I’m a citizen of two countries. I hold two passports. I speak two languages. And I celebrate two independence days. And I am the richer for it.

french flag against blue sky

Photo by Atypeek Dgn on Pexels.com

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I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to be French. On July 4th I celebrate America’s Independence and on July 14th I celebrate France’s.

And although there are many things that look different in these two lands, when it comes to celebrating, some things look the same. Each country has ruled that its Independence Day is a holiday, and each marks the occasion with some combination of family, friends, food, and fireworks.

fireworks display over building

Photo by Suvan Chowdhury on Pexels.com

In France, at 9 p.m. on July 13, Paul and I leave our yard, cross the street, and walk down by the river where our little village and the neighboring village set off fireworks from an ancient bridge. On the night of the 14th, we drive up to the high hills behind our house and observe the fireworks exploding on the Fourvière Hill far in the distance.

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When in France, our barbecue looks like this, and we are most often with friends since our family is far away in the good ole US of A.

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When in America, as we were on Sunday, we had the joy and delight of celebrating with our older son, his wife, her parents (I call them our ‘out-laws’) and our four grandkids—with one more on the way!

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Paul manned the grill while the grandkids enjoyed slip-sliding in the small pool. Then, slathered in mosquito-proof spray, we gathered behind the house to eat yummy food and delight in each other’s presence. We even got to celebrate a lost tooth!

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But my citizenship, my real, deep down citizenship lies in that far-off country that sometimes seems so close, the one that has a thin veil, a liminal space between the now and the not-yet. The Apostle Paul said it best, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3: 20)

There is this piercing longing in my heart for that other world. And often, as I’m celebrating in one of my countries, I can hear that heavenly joy in the laughter of children and taste it in corn on the cob, lathered in butter, and watermelon so sweet and chilled that I shiver with pleasure.

I am so grateful for my two nationalities and for my heavenly citizenship which makes all the hard stuff and good stuff of this present time well worth it until we get to the not-yet.

ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog.

5 Comments on “Letters to the Lord: The 4th or the 14th of July?

  1. wonderful pics of wonderful people.You have amazing pictures…take my breath away. Am sure lots of confustionn and frustrat ion now for the entire family.  Weddings are so much fun yet stressful.  Beth says you will be leaving maybe mid-August.  She was so disappointed that Paul couldn’t change a day to go visit Mussers but….maybe next time. Do  you still want some article for August?I think I will work on the one maybe I mentioned??  Joe…worker in Haiti who fell from a roof top and was in bed months before deeath.  His mother cared for him in such an inspiring way.  That situation has never left my mind or emotions. cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, dear Mamaw, would still love to have a post for the end of August. Joe sounds perfect! Love you and can’t wait to see you all decked out in a little over three weeks! Hugs!

      Like

  2. As I was walking this a.m. I was reflecting on your post. Although I am only a citizen of 1 earthly country I too can relate to celebrating a couple of other countries (bonus of a cross-cultural marriage and as you know having lived in France for nearly 2 years ((eons ago!, but still precious memories)).
    The fact of our heavenly citizenship is something I need to ponder more. I get a little too caught up with life here on earth.
    BTW, I did notice you slipping in the announcement of another grandbaby on the way. When is the expected arrival date?
    Blessings mon amie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good afternoon Elizabeth, I know exactly how you feel, even though I never changed my nationality, I am Dutch and never changed that in favour for the Australian nationality because it meant loosing the Dutch one. I still keep the vigil, remembrance on the 11th of November, in honour of the soldiers who died in the 1st world war. But on the 4th of May I do the same for all victims of the 2nd WW. I remember Australia day on 28th ofJanuary, and Anzac Day, the 25th of April with the large parade in the city with old soldiers who fought there. Because like you, I love both countries equally much, It is not so easy going back there often, It is such a long flight, but it does not make my love for that wonderful continent any less . The other day I met someone who was my neighbour in the 1st flat where we lived in, here in Holland, she told me that she used to smell our Aussie breakfast in the mornings, and wonder how we could eat such a large breakfast! Eggs and bacon with of course, freshly made toast and freshly squeezed orange juice from oranges picked from the orange tree in the garden, we could not just make the juicelike that here in the Netherlands, but I made sure those breakfasts where the same, but now only if the family is around!
    I look forward to your new book and have a standing order, Thank you for the lovely gifts you mailed me, A Little late, but I am very happy with them and use them in my books

    Liked by 1 person

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