~ for simple days that are the best days. We’ve been missing Colton lately, he’s been busy, all grown up you know. He finally had a free day and came home for lunch. We chatted. Looked at pictures. Sat on the kitchen floor with the dogs and got caught up on each other’s lives. We sat on the back patio, turned on some good tunes, and played round after round of Uno with the Littles. Then while I started dinner, he played Monopoly with them (their favorite edition, Canadian!). I honestly can’t even remember the last time we just had an easy, no-particular-occasion, “nothing” kind of day all together. It was true treasure.
~ for the best little biscuit baking assistant.
~ for joy in the unexpected. I thrilled 2 of my pre-teens by taking them shopping. What did I buy that excited them so much? Toys? Ice cream? New shoes? Nope. Their first DEODORANT. I’m glad they are excited about their hygiene.
~ for iron-sharpening friends. The kind you can spill your “junk” to and they don’t freak out. The kind of friends that aren’t looking for a dismissive, polite answer when they ask how you are, and who aren’t afraid to dive in deep past the shallow.
~ for a GLORIOUS praise report from Georgia’s family: the pathology came back from the latest brain surgery that ALL CANCER IS GONE! In fact, what was removed in this surgery was scar tissue, meaning the cancer was removed in her first surgery! This has her in the best possible position for the next step of her treatment, proton radiation. In the words of her mama, Jessica, “we have the mightiest physician healing Georgia. Jesus had and still has his protection and healing power over her and we pray and believe He will be the reason for her lifelong cure! Jehovah Rapha” Please keep praying for this precious family. Proton radiation therapy begins TOMORROW (July 8).
~ for such a fun July 4th. A beautiful day, great music, the best brisket in all the land, ooey gooey brownies and decadent ice cream cake, and everybody’s favorite soggy swimming dog.
~ for the cutest, bitsiest, tiniest baby lizard any of us have ever seen!
~ for the mouth-watering tingle inside your cheeks at the taste of fresh homemade dill pickles from our garden.
~ for the kindest dentist in all the land.
~ for a wonderful day trip to Carthage for a SECOND Independence Day celebration. Got some much needed hugs from fam we don’t see nearly enough. Fun souvenirs from Grandmommy’s latest adventures. Great food, lots of laughs, just a perfect day. Even caught a glimpse of some fireworks on our way home.
~ for 6 Giddyup & Whoa deliveries this week.
~ for the sweet moments of daydreaming with my Love…only the Lord knows the plans He has for us, and we only want the future He has planned….but I love that we are still dreaming together.
~ and this week on Chef Daddy’s Sunday Dinners: gourmet panko crusted tuna casserole.
With the holiday, everyone’s been talking a lot about FREEDOM. We are reminded that freedom isn’t free: it was (and remains) hard-fought by brave men and women who lay their lives down for their country. Freedom means so many different things to different people. The freedom to do whatever you want. Say whatever you want. Love whoever you want. I personally think a lot of people take these “freedoms” too far…at others’ expense. People stomp all over other people under the guise of “freedom.” As Christ-followers, we believe that Jesus too laid down His life for our freedom. He died that we may no longer live as slaves to sin. Not necessarily free TO do whatever we want, but free FROM the grip of vices and addictions and entrapments that so easily entangle us. I know I’m free, but I still long for greater freedom: freedom from fear, from anxiety, from comparison, from anger. It’s not a one-and-done, but rather a continual and gradual refining.
And I got to thinking about the words we often use interchangeably: freedom and independence. See, while I know Christ came to set us FREE, He never intended for us to be INDEPENDENT. In this society of selfies, self care, and self worship, we aren’t supposed to NEED anyone. We weren’t created to be slaves, but we also were not created to be autonomous, hedonistic loners. We were built for community. “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) But more importantly than needing one another, we have a desperate need to be DEPENDENT upon our Savior. I trip myself up over and over again when I try to operate in my own strength. I am completely incapable of what is expected of me. Serving my husband. Loving, shepherding, and caring for 9 kids. Forgiving. Living a life of faith over fear. Putting others before myself. Every single one of those ideals are contrary to my character. BUT GOD. He gives me life and joy and purpose that is not my own, and the more I lean on Him, the more He fills me up and heals my brokenness.
I’m not as free as I want to be. But I will be. I’m trusting that as long as I’m breathing, God’s not done.
Thanks for giving thanks with me!
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)