Happy Fourth of July, friends!

I hope you have big plans for celebrating with your family & friends & reflecting upon all the blessings we have as Americans. I could write a really long post about everything I love about being an American, but I know most of you have a really short attention span, so I decided against that.

Instead, I dug through my lifetime stash of boxes of memorabilia in search of a speech I wrote when I was 16 years old. It was for a beauty pageant I was in in Nashville. Only we weren’t supposed to call it a beauty pageant because the main focus of this pageant was on “the whole package”(you know–brains, poise, propriety, etc.). And the winner would receive college scholarship money. So, being as naive as I was, I signed up, thinking I might just have a shot at a scholarship. Here’s my ad page in the pageant program guide…

That’s me opposite the Piggly Wiggly girl.

And I love how I have Kentucky Fried Chicken as one of my sponsors. Yep, Grandmother & Grandaddy, Mamaw & Papaw, & Kentucky Fried Chicken all stood behind me as I strutted across that stage.

Anyway, as part of the program, each finalist was to write a speech on “What’s Right About America”. I still have my hand-written draft.

And since I know you’re all dying to read it, I’m re-posting it here for the first time in ummm… a lot of years…for all the world to see:

What’s Right About America

We often hear what is wrong about America, but I would like to point out what is right about America. We are looked up to by the other nations in our world community, not because of out academic or athletic abilities, but because of our freedom. In China, even now, many students are fighting for a chance to have that for which America stands: freedom. Real freedom is not the right to do as we choose, but the privilege to do what is right. Unlike other societies, there are no restraints on success in America. America is the land of opportunity, the place where anyone can be whatever they desire to be.

God has blessed America so much by giving us this freedom. Let us never cease to thank Him. As Abraham Lincoln said, “It is the duty of nations…to own their dependence upon…God and to recognize the sublime truth…that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” I am so grateful to live in the United States of America, where we can praise Him openly and proclaim to others His marvelous grace.

Yeah, that pretty much says it. I do love America. And I love that, especially as women, we have the freedom to be almost anything we want to be. Even ridiculous things like pageant contestants.

And as bloggers, we have the freedom to write what we choose. Using our own grammatical rules. And readers have a choice to read it. Or not.

And as a Christian, I have a right to say I love Jesus. And tell you He loves you, too.

I love that about this country.

And because I know you’re dying to know, I did not win the pageant or get the scholarship. But I did get an education alright. An education in Pageant Politics and how if you’re gonna show up at the pageant, you’d better bring your updo. But that’s another post.

I’d love to hear your favorite things about this country!Happy Fourth & God Bless America!