Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

Tim Howard photo from the LA Times
Tim Howard photo from the LA Times

Our family just returned earlier this week from a wonderful two-week vacation in Europe. During our whole trip, we kept hearing about the World Cup games.

I have probably never been more aware of soccer or football as it’s called everywhere but in America, as I was in the last few weeks.

It was fun to see the U.S. play, though they lost to a hard-fought game with Belgium earlier this week.  I was most impressed by Tim Howard’s record saves during the game on Tuesday.

In the world of soccer, the U.S. has hardly been a dominant force.

Whenever I travel outside of America, I come away with a greater appreciation for the the creativity, strengths, beauty and historical significance of other countries in the world.

I also come home with a deeper sense of what I love about America.

And often, I come home to problems.  I almost want to avoid vacations because when I come home, we often have some unexpected difficulties occur.

Vines on the trellis before the stormThis week, I have had so many that I could write about. The flooding in the basement stands out as the biggest one that happened the second day back home, when the power went out, and the sump pump didn’t work.  The fallen trellis on my deck greeted me on the first day.  I’ll show the after picture, once I get a chance to fix the deck.

Despite or maybe because of these difficulties, I am remembering one of the most inspiring American traits.

Americans don’t give up when faced with adversity.  Our soccer team didn’t give up against Belgium when we faced likely defeat. Though we lost, I admired the team’s effort. Personally, today I am actually more grateful because of the troubles earlier this week. On the whole, my home and my family are weathering the storms of life well, and we are blessed to live in America.

Happy 4th of July to all my American readers!

And to everyone else, perhaps this is a good time to remember what you love about your country too!  Every country has its own beauty!

P.S. I hope to share a lot more about the beauty of our European Adventure in the next week or so.  In the meantime, check out my Facebook page if you’d like to see some pictures I posted during the vacation in Paris, Salzburg, Herrenburg and London.

Today’s Meditation:

What inspires you most about the country that you call home?




8 thoughts on “Happy 4th of July!

  1. I cherish our freedoms, although I also feel them being threatened, the fact that we have them at all is a blessing when you look at other places in the world. Hope things at your house stop falling apart 🙂


    1. Thanks Aaron,
      I’m finally getting somewhere with the clean-up. The positive side of all this is that my basement is getting more organized and less cluttered! 🙂



  2. Australians call football ‘soccer’ as well 🙂 Bummer about your returning from home disasters – that would have been the last thing you needed!


  3. Welcome home, Karen! And I ail look forward to hearing more about your wonderful vacation. I am so sorry about all the problems that greeted you upon your return. I think that’s everyone’s fear about leaving home for an extended time! Keep remembering how much you gained from your trip to Europe! 🙂


    1. Thanks Debra! I’m hoping to start writing this week about all the wonderful gains that I received from the vacation. I’m getting over the crisis situations and back into integrating everything I experienced and learned from our wonderful adventure. 🙂


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