How was your weekend? How did my American readers celebrate Independence Day?
We had such a fabulous 4th of July. We slept late, had a nice family breakfast, and then ran a couple of errands. Once we got home, Doug got the grill and food ready while the kids and I mixed up a batch of sugar cookies. Once the cookies were cooled, all of us sat down to decorate them while potatoes, corn on the cob, and steak all cooked on the grill. Yum!
After a delicious lunch and some rest time, we loaded up and headed to the pool to take care of some maintenance and have a late-afternoon swim. When we arrived, we were surprised to find that Alan and Shannon were home (they are spending most of the summer on-site where Alan works as a pipe-liner, which is why we're helping keep an eye on the pool)! They graciously invited us to go ahead and swim, and then offered to let us join them for some grilled burgers and brats! We really enjoyed the spontaneous fellowship! We came home, got in our baths and showers, and then enjoyed the fact that New York gets dark an hour earlier than we do by watching one of their fireworks shows on tv.
To be honest, the day didn't go quite according to the plans I'd tossed around in my mind in previous months. I had a book all picked out to buy and read to the kids on Independence Day - a book about the symbols and traditions of the holiday. We never bought it. Instead we enjoyed the freedom of being able to go and do and celebrate as we pleased and with whom we pleased - even spontaneously - without restriction or having to seek anyone's permission. I had several ideas printed out for crafts and activities we could do throughout the day. Instead, we just enjoyed the day as it came, and ended up having a great one. I had thought about going through the Declaration of Independence with the girls, discussing what it is really about. Instead, earlier in the weekend we prepared five Chinese New Testaments for mailing, leading Olivia to be thankful Saturday night for the fact that we are free to worship as we see fit.
It's amazing how the little details of a holiday like Independence Day can show up in our everyday life if we will be open to it. What's more important, though is the joyful realization that God has been teaching our family what it means to be free in Him - for without that freedom, national freedom means nothing.