Nope, it's not the traditional cup of tea in fine china, with homemade cinnamon rolls that follow.
Nope, it wasn't watching a bunch of home movies; laughing and remembering and some even being a bit embarrassed. Fun...but not it.
Nope, it's not coloring eggs!
Well, it could be going to church in full celebration ...but sorry, not it!
Nope, it's not the Easter baskets with all the candy!
Nope, it's not even the delicious food.
Nope, it's not the family bike ride we enjoyed this year, or getting caught in the rain at the end.
Nope, it's not even the puppy enjoying his new finds!
It could have been the girls putting a surprise together; playing and singing a song to one of my favorite Easter movies (Veggie tales Easter Carol)...very close, but still not it!
Nope not watching all the Easter movies...not even the Donut Man's Easter Celebration.
All GREAT guesses, but not it. Give up?
My favorite part about Easter was the five of us coming together in our annual tradition of reading Benjamin's Box, opening Resurrection Eggs and Reading through the Scriptures and hearing the Easter story all over again, as if it was our first time. As the years move on, there isn't much of a surprise anymore as to what is in the eggs, there isn't a different ending to the book. But what I love is that God's word is alive and there is always something new to find. I also stand on reassurance God's word will not return void. This is the foundation of what is to come in the lives of these girls and generations to come - Jesus! He was, He is and is to come!
The goodness of the cross I thought was enough. But God had bigger plans.
He is risen! He has overcome the grave!
Today with much joy, we celebrate...with dance and gladness. Because Jesus did just as He said He'd do and overcame the grave. Nothing can keep my Jesus down. Nothing!
Grief. Finances. Parenting. Marriage. Strife. Illness. Adoption. Loneliness. Depression. Emotions. The deepest pain. The most impossible situation. Death. Nothing can keep my Jesus down. He overcame the grave, so He can and will overcome it all!
And that is the power of His Resurrection. He overcame the grave thousands of years ago, and He overcomes today.
I celebrate with much joy of my Jesus. Because my Jesus is very much alive today as when He walked this earth. Today I celebrate He has overcome the grave and will continue to overcome it all. Nothing can keep my Jesus down...nothing!
Sometimes it isn't fun to celebrate your birthday with a holiday/special day. This could be one of those times, but it got me thinking as we celebrate Courtney's 13th birthday and Good Friday.
I can't help remember these past 13 years.
It was over 13 years ago, I was to be unmoved from a couch for over 3 months. Doctors wondered if she would make it until her due date. Worry and frustration came over me.
Courtney was 10 months old when illness struck, and left her sick until she was 4. Our new "normal" would be life at the doctors office and Children's Hospital. Peace and Joy remained.
Courtney was diagnosed and misdiagnosed time and time again, before the correct diagnosis was given. We grew tired.
Courtney endured two major surgeries. I held Jesus' hand as worry struck me.
Courtney had a G-tube, which made her feel abnormal as we would "plug" her in so she could burp or get sick. We thought this was her healing and rejoiced.
Courtney had to change her diet. We needed to learn more.
She endured bullying and "not" fitting in. Our hearts were broken.
God remained faithful and overcame!
By His stripes He has made her whole and healed! Today she remains free from illness and pain. She lives a life as any 13 year old would. She knows the source of her healing and goes to Him without any hesitancy for anything. God grew her faith.
She speaks of her belief even in her public school classes - no matter how "foolish" she may look. He has given her boldness.
She is quick to let go and forgive. He is her gentleness.
Jesus overcame the cross and overcame in Courtney and our lives.
This year we celebrate Courtney's birth and have the privilege to be reminded of how much He has overcome.
Good Friday. When Lindsay was about 6 years old, we attended a church that did the Stations of the Cross. We literally carried a cross, as we thought about the sacrifice years ago. I explained to Lindsay how Jesus was mocked, beaten and then nailed to a cross on what we call Good Friday. All of a sudden, in all of her innocence and with much concern she bursted out and asked "Mommy, what's so good about that?"
Yes. What's so good about that?
Jesus was ridiculed. Beaten. Stripped of any dignity. Spit at. Laughed at. Cursed. Brutally murdered when innocent.
So what is so good about that?
That mean thought I had for that someone earlier this week. The harsh tone I gave my husband last night. The healings our family had experienced. The freedom, joy and hope that fill my soul. The slanderous thoughts I have had for the Liberian government. The judgement I fall into with people I meet. The curse word that came across my mind. The anger that can get the best of me. The meanness I may offer. The jealousy of the people who have a new car. Taking life for granted. Not being thankful when I should. How I have dishonored my parents. My unfaithfulness. And the list goes on.
God took my list to the cross with him. He thought of me as he endured the thorns on his brow, and the nails in His flesh. God provided the sacrifice, because He loved me that much. And that is the good of this Friday.
And the greatness of His goodness, wasn't just for me...but for us all. One cross. One Jesus. One God. One gloomy day. For you and for me.