more thoughts on Easter...

Lately I've been thinking...
What is more celebrated Easter or Christmas? duh, Christmas. I mean secular or religious practice Christmas is always a bigger deal. You have Advent, the tree, the lights, the cookies, Santa, the list goes on...
But... What is more important the birth of Christ or the death and resurrection of Christ? I'm going to have to say the later...

Philippians 3:10-12

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

1 Peter 1:3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...

Matthew 27:50-53And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

So what have been thinking....?

In my home I want to make Easter as big of a deal as Christmas... And I mean I love Christmas. the traditions. the time together. the food. I love it all. And I want to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ with as much love as I doHis birth... Some of my ideas...

-more decor: this probably means bunnies and eggs and pastels. I think that sounds great!

-an Easter morning egg hunt {last year, we helped our children's pastor and his wife stuff and hide eggs all over their house for their three kids-so fun}

-super great Easter baskets

-reading through the stories of the time leading up to Jesus on the Cross each night at dinner

-practicing Lent as family {may look similar to this year... may not}

-baking Easter only goodies :)

-a huge Easter dinner {I've done this my whole life. Pass the ham and Presbyterian potatoes, please}

Just some thoughts... What are yours?

Lent of Don't {3}

Don’t Give Up Junk Food.
Choose a neighbor or family member for whom you can cook a meal or bake a goodie. Spend your snacking time cooking and delivering.

Days 17-24, March 25- April 1st

After being busy, out of town, etc, etc. the 8 days of this Lenten practice will look a little different. Tomorrow is my day off. I am going to spend part of this day cooking and baking and delivering goodies. Praying for each goodie intentionally. Not letting myself off easy. Praying that this practice really does bring me closer to my Savior. Really does prepare me to celebrate the birth of Christ.
So 8 things to bake/cook. 8 families, friends, classmates to hand some homemade love to.
I can't wait.

more gifts -sorry-

I've been learning a lot. Been thinking a lot. Been challenged a lot.
Trying my hardest to look at life through different eyes.
Eyes focused on the One who Created it all. Gave it all. Gave it all up.
I want to glorify God. That is all I want. I want that to be all I want.
So I keep counting my gifts...

186. time and lists that allow me to focus through the day.
187. accountability and honesty.
188. joyous clapping
189. wonder in the eyes of a child {more on that later}
190. it is always better to give
191. a caring husband. who tries his best to understand.
192. a husband who will vacuum
193. the type of marriage we have.
194. the warmth of inside.
195. water. plenty of water.
196. tears of
197. knowing I don't have to know it all
198. God is in control!
199. only 4 more classes!
200. accomplishments.
201. a friend to tell me it's ok not to get there.
202. support.
203. little boy and his TONKA truck
204. a whining little boy who still listens (most of the time)
205. comfort.
206. funny movies.
207. candy
208. better directions
209. being challenged. not just to say thanks but to see Christ in each gift
210. adoption...hmmm
211. hard thanks

Lent of Don't {2}

Don’t Give Up Shopping.

So I've already seen how much I failed the first 8 days. Let's hope I can make it through these 8 days... Not with more success. But with more selflessness, sacrifice, grace, and love...

*update 3/21
Day 9, March 17: $10 to my friend, Kelsey Bradley who is fundraising for Invisible Children
Day 10, March18: $5 turned into $10 for Japan Relief through livingsocial deals
Day11, March 19: $20 for our friends and fellow youth pastors, Catherine and Aaron Banks. They recently were in a terrible car accident and have a long road to recovery... Needing all the support they can get! More about & updates. Donate.
Day 12, March 20: $10 to the Southern Colorado AIDS Project. Amazing organization.
Day 13, March 21: $10 to the Southern Colorado AIDS Project.
Day 14, March 22: $5 to the Adventure Project. for World Water Day
Day 15, March 23: $10 to Vision Trust. where it is needed most.
Day 16, March 24: $10 to Vision Trust. where it is needed most.

Goal: Pick a missionary or charity for giving and send a financial gift-every day of Lent, every week, whatever.

I don't know what I will giving to... I'll let you know when I find out...


Honestly, I am a failure.
I only finished Matthew. Really? The first day I read ch. 1-14. Just like I was "suppose" to... And it was so great.
But then somehow it took me 7 more freaking days to finish the 14 other chapters...
Honestly, I know that I am a sinner.
And man, I'm aware of that right now.
I can't even set aside like 45 minutes a day to "sacrifice, commit, whatever you want to call it" to read through the Gospels in 8 days as I prepare my heart for Lent? No, I can't. I didn't.
And I've read this other blog talking about how failing at Lent sacrifices is just as "great" as going through with them because it makes us aware of our current condition and just how badly we really need Jesus. Really need what He did on that cross.
I don't think I'm there yet. I mean, I know it. But I don't "believe" it.

So as I enter into the next 8 days of this new Lenten sacrifice of mine... I'm going to finish reading through the Gospels. Because I'm stubborn and I want to say that I did it. And I want to check them off. And because I want to prove to myself, God, I don't know who that I'm not a complete failure... Ugh.

*insert begging for forgiveness from a Heavenly Father who loves me more than I will ever comprehend. and thankfulness for the ultimate sacrifice. one I will never understand*

Tuesday Thoughts

Not to complain...but... the internet here at work is going CRAZY. Every like 10 seconds the "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage." So then you click on "Diagnose Connection Problems," go through the whole Web Page Diagnostics, turns out there are NO problems and you refresh the page and it will show up. Problem is I can't go 2 web pages without this happening. SO ANNOYING. so I don't have much inspiration or thought courtesy the internet today... ugh.

Last Friday I broke my toe. {Freaking Hurt} I "kicked" the corner of our bed post as I was walking... Yes, I screamed, cursed, and then tried to walk it off. But it seriously hurt. A couple hours later I put on my running shoes and ran 4 miles. Really didn't hurt too bad. Got back, took off my sock and the whole toe was one very pretty shade of purple.

Then Saturday, on my long 8 mile run my knee killed me. It started last Saturday, but by Sunday was fine. Hurt again after my Tuesday run, but Wednesday was fine. And then on Friday it didn't hurt too bad at all (maybe because I focused all my pain tolerance towards my toe). But I ran the s-l-o-w-e-s-t 8 miles ever. And w.a.l.k.e.d way too much. And seriously thought I LOST my running partner -insert emotional freak out- BUT I did "run" 8 miles. BUT the next day I seriously couldn't walk.

So hello Sunday - I.Look.Like.A.Mess.

In other news... This week is going incredibly slow.
Jackson is silly. And loves making a mess.
Girl Scout cookies will be the death of me.
Every day, my toe hurts more and my knee hurts less. I think that is a good sign...
I really wish it would snow something major. NOT because I like the snow but because I don't want to be in a DROUGHT all summer.
Church service was super awesome on Sunday. Check out:
Ok I think this post

Lent of Don't

Don’t Give Up Television.

The first 8 days of Lent. I won't be giving up television... I'll still be watching my Kathie Lee & Hoda and Teen Mom 2 {Ha}.
But after I watch my morning KLG & Hoda, I'll be preparing my heart for Easter by reading the Word of God.
For whatever reason, I think I need to read through the Gospels.

Here's the plan:
Day 1, March 9: Matthew 1-14
Day 2, March 10: Matthew 15-28
Day 3, March 11: Mark 1-8
Day 4, March 12: Mark 9-18
Day 5, March 13: Luke 1-12
Day 6, March 14: Luke 13-24
Day 7, March 15: John 1-10
Day 8, March 16: John 11-21

Thank you Lord for this discipline. For this prepartion. For this sacrificing. I pray that each day that I do more reading of Your Word I learn, grow, and glorify You. Becoming more holy. For You and only You.

Considering Lent...

Even though my church doesn't practice Lent I have often given something up during the 40 days preceding Easter. It is supposed to be a rememberance of Jesus's 40 days in the desert, "a season of penance, reflection, and fasting," a time of preparation...

But what is given up? One year it was soda- I never drank soda again... What kind of sacrifice is that? It has been facebook... supposed to give me more time to reflect on Christ... Did that ever happen? Last year, I gave up HGTV... again for more time... but I think I just filled it with time on the computer.

And as I pray this year for what I need to sacrifice in my life nothing really comes to mind... Not because I am perfect but because I just can't think of something... Is that really bad?
And then I wonder what was Jesus doing in the 40 days preceding His crucifixion? He was praying (in Gethsemane), He was singing with the disciples (Matthew 26:30), He was celebrating (the Last Supper), He was preaching parables, He was praying, He was loving... This was a busy time for Jesus Christ. So what does that mean...
I want "to sacrifice that I might be more like Christ in His sacrifice." ~ Ann Voskamp
“If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” ~ Amy Carmichael
"I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." ~ Philippians 3:10-11

So what if this suffering, this sacrifice is more about doing, that don't... If I don't watch HGTV or stalk on facebook, what am I doing? The past has proved that am not doing more glorify or more preparation... So as I learn to hammer and practice, practice, practice my one thousand gifts, what if I practice, practice, practice more doing, more glorifying?

And then I found this:
Alternatives to the usual...

1. Don’t Give Up Television. Pick a book (perhaps just more of the Bible?) to read this season. Make sure you take time to read before you turn on the tube.

2. Don’t Give Up Shopping. Pick a missionary or charity for giving and send a financial gift-every day of Lent, every week, whatever. Then go shopping and see what you just can’t live without.

3. Don’t Give Up Junk Food. Choose a neighbor or family member for whom you can cook a meal or bake a goodie. Spend your snacking time cooking and delivering.

4. Don’t Give Up Facebook. But, before you sign on, think of who you’ll stalk (smile) and take some time to pray for them. Or, stop as you’re reading and pray for the people you’ve read about and the pictures you’ve seen.

5. Don’t Give Up Email. But, take a few minutes to write some tangible notes these 40 days. Use stamps and that thing called a mailbox and say ‘Thank You,’ or ‘thinking of you,’ or just say things you just can’t say over a computer.

And to me that makes sense... A practice, a sacrifice. A doing, not a don't.
So 5 practices. 40 days. 8 days per sacrifice.
It begins today. My Lenten sacrifice. The preparing of my heart.
This is a journey... I journey I am so thankful for.

{And I'm a list type person so for each of the practices I will post what I will be doing for those 8 days. (also to keep me accountable!)}

Tuesday Thoughts

*it's cold. I would appreciate some weather warmth soon...

*reading one thousand gifts. loving it.
I'll continue my list here today...
135. technology that allows me to communicate with those I love.
136. 8 miles. 8 miles that came easier than expected on the trail Saturday.
137. a true friend to push me, encourage me, and be excited for me :)
138. 18 months old. silly. one arm out of his shirt. often.
139. an evening with the ladies. FON-DON'T. laughter all around. real-ness all around.
140. bible study this evening. SO looking forward to it.
141. even though the Keurig isn't working {insert huge sad face} still having heavenly coffee. thanks Dad. {also know as, "the perks of living with your parents}
142. newly discovered discipline continues.
143. homemade biscuits and gravy
144. thoughtfulness of a momma who knows not to making *fish* when I'm home for dinner...
145. dinner options!
146. the luxury of being a picky eater.
147. dinner with friends.
148. slightly awkward conversation turns into almost four hours around the kitchen table.
149. literacy. seriously.
150. coloring books and crayons.
151. cold weather runs
152. Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy
153. pea-size.

*I would like to be more diligent in keeping my gifts list... need to start writing gifts down in journal.

* I think today calls for a nap.

* In church, we've been working through Philippians. We've also been challenged to memorize 11 verses and complete 11 Acts of Worship.
Last week the the verse was - "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." Philippians 2:14-15
And the Act of Worship was a 7 Day Complain Free Challenge. I got into the challenge late because I wasn't at church that Sunday. But as I struggled to not complain, I struggled with what complaining was considered.... For example, I got perfume in my eye. It hurt. Now if I say that is it complaining or just stating fact? It happened and it hurt. defines complaining as: to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault...
So I guess talking about my perfumed eye would be complaining... But then what do you talk about? How great it was after you got the perfume out?
I mean I really don't think so. I guess I think it only becomes complaining when you are more "WOE IS ME," everyone should have sympathy for me, don't let it go type of thing... BUT am I just making that up so I will feel better about myself...? Possibly. I guess no matter what I am more aware of the complaints that come out of my mouth.... BUT man, I really want to be "blameless and pure, child without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

*This weeks verse is: "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that come from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that come from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow attaining to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:7-11
Goal: Next week I will type this all from memory!
And the challenge is to sacrifice something. And not just something... But something you LOVE. I'm praying through what I love. And what I need to sacrifice... {NOT what I want to sacrifice}

*Jackson is really liking Sesame Street. I like that too.

*On Saturday I take the Praxis II: Social Studies: Content Knowledge. I should have started studying much earlier. I have to pass. It won't be easy. O and yea, PAID $205 to TAKE a 2 hour test. awesome. (ok, so that's complaining- woe is me)

* I can't wait to start planning for Kellie's baby shower. I think I shall do that today! yahoo!

*Final Thought:
What is God calling you/me/everyone of His children to sacrifice...?

Tuesday Thoughts

- I can't believe it's March Does that mean s.p.r.i.n.g is coming?
- This weekend I flew to California with my parents. For my uncle's funeral. It was truely a celebration of who my Uncle Wayne was and who he loved - his family & his God. His life was a testimony in God's grace, love, and hope. He left with my aunt by his side singing praises and reading Scripture. That is increbible.
- We did get to go to the beach. the very cold beach. It was be-a-utiful.
Me & my momma

Mom & Dad. They are great.
The Water & the Pier After many failed attempts in watching the cold water hit my cold toes... bummer.
I.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e {frame please}

- Spent a lot of time at my brother's basketball games this month.

What a stud.
- Last weekend I took AlethiaYouth's girls ICE SKATING. super fun.

- In other news, I'm super excited about an appleseed.
- I got some really great new clothes this weekend. thank you sales.
- It's time to go get Jackson up from his nap. Have a fabulous Tuesday. I'll leave you with this happiness.