I am thankful:
~ for Cooper and Samantha having a fantastic week at camp. They made/reconnected with friends and had more fun than I can even describe. Sam said it was the best week of her life! So thankful for this wonderful opportunity.
~ for a wonderful evening with friends Chris and Lindsay and Coby Tate. Our kids just dote on Coby and love him to pieces.
~ and for the rest of the kids having a great week at home and at Ignite Day Camp.
And the MOST EXCITING NEWS OF ALL, is that we got a NEW SISTER THIS WEEK!!!! Our sweet Zoe girl asked Jesus into her heart on Wednesday!!! She and I have had some good talks over the past few weeks, so I knew her little heart was stirring. Well all the great talks and prayers during Ignite were the perfect environment for that spark to burst into a flame! She expressed interest about getting saved to one of her leaders, who then spend the whole next day praying for her. When they met up the next day at Family Fun Night, they prayed together, and Zoe gave her heart to Jesus! What a beautiful beginning to her new life in Christ. With her brown eyes just shining, Zoe told me, “I just knew I wanted to be free and I wanted to live forever with Jesus in heaven.” The children’s director approached me afterwards, and actually arranged to come over to the house and do a video interview of Zoe’s testimony as an encouragement to others.
Speaking on camera was a big challenge for our shy girl, but she was super brave and did a beautiful job of sharing her story. We are so proud of her. Zoe’s story is at the end of this video highlighting the fun at Ignite.
~ for the daily joys of finding new treasures in our garden.
~ for a bright sunshiny project. Mid-week I hit some bumps, and was just struggling personally. I decided I wanted to throw my energy into a quick little DIY makeover. When we moved to this house, of course we were excited about the pool. But I promise you I was EQUALLY excited that there was an outdoor bathroom to accompany the pool! A pool bathroom is just a game-changer. Well our pool bathroom has been functional but absolutely not cute.
And I was ready to change that. This whirlwind makeover took less than 48 hours: first brightening it with a clean blank slate of our favorite Alabaster white paint on EVERY SURFACE, then adding a cheerful retro design in a modern muted palette, and finally a hand lettered encouragement from the Word of God was just the finishing touch it needed. Literally painting the sun brought much needed LIGHT into my tired heart.
~ for tasty black bean and corn salsa, flavored with jalapeños, avocado, cilantro, and lime.
~ for 4th of July fireworks with such fun neighbors. I do love a good fireworks show.
~ for my sweet friend who surprised me with festive ColorStreet adhesive nail art delivered to my door. Thank you Jacquie!!
~ for a wonderful day spent with friends and family. We laughed and swam and laughed some more and ate the most delicious food until we could hardly move. Tatum K joyfully wished everyone, “Happy Forf-a-La-Jiiiiy!”
And we loved on each other. Because July 3 is not just the day that precedes Independence Day. July 3 is a very important, if somewhat under-promoted holiday: it’s our Alan’s birthday. And it’s his first birthday in heaven since he received his ultimate healing last July. There were many sweet Alan memories shared and lots of tearful hugs. We are all thankful that he is whole and healed and free and rejoicing, and we know he is laughing that loud belly laugh with Jesus and has probably got everybody up there into wearing shiny white original Reeboks and MAKING SURE EVERYBODY knows it’s his birthday. But our July celebration was too quiet without our favorite long-haired dragon-tatted sweetheart. Nobody loved quite like Alan. We all miss him so much.
I’m thankful to be free. I’m thankful for the nation I live in and the freedoms I enjoy that so many do not. But oh, the freedom that I have in Jesus. I am so thankful that I am free to live and love and fail and forgive and be forgiven. I am free from who I once was, and free to be the new creation that I was always intended to be. I am free to love my husband and my children and know that while I am so far from perfect, I was perfectly chosen for them by their perfect Father whose perfect love will never fail them even if I do. I am free to leave my hands open, and trust a trustworthy God with my life and all my questions and the situations that try to steal my joy away. I am thankful to be free.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“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)
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Galatians 5:13-14)
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”(John 8:36)