What You Need to Know When Hope Seems Gone

Words etched from my heart last Easter. Truths that still ring in my heart a year later…

The sun rose on Easter morning.

Gray clouds rolled in and the earth stayed frozen under a blanket of white.

All creation sat shivering underneath – as if refusing to break free from the frigid numbness.

And we scurried feverish children around looking for springy life-breathing colors and hair bows to match and tights to scuffle over and shoes that fit and sweaters to fend off the chill.

Jesus!

And we paraded down the aisle like happy ducks in a row and sang praises to our risen Savior.

All the while a friend sat in a cold hospital room watching her baby fight for his life, while another sang with tears streaming down as she faced the first Easter without her daughter.

And who knows, but it could have been the man behind us who just lost his job and was forced to file for bankruptcy. And the one hidden in the back sobbing, too ashamed to admit of the immorality written across her forehead. And half those kids filling the sanctuary sat starving from neglect, longing for a love that would put down their smart phones.

The choir thundered that Jesus conquered death.

We tried to sing along – louder and louder, but the world’s message of hopelessness rang deafening.

We sang of His hands bleeding grace!

We sang it is finished!

We sang He’s alive!

We sang He is risen!

Hearts bellowed with the angels of hope found in the Savior.

Just for a moment the ice cracked and the Son warmed all creation.

And then we sat down (trying to keep our one year-old from adding to the sermon, and our three year-old from flashing her undies, and our five year-old from coughing on the lady in front of us, and through a clenched teeth smile reprimanded another for kicking her brother when he stole her paper) and went back to shivering.

Half of us still frozen- seemingly untouched by His love.

Half of us drowning in the sloshy mess now surrounding us.

Making Easter About Jesus(1)

Maybe it’s the ache in my soul for Spring. New life. The warmth. The beauty.

But even more an ache deep within me to stay frozen no longer.

The silent scream in my heart rings out that Jesus is alive, and I want to live like it!

I don’t know what it looks like – this growth and new life ready to blossom.

God knows the mess I am -  part frozen, part muddied, part surrendered to letting Him make something… anything… beautiful before I decay.

So I will take the mud and the muck as He works in my life.

For in the quiet of my home and in the blare of the day and with that sick baby and with hurting neighbors and with piles of dishes and with kids failing so much like their mama, I need Him so desperately!

His nail scarred hands.

His love poured out.

His life.

His grace.

His hope.

A hope not necessarily in sick free days, or children that don’t whine, or in streets free from abduction-

A hope not necessarily in pain-less nights, or a feast for the starving, or stopping the death of loved ones-

On this side of heaven. {Although I do long for those things!}

A hope in the One that meets us in all of those places.

A hope in the One that has already conquered pain and sin and death and sorrow.

A hope in the One who has already overcome the world.

A hope in the One who has the final say, and yet has not left us alone today.

“I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Matthew 28:20

Halleluiah!

May He continue to melt away the frozen places of my soul – and help me to live like I believe it!

Early next week, Lord willingly, I’ll share the sweet ways God has been working in my heart through the last two verses of Psalm 103. It’s changing my world – growing this faith that can move mountains. Praying you have a blessed Easter!

Happy Easter!
~Jessica

My Absolute Favorite Way to Memorize Scripture (and- Do you want to build a snowman?)

The week before Easter and we’ve got this glistening of sugar snow swirling and blanketing the earth with white.

And my kids look out the window and it only takes about two point four seconds before someone starts singing, “Do you want to build a snowman?”

And groans of the cold that seek to overwhelm are suddenly replaced with smiles and melodies.

And it isn’t even snowman snow, but put words to music and there is such a deep power and beauty.

praising with snow

Get those words stuck in your head and they’ll be on repeat for days.

Get His Word glued right to the inside of your mind and those Words will echo throughout your life.

Get His Word adhered to the depths of your heart and soon there’ll come this bubbling up inside of you all bursting out in praise.

And you don’t need to keep silent, for if you do, the stones will cry out praise to their Maker.

palm branch handprints

singing praise with snow

palm branches

Easter snow

So, grab the leftover palm branches

Or ribbons to swirl.

Beat on that pots and pans drum –

Or throw snow in the air.

And put His Words of praise right into the song that’s already being played.

Maybe it’s to the tune of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” or “Let it Go” (Are you sensing a Frozen theme here in our home!?), but now it’s with His life-breathing Words that bring peace and joy to your days.

Praise the Lord!

Kids {Families} Memorizing Psalm 103 – “Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul.” Psalm 103:21-22

We’re already on the very last week of our memorizing journey, and what perfect verses for this Holy Week!

Into My Little Heart… Week 1: Psalm 103:1-2, Week 2: Psalm 103:3-4, Week 3: Psalm 103:5-6, Week 4: Psalm 103:7-8, Week 5: Psalm 103:9-10, Weeks 6&7: Psalm 103:11-12 & 13-14, Week 8: Psalm 103:15-16, Week 9: Psalm 103:17-18, Week 10: Psalm 103:19-20

We’re on Day 4 of our Holy Week activities. And my kids cannot get enough of the Kidz Audio Bible. Praying for each of you that are joining us this week in loving and learning and growing in more of JESUS this Easter!

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