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Defining Liberty or Consistency Challenge – Day Eleven

Defining LIberty

Homeschooling three boys has allowed me to experience many things I may not have had the chance to encounter otherwise (it has also made my spelling much better, but that is a story for a different post).

I found Adventures in Odyssey when I was searching for something to entertain us as we drove to a field trip one morning. It was a radio broadcast of the show and it was the perfect thing for young and old in the car. I made a point of searching out the program any time we were in the car.

One morning, the program featured the kids traveling back to the War of 1812 period. The show was titled, “By Dawn’s Early Light.” I was glad my husband was driving that day because I cried like a baby. I felt like I was there. I experienced the fog lifting, the hope and expectation of the moment and the cost of all of it in a real way.

This particular episode tells the story of Francis Scott Key and his witnessing of the bombing of Fort McHenry. I still get chills just thinking of the story, and it changed the entire way I viewed the “Star Spangled Banner.” The sacrifice, the pride and the determination that these people had – that all of those that have gone on before us have had – is the reason I am sitting here now writing this. It is the reason that I have the choice to home school my children. It is the reason that I can speak openly about my country, my government and my faith.

For me – that is liberty. It is the opportunity to live boldly built on the foundation of others that have fought and died for that opportunity through their own bold choices.

It is important for me to take time out of my normal schedule to remember what others have done before me to allow me to be where I am in this moment. It is even more important that my daily actions reflect that investment into who I am and to who I am becoming. I need to honor what they have given by consistently, persistently and with unabashed boldness giving my all.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

By Frances Scott Key

Liberty – the chance to live the life that I am designed to live.

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  1. Just an Ordinary Day | Growing HOPE - September 11, 2014

    […] years ago, “Dawn’s Early Light” played during a trip with the kids. I have talked about this radio show before, but it impacted me […]

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