Almost every Fourth of July we stuff towels, swimsuits, and sunscreen into a beach bag and head to one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. Grilled ribs and hamburgers are on the menu after boating and swimming. Then later we spray down with bug spray and settle in to watch the dark sky explode with a red-white-and-blue fireworks celebration.
This Fourth of July is going to look a lot different.
Unless you live in one of a few lucky cities, there won’t be large firework displays or beach-packed picnics–at least not around here. And honestly given what’s been going on the last couple months, not everyone is in a celebrating mood. Others don’t feel like there’s a whole lot of reason to celebrate.
With everything going on, how are you supposed to feel?
What does celebrating look like?
When I was just out of college, my friends moved to Central Asia to work with a non-profit benefitting the poor. Other college friends settled in Ghana to work with pastors and teachers. But I knew deep in my heart that God wanted me to be a light and share his love right here in America.
This is the land that I love.
the generosity of the American people. When there’s an earthquake on the other side of the world, they’re the first to pitch in.
I’m in awe of their creativity and independent spirit. Well over half a million new business start each year.
I’m proud of how many ministries and non-profit organizations have been birthed in America.
At the same time…
my heart is so sad at the wrongs that have been done, both the ugly parts of history and the things happening even today.
I think that’s how God feels too. His heart aches at the sin he sees. But he’s happy and proud of the good things too.
Start your Fourth of July celebration here
With that in mind, here’s how I’d suggest you start off your Fourth of July celebration.
As a family…
- Thank God for the good he’s done in and through this country. Thank him for the natural beauty and the freedom you have (Psalm 110:4).
- Ask for forgiveness for the wrongs that have been done. Ask him to search your own heart too (Isaiah 66:2).
- Pray that God’s will for America and its people would be done and Satan’s purposes would be frustrated (Psalm 33:9-10).
Get creative as a family
Next get creative and come up with something fun to do as a family. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
T-shirt creations (for little ones)
My friend Marissa came up with this creative idea. It’s easy, affordable and makes for a great keepsake.
What you’ll need: A plain T-shirt, red and blue fabric paints, a tiny foot 🙂
Fourth of July fruit kebobs (for kids or adults)
What you’ll need: bamboo skewers, strawberries, mini marshmallows, blueberries or black grapes.
Fourth of July mason jar candles (for older kids or adults)
What you’ll need: mason jar, sand, American flag, LED candle