I had the most fantastic Halloween Day!
What a strange way to begin considering my post only one week ago was titled “A Confession: I don’t like Halloween!” Maybe I should say this differently…
I had the most fantastic October 31 (and it had absolutely nothing to do with Halloween).
Our little family had a rare Saturday at home, nothing on the calendar. This was the one free Saturday in between soccer and basketball – no meetings, no work, no friends or family visiting.
So we planned nothing all day and stayed home in our pajamas. We decorated pumpkin-shaped cookies, raked leaves, carved a scary jack-o-lantern and even built a sweet lego castle.
It was so simple; joy, family, love all wrapped in one fall day. Make time for days like this! They are critical – a moment to step back and remember why we fight through these crazy work/sports/school routines in the first place. Experiencing this love as family keeps us going!
One of the most memorable moments for me happened while we were decorating cookies. We had Pandora on some Christian music station and this old Third Day song came on, “I’ve Always Loved You.” Have you ever heard a song that just instantly pulls you back into a distant time and place?
I closed my eyes and let the memory soak in.
This particular song was on the Time album that came out in 1999, right in the midst of my college and church camp counselor days. During this stage of my young adult life, I began to really dig deep into my faith for the first time. Faith became more than what I was taught at Sunday school and confirmation, and became personal; faith became real relationship with God.
A decade and a half ago, I listened to this album over and over again. When you are figuring out this faith thing, there are often more questions than answers. So, words like these bring you back to what our God is truly all about: “Don’t you know I’ve always loved you, even before there was time. Though you turn away, I’ll tell you still. Don’t you know I’ve always loved you, and I always will.”
I opened my eyes with the music still playing. I left this memory of a much younger me, and re-entered a room filled with pajamas, frosting and smiles. An immense inner peace washed over me! At 20 years old, there were so many uncertainties. Faith was so new. Did God really have my back as He has promised?? I’ve been struggling to put the cause of this deep peace into words. Thankfully, our Pastor stated so eloquently in his sermon this morning one sentence which said it for me. “Your future is so secure in the life of Christ that you are free to enjoy the gift of life right now.” Ah, yes. Life has highs and lows, joy and turmoil. Yet God’s love, and my future as redeemed child of God is constant. What peace and freedom this brings in the here and now!!
We did the Halloween thing. The kids dressed up, we enjoyed a campfire with friends, and brought home way too much candy. And it was fun! But the day was amazing because I had time with my family, and I had moments to reconnect with my God. All days should be this good!