Memorial Day

Freedom Is Not Free
By: Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day,

It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out it any crowd.

I thought…how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down
How many dead at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

Born To Be With You

Nick and I often stop to marvel at how we got here. Our journey was long and the road was winding, but we’ve finally arrived home. It’s beyond our comprehension that the Lord was gracious enough to work this out for us. We balance each other so well and yet, we are headed in the same direction. It’s not uncommon to hear one or the other of us say, “I was born to be with you”. It’s a beautiful thing.

Having met at 15, it took 19 years for our timing to finally be right. We learned so much in those years. There are times we are tempted to regret our journey, but the truth is, we walked those roads for a purpose. We are better people, better spouses, and better followers of Jesus for the hardships and loneliness we endured. We are grateful and deeply appreciate this gift we’ve been given. I imagine we would have struggled much as young newlyweds without the wisdom that comes with time and maturity. Maybe it would have been better. Who can say? All I know is the looks on our face in the moment God’s promise was realized for us tells our story. We want to tell of His goodness always.

This is the Lord's doing, it is marvelous in our eyes; this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad.

“This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes; this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad.” – Psalm 118:23-24

Photo Credit: Innamorata Photography

This post in response to the Daily Prompt

Good Medicine


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up bones. – Proverbs 17:22

The link between body and soul has always been interesting to me. Have you ever been able to pull yourself out of the blues just by singing a happy tune, dressing up, putting on makeup, or just doing something silly? Growing up in a Mary Kay household, I grew up hearing things these quotes by Mary Kay Ash:

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.”

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe remember you can achieve.”

“Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.”

Our mind is powerful. Sometimes we can change our reality just by choosing to do so. Sometimes we really can “fake it ’til we make it”.

I know, for me, if I’m feeling down, doing something to physically change something makes a difference. I might take some extra time with my hair and makeup, or even just go for a walk. But, the best medicine is usually laughter. Our house is full of it. It’s a beautiful way to diffuse the blues and reset an attitude. “A joyful heart is good medicine” and it can heal so many of the things that ail us. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting the sadness out of me in some way. If I’m really blue about something, it usually comes out as a song. I sit at the piano and pour out the bad feelings so I can leave them there. Or, I take the time to write them down in a journal so they no longer float around in my heart. There are so many ways to fight the blues if we choose not to wallow in them. (Please note: There are times when “The Blues” are truly more than a feeling, it’s something that requires a physician. If you need help, please talk to someone. You don’t have to fight it alone).

How do you fight the blues? What’s your “good medicine”? Anyone know any good jokes? It all helps heal our hearts!

This post written in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt