I think that someday, when Ryley is grown, we will refer to this summer with great fondness -- "The Summer That Ryley Became a Bookworm."
She is literally devouring chapter books. She reads while we drive. She reads while she walks from one place to another in our house. She reads while curled up in a chair under a cozy blanket. She reads by light of the nightlight long after she should have been asleep. She reads "The Boxcar Children." She reads "Junie B. Jones." She reads about Helen Keller and Flat Stanley. She averages a chapter book a day. All I know is that it was a big deal in the spring when she finished her first chapter book, and within weeks, her love and ability for reading has just exploded. She finished the Borders bookstore summer reading program already and is blasting through the library's. She has discovered the freedom that reading gives....the ability to travel to other places, meet new people, and ultimately expand her world. As bookworms ourselves, it is so exciting to see our little girl recognize the power that comes with reading!
We will also refer to this summer as "The Summer We Started Riding Bikes." Ryan got a bike for Father's Day, and Ryley's Mammaw and Pappaw witnessed her need for a bigger size and bought her a new bike for her 7th birthday, one whole month early!!!
We live five houses down from a wonderful park, so we have a new evening routine....I walk Juliet around the park while Ryan and Ryley try to lap me on their bikes.
Juliet gets so excited when they pass by!!!
We met up at the McDonalds on the corner one night and had ice cream on their patio.
It has been so much fun, and it's been good for all of us!!!
Ryley had Vacation Bible School this week, and something extremely special happened!
On Wednesday night, VBS had its BBQ and closing "family service," and they gave an altar call at the end. They asked if there was anybody who maybe used to be close to Jesus but now feels far away from Him. Suddenly I felt Ryley shaking with sobs next to me. I put my arm around her, and she leaned in and whispered amidst sobs: "I don't know if Jesus is in my heart!" "Well, do you want to ask Him to come in?" I whispered back. She nodded and sobbed, "But I don't know how!" The pastor was leading everyone in the salvation prayer, so we said it too, but she was crying so hard that I knew they were just words to her and that we needed to have a deeper discussion later.
Ryley had asked Jesus to come into her heart when she was three years old, and for a three-year-old, she understood as best as she could. We have raised her to know the Word, and she loves Jesus with her whole heart. She always has. But she doesn't remember the time she invited Him in to stay.
But how wonderful and exciting for her to make her own commitment....to be urged by the Holy Spirit and brought to tears by her need to be close to Jesus!
On the way home, Ryley rode with Ryan (we had driven separately), and Ryley brought it up again.
"Are you sure you don't want to wait until we're home with Mommy?" Ryan asked.
But Ryley was insistent that they not wait.
So right there in our Hyundai Sonata on I-25, Ryley came to Jesus.
And she said she feels so much better. She told me tonight that she can't wipe the smile off of her face! I told her the angels are rejoicing and that she will always remember the moment she gave her life to Christ.
This is "The Summer That Ryley Came to Jesus."
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