Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Ffffrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeedddoommmmmm!!!!!!!  (said in the most Braveheart way possible)  That's what we celebrated on the 4th, at our home, with close to 60 of our family and friends. It was bittersweet for me, and I got kinda emotional during the afternoon preparing for the party, as I realized that this may be the final big party we host in this home. (more to come on that later)  It's not that the house itself is what I treasure, but the house represents a LOT of God's work within our lives this past 4 1/2 years. I really need to post on this...there is so much I've been wanting to say, but cannot think how to condense it all into words. I promise, I will post on this next week.
So back to the party...We had a good time of fellowship, yummy food, reflecting on true freedom, and of course, fireworks. Gary prepared a little sharing time on what freedom really means, why we celebrate as christians- freedom in Christ, being set free from the bondage of slavery, and free to serve Him. As well as the appreciation of those who sacrifice and serve our country to preserve the freedom we have in the US to worship freely. 
We have a friend who re-enlisted in the National Guard to go into officer training. He has a wife and three children. He's currently in the States receiving training that is apparently pretty tough. He's gone for like 9-10 weeks for the first phase, and has two more phases after this to complete his training. He's not overseas, but to see the sacrifice of the whole family in just this amount of time has made us much more aware of what those who serve in the military go through. It is tough. Everyone brought snacks for a care package to send to him- we hope it will lift his spirits to know that we're praying for him. 
So, this 4th of July, Gary and I are grateful for the freedom we have in Christ. There's a renewed sense of gratefulness and joy in the God who has enabled us this freedom. We are humbled to know that there are those who serve our family with great sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we enjoy, and often take for granted, in this country. We are made aware of our other brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who do not have the same freedoms. And we are made to pray. To not be so self centered, consumed with just our "little world", but again, to seek the Lord and allow His Spirit to move us to acts of love in His name. Freedom!

Adam's care package:

The girls in their red, white, and blue:

Belle enjoyed the watermelon:

Gary sharing on true freedom:

Some of the kids making red, white, and blue prayer bracelets:

The annual picture with the flag cake (I left it in the oven too long and it got dried out. I may have to make another one for us to try again!):