Friday 5: Reasons I'm Grateful for the USA

As I'm about to embark on the journey of being an ex-pat, I feel a little on the sentimental side about the USA. 

While I love living in Europe and feel very at home in Slovenia, I've also grown appreciative of my home country as well. When you live in another country for awhile, it can be easy to start to see the negative about where you're from and idolize another culture. 

I think I've found that middle ground now, where I value other both countries have to offer. 

At our current training for work, we talked about how deeply a country's values are rooted in its citizen's hearts, often without knowing the extent. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" sum up our American culture pretty succinctly. 

Today, as the U.S. of A celebrates her independence, I'll toast to our freedom with five things I'm grateful for about Lady Liberty:

Freedom

This post is not a political piece or one where I'll hash out specific beliefs and rights. Although we may get frustrated with how things go in the government, I'm grateful for a country where I have the freedom to worship, to speak and pursue what God has put on my heart. 

Diversity

We are the melting pot, after all. Be it ethnicities, religions, landscape, careers, music or food choices, we have a lot of diversity in darn near every category. 

There's an aspect of God's character that we can witness as we look around and see how unique each person and state are. 

Innovation

From the car to the iPhone, the US bleeds creativity and ingenuity. 

While this can create a lot of non-essentials in life (i.e. Giga Pets or Pogs–any 90s kids out there?), it's pretty remarkable that, theoretically, any individual can decide to invent something or start a business.

Gone are the default days of just taking over the family farm, unless that's what you want to do. We like to think outside the box and have the platform to do so. 

Patriotism

This is not exclusive to citizens of the USA. Patriotism can be something anyone feels for their country. 

Jordan wrote a rockin' post on this yesterday–it would be well-worth your time to read his perspective (especially as it highlights more depth and issues I don't even come close to covering here).

Despite all of our differences and diversity as a nation (although sometimes a good thing), when it comes time for holidays like the 4th of July, we can together celebrate this nation we live in and honor those who have fought for our freedom.

Pizza

Ok, this sounds too superficial for a list about what I'm grateful for about the USA. But seriously. Having traveled to different countries, Italy included, no one can hold a candle to our pizza. I'm sorry, it's just how I feel.

Now, I have really enjoyed pizza in other countries, but there is something about the Land of the Free's pies that are incomparable. One big component is diversity–in crust thickness, crispness, sauce and toppings. 

When asked what I miss most about America when we're overseas, besides the people, pizza is my number one answer. For reals.

What are you grateful for about your home country?

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Niki

Twenty-something follower of Jesus, wife to my best friend, aspiring kitchenista, and lover of handwritten type, all things coffee, traveling and baked goods. Currently in the United States until my husband and I move back to Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we are missionaries with Cru.