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Memorial Day and the Good Ol' Days

Another weekend already! The bonus to having a holiday on a Monday is the weekend is here even faster! I hope you had a great holiday weekend over Memorial Day. Ours was filled with family, sun, and good food. That combo always makes for a great weekend.

I had a lot of random thoughts that I wanted to share with you as I reflected on the weekend.

I love that we honor our country and those who fought for it with their own special day.

These people fought to keep America free and for that I will be forever grateful.

As I thought about this over the Memorial Day weekend, I wondered what it looks like for God everyday. I feel like he is asking what special day is just for him? It should be every day, don’t you think? He sent his son to earth, to die. End of discussion. I don't know anyone else who has done that. Yes, we send our men and women off to war, but we do that with the hope that they will come back. God knew he was sending his son to die, for us, to save us from sin and bring us to eternity with him. I think that deserves to be acknowledged every day. When I look at what he has brought me to, it brings me to my knees in gratitude and I thank him every day for it.

I continued reflecting about past holidays and how life can change so quickly, even though we sometimes don't see it in the moment. God makes sure we are always work in progress and if I look back at the last year, I can really see it.

How much can change in a year! Last year, we were waiting for our first grandchild to be born. He waited until June 7th to arrive and life has not been the same ever since! This holiday weekend our home was ruled by a toddler learning to walk. It was not quiet as he is rather vocal too. Things might have been a bit messier than normal. I would not want it any other way. The joy a child brings to a family is indescribable! Especially from the grandparent perspective. I am loving every minute of it. What a difference a year makes…

We picked up our youngest daughter from the airport on Sunday. She had been in Africa doing an internship for an entire month. It was the longest I have ever gone without having a visual on one of my children! It was a long month for us, but for her it was so rewarding and worth being gone that long. Last year on this same weekend, we picked her up from a trip to Africa that was only 10 days. She seemed so much older this year. I guess that’s what another year in college will do! What a difference a year makes…

As I was driving north for the weekend, I recognized something I hadn't experienced for awhile as a holiday weekend approached. Pure joy and anticipation! I had not given one thought, not one iota of space in my brain to reflect on the “good old days” of drinking. Actually they really weren't that good.

Memorial Day was always the last day of a long weekend of late nights and too much drinking. Think loud parades on the holiday morning, lol! Packing up to go home that day was NEVER a pleasant experience and usually there was a lot of bickering and not a whole lot of peace in the valley. Mainly because I felt like crap.

I remember about 4 or 5 years ago during a “sober summer,” I got up early on the holiday and went for a long bike ride before anybody woke up. I was so happy and proud of myself for being able to do that. The night before there had been a big campfire and it sounded like a lot of fun from the inside, but the temptation was just too great for me to venture out. So I spent the evening telling myself how grateful I would be when tomorrow came.

There’s that verse from Lamentations that I quote often “the joy comes in the morning” and it did! If I think back though, the joy I felt driving north last weekend was different. I didn't have to get off a giant pity pot to get there like I had in previous years. I have learned not to feel sorry for myself for what I might be missing out on and instead I find joy in what I get to do. This year on Memorial Day I went for a run and pretended I was doing a 5K just to see if I could do it. It wasn't pretty, but I did it! I felt like a rock star and that feeling of elation and accomplishment stayed with me all day. What a difference a year (or four) makes…

I have so many big plans this summer, but as I have been reflecting back, I am seeing something here. God already has it planned out. My whole summer. I just have to follow his leading and see where it goes. If something I've planned doesn't go right, I have to trust that even though it might be something I have prayed for, God did answer. To remind myself that God doesn't always give us what we want but he does gives us whatever we need.

And there you have it! Confirmation to seek him first in all things because it starts with God and it ends with God. Kind of a spiritual golden rule.

What are you seeking this summer? Summer is a great time to set goals, especially the ones that take us away from bad habits we are trying to break free from. Like my drinking and my biking. The two did NOT go together, but cycling definitely helped me break free from drinking. Do you think that was a God thing? I am absolutely positive it was.

How about eating habits, food issues, or maybe body image? Summer is a fantastic opportunity to challenge yourself to get out of your box and do something transforming. Sign up for a 5K , or try something new like yoga on the beach, or stand up paddle boarding. The possibilities are endless. Get someone to do something with you. It's always easier when someone is waiting for you! Go to your farmers market and buy a vegetable you've never tried before. Make sure you know what it is so you can google how to cook it! Summer gives us all the fresh fruits and vegetables you could ever want. I realize that it also means ice cream and I am not saying I won't be doing that once in awhile! Hey, everything in moderation. Right?

In closing, I just want to encourage you to make the most of the opportunities God is placing before you. He wants you to live in perfect peace, not constant turmoil. I read a line somewhere last week that really stuck with me. “The devil is pissed off because he can't have my soul, so he’s going after my body instead.” WOW, that is so true.

I have been working on me from the inside out. The inside (my soul) belongs to God, but so does the outside. I want to make sure I guard this temple (body) he has blessed me with as well. That comes with a responsibility to take good care of what he has given us.



P.S. Speaking of trying new things, our little guy got to experience corn on the cob for the first time! Had to share!


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