2016: Page 303

Page 303 was a good day to spend with family and enjoy some unseasonably warm temperatures.  It was good to sleep in a bit and get the day started slowly.  Once we were all up and around, our first stop was at Potato Creek State Park where we took some photos and hiked almost 3 miles as we enjoyed the time together taking in the beauty of creation.  After our hike, it was time for lunch and then a stop at the house to transfer the morning photos to the computer and recharge cameras.  After that, a good part of the afternoon was spent taking engagement photos for my niece and her fiance.  It was a fun afternoon being reminded of young love and attempting to capture that in photos.  It was great to see them laughing and enjoying life together.  The last part of the photo shoot was on my parents’ farm where I grew up, so I stuck around and shot some scene photos there.  When we were done shooting photos, we headed out to dinner with my mom and dad to wrap up our day before making our way home to go through the afternoon’s photos.

Today’s photo is from the farm pond that was our family’s swimming pool, fishing hole, and ice skating rink for all of my childhood years.  There have also been a lot of family picnics that have taken place around this pond over the years.  In multiple ways, today seemed to have a theme of family.  From the family hike with my wife and daughter to the family photo session of my niece to the family dinner with my parents, God used multiple opportunities to show the importance of having, and being, family.  I realize that I am fortunate as not everyone has a family that they are proud of and not everyone has a family that is proud of them.  Sometimes that is because of the choices of our family and sometimes it is because of our choices and sometimes it is caused by circumstances beyond the control of any of us.  The good news is that regardless of what our family on earth looks like, God has called us to be a part of His family — a family that we can be proud of and a family that is proud to have us as a part.  God has adopted us, not only as sons and daughters, but as heirs to the promise of an eternal dwelling with Him.  It’s not that we are simply allowed to “tag along” for family events, we become actual family members with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of every other family member.  We usually like the first two of those parts of being a family but the third part we’re often not that fond of.  Yet it is the responsibilities that identify us as a legitimate part of a family, often even more so than any rights and privileges could.

I pray that you and I would understand how the families we are a part of, and have been a part of during our life, have influenced how we see God’s family.  I pray that we would live as legitimate children of God as we take hold of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities He has given us. 

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