...unless you are too scared! ;-)