Family-As I think back to the memories of so many years of celebrating this holiday, I am reminded of how time flies. The first 15 years or so of the girls lives we lived out of town and would normally come home to see family on the 4th. Now that the girls are grown, live out of state, and we live by the family, things just don't seem "normal". It was a big adjustment on holidays and vacation times after we moved back home. It seemed at Thanksgiving and Christmas especially that something was missing. The girls and I decided it was the getting ready-planning, packing, and traveling that always went into making those holidays what they were for us. We weren't use to being able to sleep in our beds, in our house on Christmas Eve, and waking up to see what special things we might find. We truly didn't know what it was like to NOT be at Grandma's house during the main holidays. Our families never seemed to understand how hard it was at times with the girls growing up that we wanted to have those special times at OUR house. In some ways I feel like I have let my girls down by not having our own little family traditions at our house for the holidays. No legacy of those memories to leave behind. But in all of that I knew then that we needed to visit our family as much as possible so the girls would know their grandparents and vise versa. So I guess in some way maybe there is a legacy, one of making family a priority. So many don't seem to do that today! I believe Romans 8:28 with all my being-"I know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes." As I stated in an earlier post it made our family who we are today. It taught my girls what it was to travel (plan ahead for bathroom stops!), how to pack, how important family is, and what it really means to miss someone. My sisters are 14 and 15 1/2 years younger than I am, and after I married and moved away I missed them terribly. They were like my first children (God allowed them in my life to prepare me to be a mother in a strange town with no family) and missing seeing them grow up was hard. I wanted to be there for them like a big sister is suppose to be. I am so thankful that we all live close to each other now and can share our lives as often as we want. It still isn't the same without the girls home, but I am thankful and glad for them that they are doing what they want and are happy. As I get older and in recent months have lost so many loved ones, it reaffirms how important it is to spend as much time with those you love as you can. I love my family so much and am so blessed to have them.
Fourth-It always reminds me of red, white, and blue, (Blue use to be my favorite color, now it's pink, and red comes in second.) the flag-and what it represents to our country. How thankful I am that I live in the United States of America. In our world today I wonder where we are headed, but I still wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Freedom-WOW! So much I could say here. Do we even come close to understanding the value of that word? Probably not, unless we have actually fought for it and risked our lives. I believe that next to salvation through Jesus Christ, the next greatest thing is freedom. And we take it so for granted. What do you think of when you hear that word? Free from jail, free to do as you please, free to worship anytime, anywhere we want, or do we just blow it off? I think America is fastly becoming a non-freedom country. If we Christians don't start taking a stand, praying more earnestly, growing in Christ, etc., we will not be free much longer. I think of all the aborted babies-where was their freedom, what about those murdered-their's was taken away,and if we don't prepare ours will be too. I don't mean to bring gloom on this holiday, I just think we need to be more appreciative of what we have and also plan better for the future.
Fireworks-I think of bright, colored, bursting balls of something erupting in the nighttime sky. Some so noisy it makes me plug my ears and they are still too loud (maybe that's a sign of getting older). I remember as a child my favorite thing was a sparkler, of course that's the only thing I was allowed to even get close to. We lived on a little country road, my grand parents lived right across from us and their front yard was edged with this green hedge. I remember my dad, uncle, and cousins having bottle rocket wars across the road and hiding behind the hedge. Everyone would bring their fireworks, sort them out for show and then the fire would fly! It was so much fun! We would end the night with homemade ice cream-my favorite! Oh, how at times I wish we could go back to those times, but I know it just wouldn't be the same. So now I may sit on my front deck and see what I can see of the neighbors show. But I still don't miss the noise!
I hope you all have had a wonderful day whatever it is that you've done. And may each of your coming days be filled with family, fun, and "fireworks"!