The Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan attracts over half a million visitors from 40 countries every year…and with good cause! It’s America’s largest tulip festival—and hands down one of our countries’ “biggest and best” town festivals, replete with fireworks, traditional dancing in costume, music and theater performances, a Midway Carnival, Dutch crafts and foods, and 3 spectacular parades along Michigan’s longest parade route. There are over 4 million tulips in every shade and shape you’ve ever seen (or maybe you haven’t seen before)! Tulips line the streets, adorn local parks, make cameo appearances in home gardens, and bask in sunny fields on Windmill Island. Cindi and I took Susan there yesterday for a Birthday Club outing. It was 86° with bright blue skies, and the tulips were at their peak beauty. We brought a picnic lunch and enjoyed lunch at Kollen Park before wandering through town to enjoy all the festivities and their Kinderparade, “children’s parade,” which is the largest parade of children in the state (over 7,000 children in costume) plus all sorts of floats and school bands. Tomorrow (Saturday, May 9, 2015) is the last day of the festival for this year, but it will also have their most spectacular parade, the GMB Muziekparade “music parade,” which will feature some 4,000 participants including floats, dancers, bands, etc., so if you live in the area and have some free time, you might love it! After the parade, we went to Windmill Island to soak in the beauty, hear an organ performance, and take a tour of their 250-year-old windmill, De Zwaan (“The Swan”). De Zwaan is one of only two working Dutch windmill’s in America and is operated by Alisa Crawford, the only Dutch-certified miller in the Americas! While touring the windmill, we learned that the miller alone determines how much pressure to put on the wheat during the grinding process, and the more the wheat is pulverized, the finer the flour. This insignificant-looking “cannonball” is key to grinding flour “just right.” I think that even in the brightest and happiest of lives there is a constant refining process going on, where we are being “pulverized.” The Lord, the most masterful miller in the universe, knows just how much pressure we need to be ground from wheat into—not coarse, but—fine flour! Are we willing to go through the process to become refined? “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).