Monday, July 6, 2015

Freedom

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The 4th of July is a holiday where people sudden are so happy to be living in America, love their country, and celebrate being free mainly because of people who have fought or served in some sort of military.  Mom has become accustomed to my respone to a majority of issues we hear about as being "because we live in America" or something to that effect, but not in the #Merica attitude.  Is America really all that great?  Do we just "love" our country because we basically do whatever we want?  To be honest, other countries don't find us that respectable.  We do have so much to be thankful for, yet we take it for granted, being unappreciative and distructive, totally selfish and inconsiderate.  As I've gotten older and this world has gotten more messed up, it's made me disappointed.  The news is full of disappointment, terrible tragedies, and flat out stupidity!
 
I'm not making this post to have anything to do with the recent court cases or other related issues.  This is totally dedicated to embracing the fact that we can live a life of freedom in the world, America, our town, home, and personal life no matter what anyone is saying or doing.  I love freedom, but I'm not thinking of USA or #Merica freedom.  This weekend as I saw numerous posts about this holiday, I was filled with gratitute for the life that I have and my hope in Christ.
 
I started out this day having a celebratory run with one of my best friends Katlyn.  We dressed up all pariotic from our head to our socks!  Luckily, we barely even got rained on for about two minutes.  This is our statue of liberty pose.  After the run, we did some strength exercises together, because it's much more enjoyable that way.  Those burpees weren't as excruciating as when I do them on my own!  Then we continued the holiday spirit with some waffles!
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  John 8:32

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."  2 Corinthians 3:17

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."  Galatians 5:5

"Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a coverup for evil; live as God's slaves."  1 Peter 2:16

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."  Galatians 5:13
My attempt at a flag featuring one of my ducks from elementary school fundraising.  Good memories...
Dad made some of his amazing spaghetti for dinner Saturday night, which was a nice fit, because his spaghetti is definitely not Italian.  We say that it's American spaghetti.  Kinda like how Taco Bell is American Mexican or Little Ceasars is American pizza--nothing like the real thing, but it's how we like it.  To give you a point of comparison, sometimes I eat just the "sauce" like it's chili.
What is the 4th of July without smores?  I love smores!  Marshmallows are best when they've been toasted to a golden brown over a campfire, but I improvised--no fire to toast the minis, but I used what I had.  The top and bottom are Cascadian Farms Graham Crunch Cereal.  The one on the left has a brown Resee's Piece (to make it look chocolate), and the one on the right has part of a bite-sized mint 3 musketeer.
The next morning, I hit the trails with two of my other best friends, who I haven't gotten to see as much this summer because they are getting ready for college next year!   However, it makes things so much more fun when we finally do get together.  We got to the park while it was still dark in order to get all the miles in and leave them with enough time to get to church!  (FBC didn't have Sunday School or early service for me this weekend, so my family took the day together at home.)  We were the only people there, no surprise, but none of the 3 entrances were open!  Because of campers, there is usually at least one gate open, but we couldn't get into any of them.  We ended up parking in front of the gates, then, which worked out.  When we left, we were still the lone rangers at the park.  I was extremely thankful for this run and these girls!  The miles and time flew by, and I felt fantastic!  You know it's a great run with great friends when you can be out there that long and talk the entire time without running out of topics of conversation!
Running is also a great way to feel free!
 
Yes, we live in "a free country," but what do you really think of when you hear freedom?