The Only Way I Can Vote…

I took a walk this morning to grab a cup of coffee from the cafe across the street. I noticed that the air is getting colder, the leaves are slowly changing. This morning was the start of a perfect autumn day.

But I found myself frustrated, clenching my fists, telling God that this whole election thing has got me in knots. I know what everyone is telling me I should do, but I don’t know the right thing to do.

Just as I prepared to cross the street, I heard him whisper,

“You are not accountable for your nation, you are accountable for yourself.”

Instantly, all of my frustration fell off in the middle of that street and I knew what the right decision for me is:

I cannot vote for either of the main candidates in this election.

Believe me when I tell you that I have wrestled over this. I have prayed, sought counsel, listed the pros and cons. I have not made my choice without weighing every single possible outcome.

Here’s the thing: yes, maybe my country is seemingly going down the toilet. Either way, it’s likely that both candidates are going to make some detrimental decisions for this country. But I am not going to answer to God for those things. 

I am going to answer to God for the state of my heart when I stood inside of that voting booth. 

He will know whether or not I was pure in my choice or if I violated my conscience. He will know if I stuffed down all of the truth that stirs in my gut every single time either of the candidates speak.

He will know if I am compromising my Godliness for my Americanness.

He knows that I am not trying to be reckless in my decision, He knows that I simply cannot violate my own heart by bowing down to those that tell me I have to choose “the lesser of two evils”.

He will not hold me accountable for the decisions of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. He will hold me accountable for mine.

I will vote. I will honor the lives given for that right. But I keep in mind that their lives were given so that I could make the choice I believe is right. Not the choice that the church tells me is right, not the choice CNN or FOX tells me is right.

At the end of the day, I live with my choices and mine alone. My ability to look at myself in the mirror is worth more to me than the White House. My personal conscience is worth more to me than the Supreme Court.

I love this country and I care about its future. Whatever the outcome, I will pray for my President. And I will continue to believe that God honors those that honor Him. So, in this decision, I will do what my conscience says honors Him.

I will write in my vote and it will count. The name I write will not become President, but it will count because I did not deceive myself into thinking it’s noble to sacrifice my conscience and the truth for the “better of my country”.

They say we have to save our country, right? We have to gain back its greatness, don’t we?

“But what do you benefit if you gain America, and lose your own soul?”




I’m Doing it all Wrong

Disclaimer: This post is a little different than what you normally see here. It’s something more personal that I felt I needed to share with those who have continuously asked me reasons for some current life choices. But don’t worry! We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

I took a break during my college years. I went exploring, made messes and spent too much money on coffee.

Now, I’m back in school and society has come knocking on my door to tell me I’m doing it all wrong.

I shouldn’t have waited. I’m way behind on career, savings account, and making something of myself.

Not to mention, why would I choose a major that a big chunk of my generation hates? Government? Who even knows if we’ll have one of those in twenty years? If most of my generation gets their way, we’ll all just pass around a “talking stick”, nicely share our opinions, sing Kumbaya, and then eat gluten-free muffins in harmony.

Not to mention, I’m a Christian, so you know…if most of them have it right, then why would I waste my time? Jesus is coming back in like 5 minutes, haven’t I heard? Why would I want to be doing something with government when they’ve literally just sent our country to “hell in a handbasket” with recent supreme court rulings?

I would have been much better off to have gotten in the game five years ago, maybe I could have done something of importance. But now, it’s too late and I’m just buying into this big group of old people who want to argue. 

I’m young. I should just want to do away with government, weave baskets, open a coffee shop and write opinionated blog posts that tell the world I’m smarter than all the generations who have gone before me. That’s the new mark of success for twenty-somethings.

So, here I am, doing it all wrong and it’s so not cool. 

It’s also not cool to bring back the ponytail, a plain face, and tennis shoes, but that’s pretty much my uniform these days.

I realized the other day that I was much smarter at nine years old than I have been in my twenties. I was opinionated, (God bless me, I don’t think I’ve ever been without that quality) but I loved listening. I consumed knowledge, wisdom, history and information. I wanted all I could get.

I knew that my short little time of being alive had not afforded me the wisdom I needed to do something that would affect the world. I knew that I was naive, I knew that my opinion (though valuable) wasn’t always valid, because I didn’t know nearly what those who had experienced years of trial and error had learned.

But then I got older, prideful, a few years of education under my belt and I thought that all my brilliance could outshine even the most genius who had gone before me. And I let little comments from people around me start to affect me.

I never watch the news. It’s just so, ugh, negative!

Presidential elections? Who cares? School vouchers, budgets, tax reform? What’s that? I’ll just vote for whoever sounds the most socially relevant!

Government? Nothing but a big recipe for intolerance. 

And like that, I just let years of blood, sweat and tears from wise men and women of the past be thrown into a box labeled: irrelevant and antiquated.

I gave up something that I knew in my bones was important, worth knowing, worth dirtying my hands with. All because most of the millennial generation can’t be bothered to sit down, shut up, turn off their phone and listen to someone over the age of 40.

None of them realizing that their tweets, blogs, opinions, and freedom to bash the government wouldn’t even be possible without our democracy and without people who care enough to maintain it.

If we did away with the structure of our government tomorrow, peoples lives would dramatically fall apart, whether they care to acknowledge that or not. The reality of no one taking the baton from our parents and grandparents generations and continuing the fight for the laws that govern America would be disastrous. But we just keep expecting those generations to handle it for us, become more relevant, listen to all of our opinions and just “make everyone happy”.

Y’all go and fix that, while we hike mountains and take pictures of our lunch.

Because we don’t want the responsibility of something that can look negative, something that stirs conflict, topics that can’t be explained in less than 140 characters.

I’m doing it all wrong. Because the news is boring and no one cares who becomes president! Didn’t I hear that I should be more consumed with venting my naive opinions on Twitter than I am about the beliefs of the men and women who represent our freedom and democracy to the world? People who put hard work in, do not fear conflict and take time to learn from the past in order to do something greater than take the perfect selfie.

I really wasn’t cool when I was younger. I cared far less about my outward self than inward, I welcomed responsibility and I had the sense to know when to listen instead of speak. Few people liked that girl. So she took some breaks and did the cool stuff: traveled the world, learned to make lattes, bought an iPhone. But I’m glad I did because I realized that none of that is going to make the world better, sustain freedom or be worth remembering.

So, here I am now, doing it all wrong and finally I’ve become perfectly alright with that.