Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Tonight I realized that I had stopped being thankful for my freedom because I shifted so much in my thinking about my country and government. It's true that it was good in some ways to shift my thinking from an idyllic near-worship of freedom and justice -- one's country can easily become one's idol, right? -- but maybe my pendulum shift went a bit too far.

While I don't think I'll ever be quite the libertarian I once was (I think my understanding of human depravity has altered that forever
), I do want to consider all the blessings in my life and thank God for them. I think this is part of Philippians 3 "I know how to be abased and how to abound". Where there is abundance, it could be easy to worship the plenty -- so I need to learn how to be content in the midst of my abundance.

On a lighter note, here are some pictures of our Independence Day celebrations with Andrea and Jason Erb and my friend Heather. We took a picnic/cookout to the park, and then walked down to riverfront park to watch the fireworks. It was a lovely evening with our friends!

We were ready for the rain!

Boys love to grill, I guess

I opted for a potato-salad-and-deviled-egg dog instead of a brat

Here is my homemade cherry pie with Andrea's homemade ice cream
Name this cute couple: hint they are laying upon a Maranatha blanket that one of them got while in concert band playing the trombone. And their last name sounds like green things that you might use to season food.
Also count the uncheckable things in the picture. ***I counted 4***


Steph said...

Happy 4th Gret!
I wanted to tell you that last week Elijah and I talked about his birthday and the fact that it was Miss Gretchen's birthday too. (He was confused that once it was officially July - it still wasn't his birthday. We had to talk about how months have numbers (days). So I reminded him that you and he share the 26th. It was really funny because even though I tell him that every year, this year he really found it amusing! The fact that Miss Sue had Miss Gretchen the SAME DAY that I had him...he smiled alot over that one!
(Oh and it is really funny how he lumps you with "Mr. Josh with no hair") He told me a story about you two - "Miss Gretchen and Mr. Josh with no hair downstairs..." just last week. So needless to say - we miss you! I'll check on the Strawberry Shortake party :)

Sara said...

Yum -that pie looks so good :) And who shops at Aldi's? I recognize the ketchup...wish we had an Aldi here.

Happy 4th!!

Murray Crew said...

Gret - Looks like a fun Fourth, but please tell me that you at least thought about the Covington fireworks at least once? (Perhaps the flag groundworks???) Oh the memories!
Miss ya, girl - come meet the boys on your way back home sometime, k?

Gretchen said...

Steph -- I will have to tell Josh -- that's hilarious! :)

Sara -- I think that would be Andrea Erb's ketchup. I like to shop at Aldi, too, but it is sort of on the other side of town, so we only go when we really have time. Mostly I grocery shop at like 9 or 10 at night, when the only places open are the 24 hour guys. :) Thanks for the pie comment. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Cherry pie done really right trumps all desserts in my book!

Jen -- I sure did think of the Covington fireworks. I have to say that Louisville's fireworks were sort of blah considering it IS a city. I think they just used the leftovers from Thunder (which is the biggest firework's show in North America, put on before the Derby). I was wanting a little more of the seeing a million people you know at the fireworks, which is really the best part of going to Covington's. :)

Anonymous said...

Grootchen, the pie. Oh mah word. I didn't make one. :*****( I ate a baked one that had been boughten frozen at a family dinner because I overslept and didn't have time to pit cherries. barf. Looks like fun. Next year, REAL plans will be made, or else I will just die. Okay, Happy 4th. Whose your fav. founding father?

Gretchen said...

Would that commenter be my sistah Anna?

Dude, you shoulda robbed Mom's freezer like I did for some Door County Cherries! There is another tub!

I'm going with Noah Webster, father of American Education. Here's a quote: "Education without the Bible is useless". Yessssssssss

Sarah said...

Gret, I didn't know you guys were still friends with Andrea and Jason! That is funny--tell her hi for me--we were roomates her freshman year, I think. Or wait--she was across the hall.....anyways, we did the dorm thing for a whole year.
I love your thoughts at the first of your post. I am so grateful for the priveleges and abundance we are blessed with---all given to us by our great God!!!
Miss ya!

Gretchen said...

Sar -- Andrea and I totally lost touch after we graduated in 2000, but Jason is here taking classes, like Josh. He is almost done, but we go to church together, and they are fun friends we wish we could see more often! :)

Sara said...

Hi Gretchen...About your comment on my blog...I think your ideas are GREAT. I would definately put up those paper lanterns and a rug. The table would probably look really cute painted green. It might be cute with the legs left white too. Please post pictures when it is done!

Gretchen said...

Sara F,

I am liking the legs left white idea. I knew you would be thinking, girl! It may be a while before I get it ALL done, since I be pretty much out of town for the next 3 weeks, but, yeah, I'll post once it all turns out!

Donette said...

Jason and Andrea were at our church last Sunday - heading through to a wedding, I think. Jason attended our church while he was in college. Good to see them both. Aren't they married? 'Cuz if they are, then I don't spot any uncheckable things in the pic!

I have been meaning to make a homemade cherry pie. I love pie, but cherry is one of my least favorites because I think I've only had the canned pie filling kind. That will ruin you for life!

Pertaining to the serious part of the post, I found myself battling the same feelings on the 4th. I wanted to be patriotic and grateful for our country without worshipping it and elevating it's democracy to the level of God's will for all nations. It's a fine line, I think. I want to teach our children to love our country, to fight for it, if necessary (Elijah, not Alli), but to find our ultimate security in Christ, not our government.

You know what? You should totally write a children's book dealing with that topic. You would be perfect!

Gretchen said...

Nett -- you are so sweet to suggest such a thing. I doubt there is much of a market for that, though, huh? Maybe a handful of families that would even care about teaching their children that distiction. Most Christian families see it as their duty to teach their children to love and serve their county, and they do a better job of that than teaching them to love and serve Jesus!

I am getting ideas for lines in the book: "But even though the soldiers were brave and wonderful, Jesus was more brave and wonderful. Even though the men risked their lives to give us freedom from a mean king, Jesus GAVE his life to give us freedom from a much meaner king -- sin, and death and hell."

Name: Karen said...

OH...Run with it Gretchen!!!

It is terribly sad, but I think so very true. We paint a better "hero" picture of almost every Bible character than the Redeemer Himself. Telling our kids to "be like Noah, Abraham, David, and the list could go on and on. (not to mention Heroes of the faith in history or patriotic heroes)

God used all these people for His glory and our good--all to show how mighty He is--what a Savior.

Write the book. I'd buy it.