Jesus gets me

It’s the beginning of Holy Week.

Not having a history in a liturgical church or a current dedication to a traditional denominational practice (I’m more of a contemporary style worshiper), I’ve never really delved into the meaning of Holy Week.

I’ve read the verses, and I understand what’s going on. Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday; the accusation, arrest and trial before Pilate that led to the crucifixion that we recognize on Good Friday and Christ’s resurrection on Easter that is the basis of my faith.

Is that it? Is that knowledge sufficient to me as a Christian?

As Jesus’ ministry on Earth is coming to an end, and He is riding into Bethany to the sound of shouts of Hosanna, He knows that in the background there are those who are plotting His destruction.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour.” John 12:27

His soul was troubled.

I know that feeling, and it’s terrible. The fact that Jesus knew that the same people who were cheering for Him now would soon be calling for His execution must have made His stomach turn. Thinking about the Pharisees plotting and conniving behind the scenes had to be eating at His thoughts. The fact that He would soon be suffering a painful death would have been stealing His sleep.

Jesus never waivers from His path; His perfect love enables Him to be our perfect Savior. But we know that He was completely human as well as divine, and as a human His soul was troubled and His humanity would have reacted to the stress He was under.

In considering all of this, I feel a different kind of closeness to Jesus. The knowledge that even His soul could be troubled, even though He always knew the right path, help me to know that He truly understands. My conflicts are often internal, and there are fewer examples of these struggles to draw inspiration from.

Jesus knows a troubled soul. It may be hard to explain to another person, but He knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Some days

Sometimes all you need is a day at the beach to make everything feel right. 

 

           

Beautiful weather, nothing but the sound of the waves and my playlist, and my kids; these are the days that make life good. 

Shared birthdays past

Tomorrow I’ll be 38.

I spent today celebrating with my family. Every year we get together for all of the March birthdays: mine, my younger sister Heather’s and her husband’s.

Growing up, it was always mine, Heather’s and my grandpa’s.

53778_10200528847497735_160756898_oMy birthday is on March 22 and my grandpa’s is on March 23, so I always felt a little bit special, almost sharing a birthday with him. And he went out of his way to make me feel special; waking me up early in the morning to go walking with  him, cleaning my perpetually dirty glasses for me and listening to me play the piano before I really knew how. I remember him once telling me that our close birthdays was one of the reasons that we could always see “eye to eye and tooth to tooth.” From the time I was little up through college and graduate school he would always tell me how smart I was and how he knew I would do something great with my life… and because he knew it, I knew it.

1970779_10202677627415155_713990103_nMy grandpa died 10 years ago this May, and while I miss him always, for some reason I miss him more this year. I’m not sure why that is.

Maybe because now, finally at 38, I may be starting to know what great things I’m going to do with my life. I’m such a different person than I was 10 years ago and I wish this wonderful, encouraging man was here to talk to about all of the things I have going on.

I’ll have my days with him again, and I can be content with that, but right now I just miss my grandpa.

Learning Experience

It’s funny how sometimes the thing you’ve been the most afraid of is the thing you end up being blessed the most by.

I said at the beginning of the fundraising endeavor that asking for money was the one thing I’ve always dreaded about being a missionary. I started this campaign with a limited time frame and a large monetary goal and at a time when I have been extremely busy. There’s a lot about this effort that could have gone very poorly.

I love that this came up during Lent.

IMG_4464The focus on prayer during this season has drawn me even closer to God and allowed me to maintain a peaceful attitude during a time when I might have otherwise been very anxious. I’ve kept calm and positive and in only 15 days, friends, relatives and acquaintances have stepped in and donated money and offered encouragement and prayers; I’m absolutely stunned!

It’s been so humbling to see so many people be willing to be a part of something I saw as mine. I started this two weeks ago feeling like I was asking for money so that could take this trip to Kenya but God has shown me that none of this is mine.

I’m not sure why I have to learn this over and over again!

This trip is not mine; it is not for me or about me. I am taking part in this trip, that was orchestrated by God, as a servant. I haven’t been asking for money to go on a trip, I have been giving people an opportunity to take part in God’s mission. Through these donations he will be building a house for a widow, he will be ministering with school children and women with AIDS and he will be providing medical care to those without access to a clinic.

None of this has anything to do with me. At all.

Thank you again so much to all of you who have contributed, who have prayed for me, who have given me kind words and shared in my excitement over this opportunity. I’m so grateful for all of you!

I’ll be ending the fundraiser tomorrow so this will be the last post I’ll make about it… I’m almost at my goal of $2500 🙂

Thank you.

http://www.gofundme.com/desiriegoestokenya

A Favorite Shared

It’s cold and rainy and it feels like a sitting by the fire and relaxing kind of day. Today I just want to share something by one of my favorite poets, the great Mary Oliver.

Enjoy your Sunday.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.