I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Election's Over--But Freedom of Expression Never Stops

By Delores Topliff
The election is over. Balloons have drifted away and the confetti has fallen. It’s time for those elected to roll up their sleeves and work on sobering tasks.
For me, the brightest spot in this election was being a ballot box judge in a small Minnesota town. I loved seeing 94% of 2400 registered voters turn out to vote because they cared. That alone was great. They came in all shapes, sizes, and manner of people. Our 15 voting stations were divided by red, white and blue protective canvas curtains down to knee level. At times people stood one to two deep waiting for their turn. We saw all kinds of dress including three sets of pajamas with slippers. What else?
  • mechanics and carpenter coveralls 
  • farm overalls
  • smocks
  • scrubs (complete with stethoscope)
  • fluorescent road worker suits 
  • sweats
  • a police uniform with loaded belt 
  • all varieties of military and hunting camouflage 
  • more unique hats than I can count—you name it, we saw it. 
And footwear ... below the curtains we spotted super-high heels, moccasins, massive snow pack boots (on a girl with pencil-thin legs), walking shoes, every kind of tennis shoe, clogs, crocs, work boots, casts, braces, canes, wheelchairs.
Mostly smiling people exercised their choice—although some looked concerned. We heard friendly tones of neighbors saying, “My vote cancelled out yours,” or “I just saved our country.”
If people flubbed their ballot, they had to choose to take the time to complete a new one—or not. No one left without doing so.
The election is over. Votes are counted. Booths folded and ballot boxes stored away. Whether we agree with the outcome or not, we have to love the system and the people involved in the process.
Clothes, shoes, hats--these are all examples of people exercising choice, of a free people expressing individual uniqueness and preferences through personal choices.
We also exercise choice in the words we speak—or don’t.
And in the words we write for NaNoWriMo and MBTWrimo—or don’t.

How about you? We are freely given nearly endless opportunities to exercise choices. Share some of the favorite ways you exercise and express yours.


  1. I love how you reminded us that we have the freedom to express ourselves -- in our clothes, in our friendships, in our vote ... and yes, in our writing. Freedom: one of the greatest reasons I am thankful to live in America.
    One of the ways I express myself and my choices, my beliefs? All the different quotes I have posted throughout my house.

  2. I love the way you highlighted out footwear choices as another way we express our freedom. What a fun, unique post about such an important topic--our national freedom! I am so thankful to live in the USA! We're not perfect but there's no better nation on the planet. A visitor to my home would see the art on my walls and the books on my shelves (the fact that my bookcases are bulging), which tell a lot about me.

  3. I love the fact I can walk into my church with my head held high and not risk persecution. We're doing a lot of prayer and ministry for the persecuted church, and I'm so thankful we can worship with freedom. I can also express my freedom through the words I write. In other countries, women aren't granted the opportunities for an education, let alone become writers.

  4. I appreciate each of your responses. Beth I love (& have been privileged to see) the scriptures on your walls--powerful. Roxanne, I can just picture your bookshelves--mine match and there are nearby overflow piles I'm working on. Trim down? Or build more shelves?
    Lisa, yes, we're sometimes laxidaizical about available religious and educational freedoms people elsewhere would pay any price for. Thanks each of you.

  5. Dee, I loved your post. But I always do. How wonderful for you to serve at the polls. I love the descriptions of the people and clothing, too. It is truly a blessing to live in a country where we have the freedom to choose so much.

    I exercise the freedom to worship regularly at our church, to share about Jesus with people around me, to speak words of grace, usually. I exercise the choice to stay home with our kiddos as a full time mom.

  6. Just the freedom of choice is what I cherish. We can be who we want to be, much like you pointed out with the choice of clothes, hats, and shoes. The freedom we have is often taken for granted. Thanks for a great post, Dee.

  7. Frankly that day at the polls and seeing all of the myriad choices and expressions displayed (in addition to varying votes), made me more aware of how many free-will choices we have more and more determined to exercise and not waste any.

  8. So thankful for the freedom to vote, to worship, to speak our minds. Great post, Dee! And goodness, just think of all the descriptions you stored away on voting day!