3 cheers for freedom!

Happy Freedom Day!  Here’s an interesting experience I had that was an eye-opener:  During the Cold War, I went on a Summer missions trip to Eastern Europe & it was still heavily under communist control.  Before we crossed from West Germany into the Eastern Bloc, we went through all of our luggage to make sure that we didn’t have any kind of “contraband” that would be considered anti-communist.  At the time, I was taking a correspondence course on US History & my leadership informed me that I wouldn’t be able to take my text nor course work with me because it presented a different view of history than what was politically acceptable in Communist nations.  Of course this threw me for a loop because I had to hurry up, finish everything & mail it back to the States.  This experience gave me some unique insight into the significance & power of freedom that we celebrate in the US every year on the 4th of July.

Here’s another thought about freedom:  everyday we get to celebrate freedom in our choices & decisions.  Consider what Viktor Frankl had to say about freedom:  Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.  Viktor Frankl was a concentration camp survivor.  His thoughts about freedom can be very insightful – we carry with us everyday the freedom to chose our actions & attitudes 🙂

tips to help with forgiveness

 I’m a big fan of being proficient with forgiveness – after all, we get to practice almost everyday! ,)

There are LOADS of benefits that go with maintaining a lifestyle of forgiveness, but the point for this blog is to refresh a few tips & to give you an opportunity to share some effective tips you’ve learned as well.  So here’s a quickie sarah forgiveness primer:

  • be ready to forgive more than you’re ready to take an offense – sometimes it helps to have a forgiveness mindset
  • fast forgiving is easier than elongated forgiving:  anytime I’ve nursed a hurt, the forgiving process gets quagmired & almost moribund before I know it :/
  • some people require more forgiveness than others;  some of us are proned to the foot-in-mouth syndrome so please don’t make us squirm as we try to get better
  • forgiveness is about personal liberty: for those of us who are Americans, its hard for me to understand why we are so adamant about our external freedom, but we can be virtually oblivious to our internal incarceration
  • I want to be super generous with forgiveness because Lord knows He gives me more than I can comprehend;  people who are stingy with forgiveness are usually mean & lonely 😦
What are some more suggestions?

4th of July

Last year was the 1st year that any of our kids got to stay up late to watch the fireworks – it was more fun to watch & listen to Isabell’s reactions than to see the fireworks themselves!  4th of July is classic summer – grilling, hot, family, fireworks, freedom, punks, barefoot, watermelon, relaxing . . . .  it’s good to be in summer.  On this day we celebrate the founding of our nation – a great nation.

What are your fav memories from the 4th of July?  What things do you most like about our country on this 4th of July?

Does anyone have a good smokey gazpacho recipe?  Also, we finally got benji’s passport after going to the post office 2x, acquiring his birth certificate from the safety deposit box in the bank, filling out the new forms since the others were old & expired, paying $85, and unfortunately being grumpy at the 1st post office worker.  There are times I wish I would be a nicer person.