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17 April 2008

Azalea Festival

As a child growing up my family attended the Azalea Festival every year. It didn't hurt that the festival occurs in Wilmington, NC and that is where both of my parents spent their childhoods. I used to sit on the bleachers with all of the family and watch the parade go by. Even as a child the bands were my favorites. My dad's main job each year was to get the snacks. My favorites were Combos and Goobers. (Yes yes I know many of you are laughing about the second one.) Some of my best parade memories include people no longer with us- like Aunt Florence and the child like excitement she had about her surroundings. She always found joy in the smallest things in life. There was always a great sense of peace about her. As I grew older it was less about the parade and more about the arts and crafts at the waterfront. It's been fun to take friends and share my memories of the past. (And their enjoyment of kettlecorn!) When I was small I used to dream of having children and going to the festival each year. I would want the picnic in the park and things as they were in my childhood. I count it a blessing that I grew up with family being important.

I had hoped to surprise family in Wilmington this year for the festival, but school got in the way. My family was understanding but I was dissappointed. My grandmother was riding on a float and next year I will hopefully be heading to grad school.

In thinking of that and looking at my next couple of weeks to come. Life is hectic. Life is hard. God never promised it would be easy. No one says that once you are a christian it gets easier. In actuality it gets harder. Is it worth it? YES! Do I wish I could have gone? yes! Do I regret going back to school? No!

In crazy times....Do as I do.... Remember....
Psalm 94:19 "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
It doesn't say that He just takes the anxiety away. It says that He replaces it.... with JOY! Wow!

May your days be filled with Joy and in the presence of anxiety may you remember that in Him our strength is renewed.


Laurie said...

It was good to read this this morning. I've been finding it very easy to get dragged down in being tired and stressed at work this week. Sometimes we can "feed" off of that and make things worse than they actually are...give things more power over us than they should have.
Time to step back and readjust my mental perspective of things today. :)
Sorry you didn't get to go to the azalea festival this year. Which is why I suggest you make time -- somehow! -- to plop yourself in a patch of grass at the Bicentennial Gardens soon!! ;)

Christa said...

Laur- There's an azalea bush now blooming outside of my apt. It was a welcome sight :) I'm working on the Garden trip. I was doing good for a while. School's almost out:)(atleast for a little while)