What Freedom Means To Me // guest post

Written by Joy McIntosh, 13, for the 2015-2016 VFW contest, Patriot’s Pen. For this contest, middle school students write and submit essays to the VFW and are awarded monetary prizes if they win. Joy did not place in this contest, but we are all very proud of her essay regardless of what the judges thought. She did a wonderful job and wrote about her passion, even though it probably did not appeal to the judges. Good job, Joy! Let her know what you think in the comments below. 🙂

          To Patrick Henry, freedom means life.  The declaration of independence is of the same opinion.  But freedom also means justice.  America without justice would be chaos!  So freedom means life and justice; but it has a cost.

            Freedom means life.  For Patrick Henry, life could not possibly come without freedom!  His statement, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”  conveys this.  The Declaration of Independence states, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Yet America has fallen short of these standards.  Since 1973, almost 58,000,000 precious American children have been brutally, legally murdered before they are born!  Did those Americans have freedom?  I say not. 

            Freedom means justice.  Without justice, we wouldn’t truly be free because we would have to live in fear of those around us.   I’m extremely thankful for America’s government system.  We have a judicial branch to make the laws, a legislative branch to interpret laws, and an executive branch to enforce these laws.  Each of these has a check on the other two.  But not all Americans are treated equally anymore.  Those 58,000,000 children didn’t get justice.  It is our responsibility as Americans to defend our nation against these evils which have snuck in unseen. 

            Freedom has a cost.  A. Philip Randolph said that, “Freedom is never given; it is won.”  America’s freedom was not cheap.  Thousands of Americans gave their lives so that we, the future generations, could have “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The cost that they had to pay was their lives.  But the price allotted to us is to strike down abortion.  We have to give up our right to choose, so that the baby can have the right to life.  Since 1973, only 2 out of 3 Americans have survived the American abortion holocaust. 

            Freedom is life, freedom is justice, and freedom has a cost.  All men are created equal and no one can rightfully take this freedom away from them.  Freedom’s cost is this:  Abortion must be stopped; no matter what.  We can pray, raise money, campaign for the right President, and give speeches at school or at church.  So think about it.  How can you help? Does freedom mean enough to you to do something about this?

Photo Credit: <politicspa.com>

Spelling Bee 2015

Our annual homeschool spelling bee was held last week on Monday!  Five of my siblings competed, and they all did awesome.  🙂  But keep scrolling to find out which sister WON!!!

Cara, Kate, and Wade were all in the pre-bee.


When it was Wade’s turn during the practice round, he walked up to the microphone, and upon realizing it was too high for his five-year-old stature, grabbed the mike, stood up as tall as he could, and puffed out his chest.  He told the judges his name (first, middle AND last, mind you) and age, and proceeded to spell his given word, “wag.”

“W-A-G…….” his voice trailed off as he wrinkled up his forehead, trying to decide whether or not the word continued.  After a long pause (during which we all may or may not have been trying to hide our laughs), the judge finally told him it was correct and let him sit down.  He was SO much fun – it was an awesome ice breaker, too!



Here’s the whole group of pre-bee spellers….


 ….And here are the pre-bee winners!!!  Alexis won first, and Silas was the runner up.


Can’t have a competition without judges!

Judges' table

Mary (below) and Joy were both in the “big bee.”

This is Abby, folks.  One of Joy’s best friends and a sweet girl who never fails to give a smile.

(Click on the image to see a larger version – I couldn’t get it to enlarge)

It took quite a while to narrow down this group, but out of all eight of them, Joy won!  She gets to continue on to the next level, which I think is county.  Who knows – maybe she’ll get to national!  She’s studying already.

The " I WON!!!!!!" look




Haha…I asked the twins to show me their certificates, and this was my favorite shot.  Love their expressions!  🙂



IMG_4222We stopped at McDonald’s afterwards to use up some coupons, and were surprised to see that two of the families from the homeschool group happened to be there also!  Abby’s family had to leave right away, but the Hopkins stayed and chatted with us for quite a while.  They were planning on going through the drive-thru, but we were able to convince them to come in and eat.  🙂


Oh, the expressions…My siblings are so much fun!

We had an interesting proportion of boys to girls.  But with our family, I guess that’s the usual.  🙂


Thanks for reading, y’all!  Have an awesome week and keep shining for Jesus!