Monday, July 1, 2013

Celebrating Freedom

Puffy, small clouds seem pinned to the morning sky. The air is cool for late June too. As sweet morning breath drifts in through my office window, the valance ripples and the shade cord does a slight dance, taping out time, against a stack of unread books sitting on the ledge. The breeze carries with it, thick smokey incense of  nearby campfires.

Just a short walk from my front door is a State Recreation Area and Lake. Seasonally, our little suburb sees traffic multiply and weekend population swell. Folks come early to stake white-tagged claim, on campground real estate. Tents villages and house-sized camper communities explode across the grassy shaded landscape.

Often voices drift on puffs of laughter, carried along by soft northeasterly breezes. High pitched whine of watercraft motors can be heard as they slice through water, leaving in their wake, green swells to crash onto the shore line.

Campground dwellers move in with their boats, babies and dogs, trying their hand at fire making, to enjoy barbecued fare, chips and s'mores . They come, to slip away from some of the distractions of life and home, looking for a little freedom from the everyday.

I've dragged the one box of Americana decor to the living room. Folds of red, white and blue bunting spill out. Fists full of flags, a few wood items JQ made when we did crafty things like that, and lights. The red, the white and the blue speak to my soul people.

They say the colors stand for courage, justice and the white is for purity... which means to do thing right. And stars? They are symbols of heaven and I could use more of reaching for the stars around here.

I'm a bit of a patriotic person. Everyday of my school-girl life began with the reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance, I like coins that say "One Nation Under God", singing America The Beautiful and veterans in uniform make me cry. Especially when they hand the flag that draped a coffin, neatly folded, to the fallen soldiers' spouse.

These past few weeks I've been doing some soul searching about hard things and difficult people.  What I've come to is this: sometimes I thirst for freedom yet too often drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred. It's hard to fully grasp the whole truth when Jesus says, "if you are angry with a person, you are guilty of murder."

I compromise integrity in other ways too. I say things that put myself in a better light, get annoyed with people at super stores and fail to always work like I should for my boss. These might seem like pretty everyday stuff, but I'm praying for big things, desire to walk in freedom, all while living against what I know to be true.

So I've apologized to some people. I'll probably get to apologize some more, for all I know. Too often I get to practice that verse that says, 'bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,' but I've decided I'm serious about wanting to be free of some stuff.

Really free.

It's upside-down from what the world thinks.

I'm not fighting or grasping to have things my way. I'm tapping out and depending on God to have His way in me.

On a day we celebrate Independence Day, I'm claiming my dependence on Jesus.

It feels good.

Yes, there will be the July 4th Parade of Boats, that troll around the lake like a puttering victory lap with flags flapping and folks waving. Every lawn in the neighborhood will be neatly groomed, and our own flag will snap from the top of the pole, with a virtual parade of small flags, calling out the edges of our drive way. Quilted gingham, floral and plaid mixed with spangled pieces of red, white and blue, all stitched together that might make Betsy Ross proud, will overlay our long table.

There are plans for bowls full of potato salad, that is made as close to Aunt Pats as we can imitate, chilled platters of thick chunks of watermelon, pasta salads and deviled eggs. Add to that, tiers of pinterest worthy cupcakes, homemade ice cream and my favorite chocolate sauce all mixed with sweet chaos of family.

We will sit  in lawn chairs strewn across the yard facing the horizon, with sweatshirts and blankets to wrap up in, all smelling of musky mosquito spray as we prepare to enjoy the evening light show.  Some of my family will grapple over army men and parachutes and our old lab will have a tough day, with the fan on high and music playing to drown out the snaps and booms of all the fun.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. 
But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Before we celebrated with fireworks, there were the... 'rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air.' 

I'm so grateful for all those who fought for freedom long before it was ever won.

And this is true too.

True freedom come from within and is found in only One.


I hope you know Him, so that together, we can be, sons and daughters of His liberty. 

* Thank you Amy for having your camera ready and capturing things our family does.

 Love you. 

post signature


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! Thank you for stopping by.

© Rhonda Quaney