If you know me, you know I’m not a person who would call myself patriotic. But I’ve been thinking more and more about freedom in this country and how I’ve used it and taken advantage of it.

This July 4th, I give thanks for my freedom and my country.

I am thankful that I live in a country where I could practice my religion, until I no longer practiced religion. Both were ok.

I am thankful for a country that gave me the freedom to travel state to state and explore it all.

I am thankful for a country that allowed me to marry the person that I loved. I hope that all will experience this as well.

I am thankful for the country that gave me the freedom to have three kids. Three ENERGETIC children. Gratitude for the private and public schools they attend, for the freedom to raise them in the neighborhood I choose. Grateful.

I am thankful that I live in a place that lets me put any kind of lawn sign out that represents my beliefs. Whether it is selling my house (to whomever we want) or it is protesting a travel ban- it’s my lawn and I get to choose.

I am thankful that I live in a country that lets me write what I want. I can publish a blog that expresses my political, religious and whatever beliefs. I don’t worry about anyone coming to my door to question me about that. I write and I share and I can do it in the form that is most truthful to me.

I get to live in a country where I move from one state to the next and meet people on the opposite ends of just about everything. I attend my July 4th parade here and see a celebration of Pride and a call for responsible gun ownership. I attend a parade at our last home that celebrates their gun rights and  carries negative banners about the President that I voted for.   We can express these things openly.    

I am thankful for the people who work hard to protect this freedom.

Sweet Freedom.

BUT, also, the awareness that not everyone I love experiences this freedom as I do, please let me never forget. Let the freedom I have give me the strength to work hard to speak out for freedom for ALL people. No matter religion, race, sexual orientation or economic situation, may our country be a place for us all.

Let me use this freedom to live as I believe and live for the Love of all humanity.

What a gift we have.

May I never take it for granted.