Friday, March 06, 2009

Fun week...

Gosh, I adore the warm weather!!!  It has put me in the best mood and I cannot help but want to be outside 24/7!  I do not think it should be allowed to turn cold again after such a sweet taste of summer.  But I am thankful, in this moment, for the beauty of spring.
I walked into Abby Kate's room this morning and sang a little ditty my Mom always sang to us...

this is the day
that the Lord has made
I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Abby Kate loved it and squealed, "What you singing Momma?!"  So I sang it again...and again and again until she learned it and we have sung it all day!  
She is trying to sleep right now.  Daddy promised her we could camp out on the trampoline tonight and roast marshmallows and eat smores.  She is giddy!  So we are counting down the minutes until Daddy gets home tonight.

But onto other things, God has been so good.  I feel I am learning so much.  There has been a lot of heartache happening around me lately.  I have just felt so heavily burdened for dear ones in my life struggling through desperate valleys.  But I read an article yesterday that so encouraged my heart....and cast perspective again.  Being on the other side of a dark time, this was so clear, such truth to me.  However in it, I know perspective is often lost and there are more questions than answers.  But to summarize the article, it was looking at Good Friday, and why it was important.  The author beautifully wrote of the often somber remembrance of Good Friday.  The death, the tears, the darkness of it all.  And she continued sharing that she much rather preferred the celebration of Easter instead.   Victory over death!  The beauty of life!  The truth that we serve a real, living God...one in which the grave could not hold.  But how we have Good Friday seasons often in our life and it is important to understand the significance.  

Here are a few of my favorite segments...I tried to link the article but couldn't.  It is from the March/April issue of Today's Christian Woman magazine entitled What's So Good about Good Friday?  and is written by Carolyn Arends.

"I am immensely comforted when I remember that the God who cares deeply and personally about even a fallen sparrow is watching over me.  But I've been a parent long enough to suspect that my heavenly Father knows more than I do about what I need and where I'm going-and about what's best for the whole family.  So it's a safe bet that his definition of blessing is different from mine.
When I'm expected Easter Sunday and I get Good Friday instead, I'm trying to remember that God's definition of "good" undoubtedly confounds and far exceeds my own."

And this is a long segment but SO GOOD...

"Endings that are beginnings, death that is life- God will always confound our expectations.  
A couple of years ago, during a jubilant Easter service, our pastor said something that stopped me in my mental tracks: "The world offers promises full of emptiness.  But Easter offers emptiness full of promise."
"Empty cross, empty tomb, empty grave-clothes...all full of promise.  If I were writing the Easter story, I don't think I'd chose emptiness as my symbolic gesture.  But then, I also wouldn't be talking about strength being made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), foolish things confounding the wise (1 Cor. 1:27), the meek inheriting the earth (Matt. 5:5), or the poor in spirit getting (in every sense of the word "get") the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).  And I certainly wouldn't be talking about dying in order to live."
"What is it about God that makes him so favor this kind of paradox?   I guess this is what we should expect from the Servant King- the God who decided the best way to save the world was to let it kill him.  I don't understand the way God thinks.  But on those days when I feel hollowed out and broken- half-dead, even- it makes me glad to remember that for Easter people, even death is full of promise.
The world makes a lot of promises.  Smoke a mirrors, mostly.  Frantic, cartoonish attempts to distract us from the gaping holes in the middle of our souls (or to sell us the latest product in order to fill them).  There's no life in those promises.
So I'm hoping that this Lenten season, I'll be a little more willing to die to that stuff.  I'm praying I'll become more aware of the empty space within, and that I'll resist the urge to fill it with any old thing I can find.  I'm going to wait, carved out, vulnerable, a cracked and crumbling jar of clay, on a life God's offered to deposit anywhere there's room.  I'm going to believe that if I'll just leave the empty spaces empty, he'll fill them.  That, I'm convinced, is a reasonable expectation."

So this is my prayer as well.  That I will refuse to fill the empty, still fragile places in my life with stuff that is simply stuff.  Stuff that holds no power.  And I am fully expecting my God to meet me there and fill those places with life.  And this is my prayer for those I love that are broken...