Twas the Night Before the Election…

4662095690 06817efa7e z Twas the Night Before the Election...

I am so thankful that tomorrow is Election Day, and that, come Wednesday, most people will be able to move forward, online and IRL relationships will be (hopefully) restored and normalcy returned.

This election cycle has really taken a toll on me. I don’t know if it’s really been that much more vitriolic, or if I’m just feeling it because I’m seeing things through a different lens this time around (and I’ve been alienated by many who liked me because I once held similar views to them).

The, mostly, misguided anger, the nastiness and the nit-picking (all of which I have been guilty of) have been beyond belief for the last 4 years. I’ve judged people and I’ve been judged. And I’m ready for it to be over.

This morning I read “Election Day Is Not a Vote Between Hades and Paradise” over at Deeper Story. So many excellent points are made, but it was the title that I’ve really chewed around on all day, because I honestly believe that there are people who DO believe that it is a vote for just those things. I’ve heard them proclaim just as much.

This belief is what has been at the core of my discomfort with the direction of this election. As a Christian, I’ve long believed that, while it is my duty to vote, whether my candidate wins or loses, God is in control.

I’ve also been told for a long time to vote according to God’s will.

But this time around I’ve wondered what that meant… Is it providing a safety net to others so that they can get back on their feet after being laid-off? Or is it allowing the super wealthy to keep as much of their self-made wealth as possible, and believe enough will trickle down to the rest of us to allow us to think we can get there with enough hard work?

Rather than making changes in ourselves, we’ve railed, pointed fingers and hated on others, and tried to convince everyone that our candidate is more Godly. When we put all of our hopes in one person, they are going to fall short. We live in fear, of a God who rails and smites, rather than living in the full glory of a God who is full of grace, second chances and longs for us all to see Him in the actions of others:

The actions we take to help the scared unwed pregnant girl after she makes the brave choice to keep her baby.
The actions we take to provide a warm place to sleep and a comforting word to the family who has lost everything.
The actions we take to ensure that everyone can get major medical help without having to declare bankruptcy.

Because I have been each of those people.

I was the unwed pregnant girl, who, out of fear, aborted her baby.
I, along with my ex, lost everything, were briefly homeless and had to get food stamps to support us as we got back on our feet. (We, thankfully, had friends and family who helped us, but not everyone does.)
I was one of those who, after a divorce, could not afford dental or health care for herself or her children and had to rely on medicaid for a season.

I don’t believe that either candidate has all the answers. I don’t believe that God has a party favorite. I don’t believe that He wants us to vote for one candidate over another, because every four years, we are voting for one flawed person against another flawed person. What He wants is for us to change.

For us to be moved enough to fill in the gap that EVERY flawed administration creates. That, is what ultimately matters.

photo credit from flickr

(Just Write)

Something to think about

 Something to think about

A Birth and A Rebirth

[I will be posting What The?! later today. Today is my daughter’s birthday and I wanted this to be what I posted about; parts of this post are based on the speech I gave to my group at SheSpeaks in June]

Eight years ago today, I became a mom. Last year, I documented the day by showcasing photos of me and my wee babe.

While I became a mom that day, it wasn’t my first pregnancy. I had lost a baby to a miscarriage the year before, and I’d had an abortion 11 years prior. Abigael’s birth was a sort-of rebirth for me and so I celebrate this day with her. She is my sweet sweet girl, and she is nothing less than a gift from the Lord.

I had spend the years prior to her birth aching because of my poor judgment. I wondered if I would ever be able to hold a baby of my own in my arms. I worried that I’d be punished and be barren.

When I became pregnant in early 1999 (10 years, to the month, after I had become pregnant before), I felt redeemed. Restored. Forgiven. I felt that the Lord had smiled at me and told me it was okay and that He loved me. When an ultrasound later revealed that there was no hearbeat, I felt that my own heart had been shattered again at that very moment.

What had happened to that love and forgiveness that the Lord had just bestowed up me just a few short weeks earlier?

Despair covered me and seeped through me.

I felt abandoned by Him.

That pregnancy had signified so much in my mind. The miscarriage signified even more.

I cried out to Him and fell on my knees and searched His Word – looking for answers. Looking for Him. Asking Him why?

From that despair, I was lead to a bible study for women healing from abortions, and through that study, He met with me.

I found Him and He began to heal me. From the shame. From the fear of my sin being discovered.

All of the years of suffering and basing the Lord’s forgiveness on my circumstances… when all along, I had been forgiven.

A year later, to the month, I was pregnant again. This time, it was different. This time, I got it:

He had restored me and I would never be the same.

Happy 8th, sweet girl

She wasn’t the first wee babe God sent to change my life.

[If you are dealing with this same situation, I highly recommend the bible study I mentioned above, from Healing Hearts Ministries.]

She speaks until the wee hours

So I just got back from this little thing you might have heard of: SheSpeaks.

To say that I enjoyed it doesn’t seem to adequately sum up my feelings about the experience. It is going to take me several posts over the next week.

When I arrived in Charlotte, I was met by the Nester (Nesting Place), who graciously opened her home to me. She is a doll and I totally want to be her BFF.

The next day we met her sister, Emily (Chatting at the Sky), for lunch. We were headed to a lunch organized by Robin at Pensieve, but went to the wrong location. It worked out well though, because Jo-Lynne (Musing of a Housewife) and Sarah (Genesis Moments) happened to be at the location we went to. I’m thankful for that because that was really the only time I got to see those two the entire weekend.

After heading to Target to buy a pump, (Yes – I was a fool and left my 9 month old, still nursing babe at home to take a bottle without taking a pump for myself. I would have made quite an impression at the conference. As it was, I have never before spoken so much about my hmm-hmm’s before, no sense in drawing even more attention to myself) Emily and I headed to the conference.

I got settled into my room and met my sweet roommate (then quickly excused myself so that I could use my Target purchase, because SWEET MERCY!! I couldn’t have taken it another moment!!!) before heading to the blogger reception. I met up with Emily, who was hanging out with Megan (WhadUSay) and Jami (Live Laugh Love). I saw a couple of faces I recognized in the crowd, but the room was so packed, I couldn’t get past my spot, right by the entrance. Emily and I went into the hallway where it was cooler, and began scoping out some WiFi. Sitting there in the hallway, Emily and I made her some contact cards to hand out.

(And I can tell you right now how Paris Hilton affords all of those fancy clothes: $9.95 for 24 hours of WiFi and $3.50 for a bottle of water from the room :::faints:::)

The sessions were amazing, and I will talk about those more in the days ahead.

But the women that the Lord brought into my life; placing us each in the same place at the same time. Takes my breath away.

 She speaks until the wee hours

And this is pretty much how we spent the rest of the weekend. Samantha (The Listener’s Post) is missing from the photo, but the night before we all sat up talking and giggling until 1:00 AM.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until I tell you about my speaker evaluation group and the sessions I attended and the worship. OH, the worship. So Divine.