Blueberries. What a great way to start my day yesterday - blueberry syrup for French toast, hot blueberry tea, and a big bowl of fresh, organic blueberries with yogurt.
And the day ended with ice cream sundaes... with fudge, blue sprinkles and four cherries... my little mini-celebration of Independence day - ah, the sweetness of freedom.
In between the blueberries and cherries was some pretty incredible talks, particularly with my Hobbit Hole roommates. There's a theme, we noticed, in a life of faith in Jesus: that just when we start to feel comfortable and secure, something gets shaken up to challenge us and deepen our faith. "It's like in Mario World," Brie and Emilee explained. "When you complete one level, you 'level up' to something more difficult, so your skills have to improve to move you forward to the goal." Similar concept goes for body builders who take on increasingly greater weights, or runners who push themselves further, or musicians who explore more and more difficult pieces of music... to grow in understanding, strength, endurance, and skill, the stakes have to be raised more and more.
And so it is in faith... We experience something, wrestle with it, choose to trust God, surrender it to him, find him faithful in that experience, and rest in the knowledge that he is good and he is in control. Level up!! Another experience, harder to tackle than the last one... but we wrestle with it, choose again to trust God, surrender it to him, find him faithful yet again, and rest once more... Level up!! We encouraged each other, because when a challenge arises, we can remember that it is because we passed the last test and this is just another opportunity to depend on God more, trust him more, and discover a deeper level of his grace and love.
So, as much as we would all love for things to stay as they are right now - in this level of life that we have figured out and are thriving in - we want to know God more, and be more powerful in him. The challenges will be bigger, the changes and obstacles will be scarier, but the rewards are greater. So, we're grabbing our "mushrooms" "feathers" and "fire flowers," taking a deep breath and charging ahead with faith as crazy and beautiful as fireworks... Level up!