the fourth, family, and feasting

July 6, 2015

july 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thjuly 4thI ate so much this weekend. We spent Saturday with my family and it was “kamayan” style, which is a Tagolog word and means eating with your hands. She served clams, squid, mussels, shrimp, crabs (my favorite!), mackerel, and I’m sure there are a couple other things I’m missing. She even added the little detail of wrapping a serving of rice in banana leaves. My mom is a master at hospitality and cooking up a gourmet feast!

Ben’s favorite were the clams and shrimp, and I overindulged in crab. I think I ate 4 or 5 (plus, a little bit of everything else)! To say I was stuffed is an understatement. Then, even though I really didn’t have much room left in my stomach, I was able put in some chocolate chip cookies, pie, and cherries. Soul and Glow stuck to the rice, fish, and lots of mangoes (and lots of pie and cookies too!). That probably would have been what True would have eaten too. On the other hand, Brave would have been stuffing herself silly with the crab and shrimp.

Fireworks aren’t allowed in my mom and dad’s neighborhood (nor ours), so we didn’t get to participate in any of that fun. I tried to convince Ben to pick up some sparklers to do it in our backyard, but he didn’t want to risk it. We did see some fireworks going off as we drove home, and the girls were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the few sparks we saw, and then next thing we knew they were out. I think that was enough fun for them.

On Sunday afternoon, we went over to Ben’s cousin’s place and spent the rest of the day filling up on barbecued steak and chicken. I think I ate enough food this weekend to last me until Wednesday. HA! We don’t get to see his family often, so it’s always nice to catch up and see how everyone is doing.

I’m thankful for this day and what it means to all those who get the privilege to call this country home. While it is a blessing to live here, it is still a broken country. It’s evident in the news headlines that break everyday. There is still poverty, fighting, racism, and the list of how broken we are can go on. All of this makes my heart heavy, and nervous for the world my children are growing up in. Despite this, I place my faith in a God who promises that one day every experience we have is only going to get better because of Jesus and the cross. He died to make things new. His death gives me life. Jesus is where I can experience freedom and relief from the brokenness. He makes me whole.

My faith in God isn’t meant to ensure I get an easy life, nor does it mean I get to skip suffering. Suffering will come, just as it did for the early church. So as I live out my life as a Christian, in a culture that may be hostile to Christians, I pray that my affections for Him and His Word is unwavering. My list of failures are many miles long… I have a cargo ship full of selfishness, a mouth and heart that spews out anger, pride coming out the wazoo, but Christ died for me. It’s about what He did, not me.

My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.


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