“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” -Ronald Reagan

Well, last week was a crazy moment in our nation’s history.

This isn’t a political post about choosing a side or making a statement, because I feel that I used my voice in the best way I knew how, and while I have many reservations about our new president-elect and the direction of our country, that’s not what this post is about.

Today, as I continue with part two of the Being Thankful Project, I want to express my gratitude for the fact that I live in a free nation. The United States of America is unique, and there isn’t anywhere else I’d rather have my citizenship established (except for Heaven, of course ;)).

This recent election reminded me of the freedoms that have been fought for me over the story of flag America. As I cast my ballot, I was mindful of brave, strong, independent women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who endured beatings, ridicule, ostracism, and even prison to allow me the privilege (as a woman) of letting my voice be heard.

I haven’t done as much traveling as I would like, at least not yet, but the places I have gone to have reminded me of the great advantage and privilege I take for granted as a United States citizen – I have the right to live wherever I want to live, travel, dream, and accomplish. I have the right to say whatever I want to say on social media without the government censoring the internet or coming after me and my family for something I voiced an opinion about. I can complain, cry, rant, celebrate, shout from the rooftops…and it’s my prerogative.

As of this moment, there is complete freedom of religion. I can attend church freely, play worship music in public, read my Bible whenever I want, and speak openly about Christ without the fear of being turned in to the government as traitor or rebel. While random and unfathomable acts of terrorism occur on our soil occasionally, I am not living in a place where we are daily oppressed by ISIS, or running for my life from terror groups invading my town or bombing my city. I can marry whomever I want, dress however I want to dress, and literally be whoever I want to be.

I am thankful to live in America. Things might not be perfect, and I was so disappointed in the people of this country during this election. But the fact is, we all have freedom. We live in what is currently the greatest nation on earth, no matter what your personal view may be on that statement. It is our job to continue to fight for it to remain so.

I am thankful today for freedom.