It starts with us.

I have nothing to say that hasn’t been said about the tragedy in Parkland or the murder of two Daddies who didn’t get a chance to return from work in Westerville. It’s paralyzing to dwell on the world we live in today. We can’t control bad people. And I hate it all.

I hate feeling out of control. I hate letting fear rule me. So today, I’ll focus on what I can control. Instead of worrying about what may come, I’ll focus on what I have right now. The day I’ve been given today. I can start with me… with my marriage, with my children.

Kiss your husband real good today. Rub his feet. Thank him for all he does for your family. If you don’t feel he deserves it? Do it anyway. Remember why you loved him in the beginning. Exercise that selfless muscle. Let the change start with you.

Look in your children’s eyes today. Put the phone down and pick up a Barbie. Squeeze them so tight they squeal. Tell them five things they do well, or that you love about them. When they are sad, listen. Earn their trust, steal their hearts. When they’ve been bullied or hurt by a friend, remind them their value cannot be found in the eyes of their peers, but in the fact that the creator of the universe made them and loves them. Teach them about sin and salvation and a very real savior. Because if a nightmare like this ever comes knocking on my door, the only way I’ll be able to take my next breath is knowing that I’ll see them again. This life is momentary. But for believers, there is a very real eternity that awaits. Remember the eternal. Exercise your spiritual muscles. Let the change start with you.

I’ve tried really hard not to go down the rabbit hole of news stories coming out of Florida. But I did read (until I couldn’t anymore from tears) about the victims. (And I’m recalling from memory so give me grace if I messed up a detail.) There was a cross country coach who died because when kids ran up to his locked door, he opened it and let them in. He never got the chance to lock it back. There was a football coach who literally shielded children from the gunfire with his body. There was an athletic director that died when he rushed in to help the injured as the shooting was still taking place. There was a 15 year old boy gunned down while holding the door open for his classmates to run through. Heroes. Good humans. People who loved others more than themselves.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if we made it to the gym, ate enough leafy greens, bought the outfit, took the selfie, caught up on that show, voted for the right candidate, got enough “likes”, or won that Facebook comment debate by being “smarter”. It’s about loving others well. It’s about opening ourselves up for God to use us. Let the change start with you.

Let a legacy of selflessness and love penetrate the darkness. Because man, our days are not meaningless. If you’re a mom, your days might seem hard or mundane but they are not pointless. Every single moment is a chance to teach our babes about Jesus and love and kindness and putting others first.

Let it start with us.

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