Friday, April 22, 2011

The Greatest Gift

Ever since I was a child, I was bothered that Easter had somehow become a holiday in which bunnies and eggs were the center of attention. Bunnies don’t even lay eggs! The whole concept was bizarre to me.

During Easter time last year, John and I were involved in the Sunday School Program at our church. We taught kindergartners about the life of Jesus, including his last days before he was betrayed. I asked some of the children what we celebrated during Easter time. To my surprise, many of them explained that we celebrate the Easter bunny and the Easter egg and they all really liked the Easter egg hunt.

Really, the Easter bunny and the Easter egg!

What about Jesus?

What about his death and resurrection?

Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our message?
      To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
 2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
      like a root in dry ground.
   There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
      nothing to attract us to him.
 3 He was despised and rejected—
      a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
   We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
      He was despised, and we did not care.
 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
      it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
   And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
      a punishment for his own sins!
 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
      crushed for our sins.
   He was beaten so we could be whole.
      He was whipped so we could be healed.
 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
      We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
   Yet the Lord laid on him
      the sins of us all.
 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
      yet he never said a word.
   He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
      And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
      he did not open his mouth.
 8 Unjustly condemned,
      he was led away.
   No one cared that he died without descendants,
      that his life was cut short in midstream.
   But he was struck down
      for the rebellion of my people.
 9 He had done no wrong
      and had never deceived anyone.
   But he was buried like a criminal;
      he was put in a rich man’s grave.
 10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
      and cause him grief.
   Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
      he will have many descendants.
   He will enjoy a long life,
      and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
      he will be satisfied.
   And because of his experience,
      my righteous servant will make it possible
   for many to be counted righteous,
      for he will bear all their sins.
 12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
      because he exposed himself to death.
   He was counted among the rebels.
      He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

Friends, not only did Jesus die for our sins, he also rose from the dead! Through his life and death we have been given everlasting life. Oh, my heart is thankful for the gift of life, life in abundance!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Cleaning Weekend

John and I recently had some work done in our bathrooms – which means that while the bathrooms started to look awesome, our house quickly became a home to lots of dust.

Our friend Chad – did a wonderful job! He made our old vanities look new, tiled our counters, painted our bathrooms and installed a fan that  has so much power that the mirrors never get foggy. Ever since I got married and moved to our current home, I have been dreaming of not having foggy mirrors and sweaty bathroom walls. My dream has come true! (If you ever need some help getting home projects done, let me know and I’ll connect you with Chad.)

The not so exciting part about this renovation included having to live in a dusty home for a while – and later, having to clean it all up. I am sure I have mentioned before that I like things to be clean and organized. It was so hard to see a layer of dust on everything.

So, this past weekend we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. John helped me.

We changed the bed, washed lots of clothes, dusted, mopped…and at the end of the day, passed out. I am so glad we live in a small home…

There is still some dust lingering in the air, but our home is no longer infested with it. I can breathe and think and walk barefoot again!

The best part is that we can now enjoy our new bathrooms – and I am totally obsessed with the new fan. Really, it is amazing!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Living in the Present

I am not very good at dealing with changes.

While I would like to describe myself as a spontaneous person, I love having a routine that I can rely on. I am a planner and I like to know what the future holds ahead of time so I can prepare. For example: I like to know which days of the week are going to be busy so I can cook multiple meals ahead of time to make the busier nights more relaxing. I organize everything on a calendar which helps me remember when and what I need to do.

My only problem is that life never goes as planned. As a result, I often get overwhelmed while trying to figure out what to do next. 

Needless to say, I am having a hard time with the many changes that are coming up in the near future. 

In a couple of months, John and I will be moving to a new city, which means that I will have to adapt to a new routine, home, church…

I keep thinking about these changes, trying to figure out how I can start planning so we have a smooth transition when the time comes.  The problem is that I don’t know how to plan a new life. I keep thinking and thinking about it – and come up with no plan at all.

I have realized that instead of living in the present, I am surviving each day while looking at the future. This makes it very hard to focus and be productive.

I know that each day of life is a gift and that God has prepared work for me to do and right now I feel like I am not honoring Him with my time.

Finding a balance is so hard…and tiring! I need to turn my brain off for a bit.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Understand the Feeling!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Being Authentic

I feel embarrassed to confess this, but I can be a very judgmental person in some situations. I have noticed that it is easier for me to become judgmental when I allow Satan to plant seeds of jealousy in my heart. Being aware of my own weaknesses has allowed me to work on very specific areas of my heart. It has also helped me seek God’s forgiveness and guiding when I notice these sins creeping into my life. But I also get discouraged when I notice myself falling into the same sin again and again – it is the thorn on my side.

Lately, I have not felt satisfied with life. I feel busy, tired, pulled into ten different directions, etc. This kind of feeling (and attitude) leads me to look at the lives of some friends and become envious. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Except, in my heart I don’t want to feel that way. I want to wake up in the morning and be thankful for the day the Lord has given me – knowing that He has prepared work for me to do that has eternal value. I want my life to make a difference in this world. I don’t want to live wishing things were different or better. I want to live an authentic life!

What is hard to believe is that I am the only thing stopping me from living that authentic life.

I need less of me and more of Jesus!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Love Story

Well, I have one CD in my car right now. I should say, I have one CD with one song in my car right now.

Do you want to guess what it is?

Well, I bet you didn’t expect it to be a CD with a Taylor swift song. Yup. Taylor Swift!
I sang "Love Story” all the way to work and back home today. I turned the volume really loud and sang at the top of my lungs. I pretty much felt like I was 16 years old again.

Now that I am home, I still have the song playing in my head.

…We were both young when I first saw you…

I think it is interesting that I like that even though I know the end of the true Romeo and Juliet story. There is nothing romantic about that end. They die - I should say, they commit suicide!  I also happen to know what romantic relationships are like – and there is a lot more to it than a ring and a white dress.

I have been married for almost three years and I am still learning what true love is. It is not perfect, it takes work, it is not always romantic, it requires an abundant amount of grace and it is definitely worth fighting for. My love story is nothing like what Swift’s song suggests - but it is real!
Related Posts with Thumbnails