The world is a scary enough place for adults, let alone for children.

And if you listen to news reports, it’s positively terrifying.

From the moment I brought the twins into this world, I immediately wanted to shield and protect them from all the ugly and evil that lurks around every corner.

We send our spouses and family members to foreign lands to fight terror, when some of the scariest things happen in our own backyards.

Raise your hands if you think we’re raising our kids in a dangerous world. You constantly hear about kidnappers, child molesters, school shootings, bullies, bombings and terror attacks regardless of their actual frequency.

If you feel like the world is scarier today than when you were a kid, you’re not alone. In a survey of parents in the U.K., nearly half said they don’t let their kids play outside because they’re worried about safety. In our neck of the woods there have been three attempted abductions since Sept. 20.

Lucky for me, my kids are far too young to know what’s happening in the world around them and I have plenty of time to figure out how to explain things to them. For now, they are content laughing at our dogs and swapping pacifiers with one another.

My husband and I have been discussing places we would potentially like to be stationed, and of course Europe was on top of the list. In the wake of the recent violence in Paris, we are thinking twice about bringing our young family across the pond. I can’t imagine being an American military family abroad during times like this. Obviously if we live our lives in fear, the terror groups win, but it’s hard not to let the reality of what’s happening around the globe impact our lives.

Seeing the images of Syrian refugee children fleeing for safety breaks my heart and makes me appreciate the freedoms my children have. I pray my twins will never have to go through such a traumatic experience.

It seems like it doesn’t matter where you go or where you live, bad things do and will happen. Instead of focusing on the scary things happening around us, I chose to focus on what makes me feel safe and happy: my family.

At the end of the day I count all my blessings: a roof over our heads, good food in our bellies, clothes on our backs and the fact that we are all together under the same roof looking up at the same starry sky. With all that’s happening, both near and abroad, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and to lose sight of life’s simple pleasures.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year and to say I am blessed is truly an understatement. Even though my days are long, the time is going by so fast. I’m trying to savor every moment, even the ones that have me reaching for my fifth cup of coffee in the wee hours of the morning. With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get swept up in the “getting” and to forget the reason for the season. So let’s stop and give thanks for what we have and pay it forward by helping those less fortunate. Compassion is contagious, so let’s spread the love this time of year.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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