A Day to Celebrate

IMG_2225.jpgHappy July 4th to all of my readers in the United States of America. It’s hot and sunny outside my window, and I feel blessed to have the ability to write and speak freely, choose my career and vocation, worship our ever-loving and merciful God, and enjoy life without fear of tyranny.

VetMy father is an Air Force Veteran, and he raised my brothers and me to respect our government and our flag, honor our military, and cherish our way of life. His love for our country is unwavering, and I am so proud yet humbled by his service and dedication to all that this great nation stands for.

As we begin our annual celebration, I ask that every American take the time to truly think about what we celebrate each 4th of July. It’s not the burgers on the grill, the water in the pool, the sand on the beach, or the beer in the fridge, though all of those things have a place and even a connection to what this day is all about.

We celebrate the fact that we have food on the grill and beer in the fridge. We celebrate the ability to hear laughter in the pool and sink our toes in the sand. We celebrate all of the things that we enjoy each and every day of our lives–the houses we live in, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the books we read, the shows we watch, the music we listen to, the toys we play with, the museums, churches, shopping malls, parks, grocery stores, and all the places we have the freedom to visit. What we celebrate is every single thing, large and small, that makes the United States the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

DSC04547We also celebrate and honor those who stood up for our rights and those who laid down their lives for our freedom.

July 4th isn’t about single day or a political party or system or a signature on a document. It’s about remembering who we are, where we came from, and why we’re here.

 

 

 

Thank you, Dad for your service and for teaching your children to love our country. And thank you to all our veterans, especially my father-in-law and his father, my nephews, and the young man I love like a son. To you all, I am most grateful.

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What I was writing about a year ago this week: Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture MeWhispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016.  Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is a finalist for the RWA Golden Quill Contest and the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction.

Amy’s latest book, The Devil’s Fortune, is now available! Order your copy today.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and at http://amyschislerauthor.com.

Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018).

Let The Dead Bury the Dead

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Yesterday, our family received the news of the sudden and unexpected passing of a dear family friend. She and her husband were the first friends my parents made after they were married. They have remained friends for over fifty years. While the husband has been sick for a long time, nobody thought his wife would be the victim of a sudden heart attack. It’s just another reminder, for me, that we should tell our families and friends how much we love them every day. And not just tell them, but show them.

As I said after the death of my father-in-law, it’s not enough to expect others to know how much we love them. We must tell them and show them as often as we can. Last week, my daughter wrote about the loss of a friend and how hard it was for her to come to grips with the fact that she would never see his smile again. I often wonder why we only think of these things after a loved one is gone. Why don’t we take every opportunity to let others know how special they are? To let them know how we feel about them?

Much debate has taken place about Jesus’s admonition to “let the dead bury the dead.” Some say Jesus was referring to the “spiritually dead.” Others say that Jesus was telling us to not look for excuses to avoid following Him. In thinking about those I’ve lost over the years, I wonder if there is a deeper, hidden meaning. 

How often do you attend a funeral at which it seems the entire world comes to say goodbye? How many people reach out, after someone is gone, to say they hadn’t seen the person in years and regretted not getting in touch. How many times have you lost someone and cried that you had let so many other things come before spending time with that person? Perhaps Jesus was reminding us that, while taking care of the dead is a good thing, it’s too little too late. Maybe we should have been paying attention to that person, to their needs (spiritual and physical), to their joys and sadnesses, long before they were gone.

On this day, in America, we celebrate the birth of our country. Many of us will spend the day with family and friends. We will toast our freedom and salute our forefathers under a sky of glittering lights. Before we spread our blankets and pop open another beer, let us reach out to to that person or persons we haven’t expressed our feelings to. Let’s use this day to let others know that we love them, appreciate them, and are thinking about them from sea to shining sea.