Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. -Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)
Sometimes, that is a lot easier said than done, but I think I am learning.
I mentioned last week that I would be attending a hearing this week where some issues would be discussed, regarding property rights in the area where we live. For seven months, we have been doing research, gathering data, talking to our neighbors and other members of our community, talking to the media and preparing for this hearing.
I have been optimistic, and I've been encouraged to share our perspective so that we could find compromise that would make things better for everyone. This is all related to some resource development in our county, and it has an effect on hundreds of rural and semi-rural residents in our community. I met with the project manager on three separate occasions, so I could better understand their goals and objectives and hopefully articulate our concerns in a way that would help us come to resolution.
My friends have been supportive and encouraging, and my dearest friend has had Daughter at her home when I've been off at two different hearings. Daughter has been very co-operative and kept herself entertained in the offices of the Planning Commission and the County Assessor. Husband has looked through huge document binders at Planning Commission, listened to previous hearings and analyzed the content, done all sorts of research, helped me with my speech and proper wording - he even took time from work to come support me on 'the big day'. It's been a real family project...and I think that was true for people on both sides of the issue.
At 9am, we went into the hearing very hopeful. Nearly 15 hours later at 11:45pm, the decision came down in favor of development, with zero compromise.
I learned a lot from this process. This list will not be complete.
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There is more information on the web - on virtually any topic - than I ever would have imagined. I discovered Google Scholar during this process, and used a lot of really neat databases through my local library district and various state and federal sources.
Some publicly elected officials really care about their constituents, and others will tell you whatever you want to hear. I vote...and I will not forget who is on which list.
Any time that I felt discouraged and remembered to stop and count my blessings, I was able to get perspective and move forward.
If you ask a question and hush, the person answering will often keep talking to fill the void, and you will learn many things.
There are a lot of really nice people in the world who work really hard and have hearts as big as the sky. There are a few I wouldn't trust any further than I could throw them.
If a newspaper reporter doesn't understand what you're talking about, no one who reads the article will understand either. On the other hand, a well-informed reporter who 'gets it' can make a tremendous difference!
Being on the evening news is weird.
The morning after the hearing, the sun came up. The birds sang their songs. Life goes on.
I am a million ways blessed. I live in a home that I love, with people that I love, who love me. I have amazing neighbors and friends. I'm not quite sure why they put up with me, but I'm glad they do. I have the ability to think and learn and share ideas.....and I am blessed in other countless ways. (I already knew this, but God reminded me quite a few times, lest I forget!)
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I appreciate all the encouragement and prayers that came from people I know personally, as well as online friends and acquaintances. Thank you. I am ready to return to our version of 'quiet country life' and soak up some peace.