Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

The 4th of July came and went very simply for us this year. The children were with their Father and I declined a trip to Pine View with Shell and the girls simply given the heat. Mark ended up at home with me during the day and the two of us quietly enjoyed a an entire day of the Lifetime Movie Marathon! While I know it is less than patriotic and hardly romantic it was really special for us to have an entire day of relaxation together free from the demands of life. I cherished it mostly knowing that it was the last of it's kind given Adalie's upcoming arrival.

Despite our lack of 'traditional' activities there was plenty of time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives as Americans. I remember being on my Mission in 1998 during the bombings at the French Embassy's in Africa. At this point in time we received a message indicating that we were NOT allowed to disclose the fact that we were Americans. We were told to tell anyone who asked that we were Brits.

While it may not seem like a huge deal it hit me pretty hard and for one of the first time I really thought about what it meant to be an American. It hurt my heart that we weren't able to honestly disclose that for the sake of our own safety. It felt like a huge part of my identify was denied and it was a part I had so easily taken for granted in the past.

Being abroad really helped me reflect upon the many liberties and freedoms that we enjoy in our country. It's often when something is somehow taken away from us or deniedthat we truly are best able to appreciate it and reflect upon it. While I loved my mission and would do it all over again in a heart beat it did teach me the many beauties of what it means to be an American the hard way.

On the B Side: I'm proud to be an American! We are blessed and I love the rich history of our country as it has unfolded. As time continues to press forward I hope and pray that our country and each of us as individuals will remember the long standing values that it was built upon and all of the blessings that make it such an honor to be an American in the world today.

6 shout outs:

Clancy in Idaho said...

You rock. I am finding myself hard-pressed to go deep with my thoughts lately. I'm glad to read yours though. I am so excited for your upcoming blessing, Adalie. YAY! Love you and miss you.

Mic and Jazzy said...

Agh I can't wait for this baby to come! I am so excited to meet this little girl. We definitely want to have you over ASAP so you can see our new little place! Its teeny but its cute.

me said...

Me and my family are in Huntsville, which is one of the towns surrounding Pineview, every July 4th. I understand you wanting to stay out of the heat but it would have been cool to maybe run into you there.

Britta said...

Amanda! I wish I would have known you were going ot be in that area. I can't access your blog anymore :(

Hope you enjoyed the 4th!

Kristin said...

Wow! That would be so hard. I can't imagine having to claim a nation that is not my own especially when mine means so much to me.

me said...

I'll send you an email so that you can access my blog. I thought I had already done that.