Today is July 4th, 2015: Independence Day in the United States of America!
I find I am very grateful for many things today: God, Family, Country, Friends, Freedom to worship as I choose, Opportunities to make my family’s life better, and the Technology and ability to offer my gratitude through this post.
In the past week I have celebrated my third daughter’s birthday, helped my third son make final preparations to serve in the Honduras, Tegucigalpa, mission for our church, prayed that my mother-in-law would pass peacefully into the next life after bravely fighting several illnesses for years, and worried when my father-in-law had a mild heart attack because I am sure his heart literally broke knowing the love of his life was leaving.
I feel gratitude knowing that their separation can be just a temporary one, (and that an operation helped heal his heart physically—and that he is recovering well). I am grateful for the technology that allowed my husband and his 5 siblings to fly and drive to be with their parents before their mother passed. I have felt joy and happiness while cuddling all five of my grandchildren in the last week and spent time with each of my remaining 11 children and my parents.
My friend’s daughter was missing for several days and was found alive today. Social media put the call out to look for her. Prayers offered in her behalf were answered in the best possible way with her safe return. Having recently lost my second son in a car accident, I couldn’t stop grateful and relieved tears for her family.
So today I am especially grateful to live in a country where I can enjoy the simple blessings of having enough food for my family, worship as I choose, welcome opportunities to learn and grow, and have the ability to count my blessings even when adversity and sadness strike.
I come from a military family--and I married into one. Both my father and father-in-law retired from the Air Force. Two of my brothers-in-law retired as well: one from the Army and one from the Air Force. My husband, brother, three other brothers-in-law, and a sister-in-law also served their country well. I am grateful for their honorable service and what it means to our family and our country.
Different versions of The American Flag have been revered and criticized over the years as our country has grown. I am truly grateful that, for me, the Flag represents differing opinions with one purpose: to rally our country toward the common good of all its citizens.
While it is true that every citizen may not agree 100% on what is the best for our country, I am grateful that--for the most part--being an American means that each citizen will at least try to listen to other points of view. Sometimes people may need to "agree to disagree," but most Americans understand that no one wins if the right to be heard is snuffed out.
To this end, I want to share Robin Williams' tribute to Old Glory. And to say with great affection that I love my Heavenly Father, my family, and my country. Happy 4th of July! :)
Laugh lots ... love much ... write on!