Sunday, July 13, 2014

God Bless America....with lots of Littles!

I loved our Independence Day this year. I have some pictures I wanted to share but also some thoughts on how being open to life is being patriotic.

When we first moved here my husband had a conversation about our family with another lieutenant on a visiting cutter. This gentleman was working on his masters in his off time and reading a lot about how declining populations were going to have a significant impact on nations. He said we were true patriots for having so many children.

Wow? Really? Patriots?

In my fourth pregnancy, I heard it straight from a nurse midwife's mouth that she believed we should only replace ourselves.

And it's her belief! Really it is, and isn't that what is so great about being Americans, is that we can have these differing opinions?

However, being called "true patriots" for having so many children was a first for Justin and I.

patriot: one who loves and loyally or zealously supports one's own country (Webster Fourth Edition)

Fireworks start at 11:59 p.m. on the 3rd of July...because that's when it is dark enough to see them here in Juneau!

That is a huge nun buoy in front of where we were sitting on the Coast Guard pier.

Do you see my son covering his ears?

Patriots, of course, aren't only those called to have a large family, that is so limiting and it is a vocation we are called to in a particular way. What is great about being patriotic is we can be this in every vocation (and in every political party)....

because we can ALL BE OPEN TO LIFE.

To be open to life is to be patriotic because in its essence is a deep love for our fellow countrymen, our neighbor, and the profound realization of how desperately we need each other.

Our country needs her littles. Lord, we pray that you keep sending them...

They pass these mining hats out every year.

When we accept life in front of us in all its forms and mess, we are the ones changed. Every time we give ourselves to our fellow countrymen, in our parish, in our neighborhood, in our schools, in our womb....we are building up our country and promoting a culture of life.

Yes, little ol' you and me.

We should have this prayer for citizens in all countries, that we all have such an ardent love of our country and the life in that country, that we empty ourselves to serve each other.

I hope my own children don't learn to be patriots because their parents just so happen to both serve as commissioned officers in the Coast Guard.

I want them to see us daily serving, opening our hearts to others, right here in this little home in the 49th state of the United States of America.

My dad, a retired Naval officer who served on submarines during the Cold War was very taken aback a few years ago on the phone...or I think it might have even been on the front porch of his home...when I said I identified more with being a Catholic then I did with being an American.

I see now how very much I don't have to rank one over another, labels are so dangerous in this way. Above all we are children of God, I just so happen to be an American Roman Catholic. And more than just saying "we need each other" or "our country needs littles" it is this truth alone, that we are His children, which takes us to the even more beautiful of and zealous support of a Heavenly Kingdom, where Freedom does truly reign! Oh friends, its going to be AWESOME.

God Bless America...with more littles!

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