Before this year, I never dreamed I'd...
live with my 6 best friends in Atlanta's Druid Hills | yell "Go Dawgs" on Milledge Ave. in Athens, Ga. | drive windows-down through Nebraskan cornfields | stop for Amish carriages in Lancaster County, Pa. | navigate a hot car through Manhattan rush hour | have a post-initiation galavant on the Washington D.C. mall | nom-nom-nom on legit chocolate in Hershey, Pa. | yell "GO NITTANY LIONS" from the 40 yardline at a Penn State game | run through Seattle's misty rain (or hit the dance flo' at a Seattle honky-tonk on Halloween) | stand over the Missouri River with one foot in Iowa and one in Nebraska | sneak into a Yale Law classroom | cheer half-for-Maryland and half-for-FSU at the ACC Championship Game | gaze down at the Rockies | hit up a bar alongside some Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind. (well, hit up any bar wherever I was when the Auburn Tigers took the field) | soak up Civil War history in Lexington, Va. | slip on snowy sidewalks in Des Moines, Iowa | lick my fingers after a Georgetown Cupcake | spy Churchill Downs, Ky. | join my Gator-lovin' sisters and some frat boys for a mixer in Gainesville, Fla. | worship over a sunrise in Detroit, Mich. | bundle up for a early morning run through UVA and Charlottesville, Va. | get chills at Mount Vernon | honor Virginia Tech's 4/16 memorial | frolic in Knoxville, Tenn.'s Market Square | fall more in love with baseball at Fenway Stadium | make s'mores at an Ohio State Park | vintage shop on South Congress Street | stomp my cowgirl boots to live music in Austin, Tex. | fly over the Grand Canyon | have margaritas in an alumna's cacti-covered Pheonix, Ariz. backyard | do Vegas big with my besties...
It's been a heckuva year! And if possible, America means more to me now than it did a year ago.
But may we remember, Phil. 3.20, that our citizenship is in heaven with our Father.
And so if we ask to be blessed, and if we thank God to be free,
we caution that "blessing" turned into "guaranteed safety" sometime along
when Budweiser brilliantly decided cover cans in the American flag.
And that notion (not the cans) is wrong.
Because someone and Someone had to die for that.
And Christians are never guaranteed safety.
We're guaranteed freedom.
Glorious, full, infinite, grace-soaked, loving f-r-e-e-d-o-m.
And we choose Christ over the American Dream.
It's like one of the most jam-up lines C.S. Lewis penned:
"Safe? Who said anything about being safe? 'Course he isn't safe.
But He's good. He's the King, I tell you."
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Happy Fourth of July from the Stallings family, y'all!
K-dawg and I demonstrating the best water adventure ever next to skiing.
Blog post title: "American Girl" by Tom Petty.