Portraits of Home: Happy birthday, America

IMG_6483awebToday is July 4th, the 4th of July, and I type on my computer using electricity from a nearby generator, in a war-torn country in East Africa. This country is brand new, yet freedom has very little meaning here. Today, I’m trying to understand independence and freedom from oppression and constant warring factions.

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As an expat, I am continually proud to be an American, despite past errors we’ve made, and even more recent national changes that will affect the larger landscape of our American culture and personal freedoms as we know them.

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But living here, hearing horrific stories that our minds can’t ever seem to fathom, I wonder why God placed me in America? Why was I born in a place where I could go to school and grow up beside a beautiful, unchanging riverside town, while the girl sitting beside me has tears in her eyes because her family’s hometown was recently burned to the ground?

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America is 239 years old, still young, but enough to have faced years of figuring out what freedom means. I’m so very thankful to understand a little bit more about what that means.

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IMG_6112awebWhile I won’t be seeing any fireworks or eating cook-out hotdogs in a Kaiser roll bun, I wanted to share a bit of my America, my beautiful country full of people I love and places of natural beauty where one’s soul can find contentment and refreshment. May is one of the sweetest times of the year in the northeast too.

IMG_6607awebIMG_6588awebHappy birthday, America!

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