I am so thankful to be at home this morning... drinking my coffee, enjoying a fire, looking at a little snow on the ground, and thankful to have my children buzzing around me in the kitchen.
Last week I headed back down to south Mississippi early Monday morning to help gather petitions from different courthouses around the state.... Technically, the law reads that we had until Feb. 13th TO PETITION, which fell on a Saturday. Our secretary of state has been less than accommodating, however, and he insisted that they must all be CERTIFIED in courthouses and delivered by Friday.
We were threatened with an unexpected snowstorm in the southern part of the state, and so we had to try to get all petitions out of courthouses late Thursday afternoon. (Many circuit clerks were telling us that they would be closed if it snowed.) We all picked up and dropped off at our designated locations, and then it was up to Phillip to work on our numbers. He worked on counting all of the certified petitions, but the question remained, "What about all of the petitions sitting in courthouses all over the state that have not been certified yet? Will they count?"
Friday morning was met with a blanket of snow on Jackson, MS. All state offices were closed, but Mr. Hoseman decided that he would be glad to just meet us at the office and require us to turn in everything anyway. Thankfully, a judge intervened and granted us a snow day also, which gave us until Tuesday to deliver signatures to Jackson.
We were worried about how the snow would affect everything, but it turned out to be a blessing; It was determined that we were just a LITTLE short in district four, and so it gave us an extra day to petition. Les asked "everyone with legs" to come to Jackson and petition all day Saturday. Two wonderful circuit clerks offered to come in and certify on Saturday and Monday. It seemed that the Lord was really working in this effort!
Savannah, the kids, and I were planning on going to Jackson Friday for the delivery of signatures and a field trip/tour of the capitol building, but it turned into an overnight trip to spend Saturday petitioning. We spent the night in the home of a very nice CPC volunteer, "Miss Dana," and woke up Saturday morning to petition. The girls got to go to the Dixie National Parade and Rodeo (lucky!), and Savannah, Will, and I spent the day in Clinton. We went from business to business, door to door in neighborhoods, and we even sneaked around the Wal-Mart parking lot gathering signatures! By the end of the day, we were having many people say, "Y'all got me at Fred's," or "Someone asked me in the hair salon." I think the area was well covered with petitioners!
Among all the different groups, it is estimated that about 1,300 signatures were gathered in District 4. Not all of these will be certified, but hopefully we will have enough to make our goal of 89,000!
On Saturday morning, I read this passage in Acts:
"Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:
'Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish;
for I am accomplishing a work in your days,
A work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.'"
I know that this is talking about the gospel and belief in Christ, but it was an encouragement to me as we started the day... it really does seem as though God is accomplishing a work here. I continue to pray that God would show us His mercy, and not His judgment in this. It is still too close to tell, but I think we will know on Tuesday!
AARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! I just got a phone call, and it seems that the attorney general of our state is now saying that just because we got the snow day, we can not turn in any petitions collected on the 12th or 13th... HELLO!!!! Our deadline was the 13th! I have no idea what is going through this man's mind, but it is very frustrating. Especially since we just found out that district 2 is 600 signatures short, but there are a few thousand signatures waiting in a few different courthouses to be certified! I think a suit is going to be filed to allow the signatures gathered by the date to be certified and count. If this passes, we should have enough signatures to get it on the ballot. There is no reason it should not pass, assuming the judge can clearly understand the written English language; the law is written pretty clearly... the attorney general just seems to favor some skewed interpretation of it! Hopefully we will know more soon!