Last Friday we packed up the minivan full of pack n plays, suitcases, high chairs, a Seder plate and kids . . . don’t forget the kids. We headed to West Virginia to the sweetest church in Huntington where Chris lead two Passover Seders and spoke on Sunday morning and Sunday evening at the church. The pastor and his wife are good friends of ours. In fact, they are the parents of some of our best friends back in Dallas. We were greeted with open arms, a listing of all the food places we need to try and a tear came to my eye when I learned we were staying in a hotel with CONNECTING rooms – one for the kids, one for us. A three night stay is no small thing when you’re sharing a hotel room with three kids, and though we have done that MANY times, the tear that streamed down my face said it all. (Sleep for everyone)
A surprising twist to this trip was that my Dad’s family was from Barboursville, WV. In fact, we were able to go to a cemetery to see headstones of my kids’ great-great-great-grandparents. Crazy!
I was encouraged with every message Chris gave. I cried a bunch of times as he taught so richly the final trials of Jesus. Reminding us that Jesus never fought the accusations, he owned them. He walked confidently to the cross as we saw so many people stumble and fall around him – accusing the innocent one, setting the guilty one free. The last words of Chris’s message are settled in my heart forever more – “it wasn’t Jesus who was on trial . . . it was the people who sent him to the cross. It was us. We are the ones on trial.”
My heart flipped over those words. Jesus was never really on trial, was he? No, not really. Why? Because the “trial” as we call it, was the conduit for getting Jesus to the cross, to fulfill his mission on earth. Jesus knew he had to die so he could bear the weight of the world and become the sacrificial lamb that would be the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus.
I drove back to New Jersey feeling lighter. Many thanks to everyone at Lewis Memorial for making us feel welcome and taking care of our sweet kiddos (especially you, Rebekah!) so I could be in all the services.
And now, the resurrection awaits us this Sunday when we are reminded of God’s faithfulness in accomplishing what he said he would.
I have a hard time getting into the Easter frivolity. I am turning into the curmudgeon at Target as I go up and down the aisles thinking how crazy it is that Easter is about candy. But I hear myself and I see my kids wanting to worship candy in the future because I deprived them of it on Easter so I buy the candy anyways and a cute little dress for O. The boys are wearing nearly the same thing as they did last year – judge me if you will. But, shoot, who can resist a Baby Bow Tie and green pants? For real, though. They’re wearing the same thing.
And finally, Chris and I are painstakingly eating our way through through the first few days of Whole30. Look it up – it’s an interesting way to eat healthy without starving yourself or keeping track of points. You just have to keep track of ingredients. But I have found myself doing weird things like this:
CAN ANYONE GUESS WHAT THIS IS? I’ll give you a minute….
. . . .
. . . .
It’s shredded sweet potato. For a CRUST I made for a quiche. Good grief. Heaven come quick. I miss sugar. And cheese.
But we’re doing it to reset. I was eating Doritos like they were carrots and Nilla Wafers like they were grapes. I was drinking coke like it was water and bread like it was manna from heaven. We needed to settle down over here and Whole30 is a great way for us to do it. THOUGH, I will be eating my mother in law’s pineapple stuffing this Sunday. I mean, COME ON!!!!!!!
And finally, progress. Perhaps you were subjected to my poor me blog. I’m so glad I shared it because I’d like to share some progress. I don’t feel POOR ME anymore! Yay! The Lord has used many friends who live far away to pray for me and encourage me. That has been tremendously encouraging. People out of the blue – sending texts, checking in. Wow. Thank you, Lord. If I have learned one major thing through this move, it’s that Jesus is the only thing constant. His love and grace over us never ever changes.
Olive, the boys and I had an awesome play date yesterday in South Philly. The mom is a friend I’ve made at the church we have been visiting. Side note: Never underestimate the power of welcoming a newcomer. I never realized how much someone who is new to the area/church/street/school needs to feel welcomed. I will always be keeping my eye out for the newcomer now. I have been so moved by those here who have looked out for me.
Friends, Readers, I wish you a very happy Easter. May the bunny and candy be subsidiary to the message of the gospel and hope that comes from Jesus. Believe me, we are fans of the EB and boy do i love candy – but neither one of those came to save and neither one will leave you feeling full of the newness of life. Romans 6:4. Read it!
Happy, happy Easter.