Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sometimes I'm Not Proud to Be an American

“A nation without God's guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God's law!”
Proverbs 29:18
I'm sorry to admit this, but sometimes I'm not proud to be an
Don't get me wrong.  I am grateful to live here.  I am.  And I am even more grateful for the service men and women that we honored during Veteran's Day who fought to protect our country.  I'm in awe of them as well as the men and women who continue to step up to serve our country today. 
But sometimes I find myself wondering what those amazingly selfless, brave, and courageous men and women are fighting for!
We live in a country who is poisoning our food with pesticides, with artificial colors and dyes, with artificial flavors, with preservatives, with aspartame and who knows what else!
We live in a country who is adding antibiotics and hormones to our food and who is allowing animals to be mistreated and abused so we can eat all we can eat. 
We live in a country where the drug companies want us to self-diagnose to the point where no one cares about the root of our symptoms.  They only care about giving us a drug to mask them.  Then they give us another drug to mask the side effects. 
We live in a country where we allow our kids to play violent video games and watch violent movies and then wonder why they become young men who are desensitized and kill others without blinking.   
We live in a country where we always have to have more and we are never content with what we have.  
We live in a country who doesn't care enough for our veterans when they return home. 
My head starts spinning! 
We live in a country where kids bully...where education standards are low...where healthcare is ridiculous...where unemployment is high...where people are selfish...where everyone is in debt...where no one seems happy...where no one seems healthy...where church isn't attended...where money is more important than anything else... where our freedoms come above our moral obligation to teach right from wrong...
And I could go on...
And just when I think I can't stand it anymore and I feel so frustrated and discouraged about the country we live in...I see our flag waving in the breeze at my son's school.  And I stop.
"God bless our country" the kids and I always say.  Then we talk about how our country is free and what that means.  How we all can get an education...even girls.  How we can all can go to church and worship God wherever and whenever we want.  How so many brave men and women fight to protect us so we don't have to be afraid walking to and from school every day. 
And just when I think God feels so absent from our country, I see a brother reaching out to help his sister whose husband has cancer...I attend an event for an organization who helps battered women and children...I see a father working 2 jobs for their family...I see a mother pumping milk for another mother to give her child breast milk...I see young kids praying over a friend at church...I learn of a man bringing socks to homeless people...I see my child's teacher pouring love into her students and his principal who cares enough about each student to memorize all their names...and I hear the school kids reciting our Pledge of Allegiance during the morning announcements.  As I hear the words "One nation, under God," I cry.
And I realized...God is here. 
Even though there is so much negativity among us, God is with us.  God is in us and works through us.  God is in even the smallest kindness that we do.  God is in even the quietest words that we say.  Even though all the bad seems to drowned it out, there really is so much good in our country when I take the time to look for it...when I take the time to see what God is doing. 
When I see the good, I feel grateful for our country.  I feel grateful that we are free.  Grateful that we are free to love and serve others. 
And I feel proud.  Proud to be an American.  Proud to serve alongside fellow Americans who give so much of themselves for so our our our our our our our our neighbors and even to strangers...and to our country.
So, moving forward today, I don't want to focus on the bad.  I want to focus on the good.  I want to do what I can to be a loving parent, a dedicated wife, and a serving citizen.  I can only do the best that I can each day and pray about the rest.  So instead of feeling overwhelmed or hopeless, I can just give to God the things about our country that I don't like...don't understand...or can't control.  
I have to intentionally start praying for our country right now.  Will you please join me? 
Father, I lift our country up to you.  Lord, protect our service men and women who bravely fight for our freedom...who give so much of themselves...even their own lives for us.  Lord, I want our Veterans to be proud of the country they are fighting for and feel that their efforts, lives, and sacrifices are worth it.  Remove the bitterness and negativity that I feel about our country sometimes.  Help me to see the good...the love...the giving...the sacrifices...going on all around me.  Help me to appreciate more than ever the freedom that we have to love You, serve You and love others.   Help me to be proud to be an American!
I pray for wisdom and guidance for our leaders, drug companies and food industry.  I pray over the parents in our country as well as our precious children.  Lord, shine Your light into our country and on all those who call it home.  I pray for more of You in our homes and our schools and our communities.  We need You in our country. We need Your hope...Your love...Your joy!  We need You in our lives.  In Jesus' name. Amen. 
Please take a minute to listen to "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood.  I cry every time.  Such a great reminder of how precious our freedom really is!
Help me to continue to see the good in our country!  Please share what you love about our country or leave your prayers for our country in the comments. 


  1. I think sometimes it is so easy to see the negative and not the good. Tonight at Confirmation, we created cards for a boy at another church who is battling cancer. Now that is good! I'm going to try and look for more of the good in the world !!

    1. Amen, Tara! It is so easy to see the bad sometimes, and I have to remind myself of SO MUCH good all around us...and that's where God is! Thanks for commenting!


  2. I understand how you feel. I too have mixed feelings about national pride. I am very thankful for our country though, serving as a missionary in another country cemented that feeling, in large part because of the cleanliness of our country in comparison to where we were serving.

    1. Thanks for sharing that perspective, Jennifer! I know we are so blessed! I watch the news and thank God often for the country that we live in. I get caught up in all that's wrong sometimes that I'm so glad that God stops me to show me the good. Thank you for giving me another reason to love our country--we have so many giving, serving people like you who serve as missionaries in other countries. Wow. Thank you!