Friday, April 5, 2013

Another confession

I have to get this off my chest.

This past Easter, I had a hard time focusing on the real meaning of the day.

Usually Easter is my favorite holiday.  It is about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, after all.  The ultimate victory over sin and death.  The basis for all our hope.  The promise of redemption and eternal life.

It doesn't get any better than that.

But this year I was knee deep in home improvements, trying to help Shawn finish laying a wood floor in our bedroom, fretting over many, many things:

*Will our house sell?
*Will we get enough to be able to afford a house I like after we move?
*This is the last major holiday our family will spend all together in this house.  I wanted it to be beautiful, put-together, and well-planned.  Instead, it was messy, chaotic and fly-by-the-seat-of the-pants.
*We didn't get to celebrate Passover.  Shawn was in California.
*Was the Easter breakfast tasty enough?  The Easter dinner?
*I fretted like crazy when the lamb would not get done for Easter dinner.  Shannon had to drive back to school that evening.  We waited and waited and waited for that old meat thermometer to signal readiness.
*Was it bad that I was so minimalistic with gifts and Easter "surprises" for the kids?
*Could we please, please, please finish the bedroom floor project so I could take up the nasty plastic from the stairway carpet?  (This was not accomplished until after both girls had left to go back to school.)

All in all, I was much more a Martha than a Mary this year.  (Luke 10:38-42)

The worst of it is, I knew I was doing it, and I couldn't help it.  Things did not turn out the way I had hoped.  My heart did not sing at the thought of my Savior's victory. 

But still, even in the craziness and my huge disappointment with myself, there were things to be thankful for.

*Everybody was at home, together.
*We ate together, laughed together, and everyone slept in the proper bed, all the rooms full of their proper occupants at night.
*Our kitchen and bathrooms were all fully functional, and what do you really need besides hot meals, hot tea and hot showers?  Isn't that luxury enough?
*We all went to church together.
*Jesus loves me and saved me, and He continues to love me even when my flesh gets in the way of my appreciation for what He has done.
*Even if we can't get a house I love in Illinois, this world is not my home,  Jesus is preparing an eternal home for me in heaven.  When I get to heaven, I will always feel thankful, satisfied, joyful and loved.
*Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ.  Not even my own anxieties and the distractions of the world.

I've been looking at Revelation lately.  In the letters to the churches, Jesus says to Smyrna, "I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich!" (Revelation 2:9)  The church at Smyrna was undergoing persecution, and standing up to it in a praiseworthy way.  Jesus said that this made them rich.

Conversely, when He spoke to the church at Laodicea, Jesus said, "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.'  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see." (Revelation 3:17-18)  These people were not undergoing persecution.  They were what we call "fat and happy."  They thought they were rich, but Jesus told them they were miserable and poor.

If I could ever come around to seeing things the way Jesus sees them, I think I would suffer a lot less angst.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A confession

I have sort of a tradition of fasting from Facebook during Lent.

As people use Facebook messaging more and more in place of email, that becomes harder and harder to do.  Sometimes I do go on Facebook during Lent if I need to send a message to someone whose email I do not have... 

I may fast from something other than Facebook next year.

But anyway, this year I fasted from Facebook during Lent.

And I finished reading through the Bible on Good Friday.

That didn't turn out so well.

Finishing reading through the Bible right at the time when I was free to go back onto Facebook has not behooved my personal discipline.