Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating Freedom

If you would come up with a list of words to describe me, I'm guessing that "patriotic" would not be one of them. I don't own any red, white, and blue clothing, and I don't have an American flag flying outside my house, not even on the 4th of July. My car doesn't have any bumper stickers saying "Support our Troops" or "God Bless America," and sometimes I forget a few words of the National Anthem.

Today - July 4th - I woke up excited to have the day off work and to spend time with my family in the evening. I'll be honest - I didn't give much thought to why we were celebrating the day. I found myself more enthralled with the perks of it being a holiday.

It was a gorgeous morning, so Zac and I went for a very long bike ride around town. It was about 9am, and the city was still and quiet. The breeze was the only reminder that we weren't in a picture frame. We passed lawns dotted with day lilies and roses, biked through tree-covered paths near streams, and sailed by small ponds where the wind rippled the water.

Pulling back into our driveway, I noticed that my flowerbed was still shaded, so I decided to spend some time pulling weeds. I got my tools, knelt down, and began my task. As I pulled, I noticed the trees moving above me, the birds chirping, and the sun casting moving shadows all around me. It was as peaceful as peaceful can be.

Somehow my thoughts wandered as I weeded, and I realized what a privilege it is to have this kind of peace. I am grateful to be able to bike through a beautiful town and not worry once about safety. I am fortunate, as a woman, to be working outside alone. I am blessed to have a yard in which to grow things, and the time to help them grow. I am lucky that my home is not in danger of being shot at or burned. I am safe. I am blessed.

I am thankful to live here in America, and I hope and I pray that every single person around the globe will one day be able to experience this safety, peace, and joy too.

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