Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Memories - Take No More for Granted

It's hard not to take some things for granted.  Like air.  Since we take some 20,000 breaths each day, I had come to expect that there would always be another breath to inhale after I exhaled.  Always.

But one time I was on the ocean floor in Hawaii when my oxygen tank ran dry and there was no more air to breathe. None.  I will never forget the sensation of exhaling and fully expecting to inhale, but there was nothing to take in.  No air.  Nothing.  It was empty.  It was tight.  It was scary.  Air - that thing that sustains life and that I'd always expected -  was no longer available.  With the help of my scuba buddy, I shared her tank of air until we could surface.  I learned to appreciate air like never before after that experience.  I also learned to be more mindful of the little things that God provides so generously that I'd taken for granted.  Like air. 

Freedom was one of those things.  I have always lived in a country with great freedom so it was easy to just expect it to be.  Then I learned that only 4% of the world's entire population has ever known freedom.  Not everyone takes it for granted.  I am one of those few 4% that has had freedom, but because it was given so generously I came to expect it.  Always.  Like air.    

Shame on me.  

On one day a year - Veterans Day - I am reminded, lest I have forgotten, to give thanks to those who provide the vigilance, sacrifice, and service to protect and maintain God-given rights.  On that day I'm given an opportunity to thank God and those men and women who preserve and provide freedom for America.

So, with a big, deep breath, "Thank you soldiers, past and present, who have watched over and provided safety and freedom to me while I raise my family, work, sleep, play, and pray.  I am grateful to be free and humbled to be protected by you.  Thank you.  I appreciate your service and sacrifice. I appreciate you."   

Hooray for Soldiers
Grace and I welcoming home soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan
December 2012


Nicole said...

I love this. Thank you for your reminder that we shouldn't take anything that we have for granted. I also am very grateful for those who have protected our country. We are blessed.

Erin Peterson said...

Love our Veterans!!!

Hey, are you the same jane that comments on Jill's blog creativity, musings and such?

This is hilarious. I have been seeing you comment on her blog for like 5 years now, and always thought you were her real life neighbor...never really piecing the puzzle together. Wish I would have peeked at your blog years ago. I saw your post over at Chocolate on my Cranium.

Nice to meet you! Neighbor;)

melanie said...

What a perfect few sentences to end this post. I appreciate being able to do the very same things while those men and women willing sacrifice and provide me with all my many freedoms.

Thank you, thank you Soldiers!

I love, love that picture of you and Grace. You're both beautiful.

Jill said...

Oh how I love that picture of you and Grace!!

Rachel said...

I agree - that is the best picture EVER! You, and all of your family have been such an example/inspiration to me. Thank YOU on this Veteran's Day as well.

Katie said...

A beautiful post. I love this so much. I love the picture of you and Grace, too. Beautiful.

Nikki said...

What a great post! I love that picture. The look on yours and Grace's face are so perfect.

Kim Sue said...

Wonderful post and picture!