This is our sweet Evabeth. She'll be 18 in a couple months and that seems hardly possible. Eva is a dedicated artist- she draws and paints every day. She loves to read. Not as much as she likes to draw. She's a hard worker and a big help to me and to others. She is sensitive and kind. She's concerned about people and does what she can to make sure they're taken care of. She has a goofy sense of humor. It's almost more than she can bear to pull up beside someone on the road and not make a silly face at them. I wish you could see some of the looks she gives people. Adults bust out laughing and kids look completely shocked that someone her age would do that. Eva skips through stores and across parking lots. She's a joy to be around.
Eva started her feast with meatball appetizers. Then she offered everyone appetizers... and then she offered them appetizers... She had a deja-vu feast. We're all like, "Wait. Didn't we just have appetizers?" It took a little while for everyone to realize what was going on. She kept repeating herself and had some people thinking we were having an Alzheimer's feast. She set the table with a cloth covered in wildflowers. (I have quite a collection of table clothes thanks to my good friend, Sandy.) She lit all of the oil lamps and there was a nice old fashioned feel to the room. Eva is kind of like that. Old-fashioned. Her main dish was a thick venison stew in crusty bread bowls- no one minded the whole deja-vu theme when it came to getting seconds of the stew. The weather has been quite nippy, so it really hit the spot. She had banana punch for her drink. For dessert, she made a huge jumble berry trifle with both sponge cake and angel food cake and a cream cheese filling. It was wonderful. Her gifts were little squishy animals that would light up when you bounced them.
Bill spoke on Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." It takes a conscious effort to lay aside encumbrances. Things that drag us down when we're running a race. Things that entangle us. Reminds me of when I was a child. We would go up on the mountain to pick blackberries. You would pick one berry and then another, reaching ever deeper into the brambles for that one berry just beyond reach. Before you knew it, you were entangled. The thorns would grab a hold of you and it would take acrobatics to unwind yourself from their grasp. Sin is like that. You drift closer to it without even realizing it and then it has a grip on you. No way to get out without some pain and bloodshed. But being free from it is so worth it. Lay it aside. Disentangle. Endure.