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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at 

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My Stomping Grounds

America, we seem to be in full-alarm mode.

We have Trump-ers.

We have Resist-ers.

We have Persist-ers.

Then there’s fake news, real news and SNL.

(Lemme pause for one moment…. How spot-on is Melissa McCarthy?  America needed that laugh, didn’t we? Perfect timing Melissa. Brava, Brava!)

All of this Trumpeting, Persisting, Resisting, Fake News, Real News has me wishing I had my own podium to push around sometimes. (Sean, I mean Melissa, does that so well!) .

In the middle of all the crazy, we have little people watching us make choices. Choices about how we treat each other, about what we stand for, about being a Good Samaritan or being the one who walks past the crash scene.

I don’t want Team Wanderer to walk past. I want us to stop and help heal the wounds, listen to the stories and hold the hands of the wounded.

On my way home from work one night, I realized a miraculous thing: this new order does not change the fact that we can still serve, love and embrace humanity around us.

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I arrived home and gathered my crew up. I looked them in the eyes, talked to them about refugees, the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized. I told them stories of each of these populations of people. We prayed. We prayed some more and declared we will be people of action. We will not shrink back. We then sang the Nicene creed together, to remind us what we believe and the importance of the One we follow.

Before you think this was an incredibly perfect kumbaya moment, I have three kids. Which means three siblings. While it was beautiful and special and necessary, it was far from perfect. And that’s the beauty of family.

That night we asked God to open doors for us to be door-holders & room-makers & hand-holders & cheerleaders & caregivers. Y'all, this generation is watching how we handle this hot mess that America is in.

Let’s allow this generation some space to embrace and understand empathy.

That means:

They listen to the stories of people.

They have empathy towards humanity.

They have tenderness with their actions.

They have an awareness of those around them.


No matter who seems to be in charge in American politics, we need to stay sober and recognize that we are still in charge of guiding our own families. 

We can be determined to be angry and arrogant while living in the land of consistent eye-rolls. 

Or we can say: No, we still have the ability to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We can rise up and be families who make a difference in this world, no matter who is seated in the Oval Office or in Congress or in the Senate. 

Politics does not determine the heartbeat of who we are or who our families will become. I have been listening to story after story of refugee families.  And while they experience some of the greatest heartbreak known to humankind, their resilience proves that the government doesn’t get to be the one to determine the kind of family they become.

Our refugee friends are some of the kindest, most compassionate, most giving, most sincere friends we have known. The government didn’t tell them to be like that. They chose that kindness.

So, let’s rise above. 

May we be the ones who teach the generations behind us to calm down, take a deep breath and go love our neighbors. Because love never fails. 

Susan family

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Pouches' Community Corner

Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area Splash EventMassadYMCA

For the past seven years, Smart Beginnings has thrown the Splash Pool Party fundraiser. This summer, the event will be held on June 24, 2018 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Steve & Cheri Thurston Water Park at the Massad Family YMCA. Tickets range in price from $12 for a single ticket, $20 for couples and $35 for a family/group of four and each ticket also covers a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink.