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July 9, 2020

I’ve always been the sappy one in the family, I’m the one who drags everyone out to celebrate holiday observances. I love crowds and togetherness. I just like to be “in the mix”; especially, after spending years out of the country during most major holidays.

But then there’s 2020, the year that seems intent on shaking up all my plans and traditions. Here I am…facing an old-faithful situation in a strange new way. This year’s July 4th celebration won’t be capped off with a burst of color in the sky or the sight of families enjoying the summer celebration.

So, I guess I will approach July 4th the same way I’ve faced the last several months; I’ll sit back and thank God for some awesome memories. Here’s a July 4th Memory Roundup from the last half-decade…and WOW, has God been good to the Bowdoin family?!

July 4th Memory Roundup


The kids and I still laugh about this fireworks display. We decided to stay out in the field instead of walking into the stadium to view the fireworks. The mosquitos enjoyed a hearty meal on us that night and it was oh-so-LOUD!

July 4th Memory Roundup - 2015

2016 & 2017

We commemorated more than America’s independence in 2016. We were so happy to be celebrating July 4th with Sam’s dad who had gone through a series of surgeries and health struggles earlier that summer.

We decided to reenact the same picture in 2017. I am struck by how much healthier Papa looked a year later! Of course, he’s not smiling in the picture, which further proves he was feeling back to normal.

July 4th Memory Roundup - 2016 & 2017


We made sure we were inside the stadium this year…yep, the 2016 field experience taught us well. I love my crazy kids!


Was this only a year ago?? Last year, we celebrated July 4th only a few weeks after my son’s wedding. This was my first celebration with a new daughter in the mix.

July 4th Memory Roundup - 2019


While I don’t have any grand celebrations to anticipate on the horizon of this year’s July 4th, I still have some awesome memories to cherish and the promise of future celebrations. I’m also intensely grateful to be an American…this country may not be perfect, but it’s mine and I love it!

But, most importantly, I can celebrate my heavenly citizenship. God never changes and He promises a brighter future for me.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

July 4th Memory Roundup

I was just discussing yet another canceled event with a friend earlier this morning and she said to me, “Shellie, you’ll do what you always do…you’ll make lemonade.” So there’s my answer to 2020, I guess I’ll make lemonade with the lemons I’ve been given this July 4th. How about you?

Happy July 4th!


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