Happy Easter

“…He is risen, just as he said..” Matthew 28:6

Thankful for the most important moment in all history today! Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for His sacrifice and resurrection!

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Thousands of Years Later, It Hits Me

Every Christian has a moment when it hits them. They are reading the story, watching the movie, listening to the pastor, and all of a sudden they realize it. It overwhelms their minds and spirits and puts them on their faces before the Lord.

The moment hit me one summer as I was reading the book of Matthew. I read it as a teenager and it didn’t hit me. Now, laying on the floor of my living room, all alone, I’m reading through the first Gospel, and I see it. I see what they did to Jesus. How they treated Him. I read how they turned on Him! I read how they tried Him, beat Him, tortured Him, attempted to wash their hands of Him, and then hung Him on a cross.

It hit me that He wasn’t like me. He wasn’t just a regular guy who made mistakes. He was our perfect God in human skin. Beaten. Murdered.

Then I had another moment. This one lingered. This one affects my life today. This one stayed on my mind and my heart.

He had a choice.

Isaiah 53

He is the God of the universe. He healed the blind. He made a lame man walk. He brought a man who was dead – completely dead – back to life. He could have gotten off the cross. He could have stopped the arrest, the trial, beating, torture, and crucifixion. But He didn’t. He took it all. He endured it. He did it for me.

Why I love all the non-religious easter stuff

The dining room was full of multi-colored baskets patiently waiting for the items that would fill them. In the next room over, the kitchen was filled with dozens of hard-boiled eggs and five color-filled cups for dying. On the window sills and chairs in both rooms were full of Easter-themed candy and plastic colored grass. We decorated eggs with different colors and stickers. We filled the baskets with grass, jelly beans, eggs, peeps, and chocolate eggs (among many other candies).

My grandmother led this yearly activity. On Good Friday, we would set everything out and begin on the adventure of filling baskets for almost every friend we had. Every year people knew that they would get this display of love from my family. My example of showing the love of Jesus to those around me was displayed by my grandmother every day. This was one way that she went “over the top” for others.

Decorating Easter baskets last year with a good friend

Easter baskets last year with a good friend

Sure, Easter bunnies and eggs don’t directly have anything to do with the resurrection. But we show love in the ways that we know how. Filling Easter baskets was one of the ways that my grandmother did it.

When I have children, I plan to continue this tradition. I plan to make Easter baskets with them, and going “over the top” to show people that we care. I plan to tell them the story of our Savior’s sacrifice and resurrection and what it means for our lives. My grandmother’s legacy will live on in this tradition that is dear to my heart.

What I’ve Learned About Being Single Since I’ve Been Married

Since I’ve been married, I’ve recognized aspects of my perspective on singleness that were somewhat skewed. Before I venture into the details, let me tell you a few things that this post is not about.

  • It is not about how much smarter or more knowledgeable than single people I am – I am not. If anything, I’m more confused now than I was a year ago, but for different reasons.
  • It is not about how God will bring you your Boaz. Not that He won’t, but this isn’t a promise of some future husband that I don’t know about.
  • It is not about how to live your life so that you can find a husband. I wasn’t a “single Christian” in the traditional sense. So, I wouldn’t know how to counsel on that anyway.
Friends with different relationship statuses.

Friends with different relationship statuses.

Now that those boundaries have been established, I want to share with you what I’ve learned:

God is trustworthy. He is faithful in ways that my mind still can’t comprehend. He does not withhold good from His children. He does not want us to feel alone. He has a plan for us and He loves us. We learn this all the time, but getting married has reminded me that He hears, listens to, and answers our prayers. 

Married people are not necessarily more mature. That seems obvious, but hear me out. A friend of mine asked if I felt more mature after I got married. I don’t. But when I looked at my married friends – even the ones who are my age and I was friends with throughout their courtship – I began to feel inferior. That wasn’t realistic. They were the same people, but in a different life-stage.

My married friends understand. Before my friends were married, they were single. Before God answered their prayers for spouses, they were without them. They went through struggles with wanting more than they had, loneliness, and the difficulty of waiting.

It’s crazy how different things look through new lenses. I somehow missed these things while I was single. So, if I were the advice giving type today I would say:

1. Trust Jesus with your singleness. He has a plan. I don’t know it. You may not know it. But we don’t need to know, we only need to trust.

2. Lean on Him. Your married friends may have different experiences than you and seem wiser (and they may be depending on who they are) but God knows it ALL!! It only makes sense to talk to Him about everything that is on your heart.

3. It’s okay to be open with your married friends. They understand. They weren’t always married, in the “perfect” situation, and having something that you want. If they give unsolicited and unwanted advice that makes you feel worse instead of better, let them know. Your friends love you (at least I hope they do).

I had a difficult time waiting for the ring. I wanted to be married more than anything! Now I realize that while that desire was good, it often consumed me. Praying for my single friends today.

Jesus, My Cell Phone, and Me

If it weren’t for hate, I would feel nothing for my phone. It constantly presses buttons on it’s own and the screen moves around and links open and calls are made that I have not requested! How frustrating! Today, as I was trying to text a friend, my phone would not allow me to use it how I wanted. Then, I thought, why can’t you work the way you were created to? 

Whoa.

That is a heavy statement to speak of a cellular phone. It made me think of God. Jesus came to earth for a purpose. He was the only human to live His life in a way that completely fulfilled what He was sent here to do. What about me? I waste time. I waste energy. I get sidetracked and am drawn to foolishness and prone to wander. Does God look down at me and think, why can’t you work the way you were created to?

Probably not.

However, He does have a purpose for me. He wants me to be with Him and to live in that purpose. He wants me to glorify and enjoy Him. These are a few things that I can be sure of, even when I am not working how I was created. His grace is sufficient. And I need it all the time – especially when I’m not living out His purpose in every moment.

Next time my cell phone is being less than useful, I will look at my life. I will consider the moment that I am in and remember my bigger purpose in life.

Just In Case…

I don’t need marriage insurance.

I don’t need advice for “just in case” it doesn’t work out. People mean well. We live in the United States and the divorce rate is high – alarmingly, scarily, depressingly, sinfully high. Many people for multiple reasons choose to break the covenant that was made before God and witnesses to their marriage and to each other. I’m not saying that I don’t understand why well-meaning people who care about me (at least on some level) say things like this.

However, by doing this, they imply that divorce is an option. It is not. It’s not in my vocabulary as pertaining to my marriage. It is not what God has planned for my marriage. It is not what I need brought to the surface months into my marriage.

1 Corinthians 13:8

I refuse to think that way. I refuse to allow people to make me think that way. Know what I will do? Hold on to God. I will remember that my marriage is not about me, it’s about God. I will live in this Truth every day. I will fight for my marriage. I will fight for my new family. I will not succumb to what is popular in American culture. I will not begin to believe that it’s about what I want and how I feel.

It’s not.

It’s about God. His plan. His purpose. His glory. He hates divorce, so I will hate it too.

Everyone has a story. I’ve heard quite a few of them and I do not fault some people for their divorces. But I’m certain on where I am right now. I pray that others would stand by and with me in this.

Late Night Questions

It’s quiet right now. I’m sitting on the sofa just after midnight. The television is off. The husband is in bed. All I hear are the sounds of the heat coming on and my typing. It’s a relaxing and calming environment. Too bad my mind won’t relax.

I can’t stop thinking about things that I’ve read, things that I’ve heard. I can’t stop thinking about things that I’ve said, things that I haven’t. Constantly bombarded with images and ideas from every angle, I can’t figure out what to believe. This is not a faith issue, but sometimes it is. People use the same verse to make different points. I read it and come up with a different idea. People blame their parents for their misunderstandings, but refuse to take any responsibility for themselves as adults.

People call other people “judges” but refuse to look at themselves as they make those claims. If I love you, I can’t lie to you. Avoiding the Truth to coddle your feelings is not love. Telling you the Truth even when it stings a bit, is love. It’s not judgement.

Are people inherently evil? Or good? Our hearts are prone to deception (Jeremiah 17:9) and everyone is a sinner (Romans 3:23), but we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). So, what should we conclude?

Should our politics be based on our faith? Is it wrong to compartmentalize our lives if we are really following Jesus? Should we homeschool? Or is it bad because all homeschool kids are “weird”? How long should I wait to have children? How many should I have? How many can I have before people start treating me like something is wrong with me? Should we adopt? How important is home ownership? When should that be a focus? Why do people some people have it so much easier than I do? Why? What? How?

My mind!!! There it goes. Away it goes. In all the directions that it doesn’t need to go. In all the ways that God will show me what He wants for me in time. What am I worried about? Why do I insist on thinking too much? Worrying too much? Is it a sign of discontentment? Is it wrong to wonder how my life will be, want more information, and use the Word of God for discernment?

I don’t think so. Tonight, I think that it’s a result of reading a blog that I disagreed with. Tonight, my mind is overwhelmed with confusion while basking in God’s goodness. We don’t have to understand it all, because He does.