Monday, July 07, 2014

Summer Gifts

There has been sadness, worry, and conflict, but blessings abound!  Life goes on, kids grow up, friends see us through, family stays true, little ones bring joy to our lives, new plans are made.  There is always hope.  God reminds us time and again how much he loves us and how he has it all under control.  Amazing grace.

The first week of July is already gone and summer will soon be a memory.  I try to live in the now and be there in the moments that are good and precious. Our little Joey comes for a sleepover and has special Grandpop time.  These two have a special bond.

I haul four kids back from 4-H on a dark night and Arielle puts on a Casting Crowns CD.  I say, "Play the bones song."  And she does, the one about Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones coming to life. 

"And the Lord sent his wind into the valley and breathed the breath of life into their souls..."  And the Holy Spirit passes through our little red car winding its way home as the kids softly sing.

Our township's fireworks were rained out but we had new friends over for dinner and my son manned the grill before the storm came.  Good conversations over dinner enriched our lives and later the kids played board games in the basement and lit sparklers in the backyard with lots of laughter. 

And the holiday celebration wasn't lost.  Damien invited us to dinner and fireworks in his township the next night.  During the absolutely gorgeous day before we leave, Liana helps lay the new deck boards with Fred, sawing and drilling and having great Dad and Daughter time. I pick blueberries from the bushes my sons gave me and eat a lot of berries before I even go back in the house, just standing there in the sunshine.  Arielle and Steven give us a pre-fireworks duet on the piano playing a song Arielle has been working on for awhile.  

I'm not counting stars but gifts.  

Jordan's joy is contagious.  Damien cooks us chicken once again and we sit under the trees in his yard.  It's such a beautiful night.  Gretchen loads the table with good food and we feast.

 We carry our blankets out to the field as darkness descends.  It is so cool we need jackets.  I get hugs from Lana to warm me up.  Our littlest one Eva crawls across the blanket and then into her daddy's lap.  We hear the first boom and the sky fills with lights. Jordan alternates between being frightened to fascinated.  Granddaughters!  How blessed I am.  It takes an hour to get home because of the crowds but I don't mind because it just prolongs our best-ever 4th of July.

"As grace extends to more and more people, it increases thanksgiving to the glory of God.  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison."  But as we wait for that, God fills us with good things. Jesus tells us we ought always to pray and not lose heart. 

Photo credits: Liana

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