This morning felt like a holiday. We slept until we woke up (so early that it cannot be counted as “sleeping in”). The girls were off of school. And after a diner-worthy breakfast, we headed to our polling place – through rain and traffic, with Randa coughing her poor little head off – to VOTE.

I was excited to once again take my children to the voting booth with me… because it is my duty and responsibility and privilege as an American… not for “revenge” (enough said about that!), not because I am necessarily excited about my choices, but because brave people through the ages and fought and died so that we can do so.

There was a line at the polling place about 20 minutes long, long enough for us to greet some sweet friends from church (turns out they live near-by) and for me to take Randa to the bathroom. I could hardly wait until it was over, so we could get our stickers!

The rest of the day, I spent being a mommy. We grocery shopped. We took a surprise trip to a Myrtle Beach tourist trap (post forthcoming). We made dinner (below). And we talked about the election as well as we could with a 4.5 and a nearly-6 year old.

When I speak to KK and Randa about my choice to vote, it’s in the simplest terms. No, we do not call President Obama a “stinky” president; it is a very hard job. Yes, we do hope that “Rom-e-ney” is the next president… but we will pray for whoever wins, because we love America and we are blessed to live here.

As it goes, as it always goes (this is my first presidential election ‘on’ Facebook, but it happened even before then), social media brings out some of the worst in people. Folks say things so non-nonsensical that they do more harm than good to ‘their’ side. One of the most appalling ‘bumper sticker’ thoughts I have seen was from a Romney supporter who was praying that “God’s will is done…this time.” Somehow, this suggests that when a Republican doesn’t win the office, God is not in control. And that is contrary to everything I believe as a Christ-follower.

I may not be a fan of Obama’s – I did not vote for him either time – but even after he won in 2008, my thought was, “God is in control.” And He is. I don’t subscribe to the theory that God micromanages our every move, but I do believe He sets up the boundaries. The last 4 years have been within His parameters. Everything that happened to America, to Obama, to you, to me… God allowed it. I don’t like some of it. I don’t have the same financial status and stability I had 4 years ago. I think our country is even more divided than it was in the Bush years. But I don’t for a second think that God has somehow been less sovereign during the Obama term.

ANYway. I am not a fan of Gov. Romney, but his verbalized views (do we ever really know if politicians are being truthful?) line up more with mine than Pres. Obama’s. Socially, I lean more liberally. I don’t believe we need to amend the constitution to govern marriage nor do I believe that in the state so much of our country is in, we should spend our time worrying about who legal adults marry. I believe there HAS to be fair access to medical care for everyone (though I don’t think the proposed solution of Obamacare is the right one). I think we have dropped the ball Big Time on the quality of education, and ‘No Child Left Behind’ is much to blame. BUT… I want the government to stay out of my business, my gun ownership, and what my children eat. I want small businesses to flourish and not constantly be asked to give more. I believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY in the rights of unborn children to live – and yes, I also believe that means we pro-lifers can’t be the same ones to turn our noses on feeding, educating, fostering, and even adopting those same children once they are born and perhaps neglected by parents who didn’t want them in the first place. I believe the path to citizenship should be open and fair for those willing to follow it. I believe we as Americans have a right to the PURSUIT of happiness, not to have it handed to us.  I believe we need to keep our military strong and let our enemies know that it is a much more pleasant thing to be a friend to America than not.

Do I think either man will reflect these views in how he runs the country? Not likely. The two-party system we have allowed ourselves to abide in assures me of that. It ensures that no matter who I vote for, I will be compromising something I believe in.

But still… I must vote.

I am encouraged today by the reported larger turnout of voters. I am also excited to have possibly had a different impact on the outcome than I am used to: Illinois is being predicted for Obama. SC is predicted for Romney. Other than the ocean, having my presidential vote potentially count toward the electorate is the biggest indication that I have, indeed, moved to a different region.

I am sitting back in my rocking chair, chatting with Rod and Paige, watching the news, contemplating whether I should bake those cookies when a 6-pack of Coccadotts cupcakes still beckons all who will answer from the kitchen, doing some reading. Maybe the election will be decided tonight, maybe it will be weeks. Whatever happens, I know I did my part. And I…we…must continue. No matter who gets elected, we have 2 mandates:

“Do not neglect your gift…” 1 Timothy 4:14

Take full advantage of the freedom fought and died for to use the gift…and use it to help those who can’t help themselves. – I know that’s summed up eloquently with many historically-rich quotes that are also aesthetically pleasing Pins. I just can’t find one right now.


Creamy White Chicken Chili
Taste of Home

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 can (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, saute the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream.

Burtons like to eat this with shredded SHARP cheddar cheese and Fritos. And we like to lick the bowl clean…