Let’s spend next week thanking God for all of our country’s freedoms

It thrills me that Independence Day, the Fourth of July, is still a big deal in our country. I hope you feel the same way. Freedom is still being celebrated. Hallelujah! 

Lois Olmstead


Let’s do the math. From that day, July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress until now is 241 years.

What a blessing it would be if we all spent this next week thanking God for the freedoms we have enjoyed in those 241 years. I think of the explorations, the inventions, the advances of medicine, technology in communication and transportation that have improved our lives.

You will have to make your own lists. Write down all the changes you have seen in your lifetime, things to make our lives easier. I remember my Grandpa Bohleen seeing television for the first time. 

“That could be the ruination of our country,” he said. 

Now some people would agree with him and some would not.

However, my goal for all of us this week is for just one week could we concentrate on the positive side? Things you are thankful for in your lifetime? And not just “things” but experiences, too. Email them to me or send them to this newspaper and I will share as many as possible this month.

I thought of this after getting a letter from Betty Sherwood, a former Park County resident, now living in Texas. 

She wrote, “The 4th of July will be here before we know it. I am so in hopes that you will do an article about how it is there in Livingston over the 4th each year. It is so ‘Americana.” I so remember the nearly 30 years of attending the festivities with Aileen Ward. We would try and get there early enough so I could park in the old Depot parking lot so Aileen could drag a folding chair to the more grassy area.”

She went on, “Of course we were facing the south so got full sunshine.  The parade through the downtown was great ‘old time’ stuff with even the Governor walking along with a big smile and wave for all and, we, of course, were thrilled and waving back. Anyhow, you know the words better than I do to really tell all about how the real 4th is celebrated in small town America with real patriots. And as we say it here in Texas — ‘I sure miss y’all.’”

Thank you, Betty. Livingston misses you, too. It will be fun to hear from others about things they remember and are thankful for this week. I have fond memories of camping trips with our three little boys in our 15-foot camping trailer over the 4th of July many times.

One freedom I am thankful for in our country is all of the places we can visit, even just going on a picnic in a city park for free. There are all kinds of free celebrations across our country to participate in.

And we can worship God freely and enjoy sharing our faith by helping others. All across this country I have seen people helping people, from a mountain of new socks in Rhode Island for refugees to quilts made in Nebraska for nursing homes, and all of you giving aid in every disaster. I am thankful this week for all those folks who put flags out on their porches, city streets and parks and everywhere. I remember driving in Wyoming from Gillette to Douglas, the week after Sept. 11, and on ranch gate posts for miles and miles seeing American flags flying. I took it to mean “We stand together in the U.S.A.”

Yes, I believe those Continental Congress folks would say there has been much positive in these last 241 years. In honor of that could we all sing “God Bless America” and keep those words in mind and in our prayers in the days ahead.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker who has spoken at more than 1,700 events in the U.S. and Canada. She has also published six books and writes a weekly column. She lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.