Today marks the day that I've always celebrated as the day I gave my life to Christ. I was only 5 years old but I know, since that day, God's Spirit has been working in my life and changing me into who he made me to be. So much change even in this year. I remember a song from my story that is based off this verse:
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
I know that I still try to follow my own way - the sin nature is still trying to come back to life - but I know full well that my iniquity has been paid for and my Lord lives in me! I want to live fully and free in his grace he gave to me and anyone who would call on his name and believe.
If you need details, I wrote a post in 2010 detailing my memories of that night, in the basement of my old church, when I gave my heart to Christ.
Our day started off bright and early at 6am to get ready for the Huntsville 5k. I decided to push the kids in the stroller this year and had a great time as well as great time: 31min. total! I walked very minimally and kept about a 10min/mile pace. My goal was 35min. so I'm very pleased with our results. Here is a picture of some of my running friends. Most of them ran the 10k.
Every year our church sets up shade tents and rows of chairs so we can gather and watch the parade. Pete's grandparents joined in the festivities again this year.
Cute kids on the front row.
The parade is one of my favorites. There are old cars, tractors, and kids on bikes. Horses, firetrucks, and various floats complete the experience. And of course there is candy for the kids to grab. I never realized, that as a parent, I would be saying, "Wait until the cars and trailers are out of the way before running into the street to pick up candy of the road!"
My little one pushing around a little friend. It is enjoyable to watch her start to take care of the younger kids.
It may just be me, but this little miss transformed into a "little kid" over night. She is no longer a toddler/preschooler to me but has moved on to an older version of herself.
There are also vendor booths in Huntsville park so we walked around for a bit. While my mom took J to get her face painted, I took B to visit Mrs. Elaine in her Usborne tent. He tried out a bit of doodling, in the shade, it was so hot that day. This is him, adding teeth to a shark.
Here is her "Hello Kitty" face paint that she left on overnight. We also went "fishing" at our church's booth and won these plastic, pink vampire teeth. So, yep.
I'm glad to get to spend time with both my side of the family and Pete's. Here is a picture I "forced" on them. Really everyone was into it except B and Uncle Gerald.
After an afternoon at home for naps and rest; we packed up and drove to the Huntsville fireworks. We met up with some friends who were visiting from Colorado and even ran into Ben & Holly and sat with them - which happened about three years in a row now so I'm calling it our new tradition. We had about and hour and a half before the actual show and surprisingly the kids did very well. The did need some climbing time so Pete was a natural solution.
The kids loved the show and B wasn't afraid of the loudness like he was last year. J kept saying, "Wow, that is the biggest firework I've ever seen... no that one.... no, that is!" It was so sweet to listen to their enjoyment.
I'm grateful to live in the United States of America. We have many, many freedoms that have been bought by the sacrifices of others and I'm thankful to the many men and women I know who have served our nation.
I am also so glad to be able to live out my freedom in Christ and show others the grace God has given through His death on the cross and resurrection. May you give and be given God's grace today to someone who would need it.
Pete and I are still reading through the Bible in one year using the Bible Eater schedule. 6 months in and I am still enjoying the pace and structure (usually 3 chapters a day - one from the new testament.)
Now, every few books are set up to be read in one sitting - or as fast as you can. This is tough for me because I fall asleep when I read for longer than 20min. So 1 & 2 Chronicles and Job was slow going but I made it through and am on track again. We are in Psalms and Luke this month.
Yesterday, the reading included Psalms 16 - one of my favorites.
"You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
I want to meditate on those words. I can be assured that God will make known to me the path of life and joy comes because of my relationship with Him.
Because of Christ, I can be with God NOW in this life, not only in heaven forevermore, but now!
Man, why is that something I let pass by so often? God is who I live for and He gives me strength to get through the day.
I have His power to get through the crazy fits that J and now B have given me nearly daily. When I parent my children out of my own sinfulness it is "the blind leading the blind" but I am redeemed in Christ and should no longer live in my fleshly habits but in the power of His Spirit.
Pray with me as I daily surrender to God and His leadings in every aspect of my life. May we, as the church, make time to be in the Word and meditate on God's Words throughout our days.
The past two weeks, the kids have had swimming lessons at Lorin Farr Pool. I have also been in the water because B is still in the "Parent/Child" class. I have thought a lot about how his swim lessons, in particular, relate to our relationship with Christ. Note: imperfect analogy coming up...B is not a fan of the water. He doesn't like putting his face in - you know, the whole not being able to breathe thing. He also hates when his feet can't touch the bottom; so we spend a lot of class time on the stairs trying to get him to branch out and try. No matter how many times I hold him and tell him, "I'm not going to drop you or let go," he freaks out when we mention back or front float. Now, he has made great progress and will eventually float on his back in silence, as long as the end result is him getting back to the stairs where he is comfortable. Today, it hit me. How many times have I been put in a situation by God and been uncomfortable and unsure so I "swim" back to my comfort zone - where I am in control - as quickly as possible? B doesn't understand that I'm trying to help him learn to someday swim on his own. He knows that being in the water when he can't touch the bottom is not safe and he could drown. He also knows that I love him. So why can't he loosen his death grip on my arms and let me show him how to float in deep water (or 12 in. of water for that matter.)
There is another girl in his class who is about the same age. She doesn't know how to back-float yet but she does know how to hold her breath under water. She spent the majority of the class today jumping off the stairs and swimming to her mom who was maybe two feet away. She would do it over and over and her mom was there to bring her head above water every time. Yet, she is afraid to turn over and float on her back, same as B. The unknown skill that could save their lives is terrifying to them. I'm sure some day they'll get it but I'm finished living my life that way and I don't want my children to follow in a life without trust.
I want to jump into the arms of Christ, knowing and believing He is all I need.
Hebrews 13:5-6 "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
I know that letting God control my life is far greater than when I am controlling my life. Yet I still struggle, almost daily, to surrender my will. I have so much more knowledge about what joy B can have in the water if he would only leave the stairs but he can't see it. I want to trust that I will experience joy in Christ when I am living the full life he intended for me. It may be full of trials or uncomfortable situations or even great hardships but I pray God will get the glory in all situations. I want to be known for my trust in the Savior who rescued me from sin and death. "What can man do to me?"