easter sweets!

I’m not really a fan of chocolate, aside from a Reese’s, but these little bunnies have me craving all the chocolate kiss es ever!!! 

(One of my students says, “Oh, I just love their little chocolate cheeks!” Me, too, kid! Me, too!) 

   

       

         

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… but, for the the blood

A lot of times, I believe that the promises of God, how taken He is with us, & how he can come in and transform our lives seem impossible and trite. 

Because we missed God in the flesh walking, touching, talking, & comforting He doesn’t seem real. We (thankfully) missed the time frame God was killing people on site for the smallest acts of disobedience, silencing for a lack of faith, burning bushes, flooding the Earth, sending Angels to Earth, & best of all, using His voice (I mean, folks could clearly HEAR God) it seems implausible for Him to flex His ‘can do’ muscles. Right? 

We are a ‘show me’ kinda people. We don’t believe what we don’t see. Hearing promises & directions aren’t good enough – we need them in writing. And, all for good reason, people can’t be trusted. We lie, we forget, we mislead, we are confused – intentional & unintentional behaviors, alike, cause us to question everything. 

So, we ask for signs, we bargin & negotiate & gamble our way to the will of God. Why? 

We believe and live our lives as if a guy wasn’t nailed to a cross, DIE, wrapped & put in a grave that was closed with a huge boulder, & then hang out with his friends afterwards. I mean, He let them feel his wounds & scars. He is a literal, tangible promise kept. 

Life before the cross was brutal. Jesus’ death & resurrection softened God’s heart towards us. 

Before Jesus rose from the dead, we were dead. We had no future. We were enemies to a merciless God, a God who lived by the letter of the Law. A God who required more than we could pay for our sins. A God who required a hefty, perfect, enormous sacrifices we couldn’t keep up with. We sinned more than we could afford to. Literally. The price was way too high and we were STILL headed to hell. We still didn’t have a personal relationship with God. He still wasn’t with us! Not all of us. A select few. 

It wasn’t until the death of Christ that we were allowed such sweet, personal communion with God while simultaneously worshipping corporately with Him. How gracious! It wasn’t until the death of Christ that God welcomed us with open arms, tossed His tally of sins, required perfection, threw out the rule book & loved us completely. 

It was the death of Christ that allowed us to become His children – His sons & daughters. We have access to his peace, hope, & love. Our futures can be bright & full. He never turns His back towards us and prepares good things for us. He preps better for us than we prepare for that first birthday party or SuperBowl. He loves us more than we could fathom loving our own children with a love we can’t wrap our minds around. We are HIS. Sons & daughters of the most high King. But, he will never keep us from the throne. There is nothing we could do that would separate us from His love. We don’t always act like royalty, we don’t accept the treatment of royalty, we don’t even recognize that we are royalty. Maybe because it doesn’t look like the royalty we see on this Earth, it’s not royalty of this world. Kingdom children. Kingdom women. Kingdom men put on this earth to do great and mighty things for the Lord. Because of the Lord. 

But, for the blood…… We are claimed. The only thing worse than not being a part is being a part of the losing team. Christ’s blood covers us and keep us out of the reach of the coach of a team destined to lose. We have this forever contract with Team Heaven that can’t be broken no matter what we do. Poor behavior? Still on the team. Missing months of practice? No big. Come next week. Haven’t utilized team perks? They’re still available. Worst player on the field that day? Still won’t ever be traded. 

Because of the blood. 

Why can’t we see it? Why do we refuse to accept the love, peace, & joy that is offered to us……. No matter how many times we turn it down or choose its opposite. But, because of the blood it’s offered again and again and again. 

Change can happen, transformation is possible because of the blood. 

Strength, grace, & peace in the most hurtful & tumultuous situations is possible because of Christ’s mind blowing obedience. 

Reconciliation, rededication, forgiveness, unity, love, acceptance, and pure joy is possible because God saw fit to sacrifice perfection for imperfection. His son for His enemy. He offers love when all we have to offer is evil and hate. Worthiness or unworthiness. 

Because of Christ we are free from shame. Sin. Anger. Rage. Hate. Selfishness. Hostility. Malice. Envy. Lust. All of the gross and nasty, the despicable that leaves us with that uncomfortable feeling of unworthiness. Even when we are our worst selves, shame has no place in our hearts. We can live confidently and boldly because of the one who came to die for us. 

What a love. What GRACE. Undeserved, unmerited, impossible to earn & keep grace & mercy. 

God is unfathomable. His character, His gifts, His reach, His love, His commitment, His sacrifice, His grace. He is impossible to know fully.

So, YES…… It’s tough to see all of God’s amazing works actually happening because we’re thinking about what we would do. We are limiting God’s abilities and putting Him on the same playing field as us. So, when we think about God like that- oh yea, totally impossible. Don’t blame you for not believing. But, TRUSTING that God is as big as He says He is, believing that He has done all that He has and will do more, hoping in His promises takes a faith that starts with humility. When we’re humble, we recognize how small we are, how limited we are, & how UNable we are…… Then, by the grace of God, we start looking for & longing for the One who IS able.

Praise God for the blood!  

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heart songs

One of the sweetest moments I’ve had as a mom has been watching my sister & her kids play with & care for mine. 

When I thought kids of my own were an impossible dream, I wanted so deeply (& maybe selfishly) for my sister understand how I felt about her kids and to have that same relationship. I love my neices to tons of pieces and I have really enjoyed watching them grow up, building our own little relationships, & spending major time with them. I love sneaking them cookies, buying them clothes, having them spend the night, and just being their auntie. 

And, that all began this past week. My sister’s family met the twins for the first time and it was such an amazing experience. The girls bonded immediately. The big cousins LOVING taking care of the little cousins. They were perfect little combinations of sweetness. Logan loved Aliya & they always ended up paired together. And, well….. Ari & Rhyann just kinda survived each other!! 

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from their visit!    

  

  

  



   Aliya is such a great mini photographer…. She caught Rhyann smiling!

                                  

Oh, my heart was so full!!!! I can’t wait for the big girls to come back this summer! My girls will be so “much” older and hopefully crawling around so they’ll be a lot more fun to play with. 

I thank God endlessly for my babies…. And, this is just another dream experience come true!!! 

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