Jul 28, 2009

Faithful One, So Unchanging!

One of the things about living life between the buns (life in the sandwich generation) is that I cannot deny that my life has changed so much through its 60 years so far. Perspective has changed, mostly for the better I hope. Priorities have changed as little children grew up, got married, had kids of their own, and got their own mortgages. Physical appearance has changed as gravity and the aging process have taken their toll. Energy levels have most definitely changed. Thoughts about "the future" have changed as I seek ways to downsize and simplify. The years of accumulating and building are farther and farther behind. The hardest change I've endured so far was the loss of my dad last year. When we were much younger, it seemed like life would always be the same and we would always have our loved ones with us.

Today I took my mom for a medical appointment at a local hospital. In the waiting room was a huge (like a story and a half) artistic rendition of the Hippocratic Oath. I realized I had never read it before, so I took a few moments to do so. The Hippocratic Oath supposedly originated from Hippocrates, an ancient Greek who lived about 400 BC, and is considered to be the "father of modern medicine". I was fairly shocked to see that it included references to abortion and what we now call euthanasia, and several other issues that had to do with ethical situations.

A 12th century Byzantine manuscript of the oath, rendered in the form of a cross

I have always assumed that taking the Hippocratic Oath was something required of all new doctors as they were ready to embark on their practices. After I had a chance to do just a little research, I found there is the original Oath, which in the past was taken routinely by new physicians, and a "modern" version, adapted sometime in the 1970's. However apparently neither the ancient version nor the modern version is used anymore at medical schools! Most of them now have some ethical statement or pledge that is recited at graduation ceremonies, but there is no universal standard or code of ethics for the profession upon which to take an oath due to changing societal mores and the variety of accepted medical practices.

The American Medical Association has a published oath that it has "approved". This version has totally removed the references to things like never prescribing or administrating a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked; also deleted is the statement referring to performing duties with utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and rejecting abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.

All of this got me to thinking this afternoon about one of the profound attributes of God, His immutability. That means He never changes. His character never changes, His purposes never change. He is dependable in so many ways, known and unknown! So unlike fallen humanity, whose moral code changes like shifting sand. What was wrong yesterday is ok today. What is true today may be false tomorrow. God is so unlike that! Because He doesn't change, we can always know we can depend on Him and that His Word will always be true.

I hope you have a couple minutes to listen to this song, Faithful One by Brian Doerksen and sung on YouTube by Andy Park. I think it is just beautiful, and is my song of praise today.

Jul 26, 2009

Buen Provecho chicken quesadillas!

I wasn't going to do this, I really wasn't. But I just can't help myself! So, no more promises to get off the food channel! We have to eat every day, and I really do enjoy cooking, so I'll probably put at least one recipe a week on here!

I saw this recipe on www.recipes.com under "cooking light" and it looked so good I had to try it. I did make a few slight modifications, so I'll give you my version:

1) grill 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. (It was raining, so I used my George Foreman). Shred or slice when cooked.

2) In frying pan, heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil; add about 1 cup sliced onions and about 1 cup sliced mushrooms. Add about 1 tsp. crushed garlic or sprinkle on garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste. Add about a Tbsp. of red wine vinegar. Cook and stir with wooden spoon until soft, about 5 minutes.

3) on griddle, place tortillas and begin heating. (I used whole wheat, which have 3 grams of fiber each!) Spoon mushroom mixture on 1/2 of tortilla.

4) Add some chicken slices, and some cheese. (I used soft goat cheese, but I think anything would work!)

5) Add a mixture of argula and spinach.

6) Carefully fold over tortillas...place a plate over them to hold them down. After they cook a minute, carefully flip them over and cook another minute on the other side.

7) Serve with salsa and/or sour cream.

(This uses about 6 regular sized tortillas.)

Jul 24, 2009

just for fun...

"Warshing" Clothes Recipe.........

Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave a new bride the following recipe. Supposedly this is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - enjoy!

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.
Sort things, make 3 piles
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.
To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.
Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.
Hang old rags on fence.
Spread tea towels on grass.
Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Paste this over your washer and dryer. Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washing machine and dryer, and give thanks...

Jul 23, 2009

my dad's glasses

There is an ophthalmologist in our area who is well known for being a leading laser vision correction/cataract removal surgeon,

Dr. Davis also happens to be a Christian who regularly donates his time and services by going on missions trips through his church, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio. (www.the-Chapel.org)

My brother, Dr. Donald A. Lichi, is a Christian psychologist with Emerge Ministries in Akron (www.Emerge.org) and happens to be a friend of Dr. Davis.

Don knew that Dr. Davis was going to be leading an eye glasses clinic team on a missions trip to the southern African country of Mozambique in the spring of 2008, just weeks after our father passed away. Our mom was happy to send our dad's glasses with Dr. Davis.

Well, that alone would be enough to make this story meaningful, knowing there are willing servants of the Lord giving of their time and talents to go and do humanitarian work in Africa and to think that our dad's glasses went in the box with probably hundreds of other pairs.

But now we add God's miraculous power to the story, and everything takes on a whole new meaning. I need to back up for just a moment, and say that my dad's vision left a lot to be desired. If you've ever heard the saying "blind in one eye and can't see out of the other" that would pretty much apply to my dad. He was basically blind in one eye from a baseball injury he received as a young boy, and the other eye had some kind of strong prescription.

On to Mozambique...While Dr. Davis was examining a long line of people, he very sadly had to tell an albino man that he would not be able to help him. The man walked away in tears. Later, the man reappeared with a prescription in hand that he had but was never able to afford to get the glasses. When Dr. Davis looked at the prescription, he said "wait a minute, this looks familiar"! That's when he found my dad's prescription sunglasses and there was an EXACT match. Putting the sunglasses on, this man was able to stand up straight, because apparently the sun had always hurt his eyes so much he had to walk with his face down.

Dr. Davis never thought he would ever find anyone who would be able to use my dad's glasses since his prescription was so unusual. He was very excited, but he couldn't locate my dad's regular glasses until the next day, when he found them in his briefcase. By then he was afraid he would never see the albino man again. Well, the next day the church people were holding a service and didn't this same man show up! Dr. Davis went running to get his brief case and the glasses and caught up with the man.

Now who but our great God could orchestrate this scenario? Who would have ever thought that an eye glasses clinic missions trip, the dates of which would have been planned long in advance, would shortly follow the death of an 84 year old man from Stow, Ohio, whose glasses would be a perfect match for a man on another continent and would be hand delivered to someone who needed them desperately by the eye doctor friend of the donor's son!

Following the missions trip, my brother and my mom went to a service at The Chapel where they saw a video presentation about the eye glasses clinic in Mozambique. They got to see the albino man who got my dad's glasses! At least 7000 people in the Akron area also got to hear this story that weekend in this mega-church. My mom was given a DVD copy of the presentation, and the music in the background was appropriately "Amazing Grace"...

A few weeks later, my mom was blessed by Dr. Davis' wife Barbara, who had a plaque made with pictures of the man wearing my dad's glasses. The inscription on the plaque is from Matthew 10:42, and reads: "And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."

Jul 22, 2009

chocolate's not food, right?

Well, I promised to get off the food channel, but that was before I decided to take the two grandkids I babysit on a field trip today. I was looking for something relatively close and inexpensive. I settled on this:

I confess openly to being a serious chocoholic, or perhaps I should say, "chocolate snob". My excuse goes something like this: If I'm going to consume the fat & calories, it's going to be the good stuff, not candy bars filled with paraffin!

For $5 for all three of us, we got an informative video, plus a 45 minute tour of the factory. I never dreamed I would ever see and smell five 80,000 gallon vats of warm chocolate anywhere except, uh, in my dreams!

Even 8 month old squirming Ethan, usually quite the high maintenance little guy, seemed to be calmed by the sights and smells. I had to carry him the entire time, as for some reason the factory doesn't accommodate strollers! (Imagine that?) Elylah was a little intimidated at first, but she realized this was just like things she'd seen on TV where they show you how things are made and she was excited. It didn't hurt that we started the tour by receiving one of these:

Harry London Buckeyes

Harry London was a local steel worker, who learned chocolate making from his father, who brought the skills from the old country. The following is from the Harry London website:

"At the turn of the century, fine confections were associated with the delicate hand-craftsmanship of the Swiss, or the rich, smooth cream and butter used by the Belgians. In Canton, Ohio, unknown to the existing masters of chocolate, Gilbert London was teaching his son Harry the fine art of confections by using recipes and techniques from the family’s strong European traditions.

Harry London learned over time and through the eloquent teachings of his father the true art of making fine confections. He found that in a world where more always seemed to be the norm in creating anything of wonder, the art of chocolate-making broke all traditional rules. He learned that quality was more important than quantity. Chocolate needs to be simple and pure, rich and complex, and filled with blends that are subtle...yet irresistible.

Over the years, Harry London began making these delicious delicacies for his friends as holiday gifts. Friends were finding that resistance to these delights was futile. The gifts were cherished, and soon Harry was receiving requests for his fine hand-made chocolates. In 1922, Harry - a steelworker by trade - soon decided to make chocolate his life’s work and left his job at the mill. Thus, Harry London Candies was born.

Through humble beginnings, where ideas are strong and passion runs through every thought one has, Harry London created a small kitchen in his home. This would be just the beginning of where the finest chocolates in the world would be created. Through the years, his family traditions and recipes are still held to exceptional standards, for only the purest ingredients are used."

What a fun day! Of course they conveniently have the store right there where we did pick up some plunder to take home. Elylah was excited we were able to buy some chocolate covered pretzels, since that was one of the items we watched being made.

So the next time you come through North Canton, Ohio, be sure to stop by this place...you can be in and out within an hour or so. It's located right on I-77 near the Akron-Canton Airport.

Jul 21, 2009

just one more...

I want to share one more soup recipe for now, then I promise to get off the food channel for a while! A friend brought us this soup last month when I had the surgery on my arm. She's a sister-Italian and a really good cook too. However, I did make a few small changes in her recipe to make it "mine". But basically it is the same...mine is just a bit more, shall we say, "hearty".

Pasta e'Fagioli
(Italian pasta & bean soup)

In medium to large pot, cook about 48 ounces chicken broth, 1 small to medium size onion (diced), a couple diced carrots, and 1-2 ribs of celery, diced. Cook about 20 minutes till vegetables are tender.

Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, two 15.5 ounce cans Great Northern white beans, 1# browned lean ground beef that has been cooked with one clove chopped garlic, 1/2 -3/4 c. ditalini macaroni (or really any small pasta), 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, one Tbsp. dry sweet basil, one Tbsp. dry parsley, and one Tbsp. dry oregano. (be sure to crush the dry herbs between your hands to bring out the flavor)

Continue cooking until macaroni is soft, but be careful not to overcook as it will absorb the broth.

And be a good Italian (or Italian-imitator) and please serve with lots of Parmesan cheese and crusty bread & butter.

What I did with my morning off...

I have no idea how old this recipe is, but it came to me about 30 years ago from a church cookbook. I suppose it is pretty standard, but it is really quick, easy and delicious. It brings back memories, as I used to make it on Christmas morning for our family as a special treat in the bleak mid-winter in Ohio! So grab a couple peaches and some blueberries, and whip some up for your dessert--most of the other ingredients you probably have in your pantry.


Combine in saucepan:

1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Add 1/2 c. water and blend well. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick.

Add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 c. sliced fresh peaches, 1 c. blueberries.

Turn into baking dish.

Cobbler topping:

Mix together 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt

Add 1/2 c. milk, 1/4 c. soft butter & beat until smooth.

Spoon over fruit.

Sprinkle with mixture of 2 Tbsp. sugar. & 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.

Bake @ 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm if possible. ENJOY!

Note: If you do this in the bleak mid-winter, you may use one cup frozen blueberries and two cups frozen peaches, omitting the granulated sugar from the fruit mixture.

Jul 19, 2009

You can't take it with you...

Hudson Community Chapel - Hudson, OH www.hudsonchapel.org

It's not often that I walk out of church thinking "I should blog about the sermon". Not because our sermons aren't good--they consistently are! But because today's seemed very relevant especially for folks about my age who are well beyond "middle age" shall we say. But I did have that thought today, and so I'd like to share some of it with you faithful readers.

(Our sermon today was given by a young man who is the Director of Student Ministries, John Coleman. Maybe I was extra touched because John reminded me of our son, Andy, who is 29 and became an ordained pastor this past January. How wonderful to see the faith of our fathers being passed from generation to generation by young adults equipped to faithfully preach the Word.)

A certain ruler asked him (Jesus), "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother." "All these things I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. (Luke 18:23 NIV)

Now, I don't believe Jesus was telling this rich man that no one can inherit eternal life unless he sells all his possessions and gives them to the poor. But Jesus knew this man's heart of hearts, as He knows ours. He knew that for this man, all his worldly "stuff" was a hindrance to him clearly understanding what was required of him. His problem wasn't that he was rich...his problem was that he held tightly to all the things in his life that made him feel he had some big advantage. Jesus knew that when this man died, he could not take a single thing with him that had meant so much during his lifetime. And Jesus knew this man gave far too much weight to those things.

Jesus longed for this man, rather, to take an eternal perspective of his life...and understand something He once told another rich fool: "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15 NIV)

The abundance of possessions. Why is it that we just can never seem to have enough stuff? One thing I have tried to do the older I have gotten is to learn to hold material things a lot more loosely. As I've said before I like nice things. I don't deny that. And often I have replaced nice things with nicer things, if you get my drift. I don't think that is necessarily wrong. But it doesn't hurt to periodically take inventory to check ourselves and see just how tight we are holding on to the material things God's blessings have enabled us to enjoy.

I don't want to make this too long, or wander too far from John's sermon, but especially for those of us who know beyond a doubt that the years of life we may have ahead of us are far fewer than the years behind us, we will be wise to invest in treasure that will last beyond our lifetimes.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also."(Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)

God bless us, everyone!

Jul 18, 2009

A quick & cheap summertime supper

Unbelievably, we are having a relatively low-key and unencumbered weekend (which is why I have had time to play on the computer and it's not even after midnight!) We decided to try something new on the grill tonight.

I'm very proud of the fact that this supper-for-two (with leftovers for Bob's lunch on Monday) cost approximately $6.00 total. And it was pretty nutritious as well. It consisted of whole grain brown rice, and beef shish-ka-bobs made with fresh green & orange peppers, vadalia onions, & tomatoes. I marinated the meat in Italian dressing to add some flavor, as well as using a little sea salt & fresh ground black pepper. The whole operation only took minutes ... and it is amazing how filled up you can get with whole grains and veggies, and just a little bit of meat.

so you want to be a princess...

As a quick sequel to my post about my only granddaughter, Elylah, yesterday, I have some pictures that need to be shared! My son Sam and my daughter-in-law Joanna will be celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary in a couple weeks. When they were at our house the other night, Joanna decided to visit her wedding dress, which is stored in an upstairs closet here. Elylah had never seen it before, (except in photos) but she talks a lot about how she wants to get married and be a princess "just like mommy"!

Grandmas have the time...

As every grandma knows, a key difference between being a mom and a grandma is the perspective we have gained now that we have realized how quickly our children grew up and left our nest. When we were busy raising our own children and each and every moment of each and every day was filled up with countless responsibilities and activities, we thought it would never end and life's pace just seemed to keep gaining speed. We were exhausted much of the time but that was our life and we were a lot younger then!

For me that meant several years of getting up at 4:30 am so that I could have some quiet time to meditate, pray, and journal...and throw a load of clothes into the washer, start the crockpot for our supper, possibly bake cupcakes for school, or any number of things before the family got up and the chaos began. In those years I was still working outside the home as well, and I needed to deliver our two boys to two locations before arriving at my office at 8:00 am!

While my life basically did revolve around my family, everything seemed to be on a schedule...whether it was the baseball schedule, the school schedule, the cooking schedule, or the color-coded calendar on the refrigerator that kept track of each family member's activities and obligations. I tried to be as organized as I could be, but really, there was very little white space in my life...that "margin" that leaves time for creativity or contemplation, or just "being".

Now anyone who knows me or has read my blog knows how difficult it was for me to pass from that phase of active parenting to seeing my kids through college and off to their own marriages and children. It all happened so fast. Within 6 years' time, I have gained two daughters-in-law and 4 grandchildren. Nothing in my life's experiences prepared me for these kinds of changes!

Today was one of those days that I realized, though, how wonderful it is to have a little more flexibility, and how much more I am living life in the moments, or to borrow a contemporary phrase, in real time. I've been babysitting two of my grandchildren about 3 1/2 days each week, and it has dawned on me lately how much less quality time I've had to give my granddaughter who is 3, because my 8 month old grandson has naturally demanded a lot of the attention that she was used to getting before he arrived on the scene.

So, after I got some personal things done this morning, I drove to their house to see if Elylah would like to come spend the afternoon with me. It was just the two of us again, with no errands to run, no agenda, no sharing attention with baby brother--just special time together. We stopped at a bakery outlet on the way back to my house, and I let her push the small sized cart and pick out whatever she wanted. This afternoon was going to be just about having fun!

One of her favorite things to do at my house is to water the flowers, or just smell them.

It is so much fun to see the world through the eyes of a child. Elylah picked off a few of the lower hanging leaves from a maple tree in our yard and ran to show me the "tree stars".

But then we got a little thunderstorm, so we needed to move inside.

It might be July, but we read one of her favorite books several times, The Nutcracker.

Then we practiced the Mary Poppins song, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

We took a little "nap" which consisted of eating hotdogs on the bed and reading more books, before it broke into a tickling session. (I can't even imagine doing this with my own kids when they were little -- the hot dogs on the bed part!)

Then we played a little game we made up a while ago, which we call "You're a Hippo". (We always start with hippo, and we take turns saying "You're a ___" naming every animal or creature we can think of. The last person to be able to think of an animal is the winner, and no repeating. Elylah loves to catch me: "Grandma you already said that!")

By this time, I was wearing down a bit, and I layed across our bed while she wandered around the room. She found my (junk) jewelry and had a blast looking at each "beautiful" necklace and bracelet, and especially the box of Christmas pins and earrings.

She finally asked if we could go to "the land of sweets" (my kitchen) and get a snack.

When I told her it was about time for me to take her home to her mommy & daddy, she wouldn't hear of it until she had a bath in our garden tub where she learned to swim on her belly amongst the bubbles. ("Grandma, do you remember when I was a mermaid? A shark almost got me!")

On the way home she chattered about the time she "went to outer space in a rocket". While she was there, she saw the earth, Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, the sun, stars, the moon, and her favorite planet, Mars.

We sure covered a lot of territory in a couple hours, without even leaving the house and yard. I hope Elylah had half as much fun as I did...and I do think she did! My soul needed this afternoon. It was a great time of giving my mind and body a little rest as well.

Grandparenting is so much different from parenting, and I want to embrace this phase of my life as fully as I possibly can. I can't go back to active parenting, and really, I don't want to! I'm having too much fun being grandma!

"Children's children are a crown to the aged..." Proverbs 17:6 NIV

Jul 15, 2009

Our young southern gents

Here's a newer picture of our South Carolina grandsons...left is Deacon Andrew, 3 and right is Owen Anthony, 1.

Aren't they just adorable? They are all dressed up for church here. We haven't seen them since Mother's Day weekend, so grandma here is getting a little lonesome for them. But it's the other grandparents turn this time...so they will be heading to Arkansas pretty soon. We think Deacon looks exactly like our son (his daddy) especially at that age, and we see Ellie's dad all over Owen.

Jul 14, 2009

writer's block?

I really do want to be playing on the computer, but my conscience tells me I need to take advantage of the rest of the day and get some housework done. I've been pretty busy the past week or so, and I've found that busyness and creativity are mutually exclusive terms. Sooo...perhaps while I am alone here trying to play "catch up" with changing bed sheets, dusting, sweeping and organizing, I will have some time to rub two thoughts together and think of something I'd like to blog about.

In the meantime, I know some of you readers live in the South...where bowties are popular for the gentlemen, and I would like to refer you to the wonderful blog my daughter-in-law writes (the one who lives in SC). Ellie is not only the beautiful wife of my older son Andy, (a young pastor's wife I might add) but she is multi-talented as you will discover as soon as you look at her site. Oh and did I mention she is mommy to two of my very intelligent and beautiful grandsons?

So check it out: www.ellielaveer.wordpress.com and tell her I sent ya!

Jul 10, 2009

Garden Fresh Salsa

Here is a recipe I have used for years. It was passed on to me by my sister-in-law, Marcie. It is so easy and so much fun to make, but best of all it is really delicious. Let me know if you try it!

10 c. fresh tomatoes peeled & chopped
5 c. onions, chopped
5 c. green pepper, chopped
fresh red hot chilis, med. hot peppers, or 1 can green chilis, to taste
3 Tablespoons salt
1-3 Tablespoons garlic, to taste
1-3 Tablespoons oregano, to taste
2/3 c. vinegar
1-12 oz. jar tomato paste

Method: chop peppers & onions. Do hot peppers last. Steam all of them mixed together for ten minutes in microwave with a little water Drain thoroughly. Mix tomatoes, peppers & onions & spices all together. Add vinegar. Mix well. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 8 pints.

Jul 4, 2009

Let Freedom Ring...

Flags, parades, backyard barbeques, fireworks...these are the things the typical American associates with the Fourth of July holiday celebration. Rarely do we hear someone ask, "what are you doing for Independence Day?" Yet on July 4, 1776, it was the Declaration of Independence that was signed by 56 brave men in defiance of the Brittish government, and in doing so, they were firmly relying on God. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the purpose of forming a new Republic. Several of the signers were captured by the Brittish and tortured...others suffered by having their homes burned down. Still others fought in the Revolutionary War and were killed. Our freedom truly came at a great cost.

In the 233 years since, The United States of America has been unbelievably blessed as a nation. I hope we all will pause for a moment today and return thanks to God for all the good that has come to the world through our country, and for the freedoms we do still enjoy. May we take a little break from dwelling on the negatives (and there are, unfortunately, many) and just for today, enjoy the blessing of liberty that is still ours, and the blessing we still covet for our children and grandchildren.

My favorite patriotic song is America the Beautiful. It was written in 1893 by Katharine Lee Bates as a poem. It wasn't set to the music of Samuel A Ward until 1904. Since then, there have been many efforts to make this hymn our national anthem instead of the Star Spangled Banner. I would vote for that!

O Beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

O beautiful, for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine!

O beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!