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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on {Easter & turning thirty}

I've used this curriculum for my kids called Godly Play. It's a Sunday School curriculum created for Episcopal churches. As holidays such as Easter and Christmas approach, the lessons ask the children to prepare their hearts to enter the mystery. Jesus coming to earth as a human is a mystery. Jesus' words are mysteries. Jesus dying on the cross as a sacrifice for the whole of human sin is a mystery. Jesus rising from the grave is a mystery. I desire to both wholly understand and wholly appreciate these mysteries. That's hard to do.
I didn't have much time prior to Easter to prepare my heart. I had hoped to prompt our family to give something up during Lent. Instead, I spent much of March and April moving into our new home. But the week before Easter, I began to pray simply that God would prepare my heart so that as I celebrated Easter, I might have a new understanding and appreciation for what Christ has done for us.
Several weeks before Easter arrived, a friend of ours delivered her son. He had suddenly died in the womb. It was tragic. I wondered and worried if I would have to encounter something extraordinarily tragic in my life.
Worry is always something I struggle. This April I was busy worried about the investment we had just made in a very old home. I was worried about Schroeder's height, saddened that he didn't seem to get any of his dad's normal height genes. I was worried that Maggie wasn't getting enough to eat. I was worried that my sister's pregnancy would end with difficulty. I was overwhelmed with it somedays.
As I was driving in my car, my mind vascillating from worry to prayer, this song came on for the hundreth time. The chorus says this.

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

These words prompted me to remember the truth that worry is not only useless, but harmful. With worry we begin to dig our own grave in our mind. Come awake just as Christ came awake because he has provided a way. He has brought the Kingdom of Heaven here to earth, not in it's fullness, but here nonetheless. Come awake and choose to live out the Kingdom of Heaven by our actions and our thoughts.

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!

He's alive, and therefore, we can be also.

Turning Thirty.
There are inevitable moments in life when you mourn your lost youth. I've already had a few. Like when I was engrossed in reading the Twilight series and I was mourning the fact that I will never fall in love again (barring any unfortunate circumstances). It's too bad that this pity party happened to coincide with Stephen's and my trip to Rhode Island. It was sort of a second honeymoon and all I could do was sit on the porch and read and relive our courtship through the imagined lives of a high school girl and a one hundred year old vampire who sparkles.
My thirtieth birthday was not a day of mourning youth, though. Instead, it was a day to celebrate and remember the past decade. It's been eventful...a couple of graduations, a wedding, four kids, a marriage, two houses, several jobs, a small business, a couple of big moves. But beyond the big mile markers, there have been lots of small but beautiful moments...moments when we resolved to take a risk...moments when we were still and quiet and waited...moments of being humbles and learning. Many of these moments were difficult. I don't want to relive them. I just want to remember them.
I have regrets. I've said mean things. I've made some poor decisions. But as a whole, I'm turning thirty having lived a life worth remembering which made my birthday a joyous occasion.

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