This weekend we spent nestled on the cliffs of the central coast, overlooking the water. It was a priceless few days with my family, as we celebrated our country together. Kevin and I snuck out that evening to take a few pictures on the rocks as the waves crashed headlong into them. The scene was such a sweet reminder of so many things that I love about this country of mine.
While i'm not particularly nostalgic when July 4th rolls around, I happened to be quite contemplative this year. Our country, while so far from perfect, is my home and i'm proud of the many ways I see goodness, kindness, and love sprouting up through the soil.
I'm so grateful for the ability to get a public education for free. In some countries around the world (and true of many of the countries where I worked in Africa), school fees are required, which inhibits children from getting an organized education. I grew up on public education, with so many fantastic teachers who nurtured and inspired the creative sides of me. Public education is not without its drawbacks, but i'm grateful organized learning was always an option for me and for children all across the states.
I'm so thankful for the kindness of strangers. Americans can be so helpful and kind. There have been countless times i've asked for directions or needed help, and a friendly stranger has come through in such a cheerful way!
I'm grateful for the gift of being able to worship freely. I love God and I love my church. I can do both without fearing arrest or intense persecution.
America is beautiful, just breathtaking. I live within minutes of some of the best beaches in the world, as well as majestic mountains and a stunning dessert landscape. There is so much loveliness around us in this country, and i'm thankful I get to encounter it in all its natural glory.
Mostly, i'm infinitely brimming with thankfulness for the bonds of it's people. My people. Over my short lifetime, i've seen communities rally around people after a birth or a death or some event, bringing meals, cleaning houses, praying, and taking care of one another. This kind of love is not unique to the USA, but it certainly exists here, and i'm grateful for that.
There are so many things I cannot control about our country, but what I can control is my ability to notice the ways I love this country and celebrate them! Love all you readers who enrich my life, no matter where you are in the world today!! Hope your 4th was lovely!