This has been a weird week. I don't really know how else to describe it! I got home a day later than I was anticipating from our conference due to tiredness and weather. I think that has kind of thrown my whole week off.
I decided before I even got home that, with all the activities planned for Easter this week, we would take a spring break and just enjoy each other and enjoy our preparations and celebrations. But, of course, things don't always go as planned.
I am not sure why, but this has just been an off week for me. I just couldn't get over the complete exhaustion from the weekend, not matter how hard I tried. Of course, this made me one cranky momma. Oh, my poor children who had to deal with grumpy me all week. I just couldn't seem to get past it. And when I would sit down and to read my Bible and pray, it was like nothing was really sinking in or getting through. I felt so lost, claustrophobic almost. This was so not how I wanted this week to be. I wanted it to be a week of laughter, joy, and anticipation of Resurrection Sunday, but it was quickly becoming clear that it was going to be a week of tears and aggravation! (Of course, we did have lots of fun moments in between, just more non-fun moments than I was hoping for!)
But, God is so good because even in the midst of that, He showed up. I have really been struggling with how to do some fun, exciting things and celebrate the true reason for Easter all at the same time, and still not really knowing what to do. I don't know about you, but the kids and I love dying eggs, any time of the year. Grandma Carol came over, we got out the cups and the Kool-Aid, and went to work dying our eggs. As we were watching the eggs change color, the Lord reminded me that we aren't that much different than those eggs sitting in that Kool-Aid. The longer we spend surrounded by anything or anyone (good or bad) the more we begin to look like that thing or person. So, if we want to look like Christ, we must spend time in His word, in prayer, and with his people. The kids and I had a great talk about this. We talked about why it was so important that we choose close friends who love God and want to be like Him, too. Yes, we must take His truth and the Gospel to those who don't love or believe in God, but our closest friends should be those who will encourage us to seek Him and will help us to continue to strive to be more like Him. Not sure they totally got it...or that the comparison works on a deep level, but I hope that God will use it to help us all see that we need more time with Him!
We also had some friends over and did a Passover Seder this week. I love the symbolism in everything Jewish! Anyway, it went much better than I expected, even though I know many points were lost on the kids, I can't help but believe that as we continue this tradition each year, God will reveal a little more of Himself to us each time. Lord, thank you for being the Passover Lamb. Thank You for giving us a way to remember all that You've done in the past to save and redeem us, and all that You will do in the future to bring us home.
We also have some changes coming up in our fast. The month of April was going to be our fast from TV, but, we have some exciting news! Our friends, Jennifer and Jeremy Humiston, who are doing this fast with us, will now be spending about 10 days in April on a mission trip in Africa (they'll be serving some missionaries there, as well as getting to spend some time with their son, David, who will hopefully be coming home to Hannibal by the end of the summer)...so....we've decided to postpone the TV fast until June, since they will be gone for part of April and wouldn't be able to really do the fast together. For April, we will be focusing gathering 300 pairs of Dollar Store reading glasses to send with missionaries Crisit and Michelle Harlea when they head to Romania this summer. They will host an eye clinic where they will give away the glasses along with Romanian New Testaments. You'll be seeing more information about this in the coming weeks!
I am also going to do something else in April, that God really laid on my heart this week as I was feeling so detached and grumpy. This is actually something that I was going to do in May along with our Sabbath days, but I think April is a great time to do it, especially on the heels of this crazy week. I am going to be intentional about stopping in the midst of my day at least twice (other than my normal morning devotion and prayer time) to pray. I am planning to make these prayer times at 10 a.m. (which would be right in the midst of either house cleaning or school, so I know it will be hard and uncomfortable for me to do) and 8 p.m. (this is when Kevin is putting the kids to bed and I am usually using that time to be on the computer checking facebook or pinterest or reading blogs, which is such a stress relief for me at the end of the day, so it will be hard for me to give that up!) Would you like to join me? You can start with just one extra, intentional prayer time, or more than that if you want. Choose any time that you want and prayer for whatever the Lord leads you to pray for. I am going to get a special notebook that I can record these prayers in separately from my other prayer time just so I can see how God is working. I am praying that the Lord will use these times to draw me closer to Him and to interrupt my plans and lead to His plans!