When I saw that today is National US Postage Stamp Day, I went to get my collection. The old photo album I keep them in stays buried at the bottom of an antique chest my dad restored for me. I can’t even remember the last time I got them out to look. In fact, my husband looked utterly floored. “How long have we been married?”, he asked. (The answer is 23 years.) “Why did I not know you collected stamps?” Just trying to keep some mystery in our marriage.
Truth is, I just hadn’t thought about it in a while. But now he, and all of you, know just how super cool I really am. In the 4th grade, I ordered a stamp book from a Scholastic book order (oh, those were so fun!). The book included big beautiful, colorful and exotic stamps from all over the world. They ignited something in me and prompted me to start a hobby I enjoyed for many years.
I learned how to soak stamps off envelops and constantly searched our incoming mail for different or unusual ones. Christmas time usually brought an abundance of riches as many people abandoned the usual flag stamps for something seasonal and festive. Whenever I went to the post office with a parent, I hoped to see some new commemorative release or collection. Sometimes I could find a package of stamps for sale at antique shops, and when my great-grandmother passed away, I got to add her collection to mine.
As an older teenager, I got busy with teenagery things and lost interest. But I still have them all and am enjoying looking at them now. I have stamps of animals, actors, authors and presidents. Crazy Horse, Dolly Madison, Jackie Robinson and Army Surgeon Dr. Mary Walker live on in my book. I have stamps ranging from 2 cents to 50.
Why Am I Talking About Postage Stamps?
I’ll stop geeking out now and get to my point. I think I loved stamps because they show so much history. The last few years much has been said about the dark underbelly of our country’s history. And I get it. I’ve learned so much. And I’ve changed how I feel about some things. I’ve even – for the first time – questioned the pledge of allegiance. Fortunately as a grown up, I’m not asked to say it anymore. And I’m glad. Only because my allegiance belongs to God and God alone. Not a human, not a country and definitely not an inanimate object. For example, as much as I love my husband, there are things he could do that could alter how I feel about him and the nature of our relationship. The same goes for any other person or entity. Only our unchanging God deserves true allegiance.
But I do love being an American citizen. With all of its flaws, it is still one of the best places in the world to live – especially as a woman. I have the right to vote, hold a job, own a home and land, run for political office and have my voice heard. And most importantly to me, I get to worship as I choose. And many people made many sacrifices for that. It is for these things, and many more that I will celebrate this flawed, but beautiful country. And I’ll vow to keep learning and doing better.
Happy Independence Day to my American friends!
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
Grace and Truth’s own Lisa Burgess hit on a hot button topic with Do I Stay Christian or Not? It breaks my heart to see so many people walking away from the Christian faith – and their reasons are many and varied. Check out the book Lisa recommends on the subject in her post.
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Lauren Sparks is a wife and mom of 2 daughters – one with special needs – and one bonus son. She lives, worships Jesus, and teaches yoga in Dallas, TX area. She is a contributing author on 3 devotional books, she shares her adventures, victories, and flub-ups from her laptop at laurensparks.net.