Outside: A Tribute to My Childhood

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With summer just around the corner, green is seen everywhere and the temperatures are rising.  Yesterday, my family decided that it was time to do some much-needed yard work.  We pulled weeds, pruned the hedge, and mowed the lawn.  My final job was to clear out an area in our backyard that was overgrown with new trees and bushes.

I have basically grown up in this house, and I have loved the yard.  Me and my siblings would crawl behind the hedge and play hide-and-seek, and we used to have a swing set.  I spent hours outside in later elementary and middle school.  Those hours were filled with tree-climbing, basketball, exploring, swinging, and singing.  That little wooded area in my backyard formed a little tunnel through which I would duck and be transported into a magical world of my imagination.  I though of all of this I cut down that very tunnel, creating a hole where there had been life.  It felt like I was destroying the wardrobe to Narnia.

My backyard’s landscape sparked many adventures throughout my childhood, and it was a little sad to watch it get cleared up.  However, there was something beautiful about watching this landscape change.  It reflects how I myself have changed over the years.  Once, my life was cluttered by selfishness, self-love, rebellion, and many other sins.  Since my salvation, the Spirit has removed those, cutting down one weed at a time to turn me into a beautiful garden of grace.  It is not easy, but it is good.

I will be an adult before too long, and I’ll have more responsibilities than ever.  It will not be easy, but it will be good.  This is a short tribute to my childhood, to the fun I had, my joys, and my struggles.

Emma

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Sweet Little Things

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Children truly are a blessing from the Lord, even if they can be  pains sometimes.  While I have no children of my own, I have so many “little” friends that I love.  I help in my church’s second-grade Sunday school class and every week, some kid makes my day!

Kids say the funniest things, the meanest things, and the sweetest things.  They have so much enthusiasm!  They have the biggest dreams and hopes.  They give love so easily.  I love talking with little kids, hearing what’s on their hearts and what is going on in their world.  No one has made me as happy as a child telling me that I’m beautiful.

Once, I was walking home from the pool with my cousin and he told me, “Emma, you’re my favorite cousin…if somebody saw you, he would love you.”  That made my heart melt, especially since I often struggle with insecurity.  A little girl told me something just as sweet just the other day.  She said that I was fascinating and different from other people.  I knew that she said this as a compliment, since I’ve received many a hug from her.

What I love most about little kids is their fascination with God.  Though they may not be able to comprehend the whole gospel, they understand that God is big and they are small, that they are sinners and that God is good.  They know that Jesus “died on the cross for our sins,” and love singing about how much they love Jesus.  They do not question that God exists, they do not question the fact that he loves them.  Their faith is beautiful.