Sticky popsicle fingers and sweating backs at the local parade.
3 of us, squeezed into a backyard blow up pool.
Stovetop s'mores because the fire pit is flooded with summer rain.
Homemade BBQ on red plastic plates.
Steaming hot shower to wash the weight of anxiety and exhaustion away.
Sweet tea filled cup and late night fireworks display.
Giant bug bites and poorly timed potty breaks.
A raindrop, a downpour, and a dash to the car.
When I was a single mama, holidays were hard, and I would daydream
about what it would be like to share these days with a family.
I had a pretty Pinterest perfect vision in my head
of what holidays would be like with a husband.
Andrew and my first married 4th of July he spent working and I spent alone.
Well, I spent it with Rooney and the dog but it felt very alone.
Each day, each month, each year I am learning that the Pinterest picture doesn't exist
and marriage doesn't make lives perfect.
Marriage, divorce, money...none of these make lonely hearts more full, more free.
There is no quick fix for a perfect life.
No easy way to make our days fill us full up.
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
These words may feel odd and misplaced for a day
focused on fireworks and flags but freedom is found in the knowledge
that beauty and fullness run deep in our messy days, our imperfect holidays,
our every moment walking hand in hand with our savior.
This year, our 4th of July felt pretty perfect.
I spent it in awe of where God has led me, what He has given to me,
all the answered prayers, all the blessings,
and none greater than His Hand holding mine
all the way up to this perfectly messy day.