Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beautiful Days

I've been walking around the past four or five days saying "God is good all the time.." to which my children reply "and all the time God is good!" Well, He has been exceptionally good to me this weekend. In fact He gave me a series of Beautiful Days.

Last Thursday night Ryan's baseball team won second place in their division losing to an undefeated team twice their size. While they were disappointed not to win, they quickly forgot it when the parents started pelting them with water balloons during Coach Dan's "I'm proud of you" speech. After that all was fun and games again and we were thrilled to be #2.

Friday night we had a fire pit and made Smores with the kids. We've been really struggling with the fact that for the first time since the kids were born (and in fact much longer for Dan and me) we will not be going to our beloved Arcadia for our annual summer vacation. Finances are tight now and we made the tough decision to skip it this year. So we've been trying to think of things we normally do there that we can still do here. One was a campfire which was made all the more sweet when we found the laminated lyrics sheet with the Praise and Worship songs they sing at Camp RKD. We sang a capella around our own backyard fire. It felt like my heart was singing.

Unlike my mouth, my heart sings on key.

Saturday night we had a new family from church over. We ate a lot of dessert and all our kids played in our pool together while we got to know each other better. I am so grateful that God keeps giving us new opportunities for friendship and fellowship.

Sunday after church we lazed around for awhile and then went to Dan's brothers house and hung out with his family and Dan's parents. We ate a wonderful dinner, swam in their big person pool and watched a private display of fireworks that had to rival most small towns. It was lovely.

Monday we went to our favorite 4th of July parade just blocks from my parents house. It starts at 11:30 am, so it's really the only parade we ever attend being late risers. My Mom and one of my good friends went with (whose birthday was the next day so we had a wonderful lunch afterward).

Independence Day has long been my favorite holiday for lots of reasons, including summer weather, BBQ's, parades and fireworks. But more importantly I love it because we celebrate freedom and those who gave it to us. With Dan having been in the Army for 22 years we feel our patriotism deeply and are grateful to all the men and women who gave their lives so we can live in a country of freedoms. Our most treasured freedom is the right to freely worship God. We also celebrate Jesus and the freedom He gave us by defeating sin's power.

Late that night we walked to a hill by our house with the kids and watched the fireworks light up the sky.

Tuesday I took Maggie to see a genuine PG movie. No violence, no swearing, very little sexual material at all, other than a few kisses. It was very refreshing. I happily abstained from popcorn since she got her braces on six weeks ago and can't have any. At night Dan and I went to the U2 concert at Soldier Field. That experience is a whole other blog post. Bono sang Beautiful Day, Rejoice and One Tree Hill among many, many other songs. Suffice it to say I cried tears of joy twice.

Today we slept in and spent the whole day just hanging out with the kids. Dan played Risk with them on the living room floor, we went swimming in our little pool together and I took them to the library late in the day.

The sun has been shining for five days straight in Chicago and the Son has been shining every minute of those days on my life.

It's been a bunch of Beautiful Days.