A Post-Election Day Meme

This once-every-four-years occurrence seems like a good opportunity for a meme.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS YEAR'S ELECTION RESULTS:

This is an historic election, and a special one in the hearts and lives of a people that have not been well-treated by our country; I'm thankful for this opportunity to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. For other people that have not been well-treated by our country, it is an outcome with horrifying potential. I probably won't agree with much of anything Obama does as President, but I am moved by this moment, and I pray that it will do much to heal deep wounds in our nation.


A QUICK REVIEW OF THE ELECTIONS OF MY LIFE:

1980: RONALD REAGAN
  1. I REMEMBER: nothing about this election. I was one year old when Reagan was elected.
  2. I WAS: a toddler and preschooler... living in Texas and Colorado.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: I learned to read.
1984: RONALD REAGAN
  1. I REMEMBER: not much. I don't remember this election. My husband, however, attended a Reagan Rally in Oklahoma and remembers the confetti.
  2. I WAS: 5-8 years old and we moved back in Texas.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: I professed faith in Christ and started school.
1988: GEORGE BUSH (Sr.)
  1. I REMEMBER: not a whole lot about that election. I wasn't politically-minded in my early years.
  2. I WAS: 9-12 years old and lived in Texas.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: I started sporting poofy bangs and tight-rolling my faded jeans.
1992: BILL CLINTON
  1. I REMEMBER: being appalled that one of my friends voted for Clinton in our school's mock election. ("Don't you know he's for killing babies?," I asked, aghast that anyone I knew would vote for him.) Little did I know that 10 miles away, my future husband was casting his ballot for Perot in their school's mock election, because he thought Perot could single-handedly pay off the national debt.
  2. I WAS: 13-16 years old and still living in Texas.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: I lived recklessly... rebellious towards my parents, I tried all sorts of foolish things, ignoring the Holy Spirit's warnings in my heart every time. Those years have cost me much sorrow and self-loathing... but serve as a reminder and warning to me of the lure and price of sin.
1996: BILL CLINTON
  1. I REMEMBER: knowing that Dole didn't stand a chance. Kind of like McCain this election, this modern world looks delightfully on young, hip people and scoffs at the old and battle-tested.
  2. I WAS: 17-20 years old, and lived in Texas for the first two years and went away to college in Arkansas for the last two years.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: In God's mercy, He drew me back from the bad choices I had made and set me in a high place. I had a blast at college, made friends, and even got elected class president. The last year of this time was when I met Doug and, for the first time in my life, found someone I absolutely couldn't stand to be away from. I met the love of my life, and he asked me to marry him.
2000: GEORGE W. BUSH
  1. I REMEMBER: SO much about this campaign, election, and everything. I took a "Campaigns and Elections" course in the Spring (during the primaries) and then an "American Presidency" course in the Fall (during the election). In fact, I skipped a class session to go to a Bush/Cheney rally where Doug & I met Dick Cheney. It was the first time I could vote for President. That election may end up being the most vividly remembered one of my life.
  2. I WAS: 21-24 years old and lived in Arkansas, the outskirts of Washington D.C., and then we moved back to Texas.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: I became a wife to Doug and a mother to Ethan and Baxter. Prior to motherhood, I worked in the Arkansas legislative session and for the State of Texas in Washington D.C. I gave up the "perfect" job for something even more perfect and prized: being at home with my sweet baby.
2004: GEORGE W. BUSH
  1. I REMEMBER: thinking John Kerry was willing to say anything to get elected. He came off as so scripted, out-of-touch, and insincere-- in a way that is similar to Mitt Romney this year, I think.
  2. I WAS: 25-28 years old and lived in Texas, China, Texas again, and Turkey.
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: we had two more children (Maranatha, our first daughter, and Silas), moved all around the world, and grew in faith and perseverance through some difficult challenges. I would never want to re-live those years (except, perhaps, the precious time we had in China and the sweet moments when I first "met" our children), but I am thankful for the lessons we learned and how God grew us through the struggles.
2008: BARACK OBAMA
  1. I REMEMBER: feeling that my "team" was done after the South Carolina primary, when Thompson kept Huckabee from winning, and McCain began having the momentum that comes from "inevitability". I will always be glad that our party didn't choose Mitt, and still believe Huckabee was the only Republican who could have, possibly, beaten Obama.
  2. I WAS: 29 and lived in Turkey... and who knows where we'll be or end up by the end of this four years?
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: we shall see... I am hoping and praying that there are some promises that will not be kept.

SO THAT's my election meme. Maybe you learned something? It was helpful for me to examine my life in four-year increments.

**********************
If you'd like to participate in this one (conceived in this brain'o'mine this morning), just follow these simple rules:
  • First, post three sentences about your thoughts on this year's election results
  • Then, starting with the year nearest to when you were born, post the election year, the winner, and these three things:
  1. What, if anything, you remember about the campaign/election/outcome.
  2. How old you were & where you lived during that President's four year term.
  3. What happened in your life during that four-year period?
You can use this format (if ya like):
  1. I REMEMBER:
  2. I WAS:
  3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS:

So if you want to participate, come on! And leave a comment so I know where to find you. It'll be a fun way to review the elections of our lives.
************************

May God bless America during the next four years. In both good times and in times of suffering, and in the times when we are delighted and the times when we are discouraged, God is good and has a plan that we can rest in, for individuals and for nations.



Father, "may all the peoples praise You!" We ask for wisdom and grace to be poured out on Barack Obama. That he will lead honorably, that he will protect the people's ability to live peaceably and quietly. We ask that You will move his heart towards mercy for the unborn. We thank You for Your sovereign hand that leads us in all times.

We ask for grace for our nation, that Your will will be done in all things, and that You would allow us to act in accordance with Your will. Use this next four years to sharpen and change us into Your likeness. Continue to teach us how to honor You and be thankful in all circumstances. "May all the peoples praise You, O Lord!" Thank you for Your grace and peace. Amen.

35 comments:

gerberdaisie said...

You have a great attitude about it all- thanks for that. I posted my thoughts and my history of elections on my blog (I only did the ones I can remember, for times sake!)

-JC

Mrs. Sprinkles said...

Great thoughts--I remember (as a baby Christian) thinking the world would end if Bush didn't get elected in 2000. I'm thankful I have grown in maturity and can accept the 2008 election results with grace.

http://countingsprinkles.blogspot.com/2008/11/election-meme.html

Anonymous said...

Good meme. I may do that on my blog.

Forgive me for asking, but if you were a newborn in the fall of 1980, doesn't that make you 28 now (not 29)?

Laurie B

Anonymous said...

I HAVE PASTED A PORTION OF YOUR POST HERE AND HAVE ADDED MY REPLY IN CAP LETTERS. This is an historic I AGREE IT IS HISTORIC. and special I DON’T THINK THIS IS SPECIAL, IT IS SAD BECAUSE OF HIS POLICIES. election in the hearts and lives of a people that have not been well-treated by our country I AGREE. ; I'm thankful for this opportunity to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. MY HEART IS HEAVY, NOT REJOICEFUL BECAUSE OF HIS POLICIES. For other people that have not been well-treated by our country, it is an outcome with horrifying potential. THIS IS TRUE ABOUT THE HORRIFYING POTENTIAL OF HIS POLICIES! I probably won't agree with much of anything Obama does as President, TRUE AGAIN. but I am moved by this moment, I AM NOT MOVED BY THIS, NOT BECAUSE OF HIS SKIN COLOR, BUT AGAIN HIS POLICIES. and I pray that it will do much to heal deep wounds in our nation. BECAUSE OF HIS POLICIES, I DON’T BELIEVE THIS WILL BE THE RESULT. CHANGE ISN’T ALWAYS A GOOD THING. GOD HAS ALLOWED THIS FOR HIS PURPOSES AND I HAVE TO RELY ON THAT. MY HEART IS HEAVY, AND ONLY THE LORD CAN LIFT THAT. THINGS HAPPEN THAT BAFFLE THE MIND AND HEART, TRUSTING THAT GOD HAS ALLOWED THIS IS ALL THAT I CAN DO. EVEN THOUGH MY HEART IS HEAVY,I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR MY COUNTRY AND LEADERS AS GOD WORD SAYS.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts, Anna

Jess said...

Laurie... good math. OK, I was 1 year and 3 weeks old. Blegh. I'll change it! :) ~Jess

Jess said...

Anna.
Capital letters online and elsewhere are considered rude, as if you are yelling. In the future, I'd encourage you to do a line-by-line response.

That said, as Christians we are told to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. I am personally mourning what this election may mean for millions of unborn Americans. But I am rejoicing with those who have been cast down for too long... that they have a moment of sweet joy. That their children will, like others have long been able to do, look into the Oval Office and see someone like them. I am already praying for Obama. And I will continue to.

It seems that a heart that is unmoved by this poignant moment, however much you disagree with his policies, is a heart that is too identified with politics and not identified enough with the human condition, and the racial tension that has loomed over our country throughout its history.

Don't get me wrong; I don't "like" Obama, or his politics. This is not the outcome I would have chosen, but I am praying that his presidency will be a balm for the wounds of our nation... that it may indeed bring people together. 40 years ago, MLK had a dream... and none of us could have imagined it would be so soon realized. What a sweet thing it is to be an American-- where votes are counted without fear of retribution. Where everyone has a voice, whether rich or poor, religious or not. Where an election that is said and done can be put behind us and we can move on as a nation... knowing that in four years, another opportunity for our voice to be heard will indeed come.

I am so very thankful today. And with good reason. I am not burdened or baffled or heavy-hearted. I have a sweet abiding joy, despite my strongly-held reservations based on my concern for unborn Americans. And I am rejoicing with those who rejoice.

~Jess

Anonymous said...

Jess you are right that this is a huge step for race relations in this country and for that, yes I am grateful.

However it was also MLK who said he had a dream that people would be judged "Not by the color of thier skin, but the content of thier character."

I do not dislike Obama because of his skin color or ethnicity, but for the character he has shown with his statements, voting records, and actions.

Yes, he is now our national leader and as a christian I will pray for him, for our nation, and for our future.

-Jen K.

ChRlswfe4Jesus said...

Last night I was thinking of doing something similar, so I did follow your guide lines. Thank you. http://theproverbs31journey.blogspot.com/2008/11/voting.html

Dawn

Anonymous said...

I remember I was 4 years old when Ronald Reagan was first elected and I though Ronald McDonald was our new president. Jennifer

Catherine R. said...

Already did this one about a month ago. I think you just refined it and organized it better.

(don't know how to make a link here so: http://vivalahomegirl.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-life-in-presidents.html

Yes, still pregnant. Trying to pass the time : )

blessings.

Joanna J. said...

Great thoughts. I responded and posted my own election memories on my blog. Thanks!

http://graceinthehome.blogspot.com/2008/11/election-year-memories.html

Anonymous said...

Jess-I'm sorry about the caps, my intent wasn't to be rude, but to have it stand out from your words for clarity. Sorry, I didn't mean it to come across that way.
Anna

Shay said...

amen and amen \o/

OurCrazyFarm said...

Great job Jess! I can so relate! What an interesting way to review your life, where God had you, and extend it to what was happening in the world. How we go from our greatest concern being poofy bangs and tight-rolled jeans (I clearly remember!)to God's sovereignty in choosing our leaders. Good thing He's in charge. Thanks for the great, encouraging blog! Terri

Julie said...

I disagree with your politics, but I wanted to thank you for writing so eloquently and recognizing what an achievement this is for African-Americans. It's really nice to see common ground in this red vs. blue state country.

Jess said...

Catherine,
Perhaps THAT's why such a "great" idea was in my head... because it was PUT there by my good friend Cat R. So much for originality.


Thanks for the comments everyone. It's fun to read about others who have done the meme.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I found this post to be offensive in a way. As an African-American woman, you will never know what this election means to me. This is an historic moment for not only my race, but for everyone.

I'm so sick and tired of "Christians" thinking Obama is the anti-Christ or that he's not Christian. He has two beautiful girls that he decided not to abort just like Sarah Palin.

I feel like McCain supports, especially "Christians" are not going to support Obama, which is not of God. God put this man in this position, so we all need to pray for him and support him. If you have a problem with his policies, I encourage to to e-mail, write him, do something, but don't just sit there and shake your head at this poor man who is "misguided". Change has taken place and will continue to take place, I just want people to take note.

Jess said...

Anonymous,
I'm sorry you found the post offensive. I didn't try to claim that I understand what it means for you, nor did I try to claim that it wasn't historic for everyone. In my original sentence, I intended that to read that it was historic and special, particularly (but not only) for those who identify with him personally.

I certainly didn't accuse him of being anti-Christ or not being Christian... you are bringing the views of others and putting them on me.

I'm not shaking my finger in any way. This was my best attempt to show respect for the man who will be our next President. I don't support him (in almost all of his policies), but I will respect his authority and position. Most of all, because it's been given by God, but also because it's been voted on by my fellow Americans.

Again, I'm sorry if this post offended you, but based on your words, it seems like you came here looking for a reason to be offended.

Best wishes; I think we both long for a unified heart in this nation once again. I'm not certain that it's possible (because of people on the right AND left), but I pray for it.
~Jess

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Amy.

This may not be a popular point of view, but, the church, our parents, our families and friends have a lot of influence on us and for the most part, do a good job of guiding us toward respect for life.

But to what extent do those same groups have the power to negotiate with foreign powers, influence our economy, influence industrial pollution standards and so on?

For me, personally, if laws are passed to ban abortion and women still choose to break those laws, are we really in a better place?

I'd rather see women lovingly guided toward caring for themselves in such a way so that they are never even tempted to get an abortion. For most women, that means growing up in a loving family and community. We can take care of that ourselves!

flyinjuju said...

Love you prayer, thank you. I honestly haven't thought about praying for God to move Obama's heart towards mercy for the unborn. Beautiful.
Julie

Jess said...

Hi Amy,
I don't want to get off-track here. I agree with you about the source of change for abortion-mindedness starting in our personal hearts and communities.

However, this election never was going to decide whether or not abortion would be made illegal. Neither presidential ticket would have sought making abortion illegal. One ticket would have moved towards making it a state-by-state issue (rather than legislating it from the federal level), and one ticket has vowed to make this a top priority-- to not only allow for abortion (which current laws already do), but to make it so that doctors who refuse to offer an abortion could be criminalized.

Additionally, his plans would include increasing federal funding of abortion. That means: TAX DOLLARS-- yours and mine-- going TOWARDS abortion. Money being taken from private citizens to fund the murder of children by their own mothers.

Make no mistake; Obama is not a friend of the unborn in America. But I am praying for a heart change on that score. And again, that's not the focus of this article. Let's not get sidetracked.
~Jess

Birthblessed said...

Here's my meme post
http://blog.birthblessed.com/2008/11/election-meme.html

Wish I had more time to put into it.

Bridget said...

Thank you so much, Jess, for your opening words in this post. As an African-American who did not vote for our President-elect, I have faced much ridicule from family members. But your sentiments are exactly mine. While I am unhappy at this outcome, there is a hope that racial injustice will be addressed and wounds will be touched by the loving hand of our Father across our nation.

Many blessings to you and your family. I love your blog, especially the series on being "sexy" for our husbands.

Anonymous said...

I too am heavy hearted. But am future hopeful for 2012.
Jasmine

Anonymous said...

Although this may not change your opinion, I fully expect the number of abortions in the U.S. to decrease significantly under President Obama. This is because his health and human services department will focus on ways to reduce unintended pregnancies. I don't mean ideological approaches like abstinence-only education. I mean things that have been tested and shown to reduce unintended pregnancies.

Laurie B

A Marriage After His Heart said...

Jess
I lurk around your blog and never really say much. But as a african american woman from the small towns of AR who has lived through the nightmares of racism and has found coping through God's teaching me how to love through hate, I must tell you I appreciate your post.
I too was pulling for Mike Huckabee and would have crossed my registered party lines and cast my vote for him three time over, but in the end as a Vet my stand against the killings of men, women, and children, the hardships on the families who are broken by continous stop lossed deployments, and the over all treatment of soldiers once they return home by the government won the tug of war on my heart over abortion. it was a hard hard task but I had to follow my heart on those issues that struck closer to home in my life. As you I pray that God softens his heart in that matter. I thank you for displaying true love and discipleship in your ability to disagree in love and unite in prayer. I want to let you know that after reading your post on I Cor 13 you are doing a wonderful job and are an inspiration to many.

Maria said...

Wonderful post and comments Jess. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and gracious responses to your readers. And I love reading your readers responses. Thank you Ladies, all.

Jyl said...

I really liked the beginning part of this piece. Even though we might not agree with everything Obama might due, you gave honor to him and the people that really felt aknowledged by voting him in. I think that means alot. I hope that we can keep that honor for the position in the years to come.

Anonymous said...

Jess, thank you for your posts. I had to laugh as I realized that I am your same age and have had a number of the same experiences during those 4 year increments. I also thank you for the graciousness you have shown in responding to the comments on this blog. Regarding this election, I found myself on the opposite side and I am hopeful for the next four years. I pray that all Americans might open their hearts and that this might become a time of reconciliation, rather than a time of liberals vs conservatives. As a Christian (and a minister's wife), deciding my vote was a challenge because I didn't feel that either candidate's policies fully reflected the example Christ showed. I am pro-life, but I am pro-life from conception until death. I appreciate your recognition in your blogs (particularly 11/2) that not all Christians vote one way and that in the end we need to not let our politics divide us as one body. I also ask all Christians to life up our new government in prayer, and even lift up to God Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and all the other countries. He is not our American God, but the sovereign God of all the world. I recognize that I have not prayed for our current administration as often as I should, nor have I prayed for the world leaders as I should. But I pray that God keep my heart tender to all people and that he further teach me the power of prayer.

Mom said...

This was absolutely wonderful. I loved reading it. I couldn't have said it better myself!

Candice said...

Unfortunately, my memory isn't as good as yours. :( Thanks for the thoughts on the election!

Crawley said...

Hey Jess,

I made a similar post a while back, although my comments are not as insightful as yours. You're welcome to peruse.

Here.

-Beulah

desmoinesdem said...

I picked up this meme here:

http://www.progressiveblue.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3070

Jess said...

Hey Laurie,
Thanks for doing the meme... I learned skads about you. What a fascinating life.

And Beulah too- thanks for sharing.

It's interesting to think back on our lives and examine what contributed to who we are today, eh?

Carletta said...

Hi Jess,

Great post and I found it in no way offensive!

I share your concern for the unborn but I am not sad because I do not believe this war will be won in the courts, but in the hearts of Americans.

I do believe winning the battle in the courts is a necessary step in the right direction, which is why I did not vote for Obama.

However, I am now more hopeful than ever that the heart change is possible. Lord willing, we will one day be a nation where the unborn are safe.

I've voted since I became of age, however, this is the first year I've ever paid much attention to who I voted for instead of just voting against the Republicans.

That is the one thing that changed during this election process. I've seen both positive and negative in myself since becoming more politically active. It is something I will be thinking about over the weeks to come.