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As a Mom, I feel like I am continually forgetting things. Send the birthday card, make the dentist appointment, pick up the groceries and wash the jacket; my to do list is never-ending and it is all too easy for things to fall through the cracks. Do you ever feel the same? 

I can’t forget to get my poppy. I can’t forget to share our family military pictures with my kids. I can’t forget to thank the service families I know…but will I actually get these done, or will they just be another well-intentioned item on the to-do list? 

When my family moved to St. Albert, I noticed service men and women everywhere. As I get to know service members in our church family and beyond, I am profoundly changed by understanding just how personal words like service, sacrifice and freedom are. It is hard to forget something, or someone, that you are continually running into. It becomes part of our experience, and for my kids, it is creating their understanding of their world. 

When children ask questions like, “Why is Remembrance Day important,” or “But we’re not a service family, what does it have to do with me,” most parents can answer confidently. We observe Remembrance Day to honour the brave people who fought for our freedom. We honour the ongoing commitment of people dedicated to keeping Canada safe. But would we do this without a dedicated day? How do we take that sentiment and remember it all year? 

I have been asked similar questions by children about the gospel; “Why is Jesus important,” or “But I wasn’t there when those things happened, what does it have to do with me?”  You see, in a similar way that so many have gone before us and sacrificed to protect our freedoms in Canada, Jesus went before us as the ultimate sacrifice giving us true, lasting freedom to experience abundant life here on earth and in eternity.  

Jesus says, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) Abounding in the fullness of joy and strength for spirit, soul and body is to thrive. I don’t know about you, but I could use some of that abundant joy these days. 

The freedom we have in Christ is a gift. But how will I remember this throughout the year? Will it be a part of my daily experience, one that is creating an understanding of the world for my children, or will it just be another well-intentioned item on my to-do list? 

In the same way that I have a personal relationship with service members who have given me lasting perspective throughout the year, it is through a personal relationship with Christ that we will remember His sacrifice and our ultimate freedom all year. 

I invite you this season to connect with a community, find fellowship where and how you can, and be willing to get to know Christ in a more personal way this year. Don’t let this fall through the cracks on your to-do list. 

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