My sweet Jesus died on the cross on this day, two thousand years ago. I cannot imagine the scorn and the shame He endured, all in the name of love. But it wasn't finished! Death couldn't keep Him, the grave couldn't hold Him. I get so overwhelmed at what He did for me...for you. All so that we may live eternally with Him. I don't understand why someone would want to live their life without knowing Him, this same sweet Jesus, the One who was pierced for all filth and sin. To think that life is so much better with Him at the center is something I am so thankful for, and it baffles me why people wouldn't want this free gift of grace and mercy that He bestows to us. I cannot imagine my life without Him and I don't ever want to know a minute without Him. And I know that I won't, praise God!
Whew. This weekend gets me, can you tell? This is my favorite holiday of all, I believe. It just holds this special place in my heart, for so many reasons, but first and foremost because of what Jesus did for us. Another reason is that this time last year, Jonah, Noah and I got baptized by our beloved family/children's pastor. I will never in a million years forget that day! I later learned that a few people were there (on accident or to witness, I'm not sure!) that I would have never expected to be there.
This was not just a day off for us, needless to say. I hate when people don't observe the real reason for a holiday, and because of that, when we take a day off, we celebrate it, we talk about it, we reverently observe it. What better way to do all that, than to go love on a bunch of a inner-city kids, in the name of Jesus? And not just love on them, but to share with them why it's a joy and a privilege to be able to do that.
We went to Brinkley Heights with the teenagers from our youth group today. I got some really great pictures, and I'd love for you to see them all, but my phone is misbehaving and is going to have to have a factory reset. I think it's a software problem. I did, however, manage to find some of the ones that I took today. We went to four different sites, the 50 teenagers that we took, and from there they branched out to different neighborhoods to pick up some sweet kiddos. (And they even picked up the ones that aren't so sweet!)
I was at the Geurnsey site with Graham. Jonah and Noah stayed with me.
We started off the day in prayer, then we sat up the site, then our teenagers walked to the surrounding neighborhoods to pick some kids up. We had four stations~Easter egg-dying, recreation, snack and Bible story. While the younger group went through all the stations, the older kids hunted for the hundreds of candy-stuffed eggs that Jonah, Noah and I hid.
After all of that, they were able to sit and enjoy a puppet show, put on by Force, our church's amazing puppet team. :) It was an amazing day, and it has me so excited for Street Reach, which I plan on going to this summer. I'm not sure about all those details yet, but I know I'll figure it all out.
I'd love to say that the day ended there, but it felt like it was just beginning. After Street Reach, Graham had to work from four to seven. I took him as I headed home from Memphis, then picked him back up three hours later. In between doing that, I took Drew to church for Secret Church, an event that lasts from six until midnight. Graham went to this, after work. And in the morning, he works again. From eight to four. It's going to be an exhausting weekend. Tomorrow afternoon, we plan on dying Easter eggs, and tomorrow night we might (or might not) go to a movie.
Are you tired from reading all this yet? I am. I will be thankful for the week to come back, after a weekend like this!
I took some time to enjoy the glorious sunset tonight, on my way to get Graham. It felt amazing outside, and I was enjoying the time of being alone, singing along to the radio at the top of my lungs and breathing in the fresh air.
My friend Kelly took this of Drew today.
And this would be Drew and his friend-girl. :) Could he be standing any further away and any more awkwardly?!?! Makes me laugh.
It was an amazing day. I thank the Lord for His goodness and that He is always with us.
I pray that you took the time to observe what this day off was all about. If you have kids, I encourage you to share with them, the importance of why we take off on days like today. Don't just let it be a "fun" day off. It's so much more than that! If there is one piece of parenting advice I ever give you, let it be this: remember that your kids will only have as much Jesus as you. If you live your life in a way that they know you put Him before everything else, chances are they will mimic you someday. If you don't live like that, if you put other things above Him, then know they will do the same thing. Think about the way you want your kids to be, and start modeling that behavior.
Okay, I'm done with parental advice. And believe it or not, at eleven oh six at night, I have laundry to do. Sheets are in the dryer and Graham's uniform is in the wash. Good heavens, a mom's day never ends. ;) I'm not complaining, though. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Love to all!