Memorial Day Thoughts

There is a certain peacefulness, slower pace that settles over you as you realize…”It’s Sunday.  Tomorrow is a holiday.  I’m not going to work tomorrow.  I can relax and enjoy the day at a much slower pace!”  I know that there is so much more to Memorial Day than cook-outs, grills, food, and beach trips.  However, isn’t that what the women and men of our military fight to protect?  Our safety and peace.  The ability to make a decision about how I’ll spend my day.  We are so blessed to have our only worries be about how frequently H’s sunscreen should be reapplied, what beach to go to, and are we eating fro-yo today or tomorrow.  I realize these “problems” really aren’t problems at all.  In America, we have lives that others can only dream of.  I’m so thankful for my life and those who showed the greatest form of love…laying down his/her life for another.

To remember and honor those who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, our church places a flag for each departed person.  We joined in after the service for lemonade and the creating of the Field of Flags which will stay up until the 4th of July. We had to head off to the grocery store {no bread, milk, eggs…no nothing!}, so we didn’t get to see the finished field.  However, they were still working on it when we went by about an hour later!

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Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. -John 15:13

When Holden and I were at church today, this exact verse was read.  Although our soldiers lay down {and sometimes lose their lives} for another, we can show that “great love” by “laying down” our lives for others daily.  Laying down our lives speaks more to living a sacrificial life.  We must put others and their needs before our own.  What a hard thing to do!  We are, by nature, selfish creatures.  Our desires to get “what we deserve” and ensure our own well-being first are so so so hard to fight.  As Christians, we are called to live differently.  I confess that I try and fail DAILY to do this, BUT the importance is the TRY.  I try again.  and again.  and again.  Sometimes, it can almost seem easier to do some big sacrifice.  I think the truly harder thing is to live it out daily.  It is no fun to put others head of yourself.  Being nice to the cranky person in the checkout line.  Not yelling at the person who yells at you first.  Smiling and being cheerful when you really aren’t feeling it.  Working not for your profit but for the well-being of others {moms of small children, good gracious!}.  Taking your ego and pride out of the scenario to best serve the common good for all involved.  Whew!  Hard things.

We also had a baptism at church this morning.  I love this part of the ceremony…a prayer for the baptized.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the
forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of
grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them
an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to
persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy
and wonder in all your works. Amen.

I love the qualities that are requested…an inquiring and discerning heart, courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and love God, and joy and wonder in all God’s works.  What a powerful list!  I certainly wish all those things for my child, myself and for YOU!

I hope you are having a great Sunday and Memorial Day Weekend!

Natalie

Holiday Weekend Whereabouts: Atlanta

Oh my!  It has been so long!!!!  Things have been busy to say the very least!  Since last time we talked, we lost a short sale, found a new house, put offer on said house, picked strawberries, made preserves, visited with friends near and far, AND did all the regular stuff like eat/sleep/workout/fight colds/work/etc.  This Memorial Day weekend was fun-filled for me and the Mr. and H.  I actually flew away on a jet plane down to Atlanta to visit one of my very best friends whom I hadn’t visited in an embarrassingly long time.  To confess, I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to go.  You know what I mean?  Any time a mommy is out of  town things get a little interesting for everyone involved…the mommy included!  The Mr. and H met me at the airport with some beautiful flowers and big hugs.  I had a wonderful time traveling, visiting, eating, and just SITTING without them, but I missed them so very much.  I was happy to get back to them.  Now, the laundry…that was a different story.  Let’s being…

We ate my new favorite restaurant in Decatur, GA called Sun in My Belly.  Only slightly far away from my current location!  😉  The french toast and salmon bagel were amazing!  The decor was so hipster pretty too!

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Another fun stop was the Decatur Art Festival.  I am in love with wooden bowls…There are worse addictions, right?!?!?  A smart-lipped man made me a deal too good to pass up on these two beauties.  

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We saw such neat things.  I loved these inspirational signs.

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We also went into the more city-like atmosphere of Atlanta and enjoyed a drink at The Sundial.  This restaurant/bar offers a revolving (I kid you not!) view of the Atlanta skyline.  Very impressive, Sundial.  It was a beautiful ride up to the 73rd floor at the top of the Westin.  

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We snapped some pics at the Olympic Centennial Park, the CNN building, and while enjoying our sunset view of the Atlanta skyline.

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Although it was not as glamorous as one might imagine, I felt very urban taking MARTA (Atlanta’s public transit) and hopping on and off like a lower budget Carrie Brandshaw.  Ha!

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You can safely conclude that I had an awesome time!  The company was excellent.  The food and time without a little one was well-needed.  I did manage to get in two runs while there that nearly forced me to limp onto the airplane.  Those hills are a killer!  Yes, in my opinion, Atlanta has hills.