April 20, 2017

remembering 4/20

If you've heard my story then you know that today is significant. Part of my story involves my friend Susan and her birthday is today. When I was 11 years old one of my best friends was killed in a car accident, and when that happened something happened to me. I loved Jesus before Susie died, but I knew Him in a different way after Susie died. Susie taught me a lot in her life but she taught me more in her death, lessons I didn't want to learn yet, but valuable lessons nonetheless. Susie didn't always care what others thought of her, she danced to the beat of her own drum in a lot of ways. A funny memory I have of her is that she hated the word "clashed" and didn't like it if I told her something clashed (meaning the colors didn't match each other). She would say "Who cares?!" And really, who does care?! What a silly thing. She knew then what I didn't but what I do know now. She did "her" and looking back I admire that so much. We spent hours and hours playing while our moms spent hours and hours talking. I remember we'd be in the car in the parking lot and our moms would be inside Winchell's Donuts (they could see us out the windows) and they'd talk forever and we always wondered if they were ever coming out! I'm sad Susie and I don't get to be the ones now sitting in the donut shop with our girls waiting for us in the car, I bet we would've talked for hours and hours too. I remember when Susie died and I was left with the harsh reality that that too could be my story, and that just because I was left behind didn't mean that God wasn't good. I remember making the choice at a young age that I was going to follow Jesus even when life didn't make sense because life can change in an instant and I wanted to cling to the one that never changes, who stays the same yesterday, today and tomorrow -that meant something to me. If God was good and loved Susie before she died, then He was still good and would take care of her even better now that she was dead and was physically with Him -that made sense to me, I could wrap my mind around that. I learned so early in life how quickly things can change and how scary life can be, but I also learned to trust the one who has already gone before me and who knows what's around the bend when I can't see. If I'm doing the math right, Susie would have been 41 today, I hope she's eating cake in heaven and wearing clashing clothes just because. :) My friend Kristin lost her son to cancer on this day several years ago, so every 4/20 these 2 precious souls are on my heart and mind. What is life to one is death to another and that's just how the world works. I always take time to think about Susan and Isaiah today, not in sadness so much as in thankfulness for the lives well lived and the lessons they taught while they were physically here. God is good all the time, friends, and He never changes. xo

April 17, 2017

good Easter

Yesterday was good, like, really good. When I was at church I kept thinking how there was literally nowhere else on the planet I wanted to be other than where I was in that exact moment. Our worship pastor wears black every day, 364 days a year, with Easter being the exception -on Easter he wears a white shirt which in and of itself is meaningful if you know him. He spends a lot of time preparing for Sunday morning and picks/writes songs with really profound lyrics that tie into the rest of the service and make it really meaningful, and yesterday was just BEYOND. Here is a fraction of the first song we sang:

"I remember how they scorned the son of Mary
He was gentle as a lamb, gentle as a lamb
He was beaten, he was crucified and buried
and in the night, my hope was gone

but the rulers of this earth could not control Him
they did not take His life, He laid it down
and the gates of Hell could never hope to hold him
so, in the night my hope lives on"

and then Jamie screamed the lyrics :

                                      OH, IN THE NIGHT
                                      OH, IN THE NIGHT
                                      OH, IN THE NIGHT MY HOPE LIVES ON

It was loud, and profound, and meaningful, and gave me chills and reminded me of the truth. Because He rose I don't have to be afraid of what the future holds because He keeps His promises. He said he would rise and He did, He said He will make all things new and He will....one day.

After church we came home and heated up the ham and headed to our friend's house where a group of us ate together and celebrated our risen King. And that was good. Then we came home and rested for an hour and joined some friends at their house where a lot of kids hunted eggs and the adults chatted into the night, and that was really good. I chatted with some new-ish Wacoans and that was SO fun, turns out they lived in WA/OR a long time and we know a lot of the same people, they too worked for Young Life and it was determined that while I was in high school my YL leader met with this guy and likely prayed for me. That was a neat realization. I love the body of Christ, the way it binds people together, the connections that are made, the way friends become family and make life so full. I hope everyone out there had a lovely Easter too, and were reminded of how much you are loved that Jesus died and rose just for you. xo

April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Happy Good Friday, all! It's close to resurrection time and that feels really good. Our church does the season of Lent really well and we've been in the darkness for a while, which has seemed very fitting to me as I've had some personal darkness I've been wading through and I've been walking through some really heavy darkness with some dear to me. After this pretty decent timed season of Lent I'm always ready for the good news of the resurrection, and this year its especially poignant. The other day B said to me that Easter was her second favorite holiday (which I think is pretty great), after all people have debated for years and years which is more important -the birth of Christ or His resurrection? That's tough. B listed a whole set of reasons she loved Easter, Jesus rising wasn't #1 but it also wasn't last so I'm going to call that a win. :) Sweet girl.

The weather in Waco right now is my least favorite kind, its hot, a bit humid, but also cloudy and occasionally we have thunderstorms. The big bummer about this is that its hard to dress for this weather, but it also puts a damper on Easter plans. Our friend was going to host but her yard is a soggy mess from the downpour, we can't host b/c our house isn't done (obviously) and the house we're staying in has boxes all over b/c I had to start ordering plumbing fixtures b/c even though we're nowhere near needing the fixtures, the plumbers needed the rough-in valves that come WITH the fixtures. So, it means our house looks like a hot mess until all these things are needed -  not very conducive to hosting. One more reason I can't wait to move into my house -space to host whenever! I definitely designed my great room/kitchen space w/ hosting in mind - can't wait to put it to good use!

Our windows and doors are the big hold up right now -they weren't ordered in a timely manner and you can't do much of anything w/out those in. Whenever it rains the inside of my house gets so soggy and I hate it! It takes days to dry out and I keep thinking that can't be good! Obviously people build in wet climates everyday but it makes me nuts! Also, because our house has such a steep slope getting down to it. the workers trucks get stuck in the mud so they don't work at least 1 day after it rains either. Boo. We'll get there.

Well, its a busy few days over here w/ a baby shower in Dallas for one of my precious mi casa gals, Easter, baking a cheesecake and a bundt cake, dinner w/ friends, etc. Hope you all have a lovely weekend and a very Happy Easter!! He is risen indeed! xo