Written by Kara Green (Guest Writer)
I was only 24 years old when my husband was first elected to the Texas Legislature in 1998. He unseated the Democrat incumbent and then served two terms in a Democrat controlled House. We got married, had our first son, our second son was on the way, and he ran for office in the first four years of our marriage. Maybe we didn’t think that through enough! I look back on that time and laugh at how young and naïve we were. No one gave me a “How To” manual on how to survive the fast paced, often-nasty world of politics, but often times we learn best by being thrown in head first!
I have learned so much over the years and continue to learn from other strong women in this arena:
1) Keep perspective even when the negativity wears you down. I’ve learned to not let the big picture get clouded by the loud negativity toward Christian conservatives that seems to permeate in today’s culture. If I truly trust God’s plan, then I have to trust that He is working in all situations, even political, and even when it is not visible to us.
2) It is not about me. The older I get, the more I understand the importance of looking at solutions generationally. I’m going to be a first time grandmother this summer, and man, does it hit home now more than ever that I must not get complacent. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option!
3) God calls us to be involved in different ways for each season of our life. Every woman is not going to have the same talents, time, or influence. In my younger years, although I was up to my eyeballs in politics, I was honestly just trying to survive it. We eventually had 4 kids under the age of seven and we homeschooled all those years. Juggling home life and political life was a huge challenge, but I would do it all over again because that journey is what shaped our marriage and our kids and I wouldn’t change that a bit! Now that I’m in a different season of life, my political influence and interests are expanding because I have more time to devote to causes important to our family.
4) We can’t be experts on every political issue or be involved in every political battle. Find a cause that stirs your heart and that you are passionate about and focus on it. For some, it is a social issue. For others, it is an economic issue. Financially support the groups who are at the capitol every day engaging in those political battles for us, like Texas Eagle Forum. My husband and I have a passion for educating and equipping the youth of today to become leaders with a conviction in conservative principles. We knew this was an area where God was opening doors for us to dive in, and over 15 years ago we founded www.PatriotAcademy.com. We have seen God multiply our efforts abundantly over the years and it has resulted in expanding the program into six additional states besides Texas and seeing Patriot Academy alumni become influential in Texas politics at all levels.
4) We have many favorite family quotes, but the one we say almost daily in our house is “Duty is ours, Results are God’s!” John Quincy Adams had the right perspective after he had been fighting for 17 years in Congress to end slavery without making any visible progress. A reporter asked him why he was wasting his time fighting for a cause that was going nowhere, and he gave the reporter this famous quote. In our family, when we feel like we are not making a difference, we continually remind each other to just do our duty and leave the results up to God.
Truly, we can all have a hand in shaping the state and nation that we love. I am so thankful that as a woman, I can be a mom, wife, business owner, and get to be a part of influencing our culture, and I’m even more thankful for the other women in my life who I can learn from, lean on, vent too, and be a part of the solutions with!