Wednesday, July 07, 2021

God bless America

The fourth of July is my favorite holiday.  It always has been.  I love everything about it.  It's summer.  I love the food. I love hanging out with friends and family.  I love fireworks.  I love red, white and blue clothes.  And it's a stress free holiday unlike things like Christmas, Valentines, etc.  It's just easy and happy and it's my favorite day.  

We always do the 4th with the Ormons.  We celebrated two days early this year.  They were headed to see family and we had plans at church so we did the 4th on the 2nd.  We ate hamburgers and hung out and had so much fun.  Laurie and her super white teeth and I had the best time! 

We usually set off fireworks but since it was early we didn't.  So we didn't light a ton of money on fire and I wasn't too sad about that.  The kids did do sparklers.  

We headed to church on the 4th in our red, white and blue clothes. It was a great morning.  

Our church has an annual "Fireworks at the crosses" on their big lawn every year.  It's all afternoon/night event and they always have a special time of doing baptisms before the fireworks.  Thousands of people come.  This was our first time to go and we were so excited.  We got there around 4:30 before it started and stayed until after 10.  There were food trucks and everyone brings tents and chairs.  A lot of small groups sit together and the kids play and everyone brings food.  They have live music.  

Harper got to hang out with some of her friends.  This is the kind of thing that brings the best memories for me.  Church events where I ran around with my friends while the adults enjoyed time together.  It made my heart so happy to have something like this.  

This is the pre teen pastor.  He started at the church almost exactly when we did and he has made such an impact on my kids.  My girls just love him and his wife.  He's been a huge gift to us! 

I"m thankful I have been making new friends also! I still love and have all my old friends but there is always room for new ones too! 

And we are finding our place - visiting small groups and finding ways to serve.  I'm excited about all the opportunities we will have to serve God in this place.  

I keep thinking I will blog about changing churches but it's just complicated and personal and hard to put to words.  What I CAN say is we prayed and prayed about it and we feel God ordained the whole move for our family.  And I have SO much joy and thankfulness over it all.  Our whole family has been flourishing and experiencing revival and I'm just extremely grateful.  It was VERY difficult to leave and I am not a big believer in changing churches unless there is a very big reason or God moves you.  I love the local church.  Yes it can be a mess.  It's made up of messy humans who are not perfect like God.  So there is no perfect church.  But finding a community who you can serve God with and who help you grow closer in your walk with God is EVERYTHING.  Don't give up if you are in a place of being out of fellowship with church or if you have walked away.  We need to have a group of believers to be with and work together to share Jesus with more than ever before.  

Will Holden made about 3-4 friends that night.  I crack up at how easily he can make friends.  He was hugging kids that he had never met before and inviting them to our house.  He had the time of his life.  

The best part of the night was that 78 people got baptized.  Our church has been growing through a revival and has baptized 600 people in the last 2 months.  It's been incredible to witness.  And I think that's one reason I'm so grateful God brought us here at this time.  I needed revival in my own life and in my family and now we are seeing it in church and it's just amazing! 

It was hot but it wasn't as hot as it could be in July.  We loved getting to visit with people and sit and watch the baptisms and fireworks.  And once the sun went down it was cool and it was just the best! 

They put on a great display and then we got home late and had to get up super early to take Harper to church to meet the junior high students because she left for camp on Monday.  And I'm DYING to hear what a week she is having! 

I hope y'all had a great fourth also! 


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