Our world is entrenched in war, in mass killings and terror that spreads throughout the globe. I wake each day holding my breath as I listen to the headlines, afraid this may be the day that evil spreads to this great land I live in. I exhale an exhaustive relief that I am protected once again to carry out my life untouched by the excruciating and torturous acts that are carried out on the lives of millions far from my safe and comfortable home. There are countless innocent victims who have to endure such suffering of violence and hate, as they gasp for breath every day of their lives, and it sickens me. There are countries torn to shreds, and governments reigning with brutal dominance that strangle the very life from the human race.
And although our nation holds its breath every day waiting and worried for what’s to become of our people, our land, our future…
We still walk the streets of freedom.
Our country is certainly not without its crime and there are questionable pockets of injustice and jurisdiction. We seep dangerous and hideous acts that awaken our protective armor within walls of schools and streets of our fair cities, and we seek revenge with outcries for inequity and murderous slayings of innocent lives. We are surely not nestled in a soft blanket of barriers, but we are free. We may have ongoing convictions and challenges to face amidst our freedoms, but nonetheless we have rights to our choices.
I wake each day with the profound realization of this truth, as I am blessed to live in the land of the free. And with our annual remembrance of the day we all woke to the utter nightmare of evil invading our land on 9-11-2001, I am once again reminded of the sheer vulnerability of this great nation and the dangers that threaten our existence.
May we embrace and celebrate our daily walk in the streets of our homeland…
The land of the free.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to go anywhere I want to go, all alone. I can enter any place throughout the country without fearing for my life. I can travel beyond this great land if I so choose.
I am free to go anywhere I want to go.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning and read my bible, say my prayers, and take my bible anywhere without fearing for my life. I can see others proclaim their own faith as well, and I have the opportunity to witness and appreciate many different religious perspectives that color my landscape with both honor and curiousity.
I am free to believe anything I want to believe.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to say anything I want to say. I can share my opinion anywhere I want to share it. I have a voice and I am allowed to use it without fearing for my life.
I am free to speak.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning with the opportunity to be educated in any academic area I decide. I can take courses to learn about anything and buy books to explore any topic I desire. I have the opportunity to earn a degree in any field of interest and pursue a career without fearing for my life.
I am free to learn and pursue a career.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to pick out any outfit I so choose. I can dress however I wish and go anywhere displaying my adornment. I can wear make up and paint my nails and get my hair done, any way I desire. My appearance is part of my identity and I can reveal it freely without fearing for my life.
I am free to create my appearance however I wish.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to buy anything I want at any store I choose without fearing for my life. I walk into any store and buy any products that please me, helps me, and nourish me. I am free to purchase whatever I so desire without fearing for my life.
I am free to be a consumer in the land of plenty.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to eat anything I want to eat. I can choose to indulge in my choice of eateries and groceries without fearing for my life. I can create plates of delicious delicacies from all over this land and all over the world.
I am free to choose my diet in our land of abundant food.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to choose any person I want to invite into my life. I can pick my friends, and I can fall in love with any man I choose and marry him without fearing for my life. I can end relationships and begin new friendships.
I am free to choose the people in my life.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to choose to bear arms in order to protect my home and my land and myself. I can buy a firearm if I am in fear for my life. I can own a weapon in a secure place to keep my loved ones and me safe from harm.
I am free to keep myself protected from danger with a firearm.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to birth children with any man I so desire. I can have as many children as I want, and I can birth them in a safe and secure environment that offers medical treatment to ensure our health. I can be a mother of my children without fearing for our lives.
I am free to have as many children as I desire.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to raise my children with my values and faith without fearing for our lives. I can teach them anything I choose, send them to any school, and give them the same opportunities I am given. I have the ability to make all decisions for them as their guardian and caregiver.
I am free to raise my children however I wish.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to vote for or against every law and bill and leader that runs my community, my state, and my nation. I am free to take part in any campaign or organization of politics that I desire without fearing for my life. I am free to run for any candidacy that I am passionate about and take action to make changes for any laws or governing decisions anywhere in this great land.
I am free to vote and invest in our laws of the land.
These freedoms come with a price; a sacrifice of countless lives is the cost.
So I will wake every day to be thankful…
That I live in the land of the free.
We truly do enjoy many freedoms because of living in this country!
Every choice we make is a blessing- there are people all over the world that cannot make any choices for themselves, their children, their future.
Katie Rose Hill says
I’m very thankful to live in the U.S. too and to have freedom. I enjoyed your list, it inspired me to think about the freedoms I have.
Thanks Katie! We just can’t take our freedom for granted… it’s so easy to do, as we go about our lives, our days. But if you really think about it? Every choice we make, comes from our country’s constitutional ground of freedom. We are SO blessed to live in the land of the free!!
Janine Huldie says
I loved this especially after just having had the anniversary of 9-11 here. We truly do take much of this for granted and thank you so much for the reminder here tonight 😉
I seriously wake up every day, turn on the news and thank God I am in my comfortable home with my ‘easy’ and ‘safe’ life. We are blessed indeed, Janine!! Sometimes I really need to take the time to acknowledge many of the choices I (and you) make every day that countless people around the world cannot. Oh, we have it good over here!!
I agree – we do live in the land of the free.
I do hate the fact that our kids will never live in a time without war though – I don’t think that the wars the US are choosing to be part of are ever going to end.
And, on a selfish note, it makes my life a little more stressful because Chris signed up to “serve and protect” and even though I didn’t take the oath, I married him.
Oh Kim… It’s the way of our world now, isn’t it? I fear our kids haven’t even seen the worst of it all… there’s a very dark future ahead, I think. And bless your heart with your husband- I hate that you have to endure a life of such stress!! Sigh…
Beautiful in Red, White and Blue. Very well done, Kitty (though I’m not sure I share your sentiments on being thankful that just *anyone* can own a firearm…we can agree to disagree – different cultures entirely, innit)
You’re awesome, and this is a wonderful tribute.
You know what? I’m not entirely on board with the firearms at ALL!! It’s just another freedom that I felt I needed to include- ‘cautiously’.
There has GOT to be tighter laws and regulations surrounding it… but I put myself in a situation where I or my own family may be in danger (for whatever crazy reason) and I realize I would probably want desperately to have one to protect us. So there’s that. 🙂
Yeah, thought at the same time, I dunno – I guess the advantage here is that if you or your family are attacked, the attacker is unlikely to have a gun, therefore you’re unlikely to need to retaliate.
I really baulk at the idea of something which so easily gives *anyone* potentially lethal force, even in the name of self-defence. Two bad choices surely just compound each other, and a death is a death is a death.
ESPECIALLY because I’ve recently experienced ‘The Rage’, and know that if I had had a weapon at my disposal, I would NOT have been thinking clearly, and could EASILY have done some serious damage to that punk.
I totally get what you’re saying… I am sick about the mass killings that have occurred in our country and even the domestic murders like our dear beloved friend Kim’s sister. It’s a horrible reflection of how broken the system is surrounding this law. This freedom is definitely one I have mixed feelings about… and if banning guns saves lives? Well, then something must be done about it!
For now, I try to see where it may save lives, I suppose. I have friends who carry, and they are passionate about feeling protected and safe.
Tough topic indeed. Sigh…
Intensely tough. Guns/weaponry are so entrenched in American society as an entitlement, I cannot forsee a future without them present for the common man, and because the constitution never forsaw the efficacy with which guns would one day be able to operate, I feel like it’s a slippery slope which has been gone too far down to ever return. As you say, tightening up laws and regulations and policing of weapons is probably the only way forward without infringing one of the very fundamental ‘rights’ held by each American.
I am just super, super thankful that the UK doesn’t have this culture. I don’t think I’d cope with it. I completely understand the mentality of ‘if everyone has a big stick, we’re all safe’, but there are still people who are NOT safe with weapons, and constitutionally they are allowed to have them. That worries me. I would rather it was illegal, as it is here.
In fact, while we’re ‘rather’ing for things, I’d just rather everyone threw the weapons away, held hands, and looked into one anothers eyes, recognising one another’s humanity, vulnerability and intrinsic worth. *sigh*
*HUGS* Kitty, I didn’t mean to derail these comments into a protracted discussion about guns. BACK TO HAPPY 😀 <3
Michelle Liew says
Yay to freedom…….it is something we have, yet take so for granted. We only realize this when we lose it, sadly. Well said.
Oh how I pray we never lose it! And I pray for those who don’t have it. I simply cannot imagine life without choices.
This is quite a list.
I know when I was a kid, my parents, teachers and grandparents would tell me how lucky I was to be born where/when/how, etc. and to parents who loved me.
I really get it now. I was able to go to college, choose jobs, get married to who I wanted to marry, give birth relatively how I wanted to give birth.
It’s incredibly amazing, isn’t it? I will try to never ever take it for granted, And I can only pray that our kids continue to have the same freedom we do as they grow older.
I love this list and how open it is to everyone. We do tend to take some of these things for granted if we are not careful!
Unfortunately I can be guilty of taking many of my rights for granted and not realizing just how blessed I am to CHOOSE everything in my life. I simply can’t imagine otherwise, can you?
This is a good reminder for all of us who have these rights.
I really think it’s important- no critical, for us to realize just how blessed we are in a world that holds millions captive from making their own choices…
WE are free.
Sandy Ramsey says
Freedom IS a wonderful thing. There are many things going wrong in the world today and I pray, with all that I am and all that I have, that we never lose it. This is a beautiful post, a great reminder, especially on the heels of the anniversary of 9/11. Thank you.
“There are many things going wrong in the world today and I pray, with all that I am and all that I have, that we never lose it.”
Yes. THIS. Beautifully said my friend.
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
I am thankful as well. At the same time, I worry that our children will not have what we had. There are so many issues with the world today.
SO many issues with the world today… it terrifies me actually. I know exactly how you feel about this Michelle.
Fantastic post Chris. My girls and I were just having a conversation last week (because of Sept. 11th) about how lucky we are to live in the USA. So glad to have read this today.-Ashley
I love that you are talking with your kiddos too, about this truly cherished freedom that we have Ashley! We are so blessed to live in this land. 🙂
Bianca @ Rant Rave Crave says
We tend to take these simple things for granted. Thanks for the reminder.
I know I do Bianca… I can go about my day not thinking about how blessed I am to be able to make the choices I make without fearing for my life. I am horrified at what is going on in the world.
Kristi Campbell says
We truly are lucky to be able to vote, to speak, to practice our beliefs freely, and to even parent how we choose to. Too many people are not allowed any freedoms – some cannot leave their homes and it breaks my heart. Beautiful post, friend!
I am constantly reminded of this daily- as I see what is going on in our world. It’s so easy to forget that every choice we make is surely ours and we are free to live our lives free from fear and persecution for doing so. I can’t imagine how countless lives are imprisoned in that fear… with NO choices whatsoever. We don’t realize how blessed we are! My heart breaks for those who have no liberty and are bound by others.
This is so beautiful and encouraging, Chris! I easily forget what a privilege it is to have the freedom of carrying a Bible around without retaliation. We are incredibly blessed in this awesome country of ours, even with its many issues. You have given me so many things to remember to be grateful for :).
It’s so easy to forget such privileges we have with our freedom, isn’t it? We go about our days and lives with a continual distraction and forget that our choices are OURS to make… in a world where few have that option. It’s amazing really. We are so blessed. <3
I don’t see how anyone who watches the news can take our freedoms for granted. I feel so blessed to be able to raise my kids in this country. Yes, it’s not perfect. Yes, there are problems and things that are still scary right here, but it could be so much worse. Great post!!
Well said Meredith! I am adamant about my kids being completely aware of what is going on in the world and making sure they understand the depth of their freedom in this nation. I fear so many take it all for granted, and don’t truly realize how truly blessed they are to wake up to these rights and be FREE to make their own choices in their lives.
Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says
Where did my comment go??
Just loved this – a great reminder of things we all too easily forget. I think what bothers me is when people take these liberties for granted or – perhaps worse – aren’t aware that so many in the world do not enjoy freedoms anywhere near what we do. A sad commentary, perhaps, on the limited scope of knowledge and awareness in society today, but that’s another topic entirely!
I found it!!! It was there! But I went ahead and deleted that one, cause you said it even BETTER with your second time around! lol 🙂
I absolutely agree… It’s truly appalling to see how some people truly don’t understand how good we got it. Their “limited scope of knowledge and awareness in society today,” is so discouraging. I want to go around and shake people and yell in their faces “DO you know how GOOD you GOT IT? Do you know what the rest of the world endures every day?” I have been intentional about sharing the ‘world’ with my kids since they were very small. It IS risky, and they may be more fearful because of it- BUT?
They get it. They are well aware of what is going on in our world. I am passionate about making sure they realize every single day, how blessed they are to live in this country.
See, this is why Captain America is my favourite. LOL
but seriously, we are incredibly blessed here in Canada too. We cannot even imagine the daily lives of others and what they must suffer.
but I have no anxiety, because Father’s arms are holding me
and I am covered from above
with the blanket of His love.
I can’t remember where that’s from, but I do know it was a song sung to me when I was younger, and I still carry it with me.
another jennifer says
While we certainly have our problems here, we are so very lucky to enjoy he freedom we do. Just being able to wake up with a roof over our heads with running water and all the food we need is pretty darn amazing.